What Confluence 2.9 and I have in common

I’m good at finding things. And so is Confluence 2.9😉

A couple of days ago, doom and gloom broke out at home. My son had lost his wallet. He had spent half an hour of the precious morning rush-hour looking for it, but to no avail. I’m sure you can identify with the atmosphere that hung over the household.

Now, it just so happens that I have a knack for finding things. Are you like that too? I walked into my son’s room and started the usual questions.

“Where were you when you last saw it?” At home.”

“Were you wearing those pants?” Yes.“Oh dear.”

While I was talking, I drifted around the room. In the middle of the word “dear”, I lifted a jacket from a chair and there was the wallet hiding underneath. My reward was a bit of disbelief and a somewhat reluctant lifting of the doom and gloom.

Confluence finds things too

At work, we’ve just released Confluence 2.9. One of its main features is a revamped search. My favourite bit is the author search. It’s fun, interesting, and can be a bit of an ego boost😉 First you search for a specific word or phrase as usual, then you enter a person’s name to find out which of the found pages, comments or whatever, were contributed by that person.

On our documentation wiki, I searched for “confluence OR crowd OR fisheye OR crucible OR jira OR bamboo OR clover” (because those are the main Atlassian products we document) and then entered my own name in the “Who” box. 3,436 results. Not bad for a year’s work, huh.

Then I tried it for our two founders, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar. Scott gets 55 results for “jira” and 27 for “confluence”. Mike gets 229 results for “confluence”:

What Confluence 2.9 and I have in common

What Confluence 2.9 and I have in common

At work, we talk with pride about “founder code”. That’s the code Scott and Mike wrote in the early days, which still exists in the products. I think we can talk about “founder docs” too!

Demo space and quick-start guide

Another 2.9 feature dear to my heart, as a technical writer, is the Demonstration Space. This is a sample set of pages that is included in the Confluence download. Two of us worked hard on it for this release, adding a quick-start tutorial and bringing the content up to date. The Design team hotted up the look and feel too.

What Confluence 2.9 and I have in common

What Confluence 2.9 and I have in common

Other technical writers will know how valuable such a quick-start guide and sample content can be, and also how time-consuming it is to find just the right balance of detail and depth.

The Demo Space is a work in progress. We’re tackling it as an “agile” project, publishing the new enhancements with each Confluence release.

Back to my tale about finding things

I found that wallet within thirty seconds. It’s happened before, that I stumble across something that someone else has lost, just a short time after starting the search. Perhaps this knack is thanks to a stubborn refusal to accept that something can disappear off the face of the earth. Or perhaps it’s just lack of imagination.

What Confluence 2.9 and I have in common

What Confluence 2.9 and I have in common

Anyway, I know where all those odd socks are. That’s one up on Confluence😉

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 16 August 2008, in atlassian, Confluence, technical writing, wiki and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Confluence is one nice piece of software. I just wrote a blog post on creating fancy wiki pages using Confluence: http://watirmelon.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/create-fancy-wiki-home-pages-with-confluence-lozenge-and-nuvola-icons/

  2. All women have a built in locator. It’s the Uterine Detection Device (UDD). We can find things we’ve never seen with it. It’s just what we do.

  3. Hallo Alister and Sharon

    Thanks for your great comments, both.

    Alister, I had a look at your page on creating pretty Confluence pages. Great tips there!

    Sharon, LOL🙂

  4. Hello there from Paris, France😉

    We’ve been happy Confluence users for a year now at our company.
    As a doc manager, I’m more and more considering DITA as the basis architecture to do documentation.

    Would you have, by any chance, an idea if Atlassian is considering implementing a DITA plug in ? I’m mainly not 100% invested in Confluence yet because of that (wiki language editing capabilities too poor for me sorry…)

    I know that the more votes a request gets, the better the chances it has to be implemented (see http://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONF-5571) but I wanted to have your opinion on adding such feature to such powerful software:
    Some thoughts here? http://blogs.atlassian.com/news/2008/04/how_technical_w.html

    I’m starting to use Oxygen 9.3 to write xml docs but somehow, I’m not able to make oXygen communicate with Confluence to publish xml files in the wiki…😦
    There must be some tweaking to make I still have to understand…

    Anyway…thanks for you blog !
    cheers
    KalpaK

  5. Hallo KalpaK

    It’s great to hear from you! Fun to have a reply from France. I can speak a bit of French, and I can read it better than speak it. Five or six of us at the Sydney Atlassian office hold a French conversation hour every Monday at lunch time. I’ve just discovered Titeuf🙂

    Your comment about DITA and wikis is very interested. At this point in time, the Atlassian Confluence team don’t have any plans to provide DITA support. But it’s something the tech writers in the company are very interested in, of course, and we often talk to the development team about it too.

    Have you seen the new Scroll Wiki Exporter plugin that is under development? It’s not an Atlassian product, but they have been in touch with us and I’m very interested to try out their product. It’s in early beta testing at the moment. We plan to test-drive it when the public beta launch happens. The plugin does not currently support DITA, only DocBook. But the Scroll Wiki team say that it would not be difficult to produce DITA output using the same framework.

  6. Hello again Sarah,

    > Five or six of us at the Sydney Atlassian office hold a French conversation hour every >Monday at lunch time. I’ve just discovered Titeuf🙂

    Indeed, Titeuf is really fun to read😉
    Hopefully, one day you’ll come to Paris! When that happens, I’ll be more than happy to talk with you in French😉

    >The Atlassian Confluence team don’t have any plans to provide DITA support. But it’s >something the tech writers in the company are very interested in, of course, and we often >talk to the development team about it too.

    I believe there is a ever-growing technical writers community *really* interested in seeing such event taking place😉

    But it could be a very interesting option for Atlassian to embrace a third party DITA plug-in, which I’d be happy to test😉

    >But the Scroll Wiki team say that it would not be difficult to produce DITA output using the >same framework.

    I’m on their web site at the moment and indeed, I *do* hope they’ll go beyond DocBook and adopt DITA as well😉

    Thanks for all this info Sarah !
    By the way, is it ok to talk to you on DITA using this thread or would there be a more convenient way for you ?
    Keep me posted !

    Happy days
    KalpaK

  7. Hallo again KalpaK,
    It’s great to receive comments on this blog🙂 I’ll be sure to write a post when I have any more news about DITA or anything else. It’s fun using a wiki for document management, because of the collaborative and instant-gratification a wiki provides. And of course, it can be challenging to bend the wiki to do what you need. All hints and tips welcome.

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