Confluence 6.0.0-beta Release Notes

27 October 2016

Atlassian presents Confluence 6.0.0-rc5. This is the second public release candidate for Confluence 6.0 and a snapshot of our work in progress, primarily focused on providing add-on developers an opportunity to test and fix their add-ons in advance of an official release.

Confluence  6.0.0-rc5 is available to download now.

Development releases are not production ready. Development releases are snapshots of the ongoing Confluence development process. While we try to keep these releases stable, they have not undergone the same degree of testing as a full release, and could contain features that are 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 a final release. You may 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 6.0.0-rc5

Released  

This release candidate contains a final round of fixes and improvements. Confluence 6.0 is just around the corner. 

Highlights of 6.0.0-rc2

Released  

This release candidate contains a final round of bug fixes and other improvements. Confluence 6.0, with collaborative editing, is preparing for take-off! 

Known issues

Confluence 6.0.0-rc2 has the following known issues:

  • CONF-44202 - When collaboratively editing a page, unable to enter text using some IME language tools Resolved

  • CONF-43804 - synchrony-proxy web app does not work when running Confluence using AMPS and HTTPS Resolved

 

 

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Highlights of 6.0.0-beta6

Released  

This beta contains bug fixes and other improvements.  No new features were added in this beta. 

 
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Collaborative editing has arrived

The feature you've all been waiting for has arrived - collaborative editing. See who's editing the page with you, and see their changes in real time. Changes are automatically saved and synced so there's no need to ever manually save. Your only decision is when to publish the changes.

A word of warning - this feature is still in development. We know you're excited, but don't install this release in production (no matter how much you want collaborative editing right now) as you may not be able to roll back if things go wrong. 


Working together in the editor

Collaborative editing doesn't mean you need to sacrifice the power of the Confluence editor. All your layouts, macros and other features are available. 

Subtle cursors let you see who is in the editor with you, and what they're doing. 
 


Publish when you're ready

One of the things that sets Confluence apart from other real-time editors is the separation between viewing a page and editing a page.

Your audience can continue to read your page, without seeing your edits in real time.  This is super important when you're working on policies, procedures or documentation, those times where most of your audience are just reading, not editing.

Once you and your team are done editing you can:

  • publish (or update if the page has previously been published) to make everyone's changes visible
  • close the editor and keep everyone's work to finish later
  • close the editor and discard everyone's changes. 

We make it very clear if you are about to discard changes from more than just yourself! 

 

 

What's under the hood?

The engine that powers collaborative editing is called Synchrony.  When you install Confluence, Synchrony will be configured to run as a seperate process on your server. 

Head to  > General Configuration > Collaborative editing to administer collaborative editing for your site. System administrators can:

  • Monitor and restart Synchrony.
  • Change the editing mode to 'limited' to protect users shared drafts if you need to troubleshoot Synchrony issues.
  • Turn off collaborative editing in your site. 

Flexibility for Data Center installations

When you install Confluence Server, Synchrony is automatically configured to run as a seperate process on your server.

For Data Center, we give you full control by allowing you to set Synchrony up yourself.  This gives you the flexibility to deploy Synchrony on the same nodes as Confluence, or in its own cluster with as many nodes as you need. 

See Installing Confluence Data Center to find out how to set up your Synchrony cluster. 

Introducing shared drafts

Collaborative editing introduces a new type of draft, a shared draft.  Previously when you edited a page but didn't save it, Confluence would create a draft that was only visible to you (a personal draft). Now, Confluence creates a shared draft whenever anyone edits a page. All page editors work on this same shared draft, and it exists until someone publishes the page. 

When you publish a shared draft, you're publishing all the changes you have made and changes made by others. Publishing creates a version in the page history. 

If you discard a shared draft, you're discarding all changes, including changes made by others. Because shared drafts aren't versioned, there's no way to get a discarded draft back.

Accessing your personal drafts

Your personal drafts are still available, but are no longer editable. If you edit a page, you'll see the shared draft of the page, not your personal draft (if one exists). 

If you need to get content out of your previous personal drafts head to Profile > Drafts, locate your page and copy the contents. 

Copy page hierarchies

By popular demand, you can now copy a page and all its child pages in one easy process.  Use it to duplicate existing content, kick off new projects with the perfect pro-forma page hierarchy, or take a snapshot of important pages - the possibilities are endless.

But that's not all, you can now also choose a location to copy to. No more copying a page and then manually moving it to another parent page or space. 

No matter whether you copy into the same space or a different space - we give you the tools you need to modify page titles on the fly and control what's included in your new pages. 

   

 

Delete page hierarchies

When deleting a page you now have the option to delete just the current page, or to delete the page and all its child pages. It's perfect for cleaning up old content or for quickly disposing of all those copies you can now make. 

We'll warn you of any incoming links, and won't include links that are coming from pages that will also be deleted in the same batch, making it super easy to tidy up your links before you delete. 

Upgrade notes

Collaborative editing system requirements

Before you upgrade your test server, you'll need to make sure you can meet the following requirements.  

