Linux Desktop Odyssey: Finally, Notes on Linux is here and ready
Two years. Can you believe it's been two years to the day since IBM first released a native Lotus Notes client for Linux?
See this news report dated July 11, 2006.
Where did version 7.x go in that time? Pretty much nowhere. With an installation process like this, I wonder why.
Now we are at generation 8.x, which offers Linux and Windows (who knows about Mac OS X) an equivalent Notes environment. And despite any previous rhetoric from IBM, this is the release that is ready for the business Linux desktop.
As mentioned last week, TechWorld has a SLED 10 SP2 desktop in production that will be used to test the water to decide which roadmap to take while on the path of Windows XP extinction.
Linux's viability against Vista will depend largely on application support. Sure Linux has stability and security advantages, but most businesses won't use it if they are locked into a particular Windows application.
I've never been fond of Notes as a messaging environment, but Notes 8 on SLED 10 is a pleasant surprise. From what I've used of it so far, it's actually more user-friendly and easier on the eye than its Windows XP counterpart (I'm still chained to XP due to a Novell Client issue on Linux, but that's the topic of another blog).
All the features are there, including integrated Sametime IM, which does not require me to enter another password for some reason.
Moving the Notes client to the standards-based Eclipse development environment should do no end of good for IBM and its customers. In theory IBM should be able to concentrate more on features and the user interface than the underlying development. We'll have to wait and see if IBM is diligent enough to leverage Eclipse for all it's worth.
Notes on SLED is simply brighter and better than it is on Windows XP. But again, despite all the claims in the world from IBM about improving Notes' horrid user interface, there is still a long way to go.
Notes still has that “heavy” feeling about it. And some things, like the number of steps required to enter in a person's contact details into the address book, have actually worsened if that's possible.
Anyway, Lotus Notes 8 on SLED is here and it's ready for business. It's now time for IBM to take the bull by the horns and modernize this legacy groupware client to make it even better.
Hey, it does what few others do – offers a consistent cross-platform user experience.