StrategyWiki:Guide/Basics

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Whether you're itching to start editing pages or just need help finding something, this is the page to get you started using the wiki.

About the Wiki FormatEdit

The wiki format was designed to allow many users to work together to create web sites. Although the largest and most well-known example of the format is Wikipedia, the software behind it can be used for other applications. For us, it's game strategy guides.

Why use the wiki format?

  • One guide created by many users will eventually have a higher quality than separate guides created by individuals.
  • Different people have different skills. Some people will be great at writing, others will be skilled at visual presentation, and so on.
  • Nothing is ever lost. That's right! Even after a page is changed, all of the older versions of that page are still available in case errors need to be corrected.
  • Standardization is much easier across multiple guides. With a consistent format, readers can find what they're looking for faster.
  • Different types of media can be integrated seamlessly. A StrategyWiki guide may include text, tables, charts, graphs, maps, and screenshots right alongside each other. Links to sounds or even explanatory videos are also possible.

For more information about the software behind StrategyWiki, see http://www.mediawiki.org.

Finding What You WantEdit

At first it can be a little hard to find the exact page you're looking for. Here are a few tips to help you out.

A search box is available at the top-right of every page in the default stylesheet. (It is at the end of each page when stylesheets are turned off.) You'll notice that there are two buttons: "go" and "search". "Go", the default behavior, will try to take you to the page that exactly matches what you've entered into the box. "Search" will search the wiki for pages containing the text you've entered. If "go" can't find a page with the exact name you specified, it will tell you so, and display search results as if you had clicked on "search". Usually entering a full game title will take you straight to that game's page. For example, "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" will take you right to our Ocarina of Time guide. Most guides have several alternative names as well. "Ocarina of Time" all by itself will also take you to the appropriate guide.

If you're more in the browsing mood, there are a few ways to go. You can check out StrategyWiki:Categories to see the major genre and game system categories that are in use. Clicking the name of a genre or game system will display a list of pages that are listed in the category. If you want to see all the categories in use, not just the ones on that page, you can check out Special:Categories.

You can browse the list of all pages using Special:Allpages. You can enter in a few characters into the search box at the top to only show pages starting with your text. There's a quick shortcut to see the list of all pages starting with a certain letter at StrategyWiki:Quick_index.

Editing PagesEdit

Once you've set up an account, you can start editing pages. You'll notice that above the heading of every page is a tab that says "Edit". Click that tab to start editing.

The current contents of the page will be displayed. Below it is the textbox where you will make your changes. We've got a whole other page about how to use all the crazy wiki formatting over at Help:Editing. (This page is also available through the "editing help" link below the text box on the edit page.) To give editing a try without fear of making any lasting changes to pages, use the StrategyWiki:Sandbox page.

Once you've made your changes, you should always take a peek at how the finished page will look once you submit it. Click the "Preview" button and the editing page will be updated to show you what the new page will look like. If you're satisfied, just click the "Save page" button to make your changes. If it's not quite right, you can continue editing and preview again until you're satisfied.

You should try to leave a comment about your change when possible. It helps other editors know what exactly you changed and why. Just type a short comment in the box before saving your revision.

If your change is relatively minor, for example a simple spelling or formatting correction, you can mark your edit as "minor". Whether or not to check this option is entirely up to you, and it serves only as a note to you and the other editors. One guideline you might like to use is to leave it unchecked for content edits and checked for edits which don't change the page's meaning.

Remember, once you make a change, the updated version of the page is viewable immediately!

Using Talk PagesEdit

Every page on StrategyWiki has a corresponding "talk page". To see a page's talk page, click the "Discussion" link on the right sidebar. Talk pages are where users can discuss the details of the corresponding page. You might find users chatting about the content or formatting of a page, trying to decide the best way to proceed. These pages can be edited the same way as any other page.

Usually conversations should be "threaded", that is, related comments should be grouped together, and replies should be indented and placed below the original comment. When editing a talk page, you can automatically sign your name and link to your user profile by typing four tildes (~~~~). (This actually works on every page, but you should avoid using it on normal guide pages.)

Viewing Page HistoriesEdit

It's easy to see all of the changes that have ever been made to a page and who made the change. Just click the "History" tab (by the "Edit" tab) to see the list of all the previous versions. You can see when the change was made and who made it, along with any comments they made about their edit.

Clicking a date will display the page as it appeared after that edit. You can click the "Older revision" and "Newer revision" links at the top of the page to see older and newer versions of the same page.

The "cur" and "last" links will show you the differences between revisions. "Cur" will show you the difference between the version you clicked on and the current version of the page. "Last" will show only the difference between version you clicked on and the version right before it. You can also compare two specific versions by selecting them with the radio buttons and clicking the "Compare selected versions" button at the top of the list.

You can use the history to revert a page to its old state. If you want to do this, click the "Edit" link while viewing an old version of the page, then save the page.

Viewing Recent ChangesEdit

The Special:Recentchanges page is a great way to see what's being worked on. It will show the most recent changes made to any pages on the site. You might want to watch this page and check out the edits as they're submitted.

User PagesEdit

When you sign up for an account, you get your own user page. Most people use their user pages to talk a little about themselves and their contributions to the wiki. To see and edit your user page, click your username at the top of any page.

Every user also has a talk page. User talk pages are a great way to send messages to other users. Every time you edit another user's talk page, they'll be notified that they have new messages when they visit the site and optionally through an email message.

Watching PagesEdit

You can easily keep tabs on pages you're interested in by watching them. To watch a page, just click the "Watch" link on the right sidebar.

To manage your watch list and see recent changes to pages you're watching, click the "My watchlist" link at the top of the page.

To watch some or all subpages of a guide, go to Special:WatchSubpages, enter the name of the guide you wish to watch, and check which subpages you wish to include.

Last modified on 2 August 2012, at 03:40