  • Memory and CPU - you may need to give your test server more resources than for previous Confluence releases. The default maximum heap size for Synchrony is 2 GB. 
  • WebSockets - your firewall / proxies must be configured to allow WebSocket connections. An experimental XML HTTP Request (XHR) fallback feature is available by setting the system property synchrony.enable.xhr.fallback=true. This may be used if it is discovered in production that some users can't access Confluence via WebSockets. Note that the XHR fallback isn't compatible with using the Synchrony proxy via Confluence. See  CONF-44250 - XHR Fallback does not work with synchrony-proxy Resolved  
  • Proxies - if you're running Confluence behind a proxy server, you'll need to add Synchrony, which runs on port 8091, to your config. See How to use NGINX to proxy requests for Confluence (you'll need NGINX 1.3 or later) or Using Apache with mod_proxy (you'll need Apache httpd 2.4) for more information. 
  • SSL termination -  SSL termination must be configured on the load balancer / proxy server / gateway (if used) so that Synchrony can accept XHR requests from the web browser. For example if you've followed Using Apache with mod_proxy to add SSL, you'll need to do the same for Synchrony which runs on port 8091. If you're using NGINX see, Running Confluence behind NGINX with SSL.
  • Database drivers -  you must use a supported database driver. Collaborative editing will fail with an error if you're using an unsupported or custom JDBC driver (or  driverClassName  in the case of a JNDI datasource connection). See  Database JDBC Drivers  for the list of drivers we support.

Personal drafts are no longer editable

Collaborative editing introduces a new type of draft, a shared draft. Your users' personal drafts are still available, but are no longer editable. When they edit a page, they'll see the shared draft of the page, not your personal draft (if one exists). 

Users will be able to access the content of their personal drafts at Profile > Drafts.  They'll need to copy the contents manually to new pages. 

Any personal drafts that have never been published (e.g. you have opened the editor, but never clicked save / publish) will be converted to a shared draft upon Resuming the draft.  If you choose to turn collaborative editing off these will be lost. 

No version history in drafts

We're saving all the time in collaborative editing, but we don't save versions in a draft. When discarding changes, you can only roll back to the last published version (thereby discarding all unpublished changes from all users).

Auditing considerations 

We know that auditing is a major consideration for some customers. Collaborative editing does not currently offer full granularity auditing capabilities. Multiple users can now contribute to a shared draft which one user will publish to a new version. Each user is attributed to that version, rather than each users specific changes.

If this is going to be a problem in your site, you may consider turning collaborative editing off for now. 

The documentation theme will be removed 

When you upgrade to Confluence 6.0 the documentation theme will be removed from your site. We'll automatically turn on the default theme for any spaces that currently use the documentation theme.

If you've customized the documentation theme (by adding wiki markup to the sidebar, header or footer) we'll take this wiki markup and drop it into the sidebar, header and footer in the default theme. Your space sidebar will look a little different after the upgrade but in most cases the changes shouldn't be dramatic.  

See our documentation theme migration FAQ for answers to all your questions about the doc theme.

Changes to CSS classes

If you have overrided the space CSS to change the appearance of the documentation theme, you'll probably need to make some changes to your CSS, as some class and ID names are different between the two themes.  For example, instead of specifying  #splitter-sidebar , you'll need to use  .acs-side-bar.

Problems with customized layouts

If you have customized default theme layouts through the Confluence UI, you may find that your space looks strange or broken when the default theme is re-applied to spaces previously using the documentation theme. 

We think this issue is likely to only impact our long time customers, who have customized site or space default theme layouts prior to upgrading to Confluence 5.0 and who later turned on the documentation theme. 

If you experience problems, you'll need to reset the broken layouts. 
  

  Reset customized layouts through the UI...

This method will only work if you have more than one theme available in your site. You'll need System Administrator global permission to do this.

  1. Switch to another theme temporarily.
    If you're unable to use the space navigation, use this URL, replacing YOURSPACEKEY with the space key for the space.

    http://<yoursite>/spaces/choosetheme.action?key=YOURSPACEKEY
  2. In the space administration options go to Layouts (if available) or use the following link, replacing  YOURSPACEKEY with the space key for the space.

    http://<yoursite>/spaces/listdecorators.action?key=YOURSPACEKEY
  3. Choose Reset Default next to any template that have been customized.
  4. Return to the Themes page and try applying the default theme again.

Layouts can also be customised for the entire site - head to  > General Configuration > Layouts if you need to reset the layout for the entire site.

  Remove customized layouts in the database...

If you're unable to reset the layouts via the Confluence UI, you can remove the affected layouts directly in the database. Be sure to take a full database backup before you try this.

First, use the following query to identify customized layouts:

Select *
FROM DECORATOR
ORDER BY SPACEKEY

Then, you can selectively remove records for spaces that are affected.

Space jump macro will be removed

The space jump macro was provided by the documentation theme and will not be available in Confluence 6.0.   If you've used this macro on a page or in the header or footer of a space, it will show the following error after the upgrade  unknown macro: {spacejump}.  

To find out whether the Space Jump macro is used on any pages in your site before you upgrade, enter macroName:spacejump into the search bar.  All pages containing the macro will be returned (it won't search the sidebar, header or footer unfortunately). 

Infrastructure changes

Head to Preparing for Confluence 6.0 to find out about changes that will impact plugin developers.  You can also read more about how  Collaborative editing for Confluence Server  works under the hood, and find out how you can make sure your add-on is compatible. 

We will not be providing 32-bit installers for Confluence 6.0. If you're running Confluence on a 32-bit system, you can still upgrade using the archive file method. 

Supported platform changes

In this release, we've ended support for:

  • Internet Explorer 10
  • MySQL 5.5 

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