Too intimidated to speak?

by Volker Weber

too intimidated to speak

If I get messages like these from people who have not been afraid to speak out something smells.


Crikey you were up early this morning, Volker ;-)

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-08-24

I don't get it. We have 10K+ IBMers running this client every day -- yes, standard configuration. 30,000 organizations downloaded the betas. Did we have crash bug reports during beta? Of course. But the product shipped when it was ready, and was actually delayed a few weeks off the original target to ensure it was in fact ready.

I've been reading a few bloggers reporting crashes or inability to connect -- in some cases, nothing to do with Notes. Let me be clear though -- we want those bug reports, just make sure they get reported through the support organization. Blogging it might garner some sympathetic responses, but it won't get it fixed.

Ed Brill, 2007-08-24

Interestingly, I have yet to have a single crash, and did not with the betas either.

If people do not have the backbone to put their names to these items, then they should not say anything.

Christopher Byrne, 2007-08-24

Using it since release on Friday for Mail, Calendaring and several internal Notes applications (which have not been modified for Notes 8 in any way).

Haven't had a single crash at all. Slower than Notes 7 using the same hardware? Yes. More instable? Not until now although it's probably too early to tell.

Michael Sedlaczek, 2007-08-24

I have users testing the 8.0 code on 3 OS platforms, all Windows.

My Win2k (unsupported i know) and Vista users have reported no crashes at all yet.

1 or 2 XP users have reported hangs (not crashes) when using the built-in browser, but not mail, C&S or apps. We think this is a build issue where it's conflicting with the AV or something.

The only crashes I have seen were related to MAPI enabled 3rd party apps which use nnotes.dll to hook into email. When the apps crash, Notes goes with them. This applies to 3rd party PDA sync tools, blackberry desktop, along with our Helpdesk application. This happened in 7.x too, but 8.x seems a little more sensitive...presumably because not of these 3rd party tools officially support R8 yet.

Ben Rose, 2007-08-24

I have occasional crashes. They're usually triggered when I'm in a Productivity Tool, I think. But I can't ever reproduce them. And it's less than once a day.

Given the massive amount of new code in Notes 8 (Standard), I'm expecting 8.01 to be the truly stable version. I DO think 8.0 is very, very good. But it's no surprise that it isn't perfect.

@Ed: There are bloggers who don't have support contracts. For them, blogging the issue is the best way to get the information out to someone who might do something with it. It might not work, and it certainly isn't guaranteed to accomplish anything. But there is value, within the community if not to IBM, in knowing if someone else is experiencing the same issue you are. In previous releases, that sort of information would be exclusively in the forums. Now it's in forms and/or blogs. But it's not fundamentally a new scenario. Unless IBM has changed the rules and there is now a way for a customer without a support contract to submit a bug?

Rob McDonagh, 2007-08-24

If people do not have the backbone to put their names to these items, then they should not say anything.
For the record Chris, I agree with you. But surely the whole point of this post is the Skype extract combined with the subject line? In other words, that some individuals, rightly or wrongly, feel they cannot “speak out”.

I have no idea why, but there it is.

Reminds me. Must install Notes … ;o)

Ben Poole, 2007-08-24

I don't know who you're talking to, but if it's someone who has spoken up previously and they feel intimidated now, that's their own baggage or they're being overly dramatic. It's not like Nathan or John is going to show up at someone's house with a baseball bat. In any case the anonymous smear campaign is getting a little old. We all know who you're talking about.

Ed, you have to remember that not everyone has a vested interest in getting the bugs fixed. Some actually have more to gain by not having them addressed. Others delight in stirring the pot and spreading hate and discontent.

Charles Robinson, 2007-08-24

Somewhere I read that somebody used the Notes 8 betas in a customers production environment. So much for controls :-) Does anybody test any software companies betas on their production environment? I would be fired if I did.

Bruce Elgort, 2007-08-24

Been extremely reliable for me too. I can only echo what the others have said above - raise a call, or failing that, put a post up in the ND8 forum.

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-08-24

Hey guys, this is not about bugs in Notes 8. Those are to be expected, and will be dealt with. I have had a single crash, and it showed a very impressive stack trace. But I am not surprised this happens.

This is about a failure to communicate. If you put heads together you can even make things work which are supported. You can make stuff work that is broken. But as soon as you censor yourself for fear of retaliation from the "community", everybody loses.

