Extension:CommentStreams

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CommentStreams
Release status: stable
Implementation User interface, API , Tag
Description Provides a commenting system for wikis.
Author(s)
Latest version 7.0 (202110-18)
Compatibility policy Snapshots releases along with MediaWiki. Master is not backward compatible.
MediaWiki 1.31-1.35 (REL1_35 branch, version 6.3), 1.35-1.37 (REL1_37 branch, version 7.0), and master (master branch, version 8.0-dev)
PHP 7.2+
Database changes Yes
Tables cs_comments
cs_replies
cs_votes
cs_watchlist
License MIT License
Download
CommentStreams
  • $wgCommentStreamsModeratorFastDelete
  • $wgCommentStreamsEnableVoting
  • $wgCommentStreamsNewestStreamsOnTop
  • $wgCommentStreamsInitiallyCollapsedNamespaces
  • $wgCommentStreamsEnableSearch
  • $wgCommentStreamsShowLabels
  • $wgCommentStreamsNamespaceIndex
  • $wgCommentStreamsExportCommentsAutomatically
  • ‎<comment-streams />
  • ‎<no-comment-streams />
  • ‎<comment-streams-initially-collapsed />

  • cs-comment
Translate the CommentStreams extension if it is available at translatewiki.net

Check usage and version matrix.

Issues Open tasks · Report a bug

CommentStreams is a commenting system for wikis. Users can post comments below the content on a wiki page. The comments are displayed with the user's username, linked to their user page if it exists, the creation and last modification dates of the comment, and an optional user avatar. Comments can be edited and deleted only by the comment author. Comments are added in streams which include a title and a head comment that can be replied to by other comments.

CommentStreams does not depend upon any other extensions, but it provides several additional features if some other extensions are installed:

  • If Echo is installed, web and email notifications are sent to users who have enabled them when comments are added on pages the user is watching or replies are posted to comments authored by the user.
  • If Semantic MediaWiki is installed, optional, user-configurable properties to set an avatar and display name for a user as well as special properties that can be queried on each comment to provide the comment title, a link to the page to which the comment refers, and a link to the head comment if the comment is a reply.

CommentStreams stores comments on pages in the CommentStreams namespace. These pages are given a randomly-generated string of characters as the name. Users cannot edit or delete these pages directly. A database table stores the comment title and IDs of the page to which the comment refers and the page containing the head comment if the comment is a reply.

Installation

  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called CommentStreams in your extensions/ folder.
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php:
    wfLoadExtension( 'CommentStreams' );
    
  • Run the update script which will automatically create the necessary database tables that this extension needs.
  • Configure as required.
  • Because CommentStreams uses DISPLAYTITLE, you will need to set the following variables:
$wgAllowDisplayTitle = true;
$wgRestrictDisplayTitle = false;
  • Yes Done – Navigate to Special:Version on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.
If you are enabling CommentStreams with Semantic MediaWiki, you must load CommentStreams before enabling Semantic MediaWiki.

Upgrading to Version 7.0 or later

Two major changes were added in Version 7.0 that require special care upon upgrading:

  • change to the database schema
  • change to the way comment block ids are stored

The change to the database schema requires that you first upgrade to version 6.3 if you are running an earlier version and then upgrade to version 7.0.

With respect to comment block ids, in versions prior to 7.0 the cst_id column of the cs_comment_data table stored the MD5 hash of the comment block name prepended by 'csc_' with the exception of the default comment block, which is designated by 'cs-comments' in the cst_id column. This made it extremely difficult to maintain comment blocks. If a comment block was renamed in wikitext, there was not an easy way to identify which rows needed to get adjusted.

