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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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01/31/2008

Microsoft Dogged By Sharepoint Support Issues - Study

Category Microsoft

From ChannelWeb: Microsoft Dogged By Sharepoint Support Issues - Study

Office SharePoint Server 2007 is now a billion dollar business for Microsoft, but the product's runaway success is posing support problems for the software giant and its channel partners.

Office Sharepoint Server 2007 is a workflow and collaboration engine that integrates with the Office platform and features Web content management, enterprise content services, enterprise search, and business process and business intelligence tools. Increasingly, it's also being used as an application development platform.

This broad feature set has helped fuel Sharepoint's popularity, but according to a recent study by London, Ontario-based research firm Info-Tech, nearly a quarter of the 258 organizations surveyed were either 'dissatisfied' or 'very dissatisfied' with Microsoft's support for Sharepoint.

While Microsoft is pleased with the strong demand for SharePoint Server 2007, "the rapid adoption has caused some strain on our consulting and support services teams," a Microsoft spokesperson said via email.

I find it interesting that many of the points made in this article (like dearth of higher-level design training) could also be applied to Notes/Domino as a development platform.  It also should emphasize the point that the argument is really no longer "Notes vs. Exchange", but "Notes vs. SharePoint".

01/30/2008

Book Review - The Making of a Tropical Disease - A Short History of Malaria by Randall M. Packard

Category Book Review Randall M. Packard The Making of a Tropical Disease

Through the Amazon Vine review program, I received a copy of the book The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria by Randall M. Packard.  The book wasn't quite what I was expecting.  I imagined something along the lines of a historical narrative following people and events over a period of time.  Instead, it's more of a medical and social essay on the disease, conditions that led to its spread and migration, and efforts that have been taken (and often failed) to eradicate it.  But even though I came into the book with faulty expectations, Making still does a good job at what it sets out to accomplish.

Contents:
Mulanda; Constructing a Global Narrative; Beginnings; Malaria Moves North; A Southern Disease; Tropical Development and Malaria; The Making of a Vector-Borne Disease; Malaria Dreams; Malaria Realities; Rolling Back Malaria - The Future of a Tropical Disease?; Ecology and Policy; Acknowledgments; Notes; Index

I think the typical layman views malaria as a disease that primarily exists in the jungles of South America and the plains of Africa.  But in reality, malaria has over the years visited just about every part of the globe.  Packard goes back centuries to trace the disease and follow the migration paths that it has taken.  He goes into deep medical detail on how the virus infects humans, is spread to mosquitos, and then is transmitted back to humans by the mosquitos.  The critical factor is the breeding areas for the insects, which is normally stagnant pools of standing water.  If left to its own ways, nature would control the situation pretty well.  But "civilization" often comes in, creates artificial areas which collect water, and offer up a human population that has little resistance to malaria.  A prime example is the tens of thousands of deaths that occurred during the building of the Panama Canal, as all the construction changed the drainage patterns, leading to prime breeding grounds for insects.  Even during our own history in America, wide areas of the South were regularly endemic with malaria.  But through environmental control and management, many of the breeding areas for mosquitos have been treated to prevent outbreaks.  That doesn't mean the disease doesn't happen any more in America.  It just means it's much more rare.

The more devastating information is when the author looks at how malaria keeps entire countries in Africa mired in poverty.  The money available to fight the disease isn't nearly enough, and even concentrated programs to eliminate malaria don't have lasting effects.  Either the programs aren't maintained and the conditions return, or people don't change behaviors that cause the spread of the disease.  I think what struck me most is that nearly every attempt by man to "improve" something has unintended and unforeseen side effects that are often more costly than the initial benefit.  Even the simple act of people migrating to new areas can bring disease to areas not equipped to deal with it.  We're really not as smart as we think we are, nor have we learned much along the way.

While I wouldn't recommend this book to a casual reader, I would say that it's a good read for someone who has a medical background and is looking for a scholarly examination of how a particular condition can have wide-ranging ramifications on society both in the short and long term.

01/29/2008

Strange articles coming out of SearchDomino...

Category IBM/Lotus

It's been pointed out in various blog postings in the last few months that a primary sponsor of the SearchDomino newsletters and/or site are companies looking to migrate you *away* from Notes and Domino.  I stopped my subscriptions to their emails at that time, so the only time I visit the site is if a Google News Alert pings on something of interest.

In the article Developers mixed on direction of IBM Lotus R&D, the writer starts off with this as the opening...

Just five minutes on Lotus Notes Domino 8.5?

That was the reaction of one developer who sat through the opening session at Lotusphere held here recently. Among disclosures of a new mashup tool, a development partnership with SAP and a new series of midmarket servers, John Londano of URS Corp. in Tampa, Fla., called the scant amount of attention paid to Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5 a blip on IBM's radar.

"A lot of companies come to Lotusphere because they want to hear about what IBM is doing with Notes and Domino, and we got very little on [8.5] and a lot on products I don't care about," Londano said. "And what I did hear about Domino Designer … I don't agree with the direction of going with [the Eclipse] client. The C client is an easier development environment."

Um...  You're judging the entire flavor of Lotus R&D based on the opening session?  Did you have a scheduled flight back home on Monday at 2 pm???

If you weren't hearing about core Notes/Domino technology at Lotusphere, you must have been trying real hard to avoid any and all sessions.  The impression I got about both the Eclipse client and the entire Notes/Domino 8.5 direction was overwhelmingly positive, both from my own observations and others who have been doing this stuff even longer than I have.  

Granted, my opinion of the conference and the writer's opinion are equally as valid in terms of subjectivity.  But of all the negative leads you could possibly try, this one seems to be among the bigger stretches she could make...

01/28/2008

Nerd Sniping

Category Humor

Passed along to me by a coworker...  one of those "kids" who is half your age and has twice your talent...

A picture named M2

01/28/2008

Book Review - Next by Michael Crichton

Category Book Review Michael Crichton Next

On my cross-country flight back from Lotusphere, I made a stop at the Orlando airport to pick up some recreational reading material.  The book Next by Michael Crichton caught my eye, so I grabbed it and settled in for what I hoped would be an enjoyable read.  While not bad, the plot seemed to be somewhat patched together to support the author's views on genetic engineering more than anything else.

The main thrust of the storylines revolve around the practice of patenting genes, and how that is at odds with regular patent law.  How can you patent something that already exists in nature?  This practice leads to companies controlling entire lines of research as they will sue if anyone attempts to touch their genetic "property rights".  Among the plots you have a researcher who used his own genes to "father" a chimp/human hybrid, a family who is hunted down by a company who owns the cell line of the father (and lost them due to contamination), and a parrott who understands human conversation due to a genetic modification.  They all come together at the end, but again, it's not a natural conclusion.

Next isn't a horrible read, but it's a novel with an agenda.  Normally Crichton does a better job than this.  I've come to expect more from him...

01/26/2008

Book Review - Glamour Job by Doug Farrell

Category Book Review Doug Farrell Glamour Job

My wife kept looking at the cover of this book and asking me *what* was I reading...  :)  Glamour Job: A Fairy-Tale for Grown-ups by Doug Farrell is a quirky, off-beat story that quickly grabbed my attention and became an enjoyable way to unwind for three or four days.  I don't think I've read something quite like this before...

Laurie Morgan is a model in Chicago, and her life is at a bit of a standstill.  She's divorcing her husband and trying to find a more exciting life for herself.  Little does she know that "excitement" just found her.  She spots a person who looks amazingly like her, and finds that this stalker is only one of a number of "people" who seem to have more than a passing interest in her life.  As she pursues the leads to find out what's going on, she's dragged into a fantasy world of gnomes, goblins, and half-breed humans, all of whom view Laurie as the key to their future.  Mind you, many of those "futures" are conflicting, and Laurie has to figure out if she's willing to trust creatures she didn't even believe existed earlier in the week.  Her problems are magnified when she's actually turned into one of those not-so-appealing figures, and her timeframe to reverse the effects is pretty slim.  Oh, and there's also the problem with her new identity being tied to the investigation of a federal crime.  All in all, not exactly the best week of her life...

