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Return CTRL-Space hint text to Wikidata Query Tool
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Description

The wikidata Query Tool used to have text explaining the CTRL-Space capability to translate natural language into property and item numbers for your query. This is a huge help to new users and many are unaware of this. Please restore this text to provide this guidance.

Event Timeline

matej_suchanek renamed this task from Return CTRL-Space text to Wikidata Query Tool to Return CTRL-Space hint text to Wikidata Query Tool.Oct 19 2018, 7:26 AM

The text still appears any time you press : as a “toast” in the lower right screen corner:

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 14.04.15.png (720×1 px, 28 KB)

It only stops appearing if you actively close the toast by clicking its “close” button before it vanishes on its own after a few seconds.

@Lucas_Werkmeister_WMDE it should probably appear before the : toast when there is an entirely blank screen -- otherwise completely new contributors to the tool get no hint on "where to start". The other option could be some type of guided tutorial popup when the screen is blank.

I don’t think the Ctrl+Space hint is the one that totally new users need, to be honest. When the query input is blank, you see the following placeholder:

(Input a SPARQL query or choose a query example)

If the user isn’t familiar with SPARQL, then telling them about the Ctrl+Space feature won’t be very useful, I imagine – they should instead start out with the examples, and get started trying to modify those, ideally using the query helper.

(That said, I now realize that if they edit the query “by hand”, and look up item IDs manually, they may never press the : key… perhaps we can also show the toast when an entity ID is pasted from the clipboard?)

I guess for me the assumption that someone who answers the first part of the prompt "Input a SPARQL query" -- still might not know where to start, even if they are loosely familiar with SPARQL. Having a hint in the first screen that "ctrl+space can give you hints on where to start" would be super useful. I have found, in teaching sparql, its super useful to start from nothing -- so either having a blank filled out wrapper like SELECT ?item WHERE {?item } or having the ctrl+space hint which does that is the optimal thing for reminding someone who hasn't touched it in a while. Teaching from examples, in my experience, has only been good for demonstrating the power of Queries -- not for teaching folks how to actually use queries. And this interface is, in its very nature, assuming a bit of technical literacy -- so showing the hint early wouldn't hurt. It would be very different if we found that it confused brand new users -- but then maybe we need some type of guided tour hinting that folks should try out the examples menu.

I think I forgot that we have more completions than just for item and property labels, sorry… we have several other suggestions as well, including SELECT * WHERE { } for a blank query, so I guess that could be useful after all.

I think I forgot that we have more completions than just for item and property labels, sorry… we have several other suggestions as well, including SELECT * WHERE { } for a blank query, so I guess that could be useful after all.

Yeah -- that's been my read in workshops -- ctrl space is the first thing I teach when I open the page, and I repeat all along the way -- having the hint there is valuable to users at all levels of experience because it prompts them to try searching for the common places to start.