Changes to Confluence Editor release

Hi team,

I wanted to let you know about an important change we’re making to the way we roll out the new editing experience. We will no longer be converting existing pages to the new experience - instead, you will only see the new experience when you create a new page.

One of the overarching goals of this project has been to make Confluence easier to use, for everyone. As we’ve been making these updates, we’ve focused on creating a consistent experience - so that things behave more predictably and there are fewer different interaction patterns to remember.

This was part of the reason we wanted to have just one editing experience. We believed that having two different looking interfaces, with different shortcuts and behaviors, would be confusing and difficult.

However, as we’ve been rolling this out, we’ve heard from our customers that converting existing pages to the new editing experience causes unnecessary overhead and can be an incredibly frustrating experience that gets in the way of the work they’re trying to do - which is the opposite of what we had intended.

Based on this feedback we’ve decided, for now, to only release the new experience for new pages. Existing pages will continue to use the old experience.

  • If consistency is more important to you, we can still turn on the new experience for all your pages. This doesn’t automatically change your pages - the change is only triggered when you edit an existing page. Message Support to see if your site is eligible for this.

  • If you want to convert existing pages to the new experience on an individual basis, you can manually copy the content of that page onto a new page.

We will re-evaluate this at some point in the future, and we do plan on eventually sunsetting the old editing experience, but not until we’re sure that this is the best decision for our users.

Regards,

Avinoam

17 comments

Davin Studer Community Champion Mar 13, 2019

This is great news @Avinoam Zelenko. I like the path of the new editor, but right now I just feel like there are some big things missing. This will give you time to continue to refine it and make it better but not mess up existing documentation. Thanks for listening.

Like 5 people like this

Yes, greatly appreciated.

I do not believe that the company's product managers are able to give up their crazy ideas. Previously, they showed that they are ready to ignore all user requests, believing that they are smarter than everyone.

Like 8 people like this

@Andrey Buganov I'm terribly sorry to hear that's how you and others feel. This is absolutely not how we think or would like you to feel! I'd love to reach out and schedule some time to talk to get your feedback openly and directly if you'd be open to that?

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Is it still possible to create new pages with old editor?

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Davin Studer Community Champion Mar 13, 2019

If you copy a page that uses the old editor using the copy functionality in the ellipsis menu it brings up the old editor ... it's a work around I guess.

Like 2 people like this

This is a horrible solution.  I can't expect everyone in the company to start copying an existing page instead of the normal "+" button.

Like 3 people like this

Analyzed this copying technique and found that:

https://{your-subdomain}.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/{your-space-key}/pages/create

worked for me.

@Avinoam Zelenko What will be the default behaviour on a newly created instance? I need this information to prep my customers.

@Maurice Pasman new instances should be with the old editor. 

I'm sorry but this is not enough.


The problem is (not only) with the conversion of the existing pages to the new editing experience, it is the new editing experience itself that is the main problem. And I'm not talking about the bugs, I'm talking about the design principle behind the new editing experience itself:

  • Forced "responsive" centering of text (responsive as in 2 thirds of your screen is blank)
  • no fixed width anymore for the tables
  • Cannot choose the size of the table (only 3 pre-defined sizes)
  • dumbing down of the code macro
  • Forced increased spacing between lines (ok, this is minor, but still)
  • ...

I really don't know which audience you had in mind when designing the new editor, but this new "experience" is making writing technical documentation in  Confluence a pain and makes me regret that we choose it last year as our main documentation tool.
And this, while the old (more feature rich) editor made writing documentation so much easier for us.

Loose the forced centering / responsive, bring back the macro features from the old editor, keep the inline ( / ) menu and table editing menu and you have a very nice improvement (if you fix the bugs, that is) over the old editor

But as it is now, its just such a shame

Like 8 people like this

The forced centering is awful and frustrating and is also making me consider other tools. I don't have any clue why they'd make it mandatory but it's really making my pages look terrible.

Like 5 people like this

I sadly agree with you. I went into ours to create a new project for all our customers and quickly abandoned the idea when I saw how it was going to look centered. Creating grids, or fixed or fluid would go a long way. Will try the workaround of copying an old page to a new one. 

Like 4 people like this

My submission to the product backlog on the centering issue - https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-65447. I'm not seeing any activity to respond/groom these issues on a quick (albeit incomplete) scan of Jira which is concerning.

