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12 March 2012

With great pleasure, Atlassian presents Confluence 4.2 Beta 1.


Confluence 4.0 Beta 1 is a snapshot of our work in progress, primarily focused on allowing Confluence users to see the new features in advance. This also provides Atlassian with useful feedback. Beta releases also give plugin developers an opportunity to test and fix their plugins in advance of an official release.

Highlights of Confluence 4.2 Beta 1:

Downloading Confluence 4.2 Beta 1

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Please note the following

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  • Development releases are not safe. Development releases are snapshots of the ongoing Confluence development process. For that reason:
    • 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 development releases represent work in progress, we cannot provide a supported upgrade path between development releases, or from any development release to the eventual final release. Thus, it is possible that you will not be able to migrate any data you store in a Confluence development release to a future Confluence release.
  • Atlassian does not provide support for development releases.

Highlights of Confluence 4.2 Beta 1

 

 

Page Layouts

Page layouts offer a quick and easy way to add sections and columns to a page. Choose a predefined layout, add the content to each section, and you're done. It's a great way of creating a common page structure, so that readers know where to find the information on each page. Don't worry, the Section and Column macros are still available too.

A two-column page layout in edit mode

 

 

Likes

Has someone written a mind-blowingly cool post on Confluence? Click the Like button to them know. It's quick and easy to make their day! Confluence has like buttons on every page, blog post and comment. If enough people like your post, it will show on the dashboard's new popular tab. The information in your personalised summary email is based on the number of people in your network who have liked the content.

Likes on a page and on comments

 

 

 

Quick Comments

Showing people a picture of themselves is a great way to encourage them to say something! We want to encourage people to comment on Confluence pages and blog posts, so we have added an inviting empty comment, showing the user's avatar, at the bottom of the page. This replaces the rather uninviting Add Comment button in earlier versions. And here's what we are really proud of: When you click the box to write a comment, the full editor loads instantly. Boom! No page refresh required.

Invitation to add a comment

 

 

 

Popular Content on the Dashboard

Want to see what's trending? The new Popular tab on the dashboard shows the pages and blog posts that attracting most attention, based on the number of comments and likes.

New popular content tab on the dashboard

 

 

Personalised Summary Email

Confluence sends out a weekly summary of the news that interests you. Each email message is tailored according to the spaces you follow and your network. This is a great way of drawing people into the wiki discussions even if they are infrequent users of Confluence. You can opt in or out of the recommended updates summary via an option on the email settings page of your user profile.


Personalised summary of Confluence news and updates

 

 

Attachment Labels

You can now label attachments, just as you can label pages and blog posts. Using the Attachments macro, you can filter to show documents or other attachments with a specific label. The Content by Label macro also displays attachments (alongside pages, blog posts and spaces) with a given label.

Labels on attachments

 

 

 

 

Share Notifications Showing All People Notified

If someone shared a page with you, it's nice to know who else they shared it with. We introduced sharing of pages and blog posts in Confluence 3.5. Just click Share and follow the prompts. Confluence sends an email message to the people that you have specified. In this release, when someone shares a page with you, the email message shows the other people they shared it with too.

Other people sharing the page

 

 

Gadget Subscriptions

Confluence  4.2 includes Atlassian Gadgets 3.2, with gadget subscriptions. This means that you can quickly add all the gadgets from your JIRA, Bamboo, FishEye or Crucible site – or from another Confluence site – to your Confluence gadget directory, for easy addition to your Confluence pages. To subscribe to another site's gadgets, go to Confluence AdminExternal Gadgets and click the new Gadget Feeds tab.

Subscribing to another application's gadgets

 

 

Other Improvements

  • We have fixed the following bug: CONF-6246 - Images in Word export pages do not show up because of login requirement Resolved
  • The permissions for personal spaces are now more in line with Confluence's philosophy of encouraging collaboration. When you create a personal space, the option that allows registered users to update content is selected by default. You will also be assigned as a watcher of your new personal space. 
  • Blog comments now include an 'author' lozenge to allow you to quickly scan a page for comments from the author.


 

Infrastructure Changes

Upgrade Notes

Upgrading from a previous version of Confluence

Follow the usual 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.

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

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18 Comments

  1. Any particular reason why you guys went directly to beta, without EAP and with the promise for going live in just a few weeks from now? 

    Just look at the page tree on the left, and you see how you've been releasing milestone releases since 2.7... That has been a good practice which have helped us, plugin vendors to get a sense of what's is coming and to upgrade our plugins... 

    4.2 includes a major architecture change in the Label Manager API, which is going to cause binary incompatibility. It would have been nice if you guys had given us a heads up (sad)

    1. Hallo Roberto

      Answering your question about the change to the label manager API: Thanks for pointing this out! We are investigating, and will get back to you as soon as we can.

      Cheers, Sarah

    2. Hi Roberto, 

      I'll be addressing the changes to LabelManager and making it backwards compatible for 4.2 reintroducing deprecated methods that take a ContentEntityObject, this will be released in 4.2 beta-3.  You can track this issue here :  CONF-24902 - Label Manager updates in 4.2 break compatibility with plugins compiled against earlier releases. Resolved

  2. Unbelievable release! This addresses so many long-standing issues and minor annoyances. It will really make a difference for both end users and administrators.

