How to get started on the Hivemind wiki
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Revision as of 20:46, 31 August 2005
A wiki is completely reliant on the contributions of its users. This means that users create, edit and modify content in an eternal attempt to accurately survey the state of that community. For example, if a new member joins the Hivemind network, they may want to add some pages about themselves. This will then more accurately reflect the fact that this person is in fact a member of the Hivemind. If that person states that they are, for example, quite libertarian in their political views - but through time the other members learn that he or she isn't, another member may then modify that statement about that person in that page.
As another member of the Hivemind, you may be reading these words and think of a better way of explaining a wiki - and then choose to modify it. This page will then, hopefully, do a better job at explaining a wiki than what it is doing at this very moment.
The hivewiki runs on MediaWiki, which is the same system that is used for WikiPedia, the encyclopedia that surveys all human knowledge by means of collaborative writing. Until we have an exhaustive guide on creating and editing pages, you can refer to their excellent guide - specifically with regards to the markup language that mediawiki uses.
A quick way of creating a page, is to create a link for it on another page of the wiki. When clicking on it, the MediaWiki backend will load an error page, but give you the option of creating that page by providing you with a blank edit box. Adding content to this box, and then saving your changes will create a page.
To edit a Hivewiki page, click on the "Edit this page" (or just "edit") link at one of its edges. This will bring you to the edit page: a page with a text box containing the wikitext: the editable source code from which the server produces the webpage. Depending on the preferences that have been set, a version of the edit page called preview page appears: in this case the rendered page is also shown; if not you get it by pressing "Show preview", see below.
The edit link of a page showing an old version leads to an edit page with the old wikitext. This allows restoring the old version. However, the edit link of a diff page gives the current wikitext, even if the diff page shows an old version below the table of differences.
Please take a moment summarising what you have done. The MediaWiki keeps a history of all the edits and evolutions of the pages on the wiki and it is of interest to the entire community that this archive be as accurate as possible.
Also indicate whether your edit is of the minor nature ie. fixing formatting or correcting spelling or grammatical errors.
Generally, it will make the HiveWiki easier to use if all authors subscribe to the same formatting conventions. Fortunately, the MediaWiki markup language makes formatting easy and automatic. As you familiarise yourself with sections, subsections and sub-subsections you'll see how easy it is for MediaWiki to format your pages for you.
There are three ways of adding external links to the Wiki: Bare Links, Unnamed Links and Named Links.
To create a bare link, just type in the link, eg. http://wiki.hivemind.net/. While this uses the least keystrokes it is not encouraged as it looks messy.
An unnamed link is created by putting square brackets  on either side of the link. This creates a numbered link systems like this . Typically this should only be used for footnotes.
A named link looks like a conventional link and this is achieved by inserting the word or words you want to link from inside the square brackets after the link itself [ http://wiki.hivemind.net/ link ].
Tables of contents
A good example of the auto-formatting power of MediaWiki is apparent with the creation of tables of content for pages. If the system sees three or more sections, it will automatically create a convenient Table of Contents that will make consuming the information in the article easier.