Of late on Twitter, I've mentioned a few times that I am in the process of re-reading all my old blog entries going all the way back to 2002. I expect I'll be able to say why, soon....

Anyway, I've now caught up to mid-2007, just before Lotus Notes 8 shipped. A number of blog entries I wrote at the time covered the then-new Notes feature of being able to recall a sent mail message, and whether it should be on by default.

Notes 8 has been in market almost five years, and I found these older blog entries an interesting prompt to reflect on this feature. At the time, competitively we were getting pummeled on it. Novell Groupwise customers simply wouldn't consider switching to another platform without it, and Outlook/Exchange 2007 had implemented a rudimentary form of the feature (enough to get the proverbial "check box"). Our engineering team was never content to check box a feature, so when they implemented mail recall, they made sure it would work across multiple Domino servers, multiple recipients, messages that had already been read, etc.

Five years in, I am not sure how often this feature has truly been used. I maybe have tried to use it half a dozen times myself, and it rarely seems to actually "work" in my own environment. I also think in the era of always-connected smartphones, the idea of pulling back something you send has limited utility today.

I first wrote about it conceptually in 2003, immortalizing a 1994 incident at my former employer where someone would have begged for recall when they inadvertently did a reply-to-all on an email that went to everyone in the company.

So, I am curious -- do your organizations use Notes 8's mail recall feature? Have any good stories about it?

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