Version 7.0 replaces the value in the cst_id column with null for the default comment block and with the name of the comment block (unhashed) for named comment blocks. It no longer uses the comment block name as an id for the element in the DOM. Version 7.0 includes three maintenance scripts that can be used to update the database and to move comments between comment blocks:

  • extensions/CommentStreams/maintenance/NullDefaultCommentBlock.php is run on upgrade by maintenance/update.php to null out the cst_id column for rows that previously were set to 'cs-comments' (the default comment block). You should not need to run this script directly, as it is run by maintenance/update.php.
  • extensions/CommentStreams/maintenance/listCommentBlocks.php lists all of the comment blocks either across the entire wiki or, with the 'pages' option, sorted by the page they appear on.
  • extensions/CommentStreams/maintenance/migrateCommentBlock.php takes the unhashed name of a comment block and either replaces cst_id with the unhashed name for all rows that currently hold 'csc_' followed by the hashed name - or - takes both a from name and a to name to rename any comment block.
  • extensions/CommentStreams/maintenance/migrateDefaultCommentBlock.php takes an (unhashed) comment block name and migrates all comments in the default comment block to the new comment block name.

To upgrade from previous versions of CommentStreams to version 7.0 or later,

  • If the version is older than 6.3, upgrade to version 6.3 and run maintenance/update.php.
  • Upgrade to version 7.0 and run maintenance/update.php.
  • If your wiki contains named comment blocks, use the extensions/CommentStreams/maintenance/migrateCommentBlocks.php script to rename them in the database. You can use the extensions/CommentStreams/maintenance/listCommentBlocks.php script to see which comment blocks exist in the database currently.

Configuration

Configuration flag Default value Description
$wgCommentStreamsNamespaceIndex 844 The index of the CommentStreams namespace. This defines the constants NS_COMMENTSTREAMS and NS_COMMENTSTREAMS_TALK and assigns the value NS_COMMENTSTREAMS + 1 to NS_COMMENTSTREAMS_TALK. NS_COMMENTSTREAMS is configured to be a content namespace, and it is configured to be searchable. If Semantic MediaWiki is installed, it is also configured to allow semantic properties. See Extension_default_namespaces#840–849:_CommentStreams.
$wgCommentStreamsAllowedNamespaces null An array of indices of subject (i.e. non-talk) namespaces that will display comments. If the value is null, the value of $wgContentNamespaces will be used. To disallow comments on all non-talk namespaces, set this to -1. If comments are enabled on a subject namespace, they will automatically be enabled on the corresponding talk namespace as well.
$wgCommentStreamsNewestStreamsOnTop true If this is true, comments streams will be displayed with the newest comment stream on top. If it is false, the newest comment stream will be on the bottom. Comment streams are sorted chronologically by creation date of the head comment.
$wgCommentStreamsInitiallyCollapsedNamespaces [] An array of indices of namespaces in which the comment streams will be displayed collapsed (i.e. only the head comment showing) when the page is initially rendered if comment streams are enabled in that namespace. For other namespaces with comment streams enabled, the comment streams will be displayed expanded when the page is initially rendered. After the page is rendered, comment streams can be toggled between being expanded and collapsed by clicking on the EXPAND/COLLAPSE toggle button in the top right of the comment stream.
$wgCommentStreamsUserRealNamePropertyName null If Semantic MediaWiki is installed, this variable is given a Text value, and a property named with that value exists on a user's user page, then the value of that property will be used as the display name for that user on any comments authored by them. If this variable is not set or the property does not have a value, then if DISPLAYTITLE has been used to set the displaytitle page property of the user page, the displaytitle value will be used, Otherwise, if the user's real name is set in the database, the value from the database will be used. Otherwise, the user's username will be used.
$wgCommentStreamsUserAvatarPropertyName null If Semantic MediaWiki is installed and SocialProfile is not installed, this variable is given a Page or Text value, and a property named with that value exists on a user's user page, then if the value points to a File: page for an image (e.g. File:MyAvatar.png), this image will be used as an avatar for the user beside their name on any comment authored by them. If these conditions are not met, no avatar will be displayed unless the SocialProfile extension is installed. By default, the avatar will be sized to 48 pixels in height, but this can be overridden by changing the width and height properties of .cs-avatar in CSS.
$wgCommentStreamsShowLabels true If true, show labels beside the Add and Reply buttons. If false, do not display the labels.
$wgCommentStreamsModeratorFastDelete false If true, allows users with csdelete right to delete a comment and all of its replies in one action rather than having to individually delete all of the replies first.
$wgCommentStreamsEnableVoting false If true, allows logged in users to vote thumbs up, thumbs down, or neither on top level comments.
$wgCommentStreamsEnableSearch null If true, disables comments from appearing in search results and titles from appearing in search auto-complete.

