Sitting in Cattle class, flying back to the UK

(God, has British Airways improved ? Its almost as good as Virgin was 10 years ago now!) . Blagged onto a flight to Aberdeen that I thought I'd lost.

Recovering after another hectic Lotusphere. Met all the old folks, met lots of new ones. Still owed $20 by Terri (dont ask). Exhausted. Feet killing me. Head buzzing. I've not even had time to read the slides yet - since I was working the stand (again), I've not been to a single presentation. Shame on me. I did catch the comedian at the end - hilarious. Lets do that again. No more singers please. (Oh, and amusing rumours of Jean-Luc hijacking the closing presentation and replacing it with 10 minutes of rubber-chicken slideware. Shows you that even the best ran conferences can be derailed by management. Thankfully, most folks forgot all about it about 10 minutes into the comedians routine)

The usual happened. That is, I had a bunch of preconceptions about what would happen, and they were all wrong. This is a good thing - I hate predictability.

IBM is handling the transition from proprietary Lotus Notes to open standards beautifully - telling the existing users that "vanilla" domino will be here for the forseeable future, that the transition will be pain-free, that they can transition when they want to, and they wont have to pay for the same software twice. The complete antithesis of the Beast of Redmond's "rip (off) and replace" attitude. How refreshing. How Right. How easy for ripped off M$ customers to jump aboard. I'm grinning from ear to ear. God, has the IBM attitude to Lotus customers changed in the last five or so years. God, let this continue.

Stunning news. Anyone who upgrades to Domino v6.5.1 (which is out now) gets sametime chat licenses for free. Amazing. They *really* want people to adopt Sametime. Get those sametime certs in order (I've got mine). Get used to this being a standard part of any domino customer. Whoever in IBM thought of that, and pushed it through the process of IBM deserves a medal.

Amusing story. Spent about fifteen seconds with Bill Hulme - the boss - and chatted about the M$ attitude to Big Servers. The M$ memory model prevents people running "local" partitions - memory partitions that prevent processes crashing each other. So we get bigger and bigger Wintel tin, and no opportunity to break them down into crash-proof memory areas. Unlike. OS/400. Unlike Z-Series. Unlike Solaris. Unlike vanilla Unix. Hell, unlike Linux. So what can we do ? We put our *huge* Intel domino servers - servers that logically (from a risk point of view) absolutely require this protection. Bill mentioned that M$ are unwilling to change. So what does this tell us folks who build large collaboration environments ? (Some folks are using VMWare to do this, losing another 30% of the CPU to windows. Ouch. VMWare is great for pilots and tests - I love it. But not meaty production servers!) My take on this ? Put them on Linux. Just do it. Ignore the local M$ zealots whining. Just show the boss the performance, stability and reliability increase, and the cost reductions. Dumb pointy-haired bosses love that sort of stuff.

See you all again next year. Lotusphere 2005. And beyond.

We domino folks have an exciting future ahead of us. Dust off those Websphere Portal/Workplace slides, and get learning. Perhaps we wont see a breathtaking takeup on this for the next six months - doesnt mean to say that it wont happen. I've seen the future. Its good. Its not leaving us behind. It'll be a tough couple of years transition - lots of new products to learn, processes to learn. I'm utterly confident that all of us can do this - hell, the differences between version 3 and version 4 were of this magnitude, right ? If your scared of hard work, well tough. We're a transition industry. If your scared of this future, then you dont understand it all yet. Get reading.

Enjoy it folks. Not often the 800 pound gorilla gets everything this right.