True or not?

by Volker Weber

From my inbox:

Bad news for LotusScript: I found out on Friday that the only full-time developer working on the LotusScript engine (compiler, interpreter, etc.) was among those laid off recently.

I asked him if he'd been working on the new LS editor for DDE, he said yes, he was the only one on that team who knew the LS internals. I asked, "So we shouldn't expect to see it for real in 8.5.1?"

He smiled and shrugged.

While I read the same thing on Twitter, I suspect this is coming from the same source. Anybody out there who can confirm this, best in private mail?

Update: Also look for "Leland" on the impressive Entwicklercamp speaker list and read both entries.

Update: Now that I have received more information, I would conclude: true and false. True, the person was let go, false, it does not endanger the future of LotusScript or the editor in 8.5.1.



I hope this is not true. If true, then what is the future of LotusScript?


Richard Moy, 2009-02-22

The usual thing: find a cheaper developer offshore to take over his/her tasks. In this case you won't have two but only one of the following: on time, on budget, on scope. Usually you would fix time and budget, and flex scope. If you replace a developer you can only fix budget.

More than a year ago the only C&S API developer was let go. It has yet to ship.

Volker Weber, 2009-02-22

Volker - If only institutional memory were as easy to preserve as institutional budgets. - Ben

Ben Langhinrichs, 2009-02-22

Yes, that was the original KM objective. Anyone remember "Raven"?

Volker Weber, 2009-02-22

Well, this is at least a partial answer to a question I was going to pose to Ed.

Erik Brooks, 2009-02-23

If this is true, it doesn't really surprise me. IBM tend to be heavy handed in their approaches. Pour huge amounts of cash into one area whilst, negligently, neglecting others.

Hmm.. let's see, how many applications are driven by LotusScript ? Like a zillion.. so let's sack our ONLY resource on it that will maintain compatibility going forward....Wow, they saved oodles of cash there.. hmm around $150k ?..Phew..It'll help preserve that $16.7 Billion profit as @ 2008 !!!.

Giulio Campobassi, 2009-02-23

Yeah - I suspect from the language that our source is the same. However, as I'm not a full-time journo and have known this guy for a long time, I tend to place more emphasis on his words than you are allowed to.

If this is correct, this is stupidity of gargantuan proportion. Something I didn't expect after Lotusphere.

I mean - even from a PR perspective, its a shot to the foot. And then the other foot. And then everyone elses in the rooms feet. And then the customers feet.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong. Or rather, the powers that be realise how big a mistake this is and perhaps do something about it. We shall see. Either way, I'd be much happier than I am now.

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2009-02-23

I recall a number of discussions about the intimate details of the LotusScript Editor, the language parser, the compiler and the stack of legacy constructs, that made the Eclipse Editor for LS such a hard task. That discussions happened almost 2 years ago with a group of skilled, motivated and smart engineers. I had the clear impression that they exactly knew what they were talking about. They are still with Lotus and on the project, so I consider that in good hands.
Yes you guessed it - they are not US based.

Stephan H. Wissel, 2009-02-23


Good to hear. It seemed unlikely that IBM would really let the skill set disappear entirely, and skills are skills, whereever they may be.

Of course, it would still be nice to have IBM reaffirm their commitment to LotusScript, but that doesn't seem to be their way of doing things. Better to let rumors zoom around and dismiss them with vague reassurances such as "a conference update and an e-mail and you think you have a whole story?" After all, IBM has no history of dropping the ball, eh?


Ben Langhinrichs, 2009-02-23

Whoops - meant to say "Well, if true, this is at least a partial answer to a question I was going to pose to Ed."

Erik Brooks, 2009-02-23

Erik, you might have more success in getting an answer/reassurance than I have.

--* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2009-02-23

Bill, ’twould seem that if one has the temerity to ask, one gets a slap.

1. Fact: at least two people who are significant in this space within IBM have been “resource actioned”.
2. What isn’t yet known: what—if any—impact this will have on Lotusscript in DDE. I don’t see why it’s so bad to ask the question.

Ben Poole, 2009-02-23

Volker - Thanks for the update. I assume your source for the reassurance is extremely reliable? It would be nice to put this rumor to rest. - Ben

Ben Langhinrichs, 2009-02-23

Yes, I have more than one extremely reliable sources.

Volker Weber, 2009-02-23

Wow, I've been doing this too long. I read DDE and kept thinking 'Dynamic Data Exchange', but it's actually 'Domino Designer for (in?) Eclipse'.

Greg Walrath, 2009-02-23

I can relate. :-)

Volker Weber, 2009-02-23

Ditto on the DDE... One has to remember to recycle their TLAs.

Peter Herrmann, 2009-02-23

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