Lotus Domino Best Practices Wiki on LDD

by Bruce Elgort

...and it's database name is "dominowiki.nsf". Got your ears on Ben?

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As of now, it's a wiki in name only. The intention might be there, but as of now it has no wiki features at all. Not a good idea for a company that is trying to promote itself as a promoter of web 2.0 for business, IMHO.

Richard Schwartz, 2007-11-28

In fact, the "Wiki" is just another instance of the typical IBM "Department of Redundancy, Department". I do not know any other software manufacturer in existance, producing so much code/content while totally dropping out in terms of signal-to-noise-ratio, due to its internal structure and marketing folks.

They apparently got a bunch of brilliant people, but the whole company appears to be simply "broken by process".

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2007-11-28

That’s no DominoWiki!

Ben Poole, 2007-11-28

Interesting that it looks so different to the Connections and Quickr Best Practices "wikis" too...

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-11-28

It seems to be using the IBM blog template and some design elements have been upgraded to the new IBM LDD style.

Henning Heinz, 2007-11-28

I can only assume they tried a DominoWiki first and then switched to the blog template. It is hard to get a database deployed, but not so hard to abuse it once it is there.

Volker Weber, 2007-11-28

@1 Rich - how is it not a wiki? Just because WE can not edit it, does not mean it is a wiki. It may be set that just Internal IBM folks have editing rights. It is still a wiki if it allows for a group of authors to create content that a larger audience consumes. Hopefully, this lets the Notes team get info to us quicker, since they can just edit the content directly ... instead of going thru the Offical Documentation Workflow (i.e. scrub) process.

Maybe we are splitting hairs here. But I think it is a good first step in the right direction.

John Head, 2007-11-28

CMS != Wiki

Volker Weber, 2007-11-28

Fair enough Volker. But I still think it is a good step in the right direction. Getting information directly from the developers to the wider audience. We all know that the content at Lotusphere is great .. even if the presentation skills of some are not. Why, because it is the actual developers are up there on stage. How many times have some of us sat in the sessions of Julie K and just were in awe? Having those same developers authoring content we get to consume directly is great.

Maybe wiki is a bad name for the site. I still think the content is great.

John Head, 2007-11-28

John, I have no issues with the content. Not even with IBM calling all things Web 2.0. :-)

Volker Weber, 2007-11-28

John, The content has potential. I'll admit that it is possible that it is a wiki, and I can't really tell... but the content that's there now shows none of the classic signs of wiki-ness. The front page is a structured index, not freeform. There's little formatting inside the other pages, ergo little evidence of a simplified markup language being used by the editors. There are no internal links, ergo no evidence that there's a simple markup-based linking mechanism It accepts blog-style comments with no markup allowed, rather than presenting a freeform "talk page". So it's fair to say IMHO that by all outward appearances, it's not a wiki.

Richard Schwartz, 2007-11-29

Hi all,

My name is Amy Smith and I am an information developer for the Domino admin/server doc team. I'm also one of the folks behind the Domino Best Practices Wiki. :-) From reading these comments, I can see that Oscar Wilde was correct when he said: "The only thing that is worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about." So I am glad that you all have seen the Wiki.

Many comments posted here in your blog are valid and I wanted to address them - not defend what we're doing, but more to set some expectations and clarify our intentions. I also want to invite you and your readers to address any comments and questions about the Wiki to me at anytime.

Let me preface my remarks by saying that the Wiki is in a pilot phase. It was announced only to PSM customers and to business partners. Frankly, I had my reservations about including you guys in the pilot - not so much that we might get dinged but because I thought the Wiki might be more publicly exposed by one of you - let's face it, viral marketing has nothing on the BP community. ;-)

We (Information Development) decided to develop the Wiki after hearing some developers talk about the need for a "Domino-o-pedia" - a repository for a discussion of Domino best practices. And more importantly, it was a way to create a community amongst customers, business partners, architects, support, and development. I think development understands that, while they build Domino, there's a lot of expertise out there they they will never have on the myriad of ways to deploy, administer, tweak, and tune it. Some developers, in fact, have seeded the Wiki to test out some best practices in the external community.

