Talk pages consultation 2019In February 2019 the WMF announced a global consultation on tools for wiki communication, which ran until June 2019. See Wikipedia:Talk pages consultation 2019.
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Flow, also known as Structured Discussions, was a project of the Global Collaboration team at the Wikimedia Foundation to replace Wiki Talk pages with a discussion system which would more closely resemble common internet discussion forums. Development began in 2013, it was installed at English Wikipedia in 2014, then uninstalled in 2016 due to widespread criticism of the design and functionality. In 2019, a global community consultation resulted in a change in strategy. All new development and new deployments of Flow ended globally, to instead build reply links and other improvements for existing Talk pages.
The name comes from Workflow and Flow (psychology).
Flow was intended to provide certain features that are present on some other popular websites, but were thought not to be easy to implement in wikitext.
For example, Flow automatically:
- signs posts,
- threads replies, and
- permits per-topic notifications.
These features were subsequently replicated for Talk pages with the Discussion Tools project.
However Flow also results in the loss of certain features within wikitext, such as:
- the ability to use the "history" tab to view all comments since one looked at the talk page last, and
- the ability to easily portray article content on talk pages.
- direct support for wikitext, instead providing partial and unstable wikitext support by translation to Flow's native content format using Parsoid.
The main goals for the Flow project were:
- to make the wiki discussion system more accessible for new users.
- to make the wiki discussion system more efficient for experienced users.
- to encourage meaningful conversations that support collaboration.
Former and current deployments
Flow was uninstalled from English Wikipedia in November 2016, by request from the community.
There are currently no plans for it to return to English Wikipedia. You might encounter it on other Wikimedia wikis, such as MediaWiki.org however.
Flow is MediaWiki namespace number 2600.
Contact and links
On Structured Discussions:
- A much more in-depth description is on mediawiki.org
- You can also view this about Structured Discussions on Phabricator: open tasks, all tasks, or submit a new task.
On Global Collaboration:
- Global Collaboration development team roles and responsibilities
- Global Collaboration team IRC channel: #wikimedia-collaboration connect
- Collaboration-Team triage board on Phabricator