Functionality for updating and creating pages using the Spreadsheet interface
Why use MediaWiki API to update page contents?
The MediaWiki API is an extremely useful tool for developers. I was suggested to use the pfautoeditAPI to update the page contents by Yaron. This turned out be quite simple compared to the previous method of forom submission that I was using. It also saved a lot time because now, only those rows which were edited, were updated instead of processing all the rows. I feel, it also made the user interface simpler and more intuitive. Furthermore, it made the interface dynamic as the updates would get saved right away and any errors would also be displayed immediately.
Using the pfautoeditAPI
The pfautoeditAPI makes use of forms to edit the contents of a template call in
a page. The form being used must contain the template.
The query used is:
baseUrl + '/api.php?action=pfautoedit&format=json&form=' + formName + '&target=' + pageName + updateString
Here, updateString consists all the edits made to the template call, where key is
the template parameter and value is the updated contents of that parameter.
updateString += '&' + templateName + '[' + key + ']' + '=' + value;
Creating pages using pfautoeditAPI
The pfautoeditAPI can not only edit pages, but can also create them if the pages do not exist. The pages created, contain only the template which is being used for the spreadsheet. The same query which was used for updating is also used for creating a page. However, this causes a problem because if a user tries to create a page which already exists, the page might get updated. Thus, there is a check to find out if the the page already exists, upon which an error is displyed.
The biggest hurdles I faced: