Wiki software: Confluence

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Wiki software: Confluence

4D Tech mailing list
I've tried a few different wiki packages down the years, sometimes setting
them up from scratch and sometimes using one someone else configured. At
the moment I'm using Atlassian's Confluence as set up by someone else.

It's great.

As I'm working along, figuring things out I can put down some notes to
refer back to. If I have to figure out some kind of algorithm that's new to
me (or long forgotten), I can write it up for others in a team setting.
(I've been doing a bunch of interval math lately which I thought I hated. I
don't hate it, I just didn't know where to look for the right information.)

I understand that a lot of people don't like writing and that it's a chore.
As I just heard it put from someone (in voice mail)

"Because I hate writing. Period."

Confluence (or similar) isn't the product for people in this camp ;-) But
if you do find it helpful to write things down in a place that you can find
them latter, I'm really pleased with Confluence.

A couple of notes:
* There are only a handful of styles and formatting options. A bit
frustrating for someone like me who misses character-level
stylesheets...but then you end up wasting very little time on formatting.
(At times, I make myself write in BBEdit so that I don't get caught up in
pointless tweaking too early.) After using Confluence's options for a few
days I stopped and noticed, 'Hey! Everything looks great!" They've saved me
from wasting time and from doing hideous things ;-)

* Overall, I've probably spent 30-45 minutes figuring out various features
and where options are. The hardest was figuring out where attachments are
organized. (There's a little paperclip symbol that's only visible when
you're not editing. A bit weird, but not a big deal.)

If anyone has used Confluence and/or anything else and wants to post some
comparisons (now or six months from now, I'll still be interested), please
do.
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

Paul Dennis
I second that confluence and Jira are brilliant. They do a 10 user version for 10 USD trouble is its additive and 25 users is expensive. Download a postgres appliance from turnkey linux. Set up a virtual machine in hyper v. Install.
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

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David,

we at extragroup use Confluence for several years now and apart from intermittent glitches we are very happy with it. It's our go to product for internal and external documentation. We also use it to prepare meetings, do brainstorming in a team and many other things.

We love the excellent full text search, the ability to control access rights by user and its ease of use. It's great you can fav pages, comment, or watch changes.

One of the big pluses for all the people who still need to distribute PDF-based documents is that you can export complete spaces (a confluence wiki can consist of several distinct sub wikis called spaces) as one big PDF dcoument with pictures and all.

The manual of our 4D-based product profacto is published in Confluence: http://profacto.extragroup.de:8090/display/handbuch/Module
The hierarchical sidebar makes it really easy to navigate content the user is roughly familiar with.

In addition, we use JIRA. The Kanban view allows us to track our issues from creation to release. Since we use JIRA consequently and track every improvement and the rare :-) bug in profacto, product quality has dramatically improved.

Tilman

----
extragroup GmbH
Pottkamp 19
48149 Münster
Germany

Mobil: +49 178 721 5210 (Skype: TilmanHaerdle)
Fax: +49 251 39089-10
WWW: http://www.extragroup.de
Email: [hidden email]

Geschäftsführer: Lars Busch
Registergericht: Amtsgericht Münster / HRB: 5624 Steuer Nr.: 337/5903/0421 - UstID: DE 204607841

Vectorworks interiorcad - profacto


Am 13.07.2017 um 03:55 schrieb David Adams via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>>:

I've tried a few different wiki packages down the years, sometimes setting
them up from scratch and sometimes using one someone else configured. At
the moment I'm using Atlassian's Confluence as set up by someone else.

It's great.

As I'm working along, figuring things out I can put down some notes to
refer back to. If I have to figure out some kind of algorithm that's new to
me (or long forgotten), I can write it up for others in a team setting.
(I've been doing a bunch of interval math lately which I thought I hated. I
don't hate it, I just didn't know where to look for the right information.)

I understand that a lot of people don't like writing and that it's a chore.
As I just heard it put from someone (in voice mail)

"Because I hate writing. Period."

Confluence (or similar) isn't the product for people in this camp ;-) But
if you do find it helpful to write things down in a place that you can find
them latter, I'm really pleased with Confluence.

A couple of notes:
* There are only a handful of styles and formatting options. A bit
frustrating for someone like me who misses character-level
stylesheets...but then you end up wasting very little time on formatting.
(At times, I make myself write in BBEdit so that I don't get caught up in
pointless tweaking too early.) After using Confluence's options for a few
days I stopped and noticed, 'Hey! Everything looks great!" They've saved me
from wasting time and from doing hideous things ;-)

* Overall, I've probably spent 30-45 minutes figuring out various features
and where options are. The hardest was figuring out where attachments are
organized. (There's a little paperclip symbol that's only visible when
you're not editing. A bit weird, but not a big deal.)

If anyone has used Confluence and/or anything else and wants to post some
comparisons (now or six months from now, I'll still be interested), please
do.
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

4D Tech mailing list
In reply to this post by Paul Dennis
On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 5:38 PM, Paul Dennis via 4D_Tech <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> I second that confluence and Jira are brilliant. They do a 10 user version
> for 10 USD trouble is its additive and 25 users is expensive. Download a
> postgres appliance from turnkey linux. Set up a virtual machine in hyper v.
> Install.\
>

...saving instructions to disk... Thanks!
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

4D Tech mailing list
In reply to this post by 4D Tech mailing list
On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 6:27 PM, Tilman Haerdle via 4D_Tech <
[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> we at extragroup use Confluence for several years now and apart from
> intermittent glitches we are very happy with it.