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Thank you for filing this Colin. I'm going to post this link everywhere I can so that it maybe gets some attention...

@Colin Bowern there's also https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-65654. We're having active discussions on this topic and I promise to circle back with an update as soon as we have a clear communication on this. I just wanted to assure you that it is in fact top of mind, and that everyone's feedback truly gets taken with a lot of seriousness.

@Avinoam Zelenko There are fabric editor issues dating back to 2017 and jira has been doing the following for quite a while. What was the reasoning for rolling this out in a completely different way?jira.JPG

This is a really bad decision.  We have dozens of people creating pages.  So the editor will be different based on *when* it was created?  That will be really really confusing.  We strongly want to have the choice to keep using the old editor until such a time as the new editor's issues are worked out.

For me,  I have muscle memory, for example using open-bracket to create a link and {code} / {info} etc for macros.

I just introduced Confluence to my current company and people are getting comfortable with the editor.  To force them to re-learn has no measurable benefit.

I don't know what is going on there at Atlassian, but your recent changes to both Jira and Confluence have been for the worse.

Like 3 people like this

Great. You rolled this out MONTHS ago and the response then was to ignore feedback and tell users it was impossible to go back to the old editor. People wanted a finished product not a beta that they're paying to use. Having two editors side by side is less confusing than having one editor that doesn't work, doesn't support common features, and that when rolled out had to be disabled on half the pages anyways because they contained wild features like columns. 

You're actively costing people money because your experimental features weren't done and you didn't ask anyone before rolling them out. Going back to the old editor would mean hand editing every page that already was converted to the new editor. Everyone's confluence site will look like a total mess with their legacy edited pages along side their newly created pages. But sure, giving people the option to contact support to choose their default editor is a great option. Maybe next we can contact support when we want to add users, or contact support when we want to change the icon for a space. I look forward to contacting support to create a new page.

The wildest part is that JIRA rolled out an experimental new view and while they did turn it on by default, the option to toggle it off was immediately available, it even gave you that option the first time it showed it to the user. I wonder why two products from the same company have such wildly different methodologies when it comes to user experience. Weird.

I love that this also isn't saying you're going back to the old editor, just that you aren't automatically converting pages. Hey, that's great, I wont lose inline comments on my pages anymore and i'll be able to edit certain blueprints again, cool. But also this just means you are creating the confusion because you won't just roll back the feature entirely. You have no strategy on going backward from new editor pages back to the old editor, huh?

This is clearly what needed to happen and what people have been asking for since last year, but this is not contrition. This is not an apology, this does not reinstate any faith in your ability to steward this product and provide a reliable experience.  This does not give anyone back their wasted time, money, and energy in trying to wade through this complete mess. 

 

Get at me when you figure out how to attach dates to feature releases.

Like 4 people like this

As a temporary workaround, it appears you can create new pages with the old editor using:

https://{your-subdomain}.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/{your-space-key}/pages/create

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@Michael Deck yup. Thats been true actually. Even when the new editor was converting pages you could take a page with the PAGE LAYOUT function in it and copy that page and then you would have the old editor.

Ultimately this is not a fix. This is not a workaround. This is just breaking something and saying its fixed. This misses the point that they broke this thing months ago and haven't come up with even the slightest solution to the problem. Its just as unacceptable now as it was then.

Also, what isn't said on that post is that if you complain at a senior enough support person they actually do have the ability to set your instance back to the old editor by default. 

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The fact that it's that easy to open up the old editor spells out everything wrong with this strategy for the rollout. They could set this as a toggle, but refuse to do so for unspecified reasons.

Like 2 people like this

Could you keep new editor for your internal team and give for your customers an ability to choose old editor by default? I hope opinion of the customers is important for Atlassian. Thank you.

Like 5 people like this

I love the interface of the new editor and like the formatting that it provides with only one caveat - that formatting should be optional, not required.  Others have stated that they like the new features... but not at the cost of the old features.  I've put in several requests about the new editor to bring back missing things, especially around tables and overall layout (columns, etc.)

You want to move interface items to more intuitive locations?  Cool.  You want to unify all the macro-like stuff with the slash?  Neat.  But when you outright remove a pile of features in favor of making the experience more pleasant, you're doing a disservice to your own clients.

