Blog

We've upgraded the memory for CommonWiki this morning (2/8) to try to alleviate some of the performance issues you've been reporting lately.

As always, if you find any specific issues with CommonWiki, please feel free to post a comment here, on this news item, or on our Community Help Desk page.

-The CommonWiki Admins

Good Afternoon,

CommonWiki was unusually slow this morning, and after doing some digging, we determined that the slowness may have been caused by a runaway space export. We performed a restart around 12:00pm, and the wiki seems to be running normally once again.

As always, if you find any specific issues with CommonWiki, please feel free to post a comment here, on this news item, or on our Community Help Desk page.

-The CommonWiki Admins

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

As we mentioned back in November, since we've implemented some workarounds from Atlassian (including disabling the viewxls Office Connector macro), CommonWiki has remained stable. Atlassian has informed us that the Office Connector macros can greatly impact stability and should not be used in mission-critical or large installations (like ours), so there's a very good chance we will not be re-enabling those macros. We apologize for any inconvenience their absence may cause.

And as always, if you find any specific issues with CommonWiki, please feel free to post a comment here, on this news item, or on our Community Help Desk page.

-The CommonWiki Admins

Wiki Stability Update

Good afternoon CommonWiki Users,

Since we've implemented some workarounds from Atlassian (including disabling the viewxls Office Connector macro), CommonWiki's performance has improved noticeably.
Atlassian's working on some performance and stability issues with the Office Connector. When patches or new versions become available, we'll test them in our QA environment to see if they're ready for production.

As always, if you find any specific issues with any of Confluence’s features, please feel free to post a comment on this news item or on our Community Help Desk page.

Once again, thank you for your patience.

-The CommonWiki Admin Team

Labels: notifications

Good afternoon CommonWiki Users,

Since our upgrade just over a week ago, CommonWiki has become extremely unstable with extremely slow performance and occasional crashes. We are working with Atlassian, our vendor, to try to resolve these stability issues.

We apologize for any inconvenience this instability may be causing and will post further details here as they become available.

In the meantime, if you find any specific issues with any of Confluence’s features, please feel free to comment here or on our Community Help Desk  page.

-The CommonWiki Admin Team

Labels: notifications

We're happy to announce that we've upgraded to Confluence 3.3.1. Some key highlights of this version include:

For a full list of the bug fixes, improvements and new features, please take a look at the Release Notes:  http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+3.3+Release+Notes  

Key features from prior releases

You may also want to take a look at Release Notes from previous versions of Confluence to see what additional new features and changes are included in this upgrade.

Release 2.10.3 - http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+2.10.3+Release+Notes

Highlights:


Release 3.0      - http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+3.0+Release+Notes

Highlights:


Release 3.1.0   - http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+3.1+Release+Notes

Highlights:


Release 3.2.0   - http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+3.2+Release+Notes

Highlights:


Release 3.3.0   - http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+3.3+Release+Notes

Highlights:

Questions/Problems:

If you have questions or experience any problems, please send an email to: Commonwikiadmins@state.ma.us

Happy New Year, CommonWiki users!

We've postponed the database move for CommonWiki for the time-being. We will post an update when a new date has been selected.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at CommonWikiAdmins@massmail.state.ma.us

The CommonWiki Admin Team

We're Growing!

To better equip us to handle the expanding use of the wiki, we'll be taking CommonWiki offline on New Year's day so we can migrate to a new database.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to post a comment here or on our CommonWiki Help Desk page.

The Admins
CommonWikiAdmins@state.ma.us

Overview

You don't have to make a page from scratch.

A template is essentially a page with pre-populated content. Templates may be written in regular Confluence markup, or using special markup if you wish to define form fields to be filled in.

Some examples:

  • A software development project may have a template for use-cases.
  • A systems administration space may have a template for defining what information is kept about each server.

In Confluence, there are two places to store your templates:

(info) Global templates can only be created by site administrators, and space templates by space administrators.

Here is an example:

Note

Currently, templates can only be used to create a page. Once a page is created, the template is gone and all further editing is performed as if the template was never used. Some plugins provide expanded functionality for strictly templated content. See below for more information.

Important Plugins For Templates

Two popular plugins that expand on template behaviour are the Zones Plugin and Scaffolding Plugin. Below is a comparision:

Field

Default

Zones Plugin

Scaffolding Plugin

Description

Basic

Flexible

Powerful

Saves page version history

(tick)

(tick)

(tick)

Allows return to form version

(error)

(tick)

(tick)

Suitable for dynamic data

(error)

(error)

(tick)

Has a library of examples

(error)

(error)

(tick)

Creating a Page from a Template

Confluence allows you to create a page based on a global template (available to all spaces) or a space template (available only to that space). This page is intended for users who have already created a template.

