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Lotus Notes GripesLotus Notes is groupware used in large corporations
August 23, 2005. A new version of Lotus Notes is being developed and an IBM employee asked to post an invitation to participate in usability evaluations of the re-designed user interface. If you would like to see Notes improved, this is a chance to get involved. Go to www-10.lotus.com/ldd/usability for descriptions of the usability studies and sign-up to be contacted. Read more about the re-design.
WAV files. March 12, 2007. Lotus Notes version 7. I sent an email message to a person with a small WAV file attached to it. Notes could not play the WAV file. There was an error that file npaudio.dll was not found. As far as I can tell from searching the net, this is an ancient Netscape Navigator related file. The Lotus Notes help listed a number of things that might be cause audio files to fail to play. This problem was none of the ones mentioned there.
Java. March 12, 2007. Lotus Notes version 7 can use a different version of Java than either IE or Firefox. You can tell who is using what at my www.javatester.org web site.
More Bad News For Lotus Notes by Daniel Lyons for forbes.com. August 23, 2005. The articles discusses the loss in email market share for Lotus Notes vs. Microsoft Exchange. Notes does much more than email though. Either these additional features are too hard to measure, have no competition or are not being extensively used. I don't know. Then again, Exchange does more than email too, but I'm not really up to speed on this. Perhaps email is just an easy thing to understand and measure. My personal experience has been that email is, by far, the thing Notes is used for most often.
I last used Notes on a regular basis in 1999. While using it though, I hated everything about it. The more I used it and the more I watch other people use it, the more there is to dislike. My Notes usage pre-dates this web site, so the vast majority of my gripes were not documented.
Perhaps my favorite gripe about Lotus Notes, the one I will never forget, is scrollbars. It is the only software product I've seen where the default is not to show scrollbars in Windows that need it. What were they thinking? I stumbled across this when data seemed to be truncated. The problem was that the Window was too small to display all the data and there were no scrollbars for the window to make this obvious. Turned out there was an option about scrollbars (why?) and that by default it was set off (why?) so that data routinely was truncated.
Why is it only used in large corporations? Perhaps because it's overpriced and only a large corporation can afford it. Perhaps it was the right decision years and years ago. Personally, I suspect that it was because non-technical managers made the decisions. I just can't believe that a techie, any techie, would opt for Lotus Notes. It's that bad. October 2002.
January 5, 2003. Notes version 5. Don't click on the
email button in Internet Explorer v5 to start Lotus Notes by mistake. It can't
deal with this. As usual, Notes will ask for the password when it starts. In
this case, you must give a password. Canceling out of the dialog that asks for
your password, just invokes a Notes error dialog about some internal processing
that failed. The error message makes sense only to Notes developers not to Notes
users. There is no way to either get out of the password prompt or to get out of
Notes without supplying the correct password. Its an infinite loop of errors
followed by prompts for the password. Fortunately, the Windows 2000 task manager
can kill the nlnotes.exe process. However, this leads to another problem.
The next time Notes 5 runs, it's not happy - a message is displayed about it's
not being able to open the desktop file. In typical Lotus Notes fashion,
the solution to this problem is to reboot the computer.
Update. June 26, 2004. A reader of this page pointed out that there is a ZapNotes or KillNotes program that lets you avoid re-booting in this case. It can be downloaded from IBM at http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/sandbox.nsf/0/7b70d2411b8dec9688256acb005c433f
March 29, 2003. Notes version 5. A brand new email message is being formatted. Nothing has been typed into it all. The user clicks on the paperclip to attach a file to the message and Lotus Notes says it can't execute the command. The problem? The cursor position (you can't make this stuff up). The cursor was positioned in the "TO" field of the new message. Move the cursor to the body of the email message and now Notes is very willing to attach a file to the new message. What a disgrace.
April 16, 2003. Notes version 5. When there is a new email notification, you can not minimize Notes without dismissing the new email notification. Fortunately the show desktop icon in the quick launch bar of Windows 2000 works - it shows the desktop and minimizes Notes.
