Add a "create a page" interface to MediaWiki core
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Description

The current system for adding pages to a MediaWiki wiki is completely unintuitive. When trying to explain it to people, they get completely confused about why there isn't simply a "create a page" link in the sidebar (or wherever) that can be clicked to start a new page. When I have to explain that you must go through Special:Search or type the title directly into the URL bar or create a link first, people look at me like I'm insane. And in some ways, this model is insane.

MediaWiki needs a functionality similar to that of WordPress where pages can be created by mortals easily. I'm told this might require some reworking of the EditPage.php code, as not having a title already when trying to create a page is currently problematic. That said, I believe this is a very serious user interface issue that should be resolved and it is certainly not impossible to resolve this issue properly.

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  • Bug 29375 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

I recall Siebrand one working on something like this. At least he showed it to me once during a Hackathon. If I recall correctly it was reverted from trunk a few years ago for a minor problem.

(In reply to comment #2)

I recall Siebrand one working on something like this. At least he showed it to
me once during a Hackathon. If I recall correctly it was reverted from trunk a
few years ago for a minor problem.

Probably makes sense to dig this out and figure out what went wrong. MediaWiki really ought to have this feature.

-easy: no clear task defined yet.

Qgil added a comment.Mar 7 2013, 4:54 PM

I can see plenty of Wikimedia and other MediaWiki users happy with this
feature.

It would be good to know whether there is a buy in from the Core maintainers or
whether they think this should be handled by an extension. A rough idea of the
estimated work would be useful too. It sounds like a potential candidate for
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Mentorship_programs/Possible_projects

PS: found thanks to
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Bug_management/Triage/20130307

A create a page interface would be really good. Though a proper core quality one may not be all to simple when you consider some other factors.

The editor interface has lots of special cases that vary by title.

  • Warnings and messages that only show up in specific namespaces. Many customized by wikis for page creation warnings.
  • Special editors available for .js/.css ending pages, namespaces like Module:, etc...

So it's tricky to have the editor interface alongside the title input when things can vary so much by title.

swalling wrote:

(In reply to comment #5)

I can see plenty of Wikimedia and other MediaWiki users happy with this
feature.

It would be good to know whether there is a buy in from the Core maintainers
or
whether they think this should be handled by an extension. A rough idea of
the
estimated work would be useful too. It sounds like a potential candidate for
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Mentorship_programs/Possible_projects

PS: found thanks to
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Bug_management/Triage/20130307

Rough estimate of work involved: very high.

This is a pretty complicated workflow issue with a lot of stakeholders in the community. It's really not a general MediaWiki issue with a one size fits all solution that can be deployed to the cluster.

For reference, the product team has been thinking about this area for some time now: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Article_creation_workflow

(In reply to comment #8)

Rough estimate of work involved: very high.

Well, sure, it's possible to make any project overly complicated. Sometimes there's a distinct advantage to doing so.

In this case, however, I don't think it's a particularly involved project.

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Article_creation_workflow

Most of this isn't really relevant here. Again, yes, it's certainly possible to set up user tests and queues and solicit user feedback via large smiley faces and do all kinds of craziness, but that isn't what's being requested here. If the Wikimedia Foundation wants to pursue all of that, that's its prerogative, of course.

For MediaWiki core, it isn't unreasonable to assume that there be a Special:CreatePage interface that accepts a title input and a textarea input. There are a few complicating details, as Daniel mentioned in comment 6, but even those are mostly trivially solvable. You can either ask for a title before getting started or you can simply provide a warning-free textarea (and only warn post-attempted save).

I envision something like Special:CreatePage with a title and textarea, a second "Review your new page" page (with suggestions like adding wikilinks to build the web, and a final submission page.

Honestly, there's little that could be done to make the page creation process worse than it already is. Nearly anything would be an improvement.

Qgil added a comment.Mar 9 2013, 5:36 AM

This is an enhancement request for MediaWiki, not for Wikipedia.

The request is quite simple: a basic UI to create new articles. Yes, many things can go wrong but just as many as typing the title of a new article in the URL field of the browser or as link in an existing page, as people do today.

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Create_Page seemed to have this exact aim. There is code developed by Jeroen and paid by the WMF that allegedly runs on 1.18 and higher. It looks like a solution or at least a starting point.

As we can see from the URL pointed by Steven, the WMF is not interested in developing a(nother) quick fix but, if anything, in having a whole study on the article creation process. The MediaWiki maintainers haven't touched this request in two years and thay keep having other priorities now.

For all these reasons it seems obvious that this is a WONTFIX as a MediaWiki core feature. If a MediaWiki project needs this feature then CratePage is the first place to look at.

I don't have an opinion on the closure, but

(In reply to comment #10)

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Create_Page seemed to have this
exact
aim. There is code developed by Jeroen and paid by the WMF that allegedly
runs
on 1.18 and higher. It looks like a solution or at least a starting point.

from the description of that extension I would never ever have guessed that it does something similar to what asked on this bug (it's presented as an InputBox alternative): as you seem to know more than most people about that extension, could you please improve the page?
Thanks.

This extension is indeed an InputBox [0] alternative. It's both simpler and less powerful. Perhaps more importantly, InputBox is already in use by WMF, so if you want such a solution, that one seems like the most logical pick.

[0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:InputBox

(In reply to comment #10)

This is an enhancement request for MediaWiki, not for Wikipedia.

Right.

As we can see from the URL pointed by Steven, the WMF is not interested in
developing a(nother) quick fix but, if anything, in having a whole study on
the article creation process. The MediaWiki maintainers haven't touched this
request in two years and thay keep having other priorities now.

MediaWiki maintainers having other priorities is not a valid reason to mark a bug as resolved/wontfix. I've stated this in many places, many times, but I'll do it again here: wontfix means "we're never, ever going to fix this bug, to the point of not even accepting a patch for it, so stop asking." That clearly doesn't apply here.

For all these reasons it seems obvious that this is a WONTFIX as a MediaWiki
core feature. If a MediaWiki project needs this feature then CratePage is the
first place to look at.

No.

(In reply to comment #9)

I envision something like Special:CreatePage with a title and textarea, a
second "Review your new page" page (with suggestions like adding wikilinks to
build the web, and a final submission page.

Honestly, there's little that could be done to make the page creation process
worse than it already is. Nearly anything would be an improvement.

I'm beginning to wonder if VisualEditor would cover this bug. Though it still wouldn't be a core interface... hrm.

swalling wrote:

(In reply to comment #14)

I'm beginning to wonder if VisualEditor would cover this bug. Though it still
wouldn't be a core interface... hrm.

I don't think it does. VE is a big step forward in removing markup as a barrier, but if you start a page... it's still just a blank page to write in. Plus, the flows in to page creation are still the same: search for it, type in the URL directly, or click a red link.

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