Wikipedia:Flow

Namespaces
Subject namespaces Talk namespaces
0 (Main/Article) Talk 1
2 User User talk 3
4 Wikipedia Wikipedia talk 5
6 File File talk 7
8 MediaWiki MediaWiki talk 9
10 Template Template talk 11
12 Help Help talk 13
14 Category Category talk 15
100 Portal Portal talk 101
118 Draft Draft talk 119
710 TimedText TimedText talk 711
828 Module Module talk 829
Former namespaces
108 Book Book talk 109
442 Course Course talk 443
444 Institution Institution talk 445
446 Education Program Education Program talk 447
2300 Gadget Gadget talk 2301
2302 Gadget definition Gadget definition talk 2303
2600 Topic 2601
Virtual namespaces
-1 Special
-2 Media
Current list (API call)

Flow, also known as Structured Discussions, was a project of the Global Collaboration team at the Wikimedia Foundation to replace Wiki Talk pages with a discussion system which would more closely resemble common internet discussion forums. Development began in 2013, it was installed at English Wikipedia in 2014, then uninstalled in 2016 due to widespread criticism of the design and functionality. In 2019, a global community consultation resulted in a change in strategy. All new development and new deployments of Flow ended globally, to instead build reply links and other improvements for existing Talk pages.

The name comes from Workflow and Flow (psychology).

Flow was intended to provide certain features that are present on some other popular websites, but were thought not to be easy to implement in wikitext.

For example, Flow automatically:

  • signs posts,
  • threads replies, and
  • permits per-topic notifications.

These features were subsequently replicated for Talk pages with the Discussion Tools project.

However Flow also results in the loss of certain features within wikitext, such as:

  • the ability to use the "history" tab to view all comments since one looked at the talk page last, and
  • the ability to easily portray article content on talk pages.
  • direct support for wikitext, instead providing partial and unstable wikitext support by translation to Flow's native content format using Parsoid.

The main goals for the Flow project were:

  • to make the wiki discussion system more accessible for new users.
  • to make the wiki discussion system more efficient for experienced users.
  • to encourage meaningful conversations that support collaboration.