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Duffbert's Random Musings is a blog where I talk about whatever happens to be running through my head at any given moment... I'm Thomas Duff, and you can find out more about me here...

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03/31/2003

Looking at blogs

Category Blogging


Hey, Chris...  I'm moving to your hosting site "some year"???  I still haven't given you my credit card number yet...  :-)  


Seriously, the
Blogsphere software is looking very good now.  I had an exchange with Declan this weekend, and there is now Rich Text posting in beta 3.  I don't have time to test it out this evening, as I'm taking my kids to a hockey game this evening.  It's game 6 of a playoff series for our junior hockey team, the Portland Winterhawks.  The bad thing about hockey is that far too many teams make the playoffs, and the Hawks didn't even win 20 games this year.  The good thing is that you can get some upsets going, and it appears the Hawks might do just that.  Of course, whoever wins this game goes up against the top team in all ofCanadian junior hockey...

03/29/2003

Blog testing...

Category Blogging


Well, I spent some time on Saturday exploring the different Domino-based blogs out there.  After looking at how they function from a posting perspective and such, I seem to be leaning towards using Steve Castledine's
DominoBlog template.  It appears that version 2.0.8 has comment functionality, so I'll wait until he gets a full post of that up there, test it out, and see where I can go from there.  I'm real tempted to use the Gutted Geek version of that template, as I like the look and feel of it.  

I thought I was going to be going with
Blogsphere, but it appears that there is no ability to post rich text.  Probably not that big of a deal, but that then means that any linking tags has to be keyed in manually.  I'm lazy and would just like to be able to highlight something and designate it as a URL link in Notes.  I do like the configuration layout of Blogsphere a lot, though...  

Decisions, decisions...  I still need to play around some more with the two templates...  I'm still torn...

03/28/2003

Reading Recommendation...

Category Book Reviews


Finished
King Of Torts by John Grisham this morning.  While not up there with his earlier work, it's better than some of his later stuff.  The story revolves around a public defender who is given the chance to secretly settle some product lawsuits before things get out of hand.  He is then thrust into the spotlight when he's subsequently given the documents needed to bring another major class action suit on another drug company.  This nets him $110 million in fees, and the bright lights and expensive toys start taking over his life.  But things start to go wrong on all fronts of his life, and he starts to watch it all crumble beneath him.

The story isn't very complex, and it's good entertainment.  The thing that struck me about this was watching him go from a down-and-out lawyer to a high-powered attorney with all the perks (and then some).  Having watched and experienced the Enron debacle from within, I imagine some of the attitudes about money and trappings were the same.  Greed does some nasty things to people...

03/27/2003

So what version of Domino Waiter do YOU run?

Category IBM/Lotus

Joe Litton sent me an email yesterday with a link to the Domino References site.  This is a blog that is in French, and Joe got a kick out of trying to read it.  On the entry for 03/11, the writer references my mailing list applica= tion currently appearing as a web exclusive in e-Pro magazine.  I thought that was rather cool, and I did a cut/paste of his entry into Babelfish, and here's the resulting English output...

11/03 - e-ProMag proposes an appl= ication of Mailing List to us to be installed on a Domino waiter. I recommend this kind of applications warmly to you. It is a must communication and compl=E8= ment essential to the Web sites. With the proviso of using them with intelligence and parsimony.

So...  I believe this applicati= on is compliant to run on Domino Waiter version 5.0 and above...  :-)

03/25/2003

A number of items...

Category Book Reviews


One more book down....  And I didn't read the whole thing today, either...


I finished up
Skull Session by Daniel Hecht.  This was a recommendation from Chris Miller, as we tend to like the same type of novels.  This is billed as a "neurological thriller", as the main character has Tourette's Syndrome.  He takes on a repair project on a mansion that is owned by an aunt that he hasn't seen in many years.  The place is absolutely demolished inside due to vandalism, but the vandalism seems to have an intensity that would not be normal for kids being kids.  As he starts to delve into the past of his family and the aunt, he starts to discover some unsettling facts about his father and others in the family.  As he gets closer to the truth, things become more dangerous in that someone doesn't want him restoring the place.

