Atlassian Answers is moving to Confluence Questions

Mirek Community Champion Jun 02, 2014

Hi all,

For those that didn't noticed Atlassian announced that we are moving from current Atlassian Answers to Confluence Questions. Finally, I am very happy that this is announced before the actual change, so we can prepare for this transition.

I have a feeling that this is a good move however as in every transitions we are loosing some stuff. FAQ describe what we will loose (for now). One thing is good... we will gain Confluence Editor, but bad (looking at the list) in my opinion that we are loosing favorite questions...

FAQ ends with a "Have another question?".. Yes, I have! (below)

  • How Confluence Questions will handle moderators, admins, converting/closing questions and so on.. ? Currently you will need to gain some karma to have more priviliges.
  • Will the current karma points reamain on the same level and for the same actions?
  • How Confluence Questions will deal with Spam?
  • Will we also see a tabbed view of our activity/questions/answers/ ... (in our profile)?
  • Are there still be a reaminder when a question is open?
  • I assume that topics will be used instead of labels. Will we be still able to create our own topics like currently labels?
  • Will we be able to add comments to new answers or only answers?
  • How answers will show up? Will there be still an annoying pagination? Will we be able to finally choose the view (by date or by votes)?
  • Is there still gone a be a integration between support.atlassian.comand answers?
  • Will we be able to still use RSS feature?
  • If I cannot mark question as a favorite, how I be able to quickly find an questions that was having a important answer to me that might be useful to me in the future?
  • Will there be a beta instance that we can use to playaround before there will be an actual decision to go live?

I would like to know what do you think about this change? Do you have any feature that you would like to have in the new Confluence Questions?

Floor is open...

4 answers

1 accepted

4 votes
Sam Tardif Atlassian Team Jun 03, 2014

Hi Mirek, I'm the development team lead for Confluence Questions. Thanks for all the questions :) I'll do my best to offer up some answers.

  • How Confluence Questions will handle moderators, admins, converting/closing questions and so on.. ? Currently you will need to gain some karma to have more priviliges.

Moderation permissions will be based on "karma" (though we don't use the term "karma" in Confluence Questions, we use "reputation") as it is on Answers. We may use the transition to adjust which permissions become available at which reputation levels, but for the most part it will be unchanged.

  • Will the current karma points reamain on the same level and for the same actions?

We're going to use the same point levels for each action, but we don't currently support all the actions that Answers does (the one that comes to mind is voting on comments).

  • How Confluence Questions will deal with Spam?

We've got similar mechanisms to Answers: reCAPTCHA at the Atlassian ID level, CAPTCHA on comment/answer, manual keyword blacklisting that admins can set up, and we're working on the ability to quickly ban spam accounts manually and remove all their content (tracked at https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-844).

  • Will we also see a tabbed view of our activity/questions/answers/ ... (in our profile)?

The Confluence Questions profile shows you a list of questions and answers, and will also have the reputation trend line that AAC has.

  • Are there still be a reaminder when a question is open?

No, at the time of migration this will probably not be in place.

  • I assume that topics will be used instead of labels. Will we be still able to create our own topics like currently labels?

The Confluence Questions topics are very light weight, any user can create new ones as they ask questions.

  • Will we be able to add comments to new answers or only answers?

I'm not sure I understand this question 100%, but a question can have multiple answers and each answer can be commented on.

  • How answers will show up? Will there be still an annoying pagination? Will we be able to finally choose the view (by date or by votes)?

Answers are ordered by the number of votes they've received, with the accepted answer always bubbling to the top. There's no option to sort chronologically at the moment. There's also no pagination, all the answers are rendered on one page.

Yes we aim to have this in place at the time we cut over, and the possibilities for integration are much greater now that we're powered by Confluence and Confluence Questions. It's on our backlog here: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-802

  • Will we be able to still use RSS feature?

This is not built yet, but yes it is on our backlog and yes at the moment we aim to have it in place for the migration: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-373

  • If I cannot mark question as a favorite, how I be able to quickly find an questions that was having a important answer to me that might be useful to me in the future?

If it's a question you've asked, it'll appear on your Confluence Questions profile. If not then you'll need to use search to find it. I've created an issue to track marking questions as favourites here: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-892.

