Provide a tool to efficiently analyze the usage of a template
Problem: Like last year, again I want to raise your attention to the fact that working with often used templates and making changes to them is a mess. Why? There is no tool or handy way to get to grips how the template has actually been used and which options one has to consider (or which pages where the template is used need to be edited) when rewriting a template. The tool https://tools.wmflabs.org/templatetiger/ written by User:Kolossos has been helpful for many years, but instead of providing live information it is based on dumps (most half a year old, some two years or even more), and there is no interface (you need to know how to manipulate the URL to filter the information). As someone wrote in last year's survey: While I have big respect to Kolossos' instrument, it's just not enough.
Who would benefit: Primarily users who curate and amend templates, secondarily authors who use templates in their articles
Proposed solution: Don't know if it is more likely to get Kolossos' tool improved or to get a whole new tool. Solutions that I'd like to see anyway:
For the timeliness of data: It'd be nice and a good start if there were at least a monthly update / a monthly dump that reliably gets fed into the tool. Having live data, of course, would be even more helpful.
Improving UX and usability: Please provide some interface to facilitate for example searching for a certain text in a certain template parameter, make the table sortable by mouseclick. The dream solution is an interface like the one we know from petscan.
This is a useful tool. Also ping en:User:Bgwhite who might be able to help with updating Enwiki dump to a recent version. Looking at Tools in /data/project/templatetiger/public_html .. there is no entry for enwiki in einspielen.sql .. is this due to disk space constraints on Tools? -- GreenC (talk) 19:58, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
If I want to update the data I have the problem that I lose the database connection after short time. I don't know why. We have also a problem with some complex templates in German Wikipedia, which kill the checkwiki script. For my motivation as a user from Germany it would be nice to find a solution for this problem. --Kolossos (talk) 09:42, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
@Kolossos: "I lose the database connection after short time". That seems something for phabricator, but if I remember correctly, usually that is to avoid that tools claim too much resources compared to other tools. I believe this is relevant. —TheDJ (talk • contribs) 15:11, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
Related: Probably yes. Similar: Not too much. → «« Man77 »»[de] 16:42, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
@Man77: Can you clarify how your request is different than the information provided by templateparam? (I'm not familiar with templatetiger and couldn't figure out how to use it.) Kaldari (talk) 21:01, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
To be honest, I did not know that this tool existed when I posted my request, and so far I have not really understood how to work with it. Stalemate. A tool that only works with the English Wikipedia is, however, absolutely not what I am looking for. → «« Man77 »»[de] 21:32, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
bambots tool only starts collecting information upon request and then only parsing the pages that transclude the actual template. This might require you to wait a bit after initially requesting the information for the first time for a particular template, but afterwards, its more up to date and as a benefit takes significantly fewer resources. The tool also allows you to check validity of param keys and values, by matching them with their TemplateData where possible. Not sure why it's only available for en.wp. Templatetiger seems a more brute force solution that parses all template usage. Both have their advantages, I guess, but both have commonalities as well. It should be noted however, that templatetiger is excluded from backups (quite rare) because of its size. —TheDJ (talk • contribs) 14:59, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
For my purposes having the template information "on request" would be enough, but the support of templates without TemplateData is not a mere nice-to-have. → «« Man77 »»[de] 17:23, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Support Tools for analyzing template use would be great. I would also like to see some way of distinguishing direct and indirect use of the template. We have many "helper" templates which were not meant to be ever used directly but only by other templates. It is often not possible to find templates used directly in the wrong namespace. For example, find commons files that directly call c:Template:Creator or one of the templates that redirects to it. Some of the changes might need changes to the database tables where the data is stored. --Jarekt (talk) 14:49, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Support --Meno25 (talk) 15:45, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Support Yes please! As someone actively developing templates I want to know how many articles use a given parameter or which articles have a local value instead of one from Wikidata — NickK (talk) 17:03, 11 December 2017 (UTC)