Semantic MediaWiki support

If Semantic MediaWiki is installed, CommentStreams defines the following properties on each comment page, which can be used to query for comments:

Property name Type Description
Comment on Page The page that this comment refers to.
Reply to Page The page containing the head comment that this comment is a reply to if this comment is a reply.
Comment title of Text The comment title of this comment if this comment is a head comment.
Comment up votes Number The number of up votes on the comment (if $wgCommentStreamsEnableVoting is true).
Comment down votes Number The number of down votes on the comment (if $wgCommentStreamsEnableVoting is true).
Comment vote diff Number The difference between the number of up votes and the number of down votes (if $wgCommentStreamsEnableVoting is true).

CommentStreams namespace

You can use the MediaWiki search box to search for comments. In the search result page, the page that the comment appears on, rather than the comment page in the CommentStreams namespace, appears in the search results. While it is possible to visit comment pages directly in the CommentStreams namespace, for example if they are listed in Special:RecentChanges, this is not encouraged. Editing, deleting, and moving comment pages by visiting them in the CommentStreams namespace is disabled. Instead editing and deleting comments is done from the content page on which the comment appears.

Enabling and disabling comments on a page

CommentStreams also offers two tag functions, ‎<comment-streams /> and ‎<no-comment-streams />.

‎<comment-streams /> enables CommentStreams on a page even if it is in a namespace in which comments are disabled. Optionally, an id for the comment block may be provided: <comment-streams id="some-unique-id"/>.

‎<no-comment-streams /> disables CommentStreams on a page even if it is in a namespace in which comments are enabled.

If both of these tag functions exist on a page, the last one parsed will win.

Multiple comment blocks on a page

If you want to place more than one comment block on a page, you can use <comment-streams id="some-unique-id"/> with a different unique id in each tag. If a comment block with an id (also referred to as a named comment block) appears on the page, the default comment block (the comment block with no id) will not appear unless ‎<comment-streams /> appears in the wikitext of the page.

Placement of comments

The default comment block (the comment block with no id) will be placed at the bottom of the page below the categories. Named comment blocks (those with a unique id) will appear on the page where they appear in the wikitext.

Initially collapsed CommentStreams

CommentStreams also offers a tag function, ‎<comment-streams-initially-collapsed />, which makes comments appear initially in a collapsed state (only the comment header with the comment title, author, dates, and buttons showing) on a page. This tag function has no effect if comments are disabled on the page.

Comment right

If no groups are assigned the cs-comment right, then all users who have the edit right are allowed to post and reply to comments. The cs-comment right can be assigned, for example, to the group commenters by setting

$wgGroupPermissions['commenters']['cs-comment'] = true;

If you use the LockDown extension, you might want to use this to prevent access to the Special page that shows all comments:

$wgSpecialPageLockdown['CommentStreamsAllComments'] = [ 'cs-comment' ];

Anonymous comments

It is possible to enable anonymous comments by setting

$wgGroupPermissions['*']['cs-comment'] = true;

Anonymous commenters are warned that their IP address will be recorded if they post or reply to a comment and that they will not be able to edit or delete their comments after they are submitted. While these comments show anonymous as the author on the page where the comment appears, the author's IP address does appear in the comment log and comment page history.

