Adapted from Mel Chua's work on the OLPC wiki.
What is this wiki?
(Adapted from Wikipedia:) This website is a wiki. A wiki is software that allows users to create, edit, and link web pages easily - in this case, information and projects surrounding the Fedora Project. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites like the one you see here.
The Fedora wiki is completely open; generally speaking, anyone can edit any page if they think they can improve it in some way. Wikis are generally designed with the philosophy of making it easy to correct mistakes rather than making it difficult to make them. A handful of active, experienced wiki editors act as wiki administrators reverting and blocking vandalism; experienced wiki users help new ones get started.
Watch this video to get a clear understanding of how a wiki works and how it differs from a website, blog or email.
Learning to use the wiki
Get an account to edit
Help:Editing#Gaining Edit Access
- Structure and formatting of wiki pages are specified with a simplified markup language, known as "wikitext".
- Click on edit tab at the top to see the wikitext of a page.
- Type your changes straight into the page and then click the save button at the bottom. (First-time editors should probably try editing in Sandbox first.)
- Wiki pages are usually reserved for more public-facing, settled-down information.
- There are discussions on attached wikipages called talk pages (also known as "discussion pages") for meta-discussions about the content of the pages themselves.
- Click the discussion tab at the top of a page (next to the "edit" tab) to get to the discussion pages. (You can try it now on the talkpage of this page.)
- Some wikipages don't have a discussion page yet, but if you have something to say about a page, feel free to be the first to comment in a discussion page and start the conversation.
In notes, chats, and emails, Fedora community members often use a shorthand when referring to wiki pagenames and titles. (For instance, the name/title of this page is "Wiki.") [[Page name]] translates to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Page_name.
- Members will often watch pages they're interested on, which means they want to be notified whenever that page is updated without having to go back and manually check it every day themselves.
- The tutorial linked below covers this and other topics in more detail.
- First, you'll have to create a FAS account, which will serve as your login for the wiki (as well as many other resources within Fedora). It helps us figure out who's writing what on the wiki so we can give the proper attribution to you for all your help.
A more structured path
Some people like learning how to use wikis in a more structured manner. If you're looking for resources, we recommend you start by:
- creating a FAS account, which will serve as your login to the wiki.
- Reading through the Wikieducator tutorial and working through as many of the exercises as you like. Wikieducator uses the same software we do, and they maintain an excellent tutorial on how to get started editing.
- Learn about the Fedora Project wiki's specific Wiki Elements available for your usage in pages.
It usually takes people about 30 minutes to get comfortable using the wiki, and several weeks of editing for it to become second-nature.
Once you do create an account, check your preferences and be sure you verify your email address and turn on email notification if you'd like it -- you can find out when your talk page, or any page on your watchlist, is modified. You may want to add information about yourself to your userpage (see Mel's for an example).
See Help:Editing for more detailed instructions on the edit culture of Fedora's wiki and some templates that we often use.
Above all else
Be bold. Don't worry about memorizing all the rules before starting - just dive in, knowing that there's plenty to learn, and ask for help and feedback along the way. People will cheerfully correct you if you ask; it's better to try doing something quickly and then ask if you got it right (all edits on the wiki are reversible) than to not make an edit because you're afraid of "doing something wrong." We absolutely love to see new people try and learn, and will jump in and lend a hand when asked, or if we spot something.
Feel free to ask people questions on IRC or mailing lists on how to do something - experienced folks will often be more than happy to share their tricks.
The #fedora channel on irc.freenode.net is usually a good place to find people and ask questions about using the wiki. Depending on what they're trying to do, the people there may be able to help you figure out a better place to ask for help, but it's a general good first stop. There are some instructions on using IRC available if you are new to it.