Should an edit to any wiki post bump the entire topic?

Maybe this has been discussed before, but I just noticed that an Edit to a wiki post does not boost the topic to the top of the topic list similar to how a regular edit does this, so the edit can easily go by unnoticed.

Edit: Proposal is to have wiki edits create an auto-entry “User X edited Revision Y to Wiki post Z” to the topic discussion similar to ‘Deleted post …’, ‘Split topic …’ entries, that causes the topic to be bumped. If this new feature is configurable, then nothing changes to the default behaviour.

Edit 2: IMHO:

Unintuitive

  • Simulate regular wiki page: Create a special locked topic with the wiki post last in the thread (and don’t forget to lock or moderation is needed if someone comments)
    • Create separate topic and bi-directional cross-reference if wiki posts needs discussion
  • Simulate wiki + comments page: Create wiki(s) in a normal topic, with the explicit rule that any wiki edit must be followed by a comment to attract attention to the new revision

Intuitive

  • Create wiki(s) in any topic without thinking: Just use ‘Make wiki post…’ button without additional action, topic behavior stays the same. New revisions create an entry that causes the topic to be bumped
    • (Okay, a bit annoying may be that the entry may cause the viewport to jump to the end of the page)

Additionally you could:

  • Make this behaviour configurable, and not the default (so nothing changes for people who are happy now)

You will find many topics related. See this one

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Am I correct in assuming that to have an update in a wiki bump the topic to the top of the list (as discussed here), you have to disallow replies (because after 1st reply a wiki update will no longer bump the topic). What if you have an and/or situation? Either you update the wiki, or add an additional comment… and always the topic will bump to the top of the list.

Edit: Correction. Changed ‘either/or’ to ‘and/or’.

You can always change the topic timestamp in case.

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Thank you! That is an option. Though it is not intuitive for regular members, and easily forgotten.

Incorrect, it follows the same rules. Any edit to the last post in a topic will bump it.

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Yes, but I am talking about wiki edits that are not the last posts in the topic.

Edit: In prior comment should have said and/or

Why would that bump a topic? The rule has been the same since 2013: new replies bump a topic, or edits to the last (most recent) reply.

Because the wiki edit can be very substantial and should attract attention. Be noticable.

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If that is the case, you should enforce the fact that the wiki post is always the last post in the topic. Close the topic so nobody can reply to it. Now the first post is also always the last post. Problem solved.

But I could have a wiki post like this: “This is a placeholder for [Doc XYZ]” and then ask everyone to comment/discuss what are essential subjects for the doc to be added. Or someone might comment “I want to make XYZ large change, but before I do, is that alright?”. A wiki post followed by normal posts is like a blog article with a comments thread in that regard (except that it can change substantionally).

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Have your discussion in a parallel topic that links to the wiki topic.

If you want edit = bump as a global rule for the topic, then you must enforce the fact that the wiki post is always the last post in the topic. You can do this by creating the topic and closing it, thus preventing new replies.

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Yes, this is possible, of course, but the extra topic is not really needed or relevant to the rest of the topic list (pollutes the list). And it is unwieldy. A mod might know this whole procedure (create 2 topics, cross-link, create wiki post, lock wiki topic), but other users… it is a lot to ask in terms of discipline.

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It really isn’t; there are a variety of tasks where multiple topics are needed to achieve the goal. Disconnecting “random meta discussion” and “actual wiki page” is exactly how Wikipedia works, for example. Feel free to look it up if you don’t believe me.