The novel is written from the first person (Laurie's) perspective as a journal of what's just happened.  She's sitting in a prison cell awaiting the outcome of the investigation.  Farrell uses a conversational tone in his writing, so you quickly get sucked into a close relationship with Laurie and what's going on with her.  He's also got an incredibly vivid imagination, and the variety of creatures that show up is impressive.  By the time you reach the end of the book, you've got an appreciation for what it would be like to be trapped in a body not your own, seeing things that are not visible to the "normal" world.  If you want to get into morals and lessons, you could find those too.  For me, I was just in it for the ride and entertainment, and it certainly fulfilled at that level.

01/26/2008

I'm sorta thinking more than a couple people woke up each morning at Lotusphere feeling like this...

Category Lotusphere2008

A picture named M2

01/26/2008

And don't tell me it's only men who don't notice the obvious...

Category Lotusphere2008

As part of my session "costume", I went from a full (though trimmed short) beard to a goatee.  Ian (my son) was wondering how my wife would react...

Got in around 8 pm last night, didn't say a word, and neither did she.  Ian pinged me online to ask about the reaction, and was surprised there hadn't been any yet...

This morning, as Sue and I were standing face-to-face, I said "you don't notice, do you?".  She hemmed and hawed, and then went into an explanation about something completely different.  I took her hands, put them on my jawline, and she *still* didn't get it!  I finally had to say "I SHAVED!".  Once she figured that out, she started determining if she liked it or not.  Her feeling was she liked them both...  she liked the grey in my beard, but thought the goatee made me look younger.

I'm still trying to figure out if her lack of attention is a good or bad thing...  :)

01/26/2008

Lotusphere Day 4 wrap-up - The end approaches...

Category Lotusphere2008

I always approach day 4 with a mix of dread and anticipation...  Anticipation that I'll soon be able to get back on a normal schedule, but dread in leaving all my friends and the atmosphere.  

Two major highlights today...  I got to sit on stage for Gurupalooza!  That's where all the speakers from the Best Practices track are on stage, and the crowd can ask any question they so desire.  In the past, my speaking sessions were always Jumpstart, not Best Practices.  I fully expected to just sit quietly and smile, as this year's session wasn't technical in the least.  But the topic of books and publishing came up, and you just *know* I had to chime in there...  :)

And closing session...  the guest speaker was Alton Brown from Food Network fame.  Now, I've always liked his personality in his shows anyway, but live on stage at Lotusphere he went up a couple notches from there.  The guy was funny, relevant to his audience, and was willing to take questions from the audience.  And then instead of being hustled off at the end of the hour, he hung around for pictures, autographs, and everything like that.

Finish all that off with the now-traditional group photo:

A picture named M2

And as always, it was a wonderful event.  I'll have more to say later as reflection starts to kick in, but right now I'm still trying to figure out what time zone I'm in.  :)

01/26/2008

*Finally* got the press page updated through Saturday morning...

Category Lotusphere2008

With travel and everything yesterday, I didn't get the late Thursday/Friday material posted until this morning...

I'm sure there'll be some straggler material come in over the next week or so, and those will be posted under the last "After Thursday" entry...

Have fun!

01/24/2008

The Press Page is now updated through 6 pm on Thursday..

Category Lotusphere2008

Here you go...

01/23/2008

Lotusphere Day 3 wrap-up - hitting the wall...

Category Lotusphere2008

The culmination of the last three to four months of work, worry, and stress came to an end today.  One session and two "guest" appearances at Worst Practices kept me busy.  Add in that it's been over 1.5 weeks since I've seen home, sleep's been erratic (so what's new?), blah, blah, blah...  What it all amounts to is that I've hit the Lotusphere wall, and I'm ready to collapse with the annual post-Lotusphere crud that's part and parcel of the visit to Florida...  It just came early this year as I got down here a week before the event.

The day started out at 4 am, when I woke up after far too few hours of sleep.  In theory, I had two more hours of sleep available to me.  In reality, the impending arrival of the 8:30 Admins Are From Mars, Developers Are From Venus session took front and center stage in my mind.  I finally gave up the battle, got up, and started working myself into the "urban grunge" mindset of my developer "costume".  As I looked rather "unusual", I didn't go to the dining hall for breakfast nor did I eat much in the room.  Meds to fight the growing sore throat, caffeine to amp up the energy level, and a last run-through of the material.  I couldn't take it any more at about 7:45, so I went to the room to get set up.  

Funny how no one in the elevator wants to make eye contact with you when you look like you just stepped off your skateboard...

Overall, I thought the session went well.  Definitely not your typical "technical" session.  But people seemed to have fun, the interplay between Warren and I appeared to go over well, and we were able to give advice and application rather than just harass each other the entire time.  I haven't seen the evals, so I don't know the true results of how it all went over.  I figure half will think it was a great time, and half will wonder why they wasted an hour when they could have been in a "real" session...  :)

From there, it was off (still in costume) to Bill and Paul's Worst Practices session.  As always, one of the conference highlights.  But this year, there was a twist...  I got to get up on stage to talk about how *not* to plan a conference (ILUG 2007).  Basically, I was able to show how Bill and Paul did just about everything they tell you *not* to do in Worst Practices.  I do believe they were truly horrified and embarrassed over the roasting they got, and the crowd ate it up.  More fun than I've ever had on stage, and I appreciate them letting me be part of it.  Not that they'll ever agree to it again, however...  :)

Next, time to crash a bit...  Grabbed my first real food of the day, chatted with some old and new friends, cleaned up in my room to look "normal" again, and then off to the Swan to...  do the Bill and Paul roast at the Worst Practices repeat.  Even though they knew what was coming this time, it was still a whole lot of fun to watch them cringe in front of a live camera (and enthusiastic crowd) as I had them admit to some of their own "worst practices".  Again, quite the experience...

Finally, there was the Charts, Reports, and Graphs session by Rob and Julian.  After seeing that, there is *no* way you can say "Notes doesn't do reporting".  This was a five-star session that shouldn't have been missed by developers.  If you did miss it, buy the DVD and download the sample database on their web sites later this week.  It'll rock your world.

Now, there was one more session time slot after that, but I'm toast.  I'll catch the repeat of the Great Code Giveaway by Rob Novak tomorrow morning, when I'm able to concentrate and absorb more information.  Tonight's party is at Universal's Islands of Adventure (which I love), but I'm still not sure if I'll make it.  I can feel the throat tightening up again, and I'm feeling like someone just flat out pulled the plug on my energy levels.  A wise person would load up on Nyquil and try for an overdose of sleep.  I'm torn between "I need sleep" and "tomorrow's the last day"...  We'll see who wins in about an hour...

01/22/2008

Lotusphere Day 2 Wrapup

Category Lotusphere2008

Tuesday is that day when I start to fade and I'm trying desperately to catch a second wind.  

First session was BP307From IBM Lotus CodeClient application to Ajax-Powered Rich Internet Applications in less than 10 lines of code by Rich Waters and Jack Ratcliff.  The focus on this session was on the the use of the EXT.nd framework and how easy it it get Web 2.0 applications with very little work   This is an area I need to dig into to.

Next...

AD102 - Expand and Extend your Investments with IBM Social Software and Web 2.0 by Ted Stanton and Joe Russo.  They talked abut the components that make up connections, as well as those features can be extended to build on the work of others.  

Next...  

I had to reherse with Warren a bit for tomorrow's session.  Seems to be shaping up quite well.  

Next...

AD303 - Transforming IBM Lotus Domino web Apps with IBM Lotus Domino Designer with Rocky Oliver and Martin Donnelly,  We got updates on xpages and the use of DoJo as a javascript framworks.  Either way, there's some exciting stuff to be thinging about in those areas,  

Next...

I had to step away from the 3 to 4 session as I was getting pretty fried.  But after a short nap and some caffiene, things seemed to pick back up a bit.  

Next...

AD304 - Formula follies and LotusScript Lunacy - As always, Rocky pushed me in techniques and styles like no one else can.  Very good stuff.

