My thoughts on Lotus Notes


Here's my first gripe about Lotus Notes 8: it's slow. It's incredibly sluggish to load and use daily. Being a huge resource hog is probably partly to blame, using 440MB of disk space and about 300MB of RAM (yes, you read that right ... 300MB!).

From a cold boot this morning, Notes took over 2 minutes to load on my 2.8GHz Pentium 4 with 2GB of RAM. That's just ridiculous! I've just swapped over to using Apple's at home and it takes a whopping 1 second to load on my laptop. Granted, it's not really a fair comparison as Notes can do far more than can do, but 2 minutes is still ridiculously slow whichever way you look at it.

It's not only slow to load, but the user interface is also very sluggish to use. Swapping tabs from Mail to Calendar or loading up Contacts takes a good couple of seconds and quite a few redraws. It sort of feels like a web page loading up where the text loads and as images are downloaded, the text rewraps to make room for the images. Parts of the interface are initially blank and then they get filled in and pieced shift around until everything is finally loaded.

This gets quite annoying when using the "Search this view" search box. After performing a search, there's a "Clear Results" button to revert back to a normal display. It sometimes takes a couple seconds for the button to respond and that often makes me think that it didn't work, so I click the button again. Unfortunately, when the "Clear Results" button disappears, a "Search tips" link appears where the button used to be. So, of course Notes registers each click: the search is cleared and then search help is triggered. This results in another few seconds delay as the help panel loads up, and by the time I get everything back to normal, I've wasted a good 10-20 seconds.

All this time I thought Thunderbird was a bit slow and sluggish; I've been thoroughly disavowed of that idea!