...Wow, thanks for all of the information about the features of Confluence
and Jira. I'm new to them, so pretty much everything you mentioned is new
to me.

> One of the big pluses for all the people who still need to distribute
PDF-based documents is that you can export
> complete spaces (a confluence wiki can consist of several distinct sub
wikis called spaces) as one big PDF
> document with pictures and all.

Best. Feature. Ever. I cannot thank you enough for mentioning this. You
just made my year! It took me a couple of minutes with Google to figure out
where the export to PDF option is for a space and that was it. The PDF
Confluence produced is *excellent*. A full table of contents with clickable
links. Wow. Ever since the death of FrameMaker on OS X I've suffered...this
is a huge relief for me.

Thank also for all of the other tips and comments.
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

4D Tech mailing list
Jira sucks.

--
Jeffrey Kain
[hidden email]

> On Jul 13, 2017, at 5:26 AM, David Adams via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> ...Wow, thanks for all of the information about the features of Confluence
> and Jira. I'm new to them, so pretty much everything you mentioned is new
> to me.

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RE: Wiki software: Confluence

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> From: 4D_Tech [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Kain via
>
> Jira sucks.

That's a statement, it would be interesting to know why do you think so?
Or are you convinced the TAOW (https://taow.4d.com/Home/home.en.html) by 4D is better? (To throw in a complete different system) :-)

Regards
Lutz


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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

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In reply to this post by 4D Tech mailing list
Jeffrey,

you're free to have your opinion. Let's put it that way: in our use case, Jira is the perfect tool for the job and it significantly improved our productivity and the quality of our deliverables.

YMMV and so I guess with those tools it's just like with cameras: There are Canon enthusiasts, there are Nikon enthusiasts, there are Fuji enthusiasts, whatever. The human being behind the lens makes the picture.

That being said, I fully trust Win32API even if you didn't use Jira to manage its development. :-)

Tilman

> Am 13.07.2017 um 15:22 schrieb Jeffrey Kain via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]>:
>
> Jira sucks.
>
> --
> Jeffrey Kain
> [hidden email]
>
>> On Jul 13, 2017, at 5:26 AM, David Adams via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> ...Wow, thanks for all of the information about the features of Confluence
>> and Jira. I'm new to them, so pretty much everything you mentioned is new
>> to me.
>
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

4D Tech mailing list
That was meant as a joke. Emacs sucks. No vi sucks. Windoze sucks.

That said, I think Jira is overly complex, but that's just my opinion. :)


Jeff

--
Jeffrey Kain
[hidden email]




> On Jul 13, 2017, at 11:12 AM, Tilman Haerdle via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> That being said, I fully trust Win32API even if you didn't use Jira to manage its development. :-)

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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

4D Tech mailing list
In reply to this post by 4D Tech mailing list
What do you like?

On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 6:22 AM, Jeffrey Kain via 4D_Tech <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Jira sucks.
>
> --
> Jeffrey Kain
> [hidden email]
>
> > On Jul 13, 2017, at 5:26 AM, David Adams via 4D_Tech <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > ...Wow, thanks for all of the information about the features of
> Confluence
> > and Jira. I'm new to them, so pretty much everything you mentioned is new
> > to me.
>
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

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In reply to this post by 4D Tech mailing list
We have been using Confluence and JIRA for several years now, and love them.
With one exception:
We setup our entire Online Help system in Confluence; a button click in 4D takes you to the relevant Confluence page.
Worked really well until recently when they decided to prevent url link logins.
This means our Help system no longer works easily, which is a real bummer.
We’re talking to them but they are a large organisation and we feel like an ant versus Microsoft - they don’t seem to care.
No doubt we’ll figure something out…
Cheers, Keith
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

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Haven't found one that I love yet. FogBugz is probably the one I like the most. We've been using ZenDesk but it really sucks (Jira is awesome in comparison). Jira really isn't bad... again, I was just being snarky. I'm fond of most all of the Atlassian tools (especially Confluence).

We're in the process of writing our own Jira replacement.

--
Jeffrey Kain
[hidden email]




> On Jul 13, 2017, at 4:22 PM, Lee Hinde via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> What do you like?
>
> On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 6:22 AM, Jeffrey Kain via 4D_Tech <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Jira sucks.
>>
>> --
>> Jeffrey Kain
>> [hidden email]
>>
>>> On Jul 13, 2017, at 5:26 AM, David Adams via 4D_Tech <
>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> ...Wow, thanks for all of the information about the features of
>> Confluence
>>> and Jira. I'm new to them, so pretty much everything you mentioned is new
>>> to me.
>>
>> **********************************************************************
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

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Of course you are.

I don’t mind Jira too much, but it’s horrible for customers. And I wasn’t happy making a career out of learning how to customize the customer view.



