Help:Editing

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Important.png
2008-09-06 Wiki structure rules now in place
Help:Wiki_structure describes how to structure the wiki, including page naming.
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Additional markup resources
Help:Editing from Mediawiki.org is a good source for markup help. There is also a handy reference card image.


The Fedora Project Wiki has a very low barrier to entry for editors. However, there can be a small learning curve when beginning to use wiki, and we have a number of guidelines that all editors should follow. This page provides those guidelines and a few tips to help you get going.

This document is divided in three parts: gaining edit access, basic wiki editing, and more advanced editing.

Contents

Gaining Edit Access

In order to avoid malicious users defacing the Fedora Project Wiki, we have had to restrict edit access a little. To gain edit access to the wiki, you must follow a few simple steps. Anyone can gain edit access.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the information on this page and the pages that it links to. Basic guidelines that should be followed throughout the wiki are covered here. Failure to follow these guidelines creates unnecessary work for other volunteers and may result in revocation of editing privileges.
  2. Complete the Contributor License Agreement through the Fedora Account System. Signing the CLA gives the Fedora Project the ability to license your contributions to the wiki under the Open Publication License 1.0 without options. This assures that your contributions will remain forever Free for the community to use, modify, and redistribute, just like the Fedora distribution. See our Legal section for more information. Follow the instructions at Infrastructure/AccountSystem/CLAHowTo.
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If you are interested in more general website maintenance, or wish to be part of the Fedora Websites team, please see the Websites page.
Information on writing new formal Fedora documentation using the wiki is available from Writing Wiki Documentation.

Guidelines and Wiki Etiquette

There are a few simple points you should follow as you make changes to the wiki. Below are some examples. In general, be courteous and use common sense. Defying these guidelines and causing problems are a good way to get your edit privileges revoked. If you have questions, you can ask on #fedora-websites on freenode.

Introduce yourself

Before you start editing any page, kindly introduce yourself by adding your information to your wiki page. After you have registered your name in the wiki, you automatically have a personal wiki page located at http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:<username>, where <username> is replaced by your Fedora Account System account name. You can also easily get to your wiki page by clicking your username in the top right-hand corner of each page of the wiki.

For examples, take a look at some wiki pages of our contributors.

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Old user pages from Moin
We do ask that you move your old FirstnameLastname style pages from Moin to the new MediaWiki format. If you just joined the Fedora Project and read that you should use the FirstnameLastname format, please contact Ian and let him know where you saw this.

Make sure you mention at least your email address and, if you are on IRC often, your IRC nick and channels you are often in.

Always watch pages that you create or edit

It is important that you follow changes to pages you create or edit, so you can coordinate with others working in the wiki content. Wiki editors usually add notes to the pages to convey information to each other as part of working together, and it helps to keep track of these changes.

You can find the watch link in the tab bar at the top of a page when you are logged in.

Be Bold

Be bold while editing changes. Wiki changes are tracked and can be reverted when necessary. This doesn't mean you should be reckless, especially when making large changes to key documents.

For more information on being bold, take a look at the be bold editing guideline on Wikipedia.

Avoid unnecessary edits of pages that discuss legal issues

These pages have been carefully written, and the words chosen carefully. When changing these documents, it is usually best to ask for review before applying changes. You can contact the Fedora Advisory Board for assistance.

Do not provide details of forbidden items

Do not add any information that violates the law. Remember that the Fedora Project is an entity in the United States, and is governed by its laws. Avoid linking to or adding information about software that is not free and open source or that is legally encumbered. If you think you have a special exception, bring it to the attention of the Websites team for discussion. See the ForbiddenItems page for examples of items that should be avoided.

Bring questions to the Websites team for discussion. If needed, they can get the official word.

Be careful when editing key guides or pages

Large and important guides, such as the Packaging Guidelines , are generally managed by a specific individual or small group. It is best to work with them when you feel that changes are needed.

Important pages, like the FedoraMain or Download pages, are the first thing that many visitors see. Changes to such pages should generally be left to experienced contributors. If you feel that something on such a page should be altered, bring the issue to the Websites team for discussion.