After that, it was short teck check to get ready for tomorrow morning's session, hit the Teamstudio and LotusUserGroup.org parties, then only to get back by around 7:30 so I could get in costume for the filming for tomorrow's 8:30 session.  We got the films taken care of, and I think they came out pretty good.  Guess we'll know that in about 12 hours.

And with that, i'm off to bed.  My Ambien is kicking in, and I don't want to be reposible for what may inadvertantly end up on the screen.

01/21/2008

And if you don't think PlanetLotus.org is making a difference...

Category Lotusphere2008

Think again...

A picture named M2

01/21/2008

And the Press Coverage page is now updated with everything I've encountered through about 10 pm on Monday

Category Lotusphere2008

You can find the updated content on my Lotusphere 2008 Press Coverage page...

01/21/2008

Lotusphere Day 1 wrapup

Category Lotusphere2008

Busy, busy day...  as most of them tend to be during the conference.  :)

First up was the Opening General Session.  I liveblogged it, so you can check out my comments there.

After a quick lunch, a very fast run through the product showcase, and an impromptu meeting with a colleague, it was off to the first breakout session for the day...

AD301 - IBM Lotus Domino Designer with Marueen Leland and Mark Jourdain - Once we got the "here's why Domino Designer is so valuable" stuff out of the way, the session was great.  I guess there are some people there who haven't gotten completely involved in application development, but to most of us, Domino Designer use isn't even a question.  The big news was that Domino Designer 8.5 will be based on the Eclipse model.  This means that all the power and capabilities of the Eclipse IDE becomes available to us, like debugging, code editors, code completion, etc.  Can't wait to get my hands on that.  Now is a very good time to download the basic Eclipse IDE and start getting familiar with the layout.  I think the transition will be pretty easy, but starting now would be advantageous.

Next...

BP206 - Features Every IBM Lotus Notes Application Should Have by Andre Guirard and Julian Robichaux - Could quite possibly be the most useful session I'll see this week.  Plenty of advice and tips from no-brainers like using the field help, up through full-featured help databases to let the user have full control over the documentation.  I was ashamed to admit how much I still have to learn (and change), but downloading their session and database will help me incorporate many of those best practices.  I may even get the chance to help out on the tool that Andre is working on getting into OpenNTF to check design elements for consistency.  That's something I've wanted myself for a long time, and that could be worth the cost of admission alone.

Next...

BP304 - Templates, Templates Everywhere - If You Know Where To Look with Kevin Pettitt and Bruce Elgort - This is another one of those sessions that you might be tempted to blow off with a "yeah, I know about OpenNTF".  But Kevin and Bruce quickly covered a wide range of open source templates to do all sorts of things, and unless you live on OpenNTF, you probably missed a few of these on your own.  I came away with about 10 "check this template out" items that I need to download when I get home, and a couple of them will address items I've had posted on sticky notes for the last month or so.  Again, a very practical session with an immediate payback.

Finally...

BOF201 - Adding “Lotus Evangelist” To Your Job Title (Without Updating Your Business Card) with Gregg Eldred and yours truly...  We had about 15 or so people there, which wasn't bad considering we were up against the Product Showcase Reception with free beer and food.  But there was a lively discussion, and the feedback we got was that the session was very helpful.  I was happy with the way it went, and I'll be less "risk-adverse" to doing BoF's in the future.

Since I missed the end of the showcase, I stopped by the Picabo cafeteria to get a burger to go to take back to my room and relax.  Those plans were somewhat altered when I ran into Susan Bulloch and Wes Morgan having a pizza down there.  What was a "sit for a couple minutes until your food comes" turned into about 30 minutes of side-splitting laughter.  Wes is an incredible storyteller, and you can only imagine the stories he can tell about being a 6'5" American in Korea (without knowing the language).  I had tears flowing a couple of times, we were laughing so hard.  It was a great way to end my day.  Thanks, Susan and Wes...

So now, it's time to think about bed.  I'm getting a scratchy throat, which isn't good since I still have to make it through Wednesday with my session and a couple of appearances at another one.  Of course, having a deep cigarette voice (without the cigarettes) might just make the whole "developer" costume complete.  :)

01/21/2008

Would you buy a user interface from this man?

Category Lotusphere2008

A picture named M2

You'd be a fool not to!

01/21/2008

For those wondering about next year's conference dates, just look on the back page of your conference guide...

Category Lotusphere2008

A picture named M2

January 18 - 22, 2009, same place, same channel.

01/21/2008

And this Google ad is contextual how???

Category Humor

A picture named M2

Since the image is cut off before you see the right hand ads, I'll point them out here...

A picture named M3

01/20/2008

Liveblogging the Opening General Session

Category Lotusphere2008

This'll be a bit of an experiment for me, as I've always decided before just to let things wash over me and type later.  But let's see if the old dog can learn new tricks here...

Good seating...  Far left section on the end, about five rows back with a number of friends.  Getting the seating settled for OGS always is my biggest stress.  Glad that's over.  Good live band to keep us entertained from 7:30 on.

The theme this year is "Emergence"...  agenda is:
  • Emergence Symphony
 Live orchestra to accompany the big screen film...  Impressive.  I missed the name, but the group is teaming up with the live band, and sounds very "Trans-Siberian Orchestra".  What a start!
  • Welcome
Mike Rhodin starts things off...  "began the day with a little Symphony".  Looking for emerging patterns, instead of being locked into the details...  Identifying the "bigger picture".  Shipped entire roadmap announced at Lotusphere 2007 by mid-year, with 9% revenue growth.  
  • Guest Speaker
Bob Costas...  I recorded that one...  posting soon.
  • Keynote
CEOs are focused on collaboration...  Started with documents, second generation was people-centric.  Today's generation is community-centric collaboration.  The "Facebook" crowd.  Mike contrasted his way of settling issues with his daughter's way...  face-to-face vs. virtual community.  If we don't provide those types of tools to the generation, they'll turn to consumer products that might not be secure.  

Cost optimization is squeezed hard.  Can't increase profits by doing the same old thing over and over.  Collaboration is the key to breaking out and growing revenue.  Unlock the knowledge of the workers.  Knowledge management tools didn't work the way people worked.  Social software shows how software conforms to people, not the other way around.  Organic communities form around ideas and interests.  Focusing on search is driving by the rear-view mirror, as it's just more data without context.  Search gives you what you ask for, discovery gives you what you needed.

The old model was sequential.  Today is multi-task oriented.  Context is all important, as that's the only way that natural interaction will occur.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Blackberry/RIM and IBM will be entering into a number of agreements to support each other.  No details given at this point in the talk...  Later?

Command and control systems won't continue to work.  Collaboration and access is what and where things are going.  Need to move beyond proprietary technology and adapt open technologies to improve profit and flexibility.

CTO of SAP came on stage to talk about the 80% overlap between SAP companies and Lotus companies.  ANNOUNCEMENT:  "Atlantic" - joint software product between SAP and Lotus, gives SAP Business Suite users access to SAP via Notes.  A lot of features "out of the box".  A whole laundry list of features and functions were given.  I'm sure more will be discussed in later sessions and press coverage.  Demo of the software was given.  This could be a bit thing for SAP users, and will make Lotus an attractive offering to those shops.
  • IBM Lotus Notes and Domino
Alistair Remmie...  Jeff Eisen, Russ Holden...  both made cases for which group is moving faster.  :)  Adding Ubuntu Linux after 8.0.1.  Mac client beta 8.5 also available now.  30% bandwidth reduction, 35% mail file storage production.  DWA optimized for low bandwidth, 45% faster now.  Coming up in the client...  demo of latest Notes client ...  Quickr integration in the Notes client.  Dual calendar scheduling for both personal and service oriented Sametime usage.  Widget pallette for the Notes client, can select/create them from Google Gadget and other sources.  Very nice!  

Brief break...  lost this locally.  :)  Lots of talk about DWA in the reduced mode.  Showing video of how it'll work on iPhone.  Looking forward to that.  The "Live Text" feature that connects to widgets and stuff is also good.