May 4, 2005. A reader of this page complained about email filtering: "Just about every e-mail client on earth has a feature allowing you to make simple rules for filtering messages into different folders, right? It's a very common thing for people to want to do. Lotus Notes has this ability as well, but like most Lotus features it is ridiculously complicated and prone to failure. Rules don't run at all. Or they run even after they've been deleted. Or they just quit running for no discernible reason whatsoever, and then start again for equally mysterious reasons. Notes has had this problem for literally YEARS, several major releases." Deleted Mail Rules Still Run and/or Enabled Mail Rules Do Not Run
IBM In Denial Over Lotus Notes by Daniel Lyons in Forbes magazine. April 6, 2005. Quoting: "Exchange ... outsells Notes/Domino and has a larger installed base and more momentum ... Yet IBM still claims Notes is the "best-selling" e-mail product on the market ... Notes has a user interface that some consider dated and overly complex."
Moving Off Notes To A Wide Open Space by David Strom. January 18, 2005. One person's story about migrating (happily) away from Lotus Notes. From his Web Informant newsletter.
June 26, 2004. A reader of this page told me about this page Interface Hall of Shame - Lotus Notes. Quoting from the intro: "The interface is so problematic, one might reasonably conclude that the designers had previously visited this site, and misread "Hall of Shame" as "Hall of Fame". Lotus Notes 4.6 contains almost every example of inefficient design illustrated throughout the entire Hall of Shame site."
May 20, 2004. A reader of this page wrote with his Notes gripe (I can not confirm this): If lotus notes is closed and you click on a mailto: link (like on a web page) ... you might as well get ready to reboot your computer. Lotus Notes will start up, but not prompt you for a password. It will just sit there like an idiot, an empty window. It's like it's waiting for a password but not giving you a dialog box to type it in. So you will be tempted to end lotus notes in task manager.
This led to another point that I can confirm: if you kill Notes via Task Manager, it is not a happy camper. The next time you run Notes, it will scold you for doing this and force you to reboot. There is a program to zap Lotus Notes though and bypass the forced re-boot, but I don't know much about it.
I subscribe to the Lockergnome web developers newsletter. On April 7, 2004 they did a story called The Lotus Notes Conspiracy
Brian Livingston sends out a newsletter and has problems getting simple HTML to format correctly in Lotus Notes. Quoting his June 19, 2003 issue: "Formatting a newsletter that Lotus Notes e-mail users can read has always been a challenge. That's because the 5.0 and 6.0 versions of Notes don't always display even the simplest HTML e-mail correctly. Nor do these programs fall back to displaying the short, explanatory plain-text message that accompanies my newsletter for non-HTML-capable e-mail programs...To be perfectly honest, even some big-bucks consultants I've asked are stumped about what kind of HTML will and won't work in Notes."
The May 27, 2003 edition of Scot Finnie's newsletter has a topic called The Software Hall of Shame. Lotus Notes is one of the shamed programs.
In a follow-up on June 8, 2003, Scot Finnie wrote the following about Lotus Notes:
My company uses Notes. My last company used Notes. Supposedly I've been a Notes user since 1991. When I was at Windows Magazine, it was even my responsibility to cover Lotus Notes and attend their shows and schmooze with them. Yuck. In 1998 I told my company I was done with Notes; they could be done with me if they wanted, but I was switching back to Eudora. They didn't say much. I've been using Eudora at work ever since. My boss now doesn't use Notes either, and my boss's boss also uses Eudora. And a couple of my colleagues are slipping away from Notes.
I'm a one-man revolution.
I still have Notes. It's on a dusty notebook PC in a corner that I never turn on. Ever.
I hate Lotus Notes.
Dave Wilson has compiled a list of gripes about Lotus Notes.
Why Lotus Notes Sucks from a bulletin board on the debian.org web site. written November 30, 2001
This is the only gripe topic on this web site where readers have written to me saying they hate the product too. Neither I nor the readers point to just one or two specific things, there is way too much to dislike about Notes.
What does it say, that the Lotus Home Page does not mention Notes at all? June 8, 2003.
A reader of this site pointed out that using Lotus Notes just as an email client is a misunderstanding of what Notes/Domino was designed to do. The Notes user interface isn't designed for email. In fact, using Notes for email could be considered a "misdeployment". He also pointed out that you don't have to use a Notes client on the front end to run applications on the Domino back end. Thanks Shaun. May 5, 2004.
In May 2004 someone wrote to tell me that this web page is the number one hit on Google, should you type in "I hate Lotus Notes".
You can buy a "Notes Sucks" coffee mug at www.itmugs.com (click on the "IT Sucks" button on the left)
|Page created: October 23, 2002||Page last updated: March 13, 2007|
|Prior updates: August 4, 2005|
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