Proposal talk:Include standard and frequently-used templates in the editing toolbar

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As I can see, there are three main ways of representing templates in the menu:

  1. Icons; this is language-neutral, but requires design work, and may at some point run the risk of becoming vague (what would be the icon for, say, 'infobox'?);
  2. Text: this is language-specific, but has the advantage that it details which template will be inserted;
  3. Drop-down / fill-in boxes: as an alternative to either text or icons, there is the possibility of creating text boxes for entering field information before the template is inserted. This has the advantage of potentially being easier to use for editors who are unfamiliar with how fields are filled in Wikitables (which is relatively straightforward, yes, but still requires some degree of learning). Like the currently existing 'external link' icon, among others, it also means that the inserted template can then be edited in the article body, but can be done first in the text boxes for editors less confident with the syntax.

Likewise, there are three ways of filling in fields where needed:

  1. Drop-down / fill-in boxes: as above;
  2. In the article body: in the same way as 'external links', 'internal links', and other standard functions already in the editing toolbar;
  3. Pop-up boxes: a sequence of pop-up boxes queries the user for the relevant fields. This will likely be unsuitable for templates that have a great many fields, especially if a large amount of them are generally left empty.

In the end, there will probably be a mix of at least the first two modes of representation, depending on which is more appropriate to the template in question. I do believe that including the third for citation templates would be advantageous, allowing less confident editors a step-by-step process. Using pop-up boxes does potentially run the risk of imposing a form of entry upon the user, which may be less popular especially in editors who prefer to work entirely in hand-typed code.

My personal suggestion would be a mix of the three modes of representation; icons and text for templates that have no fields or a large number of potentially empty fields, and fill-in and drop-down boxes within the sub-menu for those with a limited number of fields (such as citation templates). For large templates, there is also the option of having compulsory or frequently-used fields represented in the drop-down/fill-in menus, and then other fields appearing when the template is pasted in. Dating templates that require it could easily be done automatically, I'm sure. — Sasuke Sarutobi 22:25, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Impact?

Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:11, 3 September 2009 (UTC)