Domino 8.5 - better ID management.  Can be stored in a central location.   Unified directory.  New mail store for attachments, can reduce storage by 35%.  Clients for Spam/virus security.  

Domino Designer 8.5 will offer Web 2.0 design offerings, reskinning apps, etc.  Maureen is demo'ing...  Ajax built in, using Domino Designer.  Uses "XPages".  Very Eclipse-type design of Designer.  Ajax features can be controls and just dropped in.  Can apply new style sheets just by menu selection.  Freaking cool!  Looks like Eclipse because...  It IS based on Eclipse.  Whoo-hoo!  Class browser for LotusScript and improved JS editing.  The client is extensible, too.  This is just about everything we've wished for!
  • IBM Lotus Symphony
Kevin Cavaugh...  400000 downloads.  Continued improvement in betas.  February 2008 - improvements in programmability.  Symphony apps will also be able to run in Notes.  This could be interesting.  Symphony.lotus.com are upcoming road shows.  Lotus is really positioning this as an Office-killer and a platform to build on.
  • IBM Lotus Sametime and UC2
Bruce Morse..  10 year anniversary of Sametime.  100 million Sametime customers.  1/3 are converts from "other vendors".  Example of Celina Insurance Group using ST to get better agent communication and loyalty.  Carestream Health uses ST in Radiology for ad-hoc communication for better diagnosis.  Communication to referring physician (chat, voip, image sharing) makes a huge difference.  Demo of ST Advanced and ST Unified Messaging.  I'll let those who focus in this area expound more here.  Even for someone like me who isn't on top of the latest and greatest was impressed, however.  ST tie-in to Unified Messaging is sweet.
  • IBM WebSphere Portal
Larry Bowden...  Just a side note from me.  It wasn't too long ago when this would have been the lead-off topic.  I appreciate seeing Notes/Domino's importance being recognized.  Announcements and examples of how Portal is present in many large organizations, as well as some additional focus on industry-specific accelerators and plug-ins.  Delivering Portal 6.1 in second half of this year, and over half of the customers are already there.  

<down to 17% power...  :(  >
  • Web 2.0 Goes to Work
Jeff Schick...  This encompassed Quickr and Connections.  Quickr 8.1 shipping in March.  Integration to FileNet P8 and IBM CMS, and other plug-ins are coming.  Good demo of what's coming out in 8.1 as well as future items.  I need to get Quickr pushed at work....  :)  

Lotus Connections - next release will span "from mobile to global".  Embedding language translation and many non-Arabic character sets and languages.  Linkages to many different other social networking sites.  Version 2.0 will have "attention management" to focus on what's critical to you.  Atlas allows visual networking connections so that you can see relationships.  Connections will allow replication, and will be viewable via any mobile devices.  Demo of this one too.

NEW TOOL!  Lotus Mashups!  This can be a major advantage.  A lightweight mashup creator for multiple platforms, all open.  I'll want to dig into this one too!

Just before I turned off...  BIG ANNOUNCEMENT...  Expanding SMB focus for those with little to no expertise.  Lotus Foundations....  software servers shipping later this year.  Collaboration with Notes/Domino/Symphony/etc.  Nice...  Brings in "Express Advantage" features.  The Nitix technology plays in here.  Foundation server in a manilla envelope (ala Steve Jobs).  This could make a huge difference.  Bluehouse - software as a service offering for companies of less than 500 employees.  No "advertising" model here!  I'll be interested to see the technical architecture behind this.  Starts managed beta today.

  • Coda


My own coda (since I'm at 10% power)...  From a developer perspective, the Designer Client upgrade is really nice.  Mashups?  Hot!  I'm also impressed that they are taking steps to turn Symphony into a full development platform.  I'm sure I'll have other insights and observations.  But I better save and close this before my battery completely dies.

01/20/2008

And riffing a bit on Ed's observation about prior year Microsoft announcements...

Category Lotusphere2008

From last year...  :)  

Microsoft's annual jab at Lotus
Microsoft, taking its annual dig at rival IBM Lotus, announced a set of free tools it plans to ship in February to help customers migrate from Notes Domino.

Microsoft Re-Ups On Domino Migration Tools
Aims to ease transfer of Domino apps, data to Windows SharePoint Services, Exchange Server
By Barbara Darrow, CMP Channel
12:01 AM EST Mon. Jan. 22, 2007
Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) launched its habitual pre-emptive strike at Lotusphere Sunday with updated tools to ease migration from Domino/Notes to Exchange Server/SharePoint.

01/20/2008

All is right with the world... Microsoft's press machine has finally kicked into gear.

Category Lotusphere2008

As you can see over in my Press Coverage page, Microsoft has finally started to fire up their "look at us" machine to try and divert attention away from IBM/Lotus during Lotusphere.  Numbers of "undergoing conversion" customers and seats ("completed conversion" numbers?  Nothing to see here...  move along...), Gartner and Radicati quotes on market share, etc.

It's nice to finally have them come out from under their rock so we can see them.  :)

01/20/2008

Lotusphere Day 0 - So where was Duffbert?

Category Lotusphere2008

Yesterday was the typical Sunday Jumpstart Juggle...  Which ones to see, which ones do you *want* to see, which ones do you *need* to go to...  Invariably something ends up getting missed.  Too much good stuff.

Started out the day at the IBM Lotus Quickr jumpstart by John Schumacher.  A very good overview of how everything fits together and where the product is going.  "Play with Quickr at home" was the start of what promises to be a VERY long "to do" list for when I get back...

From there, I settled in to the AJAX and JSON session with Scott Good.  I was more interested in the JSON piece as I've done a little with AJAX.  Scott didn't disappoint, and I think I now have enough information in a Domino-specific context to start playing around a bit more.  Side note...  Scott is an incredible speaker.  Yes, he's done this countless times, but I marvel at his ability to talk *with* the audience, distill down ideas to their core essentials, and even recover from a full-on laptop crash without getting flustered.  Nice job, Scott...

Between that and the next session, I made my way over to an empty room where I helped film a developer/admin spot for Bill Buchan and Paul Mooney.  With our surrounding audience, that soon turned into an Ed Brill skit, as well as a short clip involving Bill, Paul, and gaffer's tape.  Don't ask...  I watched Warren Elsmore work magic on his Mac with the first spot, and then decided I needed to head over to...

Bill Buchan's Web Services Bootcamp.  Not often do you get manic entertainment and solid technical content all in a single package.  :)  More "to do" stuff there, too...

Finally, a break in the day!  I met my co-speaker, Gregg Eldred, for the first time as we planned a bit more for our BoF session Monday night on Lotus Evangelism.  It was great to finally meet Gregg in person, and I'm looking forward to the session.  I wandered back to my room to watch a bit more of the NFL playoffs, and then went out to freeze my @$$ off at the Welcome party outside.  Temps in the 40's, wind chill lower than that.  Not quite as bad as the (literally) freezing party a few years back, but close.  Fortunately, I had an invite to a dinner over at BlueZoo at 7:30, so I was able to defrost amongst friends.  It was stated early on that everything that happened in the dining room...  stayed there.  So in order to make sure I don't end up on the wrong side of the "dinner police", that's all I'll say about the festivities.  :)  Suffice it to say the food was good, the company was great, and fun was had by all.

As I write this at way-too-early Monday morning, my wife has just left for the airport to go home after our vacation leading up to Lotusphere.  So now I'll have *no* excuse for not keeping up on the blogging and such.

Doesn't mean I'll succeed...  just that I'll have no excuses for not doing so.  :)

01/19/2008

Doesn't matter how many times you do this... First day of Lotusphere never gets old!

Category Lotusphere2008

So I've been here since last Saturday, visiting parks, switching hotels, and all that good stuff.  But today we transferred over to the Dolphin, and for me that marks the start of Lotusphere.

