Atlassian Stash Hooks: UI, applinks and configuration data

by Evan Lowry | atlassian scala javascript closure

Preface: This article is mostly discussing UI related annoyances when dealing with Atlassian Stash hooks. Their javadoc is alright if you can find what you’re looking for, so I’m skipping that part.

Also, this is all based around Stash ~2.8. A lot of my complaints have been getting a lot better with each successive release.


Why scala? Why not! I’ve been in love with the language, and was looking for something to create in it. The request for this plugin came up at work, and I figured it was a good time to start learning.

Getting Setup

As an Arch Linux user… just install the SDK from the AUR.

/opt/atlassian-plugin-sdk/bin/atlas-run-standalone --product stash

Now that all that is out of the way, lets move on to the technologies that Atlassian is using for UI.


In order to have a plugin come together there are a couple components you need to include or be aware of. I’m not sure that there is a definitive list out there as to what all is available, but here is what I used to get things done.

  • applinks - API for talking to other linked Atlassian products.
  • soy - Markup/templating for creating configuration screens.

There are many ways to skin a cat. Getting data from applinks seems to follow that idelogy.

My first thought process was to somehow pass the data into the soy templates directly. This seems to be possible, but with an insane amount of overhead… I didn’t persue this road.

Getting the data thru some kind of rest controller and filling it in via javascript was the next best bet. A quick look at the stash rest documentation gave me zero direction. A quick look at the applinks rest documentation gave me zero direction. I wrote my own rest controller to pass the jira url to javascript but both JIRA and STASH are missing CORS headers.

Of course it’s possible to reinvent the wheel and use the applinks API to get all the data the built in JIRA rest API provides. Luckily I came accross this post which confirmed my suspecions that I shouldn’t have to.

Yay easily searchable documentation…


Speaking of documentation, Atlassian has close to zero documentation around their soy implimentation. It is marked as experimental however… although it seems to be the proper direction to move in.

Soy, also known as closure templates compile down to javascript files that are used to render the configuration screen when a user turns on the plugin. Since it’s dynamically generating the HTML whenever the user activates it, any javascript has to be hooked right into the templates.

Since the documentation around this stuff doesn’t exist, going directly to the source is required to know what is available.
Since I’m only dealing with forms, there are a slew of awesome helper methods defined as aui.form.thingField, where thing is your standard slate of form related DOM objects (select, password, file, radio, etc).
Calling these follows a pattern, and generally will look like this:

{call aui.form.selectField}
    {param id: 'unique-identifier' /}
    {param labelContent: 'Label for unique-identifier' /}
    {param descriptionText: 'Description for unique-identifier' /}
    {param options: [
        [ 'text' : 'Select option 1', 'value' : '1', 'selected' : true ],
        [ 'text' : 'Select option 2', 'value' : '2']
    {param errorTexts: $errors ? $errors['unique-identifier'] : null /}

The error messages as defined above are for the users benifit. The errors you get from the stash UI during development are pretty useless. Don’t even waste your time there. tail -f amps-standalone/target/stash-LATEST.log will be your best friend.

And for everything else there’s masterc javascript

As a huge fan of noscript, turning to javascript is never my first choice. Even though these soy templates compile down to javascript – meaning that nothing will work without it anyway. Sigh!

Select Fields

It doesn’t look like there is any good built in way to set what data is persisted with with soy. Perhaps using switch cases… but I haven’t looked into that yet.

Atlassian Select2 Fields

Again, something that is marked as experimental. But this just looks and feels so much better then the default ctrl+click multiselect.

Pretty easy to initialize if we’re following the template from above.

exports.postLoad = function() {

However there is something to be warned about here. If you’re doing any select field manipulation in the rest of your javascript, it has to be done BEFORE you transform the field into a select2 input. The transformation changes all of the identifiers and does a bunch of DOM manipulation.


With all that said and done, you can check out the Stash hook I’m currently working on here.