Make maintaining the space hierarchy configurable in archiving strategies

When pages are copied to the archive space in order to maintain hierarchy, those pages appearas duplicates in the quick search results. Some customers want to avoid this by dropping the hierarchy and just have the content archived without the structure.

Example explanation: "Navigating through the hierarchy isn't part of our use-case, and the duplicates are actually already causing a lot of user confusion, especially since they show up next to their live counterparts in the search results. "

Have more questions? Submit a request

7 Comments

  • 1
    Avatar
    Ciaira Castorena

    From our perspective, archiving is a way to keep old content which we may -- however unlikely -- need to refer back to; in this case, a user will almost certainly know exactly what they're looking for, and therefore can search for it either in the global search or go straight to the archive space that correlates to the live space where it used to be (we're using the Search macro on home pages, and have one in our sidebars). Navigating through the hierarchy isn't part of our use-case, and the duplicates are actually already causing a lot of user confusion, especially since they show up next to their live counterparts in the search results. We would prefer that the plugin had an option to maintain or abandon a hierarchy when it needs to move a child page for archiving, rather than duplicate all of the parent content. This need is prohibitive to us rolling out the plugin to our instance of Confluence. 

  • 0
    Avatar
    Aron Gombas

    Hi Ciaira,

    Thanks for your feedback and the feature suggestion!

    My name is Aron Gombas. I am the lead developer of the Archiving Plugin, so let me give you our view on this.

    So, the app has been designed with the idea of "keep the archive space as close as possible to its fresh counterpart" from day one.
    This includes preserving the page hierarchy, synchronizing page content, and metadata (labels, comments, attachments) and so.
    It has a bunch of advantages and based on the feedback we received so far, the absolute majority of the user base is happy with this.

    But, I understand that you may have different requirements.

    As I see from your email, your biggest problem is that the search hits are duplicated in the Quick Search drop-down and it confuses your users.
    Correct?

    If so, my notes:

    • When the actual hits are shown full-screen, it is not a problem anymore, as you can precisely control whether archive spaces are included in the search or not.
    • Unfortunately, our app can't modify the suggestions in that dropdown, as that's a Confluence core feature. (If you ask me, I think Confluence should not suggest searches from archive space, but it was Atlassian's design decision. Maybe we should post a change request for them...)
    • The drop-down only "suggests" searches and not displays the results. Also, it indicates the name of the space below each suggestion. So, "Whatever Space (Archive)" should be fairly intuitive for users and they should not select that suggestion.

    But, even with these, I could suggest a workaround to remove or suppress the suggestions related to archive space in the drop-down. Before I go into that, can you confirm that I correctly understand the core of your problem?

  • 0
    Avatar
    Ciaira Castorena

    Hi Aron, 

    Thanks for your quick response, and detailed summary. There are essentially two primary concerns: you're correct that one of them is the experience of seeing archived content in the drop-down search. The other is the exponential growth of data based on duplicating entire sets of content. 

    The search experience is already of lesser concern because we've reached out to the Search team at Atlassian, and based on our feedback they are already revisiting their decision to show archived content in that search view.

    The data issue is our main concern now. None of my team are comfortable with the idea of how much content we'll be duplicating if we run archiving globally. From our perspective, this should fall under a common best practice for design in general: Provide your users with options and let them tailor the solution to their needs, rather than force your methodology upon them. 

    Upon considering this request further, a couple of additional suggestions/ideas came to mind that might be helpful as you conceptualize:

    • When a configuration is set to abandon a hierarchy during the archive move, the plugin should record the exact original location of the page in it's space and hierarchy, either in the Page History or Page Information.
    • When viewing an archived page, provide an option to Restore a page back to that original location, or restore it to another place.
    • I realize that "Restore" essentially = move a page to a fresh space, but designing a more intuitive function dedicated to this would create an even better user experience. 

    I hope this is useful and brings more clarity to our perspective. Please let me know what other information we can supply. We're currently trying to determine if we should continue with the plugin or seek out alternatives, so the more transparency you can provide into the reality of whether we'll get an option like this is much appreciated. 

  • 0
    Avatar
    Aron Gombas

    Hi Ciaira,

    > based on our feedback they are already revisiting their decision to show archived content in that search view

    This is exactly what I wanted to suggest. Thanks for suggesting that change to Atlassian!

    > The data issue is our main concern now. None of my team are comfortable with the idea of how much content we'll be duplicating if we run archiving globally.

    This may or may not be a problem. I'm an engineer and IMO the decision should not be based on opinions but on data.

    If I were you, I'd try this in my staging Confluence instance and measure what is the volume of the content that needs to be archived, and after archiving how much effect the parent pages in the archive space have on the overall experience.

    > a couple of additional suggestions/ideas came to mind that might be helpful as you conceptualize

    These are valuable notes. Keep them coming!

    In fact, I copied these to our internal backlog that focuses on the dedicated "restore" functionality. (And yea, I agree, that "Restore" should be a separate, more intuitive function for users, even if it is just a "move" in the background.)

    > We're currently trying to determine if we should continue with the plugin or seek out alternatives, so the more transparency you can provide into the reality of whether we'll get an option like this is much appreciated.

    This feature request absolutely makes sense from the high-level point of view (and also generates lots of further questions), but there are more popular ones. (E.g. very soon we will release a new feature that focuses on data security which is a super-important in the EU.) So, it is difficult to tell when it will be available.

    Before making your decision I suggest considering:

    1. Measuring the effect as I wrote above. You should absolutely experiment with this.
    2. Considering the value of the other lifecycle management functions of the app. This topic here focuses on one aspect of one feature (page archiving), but the app offers a lot more, from tracking the validity of information to tracking the relevancy of the information.
  • 0
    Avatar
    Ciaira Castorena

    Hi Aron, 

    After further discussion and evaluation we've decided to move forward with the plugin; the benefits do outweigh the drawbacks, but we hope some of the imperfection can eventually be smoothed out. Luckily, the data duplication will be less of a concern than we originally anticipated, even if not ideal; we just moved from mySQL to postgres last week, so we found that the space we're using is significantly lessened. 

    I'm glad you felt my additional notes were valuable. Here's another:

    (Moved to https://midori.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004528314?page=1#comment_360000830293)

    Looking forward to your thoughts on this. Thanks!

    Edited by Ciaira Castorena
  • 0
    Avatar
    Aron Gombas

    This suggestion also makes sense! There is even a dedicated feature request for that!! :-)

    See: https://midori.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004528314-Allow-archiving-even-on-archive-spaces

    Please remove the second part of the previous comment on this topic, and add that to the other topic. That's where we're gathering ideas and interest.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Ciaira Castorena

    Done. Thanks again, we look forward to seeing how these features roll out in the future. 

Please sign in to leave a comment.