VisualEditor: Transclusion dialogs panes should include a link to the template's definition page (for further documentation), even if there is TemplateData to document it
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Description

When in the template editing dialog, a link going to the [template:name] page, would be really helpful for:

  • Reading detailed documentation
  • Easy access to (edit or examine) template source code

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Quiddity created this task.Jun 18 2013, 9:00 PM

Here is a page that has a table and a couple transcluded navigation-box templates at the bottom:
[[List of countries by incarceration rate]]

With VisualEditor (VE) the table is editable and WYSIWYG.

But with VE the existing text in the 2 navigation boxes can not be edited as far as I can tell. At least not within VE from that page. I am talking about after clicking the edit icons for the navigation boxes.

New parameters can be added to one of the templates, but not to the other. I don't see a way to edit the text for existing parameters in either navigation box.

So to be able to edit one of those templates in source mode or otherwise it would be helpful to have a direct link to the transcluded template page, and not to the many templates that make up such a navigation box at the core level.

See related bug 878.

(In reply to comment #1)

Here is a page that has a table and a couple transcluded navigation-box
templates at the bottom:
[[List of countries by incarceration rate]]

With VisualEditor (VE) the table is editable and WYSIWYG.

(Yay. :-))

But with VE the existing text in the 2 navigation boxes can not be edited as
far as I can tell. At least not within VE from that page. I am talking about
after clicking the edit icons for the navigation boxes.

Yes, VisualEditor is disabled for the Template namespace, and likely will be for a very long time (or forever). It's mostly used for very complicated transclusion wikicode which often can't be edited visually, because it doesn't form a complete document, only part of one.

New parameters can be added to one of the templates, but not to the other. I
don't see a way to edit the text for existing parameters in either navigation
box.

I'm a bit lost here - you mean parameters on [[List of countries by incarceration rate]]'s invocations of [[Template:Incarceration]] and [[Template:Law country lists]]? Those templates take no parameters, though it's possible to add new parameters to template invocations that don't currently have one - see my edit (actually two edits) with VisualEditor here: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate&diff=560637005&oldid=559696805

So to be able to edit one of those templates in source mode or otherwise it
would be helpful to have a direct link to the transcluded template page, and
not to the many templates that make up such a navigation box at the core
level.

You can definitely edit those templates in source mode still - do you mean, edit the invocation of those templates? You should be able to replicate anything you can do with a template invocation in source mode using VisualEditor at this point. On the other hand, trying to offer "edit the source of this template invocation" is extremely technically hard (as well as being a very complicated user interface issue for users).

See related bug 878.

I'm afraid I don't see how that bug, about the wikitext editor's additional listing of templates used on section editing, is related. Could you explain the link?

I also don't see how this relates to this bug, which is a minor enhancement request to add a link to the used template on the template's pane (which I think is fine, but we'll have to work out if we can do this in all situations - what do we do when the "template" you're using is in fact a parser function? - etc.).

I googled "mediawiki glossary" and found this:
*[[mw:Manual:Glossary]] - now bookmarked. :)

I am not using "parameter" correctly in the context of MediaWiki. I couldn't find "parser" listed in the glossary. :)

My point with both bugs is to get links to the template pages so that people can edit them in wikitext source mode there on the template page. Nothing more. I am not interested in being able to edit templates within VE at all.

In fact, With the exception of reference templates I think editing of templates within VE should be disabled since it is not WYSIWYG, and only adds a new layer of abstraction. I think the only thing that should be provided by VE is a link to the template page.

If an editor of Wikipedia like me with 26,000 edits does not understand the terms (parameter) used in VE template editing, then imagine the difficulty new editors have when they see those terms listed in VE template editing.

I would like VE mainly to do text editing and references. Nothing more for now. I think people would be ecstatic with that. Since there are so many reference templates, I think that alone may require an increase in the number of paid full-time developers assigned to VE.

I actually understand a lot about table editing and template editing, but only at the wikitext editing level. I can do it, but not always explain it, since my knowledge mostly comes from hacking at it over the years. :) I help edit this page:
*[[Help:Sorting]]

PamD added a comment.Jul 16 2013, 6:38 PM

This bug seems to have strayed/widened far from the original simple request (which I remember also making on the feedback page at some point many days ago): when one is adding a template ("transclusion"), a button to link to the template page would be very useful - to be able to read all the detailed description there. Look at [[Template:Genukiwry]] as an example - it couldn't all be coded up into TemplateData, but it could be made accessible by providing a simple link which would open in a new tab / new window / popup (ie anything which wouldn't spoil the ongoing editing operation). This facility would be an area where VE could provide a better editing experience than Edit Source, and surely wouldn't need a huge programming effort.

This was done two months ago for templates which lack documentation; I'm closing this as a "WORKSFORME" at this point, as if the user has to go read the template's page to understand what the documentation is telling them, the creator of the documentation has utterly failed.

This is being asked at ru.wp even for templates which have TemplateData info;
quoting the reasoning, the user wants to be able to access:
-full template documentation
-see more examples of which are difficult to describe in words
-read about other similar templates
-edit template data.

If this wasn't clear enough, the user asks for a link to the template /documentation/ page.
Here's another example of the need to access documentation page:
https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=67986#c1
If the user doesn't read the template's manual, he currently has no way to guess that there may be several required parameters and which ones he needs to fill for the template to work correctly.

MediaWiki doesn't enforce any particular page being a documentation page, it's a thing made up by users.

Exists templates with variable parameter names. If you create a tTD for a part of the parameters, then it just do not describe the other part of parameters and disappear link to the documentation. eg https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ш:Familytree

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptSep 5 2015, 10:33 AM

Change 257443 had a related patch set uploaded (by Jforrester):
MWTemplatePage: Show a link to the template even when there's a description

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/257443

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