Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Sametime 7.5.1 on Mac


I wanted to take a moment to address some of the concerns posted recently about the Sametime 7.5.1 Mac client (by vowe, Declan, in particular).  I recognize that there are a few elements of our implementation on the Mac that result in the Sametime Client not presenting a user experience consistent with other Mac applications, and we plan on continuing to work on the client to close those gaps.  In the mean time, some explanations:

  1. Readme files - As has been noted, we mistakenly packaged Windows readme files in with the Mac client.  They should not have been there, and we should be posting an update very shortly to remove them.
  2. Distribution of the Mac client - The sametime-connect-mac-7.5.1.dmg file - which is the file that would be distributed if you want to just give people the client rather than having them download it off a Sametime server - is packaged inside the c99gmll.tar.gz file, along with other files (license, spell check dictionaries, etc.).  While our documentation describes how administrators should make the clients (including the Mac client) available for download from the Sametime server, the documentation doesn't explicitly spell out for administrators that they should be distributing that particular dmg file (and not the larger .tar file it sits in, for example), and the documentation will be updated accordingly.  We are also investigating repackaging the tar file as a dmg file.
  3. Mac OS X Dock - There are several issues (plus a related one - below) with how Sametime interacts (or doesn't) with the Mac Dock:  Basically, it doesn't behave the way a Mac application would be expected to work, and if you drag Sametime to the dock you will end up with a second Sametime icon on the dock when running Sametime.  This is a known issue (not that it excuses it), and we are looking to resolve these issues with a client update in the coming months.
  4. Launch on startup - Related to the Dock issue above, if you ctrl (cmnd?)-click on the Sametime icon in the Dock, you have an option to select launch on startup, but it will not actually auto-launch.  (Instead, you will get a jvm notification upon system startup and the client will not load.)  As above, this is a known issue (and as above, not trying to excuse it).  We expect to be able to resolve this along with the Dock issues.  In the mean time, it is possible to get Sametime to launch at system startup through the Mac's Preferences/Accounts settings.
  5. Contact list "disappearing" when selecting the "x" on the buddy list - What clicking the "x" button on the client is actually doing is removing the client from the desktop, but Sametime is still running.  This is similar to what happens in Windows when you click the 'x" in the Connect client, which minimizes it to the Windows system tray.  On the Mac, in the top right of the menu bar, there should be an icon for Sametime (along with other running applications, I'm told) that can bring the Sametime client back into view.  Our developers are looking more closely at this and how to make it consistent with the experience offered by other Mac applications.  
  6. "Sametime" Menu - We're not taking full advantage of the Sametime menu in the Mac right now, which seems to be causing confusion (and again, results in the product not presenting itself in the way you'd expect a Mac application to work).  We should have this resolved in a CF1 release, as well.
  7. Truncating names in the contact list.  We actually couldn't replicate this here in the past day, but since I have seen the evidence of this myself, I know it's a problem for at least some users.  We are looking to understand this better (for example, we're looking at whether it might have to do with installing 7.5.1 on top of a previous 7.5 beta build).  This is another high priority item to resolve for the CF1 release.


Comments

    1
    Volker Weber | Website: http://vowe.net/about | 4/27/2007 12:47:58 AM GMT

    Thank you, Adam. What can I do to remove all traces of previous installations from the Mac and make a clean install of Sametime. I would like to see if the truncation issues go away.

    As to what the inconsistent behaviour is concerned, I have learned that the Eclipse 3.3 platform runs the program in one instead of two processes, which could potentially solve the two icons problem. Maybe you have to wait for Expeditor to move to this release.

    "Minimize to menu bar" is not an expected behaviour on the Mac. The menu bar is not a system tray, but a menu bar. The icon Sametime places there does not look anything like Sametime and it does not present a menu. It also appears that Sametime has a very odd behaviour regarding the use of the menu bar. It should never reduce itself to the (currently defunct) application menu.

