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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

25 comments

Davin Studer Community Leader 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 # 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 # 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?

Like Sarah Sand likes this

@Avinoam Zelenko -- This is literally *demonstrably* false with Atlassian, *especially* in regards to confluence.

Whether or not Atlassian likes it, there are 2 different types of users for their products.   Engineers, and Business Professionals, who generally have different needs and expectations from software due to technical separation and tools from their respective backgrounds.  Years ago, when Confluence was released, it was designed by engineers, *for* engineers.

Several years later, Atlassian decided that it wasn't friendly enough to business users (partially true -- there was no wysiwyg initially), and so they restructured the way the editor worked, and forced *all* users to use the same interface (a poor wysiwyg editor) that obscured much of the functionality that *thousands* of engineers had come to rely on.  Thousands of us spoke out about this change, and Atlassian's response was to simply say that 'this is the choice we made to make it better as a product.  No, the choice was made to make it better for 'business users', because it was (and still is) true that engineers dont pay the bills, so the company needed to make the product friendly to the business side of organizations, who were still largely using tools like SharePoint, google docs, etc.

Unfortunately, business users want a nice 'word-like' interface because it is what they are accustomed to, *developers* want an *editor* with syntax that can control presentation and outlook in a uniform and consistent manner.  I have been *very* vocal about this on twitter, support tickets, conversations with other engineers, etc over the years.  (I specifically recreated my acct that I deleted years ago just to respond to this very thread).

Like # people like this

Marc: I agree with where you're heading with this. Not sure I agree with your last paragraph though but I certainly very much so agree with your overall sentiments. I was pretty shocked at how Atlassian seemed to abandon their user base by shoving out this editor update. In addition I'm guessing that tying the editor itself to the page and seeing how some users are migrating content from one editor to another is borderline sacrilegious. All UIs need to be backward compatible with existing content. That's just "table stakes" IMHO. I'll add that it looks like both editors will need to be supported by Atlassian which will be confusing for the user community as well.

Erik -- Fair point on the last paragraph.  In some regards, this thread shows they are 'attempting' to get feedback.  The purpose behind my (now deleted) paragraph was more about how they went about doing it.  Instead of doing even some baseline 'hey, were going to test some new features, here are some of the things it does, let us know what you think', it was more of a 'heres the new editor, we forced this on you, and you can't really control it because we feel its a good design'...  At least they do have this thread open for community feedback, i suppose.

Like JoAnna Black likes this

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

Like # people like this
Davin Studer Community Leader 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 # 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 # 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.

Like Pato Moschcovich likes this

@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 # 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 # 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. 

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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.

Like Michael Deck likes this

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 # 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 # 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

Like # people like this

@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. 

Like Michael Deck likes this

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 # 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 # 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!?

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I would like to directly compliment @Avinoam Zelenko (and his compatriot, Jazz) for providing me with the opportunity to speak with them directly about the new editor.  It is refreshing to be able to communicate directly with those who wield the power of the developers, allowing me to directly influence aspects of the new editor.  I provided feedback about what I want, how I use it, and bugs I've found, and I felt like all of it was well received.

If you have the chance to have a "face to face" meeting with Avinoam and/or his team, I highly encourage it!

Like # people like this

Same here!

Avinoam and Jazz were extremely friendly and receptive to my complaints and suggestions. 

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 Thomas Ohrbom 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 # people like 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 # 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 # people like this

Oh, it's c-l-i-c-k... The word broke so badly that I actually read the c and l as a single character. I was really confused as to what it was supposed to mean, but hey... it's a rant, right? ;-D

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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Hi all,

Please read the community post update we published on full width and columns

Like # people like this

Why not create a Confluence Lab toggle (like Jira Lab) for these changes? And while you are at it, add a Jira ticket to every "improvement" so user can directly comment (and vote) on whether they like it. 

Like # people like this

I usually like changes but as I'm now 20 minutes into trying to figure out how to link to attachments on other pages, I'm rather annoyed at being forced to use this editor. Having a page, I would like to revert to the editor when I hit an issue and don't have a immediate resolution.

Was there any testing of the new editor prior to rollout? I hate beta testing someone's code that I paid for.

Bad Atlassian, bad Atlassian;-)

Like Administrator likes this

Have to re-iterate that this editor change is still causing us head-aches.  Half our pages have the new editor and half don't.  It's so bad that I've gone from an Atlassian net-promoter to a net-detractor.   Having been a huge advocate for so many years and getting no less than 3 companies to purchase it, as well having my own personal license, I feel betrayed.

Why oh why did you not make this a configurable feature?  Why on earth would the editor change depending on when the page was created?  Why would copying a page retain the editor?  It's madness.  For a company that has made so many good decisions, this one completely wipes out trust you have spent over a decade building.

PLEASE provide away to completely turn off this new editor.

Like # people like this

I'm not sure if it's posted elsewhere, but I have been able to disable the editor for all Confluence spaces in the Global Templates section. I can't do anything about pages already created with the new editor, but at least I can turn off the option for future pages. 

No idea when Atlassian will close this option, but it will save massive headaches until then. 

Jeff - this is exciting. but I can't find it. are you talking about here?

Screenshot 2019-06-10 at 2.02.53 PM.png

Scroll down to the Blueprints...

123.png

If your editor is already turned over to the new editor by default then this wont exist.

Aaaaahhh... damn. That's egregious.