Echo support

For a user to receive Echo notifications by web or email, the Echo extension must be installed and echo notifications must be enabled for that user. To enable CommentStreams Echo notifications by default for all users on a wiki, the following configuration should be used:

$wgDefaultUserOptions["echo-subscriptions-email-commentstreams-notification-category"] = true; // enable email notifications
$wgDefaultUserOptions["echo-subscriptions-web-commentstreams-notification-category"] = true; // enable web notifications

Users may edit their notification settings by visiting the page Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo.

Notifications will be sent to a user when another user posts a new comment or a reply on a page the first user is watching. Notifications will also be sent to a user when another user posts a reply to a comment the first user is watching. A user can watch a comment by clicking on the star on the comments title bar. Clicking on the star again will remove the comment from the user's comment watchlist. When a users posts a new comment, it will automatically be added to the user's comment watchlist.

If it is taking a long time to create or reply to a comment with Echo enabled, you can have the Echo event creations done on the job queue (see Extension:Echo ), by setting the following:

$wgEchoUseJobQueue = true;

Comment moderation

A group (csmoderators) and two new rights (cs-moderator-edit and cs-moderator-delete) exist to support comment moderation. By default, members of csmoderators have the csdelete right (they may delete any comment) but they do not have the cs-moderator-edit right (they may not edit any comment). Those rights may be assigned to other groups or changed. In addition, the $wgCommentStreamsModeratorFastDelete configuration variable makes it easy for moderators to quickly delete entire comment threads. For example:

$wgGroupPermissions['csmoderator']['cs-moderator-edit'] = true;
$wgCommentStreamsModeratorFastDelete = true;

As an aid in comment moderation, the special page Special:AllComments lists all comments in reverse chronological order of when they were last edited.

Avatar

If the Social Profile extension is installed, avatars set for users will be displayed beside the comments and replies they author. If the Social Profile extension is not installed but the Semantic MediaWiki extension is installed, the $wgCommentStreamsUserAvatarPropertyName configuration variable can be used to specify avatars.

Examples

Version history

Version 8.0-dev (master branch)
  • Automatic export of comments/replies when the page they are associated with is exported
  • Drop support for MediaWiki 1.37 and earlier
Version 7.0 (REL1_37 branch)
  • Remove $wgCommentStreamsEnableTalk option
    • The treatment of talk namespaces as a special case has always been confusing. The $wgCommentStreamsEnableTalk option is unnecessary, since talk namespaces can be explicitly included in $wgCommentStreamsAllowedNamespaces, and it only adds confusion to the logic and the configuration documentation.
  • Drop support for MediaWiki 1.34 and earlier
  • Convert to OOUI
  • Stop MD5 hashing comment block ids so they can be referred to by name (see notes above on upgrade from previous versions)
  • Convert to abstract database schema and split comments and replies in database
  • Add initial support for Special:Export/Special:Import of comments and replies (you must explicitly list the comment pages by name; support for automatically exporting comments when the page they are commenting on is exported will come in version 8.0 with MediaWiki 1.38)
Version 6.3 (REL1_35 and REL1_36 branches)
  • Fix bug in MW 1.36+ where Special:AllComments was failing since last editor was defined to be User rather than a UserIdentity in Comment
  • Fixed new CI error where commentTitle was undefined for replies in CommentStreams.js
Version 6.2
  • Fix bug that prevented comments being displayed when $wgCommentStreamsAllowedNamespaces was non-null
  • Fix bug that resulted in a Type Error when trying to add a comment with title "0" with Echo enabled
  • Remove injection of unused services
  • Remove invisible limit report and parser output div from parsed comments
Version 6.1
  • Fix next/previous buttons on Special:AllComments
Version 6.0
  • Code refactoring
  • Add $wgCommentStreamsEnableSearch flag to enable/disable search
Version 5.0
  • Added support for multiple comments blocks in a page using <comment-streams id="unique_id"/>
Version 4.7
  • Fixed bug with voting buttons
  • Restored support for MediaWiki 1.31 again
Version 4.6
  • Restored support for MediaWiki 1.31
  • Fixed issue with access to mw.user in CommentStreams.js
  • Fixed button hover behavior
Version 4.5
Version 4.4
  • Modified ‎<comment-streams /> to insert comment at location of tag; previous behavior of locating comment at the bottom of the page can be retained with <comment-streams location="footer"/>
Version 4.3.1
  • Sanitized comment wikitext before passing back to the browser to avoid future XSS vulnerability.
Version 4.3
  • Added ‎<comment-streams />
Version 4.2
  • Fixed Special:AllComments for comments beginning with a '+'
  • Added optional button label and $wgCommentStreamsShowLabels
  • changed DB_SLAVE to DB_REPLICA, requiring MediaWiki 1.30+
Version 4.1
  • Removed foreign key from comment data table as it was causing issues deleting pages with comments on them for some database versions.

