Feedback from a fellow web dev (disclaimer: I just messed around with the site for a minute, didn’t actually try to use it to create a mod, didn’t read through the how-tos, etc., so this is mostly just first thoughts and more general technical/structural questions):
First off, major kudos (pun intended) for taking the initiative and writing this. I toyed with the idea for a while, but in the end I was too lazy to move forward.
Now on to my first gripe - the layout is pretty messy/confusing. I hope you streamline it once the project is closer to “finished” (as much as web projects ever are). Both the front page (where a long list of how-tos comes before all the functional pages, which are under the header “The Files” which might make them seem like mere reference guides) and the new entry page - I’m a little confused as to whether it edits existing entries, creates a new one or if there are ways to do both.
How is the PHP structured? Is it pulling the default data from a database? A flat file? Do you have a back-end interface to upload newly patched simulation files or do you do that manually? It seems like the ideal way to produce the finished editor would be to give the user an option to load his/her current simulation files or to use the most recent defaults, which would be stored serverside. If you write the code to parse all the various files and upload them to a DB, it would be trivial to set up an admin feature to update the default files. That would be a useful backup as well for people who messed up their files somehow - just start with a fresh unmodded copy, or start over with your mod attempt, by loading the default files. The load option would also be handy for people who have already tweaked some files, or if for whatever reason you stop updating the editor but it’s still up, so people could load newer versions of the defaults.
If the underlying code is written with a decent MVC framework, it would also be easy to add more advanced features. Various game elements involve creating multiple different types of new entries, and eventually it would be nice to create a single page editor that could make all the necessary changes across multiple files and save users the effort of learning all the different id fields and whatnot to match up for, say, a new job skill. Optional features could also be added to the individual file editors where appropriate (e.g., an easy skill selector when adding requirements for a job instead of just a text field, etc.). Once the model code is written to save and load all the various files and edit their contents, your new code can just invoke the model a couple times for each of the new easier single page edit options. Some sort of more sophisticated editor to handle the ‘weird’ fields with more complicated syntax like ‘On Execute’ would also be nice.
You may already be doing all the things I’m suggesting or have an alternate plan that accomplishes the same goals. I’m brainstorming more than critiquing. PM/AIM me or just reply here if you’re interested in discussing the project further. I’d be happy to contribute by writing some chunks of the PHP. I have some ideas for mods that I may get around to eventually, and a tool like this would be invaluable.