> I think you're right that there are several things we could do to help structure and store questions, and therefore improve efficiency in the future.
Seems to be something worth doing in advance, to save end-users and the developers a lot of unnecessary headache. Consider the difference between these two questions:
How do I get a reference to work?
Question: How do I add a new citation / reference to a page?
1. Open 2010 wikitext editor
2. Clicked on the reference icon in the toolbar
2. The editing tool added <ref></ref>
3. Waited for a dialog
A dialog or anything to add a link or book or resource appeared
No prompt to add anything, no help .
If "Question", "Attempted steps", "expected" and "actual" are different form fields, then question 2 is much useful than just a generic question 1.
> If questions contain trivia, spam, or topic questions, we can change the workflow to encourage other types of questions. But we don't want to spend too much time engineering that system at the outset before collecting some questions to see how they turn out first.
>Does that make sense?
This seems like a risky proposition. You may increase the burden on users, and then if the burden is too heavy you'll fix it? The fact of the matter is that the project deals with two variables it can't control, volunteers and development time. If they find it annoying they can simply ignore the questions, or answer badly and chase away newbies, or simply add automated tools to block such questions.
The project can be interrupted for any random reason, and it will leave users with a very limited basic tool. As an example, the tool being used here (Structured Discussions) was also an optimistic endeavor, yet it was mostly indefinitely halted in live sites, without even a simple ability to search existing threads, forcing users to have to rely on external search engines to find stuff here.
A similar endeavor exists in the English wikipedia's project teahouse with a question archive that allegedly doesn't even update anymore, and no sensible ability to search (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Teahouse/Questions/Archive_Index). So there's a lot of history of limited tools being abandoned in place.
> in case it turns out that there are users who don't want to disclose the article they're planning on editing
That's a legitimate concern only if users haven't ever edited the page. If they have already edited it, then the fact that they've interacted with the page will be known anyway. Perhaps, a compromise would be to only show the checkbox if they've never edited the page in question.