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Primer for Creating Pages

Page history last edited by Garand 11 years ago Saved with comment

Want to create pages? Want to be awesome, like me? It's not as hard as it seems, brosef!

Basic Formatting

If you look at any properly done Wikipedia article you'll see that the information is carefully arranged into sections. This is the best way to keep information organized and useful for a reader. Luckily it's not difficult to use, either from the beginning or when renovating an article.


The Table of Contents

A properly utilized Table of Contents will help you keep your article organized and clean. Adding one to a page is quite simple. From the edit page, click the "Insert Plugin" icon. It will pop up a small window. Mouse over "Page Info" and select "Table of Contents". Hit next a couple of times (you don't need to bother changing settings), and it will drop a little green box into your edit window. This is where the Table of Contents will reside on your page. You don't need to worry about manually filling in the information because it will automatically update. You just have to use headers to tell it what to update with.


Headers and You

If you look to the toolbar at the top of the editing window, you'll see a little dropdown that typically says "Normal". This is how you create section headers like the one just above, and these section headers will automatically be updated in the Table of Contents. Add your title before each section of text, and then highlight it. Then go to that dropdown and choose your heading size. You can see an example of how that works on this page: the "Basic Formatting" is set as Heading 1, while "The Table of Contents" and "Headers and You" are Heading 2.  Do you see in the Table of Contents how these Heading 2 sections are treated as subsections? It does that automatically for you.


On Fanciness

Incidentally, it's worth pointing out that although you can edit the source of a page, almost all of your fancy CSS stuff will get stripped out, unfortunately. You can do some basic tasks with the <span> tags, like 'color:' and the like, but no boxes and definitely not any useful table management. I spent hours trying to make that front page table a glorious, elegant example of proper CSSmithy, but alas, all my work was for naught.


Regarding Images

Well of course you'll want your article to have that certain something, you'll want it to pop, you want pizazz! It's pretty easy to do. First things first: make sure it's already the right size for what's appropriate. Don't upload some huge, unnecessary image (as I have accidentally done once or twice) that takes up the whole screen. 400 pixels wide or tall is usually a good upper boundary. If you need finer detail than that, zoom in and crop it. It's not hard to do so in a simple editing program like Paint. Important: Please do all that you can to ensure that you have permission to use the images you are uploading. Any violations will be taken down by the editors upon complaint.


Uploading v. Linking

When you're editing an article, you'll see a box on the right. One of the headers there says "Images and Files". At the top is the option to Upload one, and at the bottom is the option to insert a URL. It'll usually take care of the rest for you.


Fixing that ugly block crap

So you've inserted your image but it's not in the right place, and there's all that fugly white space to the side where text could go, but it won't. What do you do? You need to edit in a source code snippet to block it off to one side, and it's quite easy. This is the bit you use:


<img style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 5px; float: right;" src="f/fans.jpg" alt="" />


If you've uploaded your image, then just change the 'fans.jpg' part to your filename (keep the f/ bit). Where it says float: right, just change that to left if you want it on the other side. Note that if you have one alongside the table of contents, as I like to do, ALWAYS keep it on the right. This wiki doesn't seem to like having an image on the left right there. Otherwise it's fine to go left if you'd like.


Please Use Tags

On the upper right of every article you'll see a list of "Tags" to which the page is assigned. Tags are simply a way to keep several articles grouped together for easy reference. For instance, this page is tagged with "tips". If you click that tag, you'll get a listing of all of the other pages tagged as "tips". This is helpful for users who need to find other articles with similar information, but it is also useful for admins and contributors to the site. We can tag items as "needs work" for articles that aren't up to snuff, or as "outdated" or "archived" for conventions from years past, if we need to maintain old data.


Tagging your article is simple, and important. At the bottom of the editing page you'll see a small link titled "Edit Tags". When you click that it will switch to an edit mode. It lists all of the currently used tags to make it easier on you: just click the ones you think are appropriate and it adds them. From here you can also add your own tags, separated by a comma. When you save the page, it will automatically updated the tag lists.


Please Use Correct Tags

Tags are very useful but they only remain useful as articles get correctly tagged. For instance, if you label an article about the Blood Drive as "parking", that doesn't help anyone. This is part of a concept called "garbage in, garbage out," or "GIGO". If you screw up the tags, then they stop helping us organize articles.


When you tag your article please be sure you're using appropriate tags. If you're creating a new tag, try to make sure there's nothing else already serving that purpose (for instance, as I type this there are tags for "programming" and "programming tracks", which are the same thing... we'll have to decide which to remove). But with that said, don't be shy about creating new ones if there's a genuine use for them.



Links allow for readers to flow from one article to another, or an external resource. If you're making mention of something in an article and a wiki entry exists, link it! To create a link, highlight the text and press the "Add Link" button in the toolbar. In the Pop-Up box, you can choose a page to link to or enter the address of an external page.  Let's say you've just created an article for an event or track. In your article, you probably mentioned which hotel your event occurs. Link the mention of the hotel with it's wiki page so the reader can go for details about that particular hotel. If you've used a term or alluded to a concept that may be unknown to new members, link to the article for that term. If the page has not yet been created, the link will offer writers of the wiki the opportunity to create the page. It is best to not flood your page with links. Normally, the first mention should be linked. In longer articles, a link on a latter mention may be warranted.


After creating a new page, look for existing articles that may make for good points for readers to flow into the article you just created. You've just spent an hour or 2 crafting an outlet of information for your fellow geeks to consume. What good is it of no one can find it easily? Referring back to the previous example, let's say the article you've lovingly created is for a new track. Naturally, you would want to find the Programming Tracks article and  link your creation. If you've added a glossary term, look for articles related to that concept and link appropriately. Links do not always have to be the exact word or phrase mentioned. For example, anytime a reference is made to the smell of the unwashed masses, a link to Con Funk or 3-2-1 Rule may be found. 


Renaming Pages

Pages can only be renamed by the wiki owner. If you have a page rename request, or a page consolidation request, please use the "contact owner" link, or leave a comment on the page(s) in question and she will get back to you as soon as possible.

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