In short: I would like to gather around a table tool writers to design a file format to represent candidate Wikibase edits. QuickStatements has been the de facto standard for this for some time, but there are a few problems with it:
- due to its tabular nature, it is not so easy to extend it with new features. For instance there is interest in defining various strategies to merge added statements with existing ones, or setting ranks of statements.
- again due to its tabular nature it is not so easy to parse or validate
- the format is defined by the maintainers of the QuickStatements tool, whereas such a format could be used as a common language by many different tools. So it deserves coordination between the various stakeholders, a precise specification and tooling around it.
This format would be based on a richer encoding than CSV/TSV (such as JSON), and so it would not be designed to be easily produced by users with spreadsheet software or a text editor, but rather meant to be a communication medium between tools. Down the line, perhaps even Wikibase itself could accept this format to ingest edits?
Context: in the OpenRefine project we are planning to add support for editing structured metadata on Wikimedia Commons. As part of that we are considering representing the upload of a collection of media files and their structured metadata as one big archive (which contains both the media files and the metadata). This big archive could then be sent to a Toolforge tool which would perform the upload to Commons (just like QuickStatements but with support for uploading new media files and setting the corresponding wikitext for each file as well).