DPLforum for Wikimedia wikis

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See MediaZilla #14087 DPLforum extensions for Wikimedia Wikis

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:DPLforum allows to list pages in a specific category in a message-board style sorted by recent edits. This would be useful for all those >100kB discussion pages on Talk: pages about controversial articles, deletion discussion pages or popular Wikipedia: Wikiproject and Wikipedia: Quality Assurance collaboration pages. On Commons a workaround using templates has been introduced, which requires Java-Script for a usable one-click-new-discussion: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/Current_requests

See it in action: http://www.wikia.com/Forum:Help_desk

The extension is stable and installed on the Wikia farm so it works on high-traffic sites. It requires an additional Forum: namespace and http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Inputbox which is already installed and some additions to MediaWiki:Common.css. Setting up multiple forums for end-users is easy: http://help.wikia.com/wiki/Help:Wiki-style_forum_set_up

Pro[edit]

It is mainly about usability and saving resources:

  • saves disc space: on a >100kB normal wiki-talk-page the whole revision is saved, so for every typo edit we have +100kB and there are many edits on popular discussions like the deletion requests!
  • saves rendering-time: the whole site has to be rendered again even though just one section was changed
  • users can put the discussions-subsection they really care on their watchlist, not the whole discussion page
  • we don't need archive-bots, that scan Wikipedia discussion pages and clean them up
  • it is easier to find and link old discussion as the URLs do not change anymore to /Archive/2008/May/Discussion_(done) and the revision history is not lost when people/bots copy&past things to the archive
  • you can mark important and discussions that have come to an end by changing the category

Cons[edit]

  • generating the dynamic forum-thread-list costs resources, but this is cached
  • you don't see all the discussion threads expanded on one page
  • it is a new systems Wikipedians/Wikibookians are not used to at first