About This Web Site
How long has this site been in operation?
This initial version of this web site was done in 1994 based on a need for a FAQ for the LNOTES-L mailing list. The site was moved to www.keysolutions.com/NotesFAQ in October 1996 and has expanded coverage to include all the major versions of Notes from Notes 3.x to Notes R7 and to include the various Lotus discussion groups and the additional Domino mailing lists.
How was the Notes FAQ web site done?
The pages for this web site are actually stored in a Notes database which is then converted using T.I.L.E
view/document templates are used to ensure a consistent look for the HTML pages. The FAQ is then packaged into a ZIP file and deployed using an Ant build script.
It was originally done in a Rich Text Format (RTF) file in MS Word 2.0 and then converted to HTML using rtftohtml.
Why was the database done in Notes?
1) To add "new" and "updated" markers for frequent visitors to the site and without maintaining them by hand.
2) To work around Notes' lack of support for local hyperlinks. As I found at Lotusphere, Notes V4's web browser doesn't support local hyperlinks which are used to jump to part of a document and the entire old Notes FAQ was done this way. The reason for this missing feature is that Notes doesn't support the concept of a link into the middle of a document.
3) To make the Notes FAQ look more like a normal web site with hyperlinked pages. I also wanted to see how difficult it would be to make it look like a normal web site although the underlying data was stored in Notes.
4) To easily manage FAQ's which may only be valid in a specific version of Notes.
Why isn't this site done in Domino or Internotes Web Publisher?
The main reason is that collapsed categorized views still look best (most "web-like") when they are done using TILE. Internotes Web Publisher has a view paging mode, but doesn't collapse categories. Domino collapses categories but the resulting Web pages look like Notes databases which is not what Web users expect.