I am constantly amused (and annoyed) by the amount of "zealotism" in the computer industry. From the "We're a Microsoft shop" to "Nobody got fired for buying IBM" there's this constant blind view. The recent comments on Notes 8 have spurred this post.
For those of you that don't know me, I have worked with Notes since the R3 days as an admin and developer (including the glorious (NOT) C API). I know a thing or two about Notes. I have also not really touched Notes for the last 4 years, but look at it from the sidelines as a casual observer.
With the release of R8 the blogs are now alive with comments. Here's a couple of examples:
Now it's not these actual posts that leave me bemused but the comments they attract. It's like those commenting see any kind of questioning or negative feedback about their beloved product as a personal criticism. Newsflash: we are discussing a software product, not you, not your ability. How can it be personal? Why is there such a staunch need to defend this thing?
All software is usually created to do one thing really well. Over time it gathers extra functionality that often performs the new functionality in a way that is not as good as a competing product that was designed with that specific functionality in mind. Let's look at Notes mail. The ultimate power of Notes is in its database - the document storage format. While the designers did a great job or creating a client that can be customised on a per application basis to do almost anything, mail was bolted on. Notes was not originally designed as a mail system, it's mail capabilities appeared early on but was not the original purpose of the software. Conversely Outlook and Exchange were built as mail systems and collaboration was bolted on later. This is why, in general, the average END USER (no, not you Notes experts and assorted zealots) prefers the Outlook mail experience. It is also why Notes does collaboration and document sharing infinitely better than Exchange.