An open invitation to join the Australasian Sakai User Group

The Australasian Sakai User Group has been formed as an outcome of the AuSakai 2010 conference. The user group aims to provide the Sakai community in the Australasian region the opportunity to network and exchange knowledge and experiences.

As a participant you will be kept up-to-date on activities and news particularly relevant to the Sakai users within this region. This includes the annual AuSakai conference, which in 2011 will be hosted in Canberra by ANU.

You are encouraged to propose ideas, activities and topics that can be shared and discussed within the community.

The Australasian Sakai User Group will be jointly facilitated by Irene Ireland, TAFE NSW – Northern Sydney Institute (NSI), Steve Swinsburg, Australian National University (ANU) and Philip Uys, Charles Sturt University (CSU).

A Sakai site has been created by ANU which will be the meeting place for the user group.

To join:

  1. register for an account (see below) for access to the site
  2. add yourself to the mailing list at

We look forward to your registration and contributions in helping to make this a vibrant and informative community.

To access the site:

Do you have an account on Alliance already?
If you already have an account on Alliance, visit, and if prompted, login with your username and password that was created for you. You will be automatically added to the site. If you think you may have had an account in the past, you can reset it.

Need a new account?
If you are not a member of ANU you will need an account. To get an account:

  1. Join the list at
  2. Send a request for a new account to the list at You will be added to the Sakai site and your account details will be emailed to you.

We look forward to working with you.

Disabling keyboard shortcuts in JIRA 4.1

After our recent upgrade to JIRA 4.1, I noticed a new feature: keyboard shortcuts! e.g press ‘C’ and a Create Issue dialog comes up, designed to make creating issues easy!

Actually, it just made me mad. Combined with the Subversion plugin, I end up doing a lot of copy and pasting of issue keys from JIRA into my SVN commit message. So hitting Command+C brings up the Create Issue dialog and focuses it. And don’t tap Space, you’ll be taken to a whole new window.

After a cry for help on Twitter, Matt Jones kindly made a screencast on how to disable them:

I’ve summarised the steps:
Go to the Administration tab > System > Plugins > Keyboard Shortcuts Plugin. You will then see the list of shortcuts and can disable them.

Upgrading JIRA when the database encoding is wrong

I recently upgraded our instance of JIRA from a very old 3 to a newish 4.1. We migrated to new hardware, new operating system, new database type and new database encoding at the same time. What made things interesting was that the original database wasn’t UTF-8 (it was Cp1252) so when we imported the JIRA export into the new system, it crashed spectacularly.

I tried to clean up some of the bad characters I found in the issues, but (un)fortunately, JIRA keeps copies of every change. So if you have an issue description with bad characters in it, then edit it and save, the old one is tucked away safely and can’t be edited. So I was doomed and had to manually process the export XML before importing it into the new system.

Atlassian actually provide a tool to do this, but it didn’t work. I ended up writing a Groovy script to do this (see below) and have listed the steps I followed in case anyone else runs into the same problem. The script isn’t quite complete, nor the best code in the world, as you’ll see I still had to manually find and replace all beta symbols (ß). Anyway, this process does actually work so good luck.
Here’s the Groovy script:

And the steps:

  1. Unzip the JIRA export
  2. Manually search and replace beta’s (ß)
  3. Run the groovy script: groovy fixXml export.xml export-fixed.xml
  4. Verify via xmllint: xmllint export-fixed.xml

You’ll need to have Groovy installed.