Not a bad book, but not one of the best I've read of late.  It's the author's first novel, and it seems that the story doesn't progress very quickly in the beginning.  It could have been reduced by about 25% and would have played better for me.  And for those wondering how I could finish two books in one day...  I had started this book about a week ago, and was reading it on and off during commutes and at bedtime.  When I got Portrait In Death, I couldn't wait to start that one.  So I had both going at once, and they just happened to get finished on the same day...


And a side note on war coverage...  


I'm getting tired of the constant assumption that everything shown on Arab TV is staged or propaganda.  We capture a hospital and discover guns, chemical warfare suits, and drugs to counteract the effects of nerve agents.  It's a "fact" that it happened and there is no questioning.  Arab TV shows video of a bombed neighborhood that is stated to be damage from last night's air attacks.  It's then reported that Saddaam would resort to bombing his own people to stage that video.  And we're STILL debating the fact that every appearance of Hussein on TV "could have been recorded before the war began"...


Maybe I'm just getting cynical in my old age, but I'm getting frustrated by the bias here...


A night of insomina, so I finish another book...


Portrait In Death by J.D. Robb is a great read.  J. D. Robb is actually Nora Roberts of romance novel fame.  Her "In Death" series is a futuristic police crime novel series set in and around the 2050 timeframe.  Much of the hi-tech gadgetry she uses in the story is just presented as fact, and it doesn't dominate the story as often happens in near-future sci-fi novels.  In this installment, Eve Dallas (the main character and police detective) is looking for a serial killer who chooses his victims for their "life light".  He drugs them, takes them to his photo studio, kills them in order to absorb their "light", and then takes posed photos of them to show his skill in capturing their essense in picture.  The story rushes to the finale as the final victim is a police officer who the team is rushing to save.

It's gonna be a long day trying to push through with less than two hours of sleep...

03/23/2003

How did we get here?

Category Everything Else


OK...  
Libby's "subject of the day" is "how did you get to where you're at?"...  Time for me to chime in...

I started working in Data Processing back in 1979 out of high school (yes, I'm old).  I was a burster operator stripping carbon out of reports and getting them out to the users.  From there, it was on to operations.  Finally, I was offered a job in programming (RPG) where I cracked open the books and started learning.  That was all with Georgia-Pacific.  After a reorg there, I ended up with a small insurance company as a COBOL programmer for 1 1/2 years (1985 - 1987).  From there, it was on to BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon where I did programming and supervised a small systems staff...  But still no Notes at this point...


In 1996, the Medicare group I was with had to undergo a major forced system conversion and consolidation.  I saw it as a crisis point in my career, in that I had to do management and become technically obsolete, or I had to get out of mainframes and into that client/server stuff.  I chose to leave management behind.  I was able to get a job within the same company working with internet and groupware technologies.  One of the first things I wanted to play with was this "Notes" thing...  I started dabbling with it and thought it was pretty cool.  Then came the turning point...  I went to Lotusphere 1997.  Sitting there in the opening session with lasers flashing, I was blown away.  I didn't understand most of what they talked about ("WORK THE WEB!"), but I knew this is where I wanted to be.  I came back convinced that this was where I wanted my career to move to.  Move forward to 1998 and my stint with Enron.  While we all know how that ended, it was really a cool job for quite awhile.  Lots of high-end toys and a clean field to build all the Notes applications from scratch.  I learned more there than I would have anywhere else...


Flash forward to now...  I'm consulting, writing for e-Pro (thanks, Libby!), and starting to reinvent myself for Websphere Portal work.  I've done more, learned more, and seen more than I ever thought I would in my career.  I've worked with and met some incredible people, and I've produced applications that have amazed clients and customers.  Without this incredible software package called Notes/Domino, I'd most likely still be plugging away at various software packages.  I'm sure it would have worked out OK, but I don't think I would have ever made that mental leap that said "this is me!".


