Editing the wiki

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Editing the wiki

Wikis are typically designed to allow participation in development of the site to all users, through easy creation of new pages, links and categories. We're using the same software Wikipedia uses, along with the Semantic Mediawiki extensions. You must have an account to create and edit pages. Contact an admin if you need an account or some assistance.

Once you're signed in, you'll see an edit tab on the top of most pages. Use that link, or section edit links if present, to edit content. To avoid the problems of rich text editors and keep entered text focused on content and meaning, pages use wiki markup. The most important markup is as follows:

  • [[a link]] - create a link to another page
  • == heading == create a section heading, in this case, heading level two
  • '''boldtext''' and ''italic text''
  • * to start a bullet point, ** for second level, etc.

Otherwise, just enter your text, leaving a blank line between paragraphs. Remember you can view the wiki markup of any page to see how it was created.

An effective workflow is to create pages with links, then go back later and click on the undefined (red) links to fill them in. Often sections get turned into their own pages over time as part of "wiki gardening."

You can practice editing pages by creating your own link off the Sandbox. It's a good practice to preview your pages before saving, and to add summary contents to help others understand your changes.

All pages maintain a complete edit history, so we can always tell who edited a page and revert pages when required. It's a good idea to check the page's history to see who's been editing it.

Further editing help is available at wikimedia.org.

Feel free to carve out your own project wiki pages

When naming pages, keep in mind the wiki is used for multiple projects so use distinct names. Also keep in mind anyone can edit most pages, so your page may be changed by others including 'bureaucrats' trying to keep things organized. Monitor important pages to keep them relevant, using the Neutral point of view principles. Comments and suggestions should be entered in the Discussion of a page, which can often contain the most interesting content, so keep an eye out for active Discussion links.

Use categories to group pages. Simply add [[Category:My category]] to the end of page content, and it can be viewed on the category index page, for example Category:Wiki documentation or via queries (see below).

Templates can also be used for consistent content presentation.

Keep an eye out for extra help on pages such as your User page.

Semantic wiki facilities

Semantic Mediawiki (SMW) add database-like features to the free form functionality of wikis. Annotations, properties, templates, forms and queries can be used to more consistently create content, suitable for re-use.

An annotation is a simple discrete markup of information, with a corresponding property, which describes the data type. Annotations can appear anywhere in text, except in values of other properties. They look like this: [[birthday::November 25, 2009]].

Once annotations are entered, they can be reused in queries and views, like this one:

{{ #ask: [[birthday::+]] | format=timeline}}

Which means ask for all pages with birthdays, and display them in timeline format, including links to page names (Editing the wiki in this case).


Use a JavaScript-enabled browser to view this element. Browse the result list directly.MONTHYEAR

Other formats include graphs, maps, facet browsers, tables and charts. The property type is often a page, so the annotation provides a link type. This corresponds to RDF triples - object (the page), predicate (the link), subject (the destination link). SMW has RDF features to support interaction with other software.

Properties are commonly assigned in templates and used with forms to provide consistent data using fields and categories. Special:CreateClass provides functionality to create a template and form in one step.

See also: How to annotate.

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