Release status: experimental
|Implementation||Page action, Special page, API|
|Description||LiquidThreads extension implements a structured discussion system for MediaWiki.|
|Author(s)||David McCabe, Andrew Garrett|
|Latest version||2.2-alpha  (2014-03-28)|
|Check usage and version matrix; code metrics|
|Bugs: list open list all report|
LiquidThreads (LQT) is an extension for MediaWiki that implements a threaded discussion page system.
The original code was developed by David McCabe under sponsorship from the Google Summer of Code 2006, the Commonwealth of Learning, and Wikia. However, David McCabe is no longer involved with this project.
The original LiquidThreads code was substantially improved and augmented by Andrew Garrett at the Wikimedia Foundation since May 2009. The latest stable release of the LiquidThreads extension is LQT 2.0, described on this page. LQT 2.0 is the version currently being used on several Wikimedia wikis, and was used in the strategic planning process.
In January 2011, work on LiquidThreads 3.0 was begun at the Wikimedia Foundation. LQT 3.0 was being developed, with Andrew Garrett as the lead developer, but is now suspended. Development of LQT3 can be tracked in this branch; the last commits to LQT3 (lqt-updates) branch were in September 2011. Development by the Foundation has been discontinued.
To activate LiquidThreads on a specific page on a wiki where LiquidThreads is opt-in, add
to the page's source code. To deactivate LiquidThreads on a specific page on a wiki where LiquidThreads is opt-out add
to the page's source code.
Comprehensive user documentation will be developed when LiquidThreads has a finalised (or remotely stable) interface.
Wiki discussion pages have some advantages over web and Usenet forums:
- They allow use of the entire wiki syntax, from images to links to transclusions.
- It is possible to refactor entire discussion pages.
But web forums offer many more advantages over the MediaWiki talk page model:
- Threads can be displayed in different views: flat, nested, sorted by date, subject, etc.
- The user only needs to click a "Reply" button or link in order to respond to a comment. Manual indentation is not required. Quotations from the source comment can be inserted automatically.
- Comments are automatically signed and dated.
- Avatars are possible (but not yet created).
- The user can watch individual threads or be notified about responses in threads.
- Comments and threads can be displayed individually, without the surrounding page.
- Old comments are archived automatically and invisibly, with permanent links easily available.
- Search for author, subject, date, etc. is possible
- Individual threads can have categories.
- It is relatively easy to manage related discussions in a subject-specific forum, whereas MediaWiki talk pages always follow the "one discussion page per subject page" model.
LiquidThreads aims to unite the advantages of both forum types, and to add some unique discussion features to boot.
Prerequisites: LiquidThreads currently requires the WikiEditor extension to be already installed. See bug 38654. To be able to properly search threads, Extension:Lucene-search must also be installed from Wikimedia's operations/debs/lucene-search-2.git repository.
Installing without command prompt access
Some individuals may not have command prompt access. However, if you have access through phpMyAdmin, substitute these steps for step #4 above:
- Download lqt.sql.
- In phpMyAdmin, click the database you're using for mediawiki along the left side
- On the next screen, click the "SQL" tab at the top.
- At "Location of the text file", choose one of the files, select compression "None", and click the bottom "Go" button.
- If your phpMyAdmin screen has only a text field and no text file chooser, click the "SQL" button in the left-side column, under the phpMyAdmin logo, and click the "import files" tab in the new window that opens.
- If you encounter the error message
#1071 - Specified key was too long; max key length is 1000 bytes, abbreviate line 35 of lqt.sql to
CREATE INDEX thread_article_title ON /*$wgDBprefix*/thread (thread_article_namespace, thread_article_title);(in other words, remove
, thread_sortkey). Remove the new tables and import the file again.
- If your database uses table prefixes, you have to add them manually. You can do so after the new tables have been created.
- Test Page for playing around with the Liquid Threads interface.
- Extension:AWC's Forum - allows the display of a standalone forum within MediaWiki.
- Extension:Reflect - implements a novel augmentation of threaded comments.
- User:Inquisitor_Ehrenstein/LQTavatar – Forum style LQT templates for including avatars and full forum style signatures.
- Extension:DiscussionThreading - A more light-weight solution that will still allow editing the discussion page like a wiki page (still works with MW 1.22x)
- Sites using this extension
- Bugzilla ticket for LiquidThreads deployment
- English Wikipedia LiquidThreads article
- Wikimedia Commons LiquidThreads pictures
|This extension is being used on one or more Wikimedia projects. This probably means that the extension is stable and works well enough to be used by such high-traffic websites. Look for this extension's name in Wikimedia's CommonSettings.php and InitialiseSettings.php configuration files to see where it's installed. A full list of the extensions installed on a particular wiki can be seen on the wiki's Special:Version page.|