The intention of this resource is to share content. Domino development will continue to post best practice information. It's our hope that the community will follow suit. It's our expectation that the community will also keep the postings honest. You of all people will spot incorrect or incomplete information and set the record straight. Yes, the current content is pretty slim. In the absence of content, critiquing the container is all that's left. Yes, we intend to improve both the container and the content. Our hope is that you folks will focus on providing and ensuring quality content as well.

As for the Wiki platform, some of you were spot on - it is a Wiki template based on the blog template. We thought it was important for a Domino Best Practices Wiki to run on Domino technology. While it IS a wiki, we simply haven't - as one developer put it - flipped the switch to enable the world to edit stuff wiki-wise.

But let me ask you all - is offering the Wiki on Domino technology important to you? Would you rather we run it on a Wiki technology that is more full-featured now? Because we could do that. (BTW, we do know about the Domino Wiki template offered on OpenNTF.org and we considered it, but in the end we decided to try eating our own dog food, as we say here.) :-)

So, bookmark that URL and please stay tuned for futher developments. And we hope to see you in the Wiki!


Amy Smith, 2007-11-29

Thanks for clarifying Amy. To answer your question: the wiki is important, yes. Now that red books are over, a good repository of stuff will always go down well.

The problem you may encounter is that people are used to editing pages in a wiki, rather than just commenting against them—seems to me that there’s going to be a lot of work for your “content manager” otherwise!

Ben Poole, 2007-11-29

Now I get it. This the planned successor to the Redbooks?

Volker Weber, 2007-11-29

Hello Amy, very eloquently put

My thoughts :

Firstly please see this as positive feedback, I am sorry to see the redbooks but that argument is not for this post. I am also very aware that the existing information is very draft and may not represent your vision.

Should it be a Domino Wiki ?
Number 1 is that it absolutely has to work. If your team has the resources to make it work well in Domino then that would be great. If you don't have those resources and something better already exists is Websphere then that would be ok because it must work - don't underestimate the amount of work that the core wiki functionality takes to develop and without true wiki functionality the editing burden for your team will be much higher ( automatic url links to linked entries etc.. )

Number 2 is that you are right about it being good to eat your own dog food. It would be great to show customers a good public example of an enterprise scale Domino Wiki

The scope of the Wiki
My biggest concern with the Wiki is how focused it will be. When a person looks a Wikipedia for Cuba or Castro there is generally one entry for Cuba or Castro - or at least one entry that is clearly the prime document.

I cannot see how the Domino Wiki can have this clarity of structure without a huge amount of effort on IBMs part - more effort than the Redbooks perhaps

I am also struggling to know what content will be added to the Wiki. Some of the posts look like they should be in the bundled help database, for example the Notes Traveller entry.

The same could go for the notes.ini entries - the list is really useful but does that list belong in a best practice wiki or in the help database - I can see how specific entries mentioned within the context of a best practice entry would be helpful but I am not sure that is how it is structured.

The main sources of information available to customers would seem to be the the bundled help databases, the Fix list database, the knowledge base, the notes.net forums and various blogs ( and also the information centre which I only found last week - see link below ) . For this wiki to be successful it should at most contain only a distilled set of data from these other sources - I guess this is why it cannot be a truly open Wiki

Is there not a very real danger that it will become a sprawling dumping ground for thoughts that does not actually allow people to drill down to what they need ?

A couple of specifics :

The articles do not indicate which releases ( and platforms ) of Notes / Domino they are applicable to - this is really useful information for people - the knowledge base appears to do this very well and the bundled help databases usually include this information too when describing formula and script

I personally liked the approach of the old "Lotus Today ??" which set out a scenario based on an activity that someone would want to achieve and then described how best to do it - the example of the library shopping cart was one that I remember well - This might lend itself well to "best practices" which I feel is more about doling it well from the start rather than about being focused on troubleshooting

It would be worthwhile posting an open invitation for comments on the Business Partner Forum - It was announced on the 7th Feb but I think a request for opinions would elicit more response

Good luck



Sean Cull, 2008-02-25

This is a topic that is close to my heart... Many thanks! Exactly where are your contact details though?

Ethyl Cabreja, 2012-06-12

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