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”:
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.
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.
Anyway, I know where all those odd socks are. That’s one up on Confluence 😉
Posted on 16 August 2008, in atlassian, Confluence, technical writing, wiki and tagged atlassian, Confluence, odd socks, search, technical writing, wiki, wikis, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.