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I am currently evaluating Community Bubbles as a forum within our company. I was a little surprised to find out though that some of the basic functionality of the forum relies on a couple of other open source plugins. I'm not one for duplication, and don't like reinventing the wheel, however when a bug arises in one of those other plugins, what would you do? Does the Community Bubbles team also handle support for these plugins?

I'm talking specifically about CDESC-1 on the Descendent Notification Plugin. This plugin allows users to essentially "subscribe" to the forum, and be notified when changes occur. However, one big problem is that for some installations, users don't get notified when a new topic (page) is added. This is a huge pitfall, and is probably the only reason for us not buying Community Bubbles at this time.

Would this be something the Community Bubbles support team would champion to get fixed? If so, I don't see any hurdles in purchasing the software. But as long as the bug remains, it will be a hard sell within the company.

Thanks,
Brian

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23 Comments

  1. Unknown User (tewolff)

    Brian:

    I believe we are of the same mind about how critical the Descendant Notification Plugin is to our operations. I was having the same concern you are and put in a help request. Most users received all expected email notifications. However, some relatively limited number of users (we never actually surveyed the organization) were getting notifications of edited pages, new and edited comments, new news, and daily updates but not of new pages.

    The folks at Adaptavist were concerned and had a plan to figure out what was wrong. Part of that plan was upgrading from Confluence version 2.8 to version 2.10. Apparently that was enough to make the problem go away, or maybe it was the upgrading of other plugins that happened in the process. Now we believe that all users are getting all the appropriate email notifications and the ticket was closed.

    I am very satisfied that the staff at Adaptavist stands behind their products. Given the complexity of the Confluence/Bubbles/Builder system, sometimes "bugs" take a little longer to work out.

    1. Unknown User (briandesai)

      Thomas,

      I've tried Confluence versions 2.10.1 and 2.10.2, and have upgraded all installed plugins, and the problem still exists. So I don't think it's completely fixed yet.

      Brian

  2. Unknown User (gfraser)

    Aside: Another plugin to investigate is the Autowatch plugin - we use that here on Adaptavist.com to automatically subscribe users to any topics they create or comment on. Not quite what you are after, but it should work well with the other plugins you are using and add an extra dimension. Bubbles also has a set of User Interest functionality that allows space administrators to add watchers to pages or the space.

    Adaptavist are investigating solutions to ensure that open source plugins are kept up-to-date and constantly improved. I can't say much more at this point as we're still finalising our plans, but we expect to be making some announcements over the coming months.

    We are also about to launch a support service for open source plugins which will enable customers to use them in production and mission-critical environments - for more information, please contact Dan Hardiker by creating a ticket in https://tracker.adaptavist.com with a subject of "Open Source Plugins SLA".

  3. Unknown User (skrebs)

    Would this be something the Community Bubbles support team would champion to get fixed

    Yes (smile) The descendent notification plugin was something that I created in my own time last year (before joining Adaptavist), and I am also the lead developer on the Bubbles plugin currently. I understand how useful it is for forums, which is why we list it in the documentation as something to use with Bubbles. Getting time to investigate and fix issues in my open source plugins is always a challenge unfortunately, especially for issues like the one mentioned above where I haven't been able to reproduce the problem as yet.

    If the descendent notification plugin doesn't work for you, currently the only way to get people emailed when new forum topics are created would be to set each forum up as its own space. Then you can use the functionality that already exists in Confluence for watching an entire space, which in this case would be a single forum.

    1. Unknown User (briandesai)

      Thanks Shannon. I had thought about one forum per space as well, but then I'd need to manage permissions on multiple spaces. But that's a work around for now.

      Brian

  4. Unknown User (markalex)

    Hrmmm....
    It's interesting that I am able to delete the topic. I wouldn't have expected this to be possible. How

    1. Unknown User (tewolff)

      Hey Mark, you didn't delete the topic, just the content that Brian Desai originally posted by editing his posting. I restored his version 1. The comments are stored elsewhere in the database so they didn't go away at all.

      I always tell my users that I can undo anything they do. I haven't been tested much and am still hoping that is really true.

      I don't want people getting to hung up about "ruining" the wiki. That just inhibits them. I also tell them to edit page content rather than add comments, but some seem to think that the original author somehow "owns" his content. I even have people who think they ought to add comments to their own postings rather than editing them. That just leads to disjointed content and strikes me as silly. It's a really new world for a lot of users.

      1. Unknown User (markalex)

        I see. I am rolling out this tool on my own instance of confluence and playing devil's advocate. I guess one has to have faith in the cooperative nature of users.

        1. Unknown User (gfraser)

          The permissions are controlled in Space Administration - so you can choose which users can add pages (create/edit topics) and delete pages (delete topics), etc. If you want to only allow the original topic author to edit or delete the topic, you can use the add-topic macro which automatically sets the relevant page-level permissions preventing other users from editing or deleting the topic.

          1. Unknown User (markalex)

            So, does a user have to have 'create page' permissions in order to create a topic by clicking on an add-topic macro link?

            1. Unknown User (gfraser)

          2. Unknown User (tewolff)

            Most of our space admins just use access restrictions directly on their "home" pages to keep users from editing them. Otherwise, they "have faith" in users to do the right thing as Mark said.

  5. Unknown User (rajanrangasamy)

    Which one is best among these plugins (Descendant Notification Plugin / Autowatch)?

    1. Unknown User (skrebs)

      They do different things. Descendant Notification plugin allows people to watch child pages or descendant pages automatically, while the autowatch plugin will add page commenters as watchers of the page when they make a comment.

  6. Unknown User (skrebs)

    CDESC-1 should now be resolved with the 0.8 release of the descendant notification plugin.

    1. Unknown User (boesch)

      Will this version be added so it is available through the Atlassian Plugin Repository? I only see version 0.7 currently?

      1. Unknown User (skrebs)

        sorry about that, I didn't update the meta data correctly when the plugin was released, that should be resolved now. You will only see the new version if you are running Confluence 2.10 or later though.

  7. Unknown User (mcalcara)

    Hi, Does anyone know of any updates or additional plugin development that support notification to a watched parent page of a added page or update page ( both page and comments)?

    Thanks..Mickey

    1. Unknown User (gfraser)

      1. Unknown User (mcalcara)

        Thank you for the reply. Actually, we were hoping for the ability to be notified of if child pages were added to the parent page you are watching. In the forum example, you would watch the forum page and get notified when new threads or topics were created. I know you can have a forum in a space and watch the space but that does not work in how we designed our wiki site.

        thanks..Mickey

        1. Unknown User (gfraser)

          The descendant notification plugin allows you to watch a forum page and all it's child pages so you get notifications when something is posted in the forum.

          EDIT: Ah, wait, I'm not sure if it will notify on child page creation. If not then that feature could probably be added in - if needed, please contact our sales team

        2. Unknown User (scayla)

          The Descendant Notification Plugin is what you need.
          Simply watch the root page with the "watch" action of the descendant notif plugin. Whenever a new page is created from this root page, you'll automatically be watcher on this page.
          Edit: Hum... Guy was faster than me and his point on page creation may be your problem.

        3. Unknown User (skrebs)

          From the doco on the page that Guy linked to:

          Automatic Child Page Notifications
          If a user is watching any page they can opt to receive notifications whenever there are updates to the immediate child pages of the watched page. This is controlled through a setting in the users profile.