New wiki system for XenForo

Lukas W.

Formerly katsulynx
Hey everyone,

with XPress and UI.X Pro out of the door, ThemeHouse is currently looking into the possibility of a Wiki software. As we don't want to reinvent the wheel when there's already great software out in the wild, we're currently playing around with bridging what we deem the most used and most up to date Wiki platform out there - MediaWiki.

The key benefits of such a bridge are quite obvious:
  • You get a matching theme for XenForo and MediaWiki
  • Single sign-on makes sure, your users don't have to create a new account
  • You get to keep all of MediaWikis plugins out there, to build your Wiki platform exactly as you like
  • XenForo threads as discussion are for Wiki pages
  • And more to come
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What're your guys thoughts on that? Is that something, you would be interested in? Would you have any features or ideas you'd like to see in such a product?

Let us know!

Lukas
 

empire

Well-known member
I had an add-on made by @Yoskaldyr that integrates mediawiki with XF 1.5, however he seems to have disappeared. I am very interested in replacing this functionality when we move to XF2.

One thing I like about our implementation is that it uses the XF theme as a wrapper rather than a separate theme for mediawiki. I'm having an issue with my wiki right now, so I hope that @Scharesoft won't mind my sharing his site as a better example:
https://www.elderscrollsportal.de/almanach/Spezial:Version

My wiki is here, but it's missing a sidebar that broke after upgrading BD widget framework (we're getting it fixed). However, you can see it working with UI.X:
https://denofangels.com/doawiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

I did need to make adjustments to some css to make it match, but it was pretty easy to do.

If you want to know details about it or need beta testers, feel free to message me.
 

Lukas W.

Formerly katsulynx
We're actually aware of that product, due to the fact that I'm a member of the team of ElderScrollsPortal, so no worries on that front. The way XPress works is basically that it funnels the output from WordPress into XenForo. We'd follow the same principle on bridging MediaWiki (and potentially any other software we might would tackle in the future).
 

empire

Well-known member
Wonderful – really we just need that same thing in XF2.

Would you have any features or ideas you'd like to see in such a product?
One thing that sometimes confuses members is that mediawiki has its own Watch functionality that doesn't integrate with XF's. I don't know if it's possible to do, and I'm not sure many people will want to watch wiki entries, but it's worth bringing up.

There was another wiki bridge that used XF's notifications. With push notifications now, people might be interested in that.

It would be nice to have proper XF widgets for mediawiki's search and default sidebar content. We like that the wiki search is separate from the forum, but perhaps it would be nice to have an option to search the wiki on the advanced search page.

I know people would like the ability to bookmark wiki entries.
 

sbj

Well-known member
In general, any kind of implementation/bridge which helps us to build our own pages is great. I don't think XF will build a page-build tool anytime soon like the IP Pages thing. Maybe you should ask them if they plan sth. like that before you invest time in this to avoid a similar case like the reactions addons.

Anyway, I am not much familiar with wikis. From what I understand their advantage to vanilla forums is that people can collaborate on a page, right? I mean we always could create threads and post information on there as a thread, but only the thread owner and mods would have the rights to edit the first posts for such threads.
But MediaWiki would allow us a collaboration and by using its plugins one could possibly do more stuff on a page (like a custom sidebar) compared to normal threads.
Do I understand it correctly?

One disadvantage would be that one would have another editor for editing the pages and new syntaxes would exist, right?
So people would have to learn a new system with its own syntax?
Maybe if possible XF editor should be integrated?

In such a product what I would want to see is that it should be a stand-alone thing.
Not a part of your UI.X or themes.
As much as possible it should avoid Javascript, so it can't get broken easily like with themes or frameworks.
It should be a tight integration with threads and nodes. Nobody wants to use different platforms on the same site. It should feel like it is a part of XF.
Like nobody wants to use a Media Gallery, if I can post images in a thread. This is the most important thing of such a bridge. It must feel natural.
Obviously integrated with alerts and push notificiations.

Thank you.
 
Last edited:

Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
Wonderful – really we just need that same thing in XF2.



One thing that sometimes confuses members is that mediawiki has its own Watch functionality that doesn't integrate with XF's. I don't know if it's possible to do, and I'm not sure many people will want to watch wiki entries, but it's worth bringing up.

There was another wiki bridge that used XF's notifications. With push notifications now, people might be interested in that.

It would be nice to have proper XF widgets for mediawiki's search and default sidebar content. We like that the wiki search is separate from the forum, but perhaps it would be nice to have an option to search the wiki on the advanced search page.

I know people would like the ability to bookmark wiki entries.
Would you be open to providing a bullet list of the features? And some of the drawbacks you experience?
 

Lukas W.

Formerly katsulynx
In such a product what I would want to see is that it should be a stand-alone thing.
Not a part of your UI.X or themes.
None of our add-ons except for the UI.X and the UI.X Pro add-on (I guess it's kinda obvious why for both of them) require UI.X.
 

sbj

Well-known member
None of our add-ons except for the UI.X and the UI.X Pro add-on (I guess it's kinda obvious why for both of them) require UI.X.
I didn't say anything contradicting to this statement, as I never said the other ones require UI.X. I just wanted to make sure that if such a bridge is created, that it shouldn't be tied with a framework or a theme in particular.
You said:
You get a matching theme for XenForo and MediaWiki
and it sounded like it comes with a theme.
Anyway, thanks for the clarification.
 

