RationalWiki:LiquidThreads

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LiquidThreads (LQT) is a mediawiki extension that changes how talk pages work. MediaWiki talk pages were never intended to act as forums, and they are not very well suited for that. LiquidThreads was developed in order to give MediaWiki a better discussion system that combines the advantages of wikis with that of traditional forums.

With LiquidThreads, every comment is a separate page in a special namespace called "Thread".

Contents

[edit] Advantages of LiquidThreads

  • Indentation and signing is handled automatically.
  • Replying is simpler. You don't get a wall of text consisting of everyone else's comments when you try to reply. You get an empty textbox, type in your reply, and click save.
  • There are no edit conflicts when replying to a thread.
  • There is no need to archive. You can make a permanent link to any comment at any time. You can post a reply to any comment and bump the thread, at any time.
  • Finding new replies is easier, thanks to Special:NewMessages. Unread messages will be highlighted, making them easy to find.
  • Indentation is done in a more sensible fashion - a reply is always indented one level more than the parent comment. Because comments are visually separated, there's no need to indent comments just to separate them.
  • An interface that avoids unnecessary page loads for posting and editing threads, and other functions, making the experience smoother and faster.
  • Customizable thread order: by default, threads are listed last modified first, but you can change this to oldest first or newest first.
  • It is possible to delete a single comment (or just edit out parts of it, then oversight the first revision) in case of a privacy violation. With traditional talk pages, all revisions between the one where the comment was added up to the one where it was removed must be deleted.
  • Traditional talk pages are an enormous waste of hard disk space. With each edit, the entire talk page is saved, resulting in a lot of redundant threads. LiquidThreads eliminates this overhead.

[edit] Disadvantages of LQT

  • More scrolling required by more whitespace on talkpages.
  • Users familiar with traditional MediaWiki talk pages may have a hard time adjusting to the new system.
  • LiquidThreads limits what you can do to a talk page, for example, it is not possible to collapse a thread using {{Collapse}}.
  • LiquidThreads is used on very few wikis and has not been adopted at core Wikimedia sites such as Wikipedia (as its developers intended). Support is non-existent and compatibility with future MediaWiki upgrades is not guaranteed. RationalWiki's instance was already broken once—the toolbar doesn't show up.

[edit] FAQ

[edit] How are LQT talk pages archived?

The short answer is, they're not. If there are more threads on a page than a set limit, the talk page will be split into multiple pages, like traditional web forums or our own forums. You can see an example here.
The limit is 20 by default, and you currently cannot set a different default in preferences. However, you can change the limit on a per-page basis, using the lqtpagelimit parser function, e.g. to set it to 10, use {{#lqtpagelimit:10}}
This also means that bringing an archived discussion back is as easy as adding a new comment to it, since that will bump it up to the top of the first page.

[edit] How do I get a difflink in LQT? How do I link to a specific comment?

Because each comment is a separate page, you can just link to that comment as you would to a normal wiki page. Similarly, you can view its history and link to a diff or a specific revision if you want. The link for a comment is available by clicking "Link to" in the "More" menu in the lower right corner of the comment; the history (fossil record) is also available there. For example: Thread:User talk:Nx/Templates/reply (7)
Note that this link will also show all the replies to that comment as well. This is called a fragment.
You can also get a link to an "old revision" of a thread if you click "Fossil record" in the thread header and click a date. This will show the thread as it was at that point in time, emulating the behavior of traditional talk pages.

[edit] Why am I getting "new messages"?

This is most likely because you have a page on your watchlist that has been converted into an LQT talk page. All comments on that page will be added to your "New messages" page. If you don't want that, simply unwatch the page (don't forget to mark the messages as read).
Any thread you create or reply to is also automatically added to your watchlist, and you will get a new messages notification for these (but not for other threads on that page). You can disable this behavior in your preferences, in the "Watchlist" tab, by unchecking "Watch threads that I create or reply to". To watch or unwatch an individual thread, click Watch or Ignore in the thread header.

[edit] What is "Show N replies"? Why isn't the entire thread shown?

Long threads are not shown completely to avoid unnecessarily loading them in case you do not want to read them. After a certain reply depth, or a certain number of replies, you will instead see a button titled "Show N replies", where N is a number. Just click it to load the rest of the thread. You can customize the limits in your preferences, in the "Threaded discussion" tab.

[edit] See also

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