Do not edit pages just to edit pages

Senseless edits should be avoided. Making an alteration to a page just to put your name in the edit log is unacceptable. There are plenty of pages (most of them, in fact) that have real errors that can be corrected. Instead of making pointless edits, such as removing or adding whitespace or changing links from fedoraproject.org to www.fedoraproject.org (the former is preferred), try finding errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation that can be corrected. Also, when correcting a small error, mark "This is a minor edit" using the appropriate checkbox before you save it.

Avoid renaming pages or moving content without coordination

Wiki pages are generally referred to and linked to from various other locations. It is important that you coordinate with the appropriate groups before moving content or renaming existing pages. It would be better to avoid doing that without strong rationale. If you wish to discuss moving a particular item, bring your questions to the Websites team.

Deleting Pages

Wiki pages that are no longer needed can be tagged for deletion by adding {{Delete|Reason}} to the beginning of the page, this gives Wiki Administrators the ability to ensure that important or archivable content is not lost.

Follow the ideals that Fedora holds important

For example, try to remain desktop-neutral and user-friendly, especially for non-technical users who are new to Linux and to Fedora. Users may use GNOME, KDE, the console, or some other environment. Try to keep that in mind when writing instructions. Make sure that Fedora's devotion to free and open source technology is also represented properly.

Sign your attachments

When you attach a file to a wiki page, you should create a detached signature with your GPG key. Some file formats, such as RPM packages, support GPG keys, in which case you do not need to create a detached signature -- a signature in the file will be enough. A detached signature can be attached to the page alongside the original attachment, or can be included in the page itself.

GPG signatures allow others who download your file to verify that it came from you and has not been modified or corrupted. They do not violate your privacy in any way, they simply allow others to have confidence in the origin of your files.

Images and simple documents are safe to leave without a signature, but there would be no harm in adding one anyway to verify that you were the author.

If you do not have a GPG key or want to learn more, see the Cryptography page.

Review your changes for errors

Whether you are a skilled writer, or your English skills are not strong, invite someone else to review. Well-written documents are important to Fedora's image. Even the best writers are prone to typos or other errors. Take a moment to review your changes to catch small errors. Use the Show preview button when editing a page to check your syntax.

Fedora is a community

When writing content, for the wiki or elsewhere, remember that Fedora is a community. We operate as one, unified group, moving towards common goals. We do not need to distinguish one group or class against another. For example, there is no need to distinguish between contributors who work for Red Hat and those who do not. All contributors are part of the same community. There will be cases where classification is necessary, but it can be avoided otherwise.

If you aren't sure about something, feel free to ask

Other community members will be happy to assist you. The #fedora-websites channel on freenode is the perfect place to discuss the wiki or other Fedora websites.

Watch your pages, and other ones, too

Two details make a Wiki successful as an open content collaboration tool. First is being able to watch content you are responsible for, to make certain it stays true to its mission. Second is being able to watch other content develop, grow, and occasionally need your help.

To watch any page on the wiki, after logging in, click the watch link in the tab bar at the top of a page. It should change to unwatch after it has finished. If a page has unwatch at the top, you are already watching that page. You can click unwatch to unwatch a page.

To receive emails for every edit, go to my preferences (at the top of the page by your name) and make sure to check the appropriate boxes in the User profile tab, under Email.

Using Special:Watchlist

Special:Watchlist (available by clicking my watchlist at the top of each page when you are logged in) displays pages you are currently watching. For more information on how to use this special page, please the manual page at Mediawiki.org.

We are now maintaining a stand-alone Watchlist_How-To to help Fedora contributors with specific suggestions and tools.

Summarize your changes (aka commit log message) -- this is the rule

We all need to be able to quickly glance at a change and know the substance of it. A full diff is not always available. You must supply a summary of your change (Summary: field when editing). This is akin to a changelog message. Explain what you did and why, as well as other useful links and details.

