For recent changes see: [Recent Changes]
This is the Style Guide for this website - it explains how to structure the content and format pages. Sticking to this guide makes it easier to hand over site management to someone else. Editing is by default turned off for visitors.
For simplicity it is best to stick to a limited set of formatting commands and use the "edit source" rather than the "visual editor". The visual editor introduces code into the text which may interact with later versions of the software in unexpected ways. The "edit source" editor is simply a "notepad"-like editor with very few formatting commands - it is very much "what you see is what you get", although it translates what you see into "HTML". The software always keeps a copy of changes - in fact it is very difficult to actually delete anything permanently from a Mediawiki site - and always possible to "roll-back" pages.
To edit pages you need a special permission. Once you have that log in with a password. You can set the wiki to keep you logged in even when the computer isn't on. But you will need the password to log in from another machine.
The first thing to know is headings - if you type "equals" text "equals" in the editor you get a heading when you save changes. So =heading= gives:
and ==heading== gives
add more equallity signs to get a deeper level of heading and a smaller font, and these will automatically be included in the contents menu at the top of the page. The text under headings can be edited and linked to separately, unless it is given a speial link such as a reference. For this reason references should not be added to a title.
The site catoregises information into the clusters used in the menu on the top left. Rather than have a single page for each cluster it is better to have an individual page for each subject and used the "Category" feature to index the pages. Page names should avoid beginning with "The" (for example), as the index uses the page name to index them. Putting a page in a category is easy - just add a tag with the format [[Category:Name]]. Every page which is an article should have the tag [[Category:SiteIndex]] as this will place it in the main index. Additional tags will place it in a sub-category. Category tags appear at the foot of each page and clicking on them will take the reader to the index or a category containg the article.
There is never a need to add a "return to main page" link as this can always be done by clicking on the logo at the top left (or "home" in the menu).
Creating a new page (or category) is also easy. If you put in a link to it on another page the software will notice it isn't there and give you the option to create it. Categories can also be nested like Russian dolls and pages can appear in several categories. All the insertion into lists and numbering is done by the software. Each category page can have a section of text at the top as a general introduction to pages in that category.
There is also a very easy way to create a new page: simply type the name of the page into the "Search Bar" and the software will ask if you want to create a new page. Thhis is one good reason for not having the site open to editing by anyone! Remember that there will be no link to the new page created this way and until such a link is created or it is placed in a category it can only be found by a search or picked up from "orphan pages" or the "list of all pages". This can be a useful way of starting a page and not making it "public" until it is complete. The website does contain some "orphan" pages (by convention also known as "Lonely Pages") but these are linked from the sidebar and are a valid part of the site structure. There is a list here.
Saving a page is also easy. Unselect "Watch this page" (no-one else is going to edit it) and hit "save Changes" - if you haven't saved and try to leave a page the software will ask. No need to add a summary as the software is confingured to use the first heading.
By using the different levels of heading an article can be broken up into blocks. If it does not start with a heading then the contents pane will be inserted before the first one - this can be useful for an intoduction for a complex subject. As noted above, the paragraph numbering in the contents automatically follows the heirarchy of the headings.
Refrences (see below) are automatically placed at the end. If links to references or related materials are used these can also be placed at the end.
Text can can be made bold by highlighting it and using the "B" in the menu on the editing page. A useful convention is to preesent quotes as bold test which is inserted by using an asterisk. Thus a quote would look like:
- "The native of Chester remembers how three roads branch off outside Eastgate and how beautiful and pleasing are the names of the places to which they lead. The road straight in front leads to Christ's Town (Christleton), that on the right to the Old Ford (Aldford) but if it turns to the left it comes to a place which they rightly call the Valley of Demons (Hoole) with reference to the hiding places of those who lie in wait... the wanderer... is despoiled by thieves and robbers" ---Lucien the Monk
In the editor you will see that the paragraph is formatted by inserting three single quote marks at the start and end of the bold section. Two single quote marks is itallics. Five is bold itallics so what appears in the editor as '''''bold italic''''' appears on screen as bold italic
Underling, such as is done to highlight a date, is done with <u>date</u>
Links are good. If a page has no links to it then it cannot be found except by roundabout means.
There are two types - links to pages in the wiki and external links. Links to pages within the wilk have double square brackets so a link to the page on Bishop Steet is edited as [[Bishop Street]] and looks like this Bishop Street in the viewer - the slight colour indicates it is a link.
