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New post type: wiki

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We've had some discussions here on Meta about shared resource pages -- wiki-style articles that anybody could edit, canonical posts, and so on. My original idea for this was that individual posts could be marked as "freely editable", and this could be used with any of our existing post types (question, answer, article).

This approach adds some complexity to both the UI and the code, but since I suggested it, ArtOfCode has made it easier to create new post types. We have used this newfound flexibility to instead create a wiki post type:

  • Like articles, wiki posts are top-level posts that do not accept answers (but do accept comments).

  • Like articles and questions, wiki posts use tags.

  • Unlike with other post types, anybody with the Participate Everywhere privilege can edit the post directly, rather than having to go through suggested edits.

  • Unlike with other post types, wiki posts cannot be voted on. The intended use is to build a shared library of community-curated content. We feel that ranking such posts through voting doesn't help that goal, and removing voting also means that the person who happened to create the post doesn't (solely) get the benefits in "post score" used by the abilities system. We're open to changing this or offering both voting and non-voting options if communities feel voting is necessary, but we ask you to try it this way first and see how it goes.

  • Wiki posts are "owned" by the person who created them, in the sense that they show up on the creator's profile and the creator gets notifications tied to those posts. We considered making wiki posts owned by System, which would have also addressed the abilities issue, but that raised other concerns.

If your community would like to use Wiki posts, in either an existing category or a new one, please let us know via a support request on your community's meta and we will set it up for you. If you already have wiki-style categories like FAQs or resources and you want to convert those posts to wikis, we can do that for you -- but note that the people who created the existing posts will lose those posts' contributions to their post score and rep, so please make sure your community members know of that consequence.

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5 comments

This all makes sense, but anyone that edited such a post should get notification of any changes. That fits more with the post being owned by the community, as seems to be the intent. Olin Lathrop‭ 4 months ago

@OlinLathrop that's a good idea. We'd then want people to be able to opt out, so fixing a typo doesn't sign you up for notifications for years to come. We'll need to do some work on notifications and preferences before we can do that, or add "follow". Meanwhile, one person gets notified, which is better than the zero it would have been if we'd moved posts to be owned by System, which is one reason we didn't do that. Somebody should get notifications, ideally somebodies if they want. Monica Cellio‭ 4 months ago

I like the "follow" idea. That's a general mechanism that could be useful for other things too. When you edit a wiki post, maybe you get a popup that gives you the option to follow the post, with the default being "yes". That way you know it's happening, and it's easy to opt out. I don't think editing wikis will be so common that this popup will be annoying, but we'll have to see. I really dislike nanny-ware, but it seems the best tradeoff for this case. Olin Lathrop‭ 4 months ago

On second thought, not a popup, but a check box in the post editor. The default is checked, meaning you will be notified of changes unless you opt out. As long as it's not too easy to overlook, that would be better than a popup. Did I mention that I really hate nanny-ware? Olin Lathrop‭ 4 months ago

"Follow" has been on the wishlist for a while, and I like the idea of the option (on by default) when editing. Monica Cellio‭ 4 months ago

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