Category setting: new topics are wiki by default

To me this one is in the “very easy to build” category, also a logical thing to add to category edit preferences. I don’t know that I’ve heard the request a lot.

This is just what I was looking for for my own how-to category.

I would like to expand on this a bit.

There is an open “theme of questions” about how do we “watch” wikis for changes, I think wiki category can cover this.

In particular, when a category is in wiki mode

  • All new topics created in category have the OP as wiki

  • Every edit to the OP wiki, makes the system add a system message like so:

(also link directly to the revision)

  • When click on the topic from topic list (if you have no new notifications) it always takes you to the OP vs last post.

Showing edits in the stream would solve the problem of giving wikis visibility as they are edited, something that is biting me quite a bit with our current usage of wikis. If people don’t like the loud they can simply stop tracking the wiki.


Wait what problem is being solved for here? I don’t understand the problem / pain point?

  1. No visibility on wiki edits from front page when there is more than 1 post in the topic.
  2. No way to track a wiki for changes
  3. Usability of going to actual wiki from front page for pinned wikis is not ideal cause you are always transported to last post.

I think this deserves its own feature discussion topic not being buried in some other topic…

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Two related topics / feature requests:


Want to add my support for this feature. At my job we are currently converting a MediaWiki instance to Discourse, in hopes that we can increase its use. The wiki is our knowledge base and has become very outdated. We’re hoping that by switching to a more modern, interactive platform like Discourse we can get more staff to add and update info. Having most categories default to wiki is key as we need everyone to be able to collaborate on articles without needing a moderator to wiki the topic each time.

I’d also love to see @Tom_Newsom’s idea that users go to the first post when there are no unread replies, but defaulting new topics to wiki is critical.


Yes that is something that bothers me when using wiki posts as FAQ. I’d love to see both discussed features added.

Glad to see wiki posts are getting some love!

Any chance to get this (the category setting feature, there was a lot of other discussion here that seems more complicated) scheduled for a release?

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Very curious about that. How did you do that? My community still asks me to don’t use Discourse wiki posts because they’re too poor of feature compared with other wikis

What are all of the issues they have with Discourse Wiki posts? I’d be very curious to learn what they are. We use them, not very often, but mainly for “living documentation” or documentation that changes on a regular basis. We’ve also used them in public topics with success, but those are rare usages.

Are you asking about the actual conversion of data or getting the “community” on board?

For the actual conversion, we did it manually :frowning:. We didn’t see an existing importer, and for the size of our wiki it didn’t make sense to develop one. I sat down with 3 other employees and we copied and pasted everything over. Only took an hour or so to do, plus another hour or so to go back and fix formatting and links, plus upload attachments.

As for getting the “community” on board, as they are employees and I am in-charge of our server, they really didn’t have a choice :wink:. The main reason for the switch was that no one liked the discussion functions of MediaWiki, which meant that pages were frequently updated without prior discussion, leading sometimes to confusion, and in a few cases back-and-forth edits (from users who didn’t understand how to view history…). With Discourse, we’ve seen that staff are much more likely to add a reply to a topic than just edit, which leads to good discussion and eventually an edit. The only complaint so far about the switch is completely unrelated to wiki functionality (email stuff).

Honestly, this feature (really the lack of it) is the biggest thing preventing me from saying “Discourse is perfect for this!”.

Per guidance and support from @jomaxro, I’ve managed to put together a PR for this. It creates the category setting, makes new topics in that category a wiki topic, and retroactively makes existing topics a wiki as well. :wink:


Sounds a little risky… Is it clear in the UI that this will happen? What if I turn it on by accident or to try it out? When I turn it off, do all topics stay as wiki’s?

The UI says: “Make all existing and new topics wikis by default.”. Very clear.

Yes, they will.


Just so everyone is up to date, I pulled the retroactive conversion process from this per a conversation on the PR. I’ll work on a #howto for converting existing topics.

EDIT: Here’s the link to the #howto mentioned: