Wiki tool shed

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The tool shed is where Wiki gardeners keep our virtual garden tools. Here you will find tips on the care and feeding of a wiki, and links to pages that are useful in keeping track of things around here. Poke around, but be careful not to step on the rake!


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.
Grab that weedwacker and start whackin' some wiki weeds!

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.

Useful links

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!

Funky little tools that are more useful than you'd think