It's hard to be agile

by Volker Weber

... especially if you have lots of processes. When Lotus announced 8.5.1 yesterday, there was supposed to be a link to developer.lotus.com. Since the link did not work for me, I asked around:

developerlotuscom.png

Jan-Piet, who wrote a book on DNS, quickly spotted the error. Stefan followed up. IBM knew immediately that this was a problem. More than a day later it has not been fixed.

It's easy to be agile in PowerPoint (or whatever presentation software you prefer) but not in real life. It takes a hero to replace IBM's infamous eight letter filenames with long file names. We are not using DOS any more, right? Whenever you question progress at IBM and wonder why things are moving so slowly, you have to remember that it is almost impossible to get anything done.

The question is: can IBM help you be more productive?

Comments

Fairly recently a colleague of mine made a two character change to some code but to get it implemented they had to write two reports and get them each signed off before the change could go to Change Management. CMMI.

Our Oracle people are increasingly using agile development approaches and they are delivering code faster with it so they are more productive. Still takes the same number of days to get the result through Change Management. I don't know IBM can help us there.

Ian Scott, 2009-10-08

(For the record: almost two days after you first queried, the situation remains the same -- the domain still doesn't resolve correctly.)

Jan-Piet Mens, 2009-10-08

Checked just not. Link works for me (from home). Resolves to:

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus

Simon O'Doherty, 2009-10-08

Checked just now. :) Not not. Oh its too early in the morning. :)

Simon O'Doherty, 2009-10-08

@Simon depending on your ISP that can very well be the case iff they resolve the IP address on the CNAME record to that same IP address. (There are caching servers which do that.) Fact is, that right now a query to both of the name servers authoritative for lotus.com replies incorrectly.

(BTW, the "content" served by the Web server at developer.lotus.com simply redirects with a 302 to the URL you gave above.)

Jan-Piet Mens, 2009-10-08

Yeah pointing a hostname to an IP with a CNAME but using a dot at the end to specify that this is a fully qualified address and nut just a host under the current zone is not so smart.

Either they change the "192.147.106.27." to "www.ibm.com." and add a name based virtualhost on their webserver of they get rid of the surplus dot after the IP and change the resource record type from CNAME to A.

Sascha Reissner, 2009-10-08

At least the TTL for that record is just 300 seconds, so once they find someone to fix it for them it will spread fast.

Sascha Reissner, 2009-10-08

Isn't notes.net a finer and nicer shortcut for the same URL-target? :-)

Moritz Schroeder, 2009-10-08

Sascha, you have to follow Jan-Piet's post to see the beauty of this SNAFU. They are working on it. They just can't get it right. I hope IBM got those people really cheap.

Moritz, Lotus wants developers developers developers.

Volker Weber, 2009-10-08

Volker, unfortunately I've read Jan-Piet's blog entry after writing my comment :-)

Whatever IBM is trying to fix by first filling DNS with nonsense data, then reducing the TTL of the nonsense data from 300 to 0.. now they changed it back to 300 :-)

Sascha Reissner, 2009-10-08

@Sascha I'd say they upped the TTL back to 300 after making damn sure they'd got it really, really, awesomely good. ;-)

Oops: I spoke too soon: just checked again by diging the authoritative NS: they've dropped the TTL back to 0, so I assume they've got the hardcore engineers in to look at the situation. Somebody is probably writing up an SPR by this time.... [Sorry: couldn't resist.]

Jan-Piet Mens, 2009-10-08

"The question is: can IBM help you be more productive?"

To answer that question, yes IBM can, and generally do. However, like any application from any vendor, Notes can be used in ways which are counterproductive.

In terms of the time it takes to get something done, I'd expect they should have fixed this by now, would be pretty easy to do.

But to your larger point, IBM is like any uber-large multinational. It's turning the Titanic and it takes time. Doesn't mean it's right, but it is what it is.

Kevin Mort, 2009-10-08

Kevin, notice I did not say anything about Notes. Funny you mention the Titanic. :-)

Nobody is asking to turn the ship around. We just need to put the light on in one cabin.

Volker Weber, 2009-10-08

At least I'm not surprised that internal solutions take the same time like external do. If Jan-Piet hadn't already made that PMR comment...well. :-)

Steffen Pelz, 2009-10-08

Volker, they can't find the switch -- it's too dark.

Jan-Piet Mens, 2009-10-09

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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