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Which mail client do you prefer - Outlook or lotus notes?

james stan
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 13, 2012
Posts: 25
I was discussing this with another developer and we were wondering are there people out there who prefer notes over outlook? After working on outlook for quite some time , going back to lotus notes seems like such a downgrade. The interface is so clunky ,boring and seems complex. Any thoughts ?
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4658
    
    5

Lotus Notes as an email client? Are you serious? It was a bad client in the mid-1990s. Does anyone seriously still use it, nearly 20 years later?
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

They both suck. I will agree that Notes sucks more, but Outlook sucks bigtime too. The lockups and long pauses, the incomprehensible inability to group messages in every conceivable way except the correct way using in-reply-to, the equally incomprehensible inability to show the complete message header, the horrible Word-like "smart" editor that does the wrong thing every third keystroke or so -- the list goes on and on.

I used to love Elm. Mutt was almost as good. Nowadays I use Gmail for personal mail and I'm pretty happy with it. Outlook doesn't hold a candle to any of these.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4658
    
    5

Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:They both suck.


I worked at a big, international IT consulting firm, they used Lotus Notes. It was terrible. I quit that company and went to an internet startup. Part of the joy in my new job at an internet firm was that they would, of course, use internet tools, like normal email, usenet groups for collaboration, DAV for calendar, etc.

Imagine my surprise when the first day's welcome coverage included my very own Lotus Notes key. Somehow, the startup had been suckered into installing and using Lotus Notes.
Andy Jack
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2012
Posts: 257
james stan wrote:I was discussing this with another developer and we were wondering are there people out there who prefer notes over outlook? After working on outlook for quite some time , going back to lotus notes seems like such a downgrade. The interface is so clunky ,boring and seems complex. Any thoughts ?


Hah ! What is outlook and lotus ? Modern man uses Gmail and Yahoo(???)


Java Newbie with 72% in OCJP/SCJP - Super Confused Jobless Programmer.
I am a "newbie" too. Please verify my answers before you accept them.
J. Kevin Robbins
Bartender

Joined: Dec 16, 2010
Posts: 956
    
  13

Pat Farrell wrote:Lotus Notes as an email client? Are you serious? It was a bad client in the mid-1990s. Does anyone seriously still use it, nearly 20 years later?


Sadly, yes. In fact, our company is in the midst of an upgrade to 8.5. I despise Notes. Once upon a time I did Notes development, but I refuse to put that on my resume and I'm even careful about mentioning that little factoid out of fear that someone might ask me to do Notes development again <shudder>.

Outlook isn't much of an improvement. I'd vote for Gmail, but I've been at two companies which evaluated it for corporate use, and in both cases it was decided that the privacy and security risks were unacceptable.

Personally, I miss the days of cc:mail...


"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." -- Ted Nelson
Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3610
    
  60

james stan wrote:The interface is so clunky ,boring and seems complex

"Clunky" and "complex" are definitely wrong qualities for an interface, but "boring"? If I could choose from two interfaces providing equal functions, I'd probably grab "boring" over "exciting". Someone get me rid of the ribbons and bring back toolbars and menus to me, please!!!
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

As a Notes developer, I prefer Apple's Mail client.


"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61221
    
  66

Sort of like asking: "Which do you prefer? Hives? Or poison ivy?"


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Bear Bibeault wrote:Sort of like asking: "Which do you prefer? Hives? Or poison ivy?"


I'm interested in MS Hives, but confused by all the different versions they offer.
james stan
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 13, 2012
Posts: 25
Sort of like asking: "Which do you prefer? Hives? Or poison ivy?"


I don't believe anybody here has used outlook 2010 ,or outlook at all. Outlook really seems easy and intuitive to navigate,to schedule a meeting , to check other's calendars and so on...

I believe most people are vitriolic in their views towards MS mostly because its the hip thing to do or they just didn't work with that MS product. and btw i am not a fan of IBM or MS.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18570
    
    8

Well, this is the Meaningless Drivel forum after all. So it's quite in order for people to make posts which are humorous rather than factual.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4658
    
    5

james stan wrote: btw i am not a fan of IBM or MS.


