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Revision as of 04:02, 4 April 2005 by JHBrewer (Talk | contribs)
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Welcome to DoWiki!

What's a wiki anyway? Click on the link to find out.

OK, now you know what a wiki is. But, if you're like me, you are not sure how to actually use one. So I'm adding a few "getting started" instructions right here at the outset. Please remind me not to delete these after I get past my own "newbie" stage, since the whole idea is to bring new newbies into the fold with minimal frustration.

The first thing you want to do is change this introduction (but not too much, please!) by clicking on the little "edit" tab at the top of the page. Then you will see the plain text that generates this formatted version, and can get the general idea of how it works. If you don't actually change anything, but just go down to the bottom of the edit page and click on "Show preview", you can see the formatted version above the text that generates it. From there on you hardly need any instructions in formatting, but if you want detailed expert advice, the WikiPedia User's Guide is always handy.

For anyone accustomed to "plain text" HTML editing, it's annoying to have to learn yet another typesetting language to use MediaWiki -- but SGML tags (<...>...</...>) are dangerous to the security of a system, especially when we go out of our way to open it up for everyone to play with. The MediaWiki formatting syntax offer a nice way around this "Catch-22" problem.

Next we try to create a new page. The manual claims that all you have to do is enter the desired name (of the page you want to create) in the "search" box (which you should do anyway, to make sure it doesn't already exist!) and hit "Go", and if it doesn't yet exist you will be offered a "create the article" button to click on. This did not work for me. So I am using the suggested alternative method, namely to create a link to a nonexistant page, which you are allowed to do. Then when you Save the current page and click on the link, it will pop up a window where you can start entering the text for the new page. This seems to work fine. Here's an example:

The ACETS page.

The Transition Program page.

Fun, eh?

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