The workspace, also known as the 'tile wall', is still the preferred interface for Notes users. And there is no documented way to manage these tiles from the server.
The latter part is true. There is, indeed, no documented way to manipulate the workspace chiclets. That, however, is about the only part of the post I can agree with.
As Volker acknowledges, Lotus brought out a new interface, the Bookmarks interface, in R5. That was in early 1999. The workspace has been obsolete for seven years. Volker wrote,
However, the workspace did not go away. IBM tried a number of things to improve the bookmarks, even making them look like the workspace. But even with Notes 7, if you take a quick peek at a Notes user's desktop, you will still find them preferring the old interface.
Preferring? I beg to differ.
Personally, I gave up on the workspace as soon as 5.0 came out, and I've never looked back. I know that some of my clients and a lot of my obstinate friends -- probably the majority, and I'm quite sure that the majority of readers of this blog will be included! -- still use the workspace, but that's not objective evidence that he workspace is preferred any more than my own use of bookmarks is evidence of the opposite.
The workspace is the preferred interface only due to sampling bias. If you ask the Notes power users, developers, and administrators who have mostly been using the product since before the bookmark interface was available and who once every few months have reason to avail themselves of a feature that is still only available through the workspace, then yes... it will be preferred. But does the fact that the most passionate power users, developers and admins still use the command line interface for many routine tasks (and occasionally for things that just can't be done any other way) mean that that's the preferred interface for Windows? Hardly.
In any fair test of end-user preferences, in which the majority of the sample consists of people with just basic training on the Notes client, little or no exposure to version 4.6 or earlier, and who haven't been prejudiced by the opinions of old-timer Notes bigots, the old workspace will never be preferred. If it behaved like a Windows folder, allowing me choices of display icon or list formats, choice of icon sizes and true freestyle control over icon placement, it would undoubtedly be the favorite -- but it isn't like that. It has those big square chiclets that have to be lined up in neat rows, and if you try and do neat things like space things out it will do is best to spoil your nice arrangement whenever it can. It's ugly, hard to navigate, and totally unlike anything else anyone uses in other applications.
The old-guard's refusal to give up on the workspace is holding back the product. By sticking with something that's the poster child for everything that's ever been wrong with the Notes client UI it is reinforcing a major element of the "Notes Sucks" meme that we really wish would go away.
As far as manageability of the workspace goes, the power users, developers and admins who prefer the workspace all manage their own icons anyhow. The occasional scenario of a server rename causing problems for this minority of users is not justification for IBM putting a lot of work into it. IBM should put all of their effort into improving the features, usability and definitely the manageability of the bookmarks interface, and no effort at all into exposing the innards of the obsolete workspace. It's time to let it die. After seven years, enough's enough.
And another reason: Two letters is way too little separation between an obsolete Notes feature and a whole strategy and product line. I keep calling the damn thing the "Workplace".
1. Bruce Perry02/07/2006 12:47:45 AM
Hmm, you say the Workspace is holding the product back, but I'd counter by saying that Folders are preventing it from moving forward.
I admire your discipline in switching over to folders. When they first arrived in R5, the functionality wasn't complete. It was more difficult to do certain things with them (I'm forgetting what exactly). It was easier to stick with the familiar workspace. Every time I've tried to do more with folders, I've run into an annoyance of some sort. Most recently it was trying to two replicas of a db (one local, one server) in one folder. IIRC, you're only allowed one, you're not informed of the limitation, and which db ends up in the folder isn't consistent.
I will grant that for the average user the workspace is overkill. It isn't (or at least wasn't) intuitive. Have you noticed though that XP defaults to using large icons for its folders and contents. The workspace may just have been too intuitive for its time.
For power users, the ability to group related dbs geographically in the workspace and the stacking of replicas is a huge bonus. The two dimensional page just seems easier to use than the tree structure of a folder system. Of course, the difference here may be in how many dbs we're trying to keep track of. Workspace organization probably becomes less useful once you pass a certain number of dbs that you want to track. Nested folders would scale better.