Also named table columns correctly on table creation rather than create them with the old names then rename them. If you are updating from an earlier version, you will need to run the maintenance update script.

Version 4.0
  • Renamed the database columns to avoid conflicts with other table column names.

This also fixes issue for wikis that use database table prefixes. If you are updating from an earlier version, you will need to run the maintenance update script.

Version 3.10
  • Added optional capability to allow anonymous comments
  • Suppress comments on redirect pages
  • Bug fix: fatal error for comments on deleted pages on Special:AllComments
  • Bug fix: SQL for update script didn't include support for table prefixes
Version 3.9.1
  • Bug fix: syntax errors in JavaScript that affected IE
Version 3.9
  • Bug fixes: deletion of comments with replies and missing notifications on watched comments
Version 3.8
  • Get avatar from SocialProfile extension if it is installed
  • Reworked user interface
  • Added comment watchlist and reworked notifications
Version 3.7
  • Added Special:AllComments
  • Added commentstreams type to Special:Log and adding logging of comment page creations, deletions and edits to Special:Log
  • Suppressed comment page creations, deletions, and edits from Special:RecentChanges
  • Fixed missing subtitle on comment pages
Version 3.6
  • Added permalinks
  • Fixed bug prevention comment deletion
  • Added Semantic MediaWiki properties for vote counts
  • Added error messages for disallowed actions on comment pages
Version 3.5
  • added comment voting
    • requires a database update if voting is enabled
  • fixed several bugs:
    • handling of the delete button in certain pathological cases
    • print out an error message if the user has been logged out (either a timeout or logout from a different window)
Version 3.4
  • Added comment moderation
Version 3.3
  • Fixed database update bug
Version 3.2
  • Fixed reply bug
Version 3.1
  • Fixed Semantic MediaWiki dependency bug
Version 3.0
  • Echo supported added
    • Echo extension must be installed to enable Echo notifications; if Echo is not installed, CommentStreams continues to function without notifications
    • if Echo is installed, minimum required MediaWiki version is 1.27
    • if Echo is not installed, minimum required MediaWiki version is 1.25
  • use OOjs UI for dialogs
Version 2.1
  • added delete "are you sure?" dialog box
  • use jquery.ui.dialog for dialogs
  • set text field focus when editing and creating comments
Version 2.0
  • refactored
  • simplified configuration
  • localized strings
  • made comments and comment titles searchable
  • added comment modification date
  • added optional user avatar
  • made EditOwn unnecessary
  • fixed JavaScript deprecation warning
  • fixed SQL file path bug
  • added ‎<comment-streams-initially-collapsed />
  • protected comment pages from being directly edited or deleted
Version 1.0
  • initial version


Known issues

  • If you are enabling CommentStreams with Semantic MediaWiki, you must load CommentStreams before enabling Semantic MediaWiki.
  • If CommentStreams is used on a page which uses Extension:HeaderTabs , and a comment is posted which transcludes another page using HeaderTabs, the JavaScript on the page breaks.
    • Workaround: Don't transclude pages with HeaderTabs onto pages with HeaderTabs.
  • CommentStreams is not compatible with Extension:MobileFrontend .
  • CommentStreams is not compatible with Extension:Comments