Straight from the horse's mouth

by Volker Weber

This warrants a full quote:

The worst example of a procedural problem gone out of control was the Portal install. In Workplace 1.1 and much of 2.0 when you needed to install the latest build of Portal server it took anywhere from two days, if you were lucky, to a week or more of tedious hand editing of configuration files before the server would run. There was no automation for the process and no organizational investment in automating the process, so every few weeks all progress on Workplace would grind to a halt as people manually updated their servers. Hundreds and hundreds of Workplace developers and QE engineers would have to stop what they were working on and just follow pages of detailed install instructions. There were rouge attempts to address the issue but none gained team wide traction. All the while the drum beat of management would be pressing for faster action and more progress from development while apparently ignoring the team wide appeal for help on the issue. In retrospect it was the most frustrating and difficult development environment I've ever worked in.

I know quite a few people who tried to install Workplace 1.1 and 2.0 and told me it was completely broken. Do I need to quote the enterprise-strength blabla that IBM gave us in the same time frame?

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You missed the small print Vowe. Whenever IBM said this stuff sucked IBM were always quick to come back with "1.1 is a proof of concept version to evaluate 2.0 is the one to deploy" then it became "2.0 is a proof of concept version 2.5 is the one to deploy"...
But don't worry in a couple of years we will have today's functionality existing alongside today's applications in Workplace.

Carl Tyler, 2005-04-22

Well, this week IBM said 2.0 was a proof of concept, 2.5 is a pilot, and 3.0 will be productive for some low end users. In the time frame of 4.5 (which is, as I can remember, along the Notes 9.0 timeframe) this product will have functionalities to support the "knowledge worker" who uses Notes today. Its a long way to go. IBM says its a 5 years timeframe. we have now 2.5 years since workplace was introduced.

Alexander Kluge, 2005-04-22

IBM sucks. The people in control aren't the creative people. The people in control have no idea what it takes to build something useful and build something right, they just think it's their job to kick development's ass into working a little longer, a little harder.

Really. This whole Workplace thing is a sad joke. All those rich profits they keep anticipating from it will never materialize, and their response will be to punish development more. "Death spiral" comes to mind.

Damien Katz, 2005-04-22

Damien, I'm not sure having the creative people in control is the best business model to follow.

Tony S Lee, 2005-04-22

I was reminded of this: "to make something customers actually want". I have yet to meet a customer who wants Workplace. Which in a way reminds me of Raven.

Volker Weber, 2005-04-23

I know I am not a potential customer. I tried finding some elsewhere. I have a few opportunities where I can ask larger audiences. Consisting of customers very large and small. No takers so far. BPs are worried, customers are confused. BPs want to make money, customers want to save it. Both don't know how.

Volker Weber, 2005-04-23

Well you might look at is this way:
- I want to differenciate on a portal level (lock my customers in)
- I want to have a client platform where over time all business applications live (RCP)
- Again I want to differenciate there (lock my customers in)
- I want to gain independence from the OS, so my RCP runns on multiple OS.
.. Enter workplace ..
What would be in for the customer:
- One application framework for all Business-Apps. And all means all. With the RCP architecture SAP could co-exist with a CMS, with a Picture viewer all sharing the same File-New menu. Move processes from eMail to more structured processes. And (missing in pure RCP): add a central control what RCP-Plugins (the artists formerly known as software programs) are available to whom and when.
Of course the whole thing got a little out of hand....
I forgot who stated that: "IBM doesn't release software, it escapse from IBM".
;-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2005-04-23

The quote on the site now says:

"The worst example of a procedural problem gone out of control was (Anecdote removed upon request from IBM). There were rouge attempts..."

Julian Robichaux, 2005-04-28

I had reasons for the full quote. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2005-04-28

I don't think Pete mentioned it, but 1)those install and build problems for developers were fixed along the way to 2.5 by focusing a team on it; and 2)Installing 2.5 full server takes me an hour on Windows. "Set it and forget it" as we say. That's just for a demo machine, using Cloudscape, but it works.


Chris Reckling, 2005-05-05

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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