UserPreferences

WikiHowtoSupplement


1. WikiHowtoSupplement - Introduction

Wiki's documentation kinda sucks. It's hard to figure out where to find answers to simple questions about mark-up and features. (If you want to try, check out the HelpIndex page.)

It's also really silly to have to learn yet another typographical markup convention when HTML already has one that does the same exact stuff. Wiki's markup is supposed to be simpler and more accessible to the non-HTML-geek, but in fact it's just another set of complications and kludges and things-to-learn. (See: ThingsIHateAboutMoinMoin)

Now that I've got that out of my system... here, collected into one place, things I wish had been collected into one place before:

1.1. Table of Contents

  1. WikiHowtoSupplement - Introduction
    1. Table of Contents
  2. Wiki encoding basics - how to turn your text into a good-looking page
    1. The basic rule of text formatting in Wiki
    2. How can I add line breaks within paragraphs?
    3. How can I indent paragraphs, and how far can I go?
    4. Is there any way to center text (or images, or anything else)?
    5. Isn't there any way to just use standard HTML encoding?
    6. What's all this about trailing whitespace?
    7. How can I include text that isn't interpreted as mark-up by wiki?
    8. How can I add an image to a page?
    9. How do I make headings?
    10. How can I add footnotes?
  3. How to make links inside and outside the slo.punks wiki
    1. The simple, easy way
    2. How to force a link from something that doesn't become one automatically
    3. How to link to an external site
    4. How to link to an internal page without using that page's name as the link
    5. Is there a way to "#include" stuff from another page?
    6. How do you set and link to anchors in a page?
  4. Italics, bold-face, and other advanced text formatting
    1. Characters you won't find on your keyboard
  5. Lists: bulleted, numbered and such
    1. Bulleted lists
    2. Numbered lists
    3. Other list styles and tricks
    4. Term/definition lists
  6. Tables and what you can do with them
    1. Adding color to tables, spanning, sizing, aligning contents, etc.
    2. Putting multiple paragraphs into a single table cell
  7. Miscellaneous typographical bells and whistles
    1. How to turn the numbering of headings on and off
    2. How to add a table of contents to a page
    3. Horizontal rules (lines)
  8. Redirection, and what to do about pages that shouldn't exist
    1. What to do if a page is obsolete, incorrectly-named, or what-have-you
    2. Can't I just delete a page if I misspelled the title or something?
    3. How to automatically redirect one page to another internal page
    4. Can I automatically redirect to an external page?
    5. What is the effect of deprecating a page?
  9. Miscellaneous behind-the-scenes Wiki features
    1. How to recover editor contents after a browser shutdown or crash
    2. How to set up and use "random quotes" pages
    3. What you can accomplish with variable substitution
    4. Access control
    5. Potentially useful macros
    6. Working with templates
  10. Footnotes

2. Wiki encoding basics - how to turn your text into a good-looking page

In theory, wiki page mark-up is simple. You just type in what you want to say in a natural, intuitive way, and Wiki formats it to look good in a web browser. If you want to make a link, just squeeze two or more words together in mixed-case and it happens automagically.

In reality, things aren't so simple. You may quickly find that if you use certain types of punctuation, or put spaces in the wrong places, your pages will turn out looking weird and hard-to-read. So it's worth learning how wiki does its tricks so you can use the tricks yourself, or at least so you'll have some idea of why things go wrong when they go wrong.

2.1. The basic rule of text formatting in Wiki

Here's an example:

Four score
and seven years ago
our fathers brought forth upon this continent
 a new nation
 conceived in liberty
and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war...

And here's what it ends up looking like when Wiki formats it:


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent

and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war...


Notice how the first three lines were concatinated into a single paragraph, then the next two lines into a new, indented paragraph, then the following two lines into another, non-indented paragraph. But the last line, because it has a blank line between it and the previous ones, stands alone.

2.2. How can I add line breaks within paragraphs?

What if you want to add a line-break inside of a paragraph, but you don't want to start a new paragraph? You can use the [[BR]] markup instruction to do this:

There once was a man from the sticks,[[BR]] 
Who liked to write limericks.[[BR]]But he failed at the sport,[[BR]]
Because he wrote them too short.

becomes:


There once was a man from the sticks,
Who liked to write limericks.
But he failed at the sport,
Because he wrote them too short.

