Documentation for Confluence 5.5.
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1 August 2011

Today we are happy to announce our third public EAP build for Confluence 4.0. An Early Access Preview (EAP) release is a snapshot of our work in progress, primarily focused on allowing Confluence users to see the new features in advance and provide us with some useful feedback. It also gives plugin developers an opportunity to test and fix their plugins in advance of an official release.

Please see previous 4.0 EAP release notes for the complete list of 4.0 changes:

Highlights of Confluence 4.0 EAP:

More:

Downloading the Confluence 4.0 EAP

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The Confluence 4.0-m36 EAP Release is available here. When upgrading, please follow the upgrade notes below.

Do not use in production

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  • EAP releases are not safe — EAP releases are snapshots of the ongoing Confluence development process. As such:
    • While we try to keep these releases stable, they have not undergone the same degree of testing as a full release.
    • Features in development releases may be incomplete, or may change or be removed before the next full release.
  • No upgrade path — Because EAP releases represent work in progress, we can not provide a supported upgrade path between EAP releases, or from any EAP to the eventual final release. Thus, any data you store in a Confluence EAP release may not be able to be migrated to a future Confluence release.

Highlights of this Milestone

 

New Confluence Installer

Much to the delight of any sysadmins that are installing any new instances of Confluence, the Windows (.exe) and Linux (.bin) guided installers are now available.

Simplified Installation Process

  • Guided installer: The guided install wizard has been implemented for Confluence 4.0 on both Windows and Linux operating systems. Installing a new instance is a breeze.
  • Windows UAC support: You will be prompted for elevated privileges in order to permit the full array of install options. 
  • New instance vs Upgrade selection: You can choose to install a new instance or upgrade an existing instance (the upgrade capability will be available in a subsequent release)
  • Install & Home directory selection: Default folders are provided depending on the user being an admin/root or standard user (based on respective OS write permissions) 
  • Port selection: The ports in Confluence have changed! Take note: The default running port is now 8090 with the control port at 8009
  • Install as a service: Assuming you have elevated privileges, you have the option on both Windows and Linux to install Confluence as a service. This is practical for production instances.
  • Evaluation license generation: As a recap we added a simplified workflow in Confluence 3.5 to assist in generating licenses for evaluators.

Sample screenshots below:

Easy JIRA Integration

  • Setup wizard process improvements: Hook up Confluence with JIRA right within the in-app setup wizard (huge thanks to the Integration team for taking this work on)

 

 

Improved Image Handling

Turn Images Into Links
Now you can turn images into links. This is especially handy for turning images into a button like the Docs team is known to do. (Previously this was only available in wiki markup but can now be done in the shiny new Confluence 4.0 editor via the properties panel.) - We're still working on the link icon.

New Default Image Sizes
We've gotten a lot of feedback that there isn't much difference between the pre-set image sizes. So we've tweaked the sizes so you can choose from a wider range of options. Small remains the same at 100px, medium has increased slightly to 300px and large is now 500px.

Custom image sizes
If you don't like the pre-set image sizes you can now specify an exact image width:

 

Links Dialog: Remember My Tab

Some of the feedback you gave us:

...I find it frustrating that "add a web link" is an extra click away after I open the link dialog. I use that at least as often as I link to another confluence page...

We've taken some of the pain out of this by having the link browser remember the last tab you clicked. So if always use web links, it will always open to the web links tab for you. We're investigating taking this a step further by allowing users to insert a web link from the "search tab as well."

 

Improved Conflict Merging

This feature is back into Confluence 4.0. Now if you're editing a page at the same time as someone else, Confluence will intelligently merge your changes with the other person's change when you save. This means you'll be seeing the "another user has made changes to this page since you started editing" warning a lot less often. We've also made merging table conflicts much more reliable.

 

Set Page Location On Save

We've heard a lot of feedback from new users that understanding where their page fits in the Confluence page hierarchy is not very intuitive. To help solve this problem when you create a new page and save it, users will be prompted and asked where they would like to save the page.

 

Infrastructure changes

  • Remove 'Thumbnail maximum height' and 'Thumbnail maximum width' settings from the General Configuration page
  • Update upgrade task to blow away thumbnails directory
  • Link browser is no longer build in GWT and is in core JavaScript 
  • Upgrade Plugins to 2.8.0
  • Integration Platform 2.12
  • Update personal sidebar preference to use browser local storage instead of cookies

 

We Welcome Your Feedback

To make it easy for you to provide EAP feedback we've created a simple "Got Feedback" button in the Confluence navigation bar:
Let the Confluence team know what you think of the EAP by providing feedback!

Important Note - Comments Editor

You will notice in this milestone we have a new, simplified comments design. Please note - this design was experimental for internal dogfooding and will not be shipping in Confluence 4.0. It will be removed in the next EAP release.

Upgrade Notes

  • Upgrading from a previous version of Confluence. Follow the normal upgrade instructions to upgrade your test instance to this release. We strongly recommend that you back up your Confluence Home directory and your database before upgrading.
  • When upgrading from a previous version of Confluence, if you have customised your cache settings (as documented in Cache Performance Tuning) then you may run into memory problems during the wiki to XHTML migration. We are working to fix this in a later milestone release but in the meantime you can revert your ehcache.xml to the default version.
    • If you still experience problems you should try reducing the 'maxElementsInMemory' attribute on each cache to a very small value such as 50.
    • Note that any cache changes you make to work around migration problems should only be considered temporary. You should restore caching to it's original settings again after migration has been successful.
  • Note that the 'Edit Page in Word' functionality of Confluence is being removed in Confluence 4.0.



