Thoughts on adding first class version metadata to questions

I had some conversations about this at the Partner event @ #Summit11 with mixed results

One thing I've noticed in the old forums and especially the comments area in Confluence documentations for Atlassian's products, is that over time it becomes hard to see if the answers are relavent to the version you are using.

In the comments in Confluence this usually means that you need to read the doc, then scan the entire comment thread to make sure you're not missing anything. Some of this is addressed with the use of spaces in the Confluence but I'm wondering if others feel that overtime the answers here may become a bit hard to navigate?

I'm thinking something like a version slider that the community can adjust to indicate the answer they are adding, editing, viewing is relevant to particular versions.??

Would this be confusing? Should tags just be used? Too hard to maintain? or revolutionary :)

5 answers

I'm going to resurface this idea now that more people are hitting answers.

I am seeing more and more questions come up where people either don't specify the versions they are asking about or they put useless tags on their questions i.e. 3.5, 4.4 etc..

If we were discussing one product here then tags would do but we aren't

I say having a first class citizen field, that is accurately updated with which products and versions are available (Allowing multiple entries) is by far the best way to go to have this site useful in the future.

Hi Colin, just acknowledging I'm seeing your update. I've turned this into a feature request:

I'll keep it in mind for sure. It seems like we could get halfway there with tags (if we use the tag wizard maybe it'd be a bit more structured), but I get that it wouldn't handle the use-case of multiple versions.

0 votes
It's a challenge to keep data fresh. One thing is that you can downvote an answer that doesn't work, so if it becomes less relevant, or gets fixed later and something changes, the information can be a bit better groomed. The downside to stamping a version to an answer is similar to the "Affects Version" field in JIRA. That field is a mess. It's notoriously inaccurate - it's usually the version that the bug is reported in, but not an accurate indicator of the start and end to the bug. Basically, I'm also not sure the best way to keep info relevant. I'll stay tuned.
I was going to request this as a feature too. Most of the problems could be solved by keeping it simple, and not trying to make the feature do too much. If there was a subscript for each product-related question saying (for example) "This question was asked about Confluence 4.0", it would give readers a context that at least clues them in to how stale the answers might be, and answerers a chance to avoid giving irrelevant answers.
>but not an accurate indicator of the start and end to the bug. That's exactly the reason why I've seen version fields fail most of the time. In Answers this could be tackled by adding an answer "This is fixed in version 4.3" or "For me this is working in 4.4, looks like they fixed it."

I wouldn't design it so an answer is attributed to a single version though. It should be a range of versions, which could be auto populated from JAC. Some type of range selector on the side of the question/answer.

Using the comments and/or downvoting issues just seems to be the old way of doing things and eventually will be a mess and/or require the reader to hunt through multiple question/answer combos to find their solution.

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