Feature Request: Product Exceptions should include a Hyperlink to a Wiki

One of the biggest pain points in any IBM product are the non-sensical error messages that are generated by the products when something goes wrong. The exception itself usually doesn’t provide much of a clue as to the root cause of the issue. To proceed you either need to be an expert in reading stack traces, you open a PMR with IBM (a lengthy process) or you pop the exception message into google and hope that you hit something (like say the awesome danzrobok.com 😉 ).

What I’d like to see is IBM take control of this information about explaining in greater detail how an exception can occur and likely resolutions. I’d also take this one step farther and take this information from the infocenter (where it starts out as a shell) and populate it in a wiki format. The wiki would allow people who experienced the exception to describe how it occured, attach project interchange files and create discussions based around specific errors.

When resolutions are discovered, they can be updated directly into this central location for information about this exception, aiding future users. This solution would decrease the number of support calls that IBM recieves and it empowers the users of the product to resolve their own issues. Win – Win.

Author: dan


  1. I’ll second that Dan. Great idea.

    Now that you mention the word wiki…I think you mentioned during the summer in a DeveloperWorks newsgroup post, that if the interest was there you could host a wiki for the “external IBM” BPM/SOA community?
    What do you think?

  2. Hi Thomas,

    I did spend some time yesterday thinking about doing this exception wiki myself.. The two problems that I run into are the initial population of data and the updates that would be required as new content comes available online in other forms (technotes, other blogs, developerWorks Forum posts, etc).

    For the initial population issue, I’d have to track down the relevant pages in the infocenter and write a script to scrape that information out of the page and into the wiki.

    For the updating issue, I was thinking of mashing-up RSS feeds or maybe being able to extend something like Google Alerts.. Maybe this is a good candidate for a WebSphere sMash solution..

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