A big thank you to everyone who helps us ensure that Confluence keeps getting better and better.

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9 Comments

  1. Hey guys,

    Great update. :) A couple of comments though:

    1. Image thumbnails. The image handler is much improved, but there is one usability issue with images that I hope is rectified: when a size is specified (whenever the image is not displayed at 100% size), the image should always have a link to the original. This could be implemented with a hover icon ("view full size") in the corner of the image. The problem currently is that users are confused about whether the image is displayed as-is or as a clickable thumbnail when inserting it into the page.
    2. Image galleries. Currently the gallery macro is separate from using single images. These should be combined somehow. For instance, automatically link all images used on a page so that if I open one image in full size (in a popup window), I can automatically browse all images on that page. This makes it much faster to browse the neighboring images, without having to click each one open individually. It would also pretty much make the gallery macro obsolete.
    3. Image captions. These have been unfortunately lacking. The gallery macro uses the image attachment comment, but why can't we display captions without the gallery macro? A caption field should be built into the image handler.
    1. Hi Jonas,
      Thanks for the feedback! Some comments:

      1. Image thumbnails: Have you noticed that we have change the behavior so that images that aren't links are now thumbnails in Confluence?
      2. Image galleries: Yes, you are right. The image gallery macro does not really have a simple user experience right now. It isn't really intuitive to attach images first, then include the gallery macro. Unfortunately, this isn't something we've tackled in 4.0 but hope to do at some stage.
      3. Image captions: Again, similar to the gallery macro - it would be nice to include image captions as part of the whole process. We've discussed this internally but aren't going to get a chance to get this for 4.0.
      1. Thanks Sherif. Good to know you're aware of these issues. :)

        One more idea concerning the thumbnails - since clients may have any number of theme layouts, it might be a good idea to provide a global setting for the image size for which thumbnails are shown.

        Say I have a dynamic layout and I know most people use Confluence at a resolution of 1680 pixels wide daily (most common use case by far): I would like to display all images over 1280px wide in thumbnail format by default and any smaller images in full size, unless otherwise specified in the editor.

        Another client might use a 980px wide layout and thus want any images over 960px wide to display in thumbnail format by default.

        Another, completely unrelated question - are email notifications now sent once a week? For some reason I got a bunch of mail this morning, even though the edits/comments were made some time during the past week. Hasn't previous behavior been to send email notifications daily? What is the default notification schedule out of the box nowadays?

        1. http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Thumbnail+Settings

          We already have this... See Thumbnail Settings for details.

          are email notifications now sent once a week? For some reason I got a bunch of mail this morning, even though the edits/comments were made some time during the past week. Hasn't previous behavior been to send email notifications daily? What is the default notification schedule out of the box nowadays?

          I'm not sure what you are referring to. Are you specifically talked about 4.0-m36? Emails are not sent once a week. Emails are sent at different times depending on your subscription. Sarah has written a good summary here.

          1. Sherif, I was not referring to the size of the thumbnails, but rather the image size threshold value for which a thumbnail is displayed instead of the full image. I am aware of the thumbnail size setting but it does not quite address the need I outlined. :)

            As for the notifications, I am watching this page however I did not receive an email for your comment yesterday. This monday I got a bunch of email notifications for changes that had been made last week. Strange behavior... I noticed the same issue with AppFusions' wiki. Are you getting the notification email immediately after posting this comment? Otherwise I would suspect our spam filter, but the notifications did come through, only some of them several days late...

            • Paul Watson [Atlassian Technical Writer] (Confluence) - [CONF] Confluence 3.5 > Recently Viewed Content - Email date Mon Aug 8th 8:58am EET (Change actually made Aug 4th 2:31am EET)
            • Sherif Mansour [Atlassian] (Confluence) - [CONF] Confluence 3.5 > Confluence 4.0-m36 EAP Release Notes - Email date Mon Aug 8th 8:58am EET (Comment actually added Aug 3rd 10:39pm EET)

            Note: Our wiki, which is version 3.5.9, does not display similar behavior. Notifications are delivered promptly after changes are made.

            Note 2: I am not subscribing to daily reports from either Atlassian or AppFusions. I am merely watching certain pages/spaces but still the notification emails are oddly delayed. It's as if they were schedule to be sent once a week.

            Should I open a Jira issue for this?

  2. The release notes contain contradictory information about the new port numbers. It says something different in the "Default Port Number Change" section as compared to the "New Confluence Installer" section.

    1. Sorry about the mix-up, Scott. Thanks for pointing that out. I've fixed it up now.

  3. The facility / dialog-box / pop-up page to choose where your page lies in the hierarchy should standardize as that used in the Space Administration section of confluence 3.x -- that is - users should be able to just select and drag-and-drop their page location in a tree-hiearchy -- instead of having to separately specify a Parent and separately specify sibling positioning via a separate check-box and then another screen.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Robert. We've had a lot of feedback about this change and I'm thinking we will have rollback that change from 4.0. You are right, we haven't nailed that user experience and what you suggested would be a nice experience. We will update this in a later milestone and tackle it at a later stage.