TaxAlmanac:Discussion Forum

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TaxAlmanac Discussion Forum Basics

Here is a very simple discussion topic:

{{ForumThreadHeading|Tax_Questions|Tax Questions}}

{{ForumNewPost|UserID=Uncle Sam|Date=10 December 2006|Text=Blah}}

{{ForumReplyPost|UserID=Blackwel|Date=14 January 2007|Text=Blah}}

This template adds the "breadcrumb" links back to the discussion forum index and main page at the top of the discussion, and also places the discussion in a category. In this case, the category is "Tax Questions", so it will show up on that forum listing. Note that we have to send in the name of the category in two formats - one with spaces, and one with underscores in place of spaces, because of the two ways in which the template uses the category name.

This template adds the first question to the discussion. It formats the person's name, the date they asked the question, and the text of what they asked and displays it with the familiar blue border. There should only be one ForumNewPost per discussion, and it should always be the first.

This template does exactly the same thing as ForumNewPost. The only difference is the name, and this name is what we look for when we count the number of replies that the question has received. There can be an unlimited number of ForumReplyPost entries per discussion.

How to split a discussion

Suppose a user has come along and asked a new question on an old discussion page. How can the two discussions be split? Imagine the following situation. "Uncle Sam" has asked a question which "Blackwel" answered, way back in March, 2006. Then "Newbie" came along and tagged their question on to the bottom of this concluded discussion instead of starting a new one. "Deback" has also provided an answer. What could you do?

{{ForumThreadHeading|Tax_Questions|Tax Questions}}

{{ForumNewPost|UserID=Uncle Sam|Date=2 March 2006|Text=The original question}}

{{ForumReplyPost|UserID=Blackwel|Date=3 March 2006|Text=The original answer}}

{{ForumReplyPost|UserID=Newbie|Date=22 January 2007|Text=New Question}}

{{ForumReplyPost|UserID=Deback|Date=22 January 2007|Text=New answer}}

  1. Create a new page, titled "Discussion:New Question Topic" (the simplest way is to type the name into the search box, press enter, and select the link to create a new article).
  2. Copy the ForumThreadHeading line into the new discussion
  3. Copy Newbie's question and Deback's answer to the new page
  4. Change the line for Newbie's question from ForumReplyPost to ForumNewPost
  5. Save the new discussion
  6. Edit the old discussion to remove Newbie and Deback's entries
  7. If you'd like, you can add a reply to the old discussion indicating where you have moved the other entries, and link to it. You can do the same to the new discussion, with a link back to the old discussion.

While it's true that the name of the editor will show as the last person to make a change on the discussion forum listing, this will go away as soon as the next person makes an edit.

Additional Details

The discussion forum works due to a combination of:

  • Forum Pages
  • Forum Templates
  • Recentpages extension
  • Forum software
  • Article Attributes Extension

Forum Pages

These are the configuration articles used in the discussion forum system.

Forum Templates

These are the templates used in the discussion forum system.

Recentpages extension

This extension takes a set of parameters (namespace, category, sort order, template) and returns a set of articles which match those parameters and formatted based upon the given template. It is used to list the discussions sorted in a variety of ways.

This extension has not been publicly released.

Forum software

Article Attributes Extension

This extension allows articles to be marked "sticky" so they stay at the top of the list of discussions.

This extension has not been publicly released.

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