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Data input: Forms for Item Entry
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User Story: As a user, I want to add items easily without pondering the rules of modeling every time.

Context: We assume that there are databases that have many uniform items.

Possible Solution:

People want to be able to spec forms for item creation.
They would like it like Cradle from Magnus Manske or similar.

Event Timeline

Addshore renamed this task from Forms for Item Entry to Forms for Item Entry for 3rd party wikibases.Sep 28 2018, 7:51 AM
Addshore updated the task description. (Show Details)
Jan_Dittrich renamed this task from Forms for Item Entry for 3rd party wikibases to Data input: Forms for Item Entry.Oct 1 2018, 10:46 AM
Jan_Dittrich updated the task description. (Show Details)

On this issue, the research with GLAM partners might be interesting, as many voiced problems with data modeling. See the Report, Chapter "There is no obvious way to get your data into Wikidata 'the right way'", page 11ff.

I would also like to point out which ATM is for editing existing items, but I could easily create a new blank item to edit.

MediaWiki-extensions-Page_Forms already works with SMW and Cargo. Could it be enhanced to support Wikibase, even if it doesn't support all features right away - rather than reinvent the wheel? Mentions of Cargo might be useful to identify code points to edit. Even if only part of the front end is usable, that might save time and effort; and improvements could aid semantic editors in general.

Forms are crucial in helping skilled editors / data modellers with domain knowledge crystalize that into a template of an item that can be easily filled-in by others - rather like regular MW templates.
Model items could be used to suggest claims/snaks (and perhaps a ShEx?), but this seems less important for smaller projects, as form creators probably selected/created properties to begin with.

Creation via curated forms could also help it feel like you're editing a page on a wiki, not building a data structure on an alien site filled with Qs. That this may be being done is an implementation detail. From this perspective, it'd be great if it could be done via client editing (a-la Wikidata Bridge), so users don't leave "their own" wiki - but if that's too complex, merely having a form somewhere will help.

Having got Cradle working with a shape on WBStack after a bit of fuss, I can say that yes, it's a solution (though it'd be nicer if integrated), but it may benefit from tweaks to ease reuse outside Wikidata. The requirement for wdt: in shapes feels problematic, as that prefix and several others are internal to Wikidata, and liable to lead to confusion if used elsewhere - especially in a federated context. Making it configurable and not reliant on Wikidata-isms such as EXTRA, but rather working with the simplest shapes permitted by the specification may help in the move towards further third-party use.

Another approach might see less use of shapes vs. examples, such as those on Wikidata:Cradle. However the format should be documented (at a glance, the "Help" link goes to that page, which doesn't explain how to create a form), and the number of examples provided in a distribution should be limited - in part, so Cradle loads quickly on lower-speed machines.

If a sample database is provided along with Cradle as part of a distribution or live demo, it should include a sample set of Cradle forms and/or shapes, else there's a risk it won't be used. Which would be a shame, as it goes a fair way towards filling an obvious gap in the Wikibase feature set.