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Add checkboxes to param list sidebar in VE TemplateDialog
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Description

Background

As a part of making working with templates in Visual Editor easier, we will change the way in which parameters can be discovered, added and removed from a template invocation.

Requirements

For the sidebar:

  • Implement behind a feature flag with:
  • Sidebar remains permanently open on desktop, "Show/hide" button and footer is removed.
  • Maintain "Show/hide" button on mobile. Default state on mobile: Sidebar collapsed.
  • Allow for multi-part templates (more than one template or wikitext) to be displayed/stacked in the sidebar and main dialog.
  • The sidebar will display all parameters defined for the template (in TemplateData), not just those that have been added in the template dialog.
  • Include any undocumented parameters present in the wikitext, in the sidebar.
  • The icon to the left of the parameter names is removed and replaced with an OOUI checkbox. These are used to add and remove parameters to the invocation of the template, i.e. shown or removed from the main input section on the right as follows:
    • Required parameters should have a disabled, selected checkbox and cannot be removed from the template.
    • Added parameters should have a selected checkbox
    • Un-added parameters should have an un-selected checkbox
    • When an undocumented parameter is unchecked, its outline element should disappear. This different than the other parameters, which will stay in the outline view when unchecked.
  • Clickable area for the add/remove function is limited to the checkbox itself and does not include the name of the parameter. Clicking on the name of the parameters allows the user to jump to this parameter in the main input section on the right, and the cursor is inserted into that parameter's field (current behavior).
  • Current behavior should not be broken: The two scrollable windows should stay in sync. If the parameter is clicked then it should jump on the right side, but if on the right a new field is in focus the sidebar should also scroll to match and highlight the current parameter.
  • When a parameter is not yet added, then clicking on the parameter name adds it. Clicking on the name again though does not remove it.
  • When a parameter is removed, keep the parameter "in focus"/selected if it's a named parameter and will remain, otherwise select the next parameter after the removed one (do not jump to top).
  • If template has TemplateData and no parameters, show 'No parameters' text instead of checkboxes.
  • Truncate parameter names that are too long for the sidebar (maintain current behaviour).
  • If deprecated parameters already have a value, show in the sidebar. If they have no value, hide in sidebar so that they cannot be added. (See also T130676: Visual editor Template tool should not show deprecated parameter(s), unless already has value)

For the main input area of the dialog:

Order:

  • Order param list in sidebar and main input area based on:
  • If existing, use TemplateData order (ParamOrder or order of parameters as listed in TemplateData)
  • If TemplateData is missing, auto-order based on the order of parameters in the template definition/source code
  • Add undocumented parameters to the end of the param list.

Mock and Specs

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Event Timeline

Lena_WMDE updated the task description. (Show Details)

@Esanders @matmarex We're discussing how to implement this feature and are stuck on a question that I hope you can answer. Would it be acceptable if we modify (or fork) one of the content-linked models, in this case ve.dm.MWTransclusionModel, to include parts which have no wikitext representation? Specifically, we would like to include all of the potential parameters listed in a template's TemplateData to simplify some of the synchronization between the panes of a BookletLayout (probably forking this class as well).

In other words, for a newly created template transclusion like Infobox book we would create all of the parameters like name, author, ..., native_external_host, etc. but these would be invisible until actually added to the template invocation. The implementation of methods like MWTransclusionModel.getPlainObject and .getWikitext would check for the "actually used" flag, and skip over any invisible parts.

Does this break the content model on a conceptual level? Would it be better if we introduce an abstraction above the content, to hold actual and potential content, and then synchronize from this model to actual content at the end of the workflow?

Sure, I think that's a good idea!

In fact we've recently done something similar (but more hacky and less thought out) for parameters marked as "suggested" in TemplateData, which are always added to the template, and which will now disappear if not filled out (T101075#6780815). It sounds like your approach would allow handling that better (we're definitely not attached to the current implementation of it).

Please make sure though that you don't lose the ability to add parameters to the template transclusion after it's created, for parameters not listed in TemplateData.

Lena_WMDE renamed this task from DRAFT: Add checkboxes to param list sidebar in VE TemplateDialog to Add checkboxes to param list sidebar in VE TemplateDialog.Feb 16 2021, 11:25 AM