How to read the wiki
If you're looking for something in particular, you could try searching for it. The search form is on the left hand side of every page, and searches from it will include both pages with your word in the title and pages where it occurs in the text. If you want to see what people are using the wiki for, you could try Recent changes (the link is on the left) to see what people have been working on recently. If you just want to poke around, you could try clicking on Random page to see where you get (that link is also on the left).
Pages you read will have links in them. Some links will be in red: that means the page they are supposed to go to does not yet exist. Ones in blue should link to more information about the linked term. There are a few special types of links. A link to a page outside the wiki will have a little symbol like this. A page may belong to a particular category, like Working Groups and Help. These categories will be linked at the bottom of the page, and following that link will get you to a list of pages of the same category.
There are also features that allow you to see discussion about the page and the history of changes to the page. If the discussion tab at the top of the page is blue, that means there are comments about the page. The discussion page is where people write about the page and decide how it should be presented and what should be included. If you want to see how the page has been edited in the past, you could click on the history tab to see a list of changes, and then look at what had been changed in each individual instance.
If you want to know when a page is modified, you can click on the watch tab to add it to your watchlist. This will only work if you are logged in.
Your user account
If you create an account and log in, pages you create or change will have your name associated with them. You will also have your own user page where you can put whatever you like, and a discussion page that can be used as your own personal bulletin board. If you don't have an account, all you will have is an IP Address.
To the side of each article are some standard options for navigation, and for tools, and on some articles:
Navigation options include:
- Main Page - the FreekiWiki home page
- Community Portal - as a community building an encyclopedia, FreekiWiki has a portal for users, giving easy access to many of the useful pages within FreekiWiki
- Current events - latest FreekiWiki news reported within the FreekiWiki community
- Recent changes - articles that are being edited at this moment
- Random article - lucky dip, if you're ever bored or want to learn something new!
- Help - exactly what it says
- What links here - useful for tracing where this article is referenced from.
- Related changes
- Upload file - how you add images (and occasionally other files) to FreekiWiki
- Special pages - all the special functions and administration options can be found here.
Other sidebar functions include:
- Search - allows you to search other articles across the whole of FreekiWiki.
Top tabs (above the article)
Each page in FreekiWiki contains an article, and a discussion page (usually called "Talk...")
You can see these above, the article is labelled "project page", the discussion page is the tab to the right of it. These are treated as two separate pages in FreekiWiki, but are shown side by side on the tab bar, for ease of use.
Whether you are looking at the article or project page, or the discussion page, you will see there is a button marked "edit this page", possibly a button "+", and a button labelled "watch" or "unwatch".
- Edit this page - this is the key to contributing to FreekiWiki. When you click this button, you change from viewing an article or discussion about an article, to being able to edit the article, or add comments to the discussion that is going on.
- Occasionally, pages that are important or may be vandalized are locked, in which case the "edit" will show "view source", and you will not be able to edit the article at that time
- Page editing is simple with FreekiWiki, and you cannot harm a page if you make a mistake, since all changes can be undone. This is part of FreekiWiki's vandal protection.
- "+" - adds a new section to a page, without changing what is already there.
- Watch/unwatch - adds or removes a page from your watchlist, the list of pages you are tracking. You can view your watchlist with the user option button "my watchlist" at the top right of the screen.
User options (top right)
These control your user account. To create a user account you only need to choose a name and a password. An email address is optional and only used for password reminders.
Unless you create an account you will not be able to customize FreekiWiki preferences for yourself. Almost all experienced editors use an account in order to ensure accountability.
The user options also include links to view your watchlist (articles you are tracking), and contributions you have made.
Following a red link will bring you to a new page with that title. If what you want to write about isn't linked to yet, find a place where a link would be appropriate, add the link, and follow it. If such a page doesn't exist, you could also create a link on your user page or the Sandbox.