And seriously, who thought it was a good idea to replace orange and red with one single color: reddish orange!?

Like 3 people like this

I hope this is delayed as long as possible. I'm working through a support ticket where our corporate proxy doesn't work with the new editor. We think it's something to do with the new editor using Websockets and being so chatty. If we don't resolve this and the corporate proxy isn't upgraded we'll need to review our license situation.

I agree to every comment here. The new editor is really awful and many things are missing. I'm now considering moving to another documentation solution for my two cloud Confluence instances.

I'm also one of those who loved old Confluence design and hates current one. Forcing design switch without asking customers is the worst idea ever.

@Avinoam Zelenko I do hope you will still prioritized resolving the (many) issues with the new Fabric Editor. We are in the middle of implementing Confluence for 2500 users. We've now already created 200+ pages in the new editor, and converted a lot of the pages we had already created inn the old editor. We want a consistent look to our pages, and we do not want to have to go in and redo everything in a few weeks or months anyway when the old editor really is discontinued.

Therefore going back to the old editor now seems like a lot of unnecessary hassle to us. We need you to fix the most glaring issues with the new editor, so that we can continue implementing Confluence. We can live with a few minor issues for a time, no worries. But basic stuff has to be fixed asap.

A few examples of annoying bugs:

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@Thomas Ohrbom absolutely! We're either actively working to resolve them and once resolved I'll make sure to update the tickets, or we're having active discussions in regards to the feedback. Thank you for flagging these!

Like 1 person likes this

I now got my template open with the old look&feel, so my templates don't work anymore. Is something going on?

@Sanu.Vallinaho just to make sure, were you looking for it to open in the new editor/look and feel? Is this for an existing template you've already created or are you creating a brand new one?

@Avinoam Zelenko I was expecting my template to open in the new editor. We haven't used the old one at all, and all our pages are created with the new editor. Also the template was created with the new editor.

Thanks @Sanu.Vallinaho . We actually are fixing a bug related to that which once done will ensure that any new page you create from a template or any new custom template you create will open using the new editing experience. Thanks for flagging this!

Sorry to say that, but I am extremely unsaticfied with the new editor. The main reason is images. I can't set an image to be 100% of its size any more. I have only draggable bars that give me no way to set the exact size of the image. And If the image of any software screenshot containing text or a pixel art would be resized just a little bit of its original size, the image became blurry. And I absolutely have no way to fix that.

The issue is so crucial for us that we even considering fall back from Conflluence to Google Docs.

And overall, the new editor feels as a great feature-cut and downgrade. I can't imagine why do you force us to use that. :(

Like 1 person likes this

This editor is badly designed and poorly executed. You have caused a lot of undue stress and confusion amongst my teams and my customers, all of whom I have been carefully nurturing to actually use a wiki. And now they are refusing because there is now a mix of old style and new style and NONE of it goes together. 

Templates are breaking, our PDFs have all gone to hell... 

  • The page title is not centered and looks strange and unwieldy
  • Page title looks especially unwieldy as you didn't mandate a centered justification for the text. So we have quasi-centered titles and left-justified text. 
  • You changed the keyboard shortcut to access macros but you REUSED a keyboard shortcut for a different function. How exactly are you expecting casual users to remember these idiosyncratic changes?
  • Tables... You've taken away the simple table tools bar and replaced it with a non-intuitive multi-click hellscape. How can we do anything? I don't even know if you've taken away functionality because I cannot find how to perform many of the actions that I am expecting.
  • Macros... most of my macros are now unsupported within this context. Which means that my company is now throwing money away on macros that we desperately need, but cannot use. 

In short, this is a terrible design and terribly executed. 

I really, reaaaaallly hope that you are planning to dedicate a large portion of the Atlassian Summit to defending these actions and planning on how to alleviate the pain these changes are causing. 

Like 3 people like this

LOL - "Non-intuitive multi-click hellscape" is now my Facebook status, because it's an awesome phrase!

Also, you're absolutely right about the strangeness of (kind of) centering the title on pages that used the old editor - everything else is left-justified so it looks completely out of place.  I have to assume that this is a temporary thing and someone will fix it shortly.

Like 2 people like this

Additionally, while you wasted time with this horrible editor change, here is a very short list of critical bugs and issues to your core functionality that have not yet been addressed:

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