    2
    Adam Gartenberg | Website: http://www.adamgartenberg.com | 4/27/2007 8:12:30 AM GMT

    Thanks for the continued feedback. I'm trying to find out how to do the clean install - will follow up once I get that.

    In terms of Eclipse 3.3, I'm told by our developers that our issues don't seem to be related to Eclipse but rather how we implemented things in Sametime.

    3
    Mike Brown | Website: | 4/27/2007 10:51:59 PM GMT

    Adam,

    First off, it's great to see the Mac client finally released, although sadly, I cannot yet see it as I don't have access to Passport at present.

    That said, there's some pretty glaring errors that have slipped through, by the look of it. Was there a beta for this release? I remember there was one for 7.5 on the Mac, but it had to be pulled because it was so clearly not ready. I recall reporting the two icons on the dock problem with that release, so I'm surprised to hear that it's made it to production.

    Cheers,

    - Mike

    4
    Adam Gartenberg | Website: http://www.adamgartenberg.com | 4/30/2007 7:52:18 AM GMT

    Mike - We did have a private beta for the Mac client, but didn't do an open beta like we had prior to release Sametime 7.5

    We are looking to upgrade the demo server on { Link } shortly, and you should be able to try out the 7.5.1 Mac from there. We're also going to be making a full 90 day trial download (client and server code) available in the next few weeks, as well.

    5
    Jose Lemus | Website: http://www.capgroup.com | 4/30/2007 10:42:14 PM GMT

    Thanks for the mac support. Here's some more feedback:

    1. cmd + w - to close a chat window and all other keyboard shortcuts.

    2. screen sharing across windows and mac clients.

    Any chance these will be implemented any time soon?

    6
    Adam Gartenberg | Website: http://www.adamgartenberg.com | 5/1/2007 10:03:44 PM GMT

    We are looking at how to extend screensharing to Mac, but don't have any details/timeframes to share right now.

    I'll make sure the development team sees the Cmd + w, etc. suggestions.

    7
    Eric | Website: | 5/2/2007 1:22:26 PM GMT

    Although the Connect client functionality is great -- 7.5.1 sure seems like a BIG step backwards for Mac clients and web conferencing. At least with 7.5 we could use screen sharing etc. with Firefox on MacOS. Since this (in)capability wasn't advertised up front, will IBM/Lotus give us information on how to 'downgrade' to 7.5 from 7.5.1??

    8
    Adam Gartenberg | Website: http://www.adamgartenberg.com | 5/2/2007 4:09:22 PM GMT

    @7) Eric - I'm a bit confused by your statement. Sametime 7.5.1 is the first time we've officially supported Web conferencing from the Mac, and Safari is the browser we support. However, unofficially most of the capabilities worked in Sametime 7.5 (from Firefox and Safari), and it is still possible that it would work from Firefox in 7.5.1, but it is not a supported configuration (and so we can't guarantee that everything would work).

    In terms of less functionality, if something did work (unofficially) from the Mac in 7.5, then it still should in 7.5.1. In neither case do I believe you would have been able to share your screen, though.

    If you're experience is/was different, I would love to hear about it.

    9
    Eric | Website: | 5/3/2007 1:32:04 PM GMT

    @8) - I know it wasn't officially supported ... but we seemed to be able to get Firefox 1.5+ on MacOS to work with Sametime 7.5 web conferencing. We're unable to select the Sharing tab at all with Firefox 2.0 + Sametime 7.5.1 .

    At least that's the way I remembered it. I'm hesitant to try to downgrade (because I never like doing it) but we have MacOS end users who would love to be able to use this product. So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place ... because I want to give them Notes 7.0.2 and Connect 7.5.1 ... but it would really be the icing on the cake if I can give them full online meeting functionality to boot. :)

    10
    Jose Lemus | Website: | 5/15/2007 12:57:42 PM GMT

    after spending quite a bit of time, here's my feedback:

    1. application behavior is non-mac like: unusual dock behavior, icon doesn't bounce when a new message comes in, no audible notification, apple+w to close windows, apple +m to minimize, font selection and styling currently missing.