If you choose to not put in a summary, it should be the rare exception. One reason is when doing a minor edit. In that case, be sure to check This is a minor edit when saving.

Editing with Mediawiki

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If you need help with syntax that is not listed here, the Mediawiki Help should contain it.

Basic Syntax

What you type What it looks like
'''bold text'''
bold text
''italics''
italics
'''''bold italics'''''
bold italics
<code>Monospace text</code>
Monospace text

Lists

What you type What it looks like
* A list item
* Another list item
** Oh joy, more list items!
  • A list item
  • Another list item
    • Oh joy, more list items!
# A numbered item
# Another numbered item
## Sub items
## More sub items
# Third numbered item
  1. A numbered item
  2. Another numbered item
    1. Sub items
    2. More sub items
  3. Third numbered item
* An unordered item...
*# With a sub-list that is ordered
*# More steps
* Back to the first list
*# Another ordered list
*#* With its own sub point
  • An unordered item...
    1. With a sub-list that is ordered
    2. More steps
  • Back to the first list
    1. Another ordered list
      • With its own sub point

Links

What you type What it looks like
Visit [[DocsProject]] to learn more about
Fedora's documentation.
Visit DocsProject to learn more about Fedora's documentation.
Our [[Websites|websites team]] offers many
individuals who can help Fedora.
Our websites team offers many individuals who can help Fedora.
See [[Artwork#Join]] on how to
join the Art Team.
See Artwork#Join on how to join the Art Team.
[[The weather in London]] is a
page that doesn't exist yet.
The weather in London is a page that doesn't exist yet.
http://fedoraproject.org/
http://fedoraproject.org/
Here are some sites:
[http://www.deviantart.com]
[http://www.flickr.com]
Here are some sites: [1] [2]
[http://fedoraproject.org Our home page]
is full of interesting information.
Our home page is full of interesting information.
Use a ':' in the link to link
to an [[:Image:Growth_wide.jpg|image]].
Use a ':' in the link to link to an image.
The [[:Category:Documentation]] lists all 
end-user documentation.
The Category:Documentation lists all end-user documentation.
The [[Category:Documentation]] link puts
this page in the listed category; the link
appears automatically on the bottom of the
page and not inline.
The [[Category:Documentation]] link puts this page in the listed category; the link appears automatically on the bottom of the page and not inline.
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There are two ways to use the Category links
Be sure to use the ':' before the word Category when you intend to link to a category page. Omit the ':' when the page is supposed to be in that category. Refer to the examples above.

Tables

Tables should be used sparingly and only when necessary.

For more advanced table usage, read up on Mediawiki.org's page on tables.

What you want How to get it
Start a table
{|
Table header
! Column 1 !! Column 2 !! Column 3
New row
|-
Table row
| Cell 1 || Cell 2 || Cell 3
End a table
|}

IRC Logs

IRC logs can either be surrounded in <pre> tags, or converted into MediaWiki pipe-tables with irclog2html and Ian's MediaWiki patch for irclog2html.

Structure of a Wiki Page

This section describes the common structure of a wiki page. Follow these guidelines for every wiki page. There are additional rules used for formal Fedora documentation, covered in DocsProject/WritingUsingTheWiki ; those rules are only required for content written to follow the procedures of the Fedora Documentation Project. Pages that are templates of standard content that are drawn into other pages may have a different structure.

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Header 1 (h1) deprecated for use in markup
The header 1 is defined by the page title. When making new or migrating pages, either re-nest or re-structure the page to have only header 2 and below.
  • The title of the page is a first-level header. It is created automatically from the page title.
  • Sections are created using the equals symbols in pairs:
== Header 2 ==
=== Header 3 ===
==== Header 4 ====
===== Don't do this, 5 levels of nesting means you need a new page or three =====
  • The table of contents is automatically created and populated when the page grows big enough.
  • Anchors to sections are automatically created, with specific symbols used in place of punctuation and spaces:
This page ==> This_page
This, that, and the other page ==> This%2C_that%2C_and_the_other_page


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You can use .2C instead of %2C for anchors
The substitute of '.' for '%' works for anchors against a specific section.

