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Best Practice Makes Perfect

A collaboration with Domino developers about how to do it and how to get it right in Domino

An issue recently came to my attention that (based on my informal poll) has been a thorn in the side for Domino administrators for quite a while. I've been trying to figure out how it is that it's never been fixed.

I'm referring to the fact that end users, when they create or rename a folder, are allowed to use various characters that have special meanings in design element names -- backslash, vertical bar, underscore, forward slash (which causes problems in mobile) and enclosing the name in parens (which makes the folder hidden in the UI). It's a nuisance for administrators, because recovering the "corrupted" folders is hard to do without writing code.

For a long time, we didn't have a bug report for this -- I finally wrote one, SPR # AGUD8USQ68. We didn't have a bug report because nobody ever called it in to Support. We have a system for prioritizing bugs. Recent regressions are at the top of the list. Problems that have been in the product for one release or more, are a distinctly lower priority, unless someone complains about them. By which I don't mean bitching about it in IdeaJam or even asking about it at IBM Connect. The most effective way to boost the priority of an issue, is to call IBM Support and open a PMR. An SPR with one customer report is approximately 100 times more likely to be addressed than one with no reports (especially because the SPR with no reports generally doesn't even exist). An issue with two reports is twice as likely to be addressed as an issue with only one. Reports from development count for approximately nothing. It's all about the customers and partners.

So when a business partner wrote to me recently to complain about this issue, I told him if he really wanted it fixed, he should call it in to support. I personally would love to see a lot of these annoying issues given priority, but people generally only call in to Support when they're blocked -- not when merely annoyed and inconvenienced.  So we now have one (1) report about this issue. That's almost certainly not enough to get it fixed in a quarterly release, though it might get into the next major release.

So, if there are issues on your personal list, things about the Notes client, the mail template, or Domino that are an occasional problem, that you feel might be damaging end-user confidence in the products, impairing productivity, or just generally causing annoyance, and you want the annoyance to stop, then call IBM Support and open a PMR. And then call your Domino buddies and encourage them to do the same.

EDIT: You can also weigh in on this specific issue on IdeaJam. Thanks, Mathieu Pape, for posting this.

Andre Guirard | 13 May 2013 10:23:11 AM ET | | Comments (13)

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