Two projects and a funeral

by Volker Weber

Somehow I never seem to agree with John Head. He has been to a Lotus keynote at the Advisor Summit today and he is very upbeat and excited. We was also very excited about Workplace, and I was not. Looking at his live blogging from the keynote, I picked up these items about Workplace:

Let me translate this to vowespeak: The Workplace products are dead. Some body parts are being folded into Websphere Portal. I said this more than two months ago, and was heavily attacked.

The "solutions" (remember, IBM does not make applications, only middleware) continue to be branded Workplace. From there it gets muddy. What is this crazy talk about a brand for a strategy? And products which are not named with that brand? We will see.

So far for the funeral. What about the two projects? They are so early, that Lotus people where instructed not to talk about them. But if you are the boss and have a good demo-god, you can make your own rules. :-)

I bet all this stuff runs on WebSphere. It is good that somebody is still busy selling Notes. If only to keep the lights on.

One interesting item: Lotus may be rewriting the Notes/SAP integration to work with Notes 6.5. This means there are enough customers sitting on 6.5 clients who want this feature. Actually, the vast majority of my customers are still on 6.5, some of them with 7.0 servers.

I am not under the Ron Sebastian spell. He can make six weeks old code look like it is a done deal. And he will use Flash to demo stuff, that has not even be coded yet. Especially for very early projects. Is that clear enough? On the other hand I was not there, so my attempt to summarize the new projects may be way off.


In any case, I think that Shanghai is a pretty poor name for an initiative, since it's often used in American English as a slang term for stealing, cheating, or kidnapping:

Julian Robichaux, 2006-08-29 00:07

and by "poor", I really meant to type "unfortunate". I'm sure the name has its merits, but that was just the first thing I thought of...

Julian Robichaux, 2006-08-29 00:27

Not sure, if this is unfortunate. The other products are being shanghaied. :-)

Volker Weber, 2006-08-29 01:08

I am only going to respond to the last part ... there was no Flash demo stuff here. I could see URLS and all that. It was all real. I know Flash demos and I know 'code under development' and it was definitily option 2

John Head, 2006-08-29 01:22

@volker: good point. And also, I'm probably not the one to be giving out advice about naming things, since I just released an application called "Stubby"...

Julian Robichaux, 2006-08-29 02:27

@John I have spent a lot of time studying demos, I used to make a living watching MS demos figuring out which parts of a demo at a show were real live code and which parts were where they had switched to a video, people in the know can do this well it's like magic.

I have seen Ron demo a couple of times, and he can make flash or something akin to flash look like a very real product, a couple of things I noticed during one of his demos that gave it away, 1st was that all of a sudden his mouse pointer was twice the size it was fearlier in the demo and after that part of the demo it reduced back to it's normal size.

2ndly and the big give away is that no one moves their mouse in perfectly straight lines, always managing to find the exact mid point on buttons, menu options etc.

There is nothing wrong with doing demos this way, it stops the embarrasment of something not working and most importantly it hugely reduces the risk of leaving a bad taste in a potential customers mouth if it crashes and burns badly. Like all good magicians, the key is not to have your tricks worked out.

Carl Tyler, 2006-08-29 04:53

@Julian, what you're saying about the term "Shanghai" also holds true in German btw

Frank Dröge, 2006-08-29 10:53

If you look at where everything is headed, it's all toward Websphere. Workplace is now officially a subset of Websphere, Sametime is moving to Websphere, the new Ventura is Websphere and Shanghai most likely will be, too. I was severely bludgeoned for suggesting that Domino would end up running on Websphere, but it's a prediction I stand by. The new investments are all in Websphere so it only makes sense that's where Domino is headed. I don't mind it, what ticks me off is that IBM pretends it's not happening. How stupid do they think we are?

Charles Robinson, 2006-08-29 18:00

Charles, I was in a planning meeting for the next Domino release after "Hannover" yesterday. There is no plan for the architecture of Domino to be somehow rebased on WebSphere in that release -- or any release on the long-term plan.

Ed Brill, 2006-08-29 19:31

It does make a lot of sense having a robust J2EE stack to compliment Domino (servlets can be much more efficient than agents). Since Domino's own J2EE stack is rather pathetic some Websphere doesn't harm. Of course we can argue if Websphere in all its "beauty" isn't a bit overkill and a tomcat stack would be sufficient....

For the web 2.0 stuff: Most of it is already in daily use inside IBM. Between an internal product and a product for sale there is quite an elaborate QA process (Bluewash as it has been called ;-) ).

The real neat thing (probably not shown) is our own w4 intranet where all the web 2.0 stuff and sametime play togehter. At the end of the day all the tools are aiming at providing a better context when you work (People, Places, Things anybody?)

;-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2006-08-29 22:11

I don't think you'd ever get Domino working on Websphere. Lotus Domino is what I call "pragmatic" software -- it lets you get stuff done, even if you go about it "the wrong way".

Websphere is the exact opposite -- which can be a good thing on occasion, but more often, Websphere acts as a massive time-wasting pain in the backside.

Ben Poole, 2006-09-04 23:50

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