Best Practices

editing pages

  • do use section headers when a page gets large. this makes for better organization and makes editing sections possible.
  • do preview before saving. this saves time and database space. it also shortens the recent changes listing

links

  • prefix external links with * - e.g.: *http://www.gnu.org so that they open a new browser tab/window (leaving the source window intact). this is good netiquette.

mechanisms for organization

categories

on this site categories are simply a way of making different pages with the same title coexist by placing them in a different namespace eg:

  • help:themes may refer to technical information about using site themes - a context very different from:
  • lit:themes which may refer to themes in the context of literature.

This means that the two pages above are different, therefore a page cannot belong to two categories. Categories then, establish grouping of pages within a specific context.

realistically, this mechanism of categories is a pain. you have to remember to prefix the page with the category namespace if you want to group pages in a category, and you have to remember to include the category namespace in links to pages. this can cause confusion. therefore categories are a site design mechanism, not so much an authoring tool.

page names and alphabetization

you can accomplish organization more easily using differentiating page names like: ascii-characters and play-characters
keep in mind the consequences of automatic listings that are alphabetically sorted. using the above examples:

  • ascii-character
  • ascii-art
  • play-character
  • play-themes

emerges a different structure than say, the practice on wikipedia to disambiguate homographs:

  • art (ascii)
  • art (theater)
  • character (computer)
  • character (theater)
  • character (psychology)
  • theme (literature)
  • theme (website)

note that the page title is independent of its namespace url. for example, the title of this page is Best Practices, while its url is /help:wikidot-best-practices

tags

  • a page can belong to many different groups via the mechanism of tags
  • tags are non-hierarchical
  • tags apply to the whole page
  • tags easily group related pages without having to encode them in the page text
  • an internal link to a tag listing is written as follows: [[[/system:page-tags/tag/sites|my sites]]]
  • tags are an excellent way to group pages with common themes or memes
  • http://community.wikidot.com/howto:create-multiple-word-tags - some multiple-word tags are used on this site. how to do it!

parents

  • parents are a nice way to introduce a hierarchical structure to sets of pages.
  • setting a parent makes breadcrumb links at the top of the page, making navigation within the hierarchy tree much much easier.
  • any page can be a parent to any other existing page.
  • setting the parent is done at the bottom of the child page by clicking +Options (not during editing)
  • a pages can have only one parent
  • the practice of setting the parent (where applicable) is strongly encouraged!!