Wiki Howto

Using Wiki

Wiki is a website. Read the pages, follow the links. But also, click on the 'Edit' link at the bottom to edit the page; don't bother with HTML, just pretend you were posting news (have a play in the Sand Box to see examples and try things out). Links are made through the magic of Wiki Names (words that start with a capital and have one or more internal capitals - Front Page, Recent Changes, Words Squished Together Like So, you get the picture). To create a page, make a link to it and then follow the link (through that question mark at the end). Have a look at Recent Changes and Back Links. In fact, just click on things at random and see what they do. None of this is hard. Now go out and use wiki for whatever takes your fancy - read, write, link, opine, inform, learn, record, preach, comment, criticise, analyse, enlighten, mock, bicker ...

Questions? See the Wiki FAQ test.

You now know everything you need to about using wiki. Read on only if you like long-winded explanations of simple things which seem to have been written without any awareness of the preceding text .

Reading Wiki

To a great degree, wiki is like a normal website - read the pages, click on the links to surf to other pages, etc. You may notice that every page has a name, and that every internal link Leads to a page whose name is the same as the text of the link; this is one of the central principles of wiki. You may notice that some names which should be links aren't, but do have a trailing hyperlinked question-mark; these are discussed below.

Editing Wiki

Click on the 'Edit' link at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a form where the text of the page is presented in a text area, which you can edit. Submit the form to apply your changes to the wiki.

To create a page, make a link to it on some other page (the most relevant page you can think of, or the Random Index) and then follow the link through that question mark at the end: this will take you to an edit form for the new page. You can also create pages directly using the second little form at <>.

Wiki's pages are edited in a 'raw' format, rather than HTML; this is basically plain text, with paragraphs separated by (one or more) blank lines, italics and bold introduced by bracketing the text with underscores or asterisks, and bulleted lists specified by prefixing a line with a hyphen. URLs of any form are recognised and rendered as hyperlinks (it helps if you wrap them in angle brackets, but it's not essential). Just pretend you're posting news or something. Have a play in the Sand Box to see this in action and try it out!

Wiki uses a raw format rather than HTML because it is much, much simpler and easier to edit than HTML. In fact, wiki is so keen on its own format that it suppresses HTML completely.

And, before you ask, yes, anyone can edit the wiki; this is a good thing, in fact it's another central principle of wiki: Wiki Is Open. Well, sort of - you do need the Wiki Password.

Oh, and about the question marks: these are the names of pages which don't exist yet. Clicking on the question mark takes you to a normal edit form, which, when submitted, creates the page.

Deleting pages is slightly more complicated: there actually isn't any way to do it (unless you're an administrator on the machine hosting the wiki - you probably aren't). Instead, just replace all the content of the page with the text 'Delete Me', and one of the silicon elementals will do it for you at some later date. One day, there will be a proper page deletion mechanism.

Navigating Wiki

You may notice some special links at the bottom of the page, underneath the horizontal rule; some of these are useful, some not so useful. 'Edit' is probably the most important, and is discussed above. 'Backlinks' leads to a page listing all the pages which refer to the page you came from (ie the Back Links); this can be a really useful tool for navigating wiki, but be warned: use its power with care, for it is currently rather expensive for the server. 'Source' leads to the raw text for the page; this is almost never useful. 'Validate' leads to a page on which the World Wide Web Consortium tells you that Twic I emits perfectly good HTML. After that are three links to key wiki pages: the Front Page, Recent Changes and the Message Of The Day. Lastly, the modification date for the page is shown, just in case you were interested.

The Recent Changes page deserves a special mention, as it is particularly valuable to many wikizens. This page is a portal to another search facility, which tells you which pages have changed recently (hence the name).

Thinking Wiki

Wiki is technically very simple, but it can support astonishingly active and rich communities of knowledge. The technical forces create an environment within which certain social and cultural conventions (Wiki Etiquette, if you like) inevitably develop; i have no idea what ours will be. However, we should probably bear in mind that Wiki Is A Website .

Wiki is really a good idea. I think it is a more enabling technology for Web than HTML. With it, the Web can be in our control. We can contribute to the Web world more easily. -- A Visitor

About installing

Don't. If you need a wiki, use some other software. Seriously. Use any wiki engine except Twic I. In fact, kill yourself rather than install Twic I.

Category Wiki

Wed, 22 Feb 2006 01:15:18 GMT Front Page Recent Changes Message Of The Day