I've just launched into another enjoyable spate of Lotus Notes design and development work, for a new customer, and my enthusiasm for Notes is on the boil again!
It has reinforced to me the enormously valuable functionality and flexibility of the basic Lotus Notes platform. Many of the features that having been available since Notes Release 3 or earlier make it ever so easy to develop really powerful workflow and collaboration applications in a flash (compared with most other application development products). It must never be forgotten that the "vintage" capabilities of Notes are still world-beating, while having been augmented by all of the other major features added over recent years.
As with other development environments that haves been around for a while -- and Notes' 15 years is quite ancient compared with some other products -- there are parts of the Notes product that still need some cobwebs cleaned away.
I'm using Domino Designer 6.5.4, and was surprised to see another stupid error message pop up: "Notes Error - Cannot locate field" when I went to open a document. What an inane error message. (You'll find a similar comment in my earlier post: "Note Item not found".) Where were the Lotus quality controllers when this little beast escaped?
If Notes was looking [by name] for a the presence of particular field but couldn't find it, why on earth doesn't the error message clearly state the name of this field thus helping the developer to more quckly locate fix the problem in the code?
As it stands, with the message in its present form you have to either guess which was the offending field or systematically search for it out of the tens or maybe hundereds of fields in the form (and perhaps any subforms that are embedded in it).
What will IBM do about this? Well, I see that they're at last firmly reassuring everybody that the "old" Lotus Notes capabilities will last into the foreseeable future.) See "Hannover": The next release of IBM Lotus for the IBM announcement.) If there's still lots of life in Notes, then surely it's very worthwhile for IBM Lotus Software to go about ridding Notes of little "'nasties" like this one and not just focus on adding more goodies.