Genii Weblog

A question about BleedYellow and Connections

Wed 29 Jul 2009, 07:18 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
I wanted to make a comment on a BleedYellow blog, and couldn't figure out how.  Stuart McIntyre informed me very graciously that I had to log in.  OK, that makes some sense, so I went to log in, where it asked for username and password.  There was no option to register, and I honestly couldn't remember whether or not I had before, so I went back out of the Login and went to Register.  I tried to use my name, but it said there was already someone registered with that name, which must have been me before.  I went and searched my email and found my confirmation email.  So far so good.  I went back and tried to log in with my user id and a variety of simple passwords I might have used (throw away passwords I tend to use for sites like this).  No luck, and no option to request a password.  I guess my next step is to register again with a variation of my name, but in the meantime, I wanted to give some quick feedback as a newbie to Connections.  Actually, I have no idea whether the problems involved are due to Connections or to BleedYellow's implementation, although I would suspect the former.

So, in order of the frustrations:

1) Most web based systems that require a login to comment tell you so near the "Add a Comment" rather than simply leaving it inactive.  I clicked on "Add a Comment" on Scott Hook's blog and it didn't work, so I came to the erroneous conclusion that comments were blocked.  There should be a parenthetical (You must be logged in) or something like that.

2) Many web based systems that require a login have a dual Register/Log In page.  When you go to log in with Connections (because I am fairly sure this part is generic Connections), there is no option to register.

3) When I went to register and it found my name, there was no option to simply log in with it.  This is less common, but very useful.

4) This is the most annoying issue.  When you attempt to log in, and your password doesn't work, there should be some indication about how to either retrieve or reset your password.

5) Finally, when I go back to the BleedYellow confirmation, and follow the original link, instead of a link directly to my profile, there is a long to a search place from which I can search for my profile.  Why?  You know my profile name, so why would you want me to search for it again?

6) Back to the confirmation letter, which has the line "You MUST login with the e-mail address that you provided at registration." which seems to contradict the registration page, which clearly says "Your username will be composed of your First Name + Middle Initial (if entered) + Last name."  The first seems to indicate I should use my email address as my username, but the second that I should use "Ben Langhinrichs"

So, I am stymied.  I don't know how to request a password change, nor what my password originally was, or even what my username really is.  I guess I'll re-register, but it seems a real limitation for a public facing system.  That is, unless somebody knows who to ask to reset the password.  Anybody?

OK, one final gripe.  I went and re-registered, using the same email address as before.  It accepted it without complaint, and sent me an email saying I had registered correctly, but it hadn't really.  It must have failed silently on the duplicate email address.  Sigh!

Copyright 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

844.1. Ben Poole
(29/07/2009 12:45)

Agreed. And once you're in there, there's no way to remove your profile data / close your account (a known limitation of Connections).

FWIW, I always used to log in to BY and other connections sites with the relevant email address as the username, I ignore that name guidance you mention in point 6.

844.2. Henning Heinz
(29.07.2009 12:59)

I consider Lotus Connections Intranet software. If you put it on the "real" web you might miss a few things. Some applications that shine in a LAN can really suck on the web. The result is a product showcase that in some ways do not work. Of course YMMV and as Connections seem to be very successful it works for many others.

844.3. Stuart McIntyre
(07/29/2009 01:02 PM)

All good points, Ben.

I always use the email address to log into BY, so would try that with your usual passwords and see whether you can get in. If not, Sametime Chris Whisonant and I'm sure he'll reset your details for you.

Regarding whether these are Connections or BY issues - I'd say a mixture of the two. As it stands, Connections is primarily intended to be used against a corporate LDAP directory, so most registrations/password resets etc will likely be done by a Domino/AD admin, rather than by the user. All the screens in Connections can be customised, so the login pages could be changed to provide links to these operations, if the L911 folks so wished. So you could say its a BY limitation.

However, like many others, I'd love LC to be more SMB friendly with more essential features provided out of the box, so ideas like those you suggest should be included in later versions. Others disagree (mostly in larger corporates where they're happy customising the product to suit their policies and procedures), so no idea whether it'll happen or not...

844.4. Ben Langhinrichs
(07/29/2009 01:08 PM)

@Henning - Ah, that makes sense. I hadn't thought about it being mostly focused on an intranet, where you would have other mechanisms for requesting assistance (e.g., a Help desk)

@Stuart - Thanks for the information. I'll check in with Chris.

844.5. Mac Guidera
(07/29/2009 02:20 PM)

I would like to point out that BleedYellow is using a custom registration application. Lotus Connections is enterprise software that tightly integrates with existing user directories. It does not have it's own self registration process as it generally relies on ldap entries for membership and authentication. Any issues in regards to that setup are unique to that environment.

Regarding what got you to this, we currently do not support anonymous blog comments. This is typically only an issue on external facing sites. We are looking into ways to address this. Please have a look at the Lotus Greenhouse implementation to see the 2.5 beta and how they manage their registration.

844.6. Ben Langhinrichs
(07/29/2009 04:10 PM)

Having finally found the main page, I used the Forgot your password? link, which was quick and easy to use. I got an email right away with a new password. Unfortunately, the new password doesn't work either, but I suspect it is my fault for having tried that re-registration with the same email address. I'll contact Chris offline to see if I can undo the mess I've undoubtedly made of the registration.