Wiki Quick Start

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A Quick Introduction to Wikidom

This site is a Wiki Wiki. That means it's an engine that makes it easier to enter the contents you want on a page, and easier to create new pages -- even if you don't know what to put on them yet.

The admins chose a Wiki because they (Wiki's, not the Admins :-) ) are really handy for collaborative documentation; it's easier for random people to contribute useful information, and random editors to edit it.

Since it keeps a history of pages, it's so easy to fix graffiti that it's almost not worth trashing stuff. (Hint.)

The only two things that some people have trouble with about Wiki's (and especially ones based on Moin, this one's engine) are that the markup syntax (which is not HTML on purpose) can occasionally be Somewhat Obscure, and that the links are automatically created when you type a word in StudlyCaps.

We're not sure *why* this irks people so much, but for those who care, you can go to your User Preferences page, and turn on a switch that adds spaces in the links you see when reading pages.

Page writers are, I'm afraid, just gonna have to cope for now, for stylistic consistency reasons, if no other. If what irks you is that *any* word you type in StudlyCaps is automagically WikiLinked, then you're invited to note that I managed to avoid it twice in this one paragraph; take a look at EditText to see how. (That is, after all, how *I* learned it.)

And, lastly before we tell you how to edit, let us encourage you to create an account if you're going to be doing any appreciable amount of editing or contribution; it makes your life (and ours ;-) ) much easier. Click the User Preferences link in the top right corner of your screen, and fill out the form. It's easy!  :-)

Anyway, the one 'graf explanation of WikiWriting is:

Just write. Empty lines force paragraph breaks, {{{[BR]}}} forces a mid-line break, and you can do all the stuff you'd do in HTML markup, but with slightly different syntax. StudlyCapped words automatically become intra-Wiki links -- if the page doesn't exist yet, readers will see it with a ?-mark, or in a different color, and you can either write the new page yourself, by clicking through to it after you save, or you can just use it as a hint for others to follow. If you *do* preview the page, don't forget to *save it* before clicking through to create subsidiary pages. Finally, please fill in the 'Optional comment' with a half-sentence description of what you changed. It's not *really* optional.

It's really pretty much that simple. Once you find something you want to do (like offsite links or inline images) that isn't explained here, you can go check out Help Contents.

Once you learn about Sub Pages, if you're not sure which to use, go check out Its The Wiki Way/Wiki Information Architecture.

And, finally, remember: anyone can come along and edit what you write... and that's the *point*. So it's important to keep this frame of mind when you're writing. If you hate editors, writing for a Wiki will probably drive you batty.