  • Will there be a beta instance that we can use to playaround before there will be an actual decision to go live?

Yes we plan to have a "beta" instance before going live. Once we've got a reasonably complete migration done onto an instance that we can share we'd love to get some feedback from the Answers community on the new product.

2 votes
Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jun 05, 2014

It would be great if you can provide which will not be supported anymore. Is this possible?

The list of actions which will no longer generate karma is still being finalized. Currently Confluence Questions does not support reputation changes for:

  • The asker when marking an accepted answer
  • The commenter when his/her comment is 'liked'
  • Re-tagging or editing questions
  • When a question or answer is flagged by a moderator

As Confluence Questions does not support 'flagging', and does not support 'liking' comments, these will probably be on the final list. We think that karma gains for editing/re-tagging and for accepting answers are good for encouraging positive actions within the community, and we are aiming to ensure that these continue to earn karma.

It would be great to have a activity stream that shows all questions (own, watched, participated, ..) that were updated since last login. Currently it is very easy to miss an answer or a comment. Very often you see that something was updated but you are wondering what (maybe a vote, or a comment was added, or a like, … )

I agree this would be very nice! Once we are using Confluence we could even use the notification workbox to show this. Sounds like a "phase 2" feature, though :) I raised https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-901to track this idea.

Do you think about a way to force a user to accept an answer over time? I was thinking of a way to somehow reward a person that is accepting his questions and keep high Accept Rate (> 80%) in specific time (e.g. every month). Of course if not having any answer or the answer is not a good solution he can somehow freeze it (not count it the accept rate). Something like that.. As a reward it could be a bonus of karma/reputation each month.

We haven't looked at this in a little while. The last work we did in this area was adding a user's "Accept Rate" to their user profile in AAC. Overall, the AAC accept rate is around 50%-60% for all questions asked - I think this is actually pretty good. If we notice the rate dropping, we could look in to ways to bring it up again. There's some good discussion here about carrot vs. stick for accept rates - http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/136951/lets-stop-displaying-a-users-accept-rate

Would be nice if all topics like ‘confluence’, ‘confluence-administration’, ‘confluence-something’, .. could merge and mark an Confluence expert.

Yes, I agree. We are still working out how the AAC leaderboard is going to work, since our "expert categories" in AAC do not map 1:1 to topics/tags. We might end up building a custom leaderboard as a separate plugin. Decision on this not yet finalized :-)

In general I would like to know if we will be able to still add a comment to an answer, vote it or like it and convert to an answer if needed. (and please remove 2000 characters limit because of that I was not able to add this as a comment to your last answer)

In CQ you can add comments to answers and questions, vote up/down on answers and questions, but you cannot "Like" comments. CQ does not yet support converting answers to comments, comments to answers, answers to questions, etc, but we plan to add this in time for the AAC migration. The character limit on comments will be gone in CQ.

Please include on a the question a note or something that will inform that this was created automatically from a support portal. Mostly people create a support ticket and automatically a question and do not look at them later. Ideally after that next comment created in Answers should be added to the original ticket (to another tab next to comments for example), send a notification and give user ability to answer from JIRA (this will add comment to Answers/Questions back again without a need to go login there).

We are about to start working on the support integration this week! I'll add this to the discussion to see if we have room for any improvements to the system, but right now we are mainly focussed on feature parity.

It is not a problem to find a page if someone do not ask a lot of questions, but when there is such a situation, later it is very hard to find them. Unfortunately Answers are not having such search mechanism like JIRA. Maybe searching in Questions powered by Confluence will be better. However ability to mark a question as favorite should not be very hard to implement. A list of questions could also appear on the Confluence Questions profile next to my questions or answers.

Hopefully the Confluence search will indeed be better. The 'quicksearch' in particular should offer a good improvement if you know what question you are searching for.

I agree that marking a question as a favourite is not a hard feature to implement, but we do need to consider the relative merits of each feature against each other. Favouriting is something we may bring back after the migration. I raised https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-902to track it.

Waiting for the announcement on this topic. Real system is always better to use for testing than thinking about how this could work in practice. Please let us know when it will be ready. Thanks.

