Friday, September 17, 2004

rhs blog: IBM Lotus Workplace: The PL1 Of Collaboration (09/16/2004 02:06:36 PM)

rhs blog: IBM Lotus Workplace: The PL1 Of Collaboration (09/16/2004 02:06:36 PM) "There are some really, really good ideas in Lotus Workplace. There's no question about that. I was thinking about what Lotus executives were calling "contextual collaboration" about a year before they started talking about it, and the idea of a component-based collaboration framework is something that I really believe will have tremendous benefits. Unfortuately, the J2EE and portal superstructures upon which Workplace was built give it so much overhead that the description I gave above fits. It took ages to boot up the 2.2 MHz/2 GB lab machine on which we ran our servers. Page transitions were slow. Painfully so, in some cases. To IBM's credit, this is not a realistic production environment, but it should have at least been tolerable as a test environment. Also to IBM's credit, none of the servers crashed, but browser restarts were necessary on several occasions because caching issues that could not be cleared caused some of our lab assignments to fail. This will all get better. I'm quite certain of it. What I'm not so certain of, however, is whether application development for Workplace will get better. What I saw primarily in class was a wide variety of techniques for doing the same thing. There must be eight or ten different paths you can go down to expose a Domino application to Workplace users, and none of the paths that are fully baked at the moment seem to offer any significant advantage over the others. I get the feeling that the very open-ness of the Workplace architecture is working against IBM in this respect, because different groups within the company (as well as some 3rd party vendors) are all taking advantage of the ability to plug in new components, which is good, but they are pursuing similar goals in different ways and what they will end up with is too many choices for application developers."

The PL/1 analogy is a classic...
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