Random undocumented confluence plugin dependencies causing upgrade nightmare

OK this is more of a rant than a question.

I'm preparing the confluence upgrade and spending hours of pain with plugins problems. If you use a plugin, you will get an immediate benefit, but you are just borrowing pain from destiny that will be paid back at some random time, at around the rate of ten times the benefit. And I include my own plugins in this.

Here's my latest problem. If you disable the jira-connector plugin, this causes the keyboard shortcuts to fail, but only when in edit mode. Why? I'm not exactly sure, but I saw in the code that it includes a hack for a problem with the jira-connector macro, so it probably tries to set some global variable that the other plugin sets, or uses a selector that assumes the other plugin's presence.

The source editor icon also fails to appear. My problem is, logically there is no connection between disabling the jira-connector plugin and either of these other plugins failing. The javascript error or stack trace is not revealing at all. To debug it in the traditional sense you need to go through the 91k lines in batch.js.

Anyway getting to even understand the fix involved hours of binary chopping, let alone working out what the root cause is, which I leave to someone else.

I had a similar but not as painful problem with another plugin that was stomping on an xwork package name.

How do other people deal with this? Or is it just shizzle that one must go through? Or do you stay well away from upgrades and let other people handle it first?

4 answers

1 accepted

Here's another couple of dependencies/interactions just discovered today:

The {survey} macro breaks the {toc}

The Kwik notes plugin removes whitespace between a <strong> and an <em> html element.

We are going the same way setting up 4.2 instead of 3.5. Having dozen of active users, we took shortcut way - uninstalled all plugins, upgraded, reconsidered our needs and installed back just a bare minimum...

... and will see.

I would like to do that but I don't see how I can, it would leave thousands of pages broken. Also we have 10k active users rather than dozens.

The problem is, for most plugins, once you install it, it's forever.

This is the main problem. Installing plugins runs well, easy, yeah. But planning an upgrade is a pain with a mess of installed plugins. So the best advice is always: keep your installation of whatever system as close to the standard as possible...

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