2. Richard Schwartz02/07/2006 01:30:12 AM
For multiple replicas, one bookmark is all that's needed. Right-click and select "Open replica" and you get a list of servers to choose from. And although the "Manage list" that appears on the bottom of the list of replicas is a bit non-obvious, it's really no worse than on the work
plspace, where you right click and select "Replication" followed by "Find replica",
I'm a power user, and I find no need to stack replicas on the workspace. My bookmarks are inherently stacked. I have no reason to group related dbs "geographically", and in fact I'm not limited to just one grouping because I can put the bookmark for any given database into several folders. So I can have a folder structure that's organized by project and another one that's organized by type of database if that's what I want.
The folder tree is completely natural for navigation as far as I'm concerned. My browser bookmarks are organized into folders, too. Aren't yours? I have six top-level folders in Firefox. Three contain nested folders, and one of those contains a second level of nested folders. In Notes, I have about ten folders at the top level of my Favorites pane, and I only nest one level below that. If it weren't for the fact that the majority of my customer project work now takes place in virtual machines, I'd probably have one additional top level folder that might have two levels of nesting in it. I have a couple of alternate folder structures that aren't on the Favorites pane but I rarely use those.
My only argument with the folder tree is that it stops at the database level. Why doesn't the bookmark pane let me just continue navigating right into the database's view and folder tree? That would be a big advance in the Notes UI.
3. Richard Schwartz02/07/2006 01:45:18 AM
Hey, my links to Volker are no longer being blocked by his filtering of Czech referrer spam. Cool!
4. Roberto Boccadoro02/07/2006 03:15:42 AM
I fully agree with you. I switched to bookmarks since r5 and I never missed the workspace since.
I am sure you already know it, but though by default the panel stops at the db level, you can easily bookmark a view or a single document.
I can't put a picture here to show how to do it (unless there is something I am missing), but just open the db, go in the tab with the name, right click and select "bookmark"; it will give you the option of bookmarking as database or view.
For single docs, same procedure just right click on the tab.
5. It is my way of working with notes02/07/2006 05:16:10 AM
I can't imagine that the workspace would disappear ! I even use the 32 available workspace tabs for the 500 databases I need to use + the 50 templates ... and I would love some more tabs.
Workspace gives you a great overview and a nice way to get things organized. Although the looks aren't great in R7 and below ... but this seems to be changed a lot in hannover.
So Richard I cannot agree with you ... I really need it.
6. Alan Bell02/07/2006 06:14:26 AM
I am on the Workspace side of the debate.
When the web exploded and browsers were the really really hot app, (Netscape/IE3 timescales) these primitive browser apps had a history list which evolved into a bookmarks list. This was in the application menu, primarily because that was the easiest place to shove it. Not because it was the best interface for users. Lotus decided to play the "Me too" game and ditched the 2d spatial arrangement of icons for a one dimensional list.
Browsers should have evolved a Workspace. Notes didn't need to 'evolve' bookmarks, it was already past that phase.
7. Gerco Wolfswinkel02/07/2006 07:02:31 AM
At 'Sphere, I took a peek at "Hannover" in the labs. It showed a tiny little button that said "show workspace". Sigh..
But, I agree with Rich, I'm living in Bookmarks and I haven't taken a look at the workspace in a looong time.
8. Bob Balaban02/07/2006 07:07:35 AM
They can have my workspace when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
I like the stacked icons, and I like the unread count. I like the ability to arrange the icons on my own set of tabs in ways that work for me spatially, and where I can quickly find things positionally
9. Nathan T. Freeman02/07/2006 07:26:46 AM
The Workspace reeks. The problem is that it's still too difficult to set up a proper portal environment for end users that allows them the ad-hoc capabilities needed. The Workspace sucks, but bookmarks suck a lot more (mostly because the iconic representation is COMPLETELY insufficient to differentiate NSFs)
The funny thing is, what's really needed is just a most powerful version of the Catalog. If I could drag & drop stuff from the Domain Catalog into a Workplace Folder, and I'd be able to see the TITLE instead of just an icon, then I'd have a great tool to get out of the Workspace.
Amusingly, my preferred interface these days is "File - Database - Open" It's actually easier at this point for me to navigate to the resource I need from a CLI than it is from the Workspace.
Oh, and the fact that you have to take something OFF your Workspace to clean it from the Notes client interface is also just terrible.
10. Olaf Boerner02/07/2006 07:39:03 AM
As I already mentioned on vowes blog it is not the question whether bookmark or desktop.
The problem is that company are not able to manage their users desktop, bookmark and replicator page !!! in a proper manner.