When people ask me why I like going to Lotusphere, it's this story that I relate to them.  LS 1997 changed my career.  LS 1998 allowed me to meet a number of people who have influenced my career in no small measure (
Chris Miller being one of them).  1999, 2000, and 2001 continued to build upon what I was doing and where I was going.  I missed 2002 due to the Enron layoff.  LS 2003 was close to 1997 in being another critical point for me.  It was the event where I started to concentrate on Websphere, and will be the point where I look back to when I see where I'm at in a year or two...

And aren't you glad you asked, Libby?  :-)

03/23/2003

I'm still here...

Category Everything Else
Obviously, the world situation has been uneasy as of late. I've spent a lot of time searching for some technical info on Websphere Portal as I've also been watching coverage of the war. I'll refrain from getting into feelings of pros/cons to the war, as there are good arguments for either side. I just pray for a short end to the war, and a resolution to the issues that led to it...

I spent a fair amount of time this weekend searching for portal tutorials from a programming perspective. I finally came across some decent material on DeveloperWorks that should help in my learning of how to code portlets. I'm gathering this material into a Teamroom db in order to 1) keep it close at hand, and 2) share it with fellow developers. If anyone is interested (or even reading this stuff), let me know and I can post links to the tutorials I found...

That's it for right now... I'm sitting on a conference call on Websphere Portal that's a mix of sales and technical info. You can tell we're in the sales portion right now as I'm typing this... :-)

03/19/2003

Independent voices...

Category Everything Else
I miss the independent voices from the Internet during this war in the Middle East. When the NATO action against Yugoslavia occurred back in 1999, there was an independent radio station called B92 that was trying to put out a balanced view of news to both the local population and the world. As the media censorship crackdown got stronger, B92 was taken over by the government. But to Milosovic's dismay, B92 wasn't dead. They moved to the internet and continued to broadcast the news as well as possible under war time conditions.

The website they ran during that time was chilling... You could listen to RealAudio english newscasts under war conditions and with disclaimers that much of the information could not be verified due to the danger involved in gathering info. They had a sound clip of the air raid sirens going off that would send a chill up my spine each time I heard it. They had a recorded message from the station manager after the building had been taken over and he was arrested. It was telling everyone to keep the faith and not to believe everything they hear, not even from B92 now that it was in the government's hands.

I've tried to ferret out internet news sources during this conflict, but it's a whole different ball game now. The official Iraqi TV/radio sites seem to be down. The western-run Radio Liberty are obviously biased and also in Arabic. And of course, dissident groups are not tolerated in Iraq, so there's not much chance of anything there. There's a Kurdish TV feed you can get, but it's in... Kurdish.

I realize that something needed to be done with Saddaam.... It would just be terrifying to live in Baghdad right now knowing that bombs were coming and there was nothing you could do to prevent it. And that if you took any stand against the government, your end would come just as swiftly...

03/17/2003

Choosing blogging software...

Category Blogging
Getting closer to choosing some blog software for my soon-to-be-transferred blogging activities. I know there's a number of Domino blog packages out there, but I hadn't spent much time looking at who was running which package. After learning that Ed Brill might be soon switching over to a Domino-based blog, I figured it was about time to get acquainted with what each one looks like.

So far, I think I like the clean interface of Ben Poole's site, which I think is the soon-to-be-released Blogsphere. It's ND6, and that's not a problem with my hosting site (right, Chris?). It has a clean comment interface that I like pretty well, and it also shows the referer list. I'll need to download it and try it on my home server to see how it works from a posting perspective. If that seems to be OK, I think I'll start out there...

With all the great work that's been done out there, it's hard to go wrong with any of them. I could probably choose any of them and be happy...

03/16/2003

Portal resources...

