As has been mentioned in another topic, Wikia pushed back the migration of the forums to its Discussions software. Currently it's been pushed back to April, though I suppose it could be pushed back again?
Anyway, Discussions has various shortcomings. Discussions posts don't show up in Special:Recentchanges, meaning users won't know what's going on in Discussions unless they visit Discussions. Discussions also uses an endless scroll layout, which makes it almost impossible to find topics that are older than a few weeks. Wikia claims that it's aware of shortcomings like these and that it will address them eventually.
One issue that Wikia will not be addressing is the fact that Discussions cannot use its companion wiki's templates, or in fact any sort of wikitext. This is because, although Discussions and its accompanying wiki are connected, they are fundamentally different. Therefore, if ever a wiki would like to have a discussion about the wiki's templates or wikitext, it cannot use Discussions. For those wikis that would want a place to discuss such wiki-centric material, Wikia recommends using Forum:Index as an alternative.
If the wiki does want to start using Forum:Index again, what does it want to use it for?
With regards to the second question, I'll reiterate the two shortcomings of Discussions I mentioned before: Discussions doesn't show up in Special:Recentchanges, making it entirely possible for editors of the wiki to have no idea what is being talked about in Discussions; Discussions is cumbersome to search, making it difficult to reference past discussions and any consensus that may have been reached. The forums have been used for discussing wiki-wide topics quite often (Thread:269574, Thread:273274, and Thread:275105 as examples), so these are rather irritating shortcomings.
Because of these shortcomings, I think it would be best to use Forum:Index for discussing the wiki (wiki-wide style guidelines, article organization and formatting, coordination for upcoming content edits, etc.) and let Discussions be used for discussing the series (versus threads, fan theories, chapter/episode reviews, etc.)
Please leave thoughts below. There's no urgency, since the wiki has until at least April to reach a decision.
I don't really remember Forum Index, but it seems like the only option. There's no way to organize discussions right now if I'm not mistaken; every wiki I've visited that has discussions doesn't have anyway to search or categorize discussions besides date and popularity.
So either Forum Index would be pretty much required if any actualy important matter of the wiki needed to be discussed.
Either that or we can set up a discord, as some other wikis have done. But that seems like a lot of work, so I support bringing back Forum Index.
I don't think Discord has an elegant way of preserving discussions for the long term, complicating its use as a reference of past discussions months or years after the fact. It also wouldn't solve the problem Discussions has of needing to check two places if a person wants to contribute to one wiki.
Yeah, that's true. Discord wouldn't be good for keeping records. It is easy communication though.
Discord wouldn't solve every problem, but it'd be easier to communicate as well as ping specific people when we need them.
In any case, I agree though. Discord probably isn't the answer, it's just a possibility I tossed out. I've never used Forum Index, how does it compare to the Forums we have now? And would it solve most of the issues we'll be having with Discussions?
re Discord, that's simply not true. Discord saves chat history forever (assuming people don't delete their messages) and it can be referenced without issue, either via searching for the post or making note of message links and sharing them to people, which will take them to the relevant chat.
If making a record of stuff was needed, you can just make a channel in a discord server with "consensus-records" and link to the relevant message that started the discussion, or a more simpler/automated solution would be using a bot which had a command to "close" a discussion: invoking this would clean out the chat and archive it to a text file that is then uploaded to a channel (or a website with a link given) that acts as a record of the said discussion.
A discord server is pretty popular with a lot of communities and they're significantly easier to moderate and use than even existing forums imo. I probably wouldn't be welcome in such a discord server though, given my history, but just clearing up misconceptions about the platform as someone who has used it for a few years now.
@Squinty97: old forums were really just wiki pages in a different namespace with set templates made for navigation. Nothing fancy about them at all and not likely to be very useful in consensus discussions (although given the wiki has so few active editors anyway, it's probably not that much of a concern as it used to be back in the day)
@Sajuuk I completely forgot about the search function lol, you're right.
It would be missed to be able to see individual topic categorized though. Text channels can be set for categories, but we can't isolate separate discussions right? We'd just have to search key words and scroll?
Yeah Discord wouldn't be so bad now that @Sajuuk reminded me of all that lol
I'm glad that Discord has a system of archiving; I don't have much experience with it so it's good to know it only takes a few click to preserve a discussion. But wikitext and templates would still not work on Discord, which is one of my main objectives here. I acknowledge that discussions rarely require wikitext or templates, but it would be nice to have a centralized place to do so barring picking a talk page at random.
Would creating both be the solution? A discord server with us shouldn't actually be super chaotic. We don't have that many Staff that actively participate in these discussions nowadays. They may read stuff, I don't know, but I don't see them post often. So with a discord, it should be easy to manage. Then when we need anything wikitext or templates (I have no experience here), we can link and pin the message to one of the discord channels to divert that sort of discussion to Forum Index
Wikitext is generally an archaic method of formatting text anyway, most places are using Markdown (either the original implementation, or very often custom designed versions). From experience here, topics about wikitext or templates are really very rare, and if you wanted a channel on that, you could just make a technical-stuff chat where you talk about that kind of stuff.
Oh yeah. And since Forums are disappearing, it's a better way to communicate than discussions.
Personally I think it'd be a better place for regular users to just have fun discussing the series as well.
A few notes on the discord I made;
I arbitrarily gave rights to sysops, bureaucrats, and discussion mods roles as I felt they needed them. Obviously for right now I have the highest power in there, but that can be remedied if Dantman joins. Or if we decide a select few sysops can have highest power in there.
I set all notifications to ping only when you're mentioned. Meaning if this discord takes off, you won't get pinged no matter who joins or what massive debate is going on unless someone pings you or your role. I figured most people would look at the discord if they wanted to, and if we needed to reach them we could easily ping them. You can change this setting yourself if you like for your own preferences, and even change them per text-channel; I only set the default.
I'm open to literally any suggestions for the discord. So far, I think we were only planning on using it to discuss matters that affect the wiki. But I added in text-channels for a few of the more recreational forums as well. Those can stay or not, I don't care.
As of right now we have one general voice chat. I don't think we need more than that, but that can change if we need it to.