New feature: WikiForum — forum for your wiki!

Back in 2010, we were analyzing the major problems wikis were experiencing, and one problem common to many wikis was communication (or the lack of it). MediaWiki, while it is awesome, lacks in that department. Discussion (talk) pages and user talk pages exist, but they are not very ideal for multiple reasons, of which the most notable is that discussions can easily fragment and become difficult to follow. Many wikis have historically used and still use the DPLforum extension, but we felt that it was more of a stopgap solution than a proper solution.

We drafted up a list of things that the forum extension should have, and we started looking whether any existing extension matches these specs. While we eventually concluded that there is no existing extension that matches our requirements, Michael Chlebek’s WikiForum extension came close and we decided to use it as a base. We did many fixes and changes into Michael’s code since he released version 1.2 of WikiForum in December 2010 and finally we are proud to announce it to you, ShoutWiki users!

The WikiForum extension is highly flexible:

  • internationalization — there are 85 internationalization messages currently
  • configuration — certain forum settings can be changed on-wiki via system messages
  • look — the forum is customizable via CSS to a great degree

You can read more about WikiForum’s features on the WikiForum help page on ShoutWiki Hub.

Because ShoutWiki is an open company, we’ve released the source code of our version of the WikiForum extension on the official MediaWiki Subversion (SVN) repository at svn.wikimedia.org.

If you notice any bugs with WikiForum, be sure to report them either on ShoutWiki’s Bugzilla or on the official MediaWiki Bugzilla.

Jack Phoenix
Head of the Customer Support Team

8 thoughts on “New feature: WikiForum — forum for your wiki!”

  1. @Phinbart: We’re beta-testing WikiForum on ShoutWiki Hub currently and fixing bugs as they are discovered. Once we’ve fixed most of the major bugs, we’ll make it available on request. I’m aiming for a week or so — but some of these bugs are rather annoying to track down, reproduce and of course, fix.

  2. I would really like to have backup on demand feature. It would really ease my mind to have a backup of my wiki on my HDD. Should I refer to bugzilla for this?

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