Why are we making a mountain out of a molehill?

February 13 2007

Coming out of Lotusphere2007 in Orlando last month, I was pretty excited to be a Notes developer. Notes 8 is the rebirth of the client I love to develop for, Lotus Component Designer was giving me Domino Designer-like functionality while developing for other IBM products, and Maureen demoed the progress on the project to rebuild Domino Designer within Eclipse. Her session showed a bunch of cool stuff, including the following screenshots (click the images for a full size version):

stylesheet.jpg  lslib.jpg

I had even heard rumors that there were other resources besides Maureen on the project and we might not have to wait until the Notes/Domino "NEXT" releases for this. Wow!

So now that we are back from sphere, it seems that some people are impatient. One of them, Stephen Wissel, created a site and poll around the new Designer. Either to push them to release it sooner or just show support, to me it came across as a bit ungrateful. They are working on it, what more do we need? But, hey, the community is much larger than one person, so I let it go.

Until now :-). This week, I have had multiple emails from customers and users asking me if IBM's support of Domino Designer, and Notes, was in jeopardy. I thought "not again!" I pushed a bit and found out that more than a couple people perceive that poll as IBM needs to be told that we support this being done ... AT ALL! Oh, and since Stephen is an IBMer, that there is dissenting factions inside IBM towards the goal of the overhaul. I asked a couple folks in our community, and at least one agreed with me and admitted they had heard this as well.

So while I think the poll was created in desire to support IBM, then end result is that a bad perception has been created. I worry now that IBM will shut down all talk about prototyping features that are not scheduled for release. This does not only effect Maureen, but people like Jeff Eisen, who demoed calendar overlays as something he was playing with for a future version.

Moral of the story: Do not look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially when the horse pays your bills.