If IBM won´t include it in its policies - fine. But than IBM should provide an documented api for customers and business partners
11. Alan Bell02/07/2006 07:44:32 AM
one important feature of the workspace is that you can change the stack order without opening the database. I don't think you can do that with bookmarks. If I want to put a remote database at the top of the stack so I can edit the ACL or perhaps do a design refresh I don't really want to open the database.
12. Richard Schwartz02/07/2006 08:38:54 AM
How'd I know this would get some responses?
@4: I'm aware that one can bookmark views, folders, and documents (and also external programs!).
@5,8 (and Peter O'Kelly - responding elsewhere): You're all fine representatives of the power users, developers and admins whom I know love that old workspace. But you all know you're not representative users.
@6: You're correct about the genesis of the bookmarks interface. It would have been better, perhaps, if the workspace had evolved in the direction of Windows/Mac folders -- with different views including a sortable list, and with shortcuts representing pointers to databases rather than chiclets that actually represent the database itself and therefore can only exist in one place. Yes, the faux workspace-cum-bookmark interface at least has the latter capability while preserving the 2D arrangement, but does anyone actually use that as their primary interface? All the workspace users I know are using the "real" workspace. What I want to see is the folders in the bookmark display evolve toward having the full UI that one expects from folders, rather than perpetuating the far more limited capabilities of the old workspace.
@7: Nice to know I'm not the only one who has made the move
@9: I agree. Opening up bookmarks so that drag-and-drop from the catalog (or other sources) actually did something more reasonable, would be a big help. Also, File - Database - Open is my the most efficient way to deal with those things that are used so infrequently that they just don't need to be in my bookmarks. As for the iconic representation of bookmarks being insufficient, I have two answers: (a) I guess I must not be depending on the icons, because this doesn't bother me, and (b) granting that it is the case then my conclusion is that IBM should improve the iconic representation of bookmarks.
@10: I agree that manageability must be improved, through policies, an API, or whatever -- for bookmarks. The power users, developers and admins who love the workspace sure don't want their bookmarks managed for them. They want complete control -- with the one exception being that they want server name changes automated. I'll concede that IBM should perhaps allow admins to push down a policy that replaces one server name with another and which works for both bookmarks and the workspace,
@11: The admin client has a very nice interface for that.
13. Santiago Azevedo Robles02/07/2006 08:54:46 AM
I'm a domino developer since 1998 (started with R4.5). I switched to bookmarks since r5, it's easier to manager the replicas and lots of dbs using the folders and I can create links directly to views or urls.
Also I use one bookmark in my Notes Client and another in my Notes Design.
14. Christopher Byrne02/07/2006 09:46:11 AM
Sorry Rich, Bookmarks in Notes suck the big wazzoo. Being a visual person blessed with ADD, I cannot function in a bookmark environment (especially as the number of databases I need access to balloons).
For the average user, bookmarks are fine. For the power user or developer, having the option does not hold Notes back. My current interface uses the workspace UI with the Workspace being the first link in the application launcher 'portlet'.
15. Richard Schwartz02/07/2006 09:58:06 AM
@13 Santiago: Glad to see the club of old-timers using bookmarks has another member!
@14 Chris: Let's return to Volker's point. Do you want or need anyone managing your workspace icons for you? With the sole exception of server renames, which I'll grant should be pushed down to both bookmarks and workspace chiclets via policy, is there anything that you want someone else to be able to do to your bookmarks? Or let me put it another way... is there anything that you would even tolerate having administrators do to your workspace without your permission?? I suspect not, and I suspect that is true of every single user that falls into the "you can have my workspace when you pry it from my cold dead hand" category.
Any workspace user who wants and would benefit from having their chiclets managed by administrators would be better of as a bookmark user.
16. Tony Kelleran02/07/2006 09:59:25 AM
I'm in the workspace camp myself. I couldn't make the switch to bookmarks, it slowed me down. I also found the bookmark file prone to corruption. I've never had a problem with the desktop file. I would love to see them extend and improve upon the workspace, not get rid of it. Likewise the bookmark should also be improved upon.
17. Richard Schwartz02/07/2006 10:31:02 AM
@16: Same question to you as for Chris above: do you want or need, and would you tolerate an administrator managing your workspace for you? Do you know of any real workspace user who does want their workspace managed for them?
