Atlassian Confluence - A lesson in loosing touch


Yet again today I've been struggling to update a document in Atlassian Confluence. Bashing my head on the keyboard trying to get simple changes to work.

Confluence used to be good. Atlassian used to be good. Then they got full of themselves and what they did to Confluence announced it to the world. They removed the option to edit pages in wiki markup.

I cannot even begin to describe how bad an idea this is. The core idea behind wikis is to use a simple markup that anyone can understand. Not to roll-your-own WYSWIG text editor. By forcing their users to use a java script based editor they did the very opposite of what they claimed to be doing, they made things harder.

And to make matters worse, their editor is crap. Even today it's full of bugs, bizarre behaviour, and things that simply don't work. Want an example? Load it up and trying editing a simple numbered list.

Numbered lists are often used for instructions for other people to follow. How to do this or that. Add a image to one of the list items, or a code block. Or add a new line that's not a list item. Keep editing. In no time flat the list will go to hell. Number will restart for no reason. Pressing delete to join lines will do nothing. Code blocks will jump outside their list item and refuse to go back. The list goes on - pun intended!

I've picked out numbered lists here as an example because every time I have to edit one I run into problems. But they are not the only thing. Indentation, sections, and even basic text editing all have bugs I've encountered.

So thanks Atlassian, thanks for taking a really good idea and stuffing it up.

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