Scharesoft

Active member
It would be great if you also build such a bridge for the MediaWiki. I love your bridge for Wordpress and will replace our current XenWord with this after the upgrade to XenForo 2. Like @empire already mentioned we're currently using the MediaWiki bridge from Yoskaldyr, but after the upgrade to XenForo 2 we need a new solution. Therefore, I would be very interested in a new MediaWiki bridge from you. A matching theme and of course single sign on is definitely important.

The idea to show XenForo threads for example on the bottom of articles would be also really nice. Such discussion threads for further information to an article is great as an addition to the normal discussions within a wiki.

Some ideas for features that should be optional:
  • Articles/activity of a user within his XF profile as a new tab
  • User profile page of the MW within a tab in the profile page of XF (User:
  • Redirect from the MW profile to the XF profile (replace the current profile page)
  • Integrate the settings of the MediaWiki into the settings of XF (or at least a link to the settings)
  • Integrate the MW search into the one of XF (like you already did for Wordpress, but for MW it's more complex since there are more search settings)
  • Link to an article from XenForo with a BBCode
 

empire

Well-known member
Would you be open to providing a bullet list of the features? And some of the drawbacks you experience?
It was based on this add-on that we were using for VB:
https://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=247279

These are the usergroup permissions:
  • Can read
  • Can log in
  • Is a mediawiki sysop
  • Is a mediawiki bureaucrat
  • Minimum forum post count for this user to edit wiki pages (default is 5)
We didn't request a lot of features beyond being able to log into our site and allowing members to perform those roles. We asked for integration with the widget framework and to make sure that it used our XF theme rather than its own wiki theme.

I customized the editing box to look more like the XF one visually. I like that mediawiki makes it easy to set headline levels that are prestyled, rather than letting members choose their own styling for each page, which would be a mess.

The wiki works well and is a popular part of our site, but it has some drawbacks:
  • People understand how to add basic info and links, but only a few have mastered the ability to add a table.
  • Some members love working on the wiki, but a lot of people feel intimidated by it. Partly it might just be that people are afraid of making mistakes, but it might also be because they have to learn different syntax or because the wiki still feels a little different from the rest of the site.
  • The method for adding images is kind of convoluted.
  • Mediawiki has more frequent major break-everything updates. It's important to know what versions the add-on works with.
  • A user's activity doesn't show up correctly when they're in the wiki section. (The thing that shows someone is browsing a thread, etc.)
  • Nobody uses the wiki profiles or discussion. It would be better to have that integrated or an option to just remove it.
  • Watching isn't integrated; we get questions about that occasionally, where people say they watched a wiki page but didn't get an alert, or it doesn't show up in their watched content.
But MediaWiki would allow us a collaboration and by using its plugins one could possibly do more stuff on a page (like a custom sidebar) compared to normal threads.
Do I understand it correctly?
Mostly. Another advantage is that there may be a character limit on posts, but not in the wiki. Also, if you ever need to integrate the wiki into other software, a standard mediawiki is probably easier to work with than an XF-specific add-on. The mediawiki pages also seem to rank better in Google than some of our XF pages.
 

Triops

Well-known member
Wuuuuhaaa, yes please, please!

I was, after weeks of preparation, just about to conclude a deal with a developer to have him develop a XF2 - MediaWiki Bridge. He was fair enough to draw my attention to this topic before the agreement.

Yes, please - MediaWiki is the standard! I've had one since 2006 with about 700 articles (with several 100,000 views in total) and it's only because users have to re-register and I temporarily turned off the registration due to spam that I'm not going to receive anymore articles.

I am happy to contribute with the desired range of functions. But the essentials are quickly summarized:

  • User base is in Xenforo (not MediaWiki), registration only in Xenforo
  • Rights system in Xenforo sets rights in MediaWiki (may change/write, may read, is admin etc.)
  • Position in MediaWiki is shown in "Who's online?" in Xenforo (not necessarily every activity, but e.g. "Visits article xyz")
  • Very nice would be if MediaWiki Style is derived from UI.X (i.e. Style in MediaWiki has look/colors of Xenforo-UI.X style (Xenith in my case ;))).
It would be fantastic if Themehouse would develop such a bridge!
 

Blumiere

Member
XenCarta is a very capable tool if you figure out how to use it properly. That said, the immediate familiarity of MediaWiki would be a definite advantage insofar as getting people interested in contributing, moving over existing wikis etc. I could see myself using it.
 

Jaxel

Well-known member
XenCarta (made by @Jaxel ) is a very nice wiki add-on.
I've always felt that XenCarta is NOT a replacement for a full blown Wiki. I made XenCarta precisely because it's not a full blown wiki... which for my community, is far too complicated. I've intentionally left XenCarta as an under-featured product because of this. Many of the features and tools available in DoaWiki or MediaWiki are simply not available in it.
 
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