From Wilmott Wiki
Welcome to the WilmottWiki Editing Tutorial. This is intended for people who have already signed up and are ready to get started. After reading this series of pages you will gain the basic skills and knowledge you'll need to edit and create articles.
This is the most basic wiki feature of all. With the exception of a few protected pages, every wiki page has a link that says "edit this page". This link lets you do exactly what it says: edit the page you're looking at. Sites like these, where anyone can edit anything, are known as wikis.
An important feature to start using is Show preview. This lets you see what the page will look like after your edit, before you actually save. We all make mistakes. This feature lets you catch them immediately. Using Show Preview before saving also lets you try format changes and other edits without cluttering up the page history, and has a number of other advantages. Don't forget to save your edits when you have finished, though!
Before you hit Save, it's considered good practice to enter a very brief summary of your changes in the "Edit summary" box between the edit window and the Save and Preview buttons. It can be quite terse; for example if you just enter "typo," people will know you made a minor spelling or punctuation correction, or some other small change.
Most formatting is usually done with Wiki markup, so people don't have to learn HTML. Writing for WilmottWiki articles is a bit different from writing on a standard word processor. Instead of a strict "what you see is what you get" approach, wiki uses simple text codes for formatting. The approach is similar to that used in writing HTML for web pages, but the codes are simpler.
The most commonly used wiki tags are bold and italics. Bolding and italicizing are done by surrounding a word or phrase with multiple apostrophes ('):
- ''italics'' appears as italics. (2 apostrophes on both sides)
- '''bold''' appears as bold. (3 apostrophes on both sides)
- '''''bolded italics''''' appears as bolded italics. (5 apostrophes on both sides)
Note: You can type multiple quote characters by surrounding them in <pre> or <nowiki> tags.
It is an WilmottWiki convention to bold the subject of an article when it is first mentioned in the article.
Another WilmottWiki convention is to italicize book and movie titles. If the first mention of the subject of an article is also a book or movie title then bold italics is used.
Headings and subheadings are an easy way to improve the organization of an article. If you can see two or more distinct topics being discussed, you can break up the article by inserting a heading for each section.
Headings can be created like this:
- ==Top level heading== (2 equals signs)
- ===Subheading=== (3 equals signs)
- ====Another level down==== (4 equals signs)
If an article has at least four headings, a table of contents will automatically be generated.
Links are important in WilmottWiki articles. One thing that makes WilmottWiki useful (and highly habit-forming) is extensive cross-listing by internal links. These easily-created links allow users to access information related to the article they're reading. The easiest way to learn when to link is to look at WilmottWiki articles for examples. If you're trying to decide whether to make a link or not, ask yourself "If I were reading this article, would the link be useful to me?"
When you want to make a link to another WilmottWiki page (called a wiki link) you have to put it in double square brackets, like this:
And then the link is created automatically.
If you want to use words other than the article title as the text of the link, you can do so by adding the pipe "|" divider followed by the alternative name (the "pipe" is SHIFT + BACKSLASH on English-layout keyboards; some other keyboards follow this convention too, but others do not - e.g. on Danish keyboards the "pipe" is on ALTGR + ACCENT (´)).
For example, if you wanted to make a link to French banks, but wanted it to say "France" you would write it as such:
- To view the article, [[French banks|France]]...
It would appear as:
- To view the article, France...
but would link to the French banks page.
You can also put the article in a category with others in a related topic. Just type [[Category:]], and put the name of the category between the colon and the brackets.
To make a link to a Category page (for example, as a reference for further research), simply put a colon (:) at the beginning of the "Category" tag, like this:
- [[:Category:Foreign Exchange]]
The above code would produce the following:
It is very important to put in the correct categories so that other people can easily find your work. The best way to find which categories to put in is to look at pages on similar subjects, and check which categories they use. For example if you write an article about a type of wine, you may look at an article on another type of wine to see which category would be appropriate.
Wiki-syntax makes it easy to make user-friendly external links. If you want to link to a site outside of Wikipedia, it should almost always go under the "External links" heading at the end of an article.
The easiest way to make a link is to simply type in the full URL for the URL page you want to link to. For example, if you want to make a link to Google, all you need to do is type:
The wiki will automatically treat this text as a link (as has been done with the URL above) and will display the raw web address, including the "http://" part. In practice, you won't see this format much, as raw URLs are ugly and often give no clue to what the site actually is.
To make the link display something other than the URL, use one square bracket at each end. If you want to make a link to Google, type:
This will display the link as a number in brackets, like this: . This format is mostly used for citing sources within an article. It looks like a footnote, so it's best to use it only as such (for example, following a direct quote or a statement which requires a source). Avoid this usage: "According to , the last full moon of the second millennium occurred on December 11, 1999." Rather do this: "the last full moon of the second millennium occurred on December 11, 1999." Also avoid using an external link when it's possible to accomplish the same thing with an internal link to an WilmottWiki article.