2.3. How can I indent paragraphs, and how far can I go?

You indent paragraphs by preceding them with one or more spaces. Consecutive lines at the same indentation level get concatinated into single paragraphs at that level. How many levels of indentation are there? I don't know. I stopped counting at eleven. Example:

 one
  two
   three
    four
     five

becomes:



2.4. Is there any way to center text (or images, or anything else)?

<!> You got me. See: ThingsIHateAboutMoinMoin <!>

2.5. Isn't there any way to just use standard HTML encoding?

Yes and no. In theory, you can. In practice you can't. But, just to be thorough, in theory, there are two ways:

/!\ Neither of these methods actually works /!\

2.5.1. Useless method #1: The FORMAT directive

You can put the directive "#FORMAT HTML" at the very top of the page you're editing, and the rest of the text on the page will be interpreted as HTML. Except:

  1. You can't and it won't. This feature isn't available yet.

  2. You'd lose some Wiki features, like being able to use a WikiName to link to a page.

2.5.2. Useless method #2: Inline HTML

Wouldn't it be great if you could just switch to HTML inside of an otherwise Wiki-formatted page? There is a way. You use the HTML() macro, like this:

This will show up on the page as: [[HTML(<font size="+12">This is large font</font>)]]

What? You say that didn't work? Well, it only works if the HTML Wiki extensions are installed, and apparently they aren't. So you're out of luck.

2.6. What's all this about trailing whitespace?

"Whitespace" includes things like spaces and tabs that are characters that take up space although they can be invisible in many circumstances.

Apparently there is some bug in this wiki software where if when you edit a page you leave whitespace at the end of a line (so that the last thing on the line is a space or a tab) this can cause the page to format incorrectly. I've seen this bug manifest in headings, for instance, where if there's a space after the last "=" sign, the heading won't render as a heading.

In any case, there's a checkbox below the edit window for pages, just below the "Save Changes," "Preview," "Check Spelling," and "Cancel" buttons, that's marked "Remove trailing whitespace from each line." If you check this box, evidently your whitespace will be automagically cleaned up for you and this problem will go away. I've never tried it myself, so I don't know if it works or if it has side effects.

If you know more about this - please edit this guide and share your wisdom.

2.7. How can I include text that isn't interpreted as mark-up by wiki?

If you put a string of characters inside of two sets of three curly-braces, the string will be rendered in monospace type and any mark-up inside will not be interpreted by wiki. For instance,

displays as

You can also use the "back-tick" character ("`") to do this:

displays as

2.8. How can I add an image to a page?

There are two ways to put an image on a wiki page, either by using a URL to refer to an image stored elsewhere, or by using an emoticon-like series of symbols to refer to a wiki smiley or icon:

2.8.1. Using the URL of an image stored on-line somewhere

To include an image stored elsewhere on the web, just include the URL for that image in a page:

 Here is a nice http://history.punk.net/classic/img/checkmark.png icon

becomes:



Text doesn't flow around large images particularly gracefully. For example (you may need to resize your font and/or your browser window to see the extent of the problem):

Here is an example that intends to show how text wraps around an
in-line image, in this case the bus image that (at the time this
example was made anyway) was found at the upper left of every
slo.punks history wiki page: http://history.punk.net/classic/img/punk_bus.png As
you can see, the text flows around this image in a fairly awkward way.
If there's a way to exert more control over this behavior, I don't
know what it is.  Using tables is one potential approach to the problem.
becomes:
Here is an example that intends to show how text wraps around an in-line image, in this case the bus image that (at the time this example was made anyway) was found at the upper left of every slo.punks history wiki page: http://history.punk.net/classic/img/punk_bus.png As you can see, the text flows around this image in a fairly awkward way. If there's a way to exert more control over this behavior, I don't know what it is. Using tables is one potential approach to the problem.

2.8.2. Using one of the available icons and smileys

There are a number of icons and smileys that are available as part of Wiki that are referenced using a different syntax than is used for external images.

Luckily for us, there really is a good Wiki help page that shows all of the available icon and smiley icons and how to use them: HelpOnSmileys

2.9. How do I make headings?

Headings are created by putting the text of the heading between sets of equals-signs. So, for instance, the heading above was created this way (the numbering is done automagically):

== How do I make headings? ==

The number of equals-signs indicates the level of the heading. Corresponding to an outline, the heading mark-up would look something like this:

  1. = First heading =

  2. = Second heading =

    1. == First subheading ==

    2. == Second subheading ==

      1. === First sub-subheading ===

2.10. How can I add footnotes?

You can add a footnote with the [[FootNote()]] directive. The text in the footnote cannot itself contain any markup.

