Is anyone working on a Discourse Wiki?


(Peter N Lewis) #1

I would love to replace my Mediawiki installation with a Discourse styled wiki. Same CommonMark preview/editor, similar Discourse look and feel, etc.

It doesn’t seem to me that just using Discourse with “wiki” posts would be a suitable solution as a replacement for a wiki, but perhaps someone is trying to do that.

Anyway, I hope that is on the development plan somewhere!


3 things I badly want Discourse to have by default!
(Homebrew Hops) #2

There’s a discussion involving using Wordpress for what it’s good for and integrating Discourse for the commenting.

Specifically check out this part of the discussion:


#3

That would be useful. I lean on Google to find disparate information to help others (and myself). Searchbox helps more than it used to but Google gets surgical.


(Matthieu) #4

I do not find either a wiki techno with a Discourse-like look and feel… I tried a dozen but they are ugly, buggy or incomplete…

If anyone want to fork some of the Discourse techno to create a good wiki engine, I’m ready to help !


(Sam Saffron) #5

Probably writing a plugin (or improving base support) is a better approach, forking Discourse always end very badly.


Warning for github forks
(Tobias Eigen) #6

We are using discourse very actively as a wiki already and it is very suitable as it is for our needs. We’re primarily using it for maintaining standard operating procedures, documenting learning events and co-writing how-to resources about tools. The incoming and outgoing links, topic summary and category/subcategory organization are awesome for this! Discourse topics give us juuuust the right mix of flexibility and structure to suit our needs.

Features that would be icing on the cake:

I also often think about how nice it would be to be able to create a structured set of pages (like the CiviCRM manual) built from discourse topics, with navigation and printing/exporting options. Something like the faq and privacy policy etc but a configurable set of structured pages. But easiest might be to just create an external, separate tool that grabs the raw content using URLs you give it and spits it out.


(Peter N Lewis) #7

Its not the commenting I’m interested in. In fact, I have no real desire to have commenting on my wiki at all, except as a hidden kind of aside for discussing updates to a page, a la Wikipedia for example, where most people never see any comments.

I have no idea how much a plugin can do.

As far as I am concerned, for my purposes, a wiki is something that primarily displays structured information, that may be easily edited (either by everyone or by a set of registered users). Any comments should be at the least hidden initially, and I wouldn’t really care if there was no comments at all (some sort of attached “Talk” page would be fine by me). The other feature of wiki’s is the easy creation of new pages, and the automatic creation of URLs matching the names. None of that, to me, would work easily with Discourse unless plugins are fantastically powerful.

The things I particularly like about Discourse are the nice editor, the solid account system, with things like badges and trust levels, and the modern styling. But a wiki is a very different thing to a forum. I don’t know, maybe it’s possible to use Discourse with hidden or no comments (Replies), everything marked as wiki posts, etc. But the easy creation of pages and trivial linking would seem a challenge.

I had more hoped it was something that was on the agenda for the Discourse folks, but if its not, then I would potentially be interested in this.


(Peter N Lewis) #8

Bloody Discourse has spoiled me! I’m still looking around for a wiki to replace Mediawiki, and not making much progress. The things that would be great about a Discourse wiki would be primarily the editor - nice, clean, easy to use Markdown, easy to upload. Also, the user system and configuration system are all pretty nice, and the modern clean look as well.

The main things I would need in a Discourse styled wiki would be:

  • Automatic wiki-mode setting of new pages/topics.
  • Default hiding of replies (just hiding them by default would be sufficient I think).
  • Automatic page creation.
  • Easy page linking.
  • Sensible URLs
  • Automatic table of contents.

I’m sure there are other things that would be nice, like being able to find broken links and orphaned pages and the like, but I could probably live with just the above list.

I’ve got no idea if those sort of requirements could be done as a plugin as @sam suggests. Some of it could potentially be added to Discourse proper (for example, automatic table of contents would probably be a feature that could be added to Discourse as an option, as could Automatic wiki-mode and default hiding of replies, they would all be relatively easy to do and disabled by default options).

