Improvements in developerWorks Community
developerWorks Community uses IBM Connections as a social networking and collaboration solution, empowering teams to build their own communities. We have upgraded to IBM Connections v4 CR4 as of 09/08/13.
There are several good resources available to help you understand what to expect from the new version of Connections, and our FAQ section below answers questions about the developerWorks upgrade.
Known issues following the upgrade
developerWorks has moved an unprecedented amount of data and community assets through an upgrade to Connections v4 and to a new hosting environment. As might be expected with a project of this size, there have been a few bumps. Here are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions since our go-live on April 15.
Q. In Forums, why is the "System Admin" or "sbhupa" profile showing up in place of other profiles? Has my account been hacked? Can it be fixed? When will it be fixed?
A. developerWorks previously used a legacy software that had a set of profiles that were actually independent of those used by developerWorks Community. When migrating the forums to Connections forums, for each post, an attempt was made to find a unique developerWorks profile with the same email address as the profile in the legacy software. If no match could be found, a default profile was used instead. No developerWorks profiles have been compromised. We will be able to restore posts to the original owner for those with high post counts. UPDATE 6/7/2013: We hope to begin making these changes around the beginning of July.
Q. Why are my post counts wrong? (Added 6/28/2013)
A. In the previous forum software, post counts represented the total of all counts across all forums. In Connections Forums, post counts shown represent a tally of your posts in the current forum only.
Q. How do I administer forums? Why doesn't the admin URL work anymore? When will I be able to administer forums?
A. In Connections Forums, forum administration and moderation is performed within the actual forum user interface. If you have forum admin or owner privileges, you will see options to "Edit, Delete, Move, Lock Topic, and Pin this Topic" on each post in addition to "Reply". Old admin user IDs from the legacy software are not usable as developerWorks login IDs. If you need something done immediately that requires forum admin or owner privileges, please send a note to email@example.com. Otherwise, we will begin accepting requests for forum privileges in May. UPDATE 8/19/2013: We are now granting owner rights to individual forums. If you submitted a request and have not received a response, please resend it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to submit a new request, include your screen name and the URL to the forum(s) you want owner rights on.
Q. Where did the sticky posts go at the top of my forum?
A. We were unable to retain the settings that made certain posts "sticky". The posts still exist within the forum. In Connections Forums, forum owners or admins can "pin" the topic, which is the same concept. If you need a post pinned prior to May, please send a note to email@example.com.
Q. How will new forum follows work? Why am I not receiving email notifications when someone responds to a thread in which I have posted?
A. In order to establish system stability, we have temporarily disabled instant email notifications. We will turn this feature on in a couple of weeks. Daily digest notifications are being sent for follows and responses. UPDATE 5/13/2013: A fix for forum email notifications not being sent for follows that were set up after the upgrade and migration has been deployed, but there is a problem with a messaging bus that is preventing this feature from working correctly. A fix for the messaging bus problem is expected this week. UPDATE 8/18/2013: If you are not receiving notification of new forum posts for follows that you have set or for threads you have contributed to, navigate to settings (click your screen name in the upper right, then Settings), then change the frequency of your notifications for forums and click Save. You can change the setting back to your preferred frequency if desired. This process should prompt the system to begin processing your forum notifications.
Q. Why are there no counts of the number of times a forum thread has been viewed anymore?
A. The Connections forums do not offer this feature out of the box. If you are an IBM'er, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to where new features can be submitted to the IBM Connections development team.
Q. Why can't I use the same markup in my forum posts anymore? Why is the formatting on my existing posts terrible?
A. In Connections Forums, wiki-style tagging is no longer supported. Any residual cleanup will have to be done by hand, and unfortunately developerWorks cannot assist in these efforts.
Q. What is the best way to show source code within the new forums?
The best suggestion we have at the moment is to try using the Blockquote option (in the next row, underneath that menu; it appears as a button with a quotation mark). Blockquote puts the text in a differently colored background and is therefore easier to distinguish from the other text in the post. To use blockquote, position the cursor in the post at the point where you want to insert source code, click the Blockquote button to put you in blockquote mode, type or paste in the source code, and then click the Blockquote button again to turn off blockquote mode.
We now have available a feature for adding code snippets in-line on forum posts. You can see the widget by going to a forum and replying or starting a new topic. On the html edit page that comes up, there is a new icon representing code brackets: <>. Clicking the <> button brings up the editor, where code snippets can be entered. Once the code snippet has been saved, the widget will present the code with the original line breaks and add line numbering. There are horizontal and vertical scroll bars to aid in readability, and sections of code are collapsible. When the code is copied from the forum post, the line numbers will not copy, so the code should be viable (to the extent that it was working when pasted into the forum, that is!).
Q. What happened to the 'Follow this blog' widget?
A. developerWorks added a customized "Follow this blog" widget in Connections v2.5. We chose not to port this feature, because v4 provides a similar feature. Unforunately, this means that your blog follower information was not migrated. UPDATE 5/9/2013: We have restored blog follows from the v2.5 blog follower list soon, but we have no plans to recreate the ability from prior to the upgrade to see the list of profiles that are following your blog.
