Flow is a project of the Collaboration team at the Wikimedia Foundation to build a modern discussion and collaboration system for all Wikimedia projects. Flow will eventually replace the current wiki talk page system and will provide features that are present on most modern websites, but are difficult or impossible with wikitext. For example, Flow automatically signs posts, threads replies, and permits per-topic notifications.
The main goals for the Flow project are:
- 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
Flow is currently deployed on several talk pages on Mediawiki.org and on various language Wikipedias. In 2015, the focus of the project is to work with communities on several different language Wikipedias and other Wikimedia projects, using Flow on pages and use cases where it can be helpful. Our focus is on building features that will help active editors on those wikis to work together, and reach out to new contributors. The project continues to grow and change over time, based on the experience and feedback of the people who use it.
New users on Wikimedia projects find it difficult to participate in on-wiki discussions, in spite of a growing and mostly automated body of messages directed at them. We also know that free-form wikitext talk pages present a significant barrier to new users and even some experienced users.
In addition, experienced users often employ a suite of workarounds to help them manage and keep track of the many ongoing conversations that they're involved in, using tools that aren't necessarily well-suited to the task. For example, watchlists and diffs are page-level tools, making it hard to distinguish between the conversations that users are interested in and the ones that they're not. Experienced users can waste a lot of time checking diffs on an active talk page, especially if the most active conversation isn't the one that they're interested in following.
We believe that user expectations for a modern discussion system are increasingly diverging from the reality of talk pages today, and that all of our users deserve discussion and collaboration software that meets their needs.
|Current Flow features (as of summer 2015)||In development|