On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 10:24 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki(a)gmail.com> wrote:
[Making markup less forbidding]
I'd put in a vote for applying the same thing to
infoboxes, too! And
see the whole <s>mess as it is now</s> wikitext.
Not just infoboxes, but tables in general.
I'm slowly learning how to use tables, but it is very hard to write
complex ones from scratch, even if you copy another one. I've had to
resort to using Excel to update the table and then insert the
wikimarkup around the data.
And when pressed for time with refs, just dumping a hastily formatted
external link and brief description and date in some ref tags is the
most I think people can cope with until they are organised enough to
have some wikicode stored in their userspace to copy and paste from
(or from various template documentations). The hope is always that
someone else will come along and improve any poorly formatted
references that you add.
The thing that all the more complex wiki-markup things have in common
is (until you get proficient in their use, and sometimes not even
then) is how time-consuming it is when compared to basic text editing.
In some ways this is due to the results being complex - doing fiddly
layout stuff will invariably take time because it is fiddly.
But there is no excuse for people coming along and wanting to improve
existing articles to be put off by an unreadable wall of text mixed up
with complex "ref" tags and "citation" template code. When correcting
a spelling mistake, or wanting to reword one sentence, requires
careful searching within the edit box, or several attempts to find the
sentence in question in the edit box, then something has gone very
wrong. It also means that reading the flow of an article is best done
in "preview", but that's not a bad thing, actually, as people should
be encouraged to use preview more. But I dread how many potentially
new editors have clicked "edit this page" and given up if faced with a
mess they don't understand head-or-tail of.