Is the real wiki editor coming back in v5 or v6 of confluence?

I and the users I support continue to be very unhappy with confluence v4.x due to the lack of a real wiki editor.

When will it come back?

If it is not coming, is a real wiki in the works (at atlassian or elsewhere) ?

Thanks!

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Accepted answer

A couple of thoughts here. Sam you're not alone. One of my recent customers has a vocal minority that is quite dissatisfied with wiki markup going away. I think most of us who have enjoyed wiki markup in the past went through this phase.

I myself used to run a local instance of Confluence 3.5 to create content and then copy/paste to 4.x so I could use wiki markup.

However over time especially once I embraced the keyboard shortcuts I found the new RTE to be tremendously more productive. This speaks to your important point "b) Zero mouse dependency." This is mostly possible with the new RTE. In fact I would argue its possible that if you truly master the shortcuts you actually use your mouse even less than you do with Confluence 3.

I appreciate your Word versus Vi analogy but I would offer another analogy. For Java developers you have vi or an IDE like IntelliJ/Eclipse. I think its fair to argue that no developer on the planet is going to be nearly as productive using vi versus using a good IDE they've mastered. It's simply not possible for all but the most trivial of development. That's how I now feel about the new Confluence RTE. Drag in images/attachments, create links, leverage complex macro parameters without checking back for their syntax, etc.

To your other points:

c) Zero issues with formatting. Formatting is the codes I type (not what I paste, not what the editor wants to do, etc.)

I think you still run into formatting issues with wiki markup, but it especially got a lot worse if people toggled between the markup and wiki editors in 3.5. I don't miss that at all.

d) I can generate formatted documents from automated systems (like my application code, which uses the confluence api to generate nice docs)

Certainly this is still possible.

e) I can generate formatted documents in a simple text editor, that I later paste into confluence.

You could still easily do this in one direction. Though I appreciate creating and editing content locally. Typically to do this I just run: "atlas-run-standalone --product confluence"

(with the Atlassian SDK installed). It is certainly heavier than a text editor but once up and running acheives the result of having it all local.

All this being said I don't really expect to convince you because I've spent weeks trying to convince some other wiki markup users and failing :) I think the only way is really to give it a few weeks and commit to mastering the keyboard shortcuts for the editor. If you do that then just like an IDE its really impossible to create content as quickly or efficiently as with wiki markup. I'm pretty confident that using the RTE I can create rich content faster than any wiki markup user on the planet.

Note to Atlassian: At Summit 2010 there was a brilliant live contest during the Keynote between Dan Hardiker (Confluence consultant extraordinaire) and and Atlassian employee. Dan used wiki markup and the Atlassian used an early version of the new RTE to both create a page with rich content. It was simply no contest. The Atlassian created content about 2x to 3x as quickly.

Atlassian you guys need to resurrect that video. It was excellent, convincing and though you guys do a good job recording such content some of the best material like this seems to become unavailable indefinitely.

No one here will learn confluence-specific keyboard shortcuts.... We all use 10 (or 20 or whatever) different systems to do our jobs. Confluence is important, but it is not so important that anyone is going to learn a new syntax....

Hello,

The following is an article outlining the reasons we moved away from wiki markup in favor of the rich text editor.

http://blogs.atlassian.com/2011/11/why-we-removed-wiki-markup-editor-in-confluence-4/

As far as I understand wiki markup inside of Confluence is deprecated and not coming back.

Bob Swift has come out with a great interim solution for those people who love wiki markup syntax. Please take a moment to try out his plugin available below.

https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/org.swift.confluence.wiki

Daniel,

I am not asking why Atlassian made the change. (I am sure there were reasons!)

I am saying: We require a wiki, in the traditional sense. We required one 6 years ago, and we still require it today. Not as an "interim solution."

Our preference is to stay with confluence, but we are NOT HAPPY CAMPERS.

So the question is:

I and the users I support continue to be very unhappy with confluence v4.x due to the lack of a real wiki editor.

When will it come back?

If it is not coming, is a real wiki in the works (at atlassian or elsewhere) ?

Thank you!

Hi Sam,

It was decided to move away from wiki markup to increase the feature set capabilities even though there was strong sentiments against it from parts of our customer base. The reality is that the product has evolved, so while you need a wiki, the need of Confluence users as a whole has grown to need more than a wiki editor which required significant changes. Atlassian has stretched to meet that - thus the editor and storage format went through a transformation thus deprecating the wiki markup editor. There is not a current plan to undo, revert, or add back in a wiki markup editor to Confluence.

As far as I know, there are still pure wiki solutions out there. Try mediawiki.

