The iGEM website has a new integrated forum and comment system. It is a custom system for iGEM, modelled on the phpBB forum software. Comments can be added to any page on the iGEM websites and will be directly linked into the forum system. Forums and topics can be added directly to the forums, similar to how typical forum systems work.

Keep in mind that the new forum/comment system is still in the experimental stage. You may see some changes in the coming weeks as we are still working on topics of moderation, organization, functions, etc. Also, as the system was custom-programmed it may still have some bugs -- let us know!

As always, if you have any suggestions, please send them our way.


  1. Domain: Each web site (e.g., has its own domain. In addition, several special domains are defined (e.g. Users, Parts). The complete list of Domains is available at or at Forums on our other web sites.
  2. Forum: Forums are defined by iGEM HQ. A special forum called "Page Comments" holds the footer comments for pages in the parent domain. Each forum is organized inside a Domain.
  3. Topic: A named collection of comments. Topics are organized inside a Forum.
  4. Comment or Post: An individual text contribution by a user and listed in order in a Topic.
  5. Footer-Comments: On-page comments at the bottom of the page. If no name is specified, the name of the page is used.
  6. Item Table : The list of Domains, of Forums in a Domain, of Topics in a Forum, and Comments in a Topic can be seen on table-formatted pages by navigating from the Domain List page or by clicking on a link in the mousetracks.
  7. Mouse Tracks: When Domains, Forums, or Topics are displayed, the path to that item is displayed in the format:
    • Domain List > Domain Name > Forum Name > Topic Name
    • The Domain List link will return the user to the top level listing of the domains. The Domain, Forum, or Topic Names will take the user to a table formatted listing of that item. If the Topic Name is followed by the word Page, that link will take the user to the page that holds that topic.

Navigating the Forums

Normally, a user will find Forums and Topics by navigating from the Domain List page.


Types of comment links and displays:

  1. Comment_List Page - This shows all of the comments for a topic on a table-formatted page. If there are too many comments for one page, they are divided into pages that may be selected by the user.
  2. Subtle Comments Link - A gear icon and the word COMMENTS (0) followed by the number of comments on this topic. Clicking on this link takes the user to the Comment_List page for this topic
  3. On-Page Comments - Normally used by Footer-Comments. If there are no comments, the gear icon and COMMENTS (0) is displayed. If there are some comments, an new Wiki section, "User Comments" is displayed along with a few of the most recent comments and a link to the corresponding Comment_List page.

Adding new comments

You must be logged in to add comments.

If there are no comments on a topic or in the Cooter_Comments, a gear icon and COMMENTS (0) will be displayed. Clicking on this link will either display a New Comment box below the gear icon and link or will display the Comments_List page with a New Comments box open for you to add your comment.

Comments are intended to be textual not graphic. If you have a detailed comment with graphics, try using the Discussion pages of the Wiki instead. You can add a text comment and link to the discussion page if you wish.

Comments may include some wiki mark-up:

  • Bold - enclose text in three single quotes bold
  • Wiki Links - a link to a page on this wiki site can be generated with square brackets Main Page
  • HTTP Links - if your text looks like a link (e.g. it will be converted into a link.
    • Use this style for cross-wiki links

Note that both your Full Name and your user name will be listed with your comments. If your full name is not correct, go to your "My account" page (link at the top of every page) and enter the correct full name.

Controlling Footer-Comments

Each wiki has some default behavior for adding Footer-Comments to a page. In addition, the authors of a page can control whether a footer comment is added to that individual page by adding tags anywhere on the page.

  • < comments /> - place a footer comment at the bottom of the page
  • < nocomments /> - do not place a footer-comment
  • < subtlecomments /> - Place a footer comment link at the bottom of the page but always direct to the OCmments Page. Never dispaly any comments on this page,

Normally footer comments will be placed in an automaically generated topic named after the page and placed in a forum titled "Page Comments" This can be changed by specifying a topic name explicitly. See below.

Comment Links

The author of a page may add comment links anywhere on the page using either wiki tags or HTML/javascript:

  • Wiki tags:
    • < forum_subtle > topic name < /forum_subtle > Place the gear icon and COMMENTS (0) at this point on the page, or
    • < forum > topic name < /forum >
    • < forum_onpage > topic name < /forum_onpage > If comments exist, place a User Comments section and a few recent comments here. If no comments exist, place the gear icon and COMMENTS (0) here, but when comments are added, place the User Comments section here.
  • If you are specifying HTML without wiki markup, use these javascript routines instead:
    • < script >forum_subtle('topic name')< /script >
    • < script >forum_onpage('topic name')< /script >
    • When topic names are specified, they should be in the same format as the mouse tracks but without the first item ( "Domain List" ) and the first pointy bracket.