Wiki Manual

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What is a Wiki?

Answer: different things to different people. To some it is

  • online collaboration software. People from around the globe can edit pages that are instantly updated. Anyone can create, read, and modify resources (webpages) and every other interested party will immediately see the changes.
    • a collective editing of content. Wikipedia is now the canonical example.
    • a Content Management System (CMS) stemming from the previous point

What's the collaboration realm look like just now?


Wiki extension

Cluster:Wiki:Why

Why? Motivate me

At it's heart a Wiki is a collaboration tool. The question is when and where to use it? Let's tackle first by giving some use cases:

  • (Collaborative) Research
    • Since all changes and every in-between state of pages is stored, it makes simple the three A's of research:
      • Authentication: you can set up wikis so that only certain people can edit content. Thus, to edit content, people will need to authenticate with the wiki software.
      • Authorized: by authenticating, the wiki authorizes them to edit the web resources it contains.
      • Auditing: by editing web resources as an authenticated user, the system now can keep basic statistics, like when a certain piece of information was added or removed, who modified the page, and when. (What do we know and when did we learn it?)


Cluster:Wiki: current Collaboration Scene

Current Topography

  • Physically meet
    • Two or more people can have a meeting. Just have everyone who needs to be in on "it" show up at the meeting.
  • Letters
    • Allows (roughly) two people to communicate. Just need to pay a lot for stamps, wait a couple of days for the letters to travel.
  • Email
    • Akin to letters, but a heck of a lot faster and cheaper. It's also easier to keep multiple people in the loop. (What's the latest thread?)
  • Telephone
    • Allows two to communicate over long distances. Teleconference phone calls allow more than two people to communicate. Expensive. People still have to actually (virtually) be at the meeting.
  • Wiki
    • Allow anyone in a given group to edit pages on the wiki. When I'm asleep, Alexa in Taiwan can put something up, and then I can read it later. Cheap, instant. "Always up to date." Separates discussion from "solved".
  • What's missing?
    • There is at least one item missing from this list. What is it?

I'll motivate wikis in a minute, but first let's see how to do them.


Content:CS Wiki Setup

The wiki site (this site) runs off of Quark. It uses Mediawiki 1.3.7 (we might want to think about upgrading that).

The document root for the wiki is located at /clients/www/mediawiki

The Apache configuration for the mediawiki subdomain is located at /usr/local/etc/apache22/extra/httpd-ssl.conf


Wiki Syntax

Here's Wikipedia's page on how to use wiki syntax.
Here's Mediawiki's page on Wiki Formatting Help.

Headings

To create headings, put a the heading on a line by itself and use equals signs (=) around the text. Fewer equals signs means a bigger heading.

For instance, the following wiki code

= Heading One =
== Heading Two ==
=== Heading Three ===
==== Heading Four ====

would look like this:

Heading One

Heading Two

Heading Three

Heading Four

Linking to a Page

Linking to a page inside the wiki is easy: just type two square brackets, the name of the page, and then two square brackets. For instance, to link to a page called My Curriculum, type [[My Curriculum]].

To link to a page outside of the wiki, use one square brackets, the URL, the text you want displayed, and then the ending bracket. For instance, to link to Google, type [http://google.com Google is convenient]. This example would look like this: Google is convenient.

Creating a Page

To create a page, just create a link as above to a page that doesn't exist yet. The first time you click on the link, you'll be able to start creating contents.

Bold, Italics, and Bullets, Oh my!

To create something in bold, use three apostrophes, like '''this is bold.'''. The previous example would look like this: this is bold.

To create something in italics, use two apostrophes, like ''this is italic''. The previous example would look like this: this is italic.

To be both bold and italic, add the apostrophes together for a total of five apostrophes.

Bulleted lists can automatically be created by adding an asterisk (*) in front of the text. For instance, wiki code that looks like this:

* Cats are nice
* I also like dogs
** Poodles are my favorite
** I also like bichons
* Aquariums are fun but take work

is displayed like this:

  • Cats are nice
  • I also like dogs
    • Poodles are my favorite
    • I also like bichons
  • Aquariums are fun but take work

Numbered lists: use # instead of *

To insert a line break inside of a bulleted item or numbered item, use

<br />

Do NOT press Enter inside your code for a single bulleted item. For example,

*My dogs (each with babies):
*# Dachshund
*# Leonberger
*# Oh, here's my email address:<br /><br />retriever@newfoundland.edu<br /><br />Please feel free to copy it!
*# Right, I shouldn't forget my chao chao

is displayed as:

  • My dogs (each with babies):
    1. Dachshund
    2. Leonberger
    3. Oh, here's my email address:

      retriever@newfoundland.edu

      Please feel free to copy it!
    4. Right, I shouldn't forget my chao chao

More on bulleted lists and numbered lists.

When you start to edit this page, you will see the syntax I am using to create different effects. I'll try to add more later, but this should get us all started.

If you want to split text into sections

Use headings

to subdivide

text (which become different font sizes)

Lists

  • start each line with a star
    • more stars make deeper levels
      • you can experiment with this

A blank line will end the list

  1. Numbered lists
  2. Are also simple to figure out
  3. You can subdivide your list
    1. By adding
    2. more # symbols

A blank line will end it

Font effects

These are pretty easy to do

with the highlight buttons

'how'