The bulk of what one needs to know about writing entries in MediaWiki can be found at MediaWiki's own Meta entry on editing.
However, the material I wrote elsewhere may come in handy here, so let's enjoy the power of copy-and-paste:
Use the search box on the left to find what you're looking for. Follow the links on a page to find more content within the Wiki, or to visit outside links. (Those are designated with a small box-with-arrow icon after the link text, as in this example.)
In the very top-right part of the page is a login link, and below that are the links (shown as "tab" headings) that can manipulate the content of the page or change how you're viewing it. The "edit" link at the top of any given Wiki page is used to modify the content of the page. The other links are less useful, such as "history" to show the changes made to that page over time, and the "watch" link to be notified when a page is edited.
Doubled-up square brackets around a given small group of words creates a new content link, like so:
[[New Page]] becomes New Page. (Editors: For the sake of this example, please refrain from actually clicking that link and creating content. Thanks!)
The first person to click on that link will be prompted to generate content for the new page. And at the top of any given edit screen is a set of buttons for things like bold text, italics and so on.
It's that easy. I'm not kidding. Be sure to use the "Show Preview" button to check your work before clicking on "Save Page," however!
Technically speaking, you don't have to read past this point. One hastens to point out, however, that if you're going to spend a lot of time editing pages here, you're going to want to learn the shortcuts that'll really speed up your editing work. If so, please do carry on...
Without The Buttons
Here's a quick rundown on a few of the more common formatting tricks you'll probably want to learn. For starters, square brackets make links. Let's cover that in detail, because this is the heart of how the Wiki works.
Brackets Make Links
A single set of brackets makes an external link, while doubled brackets make internal links (as noted above). The trick with single-bracket external links is that you want to include a description of the link within the bracket, by having a space between the URL itself and its description, like so:
[http://greyduck.net/ GreyDuck] becomes GreyDuck.
Note that a URL by itself, without any brackets, becomes an external link automatically: http://www.google.com/ becomes http://www.google.com/
We covered the basic use of double brackets to make internal links, but there are times when you may want to use that internal link in a more natural-language fashion. This is accomplished by way of the "vertical pipe" character, usually found at Shift+Backslash on your keyboard. For instance, instead of writing "Look at the TODO page to see the list of features to come," I can write "See the list of features to come." Here's how you pull that off:
[[TODO|the to-do list]] becomes the to-do list.
Much like the way brackets make links, equals-signs make headings and subheadings. Two on each side of a phrase make a major heading, three make a sub-heading, and four make a sub-sub-heading. Once there are more than a couple of these headings in a document, you get a menu at the top of the page, just above the first heading line, as you can see on this very page. A fringe benefit of this content organization is that one can edit just a particular block instead of having to wade through the entire page. Neat, huh?
(Stylistic note: I'm currently using the two- and four-equals-signs codes. I don't like the way the three-equals-signs code looks. This is purely a matter of personal taste.)
Boldface, Bullets and Bars
- An asterisk at the start of a line turns that line into a bullet point. (QED.) You can nest bulleted lists by using two or more asterisks,
- Like this,
- And this,
- And even this,
- And so on.
- On a related note, the pound sign makes numbered lists. So,
- #Item one
- #Item two
- #Item three
- Item one
- Item two
- Item three
- A pair of single quotes around text makes that text italic. Add one more single-quote on each end and that text becomes bold, like so: ''italicized text'' becomes italicized text, while '''boldface''' becomes boldface. Note that those are all single quote marks. Double-quote marks won't work.
- To sign your name to a page or just a part of a page, you can use three or four "tilde" characters. Three tildes become your user name, four becomes your username and a timestamp indicating when you made the edit. (Note: This is really only useful for those who have actual login accounts on the Wiki. It is as yet undetermined whether anyone but the administrator will actually want to do so.) One possible use for this feature would be to indicate who provided a particular piece of updated information to a page that's been edited by a variety of people.
- Four or more dashes on an otherwise blank line indicates a horizontal bar across the page, thusly:
More to come as I come up with useful things to add and/or merge...