ATXHS Wiki Basics

The software that runs our wiki is MediaWiki. It’s the same one Wikipedia uses, so you can find a lot of documentation online about how it works in general.

(todo: link some examples here)

Some general guidelines about wiki content include:

  • Avoid copy-paste as much as possible. The MediaWiki templating system is pretty powerful, so it’s a good way to build up pages out of re-useable chunks For example, the drum sander page http://wiki.atxhs.org/wiki/Jet_22-44_Plus , has a red banner with the class in it is just

{{Required|Workshop Safety}}

  • Remember that good wiki content is annotated semantically rather than aesthetically - describe what text means not what it should look like . For example, “heading” instead of “large bold”. This helps keep the look of various pages consistent.

  • If you’re making a bunch of pages about related things, put them in a category. Using the drum sander as an example again, you’ll see at the bottom of the page

[[Category:Woodshop]]

This is sort of collection data for MediaWiki that causes two useful things to happen: the page gets a “categories” footer that includes “PC” (or whatever), and the page is automatically linked to from the category page (eg http://wiki.atxhs.org/wiki/Category:Woodshop ). We’re not making amazing use of those category pages right now, but the new wiki will have some updated dynamic content plugins that can do more interesting things with category data.

  • If you scrap a subject, don’t delete its page. There’s a {{graveyard}} template that draws the “this tool is no longer at ATXHS” banner and adds the page to the “graveyard” category http://wiki.atxhs.org/wiki/Category:Graveyard. I think it’s interesting to keep accessible records of stuff we used to have/do/maintain/etc where we can do it without cluttering up information people actually need.

  • If you make a really big edit, copy the text before previewing just in case something goes haywire.

  • Don’t get too picky about making a page look just so or you’ll soon learn to hate MediaWiki. It’s easier to use if you go with the flow.

  • You can change look of the entire wiki under your “preferences” menu. There’s a list of installed skins on the “Appearance” tab; “Vector” is more like what the new wiki will look like.

  • It’s also a known issue that the current wiki doesn’t render very well on phones; that’ll be fixed on the new one.

  • If you want to link to a consumable on Amazon, use the AmazonBuy template (eg {{AmazonBuy|B0009H5HYS}} ). Right now it just makes a URL to the specified product, but at some point we hope to have a referrer account to embed so we can get a credit for sales we generate.

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