MediaWiki “Help”

MediaWiki’s Help page, at least on the Mozilla Wiki, is far too complex. One of the first topics it covers is the occasional need to do a dummy edit to refresh the internal database caches. I suggest this is unlikely to be uppermost in the mind of most people visiting that page. How to do a link is on the 5th page down on my large monitor, and how to emphasize text is on the 8th page.

Here’s Help:Me, a much simpler page which attempts to show the most important things by example. Do let me know what you think.

8 thoughts on “MediaWiki “Help”

  1. I would suggest putting the “Lastly” section first. That’s great to know off the bat that if you know or have HTML, you can just use it.

    Beyond that, key features I think you are missing are:
    “Link to a section on a page” and “link to a bug in Mozilla’s Bugzilla”

    Info on uploading Images or PDFs and displaying or linking to those uploads might be useful as well.

    • Although a large subset of HTML is recognized, it’s intended use as far as MediaWiki goes is to support doing things that Wiki markup won’t do, rather than as an alternative to wiki markup.

      Having the two intermingled gets very confusing, and really shouldn’t be recommended.

      • That may have been the intended use, but I am not going to tell people to go through and change their HTML markup to MediaWiki markup by hand when MediaWiki supports HTML natively.

        If there was something like this:
        http://www.gerv.net/cgi-bin/mediawiki2html
        for the reverse direction, then I could recommend that…

  2. Best short introduction to Mediawiki markup I’ve seen yet, and I’ve seen quite a few.

    –Havvy, administrator/beuracrat of quite a few wikis.

  3. I feel your pain from deep inside the MediaWiki world. Writing and localizing help pages is something that Mozilla does much better than Wikimedia.

  4. Excellent, excellent stuff!
    * They aren’t called “MediaWikis” (though “powered by MediaWiki” sounds Web 1999).
    * I Lowercased The Smaller Heading, as it’s friendlier
    * You don’t need a blank line to end a bulleted list, so I removed that comment.
    * Link text is optional (also why lowercase titles and headings are nice, you can just write “See the [[coding guidelines for new hires]]”.
    * I gave {{bug|1234}} as a template example.
    Edit away or revert.

    I don’t think that preformatted text is “good for quotations”.
    :”Usually people indent quotations with colon, and often italicize as well.”
    Colon to indent is actually the second half of HTML-style definition lists, but that’s rarely used:
    ;B2G
    :Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko project

    BTW, I noticed a steady stream of fake user registrations on w.m.o like User:NoeliaaorhulqqdzlwyfzjxwplszljtqkdazeeljiBillen , not sure why.