Walking through the lobby, running into names and faces you see once a year but work with all year long.  Meeting old friends like Kitty, Warren, Matt, Julian W., and countless others...  Learning what Francie looks (and sounds) like in person.  Remembering to introduce Mrs. Duffbert to all my wierd and wonderful colleagues.  Finding out that my Lotusphere name tag is once again just as I like it...  "Duffbert".  Going to the Red River Brewery for BALD.  Heading over to Epcot for a final dinner with my wife before I become a slave to the conference.  Getting caught in an incredible thunder and lightning storm for 30 minutes before the boats would start running again.  Watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from our 8th floor window of the Dolphin.

Sigh...  feels like I'm home.  :)

01/19/2008

Will Microsoft ever learn that these tactics are what got them into trouble in the first place?

Category Microsoft

From Fortune: The Hard Side Of Mister Softie

Ah, Microsoft. Nothing gets the knickers of Silicon Valley startup guys more twisted than signs that the world’s largest software company is over-reaching again. The latest outrage? Some of my friends at the Valley’s best-known social networks and Web 2.0 companies are privately grousing that emissaries from Redmond are trying to “strong-arm” (their term) startups into giving special treatment to Messenger, Microsoft’s (MSFT) answer to AIM and other instant messaging programs.

The problem typically arises when a social network, say, offers its users the ability to import the list of contacts they’ve accumulated on Microsoft Hotmail.

Since the summer, my friends tell me, Mister Softie has been sending cease-and-desist letters to startups that try to do this. These nastygrams are typically followed up by a meeting with Microsoft reps, who then try a couple different approaches to get the startup to integrate Messenger into their service.

If the company wants to offer other IM services (from Yahoo, Google or AOL, say), Messenger must get top billing. And if the startup wants to offer any other IM service, it must pay Microsoft 25 cents a user per year for a site license.

If, however, the startup decides to use Messenger exclusively, the licensing “fee will be discounted 100 percent.”

Such a deal!

Or not. The standard Microsoft term sheet being shown around the Valley also instructs  startups that if they want to offer search at any point in the future, they must agree “to negotiate in good faith for a period of sixty days exclusively with Microsoft on the terms under which Microsoft may provide such search service functionality…”

01/18/2008

Adventures in Migrating Content from Lotus Notes and SharePoint Backwards Compatible Document Libraries to WSSv3

Category IBM/Lotus Microsoft

From Robert Bogue's blog: Adventures in Migrating Content from Lotus Notes and SharePoint Backwards Compatible Document Libraries to WSSv3

I can see why they did the SharePoint migration to get things up-to-date.  But both the Notes and the SharePoint conversions sounded painful...

01/18/2008

Jonathan Coulton covers "Baby Got Back"

Category Humor

OK...  this has *nothing* to do with Lotusphere or technology or my vacation at Disney, but it's just too funny...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gW6yQZyx5w

01/18/2008

It may well be that Microsoft will time some "blockbuster" announcement on Monday to compete with Lotusphere 2008...

Category IBM/Lotus Microsoft

Like perhaps an 80 GB Zune in Lotus yellow...  :)

But seriously, I'm really surprised there's been little hinted at or announced to date.  Are they that scattered and fragmented that Lotus is no longer the "enemy du jour"?  Is the Xbox, Zune, <insert consumer device here> the main focus now?  Are they so excited about delivering ads to grocery shopping carts that email and collaboration don't matter?

Cool!  :)

01/18/2008

IBM Translates Lotus Symphony for a Globally Integrated World

Category IBM/Lotus

From Money.CNN.com: IBM Translates Lotus Symphony for a Globally Integrated World

Nice writeup about the global nature of Lotus Symphony...

 Downloaded for use in English by more than 400,000 individuals at work and at home, IBM's (NYSE: IBM) Lotus Symphony suite (www.ibm.com/software/lotus/symphony) of desktop office software is now available in 24 languages serving major markets worldwide.

Since its release in September 2007, the English version of Lotus Symphony software has received worldwide interest. The top markets for Symphony adoption that now have local language support include: Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Indonesia, Poland, China, the Russian Federation, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Korea, Denmark and Taiwan. The leading market for Symphony to date is the United States, with about 25 percent of downloads.

IBM has employed innovative development techniques in the development and translation of Lotus Symphony. Lotus Symphony was developed by a global network of IBM laboratories led by a core team in Beijing, China using agile development techniques that allow work to continue seamlessly and in parallel on components of the product at all times.

The newest version of Symphony benefits from another technique to provide users with numerous language options -- users can now download a base package and select additional language packs, which IBM has never before provided for a product in Beta form until Symphony Beta 3.

Since Symphony is developed using the Eclipse-based Lotus Expeditor open framework, IBM has the flexibility to install additional language packs that include spell check dictionaries. Users can install any number of these additional language packs. In the globally integrated business world, this allows users to interact with Symphony in their native languages but also create content in a different language with the confidence of language specific spell check support.

01/18/2008

BleedYellow.com is now out there...

Category Lotusphere2008 IBM/Lotus

Nathan pinged me about it at the same time I hit enter on the final registration screen...

BleedYellow.com

Not only can/will it be a useful example of Lotus Connections for our community, but it's a great way to demo Connections to your organization without going through the hassle of setting up your own test instance of it.  You'll see how it looks, works, and most importantly, how a community using Connections interacts.

Nice job!

01/17/2008

Another nice quarter for the Lotus team in terms of growth...

Category IBM/Lotus

From InfoWorld: IBM reports strong software, services results for Q4

IBM provided more details of its robust fourth-quarter and 2007 financial performance on Thursday following an early preview of the figures on Monday.

IBM expects its overall growth to continue significantly in 2008 with earnings per share rising to between $8.20 and $8.30 this year, and between $10 and $11 by 2010. That would compare to $7.18 per share reported for 2007.

As reported on Monday, IBM's fourth-quarter revenue, aided by exchange rates and sales outside the U.S., stood at $28.9 billion, an increase of 10 percent over the same period in 2006. The figure beat the forecast of $27.82 billion from analysts polled by Thomson First Call, and was aided by the ongoing weakness in the dollar.

Earnings per share for the quarter was $2.80, topping the analysts' forecast of $2.60 per share. The results represent a 24 percent increase over the same period in 2006, when IBM earned $2.26 per share.

IBM's services and software divisions showed particular strength in the quarter. Revenue from Global Technology Services grew 16 percent to $10 billion, reflecting strength around the globe and in various industries, IBM said. Global Business Services rose 17 percent to $4.9 billion, the company said.

IBM's Software Group had fourth-quarter revenue of $6.3 billion, an increase of 12 percent compared to 2006. WebSphere revenue climbed by 23 percent; Information Management sales, 11 percent; Tivoli software, 19 percent; Lotus, 7 percent; and Rational, 22 percent, compared with the same quarter in 2006.

01/17/2008

All in all, a very nice day at DisneyWorld

Category Everything Else

The day started off early with our Segway tour at 7:45 am.  I thought it was Friday, but that's why I'm not the planner of these things.  Bottom line...  Segways are cool!

A picture named M2

The rain held off long enough for us to be able to do the full tour.  Then as we were exiting World Showcase, we stumbled upon the Dream Team, the group of Disney employees that hand out the gifts as part of Disney's Year of a Million Dreams.  We ended up with a FastPass card for six Epcot rides.  It's not a night in the Castle, but it still works...  I also got a great video of the Jamitors doing their Epcot gig as well as the Beauty and the Beast preshow put on by Four for a Dollar.  If I can figure out how to scale them down far enough, I'll post to YouTube.

Nice dinner at Coral Reef...  A couple of issues handled with Disney Magic flair...

This is why I have so much fun here...

01/15/2008

The Mac-boys are closing in around me...

Category Everything Else

Most of my close colleagues are using Macs.  I've been the PC holdout.  Hate Vista, XP works, etc., etc...

But now, Ian (my son) purchased a laptop for college work, and he opted for a Macbook.  It arrived yesterday, and he's loving it.  I have this sneaking suspicion that I'm going to have to consider that option seriously the next time I upgrade laptops.

Meanwhile, I'll just have to be happy with the fact that I beat Ian to the iPhone 1.1.3 upgrade.  :)  He's not taking that one well...

