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MediaWiki extensions manual
OOjs UI icon advanced.svg
Release status: stable
Implementation User interface, Page action
Description Makes the talk area work like a threaded process, including auto tagging and reply processing
Author(s) Jack D. Pond, Daniel Brice
Latest version 1.5.0 (2014-03-31)
MediaWiki 1.17+
Database changes No
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
Translate the DiscussionThreading extension if it is available at translatewiki.net
Check usage and version matrix.
Issues Open tasks · Report a bug

What can this extension do?

MediaWiki supports a discussion model called talk pages. These are regular wiki pages whose only distinction is that they are associated with a subject page. That is, these two types of pages are always linked to each other, a subject page and a talk page. Since talk pages are regular wiki pages, they suffer many usability shortcomings. This extension addresses some of these shortcomings by customizing talk pages including:

  • Minimal threading - Subject headings are used to identify what discussion a particular comment belongs to. These headings are not dated and cannot be sorted.
  • Users explicitly sign their comments - signatures are automatically added to the discussions.
  • Transparent response mechanism - users can reply to existing comments or create new ones using the [new][edit][reply]
  • Conversation tracking - the [reply] allows users to specify existing objects (sections) in the system, and effectively track comments one has left, responses received (regardless of the location), and so on.

For a more complete analysis, check Erik Möller's article, from which the above was liberally plagiarized.

When a new post is created, the extension automatically tags with user information and posting date. Much like a threaded discussion listserv, it allows response to individual posts and organizes. Still allows user standard user editing. Tags do not appear on article or other pages, limited to discussion and 're:' is automatically added to replies.

Once installed it can be enabled or disabled using the global variable below the inclusion (Enabled by default with the inclusion):

$wgSectionThreadingOn = True;  /* Enabled */

Deprecated Hooks

The following hooks were deprecated in MW 1.14. The current version of this extension will not use the deprecated hooks if you are running on MW 1.14 or greater, but will use them if you install the extension on a MW version before then.


  • Version 1.4 can now use MediaWiki:Editsection-brackets to set the brackets for links.
  • This extension does not work with MediaWiki development releases r70940 until r74697. A minor oversight in upgrade to core code Linker.php was corrected and fixed this.
  • Version 1.3 with automatic indent and highlight where to add text. Fixed to work before and after 1.11 now available. Thanks to Daniel Brice for a great idea and code on the automatic indent.
  • GREAT NEWS! The enhancement request Allow Developers to add links to edit sections via hooks has been made. This means no patches are required to install this extension if you are using REL1_11 or greater.


This was written as a formatting extension to Talk_Pages, rather than a replacement. The talk pages can still be used as a free-forum, but threads can be incorporated. It also offers the additional flexibility of allowing threads to be modified or removed, like any other wiki information set.

There is another extension that is focused more on the "newsgroup" type of approach, LQT or LiquidThreads. If you are looking for a highly structured environment with additional functionality (like sorting, email notification, . . .), you may want to consider LiquidThreads.


Using Wikis for project management and collaboration. Many of the older users were much more comfortable with the listserv approach. This is a transitional path for them.


Installation is straightforward for REL1_11 and greater because hooks were added in Linker.php that eliminated the need for patching. See Download and Installation for older MediaWiki versions.

For MW 1.31 (and maybe older versions) either get the files from the distributor

or take it from git:

cd extensions
git clone https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/mediawiki/extensions/DiscussionThreading.git
git checkout REL1_XXX


git checkout REL1_31
php ../maintenance/update.php

Then in LocalSettings.php:

# MUST probably COME AFTER Visual Editor !!
wfLoadExtension( 'DiscussionThreading' );


None are needed.

Changes to LocalSettings.php

For version prior to 1.29


For version 1.29 and later

wfLoadExtension( 'DiscussionThreading' );


Has been fairly comprehensively tested.

Release Notes

  • 1.4 - Can set brackets and technical upgrade
  • 1.3 - Automatic Indentation Using JavaScript
    • Automatically indents replies and highlights where to add text (thanks to Daniel Brice)
    • Fix so extension works before and after MW Ver 1.11 (patches still rqd before 1.11) installation instructions if updating and MW version is < 1.11.
  • 1.2 - siebrand updated to use current extension standards (THANKS!)
  • 1.1 - Updated to be forward compatible with release 1.11, bug fix
    • Rob Church made mods that simplifies, beautifies, etc. the hook which is included in the next release, needed to change extension to make consistent
    • Fixed bug where I forgot to declare $wgSectionThreadingOn as a global in one subroutine - caused a php error to display
    • Need to download both the patches and the extension - they must be updated as a set.
  • 1.0
    • greatly reduces patching - completely dependent on hooks, although needs 2 hooks in linker.php to execute
    • Added [new] link in section header that starts a new thread at the bottom
    • Defaults to add new comment when discussion page first entered
    • If previous patches applied, EditPage.php can be reverted to appropriate release version - patches no longer required
  • Between Version 0.0 and 0.1, changed to use the name 'DiscussionThreading' instead of the 'AddCommentSection'. The comment was vestigial and not fully descriptive.

See also