18. Eric Tomenga02/07/2006 10:43:41 AM
I am workspace addicted. I find I group dbs by filing system that I make up as I go along and use the tabs as a very simple and easy sorting tool. I started off in 3.3 so my roots are deep and in grained into my very being. Maybe that's why I love Mozilla/Firefox's use of tabs. I didn't make it to LotusSphere '06 and I have been off on a J2EE learning journey so my r7 expereince is nill but I will take another look at bookmarks to see if it can handle my 12 tabs full of ~100 .nsf files.
19. Olaf Boerner02/07/2006 12:09:26 PM
... do you want or need, and would you tolerate an administrator managing your workspace for you? ....
Absolutely ! This is a must have for companies. Setting up a new user Notes Client and providing access to its applications is still a nightmare.
At End-of-ApplicationLife the Application "Entry" should be removed from the Notes Client.
Moving to a new country or server -> Application "Entries" should be switched etc.
This is a TCO issue.
20. Ken Yee02/07/2006 12:19:32 PM
When we went to the Hanover UI feedback session, there was a realization that bookmarks provide a 3rd dimension of sorting that bookmarks currently do not, but the workspace does, so perhaps bookmarks will finally be usable to the hardcore workspace folks like me
I tried bookmarks for a while and hated them as well. Not sure if it was old habits or not, but the workspace made it a lot easier when working w/ different clients...
21. Richard Schwartz02/07/2006 12:40:25 PM
@19, Olaf: The first part of the question I asked in 17 is for you and the other power-user/admin/developers who love their workspace. Do you, personally, want or need an administrator to mangage your workspace?
The second half, where I asked about "real users" applies to the new users, and I absolutely grant that the user's client setup should be centrally manageable. But what makes you think that these new users need to be using the workspace instead of bookmarks? Why isn't central manageability of bookmarks the right way to go for the people who really need to have their setups managed?
22. Richard Schwartz02/07/2006 01:26:39 PM
@20 Ken: I haven't had the benefit of a close look at Hannover yet. I'm intrigued by what you've said. Thanks.
23. Ben Langhinrichs02/07/2006 01:57:02 PM
Doesn't anybody get the similarity to Coca Cola's "Old Coke" and "New Coke"? Why is it so unbelievably radical to think there could be two good interfaces? I completely disagree with your contention, by the way, that we are seeing sample bias, as I know many huge companies who use the Workspace exclusively. But why should anybody be forced into one choice or the other. Both exist. Both have benefits. Clearly, there are devotees of both. So, why should IBM get rid of either? Give the customer what they want, and it is clear even from this discussion that the customer wants... both.
24. Richard Schwartz02/07/2006 02:12:59 PM
@Ben: I certainly respect your general observation about there being a need for both. Rhetoric aside, I don't expect the workspace to ever be dead -- any more than I expect Notes to ever be dead. But assuming that resources are limited -- and we know that they are -- does the workspace need to be enhanced and managed? Or are the resources that would go toward that better applied to the bookmarks?
And while I don't doubt that there are large corporations where workspace usage is the norm -- I still believe that there is a form of sampling bias in effect, in that the choice to stick with workspace was made for the majority of the users, not by the majority of the users -- and that if the users were given the choice themselves and were given a fair demo and objective facts about the pros and cons of each, the majority of them would choose bookmarks. Of course, that could just be my own bias showing through
25. Chris Linfoot02/07/2006 03:30:49 PM
OK. Let's settle this scientifically.
Everyone come on over to my place now and vote on the poll you see near the top at the left hand side.
To preserve neutrality, I haven't voted myself.
26. Lou Stanley02/08/2006 03:32:50 AM
My vote's for the desktop. I've been a Notes fanatic since a v3 beta and bookmarks are one trick you can't teach this old dog.
27. Colman Carpenter02/08/2006 11:03:36 AM
Is it that time of year again...when the workspace v bookmarks debate rears it's ugly head ?
Anyway, my personal view is that we should never have been left with this ungodly mess in the first place. When bookmarks were introduced then that should have replaced the workspace, not been introduced as an optional alternative. As a developer (lapsed) I'm very much in the camp of giving the users one very good way of doing things, not many average ways.
Now, however, people have become so entrenched that no-one at IBM/Lotus wants to bite the bullet and have a single means of bookmarking databases, views, docs, etc that can have the full attention of the relevant part of the development team. Just think how good bookmarks might have been if the workspace was dead and buried ?