If you want the link to appear with text that you specify, add an alternative title after the address separated by a space (not a pipe). So if you want the link to appear as Google search engine, just type:
- [http://www.google.com/ Google search engine]
Note: Using certain characters, such as a pipe (|) in the URL of the link will cause the link to fail; however, URL syntax provides the ability to specify any character in a URL as a hexadecimal equivalent to its ASCII representation, so you can, for instance, write %7C instead of the pipe character.
When placed under the "External links" heading, the links should be listed in bullet-point format:
- ==External links==
- *[http://www.google.com/ Google search engine]
Talk pages are a key feature of WilmottWiki, offering the ability to discuss articles and other issues with other users.
If you want to ask a question about an article, or you have a concern or comment, you can put a note in the article's talk page. You do that by clicking the "discussion" tab at the top of the page. Don't worry if the link shows up in red; it's okay to create the talk page if it doesn't already exist.
When you post a new comment, put it at the bottom of the talk page. The exception is that if you're responding to someone else's remarks, put your comment below theirs. You can indent your comment by typing a colon (:) at the beginning of a line.
You should sign your comments by typing ~~~ for just your username, or ~~~~ for your username and a time signature (see the example discussion below). When you save the page, your signature will be inserted automatically. Most of us use time signatures because it makes following discussions much easier. For your convenience, there is a button at the top of the edit box with a signature icon which automatically inserts "--~~~~". You can get a username by creating an account (it's free).
Every member has their own talk page, on which other members can leave messages. If someone has left you a message, you will see a note saying "You have new messages", with a link to your user talk page. You can reply in either of two ways. One is to put a message on the user talk page of the person you're replying to. The other is to put your reply on your own talk page beneath the original message. Both are common on WilmottWiki; however, be aware that replying on your own talk page runs the risk that your reply won't be seen, if the user doesn't look at your talk page again.
Keep in mind
There are some things to keep in mind when editing WilmottWiki.
WilmottWiki encourages an atmosphere of friendliness and openness. Of course, in practice there are sometimes disagreements and even the occasional fight, but members of the community are expected to behave in a generally civil manner. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should always assume good faith on the part of other editors. Don't assume that someone is acting out of spite or malice. If someone does something that upsets you, leave a polite message on the relevant article's talk page or on the user's talk page, and ask why. You may find that you've avoided a misunderstanding and saved yourself some embarrassment.
WilmottWiki's editorial policy is the "neutral point of view," often abbreviated "NPOV." This policy says that we accept all the significant viewpoints on an issue. Instead of simply stating one perspective, we try to present all relevant viewpoints without judging which is correct. Our aim is to be informative, not persuasive. Our policy does NOT mean that our articles are expected to be 100% "objective," since in any dispute both sides believe their view to be "true."
It's OK to state opinions in articles, but they must be presented as opinions, not as fact. Also, it's a good idea to attribute these opinions, for example "Supporters of this say that..." or "Notable commentator X believes that..."
You might see members referring to an article as "POV." This is WilmottWiki slang for a biased article, or one obviously written from a single perspective. Advertising would fall in this category, as would a political diatribe. In a less extreme case, an article might have "POV" problems if it spends significantly more time discussing one view than another, even if each view is presented neutrally.
If you're going to spend time on controversial articles, it's important that you read the neutral point of view policy page as soon as possible.
WilmottWiki doesn't require that you cite sources for the information you contribute, but we do prefer that you do so whenever possible. If you're using a book (or books) to write the article, list them in a section called "References". If you're using a website, make an "External links" section and link to it. This helps our readers verify what you've written and find more information.
U.S. (and Canadian) English vs. Englishes outside North America: Both forms are welcome on WilmottWiki. An abridged version of the related policy could be stated as:
- 1. Do not edit a page simply to "correct" the spelling in either direction.
- 2. If the subject is related to the U.S., then U.S. English is preferred.
- 3. If the subject is related to the UK/Commonwealth, then British/Australian English is preferred. The same applies to most European topics, as people in Europe mostly see British English.
- 4. If the subject is not regional (such as astronomy), the original contributor's usage should be followed.
- 5. The usage should be consistent throughout an article, unless it mentions both US- and Britain/Commonwealth-related topics. In that case, Policies 2 and 3 are held more supreme.
- 6. When you create a new article, you might want to test the spelling on Google, or on a different search engine to your preference. The title with more results is generally preferred.
Do not submit copyrighted material without permission. The best articles are usually written from either personal knowledge, or through the synthesis of research from multiple sources. For a more detailed discussion of copyrights, see WilmottWiki:Copyrights.
If you find an article that you believe is mis-named, please do not cut & paste the contents of the old article into a new article--among other things, it separates the previous contributions from their edit history (which we need to keep track of for copyright reasons). The preferred method is to move the page to the new name. If it's your first move, please read the warnings on the move page carefully, as there are a number of issues to consider before moving a page.