Grants talk:Project/ClemFlip/Wikifab/Various types of transclusions of Structured Discussions boards

Active discussions


It's a bit disingenuous to say it's "used" on 1,051 wikis. Some 900 of those wikis (WMF wikis) probably have it installed without any single topic existing. --Nemo 10:11, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

I see the error is still present in the text. Given one of the goals is about your code being used, I suggest that you provide a meaningful definition (e.g. minimum amount of discussions or users actually using the software). --Nemo 06:22, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Even though some WMF wikis have it installed but don't use it, the project remains in the roadmap of the WMF dev team, so we assume that, at some point, they might want to use/try it! I propose to write "installed" instead of "used" in the Grant proposal to be more specific.
Regarding a "minimum amount of discussions": since there is no point to install the extension if no one actually uses the StructuredDiscussion, I think it should be fine to simply say that "We will consider it very successful when: At least, 15 popular MediaWikis and 2 WMF wikis will use the extension" --ClemFlip 10:05, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
"Installed" would be more accurate, but not more useful. Also the idea that installation of an additional extension would be an indicator of any real-world impact relies on unstated assumptions which are probably incorrect. I agree one should only install extensions when there is a tangible benefit in doing so, and I encourage you to bring this idea forward so that Flow is uninstalled from all the wikis where it's not used. --Nemo 13:39, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

We now have a slightly more accurate count at (less than 200 wikis, of which 60 stand-alone wikis). --Nemo 07:34, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

Few clarifications requiredEdit

Flow discussion boards are very powerful. However, they can only be used on the discussion page of a specific page. This doesn't encourage collaboration because users usually visit the pages they watch and some discussion remains unanswered for days...

Excuse my ignorance but I'm not sure I get that. Possibly because I haven't experienced any problem with Flow. Why does Flow per se hinder collaboration? A crude example of how the proposed solution would improve collaboration could be helpful, I guess.

In the meantime, discussions boards are displayed in a separate tab. This can be confusing to newcomers. If the discussion boards were transcluded under the wiki page itself, it'd look like what users are used to see on other sites (like comments on a blog).

I thought this was the way it has been from the beginning. I thought wiki wasn't a blog! I actually find it more attractive as a link to the "Discussion" page it's found at the top. I don't know how this could be confusing. Anyways, these are just my views.

The Flow:Extension is ...

Isn't it Extension:Flow?

-- Kaartic correct me, if i'm wrong 10:53, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

Flow feedsEdit

How similar is this proposal to the mw:Flow/Basic information#Feeds idea? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:16, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

Flow got just renamed ...Edit

... to StructuredDiscussions. I am sure this must have followed intense discussions. I have not looked into the arguments pro and contra renaming (a pointer to the discussion will be appreciated) but I am a bit worried that the extension will now face the same fate as the LiquidThreads extension. --[[kgh]] (talk) 22:04, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2017Edit

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2017 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through 17 October 2017.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2017 begins on 18 October 2017, and grants will be announced 1 December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 19:13, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

A questionEdit

I have a number of concerns with this proposal. As I know the development of Flow has basically stopped. So, does it make sense to develop a helper extension for the extension that is practically dead? On other hand if the development of Flow (now StructuredDiscussions) is resumed, a lot of proposed functionality will be implemented in it anyway. So, does not it look sort of a useless work? Ruslik (talk) 16:58, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Hi Ruslik. Indeed, Flow has been renamed to StructuredDiscussions (I will change the name in the grant proposal). However, the development continues and we (Wikifab, the Grant applicant) are in touch with the StructuredDiscussions product manager (through Phabricator) to integrate this task into their roadmap (see "Let users view all their Flow activity in one place" at the bottom of the page). I assume that the WM tech team that works on the StructuredDiscussions product counts also on us to work on this feature. Thank you. ClemFlip (ClemFlip) 14:15, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Like ClemFlip says, the development has been resumed to address Structured discussions users' requests for improvements.
"Let users view all their Flow activity in one place" is not on this year's roadmap for the Global Collaboration team. However, have external developers who want to tackle that feature is very welcome! That's all the interest of a FLOSS software: anyone can improve it. :) Trizek (WMF) (talk) 05:15, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

My concern is rather that the main proposed feature is one of those which you would not need to develop if the discussion had been designed in a sensible way (e.g. mw:Everything is a wiki page). So this is just development about undoing or working against design mistakes of 2012. Good luck with that. --Nemo 06:30, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Concerning the "everything is a wikipage" concept, this project should not go against it. Because it doesn't create new stored objects, but only provide new ways to access existing datas. We try to design it in the most sensible way, we listen every remarks, and by the way, thanks to this grant project, we have already more discussion about it. --Pyro 10:00, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Separate extensionEdit

I see that Yaron commented about development being on a "separate extension", but I only see a proposal to develop Flow (now under the StructuredDiscussion brand). Does this mean the project is about making a fork? Forking is fine, especially when the original project has development dysfunctions, but it's good to be clear about such things. --Nemo 06:24, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Concerning developing a "separate extension" : we are not talking about fork here. We just plan, if possible, to gather new developpements for this feature in a separate extension, that requires the original Flow (StructuredDiscussion) extension, and add feature to it. When it's possible, we think this way more effective to start development of new feature, in parallel with the development of the main extension. It forces to reduce dependencies to a minimum, and this doesn't forbid to integrate this feature into the original StructuredDiscussion extension in the futur, when it's ready and approved. --Pyro 10:00, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Wikifab/Various types of transclusions of Flow discussion boardsEdit