Q. My profile is missing professional information that used to be there. Where did it go?
A. As part of a simplification effort, developerWorks phased out "Smart university" widgets/data that used to be available in Connections v2.5. As of our upgrade to Connections v4, we will only be supporting out-of-the-box features in Profile application; unfortunately that doesn't include courses taught or taken, grants, publications, and etc. You are encouraged to update their profile as part of "About me" field in WYSIWYG editor. Note that we still have these data; if you want us to email the information you had previously entered, so that you do not have to recreate it from scratch, send a note to email@example.com.
Q. How do I use Windows Live Writer with my blog after the upgrade?
A. In setting up new (or modifying existing) blog accounts on Live Writer, make sure you choose Other blog service, enter https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/ as the web address of your blog. If prompted, choose Atom, and use https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/api as the atom service doc URL.
Q. How do I request a new blog in this release of developerWorks Community?
A. All new blogs must be community blogs. Any developerWorks user can create a community (click Community (in the masthead) > Communities, then click the Start a community button). Be sure to set the membership of the community accordingly. Customize the community to include a blog (community owners can click Community actions > Customize, then select the Blog widget from the Add content tab).
Q. I'm trying to add a known developerWorks profile to my (community, blog, wiki), but the member field says "no results found". What gives?
A. The most common reason is that each community application (communities, wikis, blogs, forums, etc.) has its own "awareness" of what profiles exist in developerWorks. If a user has not visited the developerWorks application in question while logged in, that application will probably not be aware of his or her profile. This is a common problem for new profiles. If you have means to contact the person directly, ask them to log in and visit the appropriate link below. This action forces the application in question to process a request based on that person's ID. If the page loads correctly for them, even with no results found, you should then be able add that person to your member list. If this is not an option, or if does not solve the problem, or if they receive an error trying to access the page, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide their IBM ID (login ID) or screen name, and the URL of the community, blog, etc. that you are trying to add them to.
- Communities: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/groups/service/html/mycommunities
- Blogs: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/?lang=en
- Forums: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/forums/html/my?view=member
- Wikis: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/wikis/home/mywikis?lang=en&role=editor
Learn how to use IBM Connections components, contribute to its product knowledge base, and collaborate with others. You can also add your own expertise to the mix, log on to comment on an article, or author one of your own. View videos in the gallery, follow links to product documentation or Redbooks, and browse hundreds of articles covering every aspect of IBM Connections.
developerWorks article with downloadable PDF. This Reviewer's Guide provides an extensive overview of the latest version of IBM’s social software, IBM Connections 4.0, and its nine applications: Home, Profiles, Activities, Blogs, Bookmarks, Communities, Files, Forums, and Wikis. In addition, this guide explains how to extend the features and functions of IBM Connections to your existing applications.
Link to IBM Connections product documentation topic.
Link to IBM Connections product documentation topic.
Frequently asked questions
What changed with Blogs?
developerWorks disabled the ability for a user to create a stand-alone public blog. However, this upgraded version of Connections provides the ability for community owners to create a blog within their community, for their community members to follow. See the Connections v4 product documentation on Blogs or learning resources links above to learn about new features associated with this upgrade.
Can custom themes be used on community blogs?
Yes, themes can be changed on community blogs in Connections v4.
Can I see who is following my blog?
The "Follow this blog" widget, which shows who is following a blog, was a developerWorks customization in Connections 2.5. This functionality was not added as a customization for Connections v4. v4 provides a similar feature.
What changed with Bookmarks?
The link to your bookmarks and the public Bookmarks is available from the My page view on the Home page. A link to Bookmarks is not available from the developerWorks masthead. See the Connections v4 product documentation on Bookmarks or learning resources links above.
Yes, the communities are open to registered users, including those specific to products, product Champions, etc.
Is the "related groups" widget still available?
The Related groups widget, available in Connections v2.5 developerWorks Community, used tags to determine relationships between groups, and is no longer be available. Connections v4 supports a Related groups widget, that utilizes a different method to determine relationships between groups.
What changed with Files?
The link to your files and the public Files is available from the My page view on the Home page. A link to Files is no longer available from the developerWorks masthead. developerWorks encourages you to create and share files within a community, rather than create stand-alone public files. Note that a community owner can control a community member's ability to upload files within a community. See the Connections v4 product documentation on Files or learning resources links above to learn about new features associated with this upgrade.
What admin features are available?
Forums supports the following administrative features: Move, Delete, Sticky (pin), Edit, Lock. These features are available to the "forum owner" role. Forum admins IDs in the legacy forum software will be mapped as part of the migration to a forum owner privilege in the new forums. Forum admin features are built right on the Forums UI. Unlike the use of a separate admin console as required in our legacy forum software, this approach makes it easy for the forum owner to administer and contribute to the forum with only one ID while staying in the same UI. You may find this short video (2:47) on the forums useful.
Can a forum have multiple forum owners?
Yes, a forum can have multiple forum owners. If you need additional forum owners, please contact developerWorks to queue these requests.
