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Forum:Article creation preloads

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What do you think about introducing article creation boxes like at The Vault, which would preload a base layout for a given article type? I think this would make creating new articles much more efficient, and new user friendly, as this way you just enter article title, and most of the necessary templates and categories will be preloaded onto the page, for you to fill out, instead of starting from scratch. Please test out the feature at The Vault and tell me whether you'd like it or not. Curse flame.png Ausir (talk) 19:14, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm of a mixed opinion. I like being able to bring in certain information and just allowing users to update parameters, such as template information. That said, I'm not a big fan of full-article design and formatting. -- Heaven's Agent 19:23, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, this would just preload a basic article layout with categories and templates to be filled out, which could then be modified any way you like, and this would not be mandatory in any way - just an aid for easier/quicker new article creation. Curse flame.png Ausir (talk) 19:26, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I understand. I've worked on several projects that use such a system. The reason I'm not fond of it is that I've seen two things happen quite regularly in these instances. First, the preload becomes viewed as an article template, and users don't elaborate on the predetermined values to include information that goes beyond the basic foundation. Second, users are unwilling or afraid to remove unnecessary elements from the preload, resulting in many articles with empty and useless sections. -- Heaven's Agent 19:41, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, from my experience on the Fallout wiki, this is not really the case - users still do tend to add information beyond the basics. As for users not removing unnecessary elements from the preload, I think it's still better than the alternative, which is users not including necessary elements in newly created articles, such as categories or templates, which then have to be added. Curse flame.png Ausir (talk) 20:07, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, as I said I'm of mixed opinion; I don't really have a preference either way. -- Heaven's Agent 20:18, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
As I said, it amounts to whether people not leaving out unnecessary elements or people not adding necessary elements is a lesser evil. Anyway, we can always do a trial run and then delete it if you guys don't like the results. Curse flame.png Ausir (talk) 20:30, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm for having a boilerplate template. The main obstacle is coming to an agreement on the layout/format. --Icon class jediknight.png Alianin T C 22:16, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

First version[edit source]

I created the first two sample preloads for missions at Project:Create article. Please tell me what you think. Curse flame.png Ausir (talk) 00:43, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

If we're going to use preloads, we should put some real effort into their design. Add instructions for people filling them out. Additionally, is it possible to link to an example article or template documentation from the article creation interface? I tried using it this evening, and even I had to refer back to articles I had created previously; with just the preload to work from, I was completely lost. -- Heaven's Agent 06:04, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Sure, but I think it's OK to start with a basic version and then refine it over time. Curse flame.png Ausir (talk) 01:05, 30 December 2011 (UTC)