Category Software Development
Oh, and on portal development? The redbook for the Portal Developer's Handbook is working well so far. I've made it through the first chapter (all the theoretical stuff), and I have a better understanding of some of the terms and architecture now. The next chapter gets into actual portlet development, and tomorrow evening will involve working through some of that stuff...

03/16/2003

The latest read..

Category Book Reviews
And the latest book? Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods... A female officer in the military decides to retire when a sexual harassment suit she files against a senior officer does not result in a conviction. She takes a job as a deputy police chief in a small Florida town (Orchid Beach), but the chief who hired her is shot the day she starts the job. She starts following up on who might have been involved, and it could involve someone in the department. Meanwhile, a private real estate development within the city limits has some strange security arrangements, and she starts to suspect that major criminal activity is going on. These two story lines converge together for a pretty good story...

03/15/2003

Not knowing what you don't know...

Category Software Development
It's so frustrating not knowing what you don't know...

I'm starting my portal work and personal training, and it's hard to get a handle on this... I've gone through Java training, and now I have to get comfortable with applying it. Then we have all the J2EE stuff (servlets and JSP specifically), and that's a whole new set of things to learn. Let's add Websphere Studio Application Developer on that. I can basically navigate myself around there, but I know there's a lot I haven't uncovered there yet. Add the portal toolkit there for building the portal apps. The version of Websphere Application Server that runs when you are testing your apps has configuration settings that have to be right for all this to work.

And I'm wondering why I feel frustrated and rather clueless???

Today I was running into configuration issues that prevented me from getting the portal server to run within the WSAD framework. I finally figured out the configuration settings to get that to work. I think there are some things I need to know there related to refreshing the server when changes are made to the portlet. I am starting to understand a little about the architecture of a portlet, but not enough to start rewriting my latest Notes app to run under Websphere Portal Server... :-) I'm downloading and printing the redbook for the Portal Developers Handbook, and I hope that will help with theory and details.

The other thing I'm finding frustrating is that I haven't found any good entry level tutorials on the subject of portlets. Perhaps they are still too new or the assumption is that you know more than I know at this stage. I tried to work with an article in e-Pro by Rose Kelleher on building your own portlet, but there seemed to be lots of missing parts (like the XSL file she used and the JSP coding). I acknowledge the fact that I may not yet understand all of what she was trying to do in that article. I plan on revisiting the demo once I do some redbook reading. I also hope the redbook has some good samples with which to follow along.

This WILL be cool stuff once I get a little more knowledge here. But I am starting to understand some of the feelings of resistance in the Domino community to this new technology. It is very different, and it's not easy. And it's most definitely not something you can do as a "power user"...

03/14/2003

Random thoughts...

Category Blogging
Random thoughts semi-early on a Saturday morning...

Are we entering the slowdown phase of our blogging group? In the last couple of months, we've gone from a few hardcore bloggers to everyone wanting to do so (I am part of the second hoping to become part of the first). I read yesterday that Bruce Elgort was taking a blogging hiatus. Some of the bloggers I first discovered prior to Lotusphere haven't posted since then. I wonder if we're in that "New Year's Resolution" phase... Enough enthusiam to start out, but over time it gets crowded out by other priorities.

Never enough time to play and work with all the toys I feel I should work with. I'm adding new skills in the Websphere Portal area, but I still have this pull to want to play with all the ND6 stuff. While not a bad thing, it takes time away from what I should be learning... So does Yahoo Pyramids, that nasty little game...

Hopefully in the very near future, I'll be redirecting you to a new blog site for Random Musings. I registered twduff.com last night, and I plan to have the site hosted with Chris Miller and Connectria (just like Libby). Of course, now I have to pick a Domino blog software package to go with... I want comments and a referer list... Any suggestions out there?

03/14/2003

Reading recommendation

Category Book Reviews
A good mind-candy mystery read... Jumper by Richard Barth. A roller coaster designer is pulled into two coaster accident investigations that appear to be sabotage. As he's trying to build his greatest coaster (The Jumper), it looks like there's an effort to sabotage his coaster on opening day for reasons I won't reveal here... A short read, and nice pacing...