So really, the big issue is the page creation/linking/wiki-style URLs. If there was a way of doing that, then it would probably be 80-90% there.


Automatic wiki-mode setting of new pages/topics
(Dave McClure) #9

There is a workaround for this that we have been using in a slightly different way:

The gist of it is that you hold the discussion in a separate topic.

Some more info here:

Far from the entire solution you are looking for though…


Edits to Wikis with Replies Should Cause Timestamp Change / Post Shown as Updated
(David García-Navas) #10

In our organization we are thinking about how to use Discourse as a wiki.

Our first beta option is by creating a category wiki; but we have some doubts:

edited - I found an answer:

  • Is there any way to add a tab like “latest”, that shows the topic list of all categories except for the wiki category?

edited: I found a similar request:

  • Is there any way to automate that every topic created would be wiki-posts on this category?

(Interested Party) #11

I’m in the same boat, looking for a wiki that doesn’t suck. Wiki software appears to be stuck in 2005. Did you have any success finding a wiki platform that’s fun and sexy like Discourse? Or did you try to use Discourse itself for this purpose?


(Peter N Lewis) #12

I ended up using Dokuwiki (here is my site). Its not horrible, and I put in a markdown plugin, but its no where near a “Discourse equivalent wiki” that I would hope for.


(Interested Party) #13

When I was looking at wiki platforms yesterday (man, I must have looked at 20 of them) Dokuwiki was probably one of my “favorites,” but I agree with you that it’s nowhere near the quality I want. Glad to hear the markdown plugin works nicely for you; that increases the chances of that working out for me.

Thanks for the update!


(Interested Party) #14

One more thought on this: Making a nice wiki doesn’t actually seem like that big of an undertaking. You summed up pretty well what we’re looking for:

a wiki is something that primarily displays structured information, that may be easily edited (either by everyone or by a set of registered users).

The things I particularly like about Discourse are the nice editor, the solid account system, with things like badges and trust levels, and the modern styling.

If that’s all it is… man, we should be able to write something like that pretty easily.


(Peter N Lewis) #15

I think a fork of Discourse to make a wiki would be a relatively finite amount of work. Far from trivial, but not impossible either, especially for a developer with the appropriate skill set (which excludes me, I’m a Mac developer, not a web developer). I’d guess a good developer could get something basic working in a few months and maybe a years worth of work to get something really solid and appropriately featured.

The problem, as always, with forking anything is you then lose all future benefit on the other side of the fork (Discourse does not gain from any benefits in the wiki that would be appropriate, and the wiki does not gain from the continuing work on Discourse). That’s why I started with “I hope that is on the development plan somewhere” - because a non-forked, shared source wiki would be a far better solution.

That said, a forked solution would be far better that the current alternatives IMHO, so I’d be happy to see either.


(Alessio Fattorini) #16

Something like github wikis? With markup support
https://help.github.com/articles/about-github-wikis/


(Peter N Lewis) #17

Is that available to install as a wiki, or just part of github? The About GitHub Wikis does not make it clear, but maybe it is documented elsewhere.


(Jack Wilkinson) #18

A Wiki for Discourse would be great.


(Alessio Fattorini) #19

Folks, can I revive this topic? I know, it’s an old discussion but I’d like to hear the Discourse Team opinion on this.
First, I like the current wiki support by Discourse, we’re using it with satisfaction for our HowTo and FAQ, but at this stage my fellows are asking me a “real” wiki because docs are looking too fragmented and not handy to navigate. As said yet here “a wiki is something that primarily displays structured information” and I don’t want move on another yet wiki and definitely keep my docs on Discourse: account, people, badges are there yet.
I already read all the proposals on this topic:

  • Automatic wiki-mode setting of new pages/topics.
  • Default hiding of replies (just hiding them by default would be sufficient I think).
  • Automatic page creation.
  • Easy page linking.
  • Sensible URLs
  • Automatic table of contents.

How we can move forward?

Edit: interesting recent discussion


(Tom Newsom) #20

There are definitely some low-hanging fruit that could be picked for a “wiki category” update or plugin.

“Auto-wiki of first posts” and “always scroll to top” would be a great start.