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Wiki explore

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Overview

There are many WIKIs. They can be divided into two main groups. Those using MediaWki engines and those using Custom engine. MediaWiki is used by the Wikimedia Foundation. The text editor is very basic. Text formattings are visible with markups while editing content. However, readers will see the final document in a nicely formatted page.

Those custom WIKI engines have more advance text editor and you will not see those markups while editing.

The basic content of WIKI document are text, table and images. Most of the WIKIs do not support Flash directly.

Basic features to consider when choosing a WIKI

  • Do you want to track the history of changes ?
  • Do you want a WYSIWYG editor ?
  • Do you want a hosted site or install your own WIKI ?
  • What kind of data storage. Is it file only or using database ?
  • Storage limit. Generally free account is able to accomodate up to 20 MB.
  • Do you need to include other media attachment such as video and Flash
  • Do you want keyword search or content search ?

Install your own WIKI

There are Open Source and commercial WIKIs. You have to decide one of them. What kind of data storage do you want ? Is it file only or using database ? Next, you may have to consider what programming language used to code the WIKI.

Hosted WIKI

Do you want to change the look and feel to match my coporate identity

Do you want the site URL to use your own domain such as 'www.mydomain.myedit.com' or using directory as 'wwww.editme.com/mywiki' ?

There are Open Source and commercial WIKI. You have to decide one of them.

Next, you may have to consider what programming language has been used for the WIKI.

Attach Media

All WIKIs are able to insert pictures. The default supported media are: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, svg, and ogg. Before you can create link to the media files, you should upload the file to the WIKI site. Look for Upload File link under Toolbox. Most WIKIs should allow you to upload up to 20MB of media. To create a link to the file just type [Media:xxxx.jpg]. Infact you can type exactly as illustrated and exit the editor. You then click on the link, WIKI should prompt you to browse and upload the file. You can also edit the link to be shown for readers.

Mediawiki has extensions to support other media such as Flash.

If you are considering a hosted site that supports Flash, you can try http://www.seedwiki.com

Some unusual markups

In WIKI editor, if you wish the editor to ignore WIKI markups, you can use tags <pre>..</pre> OR <nowiki>.. </nowiki>

The editor also allows you to insert created page directly to the current page. In WIKI, this is referred as inserting a template.

To insert a template you use two curly braces markups. For example, putting {{Start}} would insert a created page called 'Start' which is a kind of WIKI help box to invite a user to create a new page as shown below.

The following Start box has been inserted using a template markups described earlier.

Document-new.png

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The tag {{template name}} to insert a template into a page can include parameters such as {{name|parameters}} For more details on parameters, please refer to #Template parameters

Template parameters

A template page is a page with a Template namespace. A template can have variables inside the page. The values of the variables can be assigned using the parameters within a template tag. This sestion will show you how to create a template page with variables. Let's create a birthday template. You can give a name such as Template:Guest Birthday.

Edit Template:Guest Birthday and insert the below text. Notice the three curly braces. This is how you define variable 'guestName' inside a template

Happy Birthday my dear {{{guestName}}}.

Best Wishes {{{myName}}}


Now you can create a new page called Birthday Greetings and type the following:

On this special occasion let me wish you

{{Guest Birthday|guestName=John|myName=Roger}}


The final page in Birthday Greetings is shown below.

On this special occasion let me wish you

Happy Birthday my dear John

Best Wishes Roger


If you see a page with 3 curly braces, this means that the page contains parameter (or variable) and the parameter is not defined when inserted as a template.

System variables

There are system variables you can use within a page. To insert a system variable, you use the template-call tag. An example of a system variable is the current day of a week, {{CURRENTDAYNAME}}, which is illustrated below:

Today is Monday

Other system variables

{{PAGENAME}} gives Wiki explore
{{PAGENAMEE}} gives URL equivalent as: Wiki_explore
{{SUBPAGENAME}} gives Wiki explore
{{BASEPAGENAME}} gives Wiki explore
{{NAMESPACE}} gives
{{SUBJECTSPACE}} gives
{{ARTICLESPACE}} gives
{{SUBJECTPAGENAME}} gives Wiki explore
{{SERVER}} gives http://bluwiki.com
{{SITENAME}} gives BluWiki
{{SCRIPTPATH}} gives
{{SERVERNAME}} gives bluwiki.com

Date Time for Mediawiki version 1.8+

In Mediawiki, CURRENTXXXXXX is referred as LOCALXXXXX. In Bluwiki LOCALXXXXX does not work. If the result shows in green, the particular variable is not parsed correctly.

{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} gives October
{{CURRENTMONTHABBREV}} gives Oct
{{CURRENTTIME}} gives 06:08
{{CURRENTHOUR}} gives 06
{{CURRENTWEEK}} gives 43
{{CURRENTYEAR}} gives 2017
{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} gives October

System functions

There are system functions you can use within a page. The functin can be called using the template-call tag. An example of a system function is the lower case conversion, {{lc:ABCDE}}, which will convert ABCDE into abcde as illustrated below:

ABCDE in lower case: abcde


A more useful uppercase conversion function is shown below. The uppercase function converts a template page 'start' to uppercase using syntax {{uc:{{start}} }}

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Some function starts with #. For instance, function {{#expr:}} which performs arithmatic functions. Functions with # prefixes are extension functions which may require an extension module.

Eg {{#expr: (30+7)*5 }} gives 185


List of common functions:


Convert to upper case: {{uc:abcd}}. Example: abcd in upper case is ABCD
Convert first letter to upper case: {{ucfirst:abcd}}. Example: abcd gives Abcd
Convert first letter to lower case: {{lcfirst:ABCD}}. Example: abcd gives aBCD

Navigation box

If you have created at least 4 sections in a page, a navigation box will automatically appear in the page. You can suppress the navigation bar using markups ___NOTOC___ This page already have a navigation box shown on top of the page.

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This page was last modified on 7 March 2007, at 09:50.
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