Letter to my bosses:
After a long conversation on Notes.net, I've come to the following conclusions that I thought I should share with you:
1. Please, don't ever consider using Delphi. As you might know they use Qt in their latest releases, as oposed to MFC (in fact, I think they've never used MFC). Supporting apps that use MFC and apps that don't will make things harder for our support desk.
2. We should stop all our migration projects to Linux. As I've been told, there are no benefits in migrating to Linux, and TCO is higher. I know that you did some analysis that concluded that Linux had a lower TCO, at least for us and for some clients, and I know that IBM keeps saying that Linux has a lower TCO (e.g. http://www.ibm.com/linux/RFG-LinuxTCO-vFINAL-Jul2002.pdf
). That's not the case. According to at least one analysis done by IDC (paid by those nice MS folks) the TCO of Linux is higher. In fact, I don't even know why other companies are migrating!
3. If you however, decide that we should go for more than one OS, please consider dumping the Notes Client. You have nearly all the functionality of the Notes Client on the web. I know we would loose some things that some people consider esential. I know that it would mean modifying a few hundred databases so that they work on the browser. I know this might mean nearly a year doing nothing but this, but I'm pretty sure it will pay off!
P.S. Doing a winelib port should not be much harder than making a Wine/Crossover port. The benefits of the first option are much bigger than the little extra efford needed.
P.S.2. Sorry for using sarcasm, I prefer to give simple and clear reasons than to use sarcasm, as it might lead to the wrong opinion that I'm not taking seriously your comments. Unfortunately, as English is not my mother tongue, I can't always fully express what I try to say and I found that this was the easier way to try to make myself clear. I don't mean to say with my words that you are wrong, you are partly right, I just meant to show that you where overstating some things.
And the longest P.S. ever (I hope this will allow you to understand my reasons behind this thread):
It is obious that we come from different backgrounds, and that's getting in this discussion. First, it's seems that you come from a corporate background and when you think of a bussiness, you are thinking of, at least, a few hundred seats. The company I work for is big, but it's big by the standards of the place we are in. Most of our clients are in the manufacturing sector and, thus, we are talking about companies that have less than a hundred seats (sometimes just a few dozen), because most of their workforce doesn't work in front of a computer. This means, among other things, that the complexity of supporting their computers is much lower. Of course there are a few notable exceptions, banks and hospitals mainly. To give you an example of one of the uses whe could have for a Notes client: we've developed an application that takes care of all the documents involved with the patients of a hospital. It's a big app that has been installed, for example, in 50-100 (I don't remember the number) computers in one hospital. Of those computers, more than half of them have Notes as the only app installed and the rest have Office+Notes. If we had installed Linux + OpenOffice/StarOffice, that would have meant great savings for them. You surely know that higher TCO costs depend on the use you do to a computer. Windows 98 TCO costs, for example, are probably much higher than those of Windows XP or Linux. Why? Because an user with Win98 can erase all his hard disk if he wants to (Have you never had an user who deleted his windows folder because he wasn't using it and it took too much space? ;D). A Linux PC + notes client won't allow the users to do anything appart from running the installed apps and configure their desktop (and if they really mess it up, just delete their desktop config file if you don't want to loose time). You are also saving time thanks to the lack of viruses, because I know that Notes is not Outlook, but users have a nice tendency to execute whatever attachement they receive. To sumarize: it was cheaper to use Linux than Windows, if Notes had been available. This is also aplicable when you are working with clients who mainly use very little programmes (and if some users use a lot, they can keep Windows). Just as a last example, we have many clients with a lot of computers that just need Notes, a word processor, and Client Access. Guess what's holding them from migrating to Linux?
And please don't take this last rant as a I'm right, you are not. That's not what I mean to say. There are many cases where Linux would be cheaper to use, and there are many cases where it's just not worth it, at least for now. Unfortunately I've found many cases where it was worth it, and as Linux fan myself (if it wasn't clear ;) ), it's highly annoying knowing that it would be better to use Linux but that you can't. I'm pretty sure from your words that in the bussiness environment you work in you've never found a real need to use Linux, and I understand the reasons you are giving, as in your case a Linux (desktop) migration would probably mean a lot of headaches. What's more common, your situation or mine? That's something neither of us can really know as we can't see that much further from our surroundings, and that's why I'm defending a winelib port instead of asking directly for a full Linux port.