Thursday, March 15, 2007

Initial Review of Notes 8 Beta 2

I spent the past few days playing with the Notes 8 beta 2 both the Standard version (eclipse) and the Basic version (w32 C++). My review here is based only on the UI and not the other features that are available in the new version of Notes 8. In addition, this is the my first review. My review was done on a Thinkpad T41 with 1Gbytes of memory with Windows XP SP1. The Domino server that I used to make this review is an Domino 6.53 server.

Notes 8 Standard client:
As I understand it, the standard version is an Eclipse wrapper around the Notes Basic client. If I am wrong, please correct me. Even with the much larger footprint, the standard version perform pretty well on a machine that is not dual-core. The interface looks very good, though there are a number of quirks that I assume will be fixed in the final release. I did discovered and reported a number of bugs, but that is normal since this is a beta. I was disappointed to discover that there is no storage of the productivity documents into Notes out of the box. I guess that will be coming with Quickr. However there are a few things that I do not like about Notes 8 Standard. I do not like in particular the Open button. What appears on the list should be programmed either by the administrator or set by the user. Every single bookmark seems to show up in the list. Since I upgraded from a Notes 6.5 client, I have over 300 items listed in various folders. This is annoying. Our applications and probably many others have a primary launching application from which other applications start from. I only want a icon for the launching application.

Application launched from the sidebar like the RSS reader as a separate window should remain like the info box in front of the Notes 8 client. It was a pain in the butt to have to switch back and forward between the window and Notes client. In the RSS reader, when you open the feed it should appear in the same window instead of being in a new Notes tab.

Notes 8 Basic client:
The basic client looks and feels like Notes 7 with the exception of inline spell checking, nicer icons, and changes to the menu arrangement to match the standard client menu. I was disappointed to see that a number of UI improvements that are in the standard client was not in this client. Technically, I do not know why it could not have been in this client. Since this client is smaller and lighter it does run faster. Though it looks like Notes 7, there are still a few bugs in this client when it comes to UI specially with javascript and Notes windows.

These are my initial comments for the Notes 8 beta 2 standard and basic client. I will be setting up Domino 8 in the next few weeks and report back to you.

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