Quick Tips

These are the basic things that you need to know to edit this Wiki.

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For more information
on drafting documentation on the Wiki, refer to Writing Wiki Documentation.

Learn by Example

Among the better ways to learn how to edit the wiki is reviewing the code of existing pages. This is very easy to do:

  1. Find a page whose source you would like to view.
  2. Click on either the edit or view source tab at the top of the page.

The wiki will display the plaintext form of that page. This is particularly valuable for learning some of the clever tricks used by wiki editors ahead of you. Those 'clever tricks' are valuable, as they allow you to do unique, interesting, and powerful things you might not have thought were possible. You might try this on pages like Main Page (but please don't make drastic or unwanted edits to this page!).

Notes, Tips, and Other Admonitions

These are collectively known as admonitions, and are used in DocBook. To make a paragraph into an admonition, use the special admonition template. A short title and a longer descriptive paragraph are recommended.

What you type What you see
{{admon/note|A title|Here is more information about
this tip, with information that provides more insight
into the informative title of the initial paragraph.}}
Note.png
A title
Here is more information about this tip, with information that provides more insight into the informative title of the initial paragraph.

Indent the initial and second paragraph by one space, to ensure that the box aligns correctly.

These are the standard types of admonition:

What you type What you see
{{admon/note|This is a note|Informational paragraph
that tells more about what is going on.}}
Note.png
This is a note
Informational paragraph that tells more about what is going on.
{{admon/tip|This is a tip|Informational paragraph
that tells more about what is going on.}}
Idea.png
This is a tip
Informational paragraph that tells more about what is going on.
{{admon/important|This is important|Informational paragraph
that tells more about what is going on.}}
Important.png
This is important
Informational paragraph that tells more about what is going on.
{{admon/caution|This is a caution|Informational paragraph
that tells more about what is going on.}}
Stop (medium size).png
This is a caution
Informational paragraph that tells more about what is going on.
{{admon/warning|This is a warning|Informational paragraph
that tells more about what is going on.}}
Warning (medium size).png
This is a warning
Informational paragraph that tells more about what is going on.

Admonition examples

Examples showing context for using these admonitions:

Note.png
Cliffs can be very high
Wikipedia can vouch for this.
Idea.png
Standing away from cliff edges is a way to stay safe
For more information, read the cliffs(1) man page.
Important.png
Keep your children away from the cliff edge to your right
Children move around quite a bit and can easily fall off. You should hold their hand.
Stop (medium size).png
You are getting near the cliff edge
As mentioned earlier, cliffs can be very high, and it would be bad to fall.
Warning (medium size).png
You are about to fall off the cliff
Move away as quickly as possible to avert falling.

Refer to the Fedora Documentation Guide for descriptions of the types of admonition: http://docs.fedoraproject.org/documentation-guide/en_US/sn-xml-admon.html

Marking Technical Terms

Use the code markup (<code></code>) to mark the names of applications, files, directories, software packages, user accounts, and other words that have a specific technical meaning. This displays the marked words as monospace.

Use two single-quotes (''[name of menu]'') to mark the names of menu items and other elements of the graphical interface. This displays the marked words in italic.


Term Mark Up Formatted example
Names of GUI applications
 '''boldface''' 
Firefox
Files, directories
 <code>inline code tags</code> 
/usr/bin/firefox
Software packages
 <code>package name</code> 
firefox-1.2.3
User accounts
 <code>username</code> 
username
Other words that have a specific technical meaning
 <code>technical term</code> 
... the class org.fedora.someJava.classname ...
Graphical menus and menu items
 ''Menu name'' 
Applications > Internet > Firefox Web Browser
Other GUI or WebUI interface element
 ''two single-ticks'' 
... click the Submit button ...
Inline command and daemons
 <code>command -option</code> <code>daemon</code>
grep httpd to find the PIDs of the running httpd processes.
Blocks of code, configuration files, etc.
 <pre>whitespace preserved< /pre> 
whitespace
    is preservered
  here
Inline pieces of code, configuration files, etc.
 <code>inline whitespace not preserved</code> 
... Next, modify the variables for set() in /path/to/org/dev108/classname ...
First term, glossary term
 ''term'' 
... Firefox is an example of a graphical user interface or GUI.
Keystrokes
 '''[Key]''' 
Press the [Enter] key ...

