As another example, at TCE we have a mixture of systems here that is not
likely to change in the next few years. My main internal clients are
engineers with MS Windows PCs, but there are departments with MacIntoshs and
much of our internal ISO efforts are spent on VM and CICS applications for
sales and marketing. Lotus has been so incredibly tardy with its
cross-platform support that it is not even funny, just pathetic.
Lotus Notes is the Procrustean solution -- up until recently, it was "you
will run an OS/2 Lotus Notes server and OS/2 and MS Windows clients UND YOU
VILL LIKE IT!" like Nazis in grade-Z movies. Never mind that you may have
all Windows and Windows NT or all Sun systems (both representative of
departments at TCE).
Don't even get me started on Notes' "potential-user licensing" versus the
almost uniform change in the software industry for office automation
applications to "concurrent-user licensing" (email is the one notable
exception to this, IMHO). My guess is that Lotus' antiquated pricing
policies has shut them out of anywhere from 25% to 400% additional business.
The greatest gains in productivity I have seen came from componentizing
software enough that individual pieces could be:
a) Substituted by improved versions; and
b) Put together in ways their makers never intended. ("If you cannot think
of three ways to abuse a tool, you do not understand how to use it." -
One reason UNIX became so popular among software people is that the text
processing programs could be combined to do all sorts of things not
necessarily forseen by their authors. VBXes in the MS Windows world have
become popular for similar reasons, allowing software designers to drop a
widget into a GUI application, customize it by changing some property
fields, thereby adding (for example) a spreadsheet interface to their
relational database application. Because of Notes current monolithic
structure, it will have to be rewritten or it will be overtaken by software
designed as collections of components at the start.
Mark Fisher Thomson Consumer Electronics
email@example.com Indianapolis, IN
"Just as you should not underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon
traveling 65 mph filled with 8mm tapes, you should not overestimate
the bandwidth of FTP by mail."