Volker Weber, 2007-08-24

Volker: How about a survey? I.e., Describe your experience so far with Notes 8 compared to earlier versions: 1. Fast and stable; 2. OK speed and stable; 3. Slow but stable; 4. Fast but not stable; 5. OK speed but not stable; 6. Slow and not stable.

Richard Schwartz, 2007-08-24

@ Bruce - yes, that was me. I have customers who were using beta in production environments, on production applications. Are they as large as your company? no ... between the 15 and 100 person range. But they needed the Notes 8 client for various reasons (CA, fighting off Outlook, etc) and they are all happy. Two will become references for IBM for how much they love Notes 8. What is so wrong with that?

@Charles - I wouldn't use a baseball bat even if I knew where someone lived! :-) ... but seriously, wouldn't the best way to handle this, even if the person wants to remain annon, would be to post the crashes and have the community rally to fix it? How does this help the person? I may not like how some people do things and speak out about it, but at the end of the day we all want to make things work. Even if that means reporting it. That being said, if someone has a repeatable bug and have no way to report it, feel free to pass it along. If I can reproduce it, I will file the SPR. Free of charge.

John Head, 2007-08-24

I've been using the beta since Beta 2 was released and it has been extremely stable. In fact, the only notable crashes were when I was testing applications at my former employer and there were particular pieces of code that would cause Notes to hang or crash. When Beta 3 was released, all of those issues that I had previously addressed in the ND8 Forum were fixed.

Also, to address the intimidated person, please post questions to the forum if you feel you have no other channels. IBM (as well as Design Partners) still regularly monitor that forum and would be more than willing to help you out. Go to my blog and find my contact information and I'll try to help you. Even though I know this post isn't actually about that...

Chris Whisonant, 2007-08-24

@Rob McDonagh, 2007-08-24 15:32

Unless I'm very mistaken, Lotus have always accepted bug reports from users whether they purchased support or not. They certainly did when I worked there and we did have the odd one sent in my email or fax.

Support calls that result in an SPR are also free for those who do purchase a premium support contract.

Incidentally, since my days back at Lotus, every customer who purchases licensing now gets inclusive support; free of charge. There's no such thing as an unsupported customer any more.

Ben Rose, 2007-08-24

I have had a few problems with the productivity editors reporting a problem and then closing, but none so far with the Notes 8 client itself. But I agree that this post isn't really about that.

On the other hand, I would say that it is tempting to respond a bit too quickly to negative comments in the Notes 8 forum, and I can see some people feeling "jumped on", whereas we should welcome questions, comments and criticisms. It is hard not to get invested in a product that you have spent a long time improving, and both Nathan and John have spent a lot of time on this. It is hard to remember that a customer doesn't give a hoot how much the product has improved since the beta, and they are right, it really isn't relevant, even if it feels to those who have been through it like it should matter.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2007-08-24

@Ben Rose

Interesting. You said that IBM/Lotus will accept bug reports from anyone. In that case, what is the official mechanism for reporting a bug without calling IBM's support and having them verify whether you have an active support contract first? Since I have an active support contract, I haven't tried this lately, but in the past it was absolutely not possible. And it was a major issue in the Partner Forum, where a Partner might be trying to support a product they (as a customer) didn't own, but their clients did, and they were told they had to use the client's support contract to report SPRs. That's the whole reason there was an SPR process added to the Partner Forum.

Historically, one very easy way to be an unsupported customer was to not purchase maintenance. Obviously, nobody using Notes 8 should be an unsupported customer, because without maintenance they shouldn't have access to the code.

Are you saying that IBM now automatically extends maintenance contracts at no charge to the customer, so anyone who purchased Notes/Domino has free support for as long as they choose to keep the product? If so, that would be major news.

PS The idea that support is "free of charge" is hysterical, by the way. Thanks, I needed a good laugh this morning!

Rob McDonagh, 2007-08-24


I've seen all perspectives on this. I worked at Lotus, then at a Premier BP and have been an enterprise level customer for about 7 yrs now.

My knowledge of the current non-support contract SPR process used within IBM process is pretty much nil, maybe somebody can chip in? It was all yellow back in my day and things may have changed since it turned blue.

I can confirm that all of my BPs use my support contract to log support calls though. This is the official process as I understand it. Indeed, the online support gateway allows me to add my chosen BPs as named callers and let them track and update calls on my behalf. It works very well, especially when compared to the previous process which was very much out of site for the end customer.

They log these calls using my passport/support ID. I don't purchase premium maintenance yet I've happily logged support calls for Notes/Domino, Domino Document Manager, Websphere Portal, DB2 and Commonstore without once being asked to purchase a premium support contract. My calls get escalated and I've even had hot-fixes for products created using this method, without paying a penny more.

