Knowledge Explorer Plugin

Overview

The Knowledge Explorer plugin is a continuation of development on the Knowledge Explorer Theme Component.

In essence, Knowledge Explorer allows for easier surfacing of knowledge-base style topics across a defined set of categories and/or tags.

Filter the list down by tags, search via the search bar, and click on topics to see the first post – all without leaving the context of the knowledge explorer.

Need to find a knowledge base topic from somewhere else in Discourse? Use the new search helper: in:kb.

How to Use

  1. Install the plugin following these instructions.
  2. Enable the plugin by turning on the knowledge explorer enabled setting.
  3. Add categories and tags to the knowledge explorer categories and knowledge explorer tags settings.
  4. Find the knowledge explorer from the hamburger menu.
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  5. Profit with easier access to knowledge!
19 Likes

Looks rather nifty!
Just added it to my community and will give it a go.

Cheers.

6 Likes

I have feedbacks!

  1. I think complete suppression of category is overkill here, at a minimum a site setting to enable rendering of category names. Also categories should be on the left hand side as expandable filters.

  2. When I search the left hand panel should update to show an aggregation categories+tags that are in the filtered term. At the moment the list is static.

  3. Full transition to topic is not ideal, instead just render the topic in the “results” section, leaving nav around.

  4. tags/categories on left should be ordered from “most” to “least”

  5. Site setting for “default ordering of search”, on dev for example I would like ordering to be default by latest not relevance

  6. “search panel” full rerenders when you select a filter, this should be doing partial rendering so if feels smoother.

Overall, very nice v0 :+1:

7 Likes

This commit is a significant refactor of how this plugin is structured.

Should be fixed up in this commit aside from adding the category functionality which will come next.

6 Likes


These commits now add category filtering and categories to the knowledge explorer topic list.

3 Likes

This plugin is coming together really nicely Thank you! :seedling:

Some small feedback:

  • “Knowledge Explorer” is a cool name for this feature but a bit unwieldy. It’s long, requires explaining and will not be suitable for all communities. Can you make this name customizable in an admin setting? Also the URL would benefit from being customizable. E.g. in my community we have a knowledgebase category, and sub-categories within it containing knowledgebase topics, so the preferred path would be /kb and Knowledge Base in the menu. Others might want to call it wiki etc.
  • The default view of categories gets taken over by this plugin, in a way that is different from what you see in /knowledge-explorer. Honestly I find this confusing and would prefer to just access the explorer via /knowledge-explorer and see the usual discussion when looking at the category. I don’t know if it’s necessary to provide a link to the explorer from discussions.
  • If the user has edit access to the OP, could an edit link be provided to edit it, eg the edit pencil?

And maybe a bug - not sure why, but topics with videos are not displaying correctly. see screenshots. Especially weird here because my topic has no text and just a video.

1 Like

URL customization will be difficult, but it should be possible to rename the link by adjusting the localization strings. I’m open to renaming, but I couldn’t quite think of another name that didn’t conflict with existing features or plugins :slight_smile:

Do you have the Knowledge Base Theme Component still installed? This plugin should not touch default category views.

I can look into this, though it will be a while before I’m able.

It’s probably with how I’m pulling content in from the OP. Definitely a bug I’ll have a look at.

2 Likes

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You are doing great things here.

Yes I had the knowledge base plugin installed. D’oh!

I changed the title to wiki - that is nice. Would be nice to change the url to match but maybe lower priority if it’s hard.

Found a new bug - filter by category, then scroll down. Topics begin appearing below in the list from outside the category.

Not sure what’s up there – I just tried this on our internal Discourse and was not able to reproduce it. Do you have any further repro steps?

I’m really glad you like it!

1 Like

Just tested some more. On mobile now but will check later when at my desk. It’s not category but tag that produces the issue. Go to explorer, filter by tag. Scroll down. When you reach bottom it then starts displaying more topics without the tag.

Other mobile related feedback:

  • place some search helper text in the search box so you have no doubt what it’s for
  • make the category and tag filters hide/show. They take up a lot of horizontal space and make the topic list disappear off to the right
1 Like

@awesomerobot just committed some fixes for these today. Pull latest and you should be good here!

I’ll take a look at this tomorrow.

Again thanks for the feedback!

2 Likes

Awesome all around. I like the search helper text - great minds think alike and all that.

Another bit of feedback: I am missing a NEW TOPIC button in the explorer, to let me quickly create a new topic if none exists that matches what I need. C keyboard shortcut works but I don’t usually use keyboard shortcuts.

Don’t see a fix for this yet?

I tested this on desktop and see it happening, both when filtering by category or tag. It appears there have to be more than 5 topics in the results for it to appear. Any less and it does not happen. The list starts with 6 or however many correct topics, and then is followed with a random assortment of topics from all over the place, with no rhyme or reason.

Happy to share access to my instance if you want to have a look.

3 Likes

Can you share a screenshot of this? I haven’t seen the topic list disappearing. The topic list should be narrow enough to fit… maybe I missed a specific condition.

1 Like

This should fix it:

4 Likes

Here’s what my wiki looks like on my iphone. Particularly noticeable when beyond the menu or in a topic. When I rotate my phone it looks ok but still has a very wide margin on the left side.

On another note - are there plans to support DiscoTOC? Would be a big help methinks.

Cool! Lols like the loading bug is fixed.

I am still having trouble with one boxed content not appearing.

Is that the desktop view on mobile? Those filters should stack on the mobile view (just added a feature so they’re collapsed by default on mobile too).

2 Likes

Yes! That is better. Thank you! :+1:

1 Like

I’m excited for this plugin! Thanks for all your work! I just upgraded to the latest commit (using the admin web interface), and now it won’t load at all; I just get an error page. The logs contain this:

Error: Could not find module discourse-common/utils/decorators imported from discourse/plugins/discourse-knowledge-explorer/discourse/controllers/knowledge-explorer

Did I do something wrong when I updated the plugin?

Also, by way of general feedback:

  • Is there any way to customize where the link appears in the hamburger menu? (Default seems to be the very first item)
  • Is there a way to assign a topic or static page as the default landing page, where I could give my users some explanation or instruction, for example?

Thanks again!

2 Likes

You probably want to update everything not just the one plugin.

The feedback and questions are good!

Maybe some dismissible banner could be provided at the top to indicate what it is and how to use it? The title can already be set using text customization. A new field for a short description text would be helpful.

2 Likes