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Problem

I'm sometimes editing long documents. Until I'm pleased with my changes I do quite some preview and back actions. Everytime I go back I have to find the spot where I'was editing before. This is quite cumbersome.

For example open UsabilityIdeas and try to edit something in the middle of the document. First you have to find the text that you want to change or the spot where you want to comment on in the edit window. This is not easy. Now preview your changes and go back. Again, you'll have to scroll through loads of text until you find the right place again.

Another good example are pages with a lot of comments. See CoffeeBreak. If you want to edit an old comment you first have to find the corresponding raw text in the edit window.

Suggestion

A good solution to this problem is implemented in MediaWiki, which is used by e.g. Wikipedia. Check this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Main_Page

There, every level 1 heading has an additional edit link. If you click on this link you can edit only the text pertaining to this heading level. The remaining text does not show up in the edit window.

Same with comments and discussions: every comment could have an edit link which will open the edit window containing only the relevant raw text of that very comment.

If TWiki could implement this too, editing in the middle of long pages would be much easier. Additionally it would be possible to lock a page for writing but still allow commenting (and editing the comments). I don't know if this is currently possible.

A similar feature request has been submitted in DynamicFormsInView: There should also be a quick edit link for each WebForm.

Solutions

This feature is not implemented into the TWiki engine itself but provided by several Plugins (that have to be installed separately).

SectionalEditPlugin
a plugin that allows editing of page sections. The sections are defined by the use of headings.

MultiEditPlugin
This plugin allows to designate arbitrary portions of a page as being editable.

ThreadedDiscussionPlugin
Allows editing an item in a bulleted list, and to add a comment (a bullet item further indented) to that item, in the manner of threaded discussions.

CommentPlugin
Allows adding text at a specific location, but does not allow to edit this text.

Other users suggest to open the preview in a separate window. So you can continue editing while previewing at the same time.

But the latter two suggestions do not tackle the problem of having loads of text cluttering the edit window.

-- DanielKabs - 18 Apr 2005

Comments

Have you looked at the SectionalEditPlugin? (see also: SectionalEditPluginDev, it looks like there are some problems using the plugin with CairoRelease.) In my eyes the plugin is not user friendly enough since it requires the user to place tags in the text. I agree with you that a Wikipedia-style solution would be better: the user should be able to turn the "edit section"-option on/off in his user preferences. If off, nothing happens. If on, alle first/second level headings become editable separately. Perhaps the depth (i.e. whether section edit applies to level 1,2,3,4 ... headings) could also be configured in the user's preferences.

-- ChristianKohl - 10 Sep 2004

MichaelSparks implemented this really nicely for O'Wiki. Wonder what happened to the code. WillNorris, do you know?

-- CrawfordCurrie - 10 Sep 2004

naturally, i have copies of the o'wiki cvs (my publically available o'wiki is online at http://sane-asylum.com/wikis.php). i am interested in integrating parts from o'wiki after a PostCairoDevelopmentModel has gelled (i haven't written anything on that topic yet, but i will do. my internet connectivity, power, and even housing have been affected by Wikipedia:Hurricane_Charley and Wikipedia:Hurricane_Frances frown looks like Wikipedia:Hurricane_Ivan will probably miss us, though we've already started feeling the effects)

-- WillNorris - 13 Sep 2004

No update to this topic since Sep 2004, so I hope that Ivan did miss you. wink I'm setting up a TWiki technical (not IT) knowledge base at the moment, where there will be many long pages. This Wikipedia-style feature will be very welcome.

It will make it less of a hassle for my very non-IT coworkers and therefore will probably improve the probability of TWiki actually taking off. I can't help with coding, unfortunately (unless we switch to Matlab wink but I am available to discuss user-friendlyness.

-- JosMaccabiani - 11 Feb 2005

FYI... the problems with SectionalEditPlugin have been resolved and it is now operational under cairo and PatternSkin.

Also provided a number of new features to SectionalEditPlugin (please see SectionalEditPluginDev).

-- ThomasWeigert - 11 Feb 2005

Thanks for the update. I added <editsections/> in the first line of this page (as described in SectionalEditPlugin) but it did not change the appearance. I guess, the plugin is not installed here. Pity, I'd like to test this feature.

-- DanielKabs - 15 Apr 2005

I can highly recommend it. Just install it and first only enable it in the support web or something.

-- JosMaccabiani - 15 Apr 2005

Hi Jos!

You should appraise it then smile

I just checked InstalledPlugins but of course the SectionalEditPlugin is missing. Do you think we can convince PeterThoeny to install it in here?

-- DanielKabs - 15 Apr 2005

Well, I don't know. I'd like to hear what the cons could be (then there would probably have to be a discussion about SectionDepthInSectionalEditPluginOnTWikiDotOrg). This plugin helps a lot in "why can't we use MediaWiki like everyone else" discussions.

In the meantime I would suggest to just download the ZIP files for SectionalEditPlugin and EditContrib and extract them to your TWiki installation directory. You can always just delete the files later.

-- JosMaccabiani - 15 Apr 2005

By the way, I reclassified this topic from FeatureRequest to FeatureDone. I hope this is the correct way of using the form!

-- JosMaccabiani - 15 Apr 2005

Just an FYI... if you use SectionalEditPlugin, you do not need to put the tag into the topic. You can set a preference flag and then all pages are editable at section headings (down to a selectable depth)....

You may also want to look at MultiEditPlugin, which gives another approach to editing part of a page. That plugin allows to designate arbitrary portions of a page as being editable, not just sections or paragraphs (i.e., you can go down to the granularity of a table cell or a letter)....

-- ThomasWeigert - 16 Apr 2005

WebForm
TopicClassification FeatureDone
TopicSummary Editing in the middle of long pages can be quite cumbersome, especially when you check your changes and thus use the preview function quite often.
InterestedParties ChristianKohl
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RelatedTopics SectionalEditPlugin MultiEditPlugin
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Topic revision: r18 - 2005-04-18 - ThomasWeigert
 
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