Help:DPL basics

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Dynamic Pages Lists (DPL's) are wiki tools used to generate lists of material and information based on metadata attached to the pages. Simple DPL's allow you to collect a group of links to pages automatically onto one page that share a common category, template, user or other feature. The easiest way to employ DPL's is through categories and if you want to use DPL's on your project you will need a strong category structure. Advanced DPL's allow you to modify this list including changing the format and including other information from the pages being collected including metadata (timestamps, page counts, page hits) as well as page content (template parameters and sections).

When to use DPL's

Pros

  • DPL’s save time by limiting the number of pages that need updated when information changes.
  • DPL’s can automatically collect information from a group of pages and present it in an easy to read format.

Cons

  • DPL's can be taxing on the server and should only be used when pages are truly dynamic, i.e. the pages change with relative frequency based on other information being posted to the wiki. Historical pages can use DPL's to generate original tables but should be converted to wiki-tables immediately. You can use this convenient Help:Wiki-Table converter to do so.
  • DPL’s require advanced knowledge of wiki code to edit.
  • Updating the information in a DPL is not intuitive for non-employee users.
  • DPL’s have specific limitations that can only be discovered through practice rendering them pointless in certain situations.
  • DPL’s require concrete and established category structures to employ.
  • The complex nature of DPL code requires attention to detail to prevent mistakes.

Two types of DPL's

Parser code

  • Parser function dpls can be used on any page.
  • Each criteria begins on a new line with a pipe (|) symbol
  • Pipe symbols within the code itself (not starting a line) must use the pipe template |.
  • I write all DPL's in parser format personally, but there are opportunities to use the other format.

Tags

  • Tags cannot be used within templates.
  • Each criteria needs its own line.

Comparison

Parser:Tags

{{#dpl:
|category = Red{{!}}Blue
|category = Some
}}

<dpl>
category = Red|Blue
category = Some
</dpl>

References

You'll notice that the references did not carry through. That is because DPL's currently delete all references above them. You should be cautious where you place them on your page.