    I hope the next step for labels is to be able to manage them on a global and local level. Label renaming and merging is strongly needed, and label relationships (groups, hierarchies) would be highly useful.

    And, of course, the long-standing 'move blogpost' and/or 'transform blogpost into page' features still need attention. (smile)

    But again, incredible work. Every feature from 1-6 made me gasp (big grin)

    EDIT: One more addition - I'd be curious to see how the personalized summary email works and looks like. Will the email be customizable by end users? It would be wonderful to be able to choose the content on a detailed level:

    • Spaces included/excluded
    • Pages included/excluded
    • Favorites included/excluded
    • Labels included/excluded
    • Report sending interval/schedule
  3. Ahhh finally!  After attending the Atlassian Unite event yesterday in London and 4.2 being announced ... then checking the web/blogs/everywhere for any mention and it not being there, I was starting to think I'd dreamt it all (smile)   This'll be installed tonight .. well done guys (smile)

    Damn ... re-edited - just read the bit about upgrade paths - I was wanting to install this on a production system as the features are so good ... but think I'll have to wait until it's released (sad)

      1. Hey Bill - ahh, I'm not used to the "mentions" - that's going to work so well in our company as we use them more and more.  I'll hang fire for the release as we don't have a separate staging server at the mo.  Thanks for the update!

  4. I have a question regarding the OtherImprovements section. For which users is the new 'author' lozenge displayed? The creator of the page, user who did the last edit, all of the users who edited the page?

    1. The "author" lozenge will only be displayed on blogposts and it will indicate the creator of the blogpost. We intentionally didn't add it for pages as pages often have multiple authors and no single owner.

    2. Hi Dennis,

      We don't display the author lozenge for pages, just for blog posts. The reason is that pages tend to be collaboratively edited as you hint at in your comment whereas blogs tend to have one single author. For this feature, the "added by" user in the blog post is considered the "author."

  5. perhaps you could put hands on this issue CONF-11744 - Creating a template using the rich text editor Resolved  ; removing the markup editor from page editor and leaving it for creating templates is on the one hand inconsequent and really pain in the ass to our users and space admins on the other - so please consider to fix this - thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Dennis,

      That's one I'm very keen to seen resoled as well but unfortunately there is only so much we can get done each release, sorry that it's not 4.2 for you!

      If you haven't already please do put a watch on it and you'll get an updated as soon as it's done.

      Thanks,
      John 

  6. Hi, it's nice to read, that you create page layouts. But what about the global templates in the admin area? There you only can create templates with the markup. But not with a page you create in Confluence 4.1. So I'm not realy able to do it, only with high additional effort.

    It would be great, if you fix your old bugs before you create further highlights. There are still a lot of editor bugs, which didn't happen with the markup. If you work with IE 8 or firefox you get trouble with Ctrl+A, +X, +C, +V

    1. Hi, Gilbert. Allowing users to create page templates in WYSIWYG is a top priority for us. Please watch this issue to monitor it's progress. CONF-11744 - Creating a template using the rich text editor Resolved

      What kind of Ctrl+A, +X, +C, +V issues are you having in IE8 and Firefox? The more details we have the easier it is for us to address them.

      Thanks.

      1. Well no offence, but when we look at that Issue, there doesn't seem to be any progress other than linking it to related issues besides all the outside users begging for it...

        So it is still extremely disappointing to see it still hasn't made it into a release. Especially considering what features made it into 4.1 and also some here...

        Maybe if Atlassian suddenly lost all their own templates and had to recreate them from scratch it would become apparent how annoying it is that we lack this feature?... 

        As for feature 1.

        How will styling affect that compared to columns/sections?... It's great that you can get the real idea of the page layout in the editor, I just wish that it was implemented using the existing features so that we don't get overlapping features that might not look the same in the final output depending on the theme used.

        Also, how will it affect content inside each box if you choose to say go from a 3 column layout to a 2 column layout?... (and back after?)... I would ofc. expect that it erased the content of the 3rd column, what else could it do, but will it maintain the content from the first and second?

        1. How will styling affect that compared to columns/sections?... It's great that you can get the real idea of the page layout in the editor, I just wish that it was implemented using the existing features so that we don't get overlapping features that might not look the same in the final output depending on the theme used.

          Section/column is using tables for layouts whereas the new 4.2 page layouts use proper divs. So they work fine together but, if you're doing custom styles to your current section/column macros, page layouts won't inherit those styles. The ultimate goal is to replace the need for section column but we know people create advanced, nested layouts with section/column so it will require some evolution of page layouts over the next couple releases to satisfy those really complex layouts.

          Also, how will it affect content inside each box if you choose to say go from a 3 column layout to a 2 column layout?... (and back after?)... I would ofc. expect that it erased the content of the 3rd column, what else could it do, but will it maintain the content from the first and second?

          As you remove columns the content collapses from right to left so, if you go from a 3 to a 2 column,  the content in the 3rd column will go into the 2nd column. If you go back to a 3 column layout the content stays in the 2nd column.