Lotus Notes 8 Beta 2 – I want another beta!

After long time from downloading this beta version I had finally time to run it a give it quick preview. And I was really surprised.

Several month I has been massaged from IBM how good this version is, how they completly changed in to Ecllipse platform and as revolution it is (despite the fact they didn’t call this version as revolution).

When I saw this version for first time in real life at Vienna I was really surprised – it was dark and quite ugly. When I spoke with Ed he mentioned, that this version is one of the darkness Lotus Notes ever (at UI side). And I still believe, that it was mainly due to really bad projector. Especially after I was this version several times on IBMers laptops.

But when I installed it for first time on my laptop, I was really surprised and started asking myself, if I’m so old or if I just like previous version so much. Because there weren’t big differencies between version 6 and 7 and minor differencies (in UI) from version 5. But version 8 will require complete training for end user, which shouldn’t be considered as bad, just as think to know. Neither I was able to work with it at all, some things are really new. And some of them are really good when another are quite strange. But some of them should be really considered as bugs. Just short list of my „why questions“. And first of I must mention that I installed just the client version, I didn’t install server yet.

Cannot compare it to previous versions, but when I install application with connection to server and this application automatically open new windows for my email and calendar, why it cannot prepare the mail database for me? Yes, you get it – windows for email and calendar are empty and showing just errors.

OK, I’ll generate mail database myself. It’s really nice to see mail template for version 8 and I’m surprised that there is also mail template for version 6, but … no template for version 7. Funny.

First open of contact database. Then close it and open again. And once more, because I cannot believe in it. Yes, the icons just jumping around the screen as pictures are „downloaded“ and putting onto screen. Such as on bad web page, which changing it’s apperance as pictures are being downloaded. Terrible.

Another small problem, which is really big for me. And it is the same problem, which exist in web version of Sametime client. I’m unable to write „@“ on my Czech keybord using combination of Right Alt + V. I have to switch keybord to English, write this one symbol and switch back. And when you entered email address for your contact it is automatically copied into Messaging ID field and, not surprisingly, you can see this address twice on form and in views as well – firstly as Business email and secondly as Messaging ID.

It should be also possible to automatically synchronize your contacts with mail database to use them in DWA. So I enabled it and … it doesn’t work at all. When you finally find way how to see contacts in mail database you will receive information that it is possible to synchronize it and what you have to do to enable it. But, I did it all and nothing happened at all. Shame.

But when you trying to find contacts in mail database you also try your favourite trick – Ctrl+Shift+Go to View. You should select what view you want (either hidden one), but if you select hidden one you won’t be switched there. Grr.

Never mind, just quick look into client settings – everything should be at one place and list of settings is really huge. But, setting of your contact preferences is at another place. Directly in local address book. What bigger shame is, that you cannot set this preferences unless you specify valid mail file (yes, probably setting how often should be deleted documents from your Trash is so important that you must be able to set it up from this place as well). And (yes, I didn’t check help) you should be also confused with Replication/Synchronization settings. As it is two different settings which looks almost (or totally) equally they probably set up different things. At least you cannot set up you replication settings at Offline location (no more Island) when synchronization settings you can set up.

Last but not least (I hadn’t time for more) – calendar. It looks really great, sidebar with Day at Glance is perfect, but. Why it is still impossible to create meeting longer that 24 hours? Why it is impossible to create entry with dragging in calendar so you must double click at beggining of meeting, fill in subject and then thing how long it should be (I like Google for its calendar at this point). At least it is one extra window you need to close, when mostly short dialog box is enough.

Don’t worry, creating appoitment is still easy, they just changed the layout. So if you have 1024×768 resolution you can see subject, invitees, location, rooms and resources on first page (really import things) and description (who care about it) is at second page. Grrr, do they use this field at all? I use it all the time.

And when you try to open existing appoitment it has a little bit different layout – Invitees are put into section, but fields (really important – Do you want to receive responses from Invitiees, …) are outside this section. Why?

Reminder – it is still same as in version 7 (where is the same vice). When you try to disable it you will be prompted for its settings. It’s that hard to check the checkbox if it’s checked or not?

And one really great this about calendar at the end – we have new type of calendar entry – Event announcement. It’s really important type, it looks almost same as Meeting, just the settings for invitiess (Do you want to receive responses …) are enabled by default and cannot be changed. Wow.

Finale – I want new beta version, I’m not able to test this beta version anymore (probably :((). But I’m really looking forward for new version and believe that they’ll do it. And that it’ll be really big success. Because I really want to stay in this train, as the product is really good, just need SOME polishing. But I cannot say it is bad, the graphics is really nice (and looks much better than in Vienna) and also it should be really good beneath.

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