PLEASE give us back some sort of "source" editor in Confluence 4

I won't repeat the dozens of comments here about the change to using HTML as the content storage format instead of wiki markup and the removal of the associated editor - I'm sure (I hope!) Atlassian had good reasons for doing so.

However there are still many nuisances in the new editor and lots of tasks that were super-easy and took seconds to do with wiki markup are now either simply not possible with the new editor or take *MUCH* longer. A simple example (one of many but I won't include any of the others here - and yes I have tried reading all the documentation about the new editor and all the shortcut keys):

I'm entering a numbered list which has macros beneath some of the options (e.g. info, code, etc.). Unless I am extremely careful to hit SHIFT-ENTER at the point where I want to insert one of these macros the list breaks and it re-starts from one. ONLY solution I've found so far is to:

  1. Cut the content within a macro;
  2. Delete the macro;
  3. Position the cursor to the end of the list entry where I want the macro to go;
  4. Hit SHIFT-ENTER;
  5. Enter a new macro;
  6. Paste the cut contents from the old marco into the new macro.

With wiki mark-up ALL I had to do was simply remove a single line break to fix the list and ensure the numbering continued. This took a couple of seconds. The above takes me at least 40 seconds (since some of the tasks involved have no keyboard shortcuts)!

And if you make a mistake and do this at several points in the list or far down the list then God help you trying to fix it.

Atlassian: You've taken an amazing bit of functionality for power users (the wiki mark-up) which allowed developers (i.e. the PRIMARY users of your products) to create great-looking pages very easily and quickly and "converted" it to a sub-standard "version 1 beta" of a word-processor that satisfies neither power users nor experienced MS Word users. What is the point??!

So PLEASE at least give us back the ability to edit the source somehow. In the above example I could enter the source editor adjust the <li> and </li> tags a bit and hey presto my problem solved much quicker than using the convoluted procedure above (although not as fast as with the wiki mark-up).

PLEASE do not alienate your loyal power users by trying to appeal to the masses via a sub-standard "word-processor" functionality without offering an alternative for power users.

Thank you.

9 answers

1 accepted

4 votes
Accepted answer

Why Atlassian is not supporting wiki markup editing of wiki content was discussed at length in this thread on the forums/mailing list a while back. You might want to read that to get Atlassian's perspective. And another recent place it was discussed was Wiki Markup in Confluence 4 (again).

2 votes

Hi Petros,

Atlassian Answers isn't the right place for feature requests, no matter how passionately you feel about it. The right place for feature requests is in JIRA, and this one's been raised and closed a couple times (see CONF-23315). It's also in our Confluence 4 editor FAQ.

Atlassian's position on this is that we will not be bringing back wiki markup to Confluence 4. We will, however, work hard to make it a fantastic editor. The only thing I ask of you (and everyone else) is to report specific issues, like the one you describe, in JIRA. We're keen to fix specific scenarios that are slowing you down.

Jeremy,

thanks for your quick response. Maybe you've misunderstood me but I did not ask you to bring back wiki markup. All I asked is to allow us to directly edit the "source code" format that you are now currently using.

If I'm not mistaken, this is now HTML right? So allow us to edit that directly with some sort of plug-in in the exceptional cases where doing so would be a massive efficiency boost!

At least we can easily correct formatting issues that are currently impossible to correct with the new editor short of spending ages meticulously re-writing the content in the precise manner that the editor requires in order to achieve a particular effect.

AGAIN: I am not asking you to bring wiki mark-up back. Just allow us to edit the source format (whatever that is but I believe it is XHTML).

Thank you.

And sorry for entering this "feature request" here. I'll raise it in the right place now.

Jeremy said: The only thing I ask of you (and everyone else) is to report specific issues, like the one you describe, in JIRA.

There are too many. I already have a full-time job and cannot afford to triage and log every issue I find. Why doesn't Atlassian invest more in some User Experience experts.

Hi Petros,

Thanks for being a long time power user.

