This idea is a larger project - I'm writing it as a result of a longer discussion with @Magioladitis about infoboxes, particularly when edited using VE.
Currently users can use VE to populate fields for infoboxes that are based on templates. The data is then stored on the target page and rendered according to the template. This is associated with multiple problems, e.g. many templates that declare similar fields differently, or templates that require fields without defining them in the documentation. Also, data sanitation is an issue - inputing bad dates in possible in many cases, just as an example.
Writing lots of templates that individually declare their fields has the problem that many fields with the same meaning are stored under different names, perhaps with different rendering schemes. Also, it's just plain redundant.
A lot of these problems could be fixed by attaching the infoboxes to Wikidata. That would make it easier to restrict the types of inputs allowed for certain fields. Also, templates could be made by finding an appropriate, already existent field in Wikidata, which would restrict the number of superfluous fields.
IMHO that could work like this:
- The user declares an infobox and selects an appropriate template, as is the case now. The template would then suggest the appropriate fields.
- If possible, VE would look up the appropriate data and prepopulate the fields for the user
- The user could edit those fields in VE if needed or fill in missing information.
- On submission, VE would sanitize the fields. The edits would propogate into Wikidata, allowing other applications access to the data.
Surely a larger project but the benefits could be quite large - food for thought.