Wiki tool shed
Portland Wiki Wednesday uses Mediawiki software for its wiki. As of August 2009, we're using a pretty plain-vanilla version of Mediawiki, without much by way of plug-ins or extensions.
Here's a blog post that will help you learn about some features of Mediawiki that are useful for wiki gardening.
Communicating with your fellow editors
- Edit summaries: Using meaningful edit summaries is the best way you can let your fellow editors know what you're up to; and when they know what you're up to, it's easier for them to help you build content, give you tips about how to do stuff more effectively, etc.
- Diffs: A diff is a tool that lets you see the precise differences between two versions of a wiki page.
- Talk pages (a.k.a. discussion pages): You can leave a note for any wiki editor, or a general note relating to any wiki page, on its "talk page" (also called a "discussion page.")
- Wiki feature requests: This page is where you can list features or practices that you think would be beneficial to our wiki.
Some major wiki tools
- Redirects are like shortcuts that help a wiki's readers get where they want to go without having to poke around too much.
- Disambiguation pages are like virtual signs at virtual forks in virtual roads. They tell you which way to go, depending on where you want to end up!
- Categories are collections of wiki pages that share some characteristic. A page can be in multiple categories; categories can live inside other categories, but they don't have to. It's not a strict hierarchy.
There are lots of useful links in Special:SpecialPages. In there, you can find pages that aren't categorized; a list of all users on the wiki; orphaned pages (i.e., nothing links to them); short pages and long pages; and lots more. There's even a gallery of recently-uploaded files and photos!