01/15/2008

And on the flip side of the news, here's what I show for Microsoft...

Category Microsoft

Microsoft Once Again In EU Legal Crosshairs
CRN - Manhasset,NY,USA

This just in from the "Uh-oh, Here We Go Again" Department: The European Commission has launched a pair of formal investigations of Microsoft pertaining to ...

See all stories on this topic

Microsoft cancels conference for mobile and embedded developers
Computerworld - Framingham,MA,USA

January 15, 2008 (Computerworld) -- Microsoft Corp. has canceled its annual conference for developers of mobile and embedded devices and applications, ...

See all stories on this topic

Microsoft Launches Web Site For Mac Office 2008 Users
InformationWeek - Manhasset,NY,USA

By Paul McDougall Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a redesigned version of its Mactopia Web site for users of its new Macintosh-compatible software. ...

See all stories on this topic

Microsoft Unveils Red, 80-Gbyte Zune For Valentine's Day
InformationWeek - Manhasset,NY,USA

Wi-Fi capabilities and a bright, 3.2-inch screen mean the device can do more than play silly love songs, Microsoft says. By Paul McDougall Microsoft fired ...

See all stories on this topic

That's gotta suck...  Major EU lawsuits, cancelling conferences for developers, and the best you can do to counter MacWorld is announce a new Mac Office 2008 site and a red Zune...

Methinks someone has lost focus and edge.

01/15/2008

Well... I leave for dinner and come back to find my iPhone is now a Notes mail client!

Category Lotusphere2008

From Associated Press: IBM To Add Software For Apple Devices

E-mail software from IBM Corp. will be available on Apple Inc. iPhones and iPod Touch devices under a new partnership that brings together two big rivals of Microsoft Corp.

IBM plans a formal announcement of the Lotus Notes e-mail package for Apple's portable devices at its Lotusphere conference in Orlando, Fla., next week. The software, which requires use of IBM's Domino e-mail server program, will be free for users who already have a Lotus Web-access license and start at $39 per year for new users.

IBM also plans to release Lotus Notes and the free Lotus Symphony "productivity" package — which includes documents, spreadsheets and other Microsoft Office-like software — for Apple's Macintosh computers.

With these moves, IBM is trying to find more avenues for its software and take advantage of Apple's natural affinity for Microsoft alternatives.

And...

Now, Apple hardware has become a broader platform with the popularity of the iPhone and Web-enabled iPod Touch devices. However, Apple has delayed fully opening the devices to third-party applications; a "software developers' kit" to enable that isn't due until next month. Apple and IBM have been working together on their own.

Before I left for dinner at the Polynesian, my Google alerts were cleared out for Lotusphere news hits.  I come back to find this one, and to find that Ed has already blogged it.  This one definitely made it into my list of Lotusphere Press Coverage that I'm keeping up on my blog this year...  :)

This announcement, if pulled off, could signal a major shift for the way I separate work and personal email.  Since I use Yahoo and Gmail for my personal communications, I basically don't handle any work email outside of the times I'm actually working on stuff for my employer.  But since I have an iPhone, I could see myself going down the route of having access to both work and personal email with me 24/7.  It'll also mean that I'll pay more attention to developments in the mobile world, as I basically ignore Blackberry stuff as it doesn't affect my world.

Some cool stuff coming out, and it's not even Wednesday of the week before Lotusphere yet!

01/15/2008

IBM Climbs Most in 5 Years as Profit Beats Estimates

Category IBM/Lotus

From Bloomberg: IBM Climbs Most in 5 Years as Profit Beats Estimates

 Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp., the world's biggest computer-services company, rose the most in more than five years in New York trading after earnings and sales topped analysts' projections.

IBM climbed 5.4 percent after saying business in Asia, Europe and developing countries helped bolster results through the weaker U.S. dollar. Fourth-quarter profit climbed to $2.80 a share and sales rose to $28.9 billion, exceeding predictions by more than $1 billion.

Could bode well for announcement and general mood next week...  as if we needed any more reasons.  :)

01/14/2008

Just another day in Disney paradise... :)

Category Lotusphere2008

Yesterday (Monday), we wandered around Epcot, transferred over from Old Key West to the Boardwalk, and basically just had a grand old time.  I got to see the refurbished version of Spaceship Earth (I love the personalized Future World piece at the end), rode Soarin' a couple of times, blah, blah, blah...  Probably the highlight of the day was eating at Rose and Crown.  We had 7:30 reservations so we could hang around to see Reflections from there.  Our waitress Laurie (from Belfast) was really great, and ten minutes before the show she moved us to an open table on the lower level outside.  It's by far the best viewing we've ever had of the show...

Today, it's off to the Magic Kingdom.  Dressing a bit more warmly today, as it's only 44 degrees outside right now, and will only be in the sixtes.  Far better than home, but still a bit nippy if you're out all day.

01/13/2008

Lotusphere Yellow...

Category Lotusphere2008

As experienced by Kitty and Warren...  :)

A picture named M2

01/12/2008

Welcome home... to WDW and Lotusphere!

Category Lotusphere2008

Other than an hour delay getting out of Dallas-Ft. Worth, we made it down here to DisneyWorld with little trouble.  We'll be at the Old Key West resort for a couple of days, which is our home Disney Vacation Club resort.  We'll transfer over to Boardwalk on Monday, and then head over to Dolphin on Saturday.  I thought we were at Boardwalk for the entire vacation portion of our trip, but I guess we couldn't get availability for the entire stretch.

The catch slogan for DVC members is "Welcome Home".  When I show up here in January, regardless of whether it's vacation or Lotusphere, I think that applies...

Welcome home...

01/10/2008

Request for a location for this "viral video" session at Lotusphere...

Category Lotusphere2008

OK, so this "viral video" thing might have some legs on it.  Based on responses and a few side chats, there's a few people who would like to see if we can pull this off.  I'll have the camera and scripts, I'm sure we'll have people with laptops and video editing software to take the footage and package it, and someone else has the distribution channels covered.  :)  Given a few actor/actresses, we might have something here!

What we're missing is a location to do the filming...

The plan right now is to do the filming party *somewhere* at 8:30 pm on Tuesday.  Warren and I have to film a couple things for our Wednesday morning session, so we'd do the other videos at the same time.  I'd like to let people know via this blog that they can show up at "location x" at that time if they want to watch, participate, harass, or help out in some way.  This could mean we end up with 5 people or 25 people (who knows?)

Ideally, the room would have enough space for us to set up the camera and film against a plain backdrop or wall of some sort.  We're not talking some elaborate background.  Of the scripts we have to date, most of them would involve just two people.  The multi-platform party script would have a few extras behind the Notes person just milling around, drinking, enjoying themselves, etc.  Then if we had a bit of space for a couple of laptops for editors, we could offload the material from the camera, set them to work on editing, keep filming others if we need to, and then push them out to infinity...  and beyond!

A hospitality suite that a vendor would use might work well.  Trying to get one of the small meeting rooms used during the Lotusphere conference would be ideal, but they're likely all booked for other *real* uses this late in the game (I did make an informal query).  

Keep in mind this is not an officiall7 sanctioned Lotusphere event that has gone through an intense planning and logical discussion.  Think of it on par with the Swan Boat Races of last year...  a fun concept, the idea of attendees, plenty of participation, and a lot of fun...

Any vendors, attendees with large rooms, or <fill in the blank> want to come to the rescue here?

Either respond to this post or send me an email at duffbert AT gmail.com.

01/06/2008

You gotta wonder why this would be coming to Lotusphere with me...

Category Lotusphere2008

A picture named M2

01/06/2008

Book Review - Good Man Hunting by Lisa Landolt

Category Book Review Lisa Landolt Good Man Hunting

As things are getting a little stressful as I count down to Lotusphere, I decided to pick up one of my advance reader copy books for some light entertainment.  The choice was Good Man Hunting by Lisa Landolt.  It's probably more of a "chick lit" book than I'd normally read, but it wasn't bad.  Landolt did well for a first-time author, and my only criticism of the book is that the "hunt" part of the story seemed to go on a bit too long...