Er, I've been a professional software developer now for 40+ years. I don't think I know a single person who is a fan of either IBM or MS these days.

I was a huge evangelist for MS back in early 1990s, when Windows went from Windows 386 to Windows 3.0. I think I spent as much as one week out of those 40 years working on an IBM mainframe.

IBM has nothing to do with the technology that most of the folks here on the 'Ranch use. They sell professional services to huge businesses.

Microsoft hasn't had anything that folks interested in technology care about for so long that I can't remember. They only noteworthy product that they have released this century was the Xbox 360.

I've been using Thunderbird for ages, and before that ELM or PINE or a bunch of stuff. I've been paid to use Lotus Notes as a consultant, but I would never use it by choice.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Outlook 2010 is our corporate standard email client . I use it every day because I have to. See my detailed list above explaining why it sucks -- and that's just for starters.
Greg Charles
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2851
    
  11

The only time I used Lotus Notes was when I worked for IBM for two years, now almost ten years ago. The shame was that Domino was (I think) a pretty good collaboration server that went way beyond just e-mail and was way better than Exchange, but that was obscured by the aggressively bad interface of Lotus Notes. It didn't really make sense to me. IBM had some smart people working for them, and spent a lot of money on its software group, but each release of Notes was just as terrible as the one before it. Moreover, it was basic stuff that anyone should learn not to do in beginning programing classes.

I went to the IBM software shindig in Las Vegas in 2004 and found myself sitting next to one of the Lotus Notes interface developers on a shuttle bus ride. I tried to ask him tactfully so he wouldn't get defensive why they were having so much trouble with the Notes interface. He got defensive. He tried to tell me it wasn't really that bad, and I said yes, it is that bad, and I wasn't the only person who thought so, to which he responded by crossing his arms and staring out the window. I never did get any more than that out of him.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61221
    
  66

Yes, at 55, and with 34 years in the industry, I'm much more interested in being hip and groovy than in stating my professional opinion. Your post is highly insulting.

No, Outlook doesn't suck because it's trendy to think so. It just sucks. It's a paragon of usability problems, and a perfect example of how Microsoft has lost its way over the past decade and a half.

So, did you start this topic to get people's opinions, or just to find people to agree with you?
james stan
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 13, 2012
Posts: 25
Yes, at 55, and with 34 years in the industry, I'm much more interested in being hip and groovy than in stating my professional opinion. Your post is highly insulting.

No, Outlook doesn't suck because it's trendy to think so. It just sucks. It's a paragon of usability problems, and a perfect example of how Microsoft has lost its way over the past decade and a half.

So, did you start this topic to get people's opinions, or just to find people to agree with you?


I am sorry if you felt insulted, in retrospect my comments were too sweeping but I had based my opinion on fact that you provided no reason why outlook sucks [compared to notes]. And TBH do believe that people really think bashing MS is hip.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61221
    
  66

Nope, bashing Microsoft is so last decade. Bashing Apple is the new fad.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4658
    
    5

james stan wrote:And TBH do believe that people really think bashing MS is hip.

No one cares about MS anymore.

As @bear says, bash Apple or Facebook these days.
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1716
    
  14

Er...neither.

I have had to use Lotus Notes on various contract jobs for government clients over the last few years, and it stinks and has always stunk (hmm, is "stink" a strong verb like "sing, sang sung"?). Nothing works the way you expect it to e.g. based on using other mail/calendar tools, organising your data is really convoluted and flaky (at least in the versions I used which were heavily locked down by the admins), and despite years and years of development and deployment around the world it still looks and feels like a poorly run occupational therapy project for Bewildered Programmers. Maybe they should hire somebody from the Apple Maps team so at least Notes would look good, even if it doesn't work.

As for Outlook, I have had less experience with this recently, but my general recollection is that it suffered from the usual MS Smartass Syndrome, where it was always rushing off to do stuff you hadn't asked it to do because it thought it knew best. The UI never seemed to hang together and was very cluttered, although at least it was vaguely consistent with other Windows-based packages, unlike Notes. I think it's like a lot of MS tools where you have to buy into the whole package to make them worthwhile. For me, Outlook is like iTunes: I know lots of people really like it, but it just doesn't work for me.