When I was a BP, again some time ago, we were obliged to buy a support contract for internal the licensing was "free" or rather included in our Partner membership.

Ben Rose, 2007-08-24

Anyone can report a problem to Lotus.

Charles Robinson, 2007-08-24


You said:

"This is about a failure to communicate. If you put heads together you can even make things work which are supported."

I think you meant to say:

"This is about a failure to communicate. If you put heads together you can even make things work which are NOT supported."

Bruce Elgort, 2007-08-24


Thanks for pointing that out. I am going to be sure and make mention of this link in the next podcast.

Bruce Elgort, 2007-08-24

When I choose "Lotus" for Charles' link it brings me here, which still requires a software maintenance or services contract. So that's not really "anyone". Unless I'm reading it wrong (entirely possible).

Julian Robichaux, 2007-08-24

I guess we should all take John up on his offer to handle our SPR's :-)

Bruce Elgort, 2007-08-24

Julian, that's interesting. I've used that link to report problems before and after selecting Lotus it took me to a page to enter problem details and contact information. Perhaps the IBM website is broken or the functionality changed. It is puzzling since it gives no indication of what just happened. I apologize for not going all the way through the link before I posted it.

Charles Robinson, 2007-08-24

In addition, if you select software support in the UK from that link, you just get a static page with some phone numbers listed. And like Julian said, you need a support contract to do anything more…

Ben Poole, 2007-08-24

I have had the notes 8.0 full client crash on me several times, but have not figured out any pattern to it. I have not yet crashed with the classic client, but I am trying to learn to live in the full client because I believe it has huge potential as the tools catch up.

Sadly, I think there will be some stability issues in this .0 release; hopefully not as bad as those in the 5.0 release.

Andrew Pollack, 2007-08-25

Just happened again.

IBM Lotus Notes
JVM terminated. Exit code=-1073740972
-jar C:/notes/framework/rcp/eclipse/plugins/
-os win32
-ws win32
-arch x86
-launcher C:/notes/framework/rcp/eclipse/plugins/\win32\x86\eclipse.exe
-name IBM Lotus Notes
-showsplash 600
-exitdata 9a4_88
-nl en_US
-dir ltr
-data C:\notes\data\workspace
-configuration C:\notes\data\workspace/.config
-plugincustomization C:/notes/framework/rcp/plugin_customization.ini
-vm C:/notes/framework/rcp/eclipse/plugins/
-jar C:/notes/framework/rcp/eclipse/plugins/

Andrew Pollack, 2007-08-25

I don't know about anyone else, but I am a pretty techie person and a java stack trace is about the last thing in the world I want to see when Notes crashes. Especially one so large it pushes the OK button off screen. How the heck are you meant to read it? start at the top or the bottom? is there any practical content in it anyhow? Does it tell me what component crashed anywhere? In fact I am not sure it is a stack trace. Looks a bit more like a list of arguments to the launcher program. What is the point?

Alan Bell, 2007-08-25

Sametime does the same thing. And the OK button really is off the screen. Silly!

Ben Poole, 2007-08-26

** Andrew - try adding this in the properties of the link you are running Notes 8 with. Then we can get some more data

Add in the "Target" field of the properties

-debug -console

That way you will have a constant console going and if it goes crashing on you again, you should get some more pertinent data.

David DeWell, 2007-08-27

Heh. Completely off the topic, but I just saw this comment, and it made me laugh:

"If people do not have the backbone to put their names to these items, then they should not say anything."

Posted by the guy who spent a long time being the poster child for anonymity on :P

Dave Armstrong, 2007-08-28


The error message dialog box is part of the Eclipse framework, not Notes. I am sure if they could change it they would. It is not a stack trace it puts into the dialog box. It is telling you the launch options.

For crash related information it should of created an IBM_TECHNICAL_SUPPORT folder.That is what is used to diagnose the issue.

If you do not have a support contract I would recommend posting to the LDD R8 forums. Development/Support and numerous other Domino people read the forums and can help.

It would help if you had some context on the crash when mentioning it. For example, exact version number, what were you doing around the time of the crash.

I am not sure why someone would be intimidated to log a bug? People do it every day.

Simon O'Doherty, 2007-08-28

Got the same 'JVM terminated' error. This is the first time I try out this thing after installed it out of curiosity last week.

Ryan Smith, 2007-09-24

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