To illustrate, at my soon-to-be ex-employer we have our intranet home page as the launch page in the Notes client. All our well-used Notes databases are on the Intranet home page as 'notes:' links. This gives us a lot more control that the workspace or bokmarks currently do in R 6.5.x What we should have is the facility to completely control part of the bookmark list, and have the rest under user control. Anyone at IBM listening ?
28. Rob McDonagh02/08/2006 11:30:27 AM
Am I the only one who would be perfectly happy using the bookmarks if (and only if) they would work the same way bookmarks work in my browser? I don't object to the concept of bookmarks in the Notes client, but I definitely can't work with the implementation. My end users complain about this constantly, and the ones who use more than Mail usually switch to the workspace as soon as I show them the option. If IBM makes them work exactly the same way they work in FireFox, sign me up. Until then, they'll remain an annoyance. In my not even remotely humble opinion, that is.
29. Ben Langhinrichs02/08/2006 11:31:28 AM
Rich - Actually, I think it quite likely that the sampling bias is working the opposite way. There are many hard core Notes advocates who switched to bookmarks because IBM said it was the right thing to do, much as you did. Average users don't fall into that camp. I have met some people who switched to bookmarks because they thought it was a better paradigm, but more because they wanted to fully understand the "next big thing" at IBM. Some stayed, some left, but that is hardly compelling.
I happen to like the desktop paradigm a lot more that the bookmark paradigm. Others prefer the opposite. Given that the bookmark paradigm has been preferred/pushed for many years by IBM, and the workspace paradigm has maintained a stong hold on a lot of people, I think it is hard to argue that the bookmark paradigm is inherently better and the people using the workspace are just tree huggers and old fogies. I know of companies just starting out with Notes recently (6.5x) who choose the Workspace because they find it easier to use and explain.
Colman - Ask it the other way. Just think how good the workspace might be by now if IBM had not spent so much time trying to make a good bookmark system.
30. KJ02/08/2006 12:22:59 PM
Old school Workspace user here (since R3). The Workspace for me is like my telephone keypad. I know where everything is because of the spatial relation to everything else on my screen. I don't have to think about it. I no longer remember my voice mail password because I type it in so frequently I do it my rote; I don't need to remember the names of some dbs because they are placed on this tab on that section of the screen. And yes, I'm used to it, it's the way I've always done it, and it's not bad because it's "old" technology. I still use light bulbs, and they've been around for quite some time too.
31. Richard Schwartz02/08/2006 03:34:15 PM
@29 Ben - Good points, but consider this: after accounting for employee turnover rates over the 7 years since R5's release and the rate of adoption of R5, I think it is safe to conclude that there's a very large group of what you would call "average users" today who never actually used R4. I couldn't tell you what proportion of users that is with any precision, but it seems to me that it should be a very sizeable group -- and that group would have no inertial preference for the workspace. If they are using it at all, I contend that it is primarily due to the influence of those old-timers who told them it was "better".
32. Neil Agate02/08/2006 05:30:35 PM
OK count another one for the bookmarks !! If for no other reason than it allows you a hierarchy in order to manage your database links. I have several link trees that are 5 and 6 levels deep and there are ones that I use every day.
The one thing that I do think is missing (or at least I haven't found it) is an easy way to copy/paste/drag/drop folders and links in a Windows Explorer type interface.
33. Rod Stauffer02/08/2006 05:41:43 PM
For those claiming the workspace paradigm is superior, have you tried "tiled bookmarks" in Notes 6+, or are you refering to R5? R5 bookmarks were terribly difficult to navigate, no question. Probably left scars so bad, you haven't gone back. Tiled bookmarks, while not perfect, are much better than R5 bookmarks as they provide a workspace "look" for workspace people like me (even include the option of showing unread counts).
Given the administration benefits, bookmarks are the way to go for non-power users in my opinion (e.g. push bookmarks via policy).
Power users can figure out their preference on their own.
34. Brian Vincent02/09/2006 03:21:13 AM
Users should see what I want them to see and perhaps when I want them to see it. Whatever interface is the “chosen one” – admins / developers should have some central control.
As for my personal taste, I'll stick by the workspace for now. I like the spatial relation of the workspace as everything is always where I left it.