03/12/2003

But don't feel any pressure, Ed...

Category Blogging
Blogging Goes Corporate is an article that appeared yesterday in the e-Commerce Times website. It's a great examination of how blogs are starting to be used by corporations to present a different face to the public. One quote from the article made me think of Ed Brill and what he's done (both personally and officially)...

However, Hale warned, companies need to be honest. "A blog that isn't truthful won't work -- it will be perceived as a shill toeing the company line and spinning the company story."

The voice used on a company Weblog says a lot about how a business views its customers, he added. "A blog that is truthful, tells it like it is and is honest builds a trusted influence and source. It also says a lot about the company's stance towards its customers: 'We're open with information, we're here to help, we want to listen.'"

Given the potential issues that could arise within a company if you have employees officially blogging in public, I think it's commendable that IBM/Lotus has given Ed the leeway to do what he's done so far. And I think Ed has done an exceptional job in putting a human face on the IBM/Lotus technology. And no, I'm not saying that Ed isn't self-censored. He does have to be careful in what he says and chooses to write about. But so far, my hat's off to you... good job!

03/12/2003

Reading recommendation...

Category Book Reviews
Just finished Dervish Is Digital by Pat Cadigan. This is a followup to her book Tea From An Empty Cup that I finished a few days back. Didn't care much for that one, but this one is somewhat better. Konstantin is assigned to the TechnoCrime unit to reside in Artificial Reality and track down crimes committed there. She ends up going after someone who has become completely digital and is manipulating the AR billing software. Still a little too disjointed for my liking, but easier to follow than the previous one.

03/11/2003

Reading recommendation...

Category Book Reviews
And in case you think all I read is fiction for entertainment...

I labored through Corporate Portals And e-Business Integration by Mark Davydov. As I'm moving into portal technology, I want to understand as much as possible about the subject. This book wasn't helpful... The first half of the book is on e-Business and is heavy on the academic underpinnings. Only in the second half do we get into portals, and then it's within an e-business architecture. Mind you, this is not bad information. It's just far too broad into the e-business area than I care to be when I'm trying to learn how to DO something.

03/11/2003

Free at last, free at last...

Category Everything Else
I'm happy to report I am no longer an hourly consultant with Boom Vang... I'm now a FULL-TIME employee with Boom Vang! What does that mean? It means that I will still be working at client sites on Notes/Domino projects, but I will also be working on some internal projects as well as moving into Websphere and portal development. This is a great opportunity to continue my personal and professional growth, and it removes the "do I bill and get paid this week or do I train on my own dime" quandry I faced all too often. I knew I needed to spend time with new technologies (which I do anyway at home in the evenings), but I also tended to take any and all work I could get so that the paycheck looked good.

I can now write an end to the chapter of my life that started with Enron Broadband's shutdown in Portland in September 2001, and involved unemployment/1099/W-2 hourly work until now. It worked out OK, but it was a constant stress in my life that will be gladly pushed aside...

03/10/2003

Quote of the week...

Category Microsoft
Quote Of The Week...

"And now for some irony: Microsoft's print ads touting its .Net development tools as the solution for DLL hell -- a bit like a cobra advertising antivenin, don't you think?"

Pick your poison

03/09/2003

Reading recommendation...

Category Book Reviews
Finished a cyberspace novel last night... Tea From An Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan. The plot revolves around a murder and a missing person (both in Artificial Reality), and the search for the answers in that realm. The plot line seemed rather rambling to me, but there were some great scenes in there. I expected more from this book...

03/09/2003

The "eBayization" of the media...

Category Blogging
That's what we bloggers are!

