Best Practices for Building Domino 8 Web Applications Table of Contents (8.0)
Now that this content has been moved to the new wiki it is better. Each page clearly has a link to the previous and next topic in the set. Each article also has a link back to the table of contents.
We need more features for REST implementations.
We need further information on how URL parameters can be processed in Web Applications, for example for dynamic Views...
I too found the navigation of this site more difficult than other sites I have used. I notice that I expected this site to be more book-like while I expect Wikipedia to contain stand-alone articles. I think it's because Wikipedia has no table-of-contents.
I guess designing documentation by committee is going to result in some scattering of ideas and lack of subject focus. I'm not finding much useful information useful to me here yet. Some of the articles seem to apply to any software project. They may be best practices in general but not specific to Domino. For example the article Architectural, project, and visual design considerations has nothing in it specific to Domino and there are many other places that, because they focus on these topics, they cover them in more depth and breadth.
WHAT'S YOUR CHARTER (IF I WERE KING OF THE WORLD)
What I'd like to see here is a web site that covers the creation of web sites using Domino and covers it better than any other place on the Internet. It should cover all versions of Domino now widely in use but highlight the areas where the newer Domino versions have improved or simplified the design process. If you narrowly focus it on one version, it will become obsolete quickly. Instead, as new versions are released, we'll edit the existing articles to add the best practices for the new version while leaving the legacy parts in place until they are truly of little use any more.
VISION & FOCUS
I'd really like to see one person or a small group provide a consistent vision and focus on exactly what this web site is covering.
That's my two cents worth.
It seems there are strong feelings about wikis or how wikis should be used or not used or whatever. I don't have any feelings about those issues.
I just want the content to be usable.
In my original post I suggested "next" and "previous" links, rather than using "back" or the table of contents link.
But, I guess I'm wrong, since wikibooks has the same problem.
I agree with your sentiment that the wiki is difficult to navigate as book. Generally speaking however, I wouldn't try to use the wiki that way, but rather as an ever expanding collection of best practice articles. If you want to read it from "cover to cover," there is the pdf option.
Table of Contents
It's true, most wikis don't have a table of contents. In this case, I think the TOC is largely there to serve as way to browse to a particular topic rather than using the search mechanism. The wiki does allow parent-child relationships between pages and all parent pages have links to their children at the bottom. It is possible to add additional navigation links within each wiki entry to other pages although clearly "previous" and "next" aren't viable options in a wiki context.
One of the things we tried while generating the initial content for the wiki was to have a table of contents for the section you're currently in appear on each page. Personally, I thought this was useful but it was removed before the wiki went live because of the way it looked in the pdf.
I second what Chris said, if you have a suggestion for improving the navigation of the wiki, I'd be happy to help implement anything that will increase its usability.
"Perhaps, then, if a wiki is naturally fluid and dynamic, it is not a good vehicle for a book."
I was actually waiting for the first comment here saying as much. ;)
I don't want to get into this discussion here quite frankly - not only can't I speak authoritatively to the whole RedBook <> RedWiki debate (I'm not IBM, don't work for ITSO, etc.), but I don't think that this is the correct forum for such a topic.
Take this for what it is - an ever-expanding resource of technical content provided by the vendor and maintained by the global community. Once you turn a cynical eye (and not saying you were Grant, saying you in general) to any product, you immediately lessen your ability to see the benefits said product can provide.
I will say that the original contribution team had mixed feelings (see Residency Best Practices#Feedback from Residents).
Grant, if I read your comment wrong, and you are really looking for a method to make the wiki flow more smoothly - let's work it out! Suggestions, if you don't want to take on the herculean chore by yourself, would be great!
One of the things that we played around with during the initial population of the wiki was a prerequisites. Perhaps we should implement both a prerequisite and a context-sensitive table of contents fly-out section. Thoughts?
Thanks for the feedback. I think you are missing my point.
I understand wikis. This particular wiki, however, (and perhaps others that will replace RedBooks) is laid out as a book. The table of contents clearly gives this impression. It is not a loosely related collection of articles (as near as I can tell.)
As such, there is an expectation of being able to navigate ("leaf through") it as if reading a book. Unfortunately, starting at the beginning and gradually moving through each page, here, is cumbersome.
Thus, in answer to your question, the next topic after "Personalization" would be Searching, just as it appears in the TOC. And in the PDF.
I don't feel trapped in the structure of a book. Perhaps, then, if a wiki is naturally fluid and dynamic, it is not a good vehicle for a book.
While we (the global community, this is a wiki after all) can do more cross-linking in the pages of this wiki, and also while I understand your expectation, I think we should keep in mind that 1) not every article will have a logical static "next" or "previous" and 2) trying to create one may impact the perception of the content of the article.
For example, if we were to look at the article on Personalization, what's the logical "next" and "previous" for such an article? I think that the power of maintaining the content in a wiki is that it allows such content to be more fluid and dynamic - allowing us to move past the structure that many Domino Developers get trapped in.
The content (judging from the table of contents) looks excellent. However, since I can't navigate easily through the wiki, I likely won't read it.
How does one navigate through the wiki? I was expecting "next" and "previous" links/buttons. Instead, I have to use my browser's back button to get to the table of contents, then begin drilling down from there again.