I used to use Thunderbird for personal use, which was OK, although I always found the account set-up stuff a bit clunky. But since I switched to GMail and Google Apps, I find it's a heck of a lot easier just to skip the whole mail-client routine altogether. I can access my mails in the "cloud" (because I'm such a hep cat) and never have to worry about which machine they've been downloaded onto, and when I buy a new machine there's none of that hunt-the-mail-export-import-format crap that you get with MS mail clients.


No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3294
    
    7
I have used various email clients over the years and none of them is perfect (what is!...except if something is sold by Apple, of course ). Out of all I found that Outlook and its variants such as Windows Mail/Live have given me least trouble. I used Notes almost 10 yrs ago and it was fine too (at least for things I was doing with it). May be it hasn't kept up with the times.

Developing any professional grade s/w, whether it is Outlook, Notes, or Thunderbird is a humongous task. They are all developed by smart people. But users are generally set in their ways and so sometimes getting accustomed to doing things a different way gets difficult. So I think using the one that suits your usage pattern the best is the way to go!


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Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3294
    
    7
Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:They both suck. I will agree that Notes sucks more, but Outlook sucks bigtime too.
The lockups and long pauses,

Could be because of the server, connection, load, no of messages. Not necessarily an issue with Outlook itself. I don't have any complaint in this regard.

the incomprehensible inability to group messages in every conceivable way except the correct way using in-reply-to,

IMHO, that is an exaggeration. While it is possible that it is not able to group the messages by what you think is logically the right way, it is not as stupid as your comment implies. May be another client adopts the same logic as you and in that case, it might be incomprehensible for other people.


the equally incomprehensible inability to show the complete message header,

Right Click, Properties, Details. Not sure about you but IMHO, generally we need to see the complete header only rarely. So I don't see any point in displaying it upfront.


the horrible Word-like "smart" editor that does the wrong thing every third keystroke or so -- the list goes on and on.

I can only smile at that


I used to love Elm. Mutt was almost as good. Nowadays I use Gmail for personal mail and I'm pretty happy with it. Outlook doesn't hold a candle to any of these.

Great!

The one thing that I absolutely hate about Outlook/Live client is its rigidity in editing emailid in the "To/CC/BCC" field while composing a message. Once it determines that the x@y.com's name is Z, I just can't seem to shake that association off easily. It is a pain.

Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Paul Anilprem wrote:
Could be because of the server, connection, load, no of messages. Not necessarily an issue with Outlook itself.


If the UI locks up because of communication issues, mailbox size, etc, where other mail agents don't, then it is indeed a problem with Outlook. And it does, and it is!


IMHO, that is an exaggeration.

Read RFC 822 and 2822 -- then you will know more than the authors of Outlook apparently do.


Right Click, Properties, Details.

Try explaining to majordomo how that's the complete message header. Majordomo will laugh heartily at you. Outlook can't show you the complete headers because it discards them -- they're not preserved when messages are read.

Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3610
    
  60

Paul Anilprem wrote:
Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:They both suck. I will agree that Notes sucks more, but Outlook sucks bigtime too.
The lockups and long pauses,

Could be because of the server, connection, load, no of messages. Not necessarily an issue with Outlook itself. I don't have any complaint in this regard.

We battle with the lockups and long pauses too. The connection is probably pretty good, as we have a gigabit in the office. My mailbox is 2 GB, but our admin says that several times as big should still work. And server? Funny thing you mention it - it's SBS/MS Exchange on the other end of the line.

Outlook sometimes freezes for several minutes when I write an email or add a contact to the To or CC lines. When you're in a hurry, it's really terrible.

I don't know, perhaps our infrastructure does suck. But why has the application freeze up when the server is not responding? Haven't they discovered threads in Microsoft yet?
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3294
    
    7
Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:

Right Click, Properties, Details.