Good article to read... Success Of Weblogs Heralds Big Future. It talks about the rise of blogging and how people are trying to figure out how to use this increasingly popular media outlet to make money... Efforts are being made to better index the contents of these blogs to allow subject matter to be found more quickly and to allow people to find the influential bloggers out there. Even marketers are mining blog content to see if it's possible to use blog audiences to market items... I suppose it's not too far off before there are bloggers out there who are selling subscriptions to their content.

I know... Don't quit my day job...

In other news, I'm such a geek... Here I sit blogging on one laptop while I'm installing Websphere Studio Application Developer 5.0 on another one, all the time racing to see if I can get both done before I take my kid to the high school hockey playoffs. Not that he's playing, as his first year team went 0-22. But we are rooting hard for one particular team to take it all, as Ian might end up playing for them in the spring league. Anything to get that first win of his hockey career!

03/09/2003

Weekend with da boys...

Category Everything Else
This was the weekend with "da boys"... literally...

My wife went to the beach with some friends who share her interest in quilting. That left me at home Thursday through today with my two boys. We did the traditional trip to the grocery store to stock up on junk food. The kids dragged out the air mattresses and slept in the front room. Inordinate amounts of dirty dishes accumulated. And today I cleaned up the place before she returned... :-)

Other than that, not much going on...

03/08/2003

Reading recommendation...

Category Book Reviews
Just finished Area 7 by Matthew Reilly... It's an action thriller involving a rogue military unit that holds the President captive in a top secret base, and then reveals that there's a device on the President's heart that, if he dies, will send a signal to set off a series of bombs hidden in various American cities. And of course, the rogue unit is hunting him down... Very hyper with little character development... As one review said, "There's little character development as they are not alive long enough to care!"...

03/06/2003

Can't we all just get along???

Category Everything Else
As an IBM business partner, I have access to the Business Partner Forum (the BPF). This is a Notes discussion db used by IBM/Lotus and business partners to discuss issues, report bugs, ask questions, and provide a means for partners to connect with each other. The BPF has been going for around 10 years, and it's a poster child for what an "online community" should be.

Lately, there's been some conflict between members over certain behaviors exhibited by a single person. It's been interesting to watch the group behavior over the last couple of weeks as this has transpired. Basically, he felt that he could conduct himself however he saw fit, and if others didn't like it, that was too bad. His feeling was that his reputation entitled him to instant respect in the group. On the other side, his attitude seriously irritated other long-time members of the group who have earned the respect of the group over time. The last couple of days had some very pointed posts from both sides over who was right and who was wrong. It finally ended with the person apologizing to the group and recognizing that there were some cultural norms that had been violated, and that he was going to work to fit in. He's been "welcomed" back in, and all is back to normal (except for another person who feels the group was out of line, and is still keeping the battle alive)...

This was a lesson in online community that everyone should be part of at least once. It makes you examine your expectations when you join a group of people who you may never meet in real life. There can be a written list of accepted behavior, but there is always an unwritten set of guidelines that you can't learn except by watching how the group interacts with each other. This is also known as "lurking". Follow the written rules and ignore the unwritten ones, and you'll regret it.

I'm curious to see how the Domino blogging community evolves over time. In discussions with others who are blogging (either about Domino or using Domino blogging software), the common feeling has been a strong sense of comaraderie. There have been no personal attacks, no "my software's better than your software"... Many of us have worked with each other, and there's good-natured kidding (which is fun to read). I'm not sure if the attitudes are due to the common interest in IBM/Lotus, the interest in blogging, the personalities of those who have chosen to do this, or if it's due to the nature of blogging itsself. I'm interested in any feedback of others (either via email or on your own blog... I have GOT to get a domain and switch to blog software that permits comments!)... And Joe, this does NOT mean you can start ripping on me on your blog! :-)

For some interesting reading on virtual communities, go to Carol Anne Ogdin's site... She's been doing this for a long time...

03/05/2003

Reading and e-Pro stuff...

