Feedback on confluence 4.0 - your opinion

Hi

Besides the new editor, is there any reason to upgrade to v4.0?

I have given it a quick test drive, and actually like v3.5 due to low level control of wiki mark up (our team is mostly tech, rather than business). Any other reasons to upgrade?

Also, most of the plug-ins we use are not supported!

Thanks

Simon

4 answers

Like you, we are mostly tech users (QA and Dev). We are still on 3.5 and have decided to stay there for the indefinite future. No plans to upgrade to 4.0 after I installed a 4.0 site and let our power users play around with it for around 10 days. There was General Unhappiness when they discovered there was no option for text-only (non-WYSIWYG) editing. Also, most of the plugins we depend on are not supported.

Overall, our assessment is that the upgrade to 4.0 is not worth the hassle, and 3.5 continues to serve our needs for now, though our investigation into alternatives that offer a text-only (either source code or wiki markup) editing option has begun. Our experience is that most tech folks do not want a Word clone, and prefer text-only editing. Atlassian's corporate line is that people can be re-trained, but who wants to go through a whole process of re-training for a feature that we weren't asking for to begin with?

Too bad, as people otherwise generally like the way Confluence works. But the text editor is such a major part of the wiki experience that we can't work around it unless Atlassian indicates somewhere that a text-only option for editing is going to come back in one form or another. Don't think that's going to happen, as they seem to be trying to appeal to a wider non-technical enterprise market by creating a more "Word-like" experience and leaving their power users behind.

I agree, we are upgrading to Confluence 3.5.13 soon and will wait at least a few more months to plan a 4.0 upgrade. I love the new editor, but, for existing customers with significant plugins, user macros, and other advanced uses - it is a major hurdle at this time. Should be worth considering in a few more months as some more of the wiki and other issues get resolved.

Hi Brian,

Sorry to hear you and your users haven't enjoyed your experience with the new editor to date.

To address your last concern above, while yes we are trying to make Confluence useable for as wide a range of users as possible, we by no means want to do that at the expense of our technical users. The idea behind the new editor is to make it possible for everyone to collaborate together in the one place. I won't go into all the reasons why the decision was taken but they're covered quite well in this blog post.

For the benefit of the existing power users, we've put a lot of work into making sure the new editor still allows you to work as fast as you could with wiki markup and was the driver behind the Autoformat and Autocomplete features, but we know there is still more we can do to improve the experience.

To assist we've setup this feedback page to capture details of any problems you have with the editor, or things you feel aren't as efficient as they used to be etc. With you and your team spending a solid 10 days trialling it I'm sure you generated a lot of useful feedback, if you have the time to add it in the comments there I'm sure it would be valuable.

Thanks,
John

0 vote

A brief comment from the main technical author here - "It changes what I type in, so I can't debug it". I think they have a point here - the editor supports wiki markup as it's being entered, but then converts it into something that is not what the user put in, and is a lot harder to get "right" by tweaking later. I don't think they'll be upgrading here until there's some way to edit the "source" directly and it needs to be simple.

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