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.