Atlassian Confluence

Comparison: Talk and Confluence inline comments

by Katerina Kolina

Those of you, who have been using our Talk add-on, are probably wondering what’s different between newly added Confluence native inline comments and Talk. To spare you the time and efforts you’d use to figure it out, I’m sharing with you the comparison worked out by our team.

I’m going to cover the following points:

  • The way inline comments are added to the text
  • Add inline comments in ‘edit’ mode
  • Setting up default Space comments viewing permissions
  • Setting up permissions for specific comments
  • Viewing all inline comments of the page at the same time on the right-hand sidebar
  • Navigating to previous/next inline comments
  • Archiving comments and restoring archived comments
  • Restore removed (aka resolved) threads
  • Updating discussions in real time

 


Click the screenshots to enlarge them. Interactive pictures have ‘Interactive’ above the left top corner.


 

First, something evident, nevertheless, important to keep in mind, Confluence native inline commenting won’t work if your instance runs on a version of Confluence earlier than 5.7.

The way inline comments are added to the text

Talk - The way inline comments are added to the textTalk inline comments (hereinafter, talks) can be added to a point in the text, which means in ‘view’ mode you can add talks to:

  • end of text paragraphs
  • images
  • section headings
  • items of numbered, bullet and task lists
  • empty lines
  • tables

Talk added to a paragraphTo create a Confluence native inline comment you need to select a text fragment.

Confluence inline comment added to a text fragmentDepending on a case and user’s preferences, each variant has its advantages: it’s convenient to add an inline comment to a small text snippet by selecting it (Confluence native inline comment), but with a bigger text fragment, it’s so much easier to just point to the end of a paragraph to comment it (Talk).

Add inline comments in ‘edit’ mode

With Talk, you can add inline comments anywhere on your page in ‘edit’ mode.

Interactive

Talk - Add inline comments in 'edit' mode

At the moment, with Confluence native inline comments, you can’t add inline comments in ‘edit’ mode.

Setting up default Space comments viewing permissions

With Talk, you can set default space viewing permissions applied to all the talks created within the space.

Talk - Setting up default Space comments viewing permissionsIt allows you to have by default (for example):

  • talks and discussions on your public pages visible only to your company users and hidden from external viewers
  • talks and discussions hidden from some of your team members/teams, who have the ‘View All’ permission for the current space
  • only one user with the Talk space viewing permission to create private notes

Talk gives you an option to hide talks from certain users while letting them see the rest of the available page content. It’s not possible with Confluence inline comments. In Confluence, you can give a user permissions to delete or add comments (including inline comments), but there’s no way to restrict viewing comments to users with the ‘View All’ permission. It gives no solution for the case when certain users or groups should be able to view all of the available page content but for inline comments.

Confluence - Space permissions

Setting up permissions for specific comments

With Talk, you can configure individual permissions for any specific talk on your page while adding or editing that talk. If you want to know more about managing permissions, please, follow this link.

Talk - Setting up permissions for specific commentsYou can’t do that with native inline comments, as there are only global space comments permissions. Page viewing is either restricted together with all of its content or a user can view a page with all of its content (including all inline comments). That means no different permissions for different inline comments on your page.Confluence - No individual viewing persmissions for native inline comments

Viewing all inline comments of the page at the same time on the right-hand sidebar

Talks are displayed in ‘view’ mode on the right-hand sidebar all at once. You can expand the sidebar and go through all the talks and discussions. It’s very convenient for reviewing your pages and finding needed talks.

Talk - Viewing all inline comments of the page at the same time on the right-hand sidebarWith Confluence, native inline comments are displayed in ‘view’ mode on the right-hand sidebar only one inline comment at a time.Native inline comments are displayed in 'view' mode on the right-hand sidebar only one inline comment at a timeNavigating to previous/next inline comments

Confluence has the ‘navigation between inline comments’ feature. Talk can display all talks of the page at the same time instead and might have navigation later.

Archiving comments and restoring archived comments

With Confluence native inline comments you can delete or resolve comments, but not archive them.

Interactive

Resolving Confluence native inline comments

While with Talk you can not only remove, but also archive your talks. It works great in cases when you have comments you need to come back to in a week or a month. Why overload your page with them hanging there for so long, if you can take them out of your sight and restore later.

Once you’ve archived a talk, it becomes marked as “archived” and continues to exist on the page, but this talk is no longer shown. If you want to know more about archiving and restoring archived talks, please, follow this link.

Interactive

Archiving Talk comments

Restore removed (aka resolved) threads

With Talk, it’s possible to resolve threads by removing or archiving them. You can restore both removed and archived threads. If you want to know more about restoring removed comments, please, follow this link.

Interactive

Talk - Restore removed (aka resolved) threads

With Confluence native inline comments, you can either delete or resolve threads. While the resolved ones can be restored, you can’t restore the deleted threads. If you delete them by mistake or for some reason need to get intentionally deleted threads back, you can’t do that. They are gone for good.

Interactive

Confluence native inline comments - can’t restore the deleted threads

Updating discussions in real time

If you are having a discussion with someone in one Talk cloud, your discussion is being updated in real time; and you can see new talks in this discussion right away. This feature is essential for real time discussions using inline comments.

With Confluence native inline comments, you only get workbox notifications about new inline comments and have to click “Show me” every time, as there’s no real time refreshing for such cases.

 


 

To view the table with the comparison given above, please, follow this link. 

We keep working on making Talk more powerful and flexible for you. So vote for Talk feature ideas or add some of your own here.

If you have any questions, suggestions or requests, feel free to contact me.

 

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