Lotusscript IDE in safe hands

There’s been a right old brouhaha of late, as to whether the Lotusscript editor is working out OK in Domino Designer in Eclipse (DDE) given recent “resource action” (what an appalling phrase that is) developments within IBM.

Well, Volker writes that trusted sources assure him all is well, and that’s more than good enough for me—collective sigh of relief!

Update Unfortunately, in updating his site with what he learned, Volker got slammed for not toeing the party line.


  1. This feature is still vapourware until it actually ships. Having spent some serious time with the Domino Designer 8.5 downgrade recently, I'm not so sure this thing is in safe, or even competent hands.
    Jeff Gilfelt#
  2. Well, 8.5.1 isn’t Gold. I will give it the benefit of the doubt (I know, I know, it’s really big of me ;-) )Ben Poole#
  3. I need somebody to come in and tell me what I can and cannot do once in a while. I'm surprised it was Ed himself this time and not one of the Lotus Attack Kittens(tm). ;-)Volker Weber#
  4. I have just been told I forgot to use the word "surrogate".Volker Weber#
  5. Some people, whose initials may or may not be "EB", need to get used to the idea that there are small corners of the internet that they don't actually control, and a significant number of people who don't actually work for IBM!Julian Woodward#
  6. and some people need to take responsibility with information they have and not start rumours.

    You all are living in a dream world if you expect an IBM executive to validate a rumour in public that has false logic at its root, especially one personnel-related. "This person was laid off, this person worked on X, therefore X is dead". I understand that stranger things have happened over the years, but 8.5.1 design partners have been working with the "X" in this case for weeks…the work is already there, very much done, and more than one developer works on X.

    How hard would it have been for someone to ask privately?

    As for "surrogate", isn't (especially "from my inbox") a surrogate for people too afraid to ask questions of people who actually can answer them?Ed Brill#
  7. So from my POV:

    1. IBM are laying people off, without apparent regard to past performance (David Stephens), ability (Brian Benz), whether their job is required, etc, etc. We all therefore assume that its just a new IBM game of 'Spin the bottle' where random people get the bullet. The Useless Management Layers of course stay. We can say this - you cant.

    2. We hear (from a very credible source indeed) that the *last person* with in-depth knowledge of the Lotuscript p-Code compiler and editor has been laid off. Given point number one, this is utterly credible. This leads to:

    2a. Is the Lotuscript editor within DDE safe ? It appears to be so, but again, since its not shipped product, only you can comment on this. And since DDE is basically unusable without this in terms of normal development, this has huge knock-on effects on xPages adoption.

    2b. Lack of faith that anyone within IBM/Lotus actually has indepth working knowledge of the LotusScript engines. Which is of course a huge own-goal for IBM/Lotus, as it just adds to the MS 'Notes is Dead' rumour mill. How on earth can you persude a multi-hundred-thousand seat new customer that Notes is a viable application infrastructure if no-one understands how a key component - LotusScript - works. That would be one helluva wasted business class flight to China, wouldnt it ?


    2c. When I ask questions 'privately' I usually feel that the answer given is either diversionary - as your one is here - or is completely ignored. I suspect that I'm not unique in this regard, especially given various partner forums I've been a part of since 1995.

    Which all leads to:

    3. We all run around wondering out loud to each other what the hell is going on with Lotus.

    And there are various responses to this:

    1. "Lotus has not and will not lose core competence in LotusScript. This would be insane. This would be as insane as losing the last people within Lotus who understand Rich Text, or even bizarre stuff such as the LSX toolkit. Lotus is in this for the long game, and we've thought of this. Relax. "

    2. "The 8.5.1 DDE lotusscript eclipse editor will ship in the 8.5.1 product as already announced at Lotusphere. "

    3. "And since everyone's really nervous, everything else (well aside from the LSX toolkit of course) is on track."

    I'd honestly expected Answer number 1. In fact my twitter activity actively pushed this as an answer.

    Or at a push, answer number 2 - which is kinda what your alluding to

    What we got was a general 'Harrumphing' at our evident lack of control and/or respect for IBM lines of communication by daring to even suggests that IBM/Lotus have ever done anything odd before. ( *cough* Garnet *cough* )

    So Ed, please forgive us for any suggested 'We think IBM are led by a bunch of Execs with ADD slavishly following stupid orders to reduce headcount no matter how dumb it might appear to be to us normal outsiders" influence on our posts and suchlilke.

