Using the website

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This website is a wiki

Wikipedia defines a wiki as "a hypertext publication collaboratively edited and managed by its own audience directly using a web browser. A typical wiki contains multiple pages for the subjects or scope of the project and could be either open to the public or limited to use within an organization for maintaining its internal knowledge base".

Ward Cunningham started developing WikiWikiWeb in Portland, Oregon, in 1994... Cunningham says his goals were to link together people's experiences to create a new literature to document programming patterns, and to harness people's natural desire to talk and tell stories with a technology that would feel comfortable to those not used to "authoring".[1] is powered by the MediaWiki wiki engine, and here is a link to MediaWiki's Help contents if you want to jump right in to details on specific tasks. We will, however, go on to give an introduction to using this particular wiki below.

A really good video

If you are very new to wiki's, this short video Wiki in Plain English gives a great explanation of what they are and how they work.

"Wikis are generally designed with the philosophy of making it easy to correct mistakes, rather than making it difficult to make them."

How to make a new page

It very easy to create a wiki page by creating a link, simply press the link button at the editing bar in an edit page. If you (or anyone else) create a link to an article that doesn't exist yet, the link will be colored red, like this after you save your edit. If you click on the red link you get an ooption to create a new page. Once the page has been created, the link will change from red to blue (purple for pages you've visited) indicating that the article now exists. Usually this is the best way to create a new page, because it means that right from the start, the page will be linked from at least one other place on the wiki (and typically you will want to mesh it into other related pages later).

If you are creating a new page without creating any link to it, you may need to ask yourself: Does this page really fit in with the topics already covered in the wiki?

Also, how are you expecting visitors to find this page?

Normally there is no reason to create a page without first creating a red link to it.

Using the URL

You can use the wiki's URL for creating a new page.

The URL to an article of the wiki is usually something like this:

  •    or

If you replace ARTICLE with the name of the page you wish to create, you will be taken to a blank page which indicates that no article of that name exists yet.

=Get started editing pages=Here'e a [1] to some examples of how to format your new pages using built in wikitext. If that doesn't make sense, keep reading this page.

A bit of a hybrid

This wiki is a lot more structured than a traditional wiki and it is currently moderated; but because the idea is to have it open and to let it grow (and because it is a website powered by a wiki engine), it is still a wiki.

Images in the Wiki

Here is a [2] to MediaWiki's image formatting help page.

Different permissions

At only users who are logged in can edit or create pages, and upload files. If you want to contribute, first create an account. Anyone who is not logged in can see most pages. Not all pages can be edited by everyone, if you have permission to edit a page you will see an edit option under the "Actions" menu (appearing in the top right hand corner of every page).

You can protect a page that you do not want others to edit, there would need to be a good reason to do this.

Talk page

As you can see in the menu above, each page has a Discussion page associated with it, this can be used to discuss the content and collaboration regarding that particular page.

Put a comment box on your page

In the Edit Source tab of your page, insert the following code where you would like it: <comments/>

Visual and Source editing

There are two ways to edit pages.

  • The visual editor works much like a word processor and gives you a WYSIWYG approach (what you see is what you get).
  • Source editing lets you use either wikitext or HTML5 mark up languages to format a wiki page.
A 3 column chart showing MediaWiki syntax and HTML with what they render in a browser.


As you can see in the image above, wikitext was used to make a link of "tea" by typing two square brackets around the word. Similarly, in the next paragraph the word "nothing" was rendered bold by typing 3 apostrophes on each side of it.

WikiText is easy to learn for those who like to do some simple coding. Here's link to MediWiki's "formatting" page if you'd like to learn it. Otherwise visual editing is straight forward enough - this is a default an can be achieved by simply selecting "edit" (rather than "edit source") from the Actions menu.

Page editing tutorial

What else is needed here?

Please use the comments service below to input requests for extra content that might be helpful here. Or if you have the skills, please edit the page and make it rock.