Slick looking Confluence sites

You have to admit, both Wicket and Cayenne have nice looking websites. Did you know they're both backed by Confluence? Wicket has a Writing documentation page that explains how it works. Basically, they use the autoexport plugin to export their content to static files. If you configure this plugin to be invoked from a cron job, it's a great way to create a constantly updating dynamic-but-static site.

I believe there's a couple reasons Apache uses this setup: 1) it allows projects to customize the look and feel of their site w/o customizing how Confluence looks and 2) it reduces load on its servers since most content is served up statically. I've thought about using a similar setup for AppFuse's documentation, but I've run into a couple issues:

  • The autoexport plugin is pretty flaky. The latest release (0.13) doesn't work with Confluence 2.2.9. Strangely enough, the previous version (0.12) works fine. It looks like the author had a good run with this plugin when he created it (almost a year ago), but hasn't updated it since.
  • The dynamic tree menu doesn't get included in the export. If I could somehow include this tree (and the current theme) when exporting, it'd be very cool.
  • The new code macro works much better than the {code} macro, but it has exporting issues both with PDF and the autoexport plugin. I tried using the code macro, but it doesn't show any syntax highlighting when using an Adaptavist Builder theme.

Apache's setup for Confluence appears to be quite good. I wonder if we should use it for AppFuse? We don't have the bandwidth/load issues that they do - and we've managed to make the site look decent using Adaptavist Builder. I like having a single source of constantly changing documentation, rather than two sites, where one is static. I think this causes confusion for users if the documentation changes a lot. That being said, I would like to export the content for bundling and versioning with each release. I wonder if Atlassian is planning on fixing the new code macro exporting issue anytime soon?

Posted in Java at Feb 09 2007, 08:02:54 AM MST 5 Comments