    Its just that we dont trust IBM/Lotus management farther than we can spit them at the best of times. And a lot of us are Business Parners who get less than the square-root of bugger all in terms of cooperation and assistance from IBM.

    So and when we hear of rock-star folks (Mr Leeland) being made redundant, we all assume the worst. Are you genuinely surprised by this?

    We're the ones who actually KNOW and CARE about the Lotus Products. People who blog, who help out at user conferences, who sponsor prices, who judge prizes, who win prizes, who *pay* money to come to *your* conference and deliver content.

    And your chewing *us* out over caring about *your* product?

    Out there are people who havent even heard of half your products, or have ran as quickly as possible away from Notes. Imagine how hard it is trying to communicate with *them*.

    Its your little yellow bubble. You decide.

    ---* BillBill#
  8. @Ed (6),

    I think part of the problem is that people *expect* IBMers to refuse to comment on personnel matters (not surprisingly), and to either refuse to comment on how many LotusScript experts remain or to say something people wouldn't give much credence to.

    There has always been a disconnect between the publicly referenced staffing of N/D developers and the privately reported (lack of) staffing. Is the difference pure sour grapes on the part of 'sources' within IBM? Maybe. Is there much of a chance that an IBMer would publicly indicate that N/D is not getting dev resources? Probably not. So without insulting anyone's integrity (I am very definitely not suggesting you - or other IBMers - would have lied, I am simply referring to the difference between answering a question and providing ALL of the information that might be relevant - there are always things you can't tell us, there's no way around that), this was a rumour that seemed likely to stay unconfirmed. We can add the known 'resource action' and your own inability (100% justified, at least in my book) to discuss it openly, as well.

    I know this hadn't hit Twitter very hard, but the rumour was rampant within the Yellowverse before Volker's post. I knew about it, and I'm hardly the most 'plugged in' person in the community - to the contrary, I never hear any of the good, secret stuff (*sniff*). I think the overwhelming majority of the bloggers had heard it (with the possible exception of those thought to be "surrogates"). One person asking about it privately would only really be effective if that person was the one who started the rumour (which was not Volker, in case that's in doubt anywhere). Admittedly, gets a lot of traffic and accelerated the spread of disinformation, but word of mouth travels faster than the speed of light so the spread was going to be exponential anyway. Making the rumour public allowed it to be refuted publicly, where otherwise it would not have been refuted at all for most people who heard it. Rumours are nasty, nasty things, and they only go away when we shine a light on them. Discussing things privately isn't the way to stop a rumour - only openness will do that.

    As far as 8.5.1 goes, I can't comment publicly on what is or is not visible within the Design Partner program (of course), unfortunately. I don't believe Volker's in the program, though. And I don't think anyone has committed to a feature list yet, in any event. Many people expected the LS editor to be in 8.50, so that disappointment easily translates to a readiness to believe it won't be in 8.5.1 either. The editor itself is also not the only concern about LotusScript in the community (core language upgrades are a popular topic, especially for the O-O crowd), and this rumour triggered a new round of debates about some of them. Without Volker's post, and especially without the correction of course, there would be a lot of Chicken Littles running around. From the outside, at least, this seems like a pretty positive result for IBM, given the way the situation looked when the rumour showed up in my Inbox.Rob McDonagh#
  9. Speculation grows in the absence of information.

    What I did was pretty simple:

    1. Point out the speculation.
    2. Ask for confirmation.
    3. Collect information.
    4. Expense my assessment without disclosing sources.

    As for my site being a surrogate for other discussion: I am not afraid to stand up and ask. I know that lots of others are. You reap what you sow.Volker Weber#
  10. Rob, that's fair feedback. I guess I have some disappointment that it was that "rampant" that it showed up in your or anyone else's inbox. And I know it's potentially true that the rumor originated inside of IBM, and that these things will happen from time to time.

    I'm not sure I agree that the only way to stop a rumor is to bring it out into the open. Validating a rumor by the party that is the subject of the rumor can actually give it more fuel.

    The specific problem here is that it relates to personnel, and personnel and financials are the two topics that can't be discussed publicly… meaning that stepping into the fray just isn't possible. A private question could at least elicit a clarifying response. I think the current executive team (includes myself, but I mean people like Picciano, Brent Peters, etc.) have shown to be willing to answer questions when possible, but sometimes it is still more appropriate to answer them privately.Ed Brill#

Comments on this post are now closed.


I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.