Here's an example[[FootNote(Example from the "How to add footnotes" section.)]]
becomes:


Here's an example1

/!\ I don't recommend this. Footnotes should be used sparingly anyway, but in addition I've noticed that wiki footnotes don't play nicely with other wiki features. I consider this a not-ready-for-primetime feature. /!\

3. How to make links inside and outside the slo.punks wiki

Once you've got text formatting down, you'll want to learn how to make links, because links are what makes the slo.punks history wiki fun.

3.1. The simple, easy way

The simple way to make a wiki link is just to type in the name of the wiki page, for instance: ArmTheHomeless or BobDobbs. Note that they're typically two or more words scrunched up together with the spaces removed. A mixed-case string like this is typically converted into a wiki link automagically.

If a page with a title corresponding to that string exists, the link will point there. If not, the link will point to a blank, "dummy" page that can be added at some other time.

Some mixed-case strings just happen to be that way even though nobody wants or intends them to become a wiki link. But to wiki, they look like your standard, run-of-the-mill wiki names. The way to fool wiki is to put two back-ticks in-between the parts of the name, for instance: "Mac``Guyver".

If the mixed-case string has two or more capital letters in a row, it won't automagically become a wiki link after all. But that's okay, because there's a way to force wiki to make any string into a wiki link:

3.2. How to force a link from something that doesn't become one automatically

It's not hard. Just take the string you'd like to turn into a wiki link and enclose it in brackets and quotes, like so: ["Atascadero"] becomes Atascadero

3.3. How to link to an external site

There are three ways to do this:

  1. just type out the URL: http://hometown.aol.com/nishigaki3/index.htm becomes http://hometown.aol.com/nishigaki3/index.htm

  2. put the URL in brackets: [http://hometown.aol.com/nishigaki3/index.htm] becomes [WWW]http://hometown.aol.com/nishigaki3/index.htm

    (These have almost identical results - the little globe icon that is put in front of the link when you use the brackets technique indicates that the link is to an external site - not to another page on the wiki. But if the whole URL is displayed, this is obvious anyway.)

  3. put the URL in brackets followed by some text: [http://hometown.aol.com/nishigaki3/index.htm How to Goodbye Depression] becomes [WWW]How to Goodbye Depression

3.4. How to link to an internal page without using that page's name as the link

Try this: If the page you want to link to is called WikiHowtoSupplement, refer to it this way:

becomes

/!\ If you use this method to link to a page that hasn't been created yet, the link will not go to the standard "create me" page, but instead will fairly uselessly go to the InterWiki page. See: ThingsIHateAboutMoinMoin /!\

3.5. Is there a way to "#include" stuff from another page?

In other words, can you find a hunk of text on some other wiki page and import it by reference into another wiki page? Yes, you can: see HelpOnMacros/Include

/!\ I've run into a bug where if the page with the section that is being imported contains footnotes, even if those footnotes are not within the section being imported, the footnotes will be carried over onto the page that contains the include directive. See: ThingsIHateAboutMoinMoin /!\

3.6. How do you set and link to anchors in a page?

To set an anchor in a page, use [[Anchor(anchorname)]] - for instance: [[Anchor(gosub)]] To make a link to that anchor, use [#anchorname] or [#anchorname some text]:

[#gosub] becomes #gosub
[#gosub go away] becomes go away

<!> There doesn't seem to be a way to link to an anchor on another page on the wiki (see: ThingsIHateAboutMoinMoin)

4. Italics, bold-face, and other advanced text formatting

Effect Formatting Result
Italics ''foobar'' foobar
Bold '''foobar''' foobar
Underline __foobar__ foobar
Superscript f^oo^bar foobar
Subscript f,,oo,,bar foobar

You can mix and match, although (especially for bold and italics) the syntax isn't obvious:

Formatting Result
'''''Mix''' at the beginning'' Mix at the beginning
'''''Mix'' at the beginning''' Mix at the beginning
'''Mix at the ''end''''' Mix at the end
''Mix at the '''end''''' Mix at the end

4.1. Characters you won't find on your keyboard

How can you include funky characters in your pages that aren't in the standard ascii set that you can just type out on your keyboard (for instance, accents, arrows, and the like)?

You can't do this by using the HTML named special characters (for instance &eacute;). However, you can use the unicode equivalents (for instance &#8593;) and you may be able to cut and paste the characters directly into the edit buffer.

