No re-design of the Workspace in Notes 8

by Volker Weber

11 months ago Chris ran a poll about the usage of bookmarks and the workspace in Lotus Notes. Three out of four voted for the Workspace, also known as the chicklets (or "Kacheln" in german).

Mary Beth Raven now tells us that there will be no major re-design in Notes 8:

So, we have postponed the big re-design of the workspace. Instead, Lotus Notes 8 will include a few visual tweaks to update the look. Yes, you will still be able to see the server names, and I think the magic key combo to show filenames will still work (I wanted to make that a proper menu item, but we're running out of time so that won't happen).

Uh oh.


I wonder if we get to compact a desktop8.ndk in the near future. I would guess it will keep the desktop6 name then?

Chris Miller, 2007-01-04

Vowe, why "Uh oh?" I am not looking for conspiracy theories, but you must have some thoughts on Workspace vs. Bookmarks.

Gregg Eldred, 2007-01-04

Well, there is a disconnect between how IBM sees Notes and what I see when I visit customers. IBM sees Notes as a portal-like frontend with composite applications. What I see is people who open Notes with the Workspace as their home page. Mary Beth' blog entry makes it clear that IBM isn't going to do much to that home page. Which may lead to some disappointment.

Volker Weber, 2007-01-04

And delay of release of Hannover would surely lead to disappointment as well. So, two questions: Which type of disappointment does IBM care about more? Which should they care about more? The answer to the first is apparent.

Richard Schwartz, 2007-01-04

This is again an opinion: IBM has exactly one shot, to rid Notes of its image as being odd and ill-designed. I'd rather see it done right and being late, than half-baked on time.

Volker Weber, 2007-01-04

I don't completely agree with the "one shot", but I do agree on the conclusion. I also probably don't have to remind you that I personally would be happy if IBM just got rid of the Workplace, but since they're keeping it they should get it right -- even at the cost of delaying release.

Richard Schwartz, 2007-01-04


I assume you meant "Workspace" and not "Workplace" :-)

Bruce Elgort, 2007-01-04

Looks like IBM is getting rid of Workplace. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2007-01-04

OK, let me throw this one out there:

What's wrong with the Workspace "as is"? As we all know from myriad discussions over the years, many Notes users love their workspace, and just won't go for the newer bookmarks paradigm.

So, what was the re-design of the workspace in Notes 8 going to bring us I wonder? Is it a big deal if we just get the workspace as it is now?

Ben Poole, 2007-01-04

Let's hope they send in the painters, if they can't afford the builders. This design looks the bare minimum.

Volker Weber, 2007-01-04

LOL! I mis-placed a couple of letters. Or did I mis-space them? ;-)

Richard Schwartz, 2007-01-05

Whenever I give users a tips & trick session (mostly internal) I show them what they could do with bookmarks and their Welcome Page. For the Welcome Page I typically show the "My Work" and help to configure it. Furthermore I show them how to use bookmarks and how you can not only add databases but specific views, forms and documents.
That usually fixed that "only from my dead cold hands" attachment to the workspace. Of course what would help is better control (both users and admins) over what happens inside the bookmarks.nsf

My 2c
:-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2007-01-05

@Ben: There is a lot of things, that are wrong about workspace "as is" - the major one is the near complete lack of manageability - It does not roam, it does not replicate, you only can dig into it using CAPI. Then, there are hidden icons on the workspace that you cannot get rid of easily, but which can cause a lot of troubles (like a space, that alway stay empty, and databases of which it is impossible to get the icon on the workspace, cause they are already there, but hidden, etc)

Now, personally, as an ICODEX business partner, I am happy with the way it stays, since it gives me the opportunity to go on selling client genie.

Gregory Engels, 2007-01-05

Thanks Gregory. Yes, I appreciate what you mean about the workspace in terms of manageability and so forth. I thought Mary-Beth’s post was implying that there would be no great user interface overhaul, and that’s what I was focussing on with my question.

I don’t think we can ever really expect changes in terms of managing the workspace: IBM are too committed to bookmarks in that regard. on the plus side, as you point out, Florian and co. have done fantastic things with their tools at ICODEX.

Ben Poole, 2007-01-05

Anytime I read discussions on Workplace vs. Bookmarks I get the impression that most users are not well aware of the "Open as workspace" property of the bookmark folders. If you use that, imho, you get the best of both worlds. In my opinion that is the less cluttered collection of databases that bookmarks offer because you can nest bookmark folders and you can have only one bookmark folder to be displayed instead of all workspace pages at all times. And it is the two-dimensional layout of your database icons in full size which the workspace concept offers (afaik Notes is the only major product which allows you to manage your most used apps, links, etc. in a two way fashion except for OS desktops).

I for one am using the bookmarks ever since I found out about the "Open as workspace" feature. With R5 bookmarks I couldn't get along very well, so I sticked to the workplace. But now, I wouldn't miss the workspace if it went, because bookmarks can be a workspace.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2007-01-05

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