Tuesday, April 07, 1998 at 11:34:33 AM Pacific

Michael Norman on Notes

From Michael Norman, mnorman@princeton.com, in response to a question I asked on Scripting News for a comparison between Frontier and Notes.

Michael Norman on Notes

First off, I'm a Notes user, not a Notes developer, so I could be way off on my knowledge of the technical architecture. And I'm not sure how much of this you already know...

Notes has "databases", each of which contain "documents", each of which contains any number of fields which can be of the garden-variety types.

Notes applications are made up a various views of the documents contained in a database with widgets that display data in fields and that trigger validations and scripts. Java is now a supported language, along with LotusScript.

There are rather sophisticated built-in applications that handle mail, calendaring, discussion, and document management.

Notes clients are very fat (and buggy) and communicate with a Notes server over IPC, TCP, or a serial/modem connection. The latest version of the server can serve html renderings of views over HTTP.

The coolest part of Notes is replication. You can effectively work offline, creating/editing/deleting documents in your databases, and then synchronize when you're back on the network.

The least cool part is that the wp/text editors suck and the outliner is even worse.

You could implement Notes features in Frontier (and you're moving in that direction), but it would be difficult to implement Frontier in Notes. They could share data over XML, of course.

Replication is the key feature for me. I've been thinking about doing this in Frontier lately... Has someone already implemented replication? What's the best way to go about it?

This page was last built on 4/7/98; 11:38:18 AM by Dave Winer. dave@scripting.com