I like the concept of bookmarks, but I've never liked how bookmarks were set up in notes. Despite improvements in 6 and 7 they are still clunky when compared your standard pull down menu. Despite 2 attempts to "convert" I find the Notes bookmark UI so frustratingly “crude” I go back to the workspace and pray IBM discovers what a usability lab is for. Perhaps my dislike has more to do with annoyance that such a bad UI could make it into production software.
An example of why bookmarks in Notes are clunky and frustrating:
In your bookmark window you right click and select to create a folder. Instead of just inserting a folder where you right clicked, it throws you a pop up menu asking you to click through a different looking tree just to get you where you started. The user is forced to read a pop up screen, interpret and then react with a series of multiple clicks. Meanwhile following the standard GUI practices in Mac/windows/UnixGUId’jour they would have been finished upon completing the right click.
If I created my folder inside another folder I get more poor design. My new folder is below the top folder with a slight indentation, this takes up vertical space. If I want to “peek” in a folder I have to click it to see and then click again to close. Why not have folders pop their contents to the side on “hover” like folders in firefox’s bookmark pulldown. Again using standard GUI practices no clicks and far less scrolling would be required
Now if I wanted to change that folders icon I do a right click and choose change icon. Only instead of being given a list of icons or a open file menu so I can go grab one off my hard drive I am given a crude interface to “ image resources” (didn’t I just ask for icons?). The resource collection of most notes databases contain lots of images and most are not icons. Should the user choose create a new image resource and jump through those hoops they will still not get an icon under this circumstance. Apparently (in r7) you can change the icon for databases but not folders even though you have the option “change folder icon” if you right click on a folder.
Now I click on the folder and choose “display as workspace.” Now I right click on the workspace page created and the first thing I see is options to change my icon size. I try, but it wont let me. So why does the interface give me an option that doesn’t exist and/or belong there?
I could go on down nearly every bookmark feature. But I think the horse has been beaten enough.
Sure I could just bite the bullet and get used to the quirks of the kluge known as bookmarks. But that would be endorsing bad design. At least all of the workspace features are somewhat intuitive and do what they are supposed to without wearing out my clicking and scrolling fingers.
35. Brian Vincent02/09/2006 03:45:00 AM
Ok I guess I fibbed when I said in r7 you cant change folder icons. My icon just changed after I re-started notes. Mysterious and slow but functional.
36. Colman Carpenter02/09/2006 02:26:48 PM
@29 Ben, nice try, but the workspace had the field to itself for a while and didn't get to a point that I consider to be particularly. I was just wishing that bookmarks had the same opportunity.
37. Devin Olson02/10/2006 11:06:47 AM
Daniel Lyons loves bookmarks.
Great thread Richard!
38. wolfgang02/11/2006 02:19:07 AM
I have a european customer base (100K+ users). despite class training more than 90 % still uses the workspace (6 years after R5 roll out).
You have 2 choices:
* training was too short or bad (what's wrong, because we had a structured documentation & 1 hour training for that point & good trainers)
* workplace is better accepted by an average user
We have seen a lot of people going from the workspace to the bookmarks because they (as I) seemed to love these bookmarks and gave them an enthusastic try.
But they were unpractical and many returned to the workspace.
why? The desktop has a far better visual re-recognization (because of icon size & art)!
Our users don't like the x-level deep treestructures.
We need an evolution for the workspace (from the 90% user view).
39. Lance Spellman02/13/2006 01:33:04 PM
Shameless plug...but it is relevant.
There IS an excellent tool for managing user's workspaces/bookmarks. It's 3rd party (not IBM), but it manages workspace tabs, database icons, toolbar icons, replicator page entries, as well as bookmarks.
It's also flexible. If you want to set 1 tab to be "Corporate Apps" and make sure these 5 icons are on it, in this order, but leave everything else up to the end user, you can do that.
The tool is called Client Genie from ICODEX software. Workflow is a US reseller for the product, http://www.workflowstudios.com/genie. Contact me if you need more info.
40. Randy Davison02/13/2006 01:37:50 PM
I've been a Notes developer since June of 1989 - R1.0.
The only thing I can think to add to this discussion is, do what works for you!
When IBM decides to limit the UI, then they'll be just like Microsoft.
I've been sick of Bill telling me how to use my computer since Windows was released. That's why I have a Macintosh at home and LOVE Lotus Notes.
