This document describes how to set up a forum for a Site - step-by-step.
Table of Contents
Every Site on Wikidot can contain an autonomous, fully-featured forum. The forum is also used to add such features to the Site as page comments and page discussions. Forum can be also used to produce news feeds (RSS) and build the whole news infrastructure.
But the forum is not enabled by default. Below there are steps required to set the forum up and possibly enable per page discussion.
Before you read this howto you can look at Site Structure document to learn a bit about forums.
Setting a forum
Step 1. - go to the Site Manager
Go to the Site Manager (by default available at the page admin:manage). There should be a link on the side bar of your pages.
Click on Forum & discussion » Settings.
You must have an administrator role within the Site to be able to do this.
Step 2. - activate the forum
The instruction in Step 2 used to say "If your forum is not yet activated, click on activate forum now."
However this step is no longer necessary; from January 2011 onwards the forum is activated automatically when you create your site.
Step 3. - nesting level
Decide if you want to have a linear discussion or threaded/nested discussion structure for your forum. Read more at the Site Structure document. Save options if you change the default settings.
Step 4. - set up the structure
Before a forum can be used you must define categories the threads/topics would fall into.
Within the Site Manager click on Forum & discussion » Structure. There should be a group called Hidden that will contain deleted threads and per-page discussions. But this is not enough.
Look at Wikidot Community Forum to have an idea what the groups and categories are. Groups are top-level containers for categories and categories are containers for threads.
Suppose you want to create one group to hold 2 categories: General discussion and Help requests.
- Within Forum & discussion » Structure click on add a new group.
- Enter e.g. "Forum discussion" as the name and "General forum discussion related to site «your-site-name»". Click save within the dialog window.
- In the new group box click on add category. A dialog will appear. Enter "General discussion" as a name and something (or nothing) as a description. Click save within the dialog window.
- A Warning: the category name should be long enough not to make problems with other short category names! A good proposal is a minimum length of 3 or more characters!
- Add another category called "Help requests" the same way.
- You can move groups/categories up/down by clicking links move up and move down.
- You can also delete empty groups and categories.
- If you have finished, click save at the bottom.
For individual categories there can be separate nesting level settings. Read more about it here.
Now your forum is almost ready.
Step 5. - set permissions
By default only Members of your Site are allowed to post and start threads.
If this is not what you want, you can extend permissions to all Wikidot Users (with valid Wikidot.com accounts).
You can also allow everyone (including Anonymous Users without Wikidot.com accounts) to use the forum. Use this with caution.
If you want Users to modify/edit posts, check/uncheck proper options. But rather leave this option to the authors of the posts so every Users is allowed to edit only his/her own posts.
Forum categories can have separate permissions or inherit the default settings.
- Check/uncheck permissions for all forum categories or rather configure the default permissions that forum categories will use
- Save changes
Step 6. - make links to the forum
All the forum pages are now created but you should link to the forum from your pages.
Simply include links to forum:start and forum:recent-posts somewhere, e.g. copy this code:
+ Forum * [[[forum:start | Forum]]] * [[[forum:recent-posts | Recent posts]]]
to your side bar (located at nav:side by default)
Or if you use top-bar pull-down menu you can insert:
* [[[forum:start | Forum]]] * [[[forum:start | View categories]]] * [[[forum:recent-posts | Recent posts]]]
to the top-bar source page which is by default located at nav:top.
CONGRATULATIONS! Now you have a working forum!
Allowing per page discussion
It is quite easy to allow discussion and comments bound to individual pages. There are 2 ways you can do it:
Using a Comments module (recommended)
Simply put the Comments module at the bottom of a page just like it is done on this page. People will be able to add comments directly below the page content.
Linking to the forum
Simply go to Site Manager » Forum & discussion » Per page discussion. If you enable the option for specific categories each of the pages will contain a button discuss at the bottom. No comments will be visible within the page.
Forum Page Structure
If you activate the forum for your wiki, several pages are created automatically. These pages are normal wiki pages and there is nothing miraculous about them. Their functionality is encapsulated by certain modules that should be elucidated below. Please - do not change these pages if not neccessary!
The Forum Start Page
displays an overview by category in tabular form.
The Forum Category Page
displays all threads of a certain forum category in tabular form, ordered by date of their respective most recent posts.
- page name: forum:category
- example: General community discussion
- feeds: new threads, new posts in this category
The Forum Thread Page
the view of a single forum thread.
- page name: forum:thread
- example: It only took me a day to break it...
- feeds: new posts in this thread
The Forum Recent Posts Page
displays all forum posts ordered chronologically.
- page name: forum:recent-posts
- example: Recent Forum Posts