Sandra Greene has been invited to join a rather unique "club", one where the women members are committed to getting each other the husband of their dreams.  But we're not talking about snagging Joe Unknown down the street.  The members have their eyes on guys that are rich, famous, and very good looking.  The feeling is that these types of guys would never notice the women unless "special intervention" was taken to allow the guys to get to know them regardless of their looks.  Resources, contacts, and money are not a problem for the Hunt Club, and they'll go to nearly any extreme to set up the meetings which are aimed towards matrimony.  All the "winners" have to do is promise to contribute a certain percentage of hubby's fortune back into the club for future hunts.

Greene doesn't have the financial means to join, but she's sponsored by one of the members.  She's quickly drawn as the next subject of a hunt, and she decides on an actor who she truly falls in love with during the setup.  The feeling is mutual, and it looks as if the Hunt Club will add one more successful hunt to their tally.  But the FBI has a different view of the club activities, and they snag Sandra as an unwilling accomplice to dig up background information.  She has to figure out if the accusations made by the FBI are really true, and if so, how can she separate herself from the club and stay out of jail?

For starters, I enjoyed the premise of the plot.  You learn immediately that the FBI is putting pressure on Greene, and then the story shifts back to the beginning of her involvement with the club.  That story is then followed back up to the point of the FBI contact, where the story pushes to the ending twists and turns that were fun to follow.  My only issue is that the hunt sequences could have been tighter.  It seemed as if we were constantly back at another meeting where more staging was being set up.  After awhile, it seemed to get a bit old.  You *do* need to suspend belief quite a bit when it comes to how the club is able to accomplish nearly anything with seemingly no constraint on finances.  But hey, it's entertainment...  :)

In the back of the book, the author states that the ideas for the book developed over many years, but that it only took about ten days to write.  I'm impressed that she was able to do this well in that short a period of time as a rookie novelist.  With a bit more time and experience, I think she could develop a nice following for her writing.

01/05/2008

In the upper left corner... a link to Lotusphere 2008 press coverage

Category Lotusphere2008

I plan on *trying* to keep up an ongoing list of Lotusphere 2008 press coverage on a permanent page of my blog.  You'll find the link on the upper left side, so feel free to use it to keep up with news about our favorite January conference.

Lotusphere 2008 Press Coverage.

01/03/2008

My Lotusphere 2008 schedule (as of this moment)...

Category Lotusphere2008

I finally got around to making session choices and such.  Since I'm leaving a week early for vacation prior to Lotusphere, I am quickly running out of time...  :)

So... here's where I *think* I'll be spending my time in a couple of weeks.  Omissions of any particular session(s) should not be taken as a personal affront to any particular speaker.  I reserve the right to make last minute changes.  Yes, I know I have Worst Practices on there twice.  No, any session slot where my name appears is not subject to negotiation.  :)

JMP403 QuickStart: IBM Lotus Quickr in Action
Speaker: John Schumacher
SW 5-6
Sunday 08:00am - 10:00am

JMP205 AJAX and JSON for IBM Lotus Domino Applications
Speaker: Scott Good
SW Pelican
Sunday 10:30am - 12:30pm

JMP206 Web Services Bootcamp
Speaker: Bill Buchan
SW 7-10
Sunday 1:30pm - 3:30pm

JMP207 "It Takes Two to Tango" – Java and Eclipse
Speakers: Paul Calhoun, John Kidd
SW 1-4
Sunday  4:00pm - 6:00pm
_or_
JMP302 All Things Mail with IBM Lotus Domino
Speakers: Susan Bulloch, Paul Mooney
SW Pelican
Sunday 4:00pm - 6:00pm

-------------------------

AD301 IBM Lotus Domino Designer
Speakers: Maureen Leland, Mark Jourdain
DL N. Hemisphere A-C
Monday  2:15pm - 3:15pm

BP206 Features Every IBM Lotus Notes Application Should Have!
Speakers: Andre Guirard, Julian Robichaux
SW 1-4
Monday  3:30pm - 4:30pm

BP304 Templates, Templates, Everywhere – If You Know Where to Look!
Speakers: Kevin Pettitt, Bruce Elgort
SW Osprey
Monday  5:00pm - 6:00pm

BOF201: Adding "Lotus Evangelist" To Your Job Title (Without Updating Your Business Card)
Thomas Duff , Regence
Gregg Eldred, NextStep Technologies, LLC
Date: Monday, January 21, 2008
Time: 6:15 -7:15 PM
Location:  Swan Hotel, Parrot

--------------------------

BP207 From IBM Lotus Notes Client Application to Ajax-Powered Rich Internet Application in Less than 10 Lines of Code!
Speakers: Rich Waters, Jack Ratcliff
SW Pelican
Tuesday  08:30am - 9:30am

BP218 IBM Lotus Notes 8 and IBM Lotus Expeditor Customization for LotusScript Developers
Speakers: John Head, Alex Kassabov
SW Pelican
Tuesday  10:00am - 11:00am

AD302 IBM Lotus Domino Web Server Application Development Directions
Speakers: Bob Balaban, Philippe Riand
SW 5-6
Tuesday  11:15am - 12:15pm

AD303 Transforming IBM Lotus Domino Web Apps with IBM Lotus Domino Designer
Speakers: Rocky Oliver, Martin Donnelly
SW 5-6
Tuesday  1:30pm - 2:30pm

BP203 A Look Under the Hood at a World-Class IBM Lotus Domino Web Application
Speakers: Scott Good, Henry Newberry
SW Mockingbird
Tuesday  3:00pm - 4:00pm

AD304 Formula Follies and LotusScript Lunacy: Coding Feats that Will Amaze!!
Speaker: Rocky Oliver
DL N. Hemisphere D-E
Tuesday  4:15pm - 5:15pm
-OR-
BP208 Go Domino Go! Application Performance Engineering for IBM Lotus Domino Developers
Speakers: Jamie Magee, Kevin Marshall
SW Mockingbird
Tuesday  4:15pm - 5:15pm

LotusUserGroup.org and Motorola Good Technology cordially invite you to attend a private reception exclusively for leaders of the Lotus community. This invitation-only gathering will happen during Lotusphere, Tuesday evening, January 22, 2008 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the brand new IL MULINO restaurant in the Swan hotel.

Prep for my own session the next morning...

----------------------------

BP302 Admins are from Mars, Developers are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication in Your (Working) Relationships
Speakers: Thomas Duff, Warren Elsmore
DL S. Hemisphere III
Wednesday  08:30am - 9:30am

BP213 Worst Practices - the Best of the Worst
Speakers: Paul Mooney, Bill Buchan
DL N. Hemisphere D-E
Wednesday  10:00am - 11:00am

AD313 Using Web Services Features in IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8
Speakers: John Grosjean, Tom Carriker
SW 7-10
Wednesday  11:15am - 12:15pm
-OR-
Clean up from my session...  :)

BP213 Worst Practices - the Best of the Worst
Speakers: Paul Mooney, Bill Buchan
SW 7-10
Wednesday 1:30pm - 2:30pm
-OR-
BP216 Interface Matters - Basics of UI Design
Speakers: Nathan Freeman, Chris Blatnick
Y&B GH Salon V-VI
Wednesday  1:30pm - 2:30pm

BP210 Reports, Charts, and Graphs in IBM Lotus Notes
Speakers: Julian Robichaux, Rob McDonagh
SW 5-6
Wednesday  3:00pm - 4:00pm
-OR-
BP217 Interface Matters - Advanced UI Design Concepts
Speakers: Nathan Freeman, Chris Blatnick
Y&B GH Salon V-VI
Wednesday  3:00pm - 4:00pm

BP212 The Great Code Giveaway: "Beyond Cool"
Speakers: Rob Novak, Viktor Krantz
SW 7-10
Wednesday  4:15pm - 5:15pm

----------------------------

AD311 Object Oriented Programming with LotusScript – Take It To the Next Level
Speakers: Thomas Bahn, Bernd Hort
SW 5-6
Thursday  08:30am - 9:30am

BP214 Yikes...It Looks Like That?!: UI Worst Practices
Speakers: Chris Blatnick, Bruce Elgort
SW 1-4
Thursday 10:00am - 11:00am
-OR-
BP201 A Jug of Wine, a Spreadsheet, and Thee
Speaker: Ben Langhinrichs
SW 7-10
Thursday  10:00am - 11:00am

AD307 Advanced LotusScript: Design Programming using XML and DXL
Speakers: Andre Guirard, Rocky Oliver
DL S. Hemisphere I
Thursday 11:15am - 12:15pm

01/03/2008

The LotusUserGroup.org Blogger awards... how about just being grateful?