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • The proposal aligns well with Wikimedia's strategic priorities and will have a significant online impact if implemented. Although serious concerns exist that it may not be sustainable in the long run as the development of Flow has stopped. So, developing new functionality for use with a dead extension makes no sense.
As mentioned by another member of the committee: Structured Discussions (formerly known as “Flow”) is not abandoned or dead. Structured Discussions improvements are a goal of the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year development plan (see Program 5/Goal 3), focusing on search and interactions between topics (also explained here).
It was also mentioned in the Global Collaboration Newsletter of November 2017: "Flow has been re-scoped to become Structured Discussions and the development has restarted."
The Structured Discussion's under-development features are listed in this Phabricator task.
Finally, the Structured Discussions development status has been clarified by Jdforrester_(WMF), the product manager of Structured Discussions right here.
--ClemFlip 11:05, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • It sounds like a useful tool but don't know much about the product.
  • Flow should be in the interested of everybody, an encyclopedia from the XXI century needs a modern way to communicate, use of user's talk pages shows a lack of interested in the actual way of communicating. Most of the new users to Wikipedia are familiar with social platforms and devices with easy and familiar ways to communicate.
  • The success can be easily measured but I see significant risk related to doing development for a dead extension. This can result in waste of money.
Please, see my comment above. --ClemFlip 11:05, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I think we should rope in someone in the Wikimedia Foundation’s technical staff to assess the value of this project.
I agree! I believe Jdforrester_(WMF), the product manager of Structured Discussion, is the best person to give a neutral point of view. --ClemFlip 11:05, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • This project steps up an existing solution. Risk is very low. If good cooperation is done with the technical collaboration team the project will definitely work out and impact a large audience. Grantee may look for a bigger target within WM sites/communities that already use flow.
  • I see no problems here.
  • I don't really know the ability of the applicant to ably execute this task, but that could also be gathered from the developer community.
We are professional PHP programmers since 9 years. During the past 3 years, we have been full time dedicated to the development of MediaWiki extensions. All our extensions are open-source and can be downloaded here: The MediaWiki-based site that we maintained is --ClemFlip 11:05, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Budget is detailed and seems efficient and realistic.
  • It has target communities - the wikis that use Flow though engagement with them has been limited so far.
  • Grantee should target as many communities that already use flow as possible, technical engagement seems assured.
Our middle-term goal is that our extension is being integrated into the Structured Discussion extension master branch. So that all the communities that already use flow will benefit from our work. Moreover, merging with master branch also insures the sustainability of our work. In order to fulfill this commitment: we'll work closely with the WMF Tech team to provide the required support. Before we achieved that, we commit to maintain our separate extension compatible with MediaWiki 1.27+. --ClemFlip 11:05, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I do not recommend funding for this proposal unless my main concern related to the present dead state of Flow is addressed.
Please, see my comment above. --ClemFlip 11:05, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I will wait for further feedback to make up my mind on such a project.
  • Flow is not abandoned or dead, it is somewhat maintained and planned to further develop by WMF.

Opportunity to respond to committee comments in the next week

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal. Based on their initial review, a majority of committee reviewers have not recommended your proposal for funding. You can read more about their reasons for this decision in their comments above. Before the committee finalizes this decision, they would like to provide you with an opportunity to respond to their comments.

Next steps:

  1. Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. Note that these comments may vary, or even contradict each other, since they reflect the conclusions of multiple individual committee members who independently reviewed this proposal. We recommend that you review all the feedback carefully and post any responses, clarifications or questions on this talk page by 5pm UTC on Monday, March 29, 2021. If you make any revisions to your proposal based on committee feedback, we recommend that you also summarize the changes on your talkpage.
  2. The committee will review any additional feedback you post on your talkpage before making a final funding decision. A decision will be announced no later than Friday, April 22, 2021.

Questions? Contact us.

ClemFlip, please see note above about the opportunity to respond to committee comments before they finalize a decision on your proposal. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warm regards, --Marti (WMF) (talk) 06:46, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Structured Discussions development is not deadEdit

During that Grant review, some Committee members mentioned the claim that Structured Discussions (formerly "Flow") is no longer developed. I want to correct this — Structured Discussions is still maintained, and recently has been re-scoped with development continuing. This was announced in September 2017 on Tech/News and in the Global Collaboration newsletter. The project page has also been updated accordingly:

Current developement focuses on those communities who use Structured Discussions, as described on the Wikimedia Foundation's Annual Plan for Audiences: Some tasks have been defined for this fiscal year, and are listed at This work includes search, interactions between topics, and interface rewriting to make future changes simpler and easier. The Global Collaboration team is aware of this Grant proposal and would be happy to work with Wikifab team to continue to synchronise on the development.

Jdforrester (WMF) (talk), Product Manager for Structured Discussions, 17:27, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Zombies are not properly dead either, but they still stink. --Nemo 13:39, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

Round 2 2017 decisionEdit


This project has not been selected for a Project Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!

Next steps:

  1. Visit the IdeaLab to continue developing this idea and share any new ideas you may have.
  2. Applicants whose proposals are declined are welcome to consider resubmitting your application again in a future round. We ask that you first email projectgrants wikimedia · org to indicate your interest in resubmission so staff can review any concerns with your proposal that contributed to a decline decision, and help you determine whether resubmission makes sense for your proposal.
  3. Check back at the schedule for information about the next open call to submit proposals.

Questions? Contact us.

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