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Help:Forums

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Pikilogo.png This is one of Pikmin Fanon's help pages, and it is meant to aide users by increasing their ability to positively contribute to the wiki. Additional information added to help pages such as this one is always welcome. Pikilogo.png

The forums are wiki pages that contain automatically organized indexes of other pages, based on the DPLforum extension.

In the default installation, the main page of the forum contains an index of all sub-forums. Each sub-forum is a page that contains an index of the discussion topics that belong to that particular forum. Discussion topics are pages whose category places them in one of the sub-forums.

The main forum page is named "Forum:Index". There are three sub-forums, named "Forum:Onion Complex", for discussion about the Pikmin series and the wiki; "Forum:The Hocotate Chatter", which contains two sub-sub-forums (a suggestions forum and a watercooler for discussion not related to the wiki); and "Forum:Programmers Unite", for information relating to the creation of fanon games.

How do I use the forums?[edit]

The existing discussion topics are listed in the sub-forums. Each such forum has an input box that allows you to type a title for a new discussion topic and press a button to create it. The discussion topic is an ordinary wiki page, that is preloaded with a template. This template ensures that the page has the correct category for indexing in the corresponding forum. It's important not to delete this template when you write your message.

Once the page is saved, it is an ordinary page in the "Topic:" namespace and has become a new thread listed on the sub-forum's index page. Other contributors can then edit and add to the page in the same way as to other wiki pages. Pages with new messages are moved to the top of the list.

To add your own comments to a discussion, click "edit" as with any other wiki page, use one or more colons (:) to indent your comments beneath the comment you are replying to, and sign your comment by typing three or four tildes (~~~ or ~~~~) or clicking the "signature" button above the edit box.

You can view all recent changes for the forum by clicking the link above the forum list.

How do I add new sub-forums?[edit]

Small communities may not need sub-forums other than "Help Desk" and "Watercooler", but as your community grows you may want to add new ones to address particular topics.

Step 1[edit]

A new forum can be added by editing Forum:Index.

To add a forum, copy the following code from this page to Forum:Index, after the previous </forum> tag if there are any.

<forum>
namespace=Forum
category=Name of forum
title=Forum:Name of forum
shownamespace=false
addlasteditor=true
</forum>

The only part of this code that needs editing is the "Name of forum" after "category" and "title". This can be set as anything you choose, and will show in the index and in the navigation links at the top of each page.

Step 2[edit]

Once this is saved, there will be a link to the new forum page. Go to this page, edit it, and copy in this code:

<div class="forumheader">'''Forums:''' [[Forum:Index|Index]] > {{PAGENAME}}</div><br />

[{{fullurl:Special:Recentchangeslinked/Category:{{PAGENAME}}}} View recent changes for this forum]

----
<table width="100%"><tr><td><!-- You could create (or transclude) a forum header here --></td>
<td width="50%">
<createbox>
break=no
prefix=Forum:
preload=Template:Forumheader/{{PAGENAME}}
buttonlabel=Add new topic
</createbox>
</td>
</tr></table>
<table class="forumlist" width="100%"><tr><th class="forum_title" align="left">Topic</th>
<th class="forum_edited" align="left">Last Edit</th>
<th class="forum_editor" align="left">Last Author</th></tr>
<forum>
namespace=Forum
category={{PAGENAME}}
shownamespace=false
addlasteditor=true
</forum></table>

[[Category:Forums]]

Nothing usually needs changing in this text. However, there is occasionally an issue with {{PAGENAME}} in the preload= section (highlighted in red). If you find the template not preloading, change this to the name of the template specifically. So if the Forum name is Forum:Gossip, create the preload template as Template:Forumheader/Gossip and change the preload line to preload=Template:Forumheader/Gossip.

Step 3[edit]

The last thing to do is to set up a template to be loaded when someone adds a page to the new forum. This should be at "Template:Forumheader/Name of forum", changing the name to the same forum name you used in the index. This should contain the following:

{{Forumheader|Name of forum}}

 <!-- Please put your content under this paragraph.  Be sure to sign your edits with four tildes ~~~~ -->

Again, "Name of forum" needs to be changed to the new forum's name. Once this is saved, the forum is complete.

Step 4[edit]

You can setup pagination links, to split the forum index into multiple pages.

See details at the extension page http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:DPLforum#Multipage_support_with_.23forumlink

Can I customize the forums further?[edit]

Appearance and list[edit]

Many aspects of this can be changed. The layout, the template style, the items shown in the index, the new messages icon .... You could, for example, have an image appear automatically at the top of each page added, or have new messages show in red text.

Sub-sub-forums[edit]

It's also possible to use the same code as above to make sub-sub-forums such as "Forum:Help/technical". For this, the first code should be put into the parent forum page instead of the index.

The input box forms can have an instructional template displayed above the edit box, using the "editintro" parameter. See Help:Inputbox for details.

Sticky threads[edit]

The DPL forums are just a list of pages in a specific category. If you want a stickied thread, just set up your own second category, called something like "stickied threads" and add it to that category too, and just make another DPLforum call at the top of your forum index page to list pages that are in forum "ForumName" AND "Stickied threads". A good idea would be to build into your forum header template something where you could just add |sticky=1 and let the template take care of it.