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This page is about LiquidThreads on English Wikipedia. LiquidThreads is an unmaintained MediaWiki extension that implemented a new discussion page system. The original code was developed under sponsorship from the Google Summer of Code 2006, the Commonwealth of Learning, and Wikia, later continued by Andrew Garrett. It is used on some Wikimedia wikis.
After exploration and discussion, it was abandoned as a solution going forward for several reasons: poor performance, due to the way individual comments or posts are stored, parsed, rendered, cached, and assembled; no support for globally unique identifiers; and lack of flexibility with regards to workflows and collaboration techniques beyond simple discussion.
LiquidThreads replaces discussion pages with actual forums, giving the following benefits:
- A clear, simplified post/reply workflow so new users can jump right into the discussion.
- Simple management of threads, including automation of archival, refactoring, and other tasks currently undertaken by bots and humans.
- A powerful, flexible notification system, allowing users to keep abreast of developments in areas in which they are interested, ranging from entire discussion pages to discussion fragments.
- Support for following discussion pages with RSS feeds.
- Flexible post ordering, allowing users to keep track of which threads on a talk page are dead, and which threads are active.
- A modern, AJAX-based interface, that allows users to quickly post and reply to other posts, without clumsy page loading.
- Automatic signatures.
Wiki discussion pages have some advantages over web and Usenet forums. They allow use of the entire wiki syntax - from images to wiki links to transclusion. It is possible to refactor entire discussion pages.
Web forums offer a number of advantages over the MediaWiki talk page model:
- Threads can be displayed in different views: flat, nested, sorted by date, subject, etc.
- The user only needs to click a "Reply" button or link in order to respond to a comment. Manual indentation is not required. Quotations from the source comment can be inserted automatically.
- Comments are automatically signed and dated. Avatars are possible.
- The user can watch individual threads or be notified about responses in threads.
- Comments and threads can be displayed individually, without the surrounding page.
- Old comments are archived automatically and invisibly, with permanent links easily available.
- Search for author, subject, date, etc. is possible
- Individual threads can have categories.
- It is relatively easy to manage related discussions in a subject-specific forum, whereas MediaWiki talk pages always follow the "one discussion page per content page" model.
LiquidThreads aims to unite the advantages of both forum types, and to add some unique discussion features to boot.
Each thread can have a summary. The aim of this feature is to summarize a discussion up to some point, a summarization is not the end point of the discussion. In fact the summary should be continuously maintained while the discussion proceeds.
- Old talk pages are not migrated into the new system.
- That sucks, but it's not an easy problem to solve.
- Does 'you have new messages' still work?
- Is it possible to make nested threads which then jump back to a response to the original message look better, so there is no "break off" in the frames?
For example; the following:
- Original message
- Reply that would be messed up in the upper left of the reply's frame.
- Original message
Sites that use LiquidThreads
- Wikimini.org (used by children 8–13, all talk pages – Example)
- strategy.wikimedia.org (in places)
- English Wikinews (in places)
- English Wiktionary (in places)
- MediaWiki.org (in places)
- translatewiki.net (all talk pages)
- RationalWiki (in places)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to LiquidThreads.|
- LiquidThreads extension page at MediaWiki.org
- Bugzilla ticket for LiquidThreads deployment
- Improving Wikimedia’s Discussion System at the Wikimedia Tech blog (July 02, 2009)
- Wikipedia:Flow: the official replacement for LiquidThreads
- Wikipedia:Flow, accessed 16 May 2015