Things I Don't Like about the Notes 8 Beta

Still in no particular order, these are some things I haven't been thrilled with:

  • While mail is loading, there the default 4-paneUI (with preview at the bottom of the page) even if that's not how you've got mail configured.
  • There is a command prompt after launching (I know there's a workaround for this, but first impressions are huge and that DOS window is seriously ugly - this should be fixed before release).
  • The taskbar icon is eclipse not Notes for several seconds. This will confuse the heck out of normal users. Hopefully there's a solution, because I don't want to explain eclipse to end-users.
  • Resources: 150-200 MB of RAM between NLNotes and Notes2W (which IS?!?). I'm on a 2 GB system, so I haven't seen much of a performance problem (nothing not explained by it being a beta, that is). But we all need to be aware that Notes 8 (at least the eclipse version) is pretty hungry for memory.
  • Something - a lot of something - stays in memory when you shut down Notes, because if you quit and then load Notes again the startup time is decreased by a factor of 10-20. There are no "Notes-looking" tasks left running, so I don't know what is hanging around, but it has to be something important to get that kind of performance boost. I know Windows does this in general, so apps always load faster the second time, but I've never seen this big a performance difference.
  • The order of tabs is buggy in this build - you can save state, but the order of the tabs gets stuck and re-ordering them has no effect.
  • RSS preview pane is too small, to the point where it's borderline useless.
  • RSS reader itself isn't able to surface unread marks if you keep the sidebar closed, which on non-widescreen resolutions a fair number of people will do. No, I have no idea how they could possibly address that, I'm just saying that it makes the RSS reader in the sidebar less useful.
  • Also, RSS reader doesn't support groups of feeds.
  • In general, the RSS reader is pretty weak. I know it's not intended to be a full-fledged application. But it's much less "fledged" than I hoped it would be.
  • There are multiple screen refreshes for one action sometimes, excessive cursor hourglasses, lost focus a lot on popups, general glitchiness of the screen - but it's a beta, so this is to some extent reasonable. 
  • Preferences dialog still needs work. Lists a "Basic Notes client configuration" pane that includes almost everything that was in the old pref dialog, but then has a dozen OTHER pref panes, too? Can't some of this be structured more concisely? There's one whole pane just for "Logging" (of an unspecified nature) and it only has one choice. That couldn't go on one of the others somehow?
  • The difference between refreshing, synchronizing and replicating is blurred too finely. I still can't find the icon to refresh the view in the Inbox (I found the send/receive one) - maybe there isn't supposed to be one now? The very fact that they're using both synchronization and replication is a mistake, IMNSHO. Pick one and be done with it.
  • Some of the items that haven't been touched (To Dos, Replicator page) look horrible next to the pieces that have been updated. Which speaks well for the new designs, but overall makes for a very inconsistent UI experience.
  • Locking the ID doesn't blank the screen. There was a lot of discussion about this over at MB Raven's blog, but the solution IBM came up with really makes "Lock ID" useless to me. My client sits on my inbox by default because I live in mail. Locking my ID but letting anyone who walks by see my email subjects just isn't a use case I have any interest in. So no more locking the ID for me. I've disabled it completely and I'm now left with the (inadequate but at least usable) operating system lock.
  • The presence of a Sametime menu under File, View, Edit, AND Tools! I'm sure this is supposed to be more functional, but it makes it very difficult for me to know where to fine "Sametime stuff" - now, maybe a more 'normal' user doesn't think of it that way, so they'll look for "stuff related to Viewing in Sametime" which is how the menus are structured. I hope so. This power user can't find the Sametime menus, though.
  • I still don't understand why I have Favorite Bookmarks, Applications, More Bookmarks, and Internet Explorer Links - talk about annoying. 
  • Day at a Glance keeps scrolling back to the beginning of the day, even though it's afternoon. It seems to assume that the whole sidebar is available so the user will always want to see the whole day, but most people will have that plus other plugins (ST) open. It should either scroll to the current time, or remember the position I left it in, but not scroll to the past! 
  • If you run Notes 8 and Notes7 simultaneously, a ST incoming chat request goes to the 7.x client (or maybe it's the last one loaded). 
  • Background replication task steals focus - pops up the replicator tab.
  • Focus in general is iffy at best - this is a known issue, I'm only mentioning it in case anyone hasn't been following the forum.
  • Notes mail still lets you try to send an email when your contact has no email address. Duh! I really hate this. I have NO idea why person document without email addresses are indexed for type-ahead at all, and I certainly don't understand why Notes lets me actually SEND the message. Oh, I understand it technically. I know what's happening. I just don't understand why it is allowed to happen. 
  • Control-Break doesn't appear to interrupt anything anymore? At least not when network activity is involved.


Bear in mind: I've been using 8, not 7, since it came out. I won't go back to 7. Period. So even though this list is a bit long, and sometimes a bit harsh, the beta overall is really great.