Category Book Reviews
Gee, Chris... I get MY articles turned in on time with no harassment from Libby... But I'm also not working on multiple articles and presentations at the same time, either! :-)

I just finished up some revisions for another e-Pro article involving Domino and programming methodologies. Nice to be able to get it turned in and wait for the next editing cycle. I must say that all the people I've worked with on the publishing side of e-Pro have been great. Easy to work with and great suggestions on making my ramblings look coherent in print or on the web. And trust me... That's a pretty big task! (and no, this isn't sucking up...) :-)

And my latest stress-relief reading just finished is Stephen Coonts' Saucer. He normally write military techno-thrillers, but this was a foray into different territory. A group of survey workers in the desert discover a flying saucer embedded in stone. In the process of uncovering it, they attract the attention of a number of governments and rich individuals who want the craft. And when they discover that it actually still works, the killing and kidnapping heat up. A nice diversionary read...

03/04/2003

Welcome to NewsScan readers...

Category Blogging
Welcome to those of you visiting from NewsScan!

Why did you find this spot on today's newsletter from NewsScan? Well, a week or so ago, they picked up an article where it was stated that blogging would replace tech reporters in the future. In a circle of bloggers that I read, a lively discussion ensued over that one. Anyway, NewsScan asked if any of their readers maintained a blog. I responded with a simple "yes" and the link...

And that's why you're here!

And to those of you who are on my blogroll wondering about where these referers are coming from? That's it...

03/04/2003

I'm not dead yet...

Category IBM/Lotus
There's an article on cnet.com titled IBM Accelerates Lotus Consolidation that's an interesting read for Notes/Domino professionals. Ed, if there's any lingering doubts about the Websphere-Portal-Into-Lotus announcement being spun negatively, this article should be Exhibit A...

The tone of this article makes it sound like Lotus is dead and that Lotus was moved under the Portal umbrella (and not the other way around). And I think the terms that I found most objectionable in the article are "rewrite" and "rework". Using those words leaves the distinct impression that all work is stopped on the products being discussed, and that all new work is designed for the new platform only.

I'm torn here... I love Notes/Domino. It's where I earn my bucks. I'm also retooling for portal and Websphere technology, so I am moving in the same direction as IBM. Will Notes and Domino be around for awhile? Yes. Is IBM going to be placing a great deal of emphasis on using the portal as the platform for collaboration? Yes. Will your average Notes/Domino developer be able to make this leap? Maybe... If the RAD tool is what they are projecting, there will be an easy path for developers to use the new platform. Without it, the @Formula and LotusScripters are going to be in trouble. That's why I keep telling developers that learning Java is the first step that they NEED to take to stay relevant here...

I want Websphere Portal to succeed with or without Lotus underpinnings. Obviously, I hope the functionality of Lotus can be brought over as it will provide a rich experience for portal development. I also hope that I am able to succeed in this undertaking. I look at people I work with and wonder how I went from being the "kid" in the department to being the "elder statesman". Yes, I will keep reinventing myself to stay current... That's the fun and the curse of the profession we've chosen...

OK.... enough rambling...

03/03/2003

Random stuff...

Category Book Reviews
Ok... been dealing with some stress in my life, and when I get stressed I tend to start reading... a lot! I read 180 books last year... you do the stress level calculations!

Anyway, just finished a book called Jennifer Government by Max Barry. It's set in the near future where the world is run by large corporations, and a person's last name is the name of the corporation for whom they work. It's a humorous satire of capitalism, and it's well worth reading...

The March issue of e-Pro magazine came out today, and my web exclusive article is there. It's titled "Add a Mailing List Server to Your Domino Server" and the software associated with the article is there for the downloading.

And finally, I'd like to welcome the latest member of the Domino blogging community... Libby Ingrassia Schwarz is now blogging, and I look forward to reading her views on the industry...

03/02/2003

Reading recommendations...

Category Book Reviews
Finished the latest Tim Dorsey novel over the weekend... It's called The Stingray Shuffle, and like all the rest, it's very difficult to describe the plot. The characters are a riot, including an inept Russian drug cartel that keeps losing all their people...

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