Labels are copied from template

If the template contains labels, the template labels will automatically be included in the new page created from that template.

To create a page from an existing template

  1. Click the 'Add Page' link located beside each space on the dashboard or at the top of every page in Confluence.

  2. Click the link 'Select a page template' located above the text-entry box.
    This is only displayed if there are any templates defined. If you do not see this link, then there are currently no templates defined and an administrator will have to create one before you can use it.

    Clicking this link will display a list of the templates that are available in the current space.

  3. Select a template and click 'Next'. This will display one of the following:
    • A new page based on the template, if the template does not contain a form.
    • The 'Template Variables' page where you can supply values for the variables, if the template contains a form.
  4. If the template uses a form, enter the appropriate values into the form fields and click the 'Insert Variables' button. This will display a new page based on the template and including the variable values you have entered.
  5. Replace the words 'New Page' with the name of the page.
  6. Add more content or make further changes as required.
  7. Click the 'Save' button.

Screenshot : Choose a template

Screenshot : Fill out the form

Screenshot : Resulting page

Adding a Template

You need to be a space administrator to create a space template.

To add a template for a space,

  1. Click the 'Browse Space' link for the space. This is located at the top of every page and beside the space link on the dashboard.
  2. Go to the 'Advanced' tab then click the 'Templates' option in the left navigation panel.
  3. Click 'Add New Space Template'. This will bring up the 'Create Template' screen.
  4. Enter a name for your template in the 'Name' text field and an optional description in the 'Description' text field.
  5. Using regular Confluence markup and form field markup (if you are using forms), enter content in the text-entry box as you would in any other Confluence page. For example:





  6. Click 'edit' next to 'Labels' if you want to use labels to categorise information. Add your labels. These labels will be included in all pages created using this template.
  7. Preview and click 'Save'. Your template will be added to the list of space templates.
  8. To view the space templates, browse the space then click the 'Templates' option in the left navigation panel of the 'Advanced' tab.
For more information, check out this example template.

Labels: learn_a_feature

This is the first of a (hopefully) ongoing series of posts to help introduce users to new features and functionality in CommonWiki.

Sometimes, two or more people may edit a page at the same time. When this happens, CommonWiki will do its best to ensure that nobody's changes are lost.

How will I know if someone else is editing the same page as I am?

If another user is editing the same page as you, CommonWiki will display a message above your edit screen letting you know who the other user is and when the last edit was made.

Screenshot: Notification of Simultaneous Page Editing


What happens if two of us are editing the same page and the other user saves before I do?

If someone else has saved the page before you, when you click 'Save', CommonWiki will check if there are any conflicts between your changes and theirs. If there are no conflicting changes, CommonWiki will merge both the edits successfully. If there are any conflicts, CommonWiki will display them for you and give you the option to either 'Overwrite' the other user's changes, 'Merge your changes' manually, or 'Discard' them.

Screenshot: Notification of Page Editing Conflict


Example Scenario

For example, Alice and Bob both edit the same page at the same time.

If Alice clicks save before Bob, Bob is now effectively editing an out-of-date version of the page. When Bob clicks save, CommonWiki will examine his changes to see if any overlap with Alice's. If the changes do not overlap (i.e. Alice and Bob edited different parts of the page), Bob's changes will be merged with Alice's automatically.

If Bob's changes overlap with Alice's, CommonWiki will display an error message to Bob showing where Alice has changed the page, and giving Bob the options to overwrite Alice's changes with his own, to re-edit the document to incorporate Alice's work, or to cancel his own changes entirely.

Note: This information is permanently available as part of the the CommonWiki Community Help Desk

Labels: learn_a_feature
CommonWiki Help Desk

Have a question you need answered about how to use a feature of the wiki, usage examples or anything else? Why not post your request on the CommonWiki Community Help Deskwhere you can poll the community for their feedback and responses? At a minimum you will receive a response from a CommonWiki Gardener within 5 business days and in most cases it will be much quicker. Give it a try!

Good Afternoon,

As of 4:15pm today, the security configuration change for CommonWiki was completed successfully with less than 10 minutes of downtime. This change is the first in a series that will help us improve the performance and scalability of the Wiki service and we thank everyone involved in today's effort.

Thank you,

Glenn Tremblay

CommonWiki Live

As of 3pm today CommonWiki has been enabled for access through the Internet for users outside of the Commonwealth's network!

Please note: You will still need a state email address to obtain a user account.

Labels: announcements

Greetings!

We'll soon be using this site's news feature (similar to a blog) to solicit your feedback on various topics that relate to CommonWiki.

Have any suggestions? Leave a comment!