What is a wiki?

"A website whose users can add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor. Wikis may serve many different purposes, such as knowledge management and notetaking." -wikipedia

In otherwords, a wiki is a simplified version of a regular HTML based website. It has a graphic page editing interface much like microsoft word and anyone can contribute! Do not be afraid to contribute or edit the wiki. Wiki pages automatically have a revision history, so if you make a mistake it can always be undone. Below are some tips for making your wiki life a little easier.

Two Quick Tips

Before I get into wiki code aka wiki markup language here are two important tips:

  1. Write down the name you have given to your new wiki page. There will be no link to the page until you create one on another page, so knowing the page name will be the only way to navigate to your new page should you close the browser window by accident for example. Use the base url and add your page name to the end such as Don't forget the underscores if you used multiple space separated words.
  2. A good way to see all pages you have created or contributed to is to click on your user name in the upper right hand corner and click on the contributions tab. This only works if you've created a wikia account and were logged in when you created or edited a page.

What is Wiki Markup Language?

Wiki Markup Language is a simplified version of HTML, the language that most websites use. It was created to make webpage editing easier. Wiki Markup uses a variety of special characters to denote things like HTML bulleted lists, tables, etc. This Wiki Markup Guide and this Help Page On Tables are good resources, but here are a few examples...

# - A series of vertically stacked # signs creates a numbered list
* - A series of vertically stacked * signs creates a bulleted list

Extended Wiki Editing Toolbar For Mozilla Firefox

If you use the web browser called Mozilla Firefox you can install two plugins that will provide you with an extended editing toolbar. First you will need to install Grease Monkey and then install WikEd. You will not see the WikEd Toolbar until you edit a wiki page. Go here to view the WikEd Toolbar Manual.

Good News/ Bad News

Like many code based applications that are later retrofitted with graphic interfaces, the graphic wiki editor can be frustrating to use. The wiki editor in visual mode is good for creating simple pages, but it is not well suited for creating elaborate page layouts. It's often quirky to try and place things exactly where you want them. For precise page layouts, you need to use the source mode and use a little HTML or Wiki Markup.

Ok, so that's the bad new, but I've already eluded to the good news! You can use regular HTML in source mode. Personally, I find the use of Wiki Markup symbols and characters entirely too abstract and confusing. I much prefer human readable HTML tags and I think you will also. W3Schools is always a good reference although it contains way more info than you need to know. (Note: You never need to use the <body> tag, essentially the wiki page is the body of an HTML page.) Here are some common HTML tags that I use frequently...

HTML Reference

Paragraph tags
<p>Text goes here</p>

Line break or carriage return, use after a line of text
<br />

Container for content (pictures, text, etc.)

Use "styles" with div tags to place and control content on the page
<div style=" text-align:center; color:#8A360F;font-size:20px;font-family:times;float:left;">content</div>

List tags, creates a bulleted list
<ul> <li>text line 1</li> <li>text line 2</li> </ul>

List tags, creates a number ordered list
<ol> <li>text line 1</li> <li>text line 2</li> </ol>

Table tags, tr = row, td = column ( like Div tags, you can use Styles with Tables also)
<table> <tr><td>one row, one column</td></tr> <tr> </table>

This is most of the wiki knowledge I have to date, hope it helps!

Mammacass4demsgudbeebles 03:51, June 9, 2012 (UTC)

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