EMWCon Spring 2017/Making our interfaces smarter

Making our interfaces smarter

Presenter     Yaron Koren
Event Enterprise MediaWiki Conference (EMWCon) Spring 2017
Date and time
Reference Slides

An overview of attempts, both past and potential future, to simplify the usage of various MediaWiki extensions, for both admins and users.

As software becomes more complex and feature-rich, it becomes important to prevent its features from overwhelming users, especially new users. In some cases it can be useful to simply eliminate a rarely-used feature altogether. In many other cases, "smarter" default behavior can be applied, so that a setting or customization that is required by nearly everyone (in that particular set of circumstances) can be implemented automatically, leaving more complex customization only for exceptional cases. I have tried to implement this in my own extensions whenever possible: Cargo, for instance, can be considered as an adoption of this approach for all the "semantic" extensions, most notably Semantic MediaWiki and Semantic Drilldown. And Page Forms has certainly tried to simplify its interface in various ways, such as the relatively new "display=table" feature, which lets forms be created without any wikitext. However, more work can be done. This talk will cover existing attempts to make smarter interfaces, as well as potential new ones, for these extensions and others, including:

  • Settng up forms without a form definition
  • Automatic type-based display of data, such as calendars for date fields and maps for coordinate fields
  • Automatic aggregation of pages that point to a certain page, like an automatic "Restaurants in this city" list

The audience is invited to bring along their own ideas as well.