I serendipitously ran into unexpected behavior of my embedded Sametime client on a machine running Notes 8.5.1. I locked out the screen by pressing F5 as I was getting up to go to lunch. After pressing F5, my Notes client will not let me open or send mails, nor will it let me access or write anything in any of the already open Sametime chats. That's expected behavior. But before leaving my desk, I noticed that my manager opened a chat window with a question. Not wanting to let her wait until after lunch, I instinctively typed my answer in the chat window and sent it back successfully. But the client was still 'screen locked', so this was not expected behavior to me.
Now, the Sametime preferences include a section on Auto-Status changes, which can determine what happens in response to changes in your calendar, Notes client, or operating system. I don't have the setting for 'Locking Lotus Notes' selected. Why? Because it forces the status to Do Not Disturb (DND). What I want, when I'm Away from the workstation, is really an Away status, so buddies can leave me messages in new chat windows, which I'll see when I return. With DND, no new chats can be initiated. So I don't check 'Locking Lotus Notes'; Instead, I set my Sametime status to Away and lock my Notes screen with F5. That's just my personal preference. You can see my Auto-Status preference settings below.
The observation above took place yesterday. This morning, I started working from home, then screen locked Notes and put the laptop in standby mode, drove to the office, and woke up the laptop to continue. My Notes client is still screen locked with the empty password dialog box showing. I replaced my notes \\notes\data\workspace recently to eliminate an issue caused by a non-released plug-in I was working with. This replacement naturally causes me to loose Eclipse based settings I had saved, like the geographic locations Sametime associates with each wireless access point I use. So when my laptop automatically attaches to the wireless network in the office, Sametime pops up a dialog for me to enter my 'new' geographic location. I filled it out and applied it successfully. All while the Notes client was still screen locked. Again, that doesn't strike me as 'expected' behavior, but our Sametime security architect confirmed for me that this is 'Working as Designed'. Sametime itself, meaning the standalone Connect client, doesn't have the lock-out concept. You're either contactable (logged on as Available or Away) or not contactable (DND or not online). The intersection with the Notes client is such that the above behavior is what results.
My observations lead me to two suggestions I'd like to hear your take on:
1. Should there be a choice between Away and DND, when you select the 'Locking Lotus Notes' option?
2. In the absence of the Away option, should the behavior when locked out, and 'Locking Lotus Notes' is not checked, prevent responses in not just existing chats, but new chats as well, and in dialogs like the one for geographic location, until the password is re-entered?
An important aspect of guiding quality improvement is to ensure we focus on the things that matter to our clients. This topic arose out of my own observations, and out of my own subjective expectations for how I would like to see the product work. So I need your help to find out what our clients think. Is this just a pet peeve of mine, or is this a change we should pursue? How important is this issue to you? Please share your thoughts in comments.