Example: "&#8473;&#360;&#325;&#312;" becomes "ℙŨŅĸ"

5. Lists: bulleted, numbered and such

5.1. Bulleted lists

To make a bulleted list, put the items on the list on lines preceeded by " * ":

If you put asterisks at the start of the line
  * you get 
  * a bulleted
  * list
    * that can be indented
      * several levels

becomes:


If you put asterisks at the start of the line

5.2. Numbered lists

For a numbered list, replace the asterisks with "1.":

If you put ones at the start of the lines
  1. you get 
  1. a numbered
  1. list
    1. that can also be indented
    1. several
      1. levels

becomes:


If you put ones at the start of the lines
  1. you get

  2. a numbered

  3. list

    1. that can also be indented

    2. several

      1. levels


5.3. Other list styles and tricks

Instead of using "*" or "1.", you can use "i." or "I." to make the lists use roman numerals (either lowercase or uppercase), and "a." or "A." to have the lists use ascending letters of the alphabet (again, either lowercase or uppercase).

If you follow this code for the numbering style with a number, in a format like "a.#5" you can force the list to begin at a certain number or to skip to a certain number.

Here are some examples:

Other styles of list:
  * Lowercase roman
    i. one
    i. two
  * Uppercase roman (with start offset 42)
    I.#42 forty-two
    I. forty-three
  * Lowercase alpha (with start at "e")
    a.#5 elephant
    a. fairy
  * Uppercase alpha
    A. one
    A. two

becomes:


Other styles of list:

5.4. Term/definition lists

You can also make term/definition style lists by using the following formatting (note that each line must have a space at the beginning):

 factoid:: resembling fact
 factoblast:: a large conglomeration of facts, frequently resembling an unwanted guest

becomes:


factoid

resembling fact

factoblast

a large conglomeration of facts, frequently resembling an unwanted guest


6. Tables and what you can do with them

To make a table, each line of text becomes a row in the table. Cells in the table are set off from each other by double-bars ("||") in the text, so that, for instance:

||Satan||wears red||
||Hilary||wears red||
||ergo||???||
becomes
Satan wears red
Hilary wears red
ergo ???

6.1. Adding color to tables, spanning, sizing, aligning contents, etc.

For more advanced table formatting, please refer to HelpOnTables.

6.2. Putting multiple paragraphs into a single table cell

A row of a table must correspond to a single line in the Wiki source. If you put a line-break into the source of a Wiki table, this will disrupt Wiki's parsing of the table and it won't turn out right. For example:

||Satan||wears

red||
becomes


||Satan||wears

red||


So what if you want to put multiple paragraphs in a table cell? You have to put the paragraphs on the same line and insert the paragraph gaps manually with [[BR]], for instance:
||Satan||wears[[BR]][[BR]]red||
becomes
Satan wears

red

7. Miscellaneous typographical bells and whistles

7.1. How to turn the numbering of headings on and off

Currently, headings are unnumbered by default. You can turn the automagic numbering of headings on (as I have done on this page) by making the first line of a page read:

#PRAGMA section-numbers on

You can also restrict the numbering to the first n levels. For instance, #pragma section-numbers 2 only displays section numbers for headings of level 2 and up (similarly for 3 to 6).

7.2. How to add a table of contents to a page

Easy as pie. The directive [[TableOfContents()]] will do it for you by looking at all of the headings on the page and coming up with an appropriate numbered list with anchored links - all automagic. You can pass in a number parameter to TableOfContents() to limit the depth of header levels represented in the table. For instance:

[[TableOfContents(1)]] becomes:


  1. WikiHowtoSupplement - Introduction
  2. Wiki encoding basics - how to turn your text into a good-looking page
  3. How to make links inside and outside the slo.punks wiki
  4. Italics, bold-face, and other advanced text formatting
  5. Lists: bulleted, numbered and such
  6. Tables and what you can do with them
  7. Miscellaneous typographical bells and whistles
  8. Redirection, and what to do about pages that shouldn't exist
  9. Miscellaneous behind-the-scenes Wiki features
  10. Footnotes

7.3. Horizontal rules (lines)

A line of text consisting of four dashes in a row creates a horizontal line across the page: ----

Five dashes in a row makes a slightly thicker line, and six, seven, eight, nine, or ten dashes make the lines thicker still. Any more than ten dashes and you will just be ignored as some sort of dash-crazy blowhard and given a ten-dash line and told to be happy you got that much. See HelpOnRules for examples.

8. Redirection, and what to do about pages that shouldn't exist

8.1. What to do if a page is obsolete, incorrectly-named, or what-have-you

Let's say there's a disagreement about how someone spells their name. There's all of this great information on a page called JoeSchmo, but then Joe himself comes along and sets up his own page called JoeSchmoe. What to do?

