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Add Talk pages for TWiki


TalkContrib adds a wikipedia like Discuss Button to the PatternSkin edit&attach buttons, and to the topic action bar of the Classic, default and TWiki:Plugins.MoveveableTypeSkin.

When the user initially clicks on the 'Discuss topic' button, it will create a new topic by appending Talk to the original topic. From then on, you can switch between the topic and its Discussion topic using that button.

This Contrib was inspired by a discussion I had with some Sun engineers on the dtrace mailing list about using Wikis to discuss external documentation, TWiki:Codev.TalkPagesForTWiki and its Discussion topic TWiki:Codev.TalkPagesForTWikiTalk and by TWiki:Codev.TalkTalk and its Discussion topic TWiki:Codev.TalkTalkTalk - both of which currently use a 4.1.2 VIEW_TEMPLATE version of this Contrib.

Installation and Configuration Instructions

'Talk' topics in created in the same web as the topic, with 'Talk' Suffix


To enable Talk Topics, add the talk skin to the SKIN path in TWikiPreferences or the WebPreferences topic of whatever web you want to enable Talk topics in (eg, if you're using PatternSkin):

      * Set <nop>SKIN = talk,pattern
OR by setting the COVER setting to talk OR by putting the contents of templates/view.talk.tmpl into a topic, and setting VIEW_TEMPLATE to reference that topic (ok, rather advanced usage)

You can over-ride the suffix (defaults to Talk) that is appended to a topic to create its Talk topic by setting TALKSUFFIX in TWikiPreferences

      * Set <nop>TALKSUFFIX = Talk

You can over-ride the Topic template that is used when creating a new Talk topic by setting TALKTOPICTEMPLATE in TWikiPreferences

      * Set <nop>TALKTOPICTEMPLATE = TWiki.MyTalkTemplate
You can over-ride the Topic formtemplate that is used when creating a new Talk topic by setting TALKTOPICFORMTEMPLATE in TWikiPreferences
      * Set <nop>TALKTOPICFORMTEMPLATE = TWiki.MyTalkFormTemplate

I have tested TalkContrib using TWiki 4.2.0 with the default skin (used as a building block for other skins), ClassicSkin, PatternSkin and TWiki:Plugins.MoveveableTypeSkin.


There are 2 known limitations at this time
  1. any topic containing the TALKSUFFIX will be considered a Talk topic - this is due to a bug in VarIF string matching
  2. you cannot create Talk topics for topics in webs you do not have change permission. This will not be solved in the Talk Suffix mode.

Discussion and future ideas

There are many approaches to storing Talk discussions:

  1. append a 'Talk' suffix to the name of the topic, and link to that (as seen on TWiki.org)
    • Talk topics are normal topics that conform to a naming scheme, thus are listed in WebChanges seperatly from their parent topics
  2. convert the web and topic name to some reversible but otherwise unlikely combination, and store in a seperate Talk web
  3. use Subwebs with common topic names
  4. use a formfield in the topic to store the Talk
  5. use a META:PREF in the topic to store the Talk

This TWikiApplication implements the first using either a SKIN or COVER setting or using VIEW_TEMPLATE. The other modes will be examined over time.

Package installation

You do not need to install anything in the browser to use this extension. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the extension on the server where TWiki is running.

Like many other TWiki extensions, this module is shipped with a fully automatic installer script written using the BuildContrib.

  • If you have TWiki 4.2 or later, you can install from the configure interface (Go to Plugins->Find More Extensions)
  • If you have any problems, then you can still install manually from the command-line:
    1. Download one of the .zip or .tgz archives
    2. Unpack the archive in the root directory of your TWiki installation.
    3. Run the installer script ( perl <module>_installer )
    4. Run configure and enable the module, if it is a plugin.
    5. Repeat for any missing dependencies.
  • If you are still having problems, then instead of running the installer script:
    1. Make sure that the file permissions allow the webserver user to access all files.
    2. Check in any installed files that have existing ,v files in your existing install (take care not to lock the files when you check in)
    3. Manually edit LocalSite.cfg to set any configuration variables.

Contrib Info

Contrib Author: TWiki:Main.SvenDowideit - SvenDowideit@DistributedINFORMATION.com DistributedINFORMATION - a WikiRing.com partner
Copyright ©: TWiki:Main.SvenDowideit - SvenDowideit@DistributedINFORMATION.com
License: GPL (Gnu General Public License)
Contrib Version: 16632 (10 Apr 2008)
Change History:  
Dependencies: None
Contrib Home: http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/TalkContrib
Feedback: http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/TalkContribDev
Appraisal: http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/TalkContribAppraisal

Related Topics: TWikiContribs, DeveloperDocumentationCategory, AdminDocumentationCategory, TWikiPreferences

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
JPEGjpg TalkSuffix.jpg r1 manage 11.2 K 2008-04-10 - 04:46 TWikiAdminUser Saved by install script
PNGpng wikiringlogo20x20.png r1 manage 1.3 K 2008-04-10 - 04:46 TWikiAdminUser Saved by install script
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Topic revision: r2 - 2015-06-17 - TWikiAdminUser
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