Since R1, Notes has always provided more than one way to do virtually everything you can do as a user or a developer. Notes has always been a system that will "work where you do".
This may not apply here, but just because 30 million people believe in a bad idea, doesn't mean it's not a bad idea. Heck, look at Windows!
41. serge resplendino02/13/2006 05:01:42 PM
I love Workspace too.
I don't think that the Folder will ever work for me.
The X-Y dimension gives you additional information, as an example, I SEE the last db version I am working on, I SEE the number of templates I made for an application and the date these were deployed, etc.
When I work on projects that involves many db's, I have several Workspaces, this way, my tabs are never too crowded.
42. Dale Cybela02/13/2006 06:21:34 PM
IBM could move people off the Workspace if they gave the user a UI that allowed for the flexibility and usability of the Workspace in an updated UI. Everyone here is either the standard Bookmarks (being the standard IE Bookmarks) or the Workspace. The 3rd alternative is the Welcome Page capabilities. There is a Welcome Page that allows you to have tabs (but very limited), that allows you to drag bookmarks with icons (too small and not enough flexibility in arrainging them) and doesn't allow you to spatially arrange the bookmark area (like workspace). I'm OK with getting rid of the Workspace, but only when there is the flexibility and ease of use in the other UI that the workspace has, and not until.
43. Helen Carter02/15/2006 06:33:35 PM
Wow -- you mean you can actually get the bookmarks to work consistently??? I speak as a pretty typical high-end user (my development skills are minimal, and I have NO interest in administration). I and my colleagues have had repeated instances of bookmarks mysteriously malfunctioning -- opening local replicas of databases rather than the server version, opening the database without the Outline (boy, the sight of an alphabetical list of 45 indeciferable view titles sure freaked out a few people!), etc. etc.
Can't be bothered trying to figure out whether the glitches are due to poor database design (remember, my development skills are negligible), admin issues (the Admin guys downstairs already hate me for bugging them) or just one of Notes's little foibles.
Gave up and went back to the workspace (and recommended colleagues to do the same when they had the same problems with their bookmarks.)
44. Richard Schwartz02/15/2006 10:28:01 PM
Mysteriously opening local replicas instead of server replicas happened all the time with the old desktop chiclets, too. It happens when the server or network has a glitch and doesn't respond. Yes, I've been using bookmarks for years now, and never once has a bookmark opened a database without the outline -- or to the wrong place in any other way. I have a few possible guesses why that might have happened to you, but I've never seen it.
45. shane hollis02/23/2006 05:09:10 PM
I work in a highly managed environment where the admins are constantly playing with our Portal. Every evolution of the portal we have had has sucked ( from my point of view ) for two reasons:
1 - It does not display information as i want to see and use it
2 - Performance issues
On starting work for the company the first thing I did was cripple the 'mandatory' portal and then continue to cripple it every time they replaced my choosen interface with their mandatory one.
In the same way every GUI user interface i have seen for an PC / Mac or *nix has had something sucky about it. However, choice is generally the order of the day and once I hasve found a way to configure it to my way of working it has been fine.
Now Lotus - saying they will get rid of the workspace is a bad move. Some of us really like it. For me with 20 tabs, multiple replicas of every database and working in test / dev and production environments con currently it is the only way i have found to work effectively. I need the three D stacking of icons to make it work. It is also less prone to admin interferance than the portal / folders etc.
However, the average user with mail, calendar and a couple of apps they use find the portal is fantastic. Book marks can be cool but I hate having to click more than twice to get to any particular Db and for me folders are just not as efficient.
So what am I saying? Different people work in different ways. The same person works in different ways at different times. My windows Desktop at home is crowded with icons so I can get places quickly. My work one is only half full as I am not working in as many apps.
If the workspace works for people, let em use it. If portals or bookmarks work .. ditto. But please, IBM, whatever you do, don't take away my choice. When my admins finally figure out how to cripple workspace (and they are trying) then my timesheets will charge their department for lost time.
If IBM cripple my choices I'll either work around their interferance or create my own Workspace DB.
Let choice be the choice of the day.
46. Stu Downes02/28/2006 03:40:58 PM
I'm with you on this Richard. Ditch it, do it now. The main argument used to move away from Notes is the look and feel. I'm horrified that there is still a show workspace function in the Hannover development code!
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