Inviting Feedback for Discourse Wiki ("Morphpedia")

We are building a system which uses Discourse as a wiki for crowdsourcing knowledge, and publishes these as articles each night onto our website (in our domain and images below, “traits” are 1:1 with “articles”. You could think of traits, aka morphs, like “breeds” for reptiles).


  • The purpose of publishing to the website is being able to get it on the same subdomain, more integrated with our main site (various linking), completely change the look and feel, and so forth.
  • The reason we are using Discourse for the write-access system, is because we’re already using it, it seemed to meet our needs well enough for this task and we like it a lot, and it should increase the popularity of our forums as a side-effect also. I guess you could say they’re not true wikis because we’re going to use the posts for discussion but restrict editing the wikis to approved editors.

More details:

  • For this task our backend uses the Discourse API to retrieve the topics and parse the cooked HTML with Beautiful Soup. Our dev felt that was at least as easy as parsing the markdown. In any case it isn’t that hard. We are also using tags for some purposes.
  • We found the footnote plugin and have installed that.

One complex feature I anticipate needing is some kind of digest generation so that our experts can daily scan the changes made to the wikis by our editors in case of errors. I am aware that Discourse digest emails and those may be useful also, but I believe those are more focused on the posts/discussion, whereas we want something closer to the built-in “diff” visualizer. We may have to roll our own here. An easy feature that could be really useful here is a “comment” or “summary” field on the edit post page, so that the editor could summarize her change, which is seen in some wikis like MediaWiki.

I’m posting here to solicit any ideas or features we might make use of for this process. We are launching this system publicly with about 50 articles within 2 weeks, and it will ultimately have hundreds of articles, maybe 1,000.

Example of one Wiki Page

Example of the Published Article

Page for Exploring the Articles (Traits)

Home Page of the Wiki (called Morphpedia)

Useful Diffing View

Related articles I noticed:


If I’m following right, I believe there already is a comment field in the edit screen (including wiki edits). It’s slightly hidden, and best kept short, but it’s there if it’s any use :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you; that is useful. It would be a nice feature to require this comment for wikis in some categories.

Any other ideas or suggestions?

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If your wiki posts are the OP then you could have your experts set the category to ‘Watching First Post’, and I believe that any edits to the wiki OP will then send out a notification.
Edit: Just tested that, and now I’m not so sure. :slightly_smiling_face: I’ll try and dig out where I read it to see if I got confused.

Follow-up: I did indeed get a little confused. It seems that if you have the topic set to ‘Watching’ you get a notification every time the OP is edited. This would also send out a notification for every new reply in the topic too, so may not be ideal for your case.

The wiki author also gets a notification when the wiki is edited, so you could have the relevant expert be the poster of the OP and receive those.

There’s also the Data Explorer plug-in (depending on how you’re hosted), which can be used to create bespoke queries that you can share with moderators or custom groups to run on-demand.

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