Try explaining to majordomo how that's the complete message header. Majordomo will laugh heartily at you. Outlook can't show you the complete headers because it discards them -- they're not preserved when messages are read.


To verify this I sent an email from yahoo account to our support email address and viewed the headers through Windows Live client and an open source web client that reads the email from the pop3 mail box. Both showed me the exact same headers.


Return-path: <xxxx@yahoo.com>
Envelope-to: support@enthuware.com
Delivery-date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 22:41:11 +0000
Received: from [127.0.0.1] (port=42970 helo=be2.speednoc.com)
by be.speednoc.com with esmtp (Exim 4.80)
(envelope-from <xxxx@yahoo.com>)
id 1T6lqY-0005w3-S0
for support@enthuware.com; Tue, 18 Dec 2012 22:41:11 +0000
Received: from nm26.bullet.mail.bf1.yahoo.com ([98.129.212.175]
helo=nm26.bullet.mail.bf1.yahoo.com) by be2.speednoc.com with ESMTP (ASSP
1.9); 18 Dec 2012 22:41:08 +0000
Received: from [98.129.215.113] by nm26.bullet.mail.bf1.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 18 Dec 2012 22:41:08 -0000
Received: from [98.129.212.212] by tm14.bullet.mail.bf1.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 18 Dec 2012 22:41:08 -0000
Received: from [127.0.0.1] by omp1031.mail.bf1.yahoo.com with NNFMP; 18 Dec 2012 22:41:08 -0000
X-Yahoo-Newman-Property: ymail-3
X-Yahoo-Newman-Id: 918485.60196.bm@omp1031.mail.bf1.yahoo.com
Received: (qmail 30087 invoked by uid 60001); 18 Dec 2012 22:41:08 -0000
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=yahoo.com; s=s1024; t=1355870468; bh=3bu5aX52gsdsJsiRave6Kzzphg4rqXGjiPJI8tQZryI=; h=X-YMail-OSG:Received:X-Rocket-MIMEInfo:X-Mailer:Message-IDate:From:Reply-To:Subject:To:MIME-Version:Content-Type; b=y97xl1J7zfwUNwFChQWQRyBAGNdKJ8yWovnLBg+28OoOEvwf0AvALQ/ZcMAXR0LAgeCBMtPnkk+dRmNSBOvaxWWry3e53mWxg+ld43vRW2VNwNwDKZk4x/m3NMIrtlI7XJhNJ7BuhLs6LnwTsrceJf6uHod5ghZKH+4TiD+EqFI=
DomainKey-Signature:a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
s=s1024; d=yahoo.com;
h=X-YMail-OSG:Received:X-Rocket-MIMEInfo:X-Mailer:Message-IDate:From:Reply-To:Subject:To:MIME-Version:Content-Type;
b=dSu4BwBr9Lw5xzsUlZP0qreltf7OSdnZCNYlXet8/f7k8J7es+cEo7iq6JIH8zw182k+7S/MdApXGqW/TNp4dnW6ezDIvEGLmO/H4tHDz9dl8pYGo2N+3rHYFG7ajt2rtaM5ST7HT2mMJt2w4NqHhwR0ZZZ3OQJXZO+d10t0zdpmY=;
X-YMail-OSG: k8tfWP8IVM1kaLteOt8l3emiMr7XIvwCKXdK_NPpWchAkprR_
zDWlkyC_NDMECAguf6vX1WhAoybg8MT68RemB5wE0EJm402YdcUiFrWVX_eHsT
IKm9YD1sPJGHl6zTAZUlmUCb0sBPyCQ2W8C.aB_3JUKfRq5mEwpt9IUHc1glx
_Kd9dLULsPpxrxDtcNiCNS9putYOk4WcZc3AZyX3VSM5d0J_3A4qk27E2oclxa
LAeGxjT.sXmKd9bgRQ2add5TsgKMwU6NTkw6ByvQCZf2SW1oQDcD3cKh9w0v2
u0t_YX5mGfpfXiQamIktCeq9opRryWJl38Pc1x_fgLnhxIkBhGW482e8YAGtE6I
bduSZyWW4PK5fhelmoCJynFON3vQxGcSKCg0DT7ai4o0jSob83gPf.Zla9qtn
wM4d7W.tIznAsyjsgsIMfTRCVP577cKfh7ARwvQV8k8iQU_zBMMmNOfth47Qsv
EgELe.IPloLnTfsldOxIERp7XwN8LTYlU050N.7xQyrGlg
Received: from [174.86.171.212] by web142703.mail.bf1.yahoo.com via HTTP; Tue, 18 Dec 2012 14:41:08 PST
X-Rocket-MIMEInfo: 001.001,dGVzdCBtc2cBMAEBAQE-
X-Mailer: YahooMailClassic/15.1.1 YahooMailWebService/0.8.129.483
Message-ID: <1355870468.30076.YahooMailClassic@web142703.mail.bf1.yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 14:41:08 -0800 (PST)
From: xxx yyyy <xxxx@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: xxxx@yahoo.com
Subject: test sub
To: support@enthuware.com
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="1619090392-1153883208-1355870468=:30076"
X-Assp-SenderBase: country:US; organization:Yahoo; domain:
X-Assp-Received-RWL: whitelisted from (list.dnswl.org->127.0.5.0,trust=0
(category=Service/network providers);wl.nszones.com->127.0.0.5;
wl.shlink.org->127.0.0.4; ) - high trust is 2 - client-ip=98.139.212.185
X-Assp-Envelope-From: xxxx@yahoo.com
X-Assp-Intended-For: support@enthuware.com
X-Assp-ID: be2.speednoc.com (id-35587-60015)
X-Assp-Version: 1.9.9(12349)


