How To Use This Wiki

This is a brief tutorial on how to use this wiki to add and alter its web pages, and on how to use some of its key features. There is pretty good documentation included with the wiki (see the links at the very bottom of this page). These are basic steps I've collected from the MoinMoin documentation and some experimentation. I am not an expert with this Wiki software, and the whole point of this is to be a community resource, so feel free to correct any mistakes or make any improvements


Joining the Wiki and Logging In

To add and update most of the web pages in this Wiki, you'll need to have an account and log in. This is very easy, but there's one important point to remember: the wiki is much happier if your log in name is a WikiName -- a word with no spaces and MixedCaseName to separate first and last name: My WikiName is MattNewville.

To join, click on the join link above (it's labeled "login" and is next to the "Search" box), type in your WikiName, your email address, pick a password, and click on Create Profile. The password here is not highly secured, so don't use your 'best password'. You'll need to use a web browser that allows cookies.

Once you've created a profile, you can log in with your UserName and password. Once logged in, you'll be able to set some UserPreferences. You can ignore most of these for now, or play with them.

Basic Editing

First, more complete documentation can be read at HelpOnEditing. The notes here are a condensed version of those pages.

Content in the wiki is edited with the web browser and is NOT entered as regular html. This is one of the main strengths of the wiki: it is very easy to add and edit content. The flip side of this is that you do NOT cut-and-paste html from other web pages or documents (more on this later).

To edit a page, simply hit the Edit link in the menubar. This brings up the 'Edit View' of that page. If you don't see an Edit link and see Immutable Page, then you aren't allowed to edit that page.

Assuming you can edit the page, you'll see a text box with the content for that page, ready to be edited. The content is mostly plain text, with very simple markup.

Simple examples of how to markup the text are to making italic text with ''italic text'' (that's two single quotes, not double quotes!), or bold text with '''bold text''' (three single quotes) and bold italic text with '''''bold italic text''''' (five single quotes!!!).

Section Headings can be created with  === Section ===  or  ==== SubSection ==== , with more surrounding '=' signs giving a smaller font.

A list of items can be made with indented lines and a leading '*', or number or letter. The follow example:

  * First Item
  * Next Item

  1. Point 1 
  1. Point 2
  1. Point 3
     a. Point 3.a
     a. Point 3.b

give these results (notice that the numbering and lettering is automatically increased!):

To show text without formating, you surround it with 3 curly braces, as in {{{ unformatted text }}} or with backticks like this  `backticks`.

If the matching 3 curly braces are on the same line, the unformatted text will be "in-line", as shown. If the matching braces are on diffeent lines, you get a displayed paragraph of unformatted text, like the one above showing how to create a list.

formatting information

Many pages (including this one) start with a 'comment section' that contains '#' characters in the first column. These comments are used to set permissions and the language used, and can be used for some other information. Leave these lines in tact unless you want to change the permissions for that page (more below) or language encoding.

Creating and Linking Pages

Creating new pages within the wiki and linking to them is very easy. The easiest way to do this is to first make a link to the page, then click on the link. The Wiki software will know that the link is a blank page and then prompt you to create the page.

To add a link to a new wiki page from an existing page, you edit the existing page and put the WikiName of your new page (say, MyNewTestPage). If you don't like the WikiName kind of links, you can also use  ["my new page"]  which will look like this: my new page.

Clicking on either of these (go ahead, try it) will tell that the page does not yet exist and prompt you to create that page. It will show you a few templates for pages that you may chose from. At this point, I'd suggest using a basic format.

Adding a link to a normal web page outside of this wiki you can use the url as in [] which gives or [ google] which gives google.

To link to an email address, you can simply put the email address in the text of the page: bob@some.where gives bob@some.where. More complicated example can use a similar format the a url: [mailto:bob@some.where Send Mail To Bob] gives Send Mail To Bob. For an even fancier way to display an email address, you can use the MailTo macro. With this [[MailTo(bob AT SPAMFREE some DOT where)]] will change behavior depending on the permissions of the person viewing the page. Privileged users will get a working link to the email address while anonymous users will see the simple text of the email address with SPAMFREE included.

Adding Images and Attachments to pages

The basic editing capabilities of the Wiki are fairly limited, and a web browser can only show html text and a few image types anyway. For all other content you might want to share through the wiki, you can upload and attach files from your computer to a wiki page and then add a link to the attachment on a page. For some image types (png,jpg,gif), you can also include the attached image file directly in the page.

To upload a file, select 'Attachments' from the Action menu. The Action menu is the dropdown list that says 'more actions' at the top of the page (assuming you're using the default theme -- it will be somewhere near the Edit link for all themes). You'll notice other useful actions in this menu like 'Show Local Site Map' and 'Check Spelling' too.

Selecting Attachments will bring up a page with the current list of attachments for that page (if any already exist) and gives a browse button to add an attachment. An attachment can have any name, and you can rename it from the name of the file you uploaded. Once you hit the upload button, this will show up in the list of attachments. This page, for example, has the files Earth.pdf and Earth.png attached to it.

You can put a link to any attached file on a page with attachment:filename (no spaces), which gives a link like this: Earth.pdf

For images (png,jpg,gif), attachment:file.png will show the image directly on the page. You can also include the uploaded image directly inline with inline:imagefile, which gives an image like this: Earth.png

You can show a list of files attached to a page with the macro [[AttachList()]]. For this page, that creates this list:

In the 'Attachments' page, you'll be able to delete attachments as well as view them (and see the filename you have to use in the attachment:filename command!). When you delete an attachment, it really is deleted from the server, so be careful.

Controlling permissions

Many wikis are set up to be completely open, so that anyone can edit content. By default, this wiki is slightly more exclusive, and requires that people log-in to edit content while allowing everyone to view all content. Of course, everyone is invited to join, so this isn't a very steep barrier to adding content.

Who can edit and view content is actually set on a page-per-page basis, and the default settings can be changed to make some pages be editable by anyone (say, to allow public comments) or to be viewed only by certain users (for a private set of pages).

The method for controlling who has what access permissions to a page is to put an Access Control List as part of the header of a page. The access control list (acl) is simply a list of Users and what they can do, that looks like this

#acl UserName:read,write,delete,revert  Known:read,write  All:read

which will give the user named UserName full access, and logged-in users (ie, Known users) read and write access, and all other users read-only access.

There are a few special UserNames for Access Control Lists. All means all users, Known means logged-in users, and you can also put individual WikiNames or the names of Groups (more later).

This wiki sets

Known:read,write,delete,revert All:read 

as the default ACL rules, and these are set before any rules you might put on a page. To change the access rules for the Known and All groups, you have to explicitly set it.

As an example, if you say

#acl All:

then All will have no permission (and can not even read the page), but Known users will still have read/write/delete/revert permissions.

===== Creating a New User Group ======

You can create a group simply by giving the group a WikiName, and editing the page for that group to be a simple list of UserNames of people in that group. Once a group page for SomeGroup is created, you can say

#acl SomeGroup:read,write,delete,revert Known:read All:

which will grant complete access to the Group members, allow logged-in users to view the page, and prevent anonymous users from seeing the content.

More Documentation

HowToUseThisWiki (last edited 2009-10-09 19:46:33 by localhost)