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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

I had reason to look recently at the FAQ we link to from the new topic form in the forums. It seems to me this is not the right format for our main purpose (heading off the same two dozen questions that get asked over and over). I'd like to have a FAQ document that directly addresses those questions, then tells them where to search for more answers. Here's my proposed list of questions; I've probably left off some important ones, so please chime in with any you think should be added or removed. My goal is to have up to 50 of the commonest questions.

  • Where else to look for answers.
  • Why doesn't anyone answer my question on the forum? Doesn't IBM monitor these?
  • @DbLookup, @DbColumn don't work on the web.
  • Other problems with @DbLookup, @DbColumn, GetDocumentByKey, etc.
  • Comparing date fields.
  • Documents in a view show up under different dates for different users.
  • My full text search isn't working.
  • How do I add fields to a form while the user is editing it?
  • Change the value of rich text in a document that's open in edit mode (add text, insert attachment, add a picture).
  • My application is slow.
  • @UserName doesn't work in view selection formula.
  • @DbLookup, other functions not working in view selection or column formula.
  • View selection to include only documents that have/do not have responses of a particular kind.
  • Sort view categories by total.
  • Sort view based on information in, or number of, response documents
  • Users can't edit documents they're supposed to be able to edit.
  • Users can't see documents they're supposed to have read access to.
  • Documents go missing.
  • Old documents suddenly reappear long after they have been deleted.
  • My hide formula isn't working.
  • How to assign a sequential number to each document.
  • Schedule an agent to run at time intervals that the agent properties do not support (e.g. the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month).
  • Notes client or Domino server crashed; how do I find out why?

Andre Guirard | 18 May 2009 12:52:58 PM ET | Home, Plymouth, MN, USA | Comments (12)


1) I would add
JYR | 5/18/2009 1:32:22 PM

Hi Andre,

I would add a section about the reservation db\busytime

{ Link }

For the rest, it seems an excellent list. It's pretty much the kind of questions that are asked over and over...

For NSD and Old documents, here's a few links that i've found, I think I know this guy :-)


{ Link }

Old documents

{ Link }


2) Should be added back to the main page
JYR | 5/18/2009 2:29:25 PM

My other post didn't seems to appear, anyway. The link to the FAQ page should be added back to the main page, not hidden in the new topic section,


3) More
Richard Schwartz | 5/18/2009 5:23:12 PM

What does URGENT mean, and what should I do if my problem really meets the definition?

What should I do instead of re-posting the same question mulitple times?

What does 'Object variable not set' mean and how can I fix it?

4) The CRISPY initiative..
JYR | 5/18/2009 8:25:30 PM

Include a link to the CRISPY initiative

5) More more
Andre Guirard | 5/18/2009 8:29:07 PM

@Richard, I'd like to try to work with the forum maintainers on the URGENT (and one or two-word subject) issue -- we could have a form validation for that.

I find it hard to come down on people for re-posting when the forum has nothing to track whether a question is answered.

And I think for all cases where there's an error message involved, we can steer them to the technotes database for a preliminary search. Most of them are in there (and when I find there's not a good general explanation of a particular message, I generally write a new technote for that).

@JYR, do you have a link to a document that answers reservation/busytime questions?

For some of these questions, we may need a little writeup added to the wiki or somewhere, if the comprehensive response isn't already available somewhere. That's what I did for "comparing dates" -- that's in the Designer wiki.

6) Main Page FAQ
Ian Scott | 5/18/2009 8:41:11 PM

@2 - I've been using LDD for years and try my best to exhaust avenues of investigation befor posting....within the last few months I found my asking questions that I intuitively believed the trail to the answer(s) the FAQ would guide me towards......I ended up (spending ages) hunting for the FAQ.

There used to be a prominent link to the FAQ. I don't know why it went away. The link on the main page ought to be restored.

Thnak you kindly


7) RNR
Ian Scott | 5/18/2009 9:16:08 PM


As ever, a thoughtful post.

I likewise don't want to come down on people who repost and I especially don't want to come down on people who are starting out with Notes or who have had to pick something up that doesn't make obvious sense or who have been forced to post something when they don't want to etc.

I'm just going to reiterate something I know you, and others, have posted on LDD before, and that is: if someone has solved your problem PLEASE POST BACK AND SAY SO (we all make embarrasing mistakes and oversights or are overstretched with tiredeness sometimes but honestly, we don't think less of anyone for coming clean - I have swallowed my pride and done so even when I know I'm talking to the wind).

RNR - an exhaustive (and honest) link to aggregated resources would be very good. When we upgraded our RNR server from 7.0.1 to 7.0.2 we developed a serious issue whereby repeat reservations made prior to the upgrade were NOT picked up by busytime and we got $hit loads of double bookings. There was nothing on LDD to help me and I didn't post anything there because I didn't want to post anything that sounded disloyal. We solved it but it was painstaking - and very stressful. Sorry Andre, that's not a vent, it's just a fact - and an echo for a comprehensive consolidation.


8) Link to the RNR
JYR | 5/18/2009 9:50:38 PM


Here's the link to my RNR db\busytime

{ Link }


9) notes client & web specific answers
Wayne | 5/19/2009 8:12:15 AM

Can the answers include notes on whether an answer is for the client or for the web. I (to this point) only do client development and if you search for "Frames" in the forum, more than half the answers relate to web programming.

10) Yes, FAQ inflation has happened
Charles Ross | 5/28/2009 11:34:21 AM

Data Smog has inveloped Lotus FAQ collections - the best is Ken Yee's LNOTES-L FAQ, very comprehensive and to the point. The organization and categorization of that FAQ is great and little improvement on it is possible - why reinvent the wheel?

{ Link }

IBM began doing its magic converting to part of Developer Domain and now it's nice an IBM-ey looking but the FAQ content has all been dissipated, defocused, fragmented and fudged up.

I suggest that the LNOTESL-L FAQ is still the model for an effective Frequently Asked Questions collection. IBM should simply mirror it and feature it prominently, then augment with others like the julie agent FAQ, et al.

11) Hw to call a field name from others database?
Kevin | 6/29/2009 7:03:46 AM


i need help ! i am fresh graduate.. start learning lotus notes script only 1 week. i received a tasks whereby they need to retrieve a data from other database.. isit using @dblookup?

12) We need a new developer FAQ...
Andre Guirard | 7/1/2009 8:56:09 AM

@Kevin, @DbLookup is one way, but the best way depends on the specifics of your task.

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