Why does the Domino community have a "Domino or nothing" mentaility?

January 31 2012

The above thought has been on my mind since the middle of December but I have not figured out how to blog about it until recently. Let's start with a public comment from Ed Brill's blog:

14  Erik Brooks  | 1/26/2012 11:46:38 AM

@Ed - I actually *did* know. I'd still like to hear the reasons why this direction was chosen, because it's eyebrow-raising.

My apologies to Erik (didn't go out of my way to call you out Mr. Brooks, your comment was just the easiest one to find) but this is exactly what I mean when I ask 'Why does the Domino community have a "Domino or nothing" mentality?

First off, I get why people love Domino so much. Hell, I am one of those people. It's easy to install, easy to administer, and in basic use is easy to maintain. You can ramp Domino up to enterprise levels with clustering and lots of other great features. You can turn on DAOS and get incredible results of disk saving. You can install Traveler, which folks like Andrew Pollack call one of the best Domino feature ever. "It just works" is a saying that makes us all proud because it invokes thoughts of other amazing technology.

But for everyone of those features above, I read about how we want to pick it apart. When DAOS was first announced, people wanted to know how to use the C API to get access to the attachments on disk. The statement of 'you don't need to worry about the attachments, we just abstract it and it looks like ODS and NSF to you' was pushed for more info. The fact that Traveler is using the Apache Derby database (what Erik is referencing above) to provide a killer solution makes us all cringe and want to know what the conspiracy is. Yes, we all want a clustered version of Traveler, but should we really care how they do it?

I compare this to the other technology teams at PSC. Our Microsoft team covers SharePoint and .NET development. Of course, they are strong proponents of Microsoft technology, but when they get a new version of Microsoft tech, they really don't worry about if this version changes the tech underneath unless it effects our customer and their projects. Our enterprise team is even more flexible. Move from PHP to Python? Sure. Be flexible in JavaScript toolkits from sencha to jquery to dojo? Why not. Even our mobile developers move from iOS to Android to Windows Phone OS with very little issue or comment.

I remember the comments at Meet the Developers this year at Lotusphere 2012 where Domino was used as the standard that WebSphere installation and administration should strive to achieve. I get that. I agree. But I think that the Domino community can also be far more open minded to letting IBM use technology to extend the Domino product line as long as it within the awesome model we have today. Embracing new technology is not a bad thing. WebSphere is not a bad thing. Having some great technology like Apache Derby used in Domino to make a kick ass product like Traveler should be embraced and encouraged and should not lead to eyebrow-raising.