I’ve had this link regarding the maintenance release plans for the Notes/Domino 8.0x stream in my browser for quite some time, as I’ve wanted to make a quick comment on it.
8.0.2 is the last planned/scheduled maintenance release (MR) for the 8.0x codestream. Notes/Domino 8.0.x will continue to be supported for a minimum of 5+3 years (following IBM SWG policy). In lieu of producing a Notes/Domino 8.0.3 MR, more frequent 8.0.2 FixPacks will be provided. IBM will continue producing both maintenance releases and fix packs for Notes/Domino 8.5.x, and customers who have deployed Notes/Domino 8.0.2 should evaluate the benefits of the 8.5.1 maintenance release (when available).
Unfortunately I don’t have the time right now to make the comment as detailed as I want, but I wanted to throw the link up here anyway along with a couple of quick thoughts.
In general, removing 8.0x from the “current” stream of releases is a good thing. However as all of my customers are already on 8.5 – I might feel differently here if I had a couple of larger customers with deal breaking reasons to need to stay on 8.02 or below.
There’s a list of third party products (mostly around backup and archiving) which don’t yet officially support Domino 8.5. That possibly makes a few people feel slightly nervy about this announcement.
Timing around Sametime 8.5 is also possibly making a few people nervous (even though you can probably do what you need using 8.02).
Finally, a lot of people are having issues with 8.5 Domino Designer. Personally, I’ve been making an effort to use 8.5 as much as possible, and have been finding it a bit of a dog to use. It might be that most of my Domino development these days is done over remote connections, and that with multiple customers I need to switch locations frequently (I’m using Working Sets, but things don’t feel as user friendly as they could be for developers who work across multiple locations/identities), but I find it feels painfully slow – and on a quad core with 4gb of RAM, I’m pretty sure it’s not the PC which is at fault. For the most part it feels sluggish and cumbersome to use – and not just the initial opening of a database, it’s changing between forms to views, and navigating/loading design elements in general. I’ve had some weird issues when trying to copy/paste design elements, and in general just find that if I’m in a hurry to get a quick change done then I’ll flick back to 8.02 in a heartbeat. Others have reported actual bugs and issues with 8.5 but most of my whining is related to speed. Here’s hoping that 8.51 will improve some of this, but for now I can identify with anyone who finds the state of the current designer client as cause for concern.
On another note, I missed the announcement that DAMO is being retired. Ed Brill has a bit more background around the reasons for this, and they all make sense, but it’s still a bit sad. DAMO was a useful tool for any mixed environment.