Doing too much with a single piece of software

I have written about Lotus notes before. I have written about solutions to problems, and to what I like and/or dislike about it.

My main problem with Lotus Notes is a combination of two; on the one side, it has major usability issues, though these are adressed, to some degree, in version 8. My main issue with Lotus Notes is still there: They’re trying to do too much. Here’s a short, and most likely incomplete, list of the features of Lotus Notes:

  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • Webbrowser
  • Text editor
  • Presentation editor
  • Spreadsheet editor
  • Database handler
  • Instant Messaging client

The problem of having it do all of these things is that it bloats the software. Version 6, when installed locally, used 50-60 MB of RAM when running. Version 8, when installed locally, uses in excess of 250 MB of RAM. Let that sink in for a moment. From version 7 to version 8, it seems nothing was removed in the way of functionality, but a lot of stuff was added.

Now, I might be strange, but I am not a big fan of stuffing too much functionality into a single, limited package. These days, it’s almost surprising that your average cellphone does not make coffee, or at least heat your food.

Me, I like purpose-built. I use a digital camera when I want to take photos, a GPS when I want to navigate, and by golly, I use an Mp3-player when I want to play music. It is that simple. This is a train of thought I am missing in many large software suites.

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