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Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Editing/VisualEditor Template Suggestion

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VisualEditor Template Suggestion

  • Problem:

Some situations need templates like maintenance's ones, inserting special characters hard to have on a keyboard (e.g. non latine script or phonetic symbols) or structured content like Wiktionary (i.e. pages organizing through templates in section titles).

Time going, Wikitext editor have been improved by users to add templatelists for editing like Hebrew Wikipedia. Missing those customized shortcuts to call templates (or special characters) is a great lack now in the Visual Editor and the new wikitext editor.

There is already a way to define most used special characters on VE/NWE. That system should exist for templates, and should be customizable/overrided by user. Those elements have to be easier to create than is it now, and easy to access.

  • Who would benefit:
    • As a wiktionarian, I see how import this could be for Wiktionary. It may benefit to everyone by suggesting templates for the rigid structure of the content (like synonyms section) and templates such as register or geographical tags (template used at the beginning of a definition, useful to categorize).
    • As a wikipedian, I sometimes need to tag some articles with inline templates such as Citation Needed. Have a shortcut to access that template without searching for it would be very would help.
    • On Wikivoyage, Listing templates have to be easy to access, because they are heavily used.
    • Please add your concern if you have a different perspective on this matter!
  • Proposed solution: A customable list of templates/chracters to insert, defined at different levels. This list should appears in the dialog and permit classification and documentation for the templates suggested.
    • project-wide (crucial for Wiktionary, Wikivoyage)
    • at the level of a namespace (e.g. Wikipedia: typographic templates for articles ; Wiktionary: insert synonyms subsection in main page)
    • at the level of a project (e.g. mathematical content in Wikipedia)
    • for a user only (my favorite templates).
  • More comments:
    • Actually, in my opinion, template suggestion is a necessity to make the visual editor and the new wikitext editor (NWE) useful for Wiktionary. It will be helpful for advanced users who like to be efficient when they edit, but also great for newcomers who can't guess the right name for a needed template and may be driven to add more data than planed by the suggestions.


This could be a nice feature for VE. As the VE is more heavily based on backend (many API queries) it may be possible to get a list of common templates relevant to the page based on statics (e.g dynamic suggestions, not a fixed list). Having said it, it is quite simple to add to VE menus button for adding very common templates - please see mw:VisualEditor/Gadgets#Real examples for gadgets/scripts that interact with VE (specifically VeDirectionMarkTool). eranroz (talk) 10:45, 17 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Very interesting gadgets, but hard to customized. As I can't read Hebrew and have a partial understanding of the code, I am totally incapable of duplicate this. This proposal is to have a dedicated space to set up the menus at several levels, in a way to make VE more adapted to local necessities. Not by hacking it but nor by make it interpret more code, but only by selecting a list of link to display during the edit. I hope I made the proposal clearer. By the way, thanks to Trizek for the enhancement and clarifications in the writing. This idea emerge from discussions we had at the Wikiconvention francophone, so it's great to have him here Noé (talk) 09:52, 21 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

This can also be done outside of the VE. For example, we could have a function bound to a keyboard shortcut that pops-up a little panel with a search field and a list of results, where the search is done on the entire template namespace based on partial matches to name and description tags, similar to how the command palette works in modern text editors. The inserted template could then have pre-defined jump points to required attributes, similar to how text snippets work - all in the basic editor. François Robere (talk) 17:30, 9 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Note complementary suggestion below for an infobox wizard. François Robere (talk) 18:04, 9 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]