Hi Sam, do you have a reason from you or your users supporting why it would be better to have a real wiki editor compared to the current Confluence editor?

What are you lacking in terms of real functionality? Might help convince the crowd :)

Hi Daniel,

We've had this "when is wiki markup coming back" discussion several times across vairous sites.

Not wanting to start yet another conversation of why not wiki markup, I'd like to direct you to Confluence 4 Editor - Customer Feedback. We've debated, discussed and agonised over this topic for the last year with customers (and for the Confluence team, we've been talking about this ever since the Rich Text Editor was introduced in

I'll be quite honest and open with you. As mentioned in other Answers threads and the page referenced above, we have no plans to bring back wiki markup. As the product manager who was heavily involved in the decision to remove wiki markup, I'm obviously quite sad to read your comment. However, we accept that for some people who really want to use a markup based tool this will be the unfortunate outcome, but I and the rest of the team are confident that this was the right decision for the future of Confluence.

I was a die hard wiki text fan too but I've been converted as well. The editor is much improved now, give it a try. It has all the benefits of wiki-markup with most of the benefits of WYSIWYG. And considering the sales growth of Confluence I believe Atlassian are making the right decision here.

It seems like there are many proponents and people wiilling to move on and try new technology, give it a chance, and find out it actually IS better. Then there are some who simply are stuck in their ways and never want to change.

May I suggest that you have a look at Confluence 5.1.2? In my view the interface is improved significantly. Give it a chance to make you fall in love with it.

If it has a wiki editor, we will be happy!

If not, why would we be happy? Word is a very very good editor. We have that. But, as an editor, we do not like Word. We like text editors.

Why do people use Word instead of vi?

Why do people still use vi when Word is available?

Why do people use a wiki instead of Word?

Does Word solve all editing / collaboration needs?

----

Essential needs in a wiki:

a) Zero brains in the editor. The text on screen is what I type.

b) Zero mouse dependency.

c) Zero issues with formatting. Formatting is the codes I type (not what I paste, not what the editor wants to do, etc.)

d) I can generate formatted documents from automated systems (like my application code, which uses the confluence api to generate nice docs)

e) I can generate formatted documents in a simple text editor, that I later paste into confluence

Note that the above is all a single metaphor.

The RTE adds layers of mess, and is disorienting for someone (well, several someones on my team) who just want to type into a text editor.

Saving tool of the day: http://www.amnet.net.au/~ghannington/confluence/wikifier/rt/ (We are converting large chunks of our large wiki back into wik text)

Core problems:

1) Using confluence is now (since v4) such a mess that we don't let new users at our company use it. (Open page, paste in a wiki block that won't convert, use wikifier to convert it to wiki markup, now start editing!)

2) I am involved with setting up collaboration at three new orgs. A year or two ago, confluence was one of my standard tools for all new teams. Now I can't use it any more because the core requirement on all the teams I work with is a "traditional" wiki.

3) Even if I loved v4/5, my users keep complaining about the lack of a plain wiki editor (we migrated to v4 a full year ago). After Atlassian abandoned my user community in this way at my old job, I could never bring an Atlassian tool to a new team.

4) I was nearly fired for migrating a team to Atlassian v4 that cut off the core feature the team used and offered no path back to v3 (A couple of months after the migration, we would have lost too much content to go back. We were stuck in a place we did not want to be with no path out.)

I'd strongly suggest testing the latest version of Confluence; the editor has improved dramatically since 4.0 and is really leaps and bounds ahead of when we first introduced it.

Having said that if you're still trying to insert and edit in markup through whatever means rather than use the editor how it's intended then the experience will be frustrating. The editor is not a wiki markup editor, and to expect otherwise will only bring disappointment.

Hi Sam

What is wrong with sticking with Confluence 3.5.17 then?

That is certainly richer and more stable than any other wiki option on the market - and if you are not interested in all the extra features since (which are not really "wiki" features - per se), it is enough?

Given the aversion to the non-wiki-editor, weird that you upgraded.. Did you? Or are you referring to being unhappy in a pilot instance, I presume?

I suppose it may be concerning for you that 3.5.X will EOL 3.5 Sept 6, 2013 -

Maybe that EOL in this case could be extended longer, given the circumstances that linger on this situation. If you can convince Atlassian, that is (open a JIRA on jira.atlassian.com?)

Of course I have no understanding on significance of Atlassian's 3.5.X support impact these days, or by extending the EOL. I will say that with every passing month, we are finding fewer and fewer <4.X installs in our service efforts.

Ellen

Confluence 3.5.x is certainly a terrific product. It certainly has enough features for me and my team. But the EOL piece is a problem, tis true!

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