Here's what I recommend: take all of the information on the JoeSchmo page and add it, gracefully, to the JoeSchmoe page. Then wipe the JoeSchmo page clean and make it redirect to the new JoeSchmoe page (I'll show how that's done, below).

8.2. Can't I just delete a page if I misspelled the title or something?

First of all, you can't. Only a wiki administrator can pull off that feat. Second of all, you might not want to. There may be many other pages on the wiki that incorrectly point to the page you want to delete. It's better to redirect or correct them than simply to delete the page and leave a hole.

8.3. How to automatically redirect one page to another internal page

One solution is to do a page redirect. If you edit MispeledPage so that the first line of the page reads:

#REDIRECT MisspelledPage

Then anyone who visits MispeledPage will be automagically transported to MisspelledPage instead.

8.3.1. How can I get at a page that redirects in order to edit it?

When a page redirects (the way Moorlock redirects to DaveGross), it leaves behind a little note at the top of the page indicating that the redirection has happened. If you click on the link in this note, you'll get back to the page that did the redirection (and this time it won't redirect you). From there, you can do your editing.

<!> missing: How to delay the redirect (I think this is possible) <!>

8.4. Can I automatically redirect to an external page?

<!> I haven't been able to figure out how, if indeed you can. Maybe this is a feature, not a bug. <!>

8.5. What is the effect of deprecating a page?

If the first line of a page is edited to read #DEPRECATED, this indicates that

9. Miscellaneous behind-the-scenes Wiki features

9.1. How to recover editor contents after a browser shutdown or crash

If you have a homepage (meaning there's a wiki page that's got the same name as your login name), a backup of your last saved or previewed editor contents is saved either as subpage HomePageName/MoinEditorBackup (if subpages are allowed) or as page HomePageNameMoinEditorBackup (if subpages are not allowed).

So if you preview often, you will be able to recover your changes, even if your browser, computer or network connection goes down.

9.2. How to set up and use "random quotes" pages

First, create a new wiki page to hold the list of quotes. By convention, call it foobarQuotes, where "foobar" is replaced by something that distinguishes your quotes pages from some other quotes page.

Then, add your quotes to this page as a bulleted list (see Lists above) - this bulleted list should be the only thing on the page - no title, no headings, no nothing. See ZippyThePinheadQuotes for an example.

Finally, wherever you want a random quote to appear, use the directive [[RandomQuote(foobarQuotes)]].

/!\ I tried to put an example here, but this triggers the premature display of footnotes. Well, there you go: another wiki bug. See ThingsIHateAboutMoinMoin /!\

9.3. What you can accomplish with variable substitution

The following variables are substituted when a page is finally saved. Note that they'll appear unreplaced in the preview! These are mostly useful in template pages:

variable description for example
@PAGE@ Name of the page (useful for template pages) WikiHowtoSupplement
@DATE@ Current date in the system's format 2004-03-13
@TIME@ Current date and time in the user's format 2004-03-13 03:44:43
@USERNAME@ Just the user's name (or his domain/IP) DaveGross
@USER@ Signature "-- loginname" -- DaveGross
@SIG@ Dated Signature "-- loginname date time" -- DaveGross 2004-03-13 03:44:43
@MAILTO@ A fancy mailto: link with the user's data
(but see also the mailto macro for a way of obscuring this from spambots)
[MAILTO]MarcosDella

Note that saving template or form definition pages does not expand variables, and neither does using "Preview" to view a page. Other than that, variable expansion is very global and happens anywhere on the page, including in code displays, comments, processing instructions and other "special" areas of a page you might assume would be excluded.

9.4. Access control

Is it possible to lock-down a Wiki page so that only the person who created the page, or a certain subset of users can modify it? What about forbidding certain malcontents from altering specific pages? HelpOnAccessControlLists shows how this is done. I've never tried it myself, so I don't know if it works on this Wiki.

9.5. Potentially useful macros

<!> but mention some useful ones here, too <!>

9.6. Working with templates

To create a template, create a page with a name ending in "Template". This page will then be added to the list of template pages displayed when you try to show a non-existant page. For example, NonExistantHelpPage has a link to HelpTemplate that loads the content of HelpTemplate into the editor box, when you click on that link.

<!> missing - details about what goes into a template, and what they're good for <!>

10. Footnotes

There's nothing here, really, but this section needs to exist because it contains things that show off features from previous sections. If you just got here by scrolling down through the previous sections, you can ignore this.

(gosub) #return