Help:Wiki editing orientation

From Protospace Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Welcome to being a wiki editor! This page gives some basic wiki editing orientation, instruction, and advice.

If you want to edit in visual mode, everything should be pretty intuitive and WYSIWYG. If you want to edit in source mode, Wikipedia has a good cheatsheet for the most common codes used in wiki editing. Everything listed there should work here, except we use <references /> instead of {{reflist}}, and {{citation needed}} and the other templates listed at the bottom aren't available.

There is also the Wikipedia editing help index, which gives editing advice, though a lot of the content there beyond the first two sections ("Basic editing" and "Saving your edits") is Wikipedia-specific.

General knowledge of the wiki software and its features

The software that runs this wiki is called MediaWiki. It's the same software that runs many well-known wikis and wiki farms, such as Wikipedia and Wikia/Fandom. It supports extensions to add more features; a list of currently installed extensions can be viewed at Special:Version.


MediaWiki defines a concept of namespaces into which pages are sorted. Each namespace generally serves a specific purpose, and any given page can be in only one namespace (though separate pages with otherwise the same title can exist in different namespaces). The namespace a page is in appears as the beginning of the page title, except for the (Main) namespace, which is invisible in page titles. For example, tools we have is in the (Main) namespace, and so has no namespace declared in its title. The title of Protospace Wiki:About this wiki, on the other hand, starts with "Protospace Wiki:" because that is a page in the Protospace Wiki namespace.

The namespaces on this wiki are:

  • (Main): main content pages
  • Talk: discussion of content pages in (Main)
  • User: users' personal pages
  • User talk: discussion with specific users, not necessarily about their personal pages
  • Protospace Wiki: documentation about the wiki itself, and coordination of editing
  • Protospace Wiki talk: discussion of specific wiki documentation/coordination pages
  • File: uploaded files such as photos, equipment manuals, and diagrams
  • File talk: discussion of specific uploaded files
  • MediaWiki: internal pages used by the wiki software, which can control some aspects of the wiki interface
  • MediaWiki talk: discussion of specific wiki software internal pages and the interface aspects they control
  • Template: templates that can be transcluded (like calling a function, if you know programming) in other pages; see below and Help:Templates
  • Template talk: discussion of specific templates
  • Help: instructions and advice related to using the wiki
  • Help talk: discussion of specific help pages
  • Category: categories into which pages can be sorted; see below and Help:Categories
  • Category talk: discussion of specific categories
  • Gadget, Gadget talk, Gadget definition, Gadget definition talk: not yet in use at the MediaWiki level (Gadgets are user-creatable scripts and styles that other users can enable in their preferences—see mw:Gadgets—but MediaWiki has not yet been changed to use these namespaces for them; these are just reserved until then.)

You will notice that every non-talk namespace has an associated talk namespace. Actually, every page in a non-talk namespace has an associated page in the corresponding talk namespace, which you can reach by clicking the "Talk" tab at the top of the page (above the page title) (in the default skin, Vector—other skins may place it elsewhere). If it doesn't exist yet, doing that and entering text will create the talk page. For this reason, please do not create a talk page in any other way, because it will then not be properly associated with any non-talk page.

Linking and page title capitalization

MediaWiki is designed for a particular capitalization convention in page titles and links. MediaWiki is case-insensitive for the first letter of a page name after the namespace (displaying it capitalized when viewing that page), but case-sensitive for all subsequent letters. The preferred way to capitalize page titles (apart from the first letter, which doesn't matter) is to capitalize only proper nouns—in other words, to capitalize the page title as if it was a phrase in the middle of a sentence. This way, links to pages are more natural.

For example, if a page is titled "Member Skill Sets", then it would be linked in the middle of a sentence like so: Please read the Member Skill Sets to know which members to ask about certain topics. (A more natural-reading sentence can be achieved with a piped link ([[Member Skill Sets|member skill sets]]), but that's extra effort for anyone editing it.) A better solution is to title the page "Member skill sets", so it can be linked with just [[member skill sets]] to produce a nicer sentence: Please read the member skill sets to know which members to ask about certain topics.


Coming soon


Coming soon

Conventions used on this wiki

See Protospace Wiki:Wiki conventions