Wiki Basics

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This wiki is an instance of MediaWiki[1], an open source wiki written in PHP...the engine driving Wikipedia[2].

This page describes some of the elements found in most pages.

image showing page elements with labels
Screenshot with labels

1. When logged in, you will see your username in the upper-right of the page.

Clicking that wikilink* opens your user page which is for your own use. Please consider adding some information about yourself, including links to your blog, website, or any other websites to which you contribute. You might even use your user page as a sandbox to experiment with wiki markup[3].
* A wikilink is an internal hyperlink; it opens another page in the same wiki.
External links can appear like a footnote, with a numeral indicating the link...and possibly a padlock icon small image of lock, depending on the "Skin" that is selected in Preferences. For examples of this, see the "MediaWiki" and "Wikipedia" links in first line above.

2. Clicking Talk opens your User "Discussion" page.

This is similar to the Discussion page that is associated with any article (see #5, below). This page can be used to direct a comment or question to another user. (To open another user's talk page, look for their page and click the "Discussion" link.)

3. Clicking on "Preferences" opens an interface where you can make selections among many options. Some preference settings to consider include:

Under the main tab ("User profile")
  • Email me when a page or file on my watchlist is changed
  • Email me when my user talk page is changed
Under the "Editing" tab (Preferences > Editing)
  • Enable "Show preview on first edit"
Under the "Watchlist" tab (Preferences > Watchlist)
  • Enable "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist"
  • Enable "Add pages I create and files I upload to my watchlist"

4. The "Watchlist" is a useful way to track changes made to articles for which you have a particular interest.

Click this link to open a list of pages you are watching that have been changed recently.
When viewing any article, click the star icon (upper-right) to save that page to your "Watchlist".

5. When viewing a page, click Discussion to open a "Talk" page for making comments or suggestions about the content of that article. The "talk page" can be a useful forum for developing the message of an article.

More can be found at Wikipedia[4] ←(an external link)
...or with this short video←(not the proper way to make an external link)

6. When viewing any page, clicking Edit opens a page with a text editor where you will find the text (with markup) for the current content of that article.

Insert new text, add a wiki-link, change the format or style, and select "Save". And, be bold! (If you make a mistake, you can always revert the article to the last saved version by opening the "View history" link at page top.)