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21.06.2008 Henning Heinz  
Domino 8.5 - ecblank.gif now has a closing tag

Whenever there is a new Domino version I hope that it will stop using ecblank.gif for html rendering (because Netscape 2.0 required this about 10 years ago).
Well the new design elements like XPages now got rid of that but the oldschool domino elements like forms, views still love ecblank.gif. But wait isn't there a new database application property? Enhanced HTML
And indeed the HTTP server now closes the img tag with a proper "/".

<img width="1" height="1" src="/icons/ecblank.gif" border="0" alt="" />
Well there has been a lot of talk around XPages and other new stuff. Again IBM added a new collar but the face itself remains quite ugly. This is not bad because companies already running Notes and Domino enhance their toolsets but if this should ever attract new customers (and developers) the mess around the Notes core has to be fixed too. And if you thought Notes 8 is slow then be prepared that the Eclipse Domino Designer beta opens a new level of response times, even on my Dual-Core 4 GB machine (it is beta release so I expect some improvements in this area).
I am not disappointed about R8.5. It is not a major release so more comparable to 6.5 which basically only introduced IBM Lotus Sametime but I do not share all of the enthusiasm that has been around.
If you want Domino to learn new tricks you now have to completely revamp your applications, more comparable to a migration that an upgrade. And if you consider that the develop once, run everywhere paradigm is still broken (it is since Notes 5 so that really is nothing new) you could also develop your web applications in any other available web platform.
I do not know if this is intentional. XPages and Server Side Javascript were designed for IBM Workplace using all the heavy IBM stuff like Websphere, full DB/2 and I guess porting it to work with Domino was a challenge. Unfortunately information about where IBM is going with Notes and Domino are sparse.