I'm entering a numbered list which has macros beneath some of the options (e.g. info, code, etc.).

To do this in the new editor, hit SHIFT+ENTER at the end of the line to insert a <br> instead of a adding a new <li>.

So in this case you'd type:

1. list item one <ENTER>

2. list item two <SHIFT+ENTER>

{macro}<ENTER>

3. list item three

We have this as a rotating tip at the bottom of the editor and describe it in the What's Changed for Wiki Markup Users document but maybe there are other ways to make this more obvious for power users.

Hi Bill.

Many thanks for your quick response. I think you've misunderstood my post: I'd already figured out how to do what I wanted.

The issue I was raising is that IF I accidentally get it wrong while entering a list and I don't notice it until a few steps later THEN there is no easy way to fix it short of the long work-around I've posted above.

Please try it yourself. Enter a numbered list with several steps and then in the middle of the list go and press ENTER (not SHIFT-ENTER). Place a macro there. Save the page. The list is now broken in two with each section starting from 1. Now go back and try to fix it.

Is there an easy way to fix it short of the long work-around I've described above? If Yes then I'd love to know it!

Thank you

You should just be able to cut the entire macro (contents and all) and then paste them back after you do the SHIFT+ENTER. That doesn't work?

Petros, I should also highlight that we are tracking the feature request to make the default new line behaviour a new paragraph with no margins here: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONF-5949.

You may be interested in watching/voting for that issue if it reflects what you are after.

Thanks, Petros. As for directly editing the XHTML produced by the RTE, note Charles Miller of Atlassian said here, "The main reason we are reluctant to allow end-user editing of the raw markup is that the editor markup is not really XHTML. It is an XML dialect that looks like XHTML so that it can be edited in a browser, but that embeds a lot of important semantic information so we can turn it back into the storage format when you hit save."

1 vote

For anyone who's interested, we have an optional Source Editor plugin available for 4.1.5+: https://plugins.atlassian.com/plugins/com.atlassian.confluence.plugins.editor.confluence-source-editor

Thanks Gary. I've read all that now and I also understand fully why atlassian have moved away from wiki mark-up. In fact I fully support the decision to move away from wiki mark-up and store the content in XHTML rather than have to deal with the complicated and error-prone round-tripping from wiki markup to wysiwyg editor.

My question (and issue) is why not make it easy for power user to (occassionally) edit the generated source XHTML if it is (occassionally) easier to achieve a particular effect or correct some content issue. This can already be (semi-) legimitately done via WebDAV. So why not give one option (perhaps permission-controlled) for power users to make such edits. If we break the code then we can just revert to an earlier version of the page.

It almost seems that this has now become some sort of battle between atlassian and users and they just won't provide this simple facility just because they don't want to "give in". Makes no sense to me...

Hi Petros,

I'd love to get your feedback on this ticket and how it would solve the problem you describe above?

https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONF-23899

Thanks,

John

Hi John.

The feature in the ticket you have included above seems like a good enhancement to me and it would go some way towards addressing some of the many issues with the new editor. Many thanks indeed for your continuing attempts to improve the editor and for pointing out this new feature request to me!

Incidentally, over the last 6 weeks I've discovered many more issues which were trivial to fix in Wiki mark-up but are very hard to fix in the new editor. I'm sure you guys know that the new editor requires substantial enhancement before the editing usability and the ability to get the exact layout of some content precisely as desired, will reach the levels of the wiki mark. If it's useful to you I can send you a list of some of the issues I've discovered.

Having battled for hours sometimes to fix some issue (and failed) I'm convinced that they are issues with the editor as opposed to lack of knowledge on how to use the new editor and so maybe they will be helpful to you.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Petros

Hi Petros,

Glad to hear this may address this one issue once it's implemented.

Yes, if you've got a list of these issues I would really love to have a copy! Feel free to email it through to me: jmasson@atlassian.com

Thanks,

John

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