> On Jul 13, 2017, at 2:31 PM, Jeffrey Kain via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> We're in the process of writing our own Jira replacement.

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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

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In reply to this post by 4D Tech mailing list
"FogBugz is probably the one I like the most. "

I've been using FB for about 10 years but for the bug tracking features not
the wiki features. It's an invaluable means of tracking issues, tracking
progress, marking changes in code, version management, and invoicing.

The price is good up to the 5 user level (about $200 per year) and I've
found that to be more than enough for most projects.
--
Douglas von Roeder
949-336-2902 <(949)%20336-2902>

On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 2:31 PM, Jeffrey Kain via 4D_Tech <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Haven't found one that I love yet. FogBugz is probably the one I like the
> most. We've been using ZenDesk but it really sucks (Jira is awesome in
> comparison). Jira really isn't bad... again, I was just being snarky. I'm
> fond of most all of the Atlassian tools (especially Confluence).
>
> We're in the process of writing our own Jira replacement.
>
> --
> Jeffrey Kain
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>
> > On Jul 13, 2017, at 4:22 PM, Lee Hinde via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > What do you like?
> >
> > On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 6:22 AM, Jeffrey Kain via 4D_Tech <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> Jira sucks.
> >>
> >> --
> >> Jeffrey Kain
> >> [hidden email]
> >>
> >>> On Jul 13, 2017, at 5:26 AM, David Adams via 4D_Tech <
> >> [hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> ...Wow, thanks for all of the information about the features of
> >> Confluence
> >>> and Jira. I'm new to them, so pretty much everything you mentioned is
> new
> >>> to me.
> >>
> >> **********************************************************************
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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

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In reply to this post by 4D Tech mailing list
Hi,

We have been using wikis for more than 10 years and we love them. I did write post on the nug about it.

We use it internally for everything, information on clients, projects, application version history, meeting reports/minutes, standard procedures, coding practice, naming convention rules, etc...
Basically all the information which we want to share...
And wikis are searchable...

We managed to convince client to use them for online documentation linked to their own knowledge base. And this works great.
We configured each screen of our application to a corresponding url to the wiki. Clicking on the help button opens the corresponding wiki page in a window with a web area.

We are using an old wiki (we chose it in 2005) : JSPWiki (open source, free as in beer). It is now under the Apache foundation but is does not seem that active/popular.
In particular there is no graphical interface do editing pages...
But we learnt the basic syntax and it feels natural...
Our wiki runs on Tomcat on a linux box
The wiki syntax is not standard so migrating data from one wiki product to another is a bit daunting.

I know of Confluence and Jira, but, to be honest, I did not try them. I know that Atlassian products are very good.

We started to use "redmine" (open source, free as in beer) for bug tracking (migrating from another bug tracking product Track+ which was a commercial product). It is just a beginning with this tool but I like it.
Again, migrating from one tool to another is daunting. We will slowly migrate and keep the old tool for historic data.

Great to hear other people are using wikis and love them :-)

PS : also, take a look at Trello, it is a great online tool (think of agile, posit notes, online collaborative tool)...
Trello has been bough by Atlassian beginning of 2017 for $425M.
Trello is free (as in beer, for the time being).

HTH
Bruno


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Re: Wiki software: Confluence

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We tried using two different Wiki solutions for internal documentation and external documentation (back in the 90s). We found them to be too loose - permitted almost anything or nothing. Therefore we could not enforce completeness (as much as one can) of documentation and very fast finding of appropriate documentation. Therefore we just did what a typical 4D programmer would do and spent the time and effort to create a system that we used internally for our whole business.

As it turned out it was extremely good. Yes - it cost a lot for us to develop over the years. Like all well written custom software it was the best solution available. When we went through our ISO 9001 certification this was a key piece of the business solution to ensuring everything was done properly. When we were initially tested, the company reviewing us was on their last review for them to be able to certify software companies. This meant that someone from the head office at ISO was observing them.

At the end of the process where we were offically granted our ISO 9001 certification and the process was done the reviewer from Belgium was able to speak. He made a few comments, but the last one really stuck out. He stated in his 20+ years of certification experience he had never seen a piece of software that so completely looked after the whole company’s needs ensuring that everything was done. He stated he was very impressed with the software we had.

I know that as employees have left and worked with other software companies one comment that has been consistently made is that they have never encountered software that met the needs of a software development / support / training company as well as the solution we provided. Others have commented that for their company (outside of this our business type) they would really like software like we have.

Like all of us know though - custom built software is more expensive than off the shelf. The business that a high percentage of us are in though - we convince people that custom solution is the best way to go in the end. So we took our own advice.

To that end - I would never go with an off the shelf solution except for accounting software. The bigger the company gets, the more money the custom solution saves you. It saves you in so many ways that it really helps you to look extremely good. Remember you can write your in-house solution to communicate with your custom developed solutions. Therefore a lot of work that you would do manually can be done automatically. Communication is critical in business, the more you can make your communication automatic, targeted, and closest to the client’s use the more effective the communication.

Jody Bevan
ARGUS Productions Inc.
Developer

Argus Productions Inc. <https://www.facebook.com/ArgusProductions/>
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