- Please have a look at the attachment. I've played around a bit with a screenshot and made up a new draft for the "old" upload form (don't pay attention to the partly German text).
- Preliminary notes:
- This draft is intended for all default MediaWiki installations. It's not targeted at Wikimedia projects only.
- Well, we're already waiting sooooo ;-) long for changes of the basic upload form. There're several different and predominantly complex bugs still open (multiple, dynamic uploads, more than one customizable form as options, etc.). And so far all attempts to move forward obviously felt asleep (no harm meant, I know that all this should be deliberate). Yes, there's (amongst others) Brion's post at http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/commons-l/2008-May/003862.html and Commons' folks already did a good job with local adaption, but the upload process there got sort of complicated now (more clicks), and, more important, the needed hacks (JS required) are not straightaway transferable to other installations …
- Anyway, I guess we still have to wait a while for the "big overhaul" (a really new upload form won't be part of the final 1.14 release, or?). So for the time being I came to the conclusion that it could be neat (and pretty easy afaik) to simply tweak the layout of the present form, so that at least some of the main complaints (forgotten filename adaptions, forgotten licenses, confusing "all in one" interface) are handled until the "real change" will be released somewhen in the (near or far) future.
- What has to be changed (according to the draft)?
- You have to change the order of some of the existing texts, e.g. slightly move up the fundamental notes about "maximum file size" and "permitted file types".
- You have to add numbered subheadings (CSS and textual tweaks needed), which clarify the different steps one has to go through (even if all steps are still on only one page). Note that such numbers are part of many usability guidelines; their aim is to give users an orientation "at first glance" and a really quick overview (especially for the ones who tend to "never ever read any instructions, manuals or warnings" *g*).
- Additionally there are (3 or) 4 new localizable/editable messages needed for optional descriptive texts below the subheadings. I've marked them on the draft with red asterisks. – Note: 3 new messages in case "licensing" should not be part of the default upload form (this is the case atm), 4 in case it will be part of it. All of these messages should be optional (leave blank if desired). Generally they should allow wikitext, html and inclusion of images (e.g. to "grey out" the explanatory texts, to add small icons or such). – These new messages can probably be re-used as parts of the future overhaul, so it's not needless work to add them now.
- The stuff that is currently in [[MediaWiki:Uploadtext]], which is displayed at the top of the form and which is, if adapted, usually rather detailed and pretty long, can be visibly reduced therefore (explanatory hints exactly at the position where they are needed, not all cluttered at the top).
So no additional JS or other hacks are needed for this intermediate solution. All adaptions that have been developed on different projects already, e.g. preload templates for the summary box, will work in the same way as they do now – only the general text/layout of the form will be improved.
Last note: If the above ideas get implemented, please also have a look at bug 11416 before. The size (height) of the summary box could actually be increased a bit, perhaps plus 30%.
Many thanks in advance for consideration :-)