Lotus Notes: the Marmite of the IT world

Charles Arthur has a nice post on the effect that Lotus Notes has on otherwise normal people.

I’ve just come across a new (to me) site: I Hate Lotus Notes which, um, does pretty much what it says on the tin.

What’s always interesting though is that pro-Notes people who will leap into these pits of hating and try, vainly, to tell people that the fact they’re hating Notes is because (1) they haven’t had enough training (2) it’s not an email program, it’s an application development platform (3) they’re using an old version – the latest version, v. [What you’re using 2] solves all those problems (4) it’s better than Outlook, anyway (5) all of the above.

I think it’s still telling that Notes 6.5.5, which dates from December 2005, still doesn’t support the scroll wheel on the mouse on OSX – which has done so from its start, a mere four and a half years earlier.

But you have to admire the determination of the pro-Notes brigade. They’re like people defending the right to smoke in crowded spaces: everyone else is wrong, it’s just them who can see the right way to run the world.

I’ve seen both sides recently. My university Faculty has merged with another one which long ago surrendered its IT to a team of Lotus Notes True Believers. To me, the product seems so dated and kludgy: it’s the epitome of 1980s, DOS-inspired software. And yet the True Believers are deeply attached to it in the way that Jehovah’s Witnesses are to the Watchtower. They are unfailingly courteous and willing as they patiently explain that Notes can be made to do virtually anything you want; but when one explains that a teaspoon can also be used to dig one’s garden they look blank: they don’t get it.

One of the comments on Charles’s post gets it right: Notes is “the marmite of the IT world”.

Er, don’t get me started on Marmite.