Notes 8 is out in the wild

March 10 2007

"CRY HAVOC! and release the dogs of war!"


Today feels like the general just let the machines of war out of the gates :-)

IBM has released the public beta of Notes and Domino 8 to the masses .. the machines are prepped for their greatest battle. Get your copy (but be patient with the dowloads ... going to be busy and slow all weekend) now.

As a Design Partner, I have had some version of the pre-releases of Notes and Domino 8 installed since September 2006. I will try to share some tips and stuff that I can (NDAs still apply for quite a bit).

I think some ground rules are in order for all of us ...

1. Its beta ... it is not done. Deal with it.
2. Performance will get better ... performance tuning starts now. DO NOT use the public beta as proof of how it will run
3. You install this in a production environment, do not bitch if it breaks. Come on folks, its beta. Beta's should never go in a production environment. What I do is run Notes 8 in a VM and Domino 8 on a separate server.
4. Please, stop the complaints about no Mac in the beta ... it was announced at Lotusphere. IBM has to focus to get things done well. 8.0.1 will be out before most companies are ready to move.
5. The most important ... folks, its March. The product is supposed to come out this summer. The feature list is locked :-) ... I am sure that everyone, including myself, can come up with wish list items. Making those suggestions is something IBM wants to hear. But do not expect to see them in 8.0.0. Public beta is about fine tuning ... little changes can be made, bugs can be fixed. We will help IBM meet the "if its a Notes application and it doesn't work, it's a bug" an accurate statement. Expecting anything more than a "that is a great idea, we will put it in the wish list bucket" response for new items is just a waste of time.

It should be a fun couple weeks as people get ramped up. And remember, test your applications! That is the best feedback we can all give IBM.

6 Responses to “Notes 8 is out in the wild”

  1. 1) Chris Reckling says:

    Amen to that!


  2. 2) John Head says:

    Feel free to reuse this Chris (or anyone at IBM) ... just please link :)

  3. 3) Chris Linfoot says:

    OK, I missed the "released" pun. Sorry about that. Although strictly the dogs of war (N8 and D8?) have not been released, they've been put in public beta...

    Cry "Havoc," and put the dogs of war into public beta.

    And to hell with iambic pentameter too ;-)

  4. 4) Ben Langhinrichs says:

    John - While I am sure you are well intentioned, I think pointing out this post to people in the public beta forum is counterproductive. There are a couple of reasons I think this. The first is that IBM needs all the feedback it can get, and some people (including me) read this as trying to stifle negative feedback. Negative feedback is fairly critical at this point in the game, even if it is not welcome. The second is that it emphasizes to a lot of people that some partners/customers had access when there was a chance to provide wishes and pleas... but not them. I think IBM has a problem with this, as it tends to open the public beta and immediately say "Don't bother suggesting changes, as all features are frozen". This was even true for the managed beta, which started earlier. This both causes people to not bother to provide suggestions which might be very useful for 8.0.1 or 8.5, and it tends to make people feel like the beta is just IBM getting somebody else to do their Q&A, but without any chance to provide anything more substantial. Therefore, the combination of your #1 and #5 tend to irritate rather than help. After all, it is not the fault of these eager beta downloaders that it is too late to make suggestions that will go in 8.0.0. There was much anticipation of a public beta right after Lotusphere. IBM backed off that, for good reasons perhaps, but to then put out a public beta and emphasize that nothing people say will be able to make effect it positively, that is pretty annoying. Saying that people should suggest things for 8.0.1 is almost insulting to those many of us who have heard after every major release since R4 that "that feature is too big for a point release" along with the long standing impression that requests are not really tracked forward to the next feature release. A good example is the LotusScript method that was made available to reproduce the HTML generated by the HTTP task. It was included in an R5 beta, then taken out. There was substantial clamor to put it back, and IBM said they wouldn't until they could get it right, and then that it was too major to put in a point release (something I never understood). Here is ND8 coming out, and the method still isn't there. Granted, this has been good business for me, since I support such a method in Midas, but it would have been better for a number of ISVs and companies I know if it had been in the core product.

    Well, enough ranting, but if I were you, and even more if I were IBM, I'd lay off the "rules" and actively encourage any and all feedback, including flat out griping, along with a strong promise to track and keep track of such requests, not simply lose them.

    - Ben

  5. 5) Rob McDonagh says:

    As you already know, John, I agree with Ben. I didn't like this post very much to begin with, but I didn't want to start an argument about it because I hoped it wouldn't have any impact on the beta forum and the feedback process in general. But now it has been raised, repeatedly, both in the forum and the blogs, as though there is some tacit agreement that we will all follow these rules. I don't agree with that, I don't intend to follow these rules, and I don't want anyone else to do so either.

    IBM needs all the feedback we can give them in order to make sure that Notes/Domino 8 is the kick ass product we all want it to be. Anything that inhibits feedback even the slightest bit is a problem, from my perspective.

  6. 6) John Head says:

    Thanks for the comments Ben. While I do not agree with most of what you said, I appreciate the time you took. I have some further thoughts on the topic and will write a new blog sometime today.

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