Category IBM/Lotus

I'll apologize in advance for any feathers I'll ruffle with this post, but the attitude just hit me wrong today...

As you probably know,
LotusUserGroup.org decided to try something different and have an award for "best blogger" to be presented at Lotusphere.  Now, if you put any 10 random Notes blog readers in a room, you'll get *at least* 20 different opinions as to what "best blogger" means (or should mean, in their own humble opinion).  Some will think it's for value, some will think it's for longevity, some will think it's most popular.  Without trying to break the awards down into a number of categories, there will always be some level of disagreement as to what the award *should*
represent (again, in everyone's own humble opinion).

Bottom line, just deal with it and be grateful that LotusUserGroup.org tried something interesting, OK?

What prompted this was
Jake's post about his nomination as one of the finalists, along with some of the commenters.  I sense (in *my* own humble opinion) an attitude of sour grapes before anything is even awarded. Deciding you won't win because you're not part of the LotusUserGroup.org group, or that you won't be there to accept, or that it shouldn't be awarded to most popular, or that it should reflect value over time, or that it's odd that IBM bloggers have three of the slots, or...

Every one of the finalists on the list deserve to be there.  Everyone who votes for a winner will vote based on how they perceive the award.  Most all the nominees are just honored to be part of the list (and figure that they don't belong in such a group).

Trying to make a case for why you should be awarded the prize based on your interpretation is a bit tacky.  And saying why others shouldn't be voted on is a slap in the face to those who placed the nominations.

Just accept the nomination and prize for what it is, feel good that people appreciate what you do, and acknowledge that you're part of a group that makes a difference in the life of your fellow Domino developers.


EDIT: 7:26 pm - It was pointed out to me that I should disclose the fact that I write the Developer Tips newsletter for LUG.org and get paid for it.  Personally, I don't think that's relevant to my rant, as it's more about attitudes than a defense of LUG's award.  In fact, until I was pinged about disclosure, I hadn't even thought about my newsletter activities in relation to what I said here.  If the fact that I get paid for something I do for LUG.org colors your opinion of my opinion, so be it.  Yeah, I'm getting snarky about this whole thing.  I think some people need to get a life (and no, that's not directed to the person who pinged me on this...  I appreciate the "heads-up").

01/01/2008

The question on everybody's mind about Duffbert's 2007...

Category Book Reviews

I thought about doing a "year in review" post, but then figured it'd be mostly of interest to me...  and I already know what I did this last year.  :)

But there's one thing that I've already been asked, so I might as well put it out here to save others the time and trouble of emailing or IM'ing me...

Number of books read in 2007:  190

Yes, I'm slacking...  last year was 212, and 2005 was 201.  I'd like to say I followed through on my "read less, do more" resolution, but in reality I think I just "read less" and worked more...

01/01/2008

Book Review - Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

Category Book Review Garr Reynolds Presentation Zen

This is everything that I want my presentations to be when I'm up on stage...  Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds.  This will make you rethink everything you've known (and likely done) about how a presentation should be designed.

Contents:
Introduction: Presenting in Today's World
Preparation: Creativity, Limitations, and Constraints; Planning Analog; Crafting the Story
Design: Simplicity - Why It Matters; Presentation Design - Principles and Techniques; Sample Slides
Delivery: The Art of Being Completely Present; Connecting With an Audience
The Next Step: The Journey Begins
Photo Credits; Index

There's so much good stuff here that it's hard to figure out where to begin.  Reynolds advocates for a departure from the ordinary style of presentation involving PowerPoint.  You've all sat through those (or given them)...  Pages of slides, chock full of text, gratuitous use of special effects, etc.  Presentation Zen is more about simplicity and storytelling.  Your slides should support *you*, the speaker.  If someone can get all the information from your slides, why do they need you?  Your slides should not overwhelm the audience, but should draw their attention to the point that you are making in your talk.  Couple this approach with the ability to tell stories rather than recite facts, and you can put together presentations that will be appreciated, remembered, and best of all, acted upon.

He also gets into how best to design appealing and arresting slides.  Reynolds uses sites like iStockPhoto to avoid the overused and cheesy clipart that comes part and parcel with PowerPoint.  And rather than just pasting a graphic on the screen under some text, the graphic *becomes* the slide, and the minimal text is positioned on the graphic in such a way that the slide becomes a work of art.  Since I do technical presentations, my first objection was that this doesn't give the listener anything to take away in terms of content.  But rather than make your slides the take-away, Reynolds suggests that you put together a separate "handout" document that can be given out after the talk (or downloaded).  That document can contain the details and facts that you present, without overwhelming the listener during the actual talk.  It's a simple concept, but not one that I've seen done often.

The bad thing about a book like this is it points out just how bad I actually am at presenting.  The good thing is that it challenges me (as well as shows me) to get a whole lot better.  This should be required reading for anyone before they start to put together anything in PowerPoint...

01/01/2008

Book Review - Capitol Reflections by Jonathan Javitt

Category Book Review Jonathan Javitt Capitol Reflections

It's always nice to find a first-time novelist who seems to have more talent and experience than their record would indicate.  I received an advance readers copy of Capitol Reflections by Jonathan Javitt.  Javitt put together an entertaining conspiracy thriller with the government and genetic food manipulation at the core of the plot.

Marci Newman is a hard-charging lawyer who lives her career.  She's due to present in front of a judge on a pro bono case related to an unlawful eviction of an elderly Vietnamese lady.  But after stopping for a coffee and a quick smoke, she suffers a seizure in the courtroom and dies.  Her best friend, Gwen Maulder, is a Captain in the US Public Health Service.  Gwen is unable to let go of  the fact that a healthy young woman suffered a seizure with no known cause, and she decides to dig deeper to find the cause of her friend's death.  A request to scan a new software system called BioNet uncovers a series of deadly seizures that spike in certain areas for two months and then disappear.  But this request lands Gwen in hot water, and she's shunted off to a make-work job to get her to drop the investigation.

Gwen is convinced that tobacco is the main culprit in all these seizures.  She contacts a reporter (and former boyfriend) who is known for his muck-raking columns.  He starts digging into the facts, and sees that there's definitely a story *and* a high-level government/corporate coverup going on.  The investigation becomes very personal when Gwen's own husband suffers the same type of seizure and nearly dies from it.  The question becomes whether Gwen and her ad-hoc investigation team will uncover the true cause of the seizures before all of them are permanently silenced.

For a first-time novelist, Javitt does very well.  The dialog works well, and the pacing of the plot keeps the reader moving along with no real opportunity to take a break.  There were a few side plots that didn't seem to make much sense to me, such as the abundance of Asian women and how they got there.  But fortunately they don't overwhelm the main action, and things keep building towards the climax.  Javitt also avoids something that quickly turns me off of stories like this.  He does have message that he wants to get out...  the danger of genetically modified food.  But where some well-known authors tend to club you over the head with their cause, Javitt puts it out there in such a way that it makes you think about the subject rather than trying to avoid the constant beating.

I hope this won't be a one-time occurrence for Javitt.  If he decides to keep writing novels, I think he has an excellent career ahead of him.

01/01/2008

One more Christmas YouTube video...

Category Everything Else

The Little Drummer Boy - Twin Lakes Church

As my boss put it...  "Little Drummer Boy meets Stomp"...  Excellent stuff!

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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