For a long time now, power users have been asking for the ability to comment on (and even edit) the Infocenter documentation that IBM produces.
Up until this point, the Infocenters only received significant updates when new releases were shipped, and hence it took a long time to correct any errors or omissions. IBM's release process seemed to prohibit small changes after publication, and either way, access to the Infocenter update process was tightly regulated. In many ways, this was the reason for the launch of the Lotus Product Wikis - so that IBMers, partners and customers could create and update their own documentation, free of the controls of the Infocenter process. However, this left us with two different sources for product documentation - this static and reliable Infocenter, and the dynamic and flexible (though effectively unmanaged) Product Wiki.
With Lotus Quickr 8.5 (and with Lotus Connections 3.0 coming soon), this situation has changed.
The Infocenter has been deprecated, and all product documentation is now embedded within the Quickr Product Wiki:
This gives documentation users the ability to comment on, rate and even edit the documentation directly. The documentation areas with the 'edit' icon are now in the Wiki format:
The Lotus Quickr wiki therefore now contains the official product documentation for Quickr 8.5 for Domino, Quickr 8.5 for Portal and the Quickr 8.5 Connectors. Here's the Quickr 8.5 for Domino documentation:
As you can see, the menus on the left hand side look very familiar to Infocenter users, and so it's easy to navigate through the documentation. For each article, it is possible to see whether it has been updated, by whom, and when. In addition, a reader can see any comments that others have made, and rate the documentation too:
Whilst not many edits have been made so far, I do expect this to become better used with time as users realise the power they now have!
One of the concerns that I raised during the development process for this new product documentation process was that it would be difficult to trust the documentation 100% once it was being edited on a regular basis. However, this has been covered by having an 'official' version of the documentation that does not get changed and is available in multiple languages:
This option is available for every page in the product documentation
So, have you tried the new documentation style? Do you like it? Have you commented on or edited one of the articles?
By: Stuart McIntyre | 6 Comments | On: 29 October 2010 05:42:32 | Tags: quickr wiki infocenter documentation 8.5