Templates and Meta Data

Two features that are related to the creation, editing and saving of an item are templates and meta data.


Templates make it easier for users to create new items that are similar to many other items. Instead of starting from scratch or using a copy, paste, and modify technique; templates that contain the common text and structure can be created. A template item must have a tag of “template”.

When creating a new item, if there are available templates for the selected content type and namespace, then an extra step added to the create item dialog allows the editor to choose a template. If a template is selected, the content of the template item will be loaded and copied to the modify screen’s textarea.

To create a new template, just create an item and add a tag of “template” before saving the item. Once created, each user creating a new item in the target namespace and content type will be given the option of using any of the available templates.

Templates may define data for the ACL, Summary, and Tags fields. These values will be copied to the modify form within the item creation dialog; note the template tag will not be copied. Users wanting to create a new template using an old template will need to rekey the template tag.

For templates with MoinWiki markup, Predefined Variables can be used to insert date, time, user name, item name, and others. See Predefined Variables in the Moin Wiki markup overview.

The example below is a very simple template for the users namespace. Each user is encouraged to create a home page using the 4-line moinwiki markup template. @ITEM@ and @EMAIL@ are predefined variables and will be replaced with the item name (the new item name is expected to be the user’s name) and the users email address (copied from the current user’s settings) when the item is saved. To create a home page, each user begins the creation of a new item in the users namespace, selects the template, keys in a nickname and hobbies, and saves the item.:

= @ITEM@ =
Email: @EMAIL@

Meta Data

When an item is edited (including non-text items like images, etc.), most themes provide a means of updating certain meta data associated with the item. The meta data fields that may be updated by all editors include Summary, Tags, and Names.

Users with admin authority on the item may update the item’s ACLs. The format of ACL rules is discussed within the configuration section under authorization.

Most themes will display the Summary field above the item’s content. The use of this field is optional. When used, it may contain a one-line summary of the pages content, a TODO list of additional content that should be added or verified, or other special instructions to future readers and editors.

For fields that may have multiple entries like the Tags and Names fields, use commas to separate the entries. Leading and trailing spaces are stripped, embedded spaces will become part of the tag or name.

Tags provide an alternate means of indexing articles. While tags are frequently used to group items based on the item’s subject matter, they can also be used to group items in ways unrelated to the subject matter such as marking items that need additional content, editing, review, etc. Most themes provide a link to a Tags view within the navigation panel.

While most items will have a single name, item editors may add or delete multiple names. Editors may find multiple names useful when renaming or merging items. Item names cannot span multiple namespaces. Most themes will show all item names within the Page Trail panel. Some reports, such as History, will show all item names in a single row. Other reports which are sorted by name, such as Index and Tags, will show each name in a separate row.