Contribute to the Wiki

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This is not an exhaustive description of all features. It is intended to get you reasonably productive with mediwiki. As with many sophisticated software packages, there is more than one way to do things. This page shows how the author uses the WIki, which may not be the most advanced or efficient way. But it seems to work.

One thing to keep in mind: nobody owns any of the pages on this Wiki. If you create a page, great! We appreciate it. But as soon as you hit "save page", you lose control over it. It is expected that others will make changes to your page in an attempt to improve it. You may not agree that a person's changes are improvements. Rather than just un-doing them, try to understand what that person was trying to accomplish, and feel free to re-edit the page, making your own changes which accomplish the same thing as the previous editor, but do it better.

Similarly, if you see somebody else's page that you want to edit, don't ask for permission. You don't need permission; all you need is an idea for improving it.



Create an account

There's a trick to it. Read our high-tech anti-bot captcha page ALL the way to the end.


Page names

Every page has a name. For example, this page is named "Contribute to the Wiki". Page names must be unique (i.e. you can't have two pages with the same name).


Creating a new page

Start by finding a page that you want to link to the new page. For example, if you want to create a new "how to" page, start by editing the Main Page and creating a link to your page. Follow the general model with the existing links. Think of a good page name, like maybe "How to make a death ray with CHIP", and code it like this:

    * [[How to make a death ray with CHIP]] - instructions for making a laser-based orbital death ray.
    

Which comes out like this:

Save the page and scroll down to your new entry. Is the link colored blue? Somebody beat you to that name. Go ahead and click it to see that person's take on death rays. Then re-edit the Main Page and try a different name.

But if the link is red, it means that there is no existing page by that name. Click the red link to create the page. (Do me a favor and don't create that particular page.)


Links to other wiki pages

To create a link to a page on this wiki, enclose the page name in two sets of square brackets. For example:

    See [[our high-tech anti-bot captcha]] page.
    

Which comes out like this:

Note that you cannot use this method for links to other wikis (like Wikipedia). For that, see #External links.

Note that it uses the page name as the link text. Sometimes you want to have the link text different from the page name. In that case, use a "pipe" character (|) to separate the page name from your desired text:

    There is [[our high-tech anti-bot captcha|a trick]] to creating an account.
    

Which comes out like this:

    There is a trick to creating an account.

It's always a good idea, before saving your page, to do a "show preview". If any of your page links show up red, that means no page by that name exists yet. Which is fine, if that is what you meant to do; clicking the red link lets you create that page. But if you meant to link to an existing page, then it should have been blue. Check the exact spelling.


External links

For links to web pages external to this wiki, the easiest way is to just type the link:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_ray
    

Which comes out like this:

Note that it uses the URL as the link text. Sometimes you want to have the link text different from the page name. In that case, use a space (not pipe) to separate the URL from your desired text:

    Here's some [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_ray general background] on death rays.
    

Which comes out like this:

Note that if you mis-type the URL, it will not show up red. Best to cut-and-paste it.


Sections

A page can be organized with sections. It can also have a table-of-contents of the section titles that are clickable links.

A major section is coded with a single equals sign. For example, this "Sections" section is coded like this:

    = Sections =
    

Note that if you have more than 2 or 3 sections, the wiki software will automatically include a table of contents. If you don't want one, include as the first line:

    __NOTOC__
    

Note that there are two underscore characters in a row before and after the "NOTOC", and there are no spaces anywhere.

Alternatively, maybe you do want one, but you want it in a different place. In that case, include this line in the spot where you want the table:

    __TOC__
    


Sub-sections

A main section can be further broken down into sub-sections by using double equals signs. For example, this "Sub-sections" sub-section is coded like this:

    == Sub-sections ==
    

You can have sub-sub-sections by using triple equals signs, etc. I'm not sure how far you can go, but I can't imagine needing more than three levels of nesting.  :-)


Bullet lists

A bullet list is coded with a single star:

    * Death by rays.
    * Control of orbital platforms.
    

Which comes out like this:

    • Death by rays.
    • Control of orbital platforms.

You can use double-star to have a nested bullet list:

    * Death by rays.
    ** Laser
    ** Gamma
    * Control of orbital platforms.
    ** RPi
    ** CHIP
    

Which comes out like this:

    • Death by rays.
      • Laser
      • Gamma
    • Control of orbital platforms.
      • RPi
      • CHIP


Itallics and bold

Use double single-quote marks for itallics, and triple single-quote marks for bold, and quintiple (5) for both:

    ''Some'' people think that '''lasers''' are enough, but I prefer '''''gamma lasers'''''.
    

Which comes out like this:

    Some people think that lasers are enough, but I prefer gamma lasers.


Fixed-width font

It is common to use a fixed-width font to show computer input/output that a user might type/see. A common way to do it with Mediawiki is preceding each line with a space. I prefer to use the HTML tags for pre-defined text:

    <pre>
    $ lasercontrol -p 100
    laser power set to 100%, see http://death-ray.org for help.
    </pre>
    

Which comes out like this:

    $ lasercontrol -p 100
    laser power set to 100%, see http://death-ray.org for help.
    

Note that this also prevents mediawiki from interpreting markup (e.g. the URL is not clickable).