    2. I know you're looking at this, but joining meetings that are screen sharing is my biggest gripe that still makes our mac users feel like second class citizens.

    3. Preferences window not showing up.. or no preferences currently.

    4. Is there any option to add a 'tabbed' chatting windows interface?

    11
    Mike Brown | Website: | 5/20/2007 5:38:38 PM GMT

    Have it now, Adam. Not had too much time to play with it as yet.

    Can we get "Macintosh" added as a Platform on the developerWorks Sametime Forum, please?

    Cheers,

    - Mike

    12
    Allison Sheridan | Website: | 5/21/2007 1:02:16 PM GMT

    I'll try to make my comments not repeat others, but I have to add my hopes to the request for Screen Sharing. I have to run Windows on my MacBook Pro JUST for screen sharing in Sametime, every other functionality I need is on the Mac.

    other comments:

    • sorta slow to launch

    • Like the idea of primary contacts, but it got locked up when it thought I selected all of my contacts and dragged them into primary. I was able to remove them, but it insisted that I still had them all selected. I quit and couldn't get back in. Deleted the Sametime folder in Preferences, which made me have to re-enter the server and login info, but it did let me back into ST

    • When queried on the new launch whether I wanted to save chat transcripts I said yes, and said to automatically keep them. It said it had to restart to make the changes, and I said ok, and got a JVM termination window, but it let me get right back in without difficulty.

    • I also noticed preference window sometimes comes up, sometimes ignores my request.

    that's enough for the first hour of use I think.

    Allison

    p.s. did I mention I want screen sharing? :-)

    13
    Allison Sheridan | Website: | 5/21/2007 1:07:14 PM GMT

    forgot one - along with the odd behavior of ST in the dock, add that you can't make an Alias of ST. I wanted to do that so ST was at the top level of the Applications folder.

    14
    Adam Gartenberg | Website: http://www.adamgartenberg.com | 5/21/2007 1:53:33 PM GMT

    Mike, Allison - Thank you for your continued feedback. This thread is being watched :)

    Mike - A good suggestion that I'm passing on to the DeveloperWorks team.

    Allison - I hear you on wanting Screen Sharing from the Mac, but unfortunately that is not something I can promise for the near future. We do have it in our requirements for future enhancements to Web conferencing, but it's just not something that will be a quick fix given the way that Sametime is architected.

    15
    Andy Goodall | Website: http://www.intouchplc.com | 5/22/2007 9:59:19 AM GMT

    Hi Adam

    My biggest grip is the fact I can't load up the Preferences window to change my audio tools. Is there anyway round this until it is properly fixed?

    Also, any plans to have video conferencing in the connect client, like in MSM and Yahoo im clients? Seems like a feature that is pretty much already there.

    One final thing, is it possible to allow bigger resolutions for the video conferencing in ST meetings? My apple isight cam only goes as low as 320x240 when I use the software through Boot Camp/Win XP

    Thanks for your time..

    16
    Andy Goodall | Website: | 7/20/2007 8:05:38 AM GMT

    Hi Adam

    Any update on the new Mac version fixing the issues above?

    Any idea of a release date?

    17
    Adam Gartenberg | Website: http://www.adamgartenberg.com | 7/20/2007 9:37:30 AM GMT

    @16 - Sametime 7.5.1 CF1 (due out soon) will address some of the current issues with the Mac client, with the remainder coming in Sametime 8. I'll have more details to share on CF1 (esp. as it pertains to the Mac) shortly.

    18
    Deepak | Website: | 7/10/2008 5:57:55 AM GMT

    Hi,

    We use Sametime extensively in cisco. Recently I started using mac and installed Sametime on it. Although I have set chat fonts size as 10 it shows it in Size 30 or so. I see most of us who have Macs facing this issue. Can you please let us know if there is anyway this can be fixed.

    Thanx & Regards

    -Deepak

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