External links are only slightly more complicated and have single square brackets. If you wanted to link to the external site "Chester Wiki" you would use [link label]. Label can be anything you want. So to link to the page http://chester.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Chester_Wiki_Guide use [http://chester.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Chester_Wiki_Guide someones guide to editing] which looks like someones guide to editing. The little symbol indicates it is an external link. External links sometimes get broken if the target site moves, and these can be found with this tool: https://www.hoolehistoryheritagesociety.org.uk/wiki/Special:RottenLinks
Adding links to Wikipedia (for example) can make a text more interesting and useful (with more to explore) and save time with references, as in this example:
- "The native of Chester remembers how three roads branch off outside Eastgate and how beautiful and pleasing are the names of the places to which they lead. The road straight in front leads to Christ's Town (Christleton), that on the right to the Old Ford (Aldford) but if it turns to the left it comes to a place which they rightly call the Valley of Demons (Hoole) with reference to the hiding places of those who lie in wait... the wanderer... is despoiled by thieves and robbers" --- Lucien the Monk - Bodleian Library, Bodley 672.
As the example illustrates external links may get "broken" - it should be Lucien the Monk
Links can be inserted using the "link" icon on the toolbar, but it is often quicker to simply type/cut and paste what is needed.
Links can also be disguised as images - such as the little walking person which will take one to relevant maps.
References are important as they show where information comes from. They can be incorporated as a link or as a footnote reference using "Mediawiki Cite". Here is an example from the page on Flookersbrook:
- "The native of Chester remembers how three roads branch off outside Eastgate and how beautiful and pleasing are the names of the places to which they lead. The road straight in front leads to Christ's Town (Christleton), that on the right to the Old Ford (Aldford) but if it turns to the left it comes to a place which they rightly call the Valley of Demons (Hoole) with reference to the hiding places of those who lie in wait... the wanderer... is despoiled by thieves and robbers" --- Lucien the Monk 
Putting a link to the reference is actually more helpful. As noted abaove, do not put references in section headings - although links are OK, as in the example above.
References are easy to enter as the bookmark icon on the toolbar will insert <ref></ref> - and the referencee is what is typed in the middle as in <ref> MS. Bodl. 672 </ref>. However this will be plaintext and not a link. If a page has lots of references relating to sections on different subjects it is possible to have references at the end of a section but that is a little more complicated and described in the Mediawiki help page linked to above.
A picture saves a lot of words and makes an article look much better. There are a few simple steps to adding an image. You don't need to use a 3MB image, and if you do it will annoy people because it takes a while to load and it will use up a lot of server space. Most images can be less then 100kB and quite adequate. One way to make an image smaller is to display it on screen and take a picture using something like "Greenshot". A frame looks like this in the editing window:
[[File:01HP1 HUDC Crest.jpg|150px|thumb|Right| Hoole Urban District Council Crest "''All is in vain without the Lord''"]]
If you simply save that then you would get the frame and text, but the name of the image will be in red. This tells you it is not uploaded. Of course, if there is already an image with the same name that will be displayed instead. Just click on the file name to upload it.
The fourth of the five icons in the toolbar brings up a menu to insert images but it is usually easier to copy it from another page and change the filename, size and description - you can even put links in the description
Images can be left, right or center (best saved for large images like the example above), or arranged in a gallery. For details of how to use a gallery see: this page. For an example of how to use it look here.
A gallery with links looks like this:
There is no image uploaded of the covers of the books (which is why we get the error message at the foot of the page saying this is one of the "pages with broken links"), but if you click on the text it will take you to the book.
The code for the gallery looks like this:
<gallery> File:ChesterWright.jpg | [https://archive.org/details/chesterplayscoll00wrig/page/n3 The Chester plays] (Vol I)....etc </gallery>
The vertical line (it is called a "pipe") is used as part of some special formatting and is hard to find on some keyboards - it is on the key next to "Z" on mine, but there is a shortcut under "advanced" on the toolbar. Uploading into a gallery uses the "Upload file" in the "Tools" section of the sidebar.
I have activated the "ImageMap" extension which enables "point and click" features in images. These are mostly for maps - but can be used for school photographs. They take a bit of getting used to, but are very useful and can be used to make "menus"
Those are all the commands you need to edit a wiki! There is much more you can do, but you will usse other features so rarely that its always best to look them up as needed. One good reference is the Mediawiki Help Page. Once you know the basics then you can also use the "Visual Editor" (this is under "Edit"), but it is best to use "Edit Source" at first as this is simpler and contains all that is needed for basic editing. It will also teach you what is going on "under the bonnet".
Now to look behind all the magik - right click anywhere in the editor will bring up the familiar copy/cut/paste menu seen in most word-processors. Once you are happy woth it take a look at a page with "view page source" (right click outside of the editor to get this option) and you will see what the page actually looks like in "HTML" (Hyper Text Mark-up Language - famously invented by Tim Berners-Lee} - "Wiki Mark-up Language" is a lot more simple, and the editor has taken care of translation into HTML.
Creating a new wiki is a little more complicated than managing one, but is not that hard. Wiki sites can be "open" so that they can be used for collaboration (either public or limited to "members") or they can be private. They never forget anything and there are plenty of free wiki-space providers. Once you learn Wiki-markup language you are in a position to create useful websites with ease.
- MS. Bodl. 672