Barely has the dust settled from Engage, but the build-up to Domino 10 is continuing.
Last week emails went out for HCL Nomad, the official name for Domino apps on iPad. The beta is happening in June, so should be imminent. Obviously testing is tied to Domino username, so each tester needs to register on the signup page.
And today on the Destination Domino blog the beta for Domino V10 was announced, with beta 1 due out on June 25th. It’s a date that’s easy to remember for me – it’s my birthday. So, IBM/HCL, feel free to call it Project Paul or release every new version beta on that date! 😉
Beta 2 is slated for mid-July and submissions up to Juy 15th will be considered for beta 2. So I’d recommend people to sign up. Based on my experience of betas, here are a few suggestions for getting the best out of the experience:
- Think about the case you make. If you only use small Notes Client applications that have existed since v6.5 and are built with LotusScript and Formula Language only, you’re not going to be testing new functionality or edge cases affecting changes. So you’re probably not going to be high on the list. If you’re involved in developing big open source projects dependent on the platform, used by a wide range of people who are likely to be early adopters of Domino 10 – those I would hope IBM / HCL will prioritise. If you push administration boundaries with mail and Verse on Premises, again, I’d expect that to be a big plus point.
- Look at the sessions about Domino 10 from IBM Think and Engage, think about what’s new, and make your case based on those changes. Also be aware from those what areas of the platform are likely to have changed and what areas are likely to be unaffected.
- Be able to test a variety of use cases and use the beta heavily.
- It’s a beta. Expect things not to work. Be open, honest and constructive. Treat the developers how you would want to be treated by the testers of the applications you build.
- The most useful beta testing will not just find something not working and report it. The most useful will have an understanding of the platform that can give reproduceable steps, help diagnose potential causes, give all relevant information to allow developers to identify the cause, and ideally give a small sample application that developers can use to prove and troubleshoot from. The more it’s broken down into a small chunk of code, the easier it is to identify the cause and the more chance there is of getting a fix.
- Always, always, always check behaviour on previous versions of Domino. If it’s a regression, that’s useful for developers to know, to help identify the cause.
- Stay on message. If it’s a bug you know has always been there, don’t expect it to be prioritised. This is a beta for V10, not a vehicle for you to try and get a fix for something you’ve raised before. You’ll be harming your own credibility.
- Avoid scope creep. Don’t go raising feature requests, again you’ll be harming your own credibility. Beta testing is about identifying bugs. If there’s a knock-on impact that hasn’t been identified, raise it. But it may well be too late to address it for the initial release, maybe it will need to wait for the point release six months after.
- We’re all interested in getting a better release and beta testing will probably fit around the day job. So feel free to reach out to other beta testers or ask if someone can verify what you’re seeing. And take the opportunity to verify others’ issues where you can. I’m sure there will be an area for discussion, particularly in beta 1. If not, phrase your query that way in a forum post. But you may not get an answer immediately and you may just get a suggestion of where to look further. After all, we’re all likely to be pushing boundaries and the community may not have time to dig fully into the problem.
Beta testing is a good opportunity to work with IBM, HCL and the community. If you’re thinking of applying to become (or renew as) an IBM Champion at the end of the year, it’s certainly going to be something to add to the list of activities you’ve done. But it’s not just about whether or not you’re in the beta, it’s about the way you conduct yourself during the beta too.
Videos and Webinar
Whether you’re in the beta or not, it’s worth keeping a close eye on Gab Davis’s “Perfect10” series on the Turtle Partnership’s blog. It’s also worth looking at the sessions from IBM Think and Engage about what’s new. As with feature packs, functionality may not be switched on by default. Just upgrading to Domino 10 will give you some benefits. But to maximise the investment, you need to know what additional features you should be enabling.
Also, on June 28th I will be presenting a webinar along with Andrew Manby, Jason Roy Gary and John Jardin – “Node.js and Domino V10 Essentials – What You Need to Know”. The introduction of Node.js brings a wealth of opportunities to all developers and a wealth of functionality. Whether you intend to use it or not, now or in the future, it’s worth being aware of the possibilities.
IBM Think 2019
It may still be the summer, but call for abstracts for IBM Think is just around the corner. So it’s time to start getting your thinking caps on. My advice would be to think about the direction the product has taken in the announcements since the beginning of the year, look for announcements at DNUG and – if call for abstracts doesn’t close by then – CollabSphere. Watson will also, as always, remain a key focus.
And call for abstracts is still open for ICON UK, if you want to try out a session idea before IBM Think. Call for abstracts will almost certainly have closed by the time ICON UK happens, but I suspect the agenda will have been announced by the time sessions for IBM Think are selected. So it’s a good opportunity to try out a session idea and session, as well as good experience whether you’re looking to speak at IBM Think next year or build for the future.