Hopefully this won't be too confusing, because I am not to familiar with the terminology. I'll try to explain what I'm looking for:

I have a local install of Media Wiki, and there is a type of page that our users will be adding frequently - it is like a journal page for a certain day, where they can log their activities for that day.

I want each Journal page to be in a certain format, for example:

Page Title is today's date

Who: UsersName
When: today's date
What: What activity the user did

I also want it to include some [[Category:]] tags as well.

What I would like to have is some sort of skeleton or template page that the user can go to and clone a copy and just "fill in the blanks". That way they don't have to worry about missing a section or a category tag, etc.

I researched templates on the mediawiki site, but those are more like sub pages that you can include in multiple pages (as I understand).

I researched Stub pages on the wikipedia site, but those look more like placeholders for a page that you want someone to build. Okay, I could build a stub page for every day of the year, but the problem is that entries will only need to be filled in on probably 50 random days of a year, so there are 315 wasted stub pages.

I would have to think there is an extension or something that can do what I'm looking for, but I can't find it, or I don't know the correct terms to search for it.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about or have any ideas?

Thanks so much!


Templates with arguments could still work. You can also put a fair amount of whitespace when creating them in the page.

The Template:Journal would be specified like this:

Who: {{{who}}}
When: {{{when}}}
What: {{{3}}}

Could be called as

some other text

and show up like this:

Who: myname

When: some_date

What: some other text

You could put as much extra formatting in the template you want, and change it later as well, which would then update all journals that use that Template.

  • Yeah - I definitely have researched templates. I just think there should be a way to have a "skeleton" page that you can go to, and then rename the title and fill in the blanks. That would seem the easiest, especially for non-technical people. – BrianH Nov 14 '09 at 15:18
  • Ah, okay. So it's more the user-interface for editing you care about? – qedi Nov 14 '09 at 17:28

One solution that I have found (not the best, in my opinion), is to use the preview button to generate the skeleton/template page.

For example, I create a template for my Journal, named Template:Journal

The contents would be something like:




That will be my "skeleton" or outline page that everyone will use.

Then, the user will follow these steps to use this skeleton/template:

  1. Create a new page
  2. Enter the name of my template in the body: {{Journal}}
  3. Then, without entering anything else, click the "Show Preview" button.
  4. The user will then copy the text that is shown in the preview (The skeleton markup, which will look like my codeblock above without the pre and nowiki tags)
  5. The user will then remove the template call in the body (remove {{Journal}}) and paste in the skeleton markup they just copied.
  6. The user can now "fill in the blanks"

Obviously, this is not a straight forward process, but it does work. I would still be very interested if there is an easier way to do this...



The SemanticForms extension of SemanticMediaWiki will do this; it's a bit of a fiddle to set up, but once you get the hang of it it's great. We use it for all of our issue-tracking, and it's flexibility is really useful — it's easy to make small simple forms for non-technical users, and extensive, complicated ones for people who know what's going on.

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