For example:

The <code>thunderbird</code> package installs the '''Mozilla Thunderbird'''
e-mail application. To start '''Thunderbird''', select:
  ''Applications > Internet > Thunderbird Email''.

Which produces:

The thunderbird package installs the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail application. To start Thunderbird, select: Applications > Internet > Thunderbird Email.

Writing Example Commands

Example commands are one or more commands set apart from the body of the explanation. Do not use prompt symbols or any other content that shows machine name, user, directory, etc. (which are details set in the $PS1 environment variable.)

Enclose any example command in <pre></pre> tags:

<pre>
su -c "yum install awesome-application"
</pre>

Enter the <code>root</code> password when prompted.

Which produces:

su -c "yum install awesome-application"

Enter the root password when prompted.

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Command examples and root
Many commands require root privileges. The reader should not be logged into their system as root, and so you must specify either su -c or su - when explaining such commands.

If the command requires elements to be quoted, nesting should be " ' ' ", with the single quote marks surrounded by one containing set of double quote marks. For example:

su -c "command -o 'Some Text' -file 'More text' foo/bar"

If you need to have a series of commands or su -c is not responding as expected, have the user switch to root and warn the user to return to a normal user shell afterward.

su -
Password:
service food stop
cp /etc/foo.d/foo.conf /etc/foo.d/foo.conf.backup
vi /etc/foo.d/foo.conf
food --test-config
...
service food start
exit

Example command output

When the example shows a command as part of showing the output to the screen, you may use a command prompt to clarify commands and output.

$ su -c "ls -l /root"
Password: 
total 148
-rw------- 1 root root  1961 2007-09-21 02:46 anaconda-ks.cfg
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 46725 2007-09-21 02:46 install.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  6079 2007-09-21 02:42 install.log.syslog
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  3699 2008-07-28 17:24 scsrun.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 45038 2008-01-10 10:21 upgrade.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  1317 2008-01-10 10:20 upgrade.log.syslog

Try it Out Yourself

Try new things in the Fedora Wiki Sandbox . It is also a good place to see lots small samples at work.

Creating New Pages in the Wiki

The Fedora Project Wiki is large, and so there is a need to maintain a proper hierarchy and organization. The best way to learn about these is to review Help:Subpages and Help:Categories, and then to review the existing layout of the wiki.

Redundant names (such as Foo/FooBar/FooBarGrue) should be avoided. Remember that including 'Fedora' in the page name is redundant. Major Fedora projects do not need to have 'Project' in their page names, either. For example, the Fedora Websites Project has its page named 'Websites', not 'FedoraWebsitesProject'.

For the most part, pages should be grouped as subpages by the projects or programs they are part of. Categories will generally be created for different projects and programs, and should be created sparingly. Most pages you create should be part of a category, and many should also have appropriate tags. If you are thinking about creating a new category or tag, please ask the Websites team for advice first.

If you have questions, feel free to ask the Websites team.

Important Pages

Key pages, such as Main Page, should be edited sparingly. Changes to such pages should generally be discussed on the mailing lists or on IRC before being applied. Some parts of the wiki may have different permissions. For example, the DocsProject has a section for the creation of new documentation which is restricted a bit more than the rest of the wiki. In order to gain edit access to such pages, you may have to complete additional steps. You can usually find instructions on those pages.

Getting Help

If ever you have questions about editing the Fedora Project wiki, or if you need help, please feel free to contact the Websites team. They have an IRC channel (#fedora-websites on freenode) and a mailing list (fedora-websites-list) that are both effective for getting the answers you need.

If you would like to do a lot of editing on the wiki, you should consider joining the Websites team.