Why? There are times when friends tell me I should use the Atlassian software rather than wasting my time with less-capable or otherwise deficient free software and I finally thought I'd combine two things by contributing a few dollars to the charity that Atlassian supports and trying out their software.
I downloaded Confluence, Jira and GreenHopper and installed Confluence first on a bare Ubuntu box. Along the way, I carefully followed every step of the instructions, including installation of additional software packages that were required. I configured a brand new MySQL installation as instructed. Then I started Confluence and began to step through its config screens per the instructions. Somewhere along the way, I encountered an error with an insane diagnostic.
Always willing to assign blame to myself in the first instance, I blew away the entire installation and began again. Again, I was meticulous about following the instructions. Again I got the same error.
I mention my following the instructions because this is a big deal for me. I'm one of those sad people who reads the owner's manual for a new car or a new mouse from cover to cover before using it, even though there is virtually no chance that I'll learn anything from my reading. But I am confident in my ability to follow written instructions perfectly. When I can't get a piece of software to work after carefully following the instructions, the problem is with the software. The instructions are part of the software, which is why I say the problem is with the software.
I'm sure I could probably get somebody at Atlassian to step me through the setup for Confluence, but I'm not interested in doing that. I've learnt all I need to know. That means that I won't use any of the Atlassian products, nor will I suggest that other people try them. I'm really documenting this here so I can point to it any time somebody suggests Confluence or Jira to me in the future.