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Help:Wiki-style forums

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Fandom's wiki-style forums are pages that contain automatically organized indexes of other pages, based on the DPLforum extension. To engage readers and editors in conversation, please note that Fandom generally recommends the use of the Discussions feature over this version of forums.

In the default installation, the main page of the forum contains an index of all sub-forums. Each sub-forum is a page that contains an index of the conversation threads that belong to that particular forum. Conversation threads are pages whose category places them in one of the sub-forums.

The default main page is named "Forum:Index". There are two default sub-forums, named "Forum:Help desk" (for help topics) and "Forum:Watercooler" (for discussing the wiki). You can customize your sub-forums with different names, or add additional sub-forums.

Note: This page assumes that the standard wiki-style forum setup already exists on your wiki. In some cases, the initial setup will need done manually. See Help:Wiki-style forums/set up.

How do I use the forums?Edit

The existing conversation threads are listed in the sub-forums. Each such forum has an input box that allows you to type a title for a new conversation topic/thread and press a button to create it. The new thread is an ordinary wiki page, that is preloaded with a template. This template ensures that the page has the correct category for indexing in the corresponding forum. It's important not to delete this template when you write your message.

Once the page is saved, it is an ordinary page in the "Forum:" namespace and has become a new thread listed on the sub-forum's index page. Other contributors can then edit and add to the page in the same way as to other pages. Pages with new messages are moved to the top of the list, and are shown in bold and with an Forum new icon.

To add your own comments to a conversation, click "edit" as with any other page, use one or more colons (:) to indent your comments beneath the comment you are replying to, and sign your name and the date/time by typing four tildes (~~~~) or clicking the "signature" button above the edit box or the equivalent markup symbol below it.

You can view all recent changes for the forum by clicking the link above the forum list.

How do I add new sub-forums?Edit

Small communities may not need sub-forums other than "Help Desk" and "Watercooler", but as your community grows you may want to add new ones to address particular topics.

Step 1Edit

A new forum can be added by editing Forum:Index on your community.

To add a forum, copy the following code from this page to Forum:Index on your wiki, after the previous </forum> tag if there are any.

<forum>
    namespace=Forum
    category=Name of forum
    title=Forum:Name of forum
    shownamespace=false
    addlasteditor=true
    </forum>

The only part of this code that needs editing is the "Name of forum" after "category" and "title". This can be set as anything you choose, and will show in the index and in the navigation links at the top of each page.

Step 2Edit

Once this is saved, there will be a link to the new forum page. Go to this page, edit it, and copy in this code:

<div class="forumheader">'''Forums:''' [[Forum:Index|Index]] > {{PAGENAME}}</div><br />
   
    [{{fullurl:Special:Recentchangeslinked/Category:{{PAGENAME}}}} View recent changes for this forum]
    
    ----
    <table width="100%"><tr><td><!-- You could create (or transclude) a forum header here --></td>
    <td width="50%">
    <createbox>
    break=no
    prefix=Forum:
    preload=Template:Forumheader/{{PAGENAME}}
    buttonlabel=Add new topic
    </createbox>
    </td>
    </tr>
    </table>
    <table class="forumlist" width="100%"><tr><th class="forum_title" align="left">Topic</th>
    <th class="forum_edited" align="left">Last Edit</th>
    <th class="forum_editor" align="left">Last Author</th></tr>
    <forum>
    namespace=Forum
    category={{PAGENAME}}
    shownamespace=false
    addlasteditor=true
    </forum>
    </table>
     
    [[Category:Forums]]

Nothing usually needs changing in this text. However, there is occasionally an issue with {{PAGENAME}} in the preload= section (highlighted in red). If you find the template not preloading, change this to the name of the template specifically. So if the Forum name is Forum:Gossip, create the preload template as Template:Forumheader/Gossip and change the preload line to preload=Template:Forumheader/Gossip.

Step 3Edit

The last thing to do is to set up a template to be loaded when someone adds a page to the new forum. This should be at "Template:Forumheader/Name of forum", changing the name to the same forum name you used in the index. This should contain the following:

{{Forumheader|Name of forum}}
     
    <!-- Please put your content under this paragraph.  Be sure to sign your edits with four tildes ~~~~ -->

Again, "Name of forum" needs to be changed to the new forum's name. Once this is saved, the forum is complete.

Step 4Edit

You can also setup pagination links, to split the forum index into multiple pages. See more details at the extension page, here.

Can I customize the forums further?Edit

Appearance and listEdit

As with many elements of Fandom wikis, many aspects of this can be changed. The layout, the template style, the items shown in the index, the new messages icon, etc. You could, for example, have an image appear automatically at the top of each page added, or have new messages show in red text.

Sub-sub-forumsEdit

It's also possible to use the same code as above to make sub-sub-forums such as "Forum:Help/technical". For this, the first code should be put into the parent forum page instead of the index.

The input box forms can have an instructional template displayed above the edit box, using the "editintro" parameter. See Help:Inputbox for details.

Sticky threadsEdit

The DPL forums are just a list of pages in a specific category. If you want a stickied thread, just set up your own second category, called something like "stickied threads" and add it to that category too, and just make another DPLforum call at the top of your forum index page to list pages that are in forum "ForumName" AND "Stickied threads". A good idea would be to build into your forum header template something where you could just add |sticky=1 and let the template take care of it.

Additional NotesEdit

  • If you see strange output from your wiki-style forum, try putting ?action=purge (or &action=purge, if ? is already used) at the end of your URL and reload the URL. This can fix problems where DPL or DPLforum backend code was updated, but the server cache was not refreshed.
  • On some communities, the "Forum:" namespace is in an archived state, due to past or present usage of the Forum feature. An admin can contact Fandom staff to have the archived state removed.

See alsoEdit

Further help and feedbackEdit

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