Only follow Confluence questions - not Jira AND Confluence?

One of the things I find annoying with Answers (an otherwise very good and useful system) is, and despite me only following Confluence, that if I run a search I get a lot of Jira-related answers, which I'm not interested in.

Will the new system allow me to filter these out (preferrably before running the search)?

While others may be interested in both Confluence and Jira I'm not, so having to wade through spurious search results isn't helpful.

I think moving to Questions is a good thing though, if nothing else it will allow me to demo the system to our users and show them the benefits of having it. :)


2 answers

0 votes
Mirek Community Champion Jun 03, 2014

Hi Mick,

In my opinion you can specify now which tag you want to search. However a lot of people do not use correct tag or don't use it even. In Confluence Questions you will have topics. This will be working in a similar why like tags now, however I do not know yet who will be responsible for creating new topics.. Currenlty everyone can create a tag.. how it will be on Questions? It is a open question..

Maybe if there will be a limit on the topics and this will be required to choose then the search will be better? I hope that it will.


Yep, that's what I've done, I only follow answers labelled with Confluence.

However, when you search you get answers for both, and the Jira ones are just clutter to me, since they are of no interest.

I've used Questions in beta and think that it's possible to define the search results a little better. :)

Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jun 04, 2014

By default, topics in Confluence Questions will behave the same way as they do in Answers currently - anyone can create them, you have to have at least one topic selected in order to post the question, and there will be a wizard on the 'ask' page to try and help users select the right topic.

Our long term plans include restricting the creation of new topics to only people with certain amounts of reputation, and the ability for tags to be merged together (for example, if a tag is actually a typo).

Right now, we are focussing on feature parity in the migration, with enhancements like this to hopefully come in a future update :)

Mirek Community Champion Jun 05, 2014

Hi Joseph,

A I know on Questions each topics will have experts, right?.. There might be a problem realted to that.. I already mentioned this in my answer to this question..

So before making it live please make a good decision how this will be handled. And I vote for restricting this ability to people with specific reputation.


Can you expand on what you mean by "restricting the creation of new topics to only people with certain amounts of reputation" please?

To me this sounds like you are going to restrict who can ask questions, which would be a very bad thing.

What if someone who doesn't have enough reputation needs to ask a question which will also mean starting a new topic? Will they have to ask someone else who does to do it for them?


Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jun 05, 2014

(my response uses 'tags' and 'topics' interchangably)

Hi Mick,

I mean that only people who have earned a certain level of karma will be able to create new topics. Anyone will still be able to ask a question using topics that already exist.

What if someone who doesn't have enough reputation needs to ask a question which will also mean starting a new topic? Will they have to ask someone else who does to do it for them?

In this situation, I would prefer that the person asks the question using an existing topic. Answers is now a well-established system with a well-established community and knowledge domain. I would argue that ~90% of all valid topics have now been created in the system, and newly created topics now have a high noise/value ratio.

The purpose of topics is two-fold:

1) Improve search results

2) Try to find an audience to answer your question

Point (1) is perhaps less important, since with today's reliance on external search engines, searching within the site is a less common usage.

Point (2) only works when you use an existing tag. If you ask a question with a new tag, then there is no-one subscribed to it and thus, a much smaller audience of people who will attempt to answer your question.

Now that Answers is a mature community, I would prefer if new topics could only be created by users who had been around long enough to have a good understanding of which topics already exist, and when is an appropriate time to create a new topic.

A restriction on new tag creation will also stop the proliferation of tags like jire, jira-, confluce, conflucence, and confluece.

Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jun 05, 2014

(Also, we are talking about a potential future improvement - the current way that tags work in Answers will be the way that topics work in Confluence Questions for now)

OK, thanks, that's much easier to see now that I know how you're using the terms tags and topics. I'm no expert on Questions, so my ignorance probably doesn't help. :)

I agree about making sure the tags are correct and not duplicating.

Something I'd love to see is the ability to stop people from writing a query title that goes on for about 30 words and often in full caps. It's a minor thing, but asking the question in the title doesn't do much for my mood. :)


0 votes
Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jun 04, 2014

If you click the cog in the search bar you can create an advanced search query that will only search within specified tags, so you could construct a search to only return results from the 'official' Confluence tags.

Also, you can add negative filters to your search. For example, you can add "-jira" to your search query to exclude all results containing "jira" - this will work in both the current Answers and Confluence Questions.


Thanks for that info, I didn't realise that existed before. That could be a lot more obvious.

I've had a look at it and it's not obvious that you can use a negative filter, so why would I guess it's possible to do so? It would be far easier to have that ability as a button or tick box.

I think it would be much better if there was a list of options you could select that you want to see answers for, rather than having to build an advanced query.

My logic, when choosing to follow Confluence, is that I would only expect to see results that are about Confluence. This would not include anything from Jira etc. It seems odd to me that be selecting one thing, I get that and a load of other things I didn't ask for.


Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jun 05, 2014

Hi Mick,

Yes, I agree that the complexities of advanced searching are not well revealed to users. For now, we are probably not going to implement any changes since soon Answers will be running Confluence's search, which will hopefully be much more familiar to our users!

Using a 'negative filter' is a pretty common facility in most search languages. So too for Boolean keywords such as AND and OR, and the use of parantheses to group Boolean operators together. These are supported by Lucence (the search engine that backs JIRA and Confluence) and by Google/Bing/etc. We do not provide any documentation on Answers' search query languages, so I'm not surprised that you didn't know about it! A link to some docs when searching might be useful...

I understand your perspective that by choosing to only follow Confluence topics, you don't ever wish to see anything about JIRA. The problem is that I'm sure there are other users who have followed only Confluence topics who would occasionally wish to see and search for JIRA information (I would put myself in this category!).

Perhaps a good solution would be for each user to be able to create and save their own search preferences, or some default search options that are always applied to each search by default.


Thanks for your detailed response, which is very helpful. I totally agree about each user being able to create and save their own query. Having that available as a default would be very handy.


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