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Oh, I believe you. I have edited wiki articles before. But wikipedia is not forum software, and there are significant differences:

  • Wiki pages and discussion Talk are neatly separated and normal users are not confronted with ongoing discussions when they navigate to the landing page (no ‘topic pollution’)
  • Wikpedia is encyclopedia software, and all content needs to be fact-checked, and thus a way more formal workflow is a requirement
  • Therefore it takes time to become a good editor, and a lot of rules / etiquette to consider. Also, and as a result (I don’t know numbers) the ratio readers vs. editors, has way more readers, I suspect

On our forum we have a bunch of use cases where wiki posts + regular posts are useful, but only if wiki edits are noticable:

Basic requirement:

  • Our forum landing page is displaying of Humane Technology discussion topics, and not interspersed with a lot of meta / ‘ongoing work’ topics

Wiki use cases:

  1. We have an Awareness Program, where we prepare theme and campaign Markdown documents

    • Themes/campaigns start as forum topic for general discussion (non-technical users), where first (or N-th) post is a wiki post with the document proposal
    • When discussed / refined the document is brought to Github (picked up by static site generator) and maintained by more tech-savvy users
    • There will be many such proposals. Wiki post and discussion are closely related and not meta discussions.
    • After wiki post is brought to github, it becomes less relevant, though updates may still be synchronized
  2. We have topics such as “List of cognitive biases that apply to social media” that start with a wiki post that gives an overview, followed by discussions on them

    • These discussions are not meta discussions again, and we’d prefer to keep them together with the list at the top
    • If a bias is added in the wiki post, it may need to be bumped so it can trigger renewed discussion
    • Of course the workaround here could be that the editor adds and additional post “I added bias XYZ to the wiki post”
  3. We have discussions where someone may post “I am doing research on this subject, and have collected this list of resources. I made it a wiki post, and please add your entries that I may have missed”

    • This avoids polluting the thread with any number of URL’s interspersed with continuation of the discussion, or requiring the researcher to create a new topic and crosslinking: read this in the context of that discussion

Long story, but I think the feature request that solves the issue I have is not that high impact, and makes sense:

  • If you delete or split a topic an entry is made to the topic thread “Deleted post …” and “Split topic …”, which causes a bump of the topic AFAIK
  • You can do the same with a wiki post edit: “User @janedoe created a new revision of wiki post 1
    -Whether or not these entries are created could be configurable at wiki level, and default behaviour can be specified at Settings admin.

Indeed, very simple and logical.

If you want this enforced by law, create a category for strict wikis, and mark them all auto-close in the category settings, so they can only ever have a single post by definition. Then you’d have the exact behavior you want.

Linking groups of topics together is completely normal and expected. Jamming a bunch of stuff into a single topic is rarely the way to go.

Except that you have to explain that to every user: “Don’t forget to create a post after your wiki edit, or no one will see the edit you made”.

With auto-closed wikis for every N campaigns we’d have 2N topics, and have to explain every user how to set that up properly.

This does not address use case 3).

Having auto-entries like “User X Edited wiki Y” seems just as simple and logical to me.


You are very used to how wikis have worked for all these years, so this all look to be the logical things to do. But it is not so obvious and easy UX-wise as the ‘Make wiki post…’ makes it seem to be.

The discourse forum does this a lot, though, where you have e.g. plugin topics, where the first post is the documentation, followed by (very) long discussions. Only in your case it is only admins that edit the first posts, and it needs not be a wiki.

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Why would there be any other expectation? If, right now, you go back and edit the second post you made in this topic — which you easily could — why would you expect anyone to be notified of that?

There is no “please notify a bunch of people that I just made an edit to an old post” provision anywhere in Discourse, at any time. Or any other discussion software that I can think of.

But it is not just an old post. It is a wiki post, and marked as Wiki, because it has longer-lasting importance.

And in a wiki post you give others editing rights to add more important information to it over time.

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I think that you are making an incorrect assumption about wiki posts being more important. I haven’t seen anything from the Discourse team that suggests wiki posts are any more important than any other post. Maybe you are attributing your own ideas about what a wiki post should be?

As far as I remember, the differentiating feature of a wiki post has only ever been that it can be edited by more than one user. I also checked several topics on wiki posts and didn’t find any attribution of greater importance for wiki posts, e.g. in the following topics: