NatSkin TopicCreator


The NatSkin TopicCreator is a unified way to create topics in your wiki. It especially is tailored towards the WikiWorkbench framework of wiki applications and TopicTypes. The TopicCreator automatically lets you choose the type of content as well as templates for it once deployed from within your wiki application. The TopicCreator opens up in a modal dialog when clicking on the "New" button available on every page.

Modes of operation

The TopicCreator can operate in two modes:

  1. Standard mode
  2. TopicType mode

In Standard mode the TopicCreator offers the same features available in standard Foswiki using the WebTopicCreator and the WebTopicEditTemplate if present.

standard mode.png
Standard Mode

In this mode you simply enter a free-form TopicTitle and optionally select a template available in the current web to create a new topic.

Once a TopicType is deployed to a web will the dialog switch over to TopicType mode.

TopicType mode

Creating a topic in TopicType mode is a process in 2-3 steps:

  1. select the type of content
  2. optionally select a template
  3. enter title and initial DataForm details

topictype mode.png
TopicType Mode, example 1
topictype mode 2.png
TopicType Mode, example 2

In the first example there are 5 TopicTypes deployed to the Sandbox web "Category", "Classified Topic", "Controlled Topic", "Tagged Topic" and "Workflow Definition" that you can choose from in a first step creating a new topic. Note further that there is a selection "Default" to create wiki content in Standard mode.

Once you selected the type of content to be created there is an optional second step to select the TopicTemplate available in the current web tailored towards the selected TopicType. This step will be skipped automatically if there are no templates available for the selected TopicType. Of course you may skip this step manually yourself if you like to do so.

topictemplate step.png
Select a TopicTemplate

In above example "Classified Topic" has been selected in the first step. Now there are 3 additional TopicTemplates available for this TopicType: "ArticleTemplate", "Bookmark" and "SprintBoardTemplate" which will be used to seed the content area of the topic about to be created. Note that the actual choices available in each step heavily depends on the data of your wiki. You don't necessarily have these templates available on your system.

create step.png
Select a TopicTemplate, example 1
create step 2.png
Select a TopicTemplate, example 2

Depending on the actual implementation of the TopicType will the final step offer a form to specify the initial properties of the topic. Most importantly will it ask for a TopicTitle and derive a WikiWord from it.

Foswiki allows to create new topic for UnknownWikiWords by rendering a specific "new topic" link as defined in the NEWLINKFORMAT preference settings that are best customized in your SitePreferences.

   * Set NEWLINKFORMAT = <a class='foswikiNewLink jqUIDialogLink' href='%SCRIPTURLPATH{"rest"}%/RenderPlugin/template?name=newtopic;expand=dialog;topic=$web.$topic;render=on;topictitle=%ENCODE{"$text"}%'>$text</a>

Above settings will pop up the TopicCreator dialog whenever clicking on an unknown WikiWord (given that auto-linking is enabled as well and not disabled using the NOAUTOLINK setting).

Configuring the TopicCreator steps

There are a couple of preference settings that let you control which TopicTypes and TopicTemplates are available in the TopicCreator dialog, besides the actual settings of the TopicType itself.

Preference Description Default
TopicType step:
TOPICCREATOR_SHOW_DEFAULT_TYPE boolean switch to show/hide the "Default" choice to create topics in Standard mode on
TOPICCREATOR_SELECT_TYPE name of the TopicType initially selected Default
TOPICCREATOR_INCLUDE_TYPE regular expression that TopicTypes must match to be listed  
TOPICCREATOR_EXCLUDE_TYPE regular expression to exclude TopicTypes from the list  
TopicTemplate step:
TOPICCREATOR_SHOW_DEFAULT_TEMPLATE boolean switch to show/hide the "Default" template of a TopicType on
TOPICCREATOR_SELECT_TEMPLATE name of the TopicTempalte initially selected; this is the TopicTemplate as configured in the TopicType itself Default
TOPICCREATOR_INCLUDE_TEMPLATE regular expression that TopicTemplates must match to be listed  
TOPICCREATOR_EXCLUDE_TEMPLATE regular expression to exclude TopicTemplates from the list  
Standard mode:
TOPICCREATOR_DEFAULT_INCLUDE_TEMPLATE regular expression that templates must match to be included in the list of templates  
TOPICCREATOR_DEFAULT_EXCLUDE_TEMPLATE regular expression to exclude templates from the list  

For instance in above screenshot "TopicType Mode, example 2", the default type was disabled and the "ClassifiedTopic" was selected by default using below settings:

   * Set TOPICCREATOR_SELECT_TYPE = ClassifiedTopic
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
create_step.pngpng create_step.png manage 33 K 03 May 2018 - 13:00 UnknownUser  
create_step_2.pngpng create_step_2.png manage 43 K 03 May 2018 - 13:02 UnknownUser  
standard_mode.pngpng standard_mode.png manage 27 K 03 May 2018 - 12:35 UnknownUser  
topictemplate_step.pngpng topictemplate_step.png manage 47 K 03 May 2018 - 12:52 UnknownUser  
topictype_mode.pngpng topictype_mode.png manage 57 K 03 May 2018 - 12:43 UnknownUser  
topictype_mode_2.pngpng topictype_mode_2.png manage 73 K 03 May 2018 - 12:43 UnknownUser  
Topic revision: r1 - 14 Feb 2019, UnknownUser
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