I also tried the same experiment by sending an email to another email account which I access using Outlook 2007. It showed the same headers plus several more that were added by the recipient exchange server. Now I haven't ever had the need to dig so deep into the headers but it doesn't looking like Windows Live or Outlook are missing anything. Could you please be kind enough and tell me which header do you think is missing? I will appreciate any pointer that will help me figure out which ones exist(ed) in the msg but were not displayed.

thank you,
Paul.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4658
    
    5

Hmmm, perhaps this discussion would be better with some pie.

Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3294
    
    7
Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:
Paul Anilprem wrote:
IMHO, that is an exaggeration.

Read RFC 822 and 2822 -- then you will know more than the authors of Outlook apparently do.

I tried replying back and forth between yahoo and outlook 2007 account and observed that Outlook's conversation view grouped correctly. I also observed that both yahoo and outlook 2007 used the IN-REPLY-TO header. I don't know whether they used the right headers as per the RFCs you mentioned but the conversation view seems to be working just fine.

Then I sent another email from yahoo with the exact same subject but composed entirely anew. On the outlook side it was grouped with the previous set of messages. Again, I don't know whether that is the right or wrong way to group it but I was expecting it to start a new conversation. Is that what you are referring to?

thank you,
Paul.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Bear Bibeault wrote:Nope, bashing Microsoft is so last decade. Bashing Apple is the new fad.

Well, since Microsoft so thoroughly bashes themselves with every product launch, it kind of takes the fun away.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Paul Anilprem wrote:
Then I sent another email from yahoo with the exact same subject but composed entirely anew. On the outlook side it was grouped with the previous set of messages. Again, I don't know whether that is the right or wrong way to group it but I was expecting it to start a new conversation. Is that what you are referring to?


Yes, that's what Outlook gets wrong. An email reply has an In-Reply-To header, and that's how threading should be done. Grouping by subject seems sensible sometimes, but if you tend to get a lot of message with the same subject -- i.e., "Missing morning meeting" or "Release candidate ready" -- then you end up with unrelated conversations grouped together. Every other mail client I've ever used knows how to group those by actual conversation, but Outlook doesn't.
Andy Jack
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2012
Posts: 257
Bear Bibeault wrote:Nope, bashing Microsoft is so last decade. Bashing Apple is the new fad.


Apple sucks.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61221
    
  66

Much more modern! (if incorrect ).
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Which mail client do you prefer - Outlook or lotus notes?