Forum:Extension:Page Forms

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Forums: Yew Grove > Extension:Page Forms

Extension:Page Forms

On MediaWiki, there is an extension that allows users and administrators to create forms. These forms would be useful when creating and editing pages, as well as for querying data without the need for any programming. Basically, it use infobox style templates to populate data, and can also be used to edit the data within an existing page, as seen here[1], where an autogenerated form allows users to edit an opinion item.

With all that in mind, I propose that the Page Forms Extension be added to the wiki.

Echoes Of Fate (talk) 19:27, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Discussion[edit source]

Support - Per above. Echoes Of Fate (talk) 19:28, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Question - What specific templates do you think this would be useful for? ʞooɔ 19:46, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Anything that has a tendancy to be frequently updated or added to, or is currently rather complex to implement, such as money-making guide tables or drop tables (have you seen the size of the template for some of those guides) or templates we have that are frequently used that have a lot of optional parameters. Also useful for standardizing diffent types of pages (all the food articles, for example), and for querying data for calculators and informational/meta pages. Echoes Of Fate (talk) 21:38, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
I'm sort of worried about how this would interact with our (already pretty complex) infoboxes and other templates. Are there more complicated examples of PageForms with more optional stuff or (especially) integration with Scribunto? ʞooɔ 22:14, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
So it would absolutely not affect our existing infoboxes and templates, unless we wanted it to (aka, we set up a form to handle editing the template). For some more complex examples, here is a list[2] of some sites that use Page Forms, from simple things, to something as complex as defining/editng bestiary information! Echoes Of Fate (talk) 17:44, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
Oh, and as for integration with Scribunto, there are wikis that use both with no problem (such as the Fate/Grand Order Wiki), so there shouldn't be any issues there.

Comment - I'm not really sure what the advantage of this is over template data? Seems like for what you're mentioning it just duplicates the functionality of template data in VE but for the whole page? The standardisation thing is nice, although that only really works if everyone uses it? Also wondering how a form would cope with a page that has different than expected sections? I'm imaging about the same disaster as complex tables in VE. Seers headband 2 chathead.png Elessar2 (talk) 22:20, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Here[3] is a very simple diagram of how templates and PF interact - basically, think of this as like a structure that we can define and edit template data with, in addition to organizing it and making it so that anyone could make a template (with template data), not just users who know how to code. Also, I don't really understand what you mean by different than expected sections... There is a input type called "free text" that holds all non-template, non-section text in a page, does that answer your question? Echoes Of Fate (talk) 17:44, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
anyone could make a template (with template data) I assume you mean add one to a page, not create. Different then expected I mean if the form thing the page is
{{Infobox}}
Intro text
==Section 1==
==Section 2==
==Other stuff==
but the page is
{{Infobox}}
Intro text
==Other section==
==Section 2==
==Other stuff==
what happens? I do see it being useful to make it easy to create pages that match a standard format though. Seers headband 2 chathead.png Elessar2 (talk) 18:58, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
No, actually, I mean anyone could make a template (or a form, for that matter) - with Page Forms, there is a Special Page called Special:CreateTemplate (and Special:CreateForm, among others), that presents the user with a form to fill out detailing the template's name, fields, category, etc. Once they fill that out and click save, then the template(/form) is automagically created with the specified parameters. And as for your other question, I honestly don't know the answer to that. Based on how PF works, though, I don't think there would be any major problems. Sorry I couldn't give a better answer, I am trying to find somewhere to test that out now though. Echoes Of Fate (talk) 17:38, 16 August 2020 (UTC)
Update - apparently, according to this[4] (look under the preloading data section) it shouldn't matter, because when editing a page with a form, it will automatically set the form's contents to be the current page. If we didn't want that and wanted it like how it is in the form definition, all we would have to do is specify the fields as default values when we made the form. Echoes Of Fate (talk) 17:53, 16 August 2020 (UTC)
That's not really an answer to my question? From what I can tell from the documentation and the talk page, it just pushes any nonconforming bits to below the form parts, which is just too rigid for how our pages are formatted.
I played with the template creator and I don't actually see it being very useful either, it creates only basic templates, mostly {| type tables (of Label, Value columns) or sections, that doesn't seem useful, plus it seems to use a lot of inline styling instead of classes. It also creates the template docs as part of the template itself which is a bit annoying. It's more for making it easy too add semantic data templates to pages (which was its original purpose) than creating visual templates.
By the way the extension is on the smw sandbox wiki (in french though) and on this demo wiki (very slow, at least for me) if you want to play with it.
All in all I don't see it being useful for editing pages or creating templates. It could work for editing templates, but it's really no different from using template data (and will have the same issues with versioned infoboxes), and a lot of work to create the forms. It would however, make it easier for beginner/casual editors to initially create standard type pages (item, monster etc) but seems like overkill. Just my impression so far. For page creation we do have Extension:InputBox which can pre-populate a page Manual:Creating pages with preloaded text which might be the simpler option. There's also the various boilerplate/room extension for exactly this purpose. Seers headband 2 chathead.png Elessar2 (talk) 18:32, 16 August 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - I've seen this some years ago back when YGO were on Wikia. It seemed unnecessarily overcomplicated then. While it's apparently been renamed and generalised to some extent, I think the prioritisation of conformity to a predetermined structure makes things harder long term than easier. I suspect this will be one of the many things that one or two people will create and everyone else will ignore. I also have concerns about where this fits between the two editors we have now, VE and source - is the suggestion to drop one or both of these in favour of these forms? cqm talk 18:42, 16 August 2020 (UTC)

No, of course not! Forms would be used in conjunction with all our existing tools (and like you said, you wouldn't even have to use them if you didn't want to). Echoes Of Fate (talk) 19:20, 16 August 2020 (UTC)