结构化讨论已部署在Wikimedia内容项目中各种语言的用户对话和Wiki范围的讨论页面上，以及MediaWiki.org上–参见Structured Discussions/Rollout. 在某些维基百科上，包括主要的维基百科（如法语维基百科，中文维基百科和Wikidata），基于社区的决定，它可以作为选择Beta版功能提供，用户为自己的用户对话页面打开“结构化讨论”。 在英语维基百科，维基共享资源和元维基上，已根据社区决定将其禁用。 其他一些维基正在以各种方式尝试结构化讨论。 要请求在您的维基中启用结构化讨论，参见Structured Discussions/Request Structured Discussions on a page。
在最初的开发阶段之后，Flow一直处于主动维护模式，自2015年中期以来没有重大发展；从那时起，没有添加任何重要的新功能。 The team continued to support the product and fix bugs and to make sure that people who were using Flow continue to have a good experience.
The Collaboration Team remained interested in the project and in providing an improved system for structured discussions. Communities have also expressed interest, by requesting Flow for testing or for real-cases use. To make decisions about the way forward in this area and future developments, a survey was sent to many Flow users in September 2016; the results were published in February 2017. Those results have been used to make the Wikimedia Foundation’s plans.
Structured Discussions improvements were a goal of the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year development plan, focusing on search and interactions between topics. Discussions around those improvements lead to the Talk pages consultation 2019, where talk pages usages and culture were discussed broadly across the wikis.
Structured Discussions are available on certain wikis. Starting in July 2019, Wikimedia wikis that don’t have a Structured Discussions board enabled will not have Structured Discussions activated.
You can have a look at the quick tour to discover the most important features.
- Design density: readability is improved and eye-fatigue is diminished by a more airy design
- Topic order: topics are displayed from last-added to first-added, like it is on most discussion systems on the Web.
- Message separation: different messages in the same thread will be visually distinguished through design cues.
- Navigation and archiving: the software features infinite scrolling on a Structured Discussions board, with all of the discussions accessible on the same page.
A Table of Contents in the side rail to help users navigate quickly between topics on a board.
- Topic namespace and links to replies: each topic is a separate page and every message has its own link to ease quoting.
- Notifications: a set of notifications ease topic watching.
Users are notified when a new message is created on a page they watch, or if a reply is posted on a topic they watch. Notifications link directly to the messages.
- Input method: the visual editor and wikitext editors are equal input methods, users can switch back and forth at anytime.
- Threading: Messages are posted below the oldest one and don’t require editing a whole section.
There is no need to know the threading system using wikitext, reply buttons provide two sets of indentations for digressions.
- Auto signature: each message is automatically signed and timestamped.
- Editing messages: each message can be edited (depending on user’s rights) without editing the whole section of messages.
If someone other than the original author edits a comment, that fact is highlighted.
- Mention users: mentioning is eased by a mini-search system.
- "Hide", "Delete" and "Suppress" - analogous to revert, revision-deletion and oversight - are available on Structured Discussion.
Users also need the ability to delete/suppress entire threads.
- Since threads can potentially exist on multiple discussion pages, a protection system that is equitable to users is difficult to get just right.
- User links automatically include links to their contributions and block links, to help sysops deal with disruption quickly and effectively.
With any complex software project, it's almost impossible for the designers, developers and product people to know everything. This is a particular problem in an environment like that of the Wikimedia projects - due to the sandbox-like nature of the place, there are tens of thousands of different workflows, different user needs, and different problems. Even if we could accurately identify all of them, we can't necessarily tell if our solution is the right one until we put it in front of users.
Accordingly, we're keeping two things in mind while we're developing the Structured Discussions software. First: we are partners with the community on this. Editors are welcome and encouraged to participate in the development process, pointing out things we've missed, identifying and describing new workflows, and helping keep us honest - when something hits this level of complexity, it's impossible to make things work without as many people helping as possible. Before and after we build things, we'll open a conversation about the feature. Second: a lot of the work we're going to do, at least initially, is experimental: we don't know if it's the right implementation of a feature. If it's not, we'll be happy to roll it back.
Who's working on Structured Discussions?