From the article, the FewClix plug-in allows for the following:
Archiving: While Notes only lets users archive batches of e-mail by date, FewClix offers archiving by any combination of factors, such as recipient + before date + attachment. The beta requires users to search archives separate from the main inbox, but that will be changed by the general release, Kumar said.
Folders and Groups: Rather than forcing users to set rules that route e-mails into various folders, Fewclix lets users keep their e-mails in the inbox but reduce clutter by creating different “Groups.” Those groups can virtually offload read and process e-mails to “done” groups, mimicking the delete/inbox removal process advocated by David Allen’s Getting Things Done regimen, Kumar said.
Performance: A slick demo Kumar showed involved a Notes database with 12,000 e-mails. He said FewClix’s in-memory index enables “very good” performance for mailboxes as large as 200,000 e-mails.
Now, I have not used Lotus Notes in nearly eight years but recently worked with a consultant forced to use the application for email. In a phrase, she hated it, and with good reason. I believed then–as I do now–that Lotus Notes is not remotely user-friendly. It completely deserves its reputation as a clunker.
Note that Notes’ purists will insist that you can use Domino Designer to develop databases and web applications. While I don’t dispute this, as an email client, I have never met a true Notes’ fan. It’s simply clunky.
The Problem with Plug-Ins
While I am a huge fan of plug-ins (especially for Firefox, my browser), this is the wrong route to go for Lotus Notes for several reasons. First, remember that Notes is primarily a corporate email application. I’ll bet you a Coke that most IT departments will not sanction employees’ downloading third-party plug-ins to use with Lotus Notes. Imagine if the aforementioned Domino tools have been used to customize Notes, something that I have certainly seen before. The plug-ins can cause IT departments major problems.
Second, what does that say about your application when plug-ins have to address basic features, such as search and performance? We’re not talking about a cool new theme or the ability to add fish swimming in the background. This is core stuff, man.
Finally, why should end-users have to suffer when there are so many user-friendly alternatives? I have used Gmail, Yahoo mail, and different versions of web-based Outlook. Each is vastly superior with respect to search and its overall user interface (UI).
Why IBM Won’t Blow Up Lotus Notes
I honestly have no idea. IBM has certainly embraced change, as evinced by their recent adoption of open source technologies such as Linux. Perhaps someone can explain this to me?