Yes, of course! Getting the staging system ready is our top priority at the moment. :)

Mirek Community Champion Jul 24, 2014

Hi Joseph,

Is there already any known date when you want to release the beta server for testing?

-Mirek

Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jul 24, 2014

We are aiming for the feedback server to be running within the next 2 weeks, but it will require a number of interdependent projects to all line up and deliver on time :) No date set in stone yet.

Mirek Community Champion Aug 12, 2014

Hi Joseph,

Thank you for releasing a test instane! - https://answers-confluence.atlassian.com/

We can now log in an check how this is working in practice...

Awesome!

Mirek Community Champion Aug 12, 2014

This is my feedback so far after just playing around for an hour..

https://jira.atlassian.com/issues/?jql=project%20%3D%20CQ%20AND%20reporter%20%3D%20mieron_bc

I hope it will be helpful.

Many thanks, Mirek.

Joe Clark Atlassian Team Aug 12, 2014

Thanks for your feedback, Mirek! Very detailed and helpful :-)

Mirek Community Champion Aug 13, 2014

It looks like most of them were already duplicates but even that I am happy that was was helpful :) .. I will continue to test new site and send feedback.

BTW.

Some features are already developed (or will be developed). Do you also plan to updated current test system to see fixed bugs or improvements before going live?

Joe Clark Atlassian Team Aug 13, 2014

Even duplicates can still be helpful because they show that multiple users hit the same problem (for example we had about 4 users all report that the search box is confusing - this is much more meaningful than just 1 person reporting it), so we still appreciate it even if we close the issue as a duplicate :)

We'll be updating the test system as much as we can with fixes as they are made. For example, I just updated the test server with the fix for https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-1150

Some other problems, like https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-1136we will not be able to update on the test system, as it would require us to shut it down and re-run the data migration - so you won't see the fix until the final launch.

1 vote
Mirek Community Champion Jun 03, 2014

Hi Sam,

It is awesome that you found a time to put all of those answers together. Let me clarify few of them and add additional comments. Please take a look of them and let me know what you think.

  • How Confluence Questions will handle moderators, admins, converting/closing questions and so on.. ? Currently you will need to gain some karma to have more priviliges.
    • Moderation permissions will be based on "karma" (though we don't use the term "karma" in Confluence Questions, we use "reputation") as it is on Answers. We may use the transition to adjust which permissions become available at which reputation levels, but for the most part it will be unchanged.

Great! I just hope that there are very similar permission levels and we will not lose ability to do something that is now possible.

  • Will the current karma points reamain on the same level and for the same actions?
    • We're going to use the same point levels for each action, but we don't currently support all the actions that Answers does (the one that comes to mind is voting on comments).

It would be great if you can provide which will not be supported anymore. Is this possible?

  • How Confluence Questions will deal with Spam?
    • We've got similar mechanisms to Answers: reCAPTCHA at the Atlassian ID level, CAPTCHA on comment/answer, manual keyword blacklisting that admins can set up, and we're working on the ability to quickly ban spam accounts manually and remove all their content (tracked at https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-844).

Sounds good! Looking forward to see how this will work in practice.

  • Will we also see a tabbed view of our activity/questions/answers/ ... (in our profile)?
    • The Confluence Questions profile shows you a list of questions and answers, and will also have the reputation trend line that AAC has.

It would be great to have a activity stream that shows all questions (own, watched, participated, ..) that were updated since last login. Currently it is very easy to miss an answer or a comment. Very often you see that something was updated but you are wondering what (maybe a vote, or a comment was added, or a like, … )

  • Are there still be a reaminder when a question is open?
    • No, at the time of migration this will probably not be in place.

Do you think about a way to force a user to accept an answer over time? I was thinking of a way to somehow reward a person that is accepting his questions and keep high Accept Rate (> 80%) in specific time (e.g. every month). Of course if not having any answer or the answer is not a good solution he can somehow freeze it (not count it the accept rate). Something like that.. As a reward it could be a bonus of karma/reputation each month.

  • I assume that topics will be used instead of labels. Will we be still able to create our own topics like currently labels?
    • The Confluence Questions topics are very light weight, any user can create new ones as they ask questions.