How do I request a new forum?
developerWorks users can create community forums without submitting a request to developerWorks. Community forums have identical functionality to other forums in Connections v4.
Help for Connections v4 can be found at https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/help/index.jsp.
The following under-utilized widgets are no longer be available: Insider news, Twitter, Community events, My feeds.
UPDATE 8/6/2013: The IBM Connections v4 mobile application can be used with IBM developerWorks Community.
How to set up the developerWorks mobile app:
Download the app to your mobile device.
- Launch the IBM Connections app.
- On the Connections page, click My company’s server
Enter the following:
Account nickname: developerWorks
Server URL: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/mobile
Username: your developerWorks IBM ID (login ID)
Password: your developerWorks password
- Click Log In.
The following are known limitations of the mobile app:
- Empty “Title”, “Office #”, “Mobile” and “Fax” fields show when viewing profile contact information. This information is not stored by developerWorks, but the labels display by default.
- It is not possible to create comments on wiki pages
- It is not possible to create new activities.
- It is not possible to post a message on the board of another user who is not in your network.
- It is not possible to post a message to a public community that you are not a member of.
- Some fields are partially hidden when editing your profile.
- Clicking Save to Contacts from profile forces you to create new contact or add to existing contact.
- When editing a forum topic that has tags, tags are not displayed.
- If a profile is already a member of a community, adding that profile to the community again results in an error.
- In moderated communities, a “Join” button is displayed instead of a "Request to Join" button.
- In a Community Media Gallery, uploaded files show a black thumbnail.
- When clicking on "Load more ...." to load more blogs under "My Blogs", it is necessary to click the button twice to load new blogs.
- 'No entries were found' error displays when accessing public forums. You can still search for forums, even though by default no forums are initially listed.
- Attaching a file as part of activities/entries/to-do items and then trying to download shows "500: Internal server error." Note that this defect only happens if the file that you are trying to download was uploaded directly from the local machine. However, the file will download fine if it was referenced/uploaded via the Files application.
- When viewing public files or folders in Files, the display name of the profile who updated the file or folder is not shown.
- The option to create new forum ('+' icon) is visible for non-admins. If a non-admin tries to create a forum, an error appears: "An error occurred while performing the action. Please try again."
- In Activities, when selecting the "Info" tab on any activity, the menu option "Todos" is displayed, which is a Spanish word that does not have any meaning in English.
When editing a saved activity within a community, an error 500 appears (javax.el.ELException: Error reading 'titleDecorator' on type com.ibm.lotus.connections.mobi
Limitations specific to iOS devices:
- My Notifications drop-down menu under Updates does not contain Action Required and Saved options on iOS devices.
- After adding a profile to your network, “Pending” is not displayed on iOS devices.
- Menu options under Activities do not include Activities I Follow, Prioritized Activities, or Trash on iOS devices.
- On iPad devices, the home page does not include a Downloads entry. (The option is included on iPhone.)
- When adding an Activity, the To Do lightbox is missing "Section" and "Due Date" fields.
Limitations specific to Android devices:
- The profile menu is missing the “Edit profile” option on Android devices.
- The profile picture edit button covers half of the image on Android devices, making it hard to see.
- The blog entry page does not give options to view My Blogs, My recommendation, Latest Blog Entries, Featured Blog Entries, Notifications Sent and Received on Android devices.
- In Activities, there are no menu options to Edit, Delete, or Complete activities.
- In Forums, when editing a post with tags, any tags created initially are not shown.
What changed with Profiles?
The following widgets will no longer be available after the upgrade: Insider news, Twitter, Community events, My feeds.
Can I still see my Facebook friends on my profile?
The Facebook widget to show friends on a user's profile, located on the My Profile page, is no longer available. However, the ability to share developerWorks community activity on your Facebook timeline will still exist.
How do I share my activity on developerWorks Community with my Facebook friends?
With Facebook Connect, if you're a Facebook user, you can share your activity on developerWorks Community with your Facebook friends through your wall and News feeds.
Once you have connected with Facebook, you can select which specific developerWorks Community tools (or all of them) you want to share information about on Facebook. For example, if you select Blogs, every time you create a new blog entry or add a comment to a blog entry, this information will be posted to your Facebook wall for all your friends to see.
Sign in to developerWorks Community.
From the masthead, click on your display name to expand the menu.
From the drop down menu, click the Settings link.
Select the Facebook Connect tab.
Click the Connect button and follow the directions on the next few screens. You will be taken to Facebook to sign in and enable Facebook to connect to developerWorks.
- Once you have successfully connected with Facebook, you'll be returned to your My developerWorks profile. Choose the My developerWorks tools that you want to share activity about. Choose the activities you want to share with Facebook by checking or unchecking the boxes described below.
|Updates Facebook when you|
|Profiles||Update your My developerWorks status|
|Blog entries||Create a blog entry or comment on a blog|
|Downloads||Download trial software from IBM|
|Forum posts||Post a new topic or reply to a post|
|Communities||Create a community or join a community|
|Wikis||Create a wiki or a wiki page, or update a wiki page|
If you want to disconnect from Facebook, click the Disable Facebook Connect link.