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A reply

Tom Crowley November 7, 2019

Hi @Helen OBoyle, (sorry, they shut down the other page so I couldn't reply there, which is a shame as there was another conversation I wanted to respond to as well)

Apologies, I hadn't considered that situation (where unsupported software isn't approved for use). If you/we can persuade them to revert back to making the legacy editor their key editor, then more the better, however I don't think they are going to do that. My aim was more 'if they are no longer working on it, then they could at least leave it running so some people can still use it'. 

I was trying to offer damage limitation suggestions, not satisfactory solutions, as I don't think there are any that they are going to consider. 

I was hoping that they'd respond to that suggestion, and possibly show some inclination towards it, in which case we'd have a platform to argue for a level of support that would work for companies like yours.

Ultimately, I suspect they are going to blunder through the next few months and then at some point just switch off the old editor. I hadn't seen the articles about the new underlying storage format, which indicates that bigger changes might be afoot.

Whatever they do, I hope you manage to get through it with a minimum of disruption!



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Helen OBoyle November 7, 2019

@Tom CrowleyThanks for continuing the convo over here.

Although they disclose some things like the great presentation on ADF, getting questions answered or getting more than generic responses to suggestions made in public seems very hit and miss. They seemed to get what they wanted out of that thread and run off by themselves thinking about futures now.

Regarding support status, when a mid-size to large company makes a "bet" on a platform and spins up internal business processes around it, it's reasonable to expect a guarantee of support, to help insure the expense of time, money, and energy they're committing to something they expect to work and continue working.

I don't think it has to be the KEY editor... but I would like it to remain a *supported* editor for some years to come, and without too many special hijinx being required to create pages in it (of the sort that seem necessary today). What has concerned me is that they seem in somewhat of a hurry to move people on Cloud to the new editor and get rid of the old editor.

My desire to keep the older one around is based on practicality rather than "true believer" commitment. Our team of professional writers used to publishing tools like XML editors, Framemaker and even Winword find the older Confluence editor "less optimal" to use, compared to other professional-quality editors. We'd be excited to see it replaced with something more feature-ful that gives us back some of the productivity we lost when we switched from those tools; alas, the new one seems to be paring back features further. When I relayed to a colleague that the JSON format was apparently chosen because it was the format their new editor framework used, his first comment was, "Ooooh! Editor framework? Maybe that means we have hope for having a third party editor plug-in that can replace whatever they give us!". Really, we're just not that into it. ;-) But the team will likely incur a hit likely measured in man-months to revise and regression test our publishing toolchain to work with the new page format. And the thought of switching to an editor that is even less capable doesn't engender positive excitement.

They appear to be trying to cater to the newbie and casual user markets with an easy to use, non-intimidating tool ... but there may be better solutions to accommodating both those users and professional level users, than focusing on the casual users and telling the professional level users to just deal with it. Consider that Visual Studio's IDE has different levels of functionality. Joe Newbie Hacker gets the community edition, which is enough for him, and the lack of advanced options probably makes it less intimidating to learn. But enterprise devs who've been sitting in the VS IDE for a decade get an enhanced enterprise version of the UI that is similar to it but offers numerous options designed to improve the productivity of advanced coders. In this way, it caters to both the "dip the toe in" and casual users, AND the full time professionals.

This is where I think Atlassian should be going. Even a more feature-ful version of the current editor, WITH the ability to easily import and export Confluence XML for compatibility with upstream and downstream programs in a publishing toolchain, is likely to be acceptable if it has fewer bugs than the older editor and is no slower than it.

Tom Crowley November 7, 2019

Thanks for the reply! I'm a bit miffed about them closing down the other thread, particularly as there were a couple of conversations between people going on that didn't necessarily include Atlassian...

I agree with what you are saying there. I was trying to work out an option for them to keep the old one running while still developing the new one, and was hoping to inspire this kind of discussion to almost crowdsource a solution for them, but by shutting it down they kind of nipped that one in the bud. Like, there has to be a level of support that they can offer for the old editor that balances out the customers they might lose.

There is surely a way that they can keep the older editor running until the new editor is up to speed. I tried to use Cloud to author materials for this release and it just hasn't worked out well. With the old editor, I could have made a decent go of it.

I'm not really sure where we go from here though. Like you said, everything they're doing feels like they're trying to rush people off the old and onto the new. And it does feel like it's aimed at the casual user. We've commented, emailed, focus grouped, ticket-raised, but none of it has given me any confidence that they are listening.

They're giving us a round hole and leaving it up to us to make our pegs fit, and they don't seem too concerned whether we succeed or not.

Bob Sovers November 7, 2019

@Helen OBoyle , @Tom Crowley  -- I think that the only way to continue the discussion from before is to @... mention any previous commentor/responder.  Then hopefully they will get attached to this discussion.

Tom Crowley November 7, 2019

Oops, and then there were two! I only saw this post after I'd commented on your page. I'd say stick with yours just for the name - easier to find maybe?

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