Hmm.. As I remember in every topic there could be an expert, right? Would be nice if all topics like ‘confluence’, ‘confluence-administration’, ‘confluence-something’, .. could merge and mark an Confluence expert. (Of course we could have also “sub-experts” but this solution will always point to someone that is answering a lot of questions related to confluence. As a example there could be a Person A that answered 10 questions from “confluence” topic and Person B that answered 6 questions on “confluence-administration”, 2 on “confluence-ondemand” and 2 on “confluence-search”.. Both users answered 10 questions related to confluence and they should have the same place as experts when looking on the “confluence” topic.

  • Will we be able to add comments to new answers or only answers?
    • I'm not sure I understand this question 100%, but a question can have multiple answers and each answer can be commented on.

In general I would like to know if we will be able to still add a comment to an answer, vote it or like it and convert to an answer if needed. (and please remove 2000 characters limit because of that I was not able to add this as a comment to your last answer)

  • How answers will show up? Will there be still an annoying pagination? Will we be able to finally choose the view (by date or by votes)?
    • Answers are ordered by the number of votes they've received, with the accepted answer always bubbling to the top. There's no option to sort chronologically at the moment. There's also no pagination, all the answers are rendered on one page.

Sorting by date is very good option when you are back on a question that was heavily commented. Sometimes one answer is related to older one. It is a lot easier to read a story instead of thinking about which answer/comment was first. I would also recommend to give ability to mark specific comment as the right answer. Few times I saw that the first answer was not resolving a problem, but later in the comments someone provided a good solution that worked. I know that now we can convert comment to an answer, but when we do that this could actually break the good discussion and later users do not know where it was added before.

  • Is there still gone a be a integration between support.atlassian.com and answers?
    • Yes we aim to have this in place at the time we cut over, and the possibilities for integration are much greater now that we're powered by Confluence and Confluence Questions. It's on our backlog here: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-802

Please include on a the question a note or something that will inform that this was created automatically from a support portal. Mostly people create a support ticket and automatically a question and do not look at them later. Ideally after that next comment created in Answers should be added to the original ticket (to another tab next to comments for example), send a notification and give user ability to answer from JIRA (this will add comment to Answers/Questions back again without a need to go login there).

  • Will we be able to still use RSS feature?

It is a very useful way to be up to date with all new questions. It would be nice to have it ready before the actual migration.

  • If I cannot mark question as a favorite, how I be able to quickly find an questions that was having an important answer to me that might be useful to me in the future?
    • If it's a question you've asked, it'll appear on your Confluence Questions profile. If not then you'll need to use search to find it. I've created an issue to track marking questions as favourites here: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CQ-892.

It is not a problem to find a page if someone do not ask a lot of questions, but when there is such a situation, later it is very hard to find them. Unfortunately Answers are not having such search mechanism like JIRA. Maybe searching in Questions powered by Confluence will be better. However ability to mark a question as favorite should not be very hard to implement. A list of questions could also appear on the Confluence Questions profile next to my questions or answers.

  • Will there be a beta instance that we can use to playaround before there will be an actual decision to go live?
    • Yes we plan to have a "beta" instance before going live. Once we've got a reasonably complete migration done onto an instance that we can share we'd love to get some feedback from the Answers community on the new product.

Waiting for the announcement on this topic. Real system is always better to use for testing than thinking about how this could work in practice. Please let us know when it will be ready. Thanks.

-Mirek

Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jun 05, 2014

Wow! How did this not exceed the maximum character count? :-) Let me see if I can answer all these questions in a comment....

Edit: Nope. Will add a new answer with my answers :)

Mirek,

Thanks, good idea to add this as a question.

I've also got a question, whch I've already asked: https://answers.atlassian.com/questions/301579/only-follow-confluence-questions-not-jira-and-confluence

Cheers.

Mirek Community Champion Jun 03, 2014

Hi Mick,

Thanks! I was wondering what people like/don't like in current Ansers that could be removed/added in Confluence Questions. As you can see I have a lot of questions. (and probably there could be more). I would be happy if somebody from Atlassian could answer them all.

-Mirek

Indeed you have.

Let's hope Answers deals with spam better, they're really annoying at times. :)

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