This is a truly bizarre avenue to implement a feature forced upon all pages. And it speaks to the configuration Atlassian has used to enable this new editor. It also explains why it might not be possible to toggle it off in user settings (like Jira labs). And disabling the template seems to have no real effect in removing the new editor. 

....resistance is futile!

I'm adding another problem - if anyone has the solution please reply. With the new editor there doesn't seem to be a way any longer to adjust picture pixel size. All you get is justification and wrap options. Now I have huge pictures on my confluence pages that I can't size down
Screenshot 2019-06-09 at 11.32.51 AM.png

@Steve Terelmes

On the right and left hand sides of the images themselves you can find handles to drag and snap images to resize them. I hope this helps. 

Like Steve Terelmes likes this

Speaking of images, insert a small image (like a 16 x 16 icon) and click on it to try and resize it.  It will suddenly become huge and you cannot make it any smaller.

Not only that, but there is no option to put the image inline with the text, so adding icons into explanatory text is no longer possible with the new editor (it is on the old one, where you can also specify the size in pixels if you like).

Like Cameron LaBorde-Zank likes this

By the way, I tried to insert a screenshot (click the camera icon, choose the file, wait for it to upload, click insert) to show this unfortunate effect but I keep getting the following error when I click Reply:

Error

Your message was not accepted. Check for invalid HTML or try reposting as plain text.

Like Cameron LaBorde-Zank likes this

The previous excuse for getting rid of inline images was that they added emojis.

Is the Space Attachment macro missing from this new view also!!! I can't seem to find it anywhere. This was a super useful macro for creating content portal capturing attachments across multiple spaces across confluence.

Like Aleksandra Klusińska likes this

thats actually part of another effort to remove a variety of macros. There is a "workaround" for it though but ugh, not great https://confluence.atlassian.com/confcloud/we-re-cleaning-up-the-macro-browser-946028471.html?_ga=2.229387547.642341977.1561666762-801021432.1544037507

In fact, of the 70 macros in Confluence, 24 of them have been removed in the new Confluence editor. 34% reduction in functionality? why?

 

Activity Stream Macro

 

Anchor Macro

gone

Attachments Macro

 

Blog Posts Macro

 

Change-History Macro

 

Chart Macro

 

Cheese Macro

gone

Children Display Macro

 

Code Block Macro

gone

Column Macro

gone

Content by Label Macro

 

Content by User Macro

gone

Content Report Table Macro

 

Contributors Macro

 

Contributors Summary Macro

 

Create from Template Macro

 

Create Space Button Macro

gone

Excerpt Include Macro

 

Excerpt Macro

 

Expand Macro

 

Favorite Pages Macro

gone

Gadget Macro

 

Gallery Macro

 

Global Reports Macro

gone

HTML Include Macro

gone

HTML Macro

gone

IM Presence Macro

gone

Include Page Macro

 

Info, Tip, Note, and Warning Macros

 

Jira Chart Macro

 

Jira Issues Macro

 

JUnit Report Macro

 

Labels List Macro

 

Livesearch Macro

 

Loremipsum Macro

gone

Multimedia Macro

gone

Navigation Map Macro

gone

Network Macro

gone

Noformat Macro

gone

Office Excel Macro

 

Office PowerPoint Macro

 

Office Word Macro

 

Page Index Macro

 

Page Properties Macro

 

Page Properties Report Macro

 

Page Tree Macro

 

Page Tree Search Macro

 

Panel Macro

 

PDF Macro

 

Popular Labels Macro

 

Profile Picture Macro

 

Recently Updated Dashboard Macro

 

Recently Updated Macro

 

Recently Used Labels Macro

 

Related Labels Macro

gone

Roadmap Planner Macro

 

RSS Feed Macro

gone

Search Results Macro

gone

Section Macro

gone

Space Attachments Macro

gone

Space Details Macro

gone

Spaces List Macro

gone

Status Macro

 

Table of Contents Macro

 

Table of Content Zone Macro

 

Task Report Macro

 

User List Macro

 

User Profile Macro

 

View File Macro

gone

Widget Connector Macro

 

the workaround is not really a workaround. It's different functionality. It only provides a list of links not a log of attachments. Also as I explore this further I'm seeing that while the simple attachment macro remains, it no functions as well. For example, labels no longer show up on the log, you have to expand every attachment to see the label. 

Is Atlassian listening? This "rollout" has been flawed from the beginning. It started with an completely bassackwards (no typo) feature definition, was poorly tested and then relied on the user community to beta test it. Finally, there has been zero communication from Atlassian on whether the even acknowledge the problem let alone have a plan to fix this.

Now, where's that facepalm emoji?

Like Davin Studer likes this

Any chance that new editor will be back to full screen and headers will come back on left side? 

Yes @Aleksandra Klusińska ! within a matter of weeks this will be an option you can control.

Like Aleksandra Klusińska likes this

Thanks @Avinoam Zelenko looking forward to this day :) 

@Avinoam Zelenko  You said a matter of weeks on the 4th July.  When will this option be live???

Avinoam Zelenko Atlassian Team yesterday

@Huw Griffiths at this point we're a couple weeks away from making full width available as an option in the editor. We'll be emailing all site admins prior to the change rolling out.

 

The new editor seems to have a bug when selecting a date for a task due tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. For tomorrow the due date gets set for "today". For the day after tomorrow the due date gets set as "tomorrow"

This doesn't happen in the old editor, even if the old editor page is in the same instance and user as the new editor page.

 

Screenshot 2019-07-11 at 12.26.38 PM.pngScreenshot 2019-07-11 at 12.29.10 PM.png

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