Alathra Wiki:Getting started

From Alathra Wiki

Alathra Wiki is entirely built on contributions by people like you. We encourage everyone to create, edit and illustrate articles, to help us grow and improve over time. As a new editor, however, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by all the possibilities and writing that has previously been done. Don't worry too much if you don't understand everything at first, as it is acceptable to use common sense as you go about editing. You just need to remember that you shouldn't do anything to harm the wiki, and although there are many guidelines you should follow, perfection is not required, as Alathra Wiki is a work in progress. Collaborative editing means that incomplete or poorly written first drafts can evolve over time into excellent articles.

Alathra Wiki's purpose

Our purpose is to create and maintain a basic encyclopedia of knowledge about Alathra. Every article should aim to present a comprehensive and neutral summary of a topic related to Alathra, preserving valuable information about our history, people and lore in general.

As Alathra is a world created by its players, our wiki mostly contains original content. This is different from the actual Wikipedia, where primary and secondary sources are used to create an overview of a topic based on the information already available in the wider world. That's why it is important to remember that when creating lore, try to be detailed, but also easily understandable, as you will probably be the only source about your given topic.

Basics of contributing

A new contributor isn't necessarily required to start creating their own content. A lot of work can be done to improve already existing articles, such as proofreading, linking to other pages, providing images or formatting text. Both creating and maintaining articles are essential to the operation of the wiki and a balance between both is desirable to produce articles of better quality.

To help manage our content better, it is required that everyone who wishes to start editing or adding content to the wiki needs to create an user account.

Editing methods

Editing most pages is relatively simple. The wiki uses two methods of editing: source editing through wiki markup (wikitext) and through a newer VisualEditor. Both are perfectly adequate to create a basic article, but if you wish to have more control over the look of your page, it is recommended that you learn to write and edit a page source. Wikitext is a markup language like HTML, which contains special code that tells plain text how to format itself. The VisualEditor option is intended as a friendly, "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" editor. It doesn't require any wiki markup and shows you the page as if it were already published.

As using the VisualEditor is rather intuitive, this help page will focus on explaining source editing.

If you have finished writing your article, it is recommended to press the Show preview button first, to review your work for any errors. If you're ready to publish the page, you should write a short edit summary in the small field below the edit box describing your changes before you press the Publish changes button. This will help others to understand the intention of your edit.

Source editing

Source editing can be accessed by choosing Edit source from the toolbar at the top of a page. This will bring you to a large text box, where you write your article and the wikitext that's needed to format it. You can visit the official tutorial on Wikipedia that teaches you the basics, or read a very detailed guide on the wikitext help page. The most commonly used wikitext is provided in the table below:

Wikitext What gets displayed
Headings* == Heading 2 ==
=== Subheading 3 ===
==== Subheading 4 ====
===== Subheading 5 =====
Heading 2
Heading 3
Heading 4
Heading 5
Bold text The '''quick brown fox''' jumps over the '''lazy dog''' The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
Italics The ''quick brown fox'' jumps over the ''lazy dog'' The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
Bulletpoint list The
* quick brown fox
* jumps over
* the lazy dog
  • quick brown fox
  • jumps over
  • the lazy dog
Links to other articles** The quick brown [[fox]] jumps over the [[Dog|lazy dog]] The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

* Heading 1 is always the title of the page and shouldn't be used in an article itself
** Links will display as blue if the linked page exists and red if it doesn't. If the reader has recently visited the page, it will be displayed purple.

Uploading files

Media is helpful to illustrate the main concepts of the article, especially in articles about places, people or events. The simplest way to upload a file is to click the Upload file button in the top left toolbox. There you will be provided with a new button for your upload and a text box to leave a summary of your file. Writing a short summary is recommended, as it helps to provide context to your media in the future.

A book of knowledge

Once your file is uploaded to our wiki, you will probably want to use it in an article. While editing a page, add the following to where you want the file to appear:

[[File:File name with extension|thumb|Caption for the file]]

For example, the image on the right is displayed with the following code:

[[File:Knowledge Book.png|thumb|A book of knowledge]]

"Soldiers Sailing to War" from What I Heard Last Summer

Files aren't only restricted to images. You can also upload and use GIFs, audio and video files. Here is an example of audio:

[[File:Soldiers Sailing to War.ogg|thumb|"Soldiers Sailing to War" from ''[[What I Heard Last Summer]]'']]

Using templates

Similar types of text or wikicode might tend to repeat across multiple pages. For example, we know that every page about a nation will usually contain the name of the nation, its flag, where its located and who rules the nation. Instead of having to individually write this information for each and every page, we can use a special page called a template. Template pages contain snippets of text or code that can be instantly displayed on any other page, a process which is called transclusion.

Some page elements which you might be used to seeing, like infoboxes or message boxes (like the one at the start of this article), are all transcluded templates. Most templates also take input through parameters, which tell the template what information it needs to display. A template is called using double curly brackets, and each parameter is separated using a vertical bar like this: {{Template|parameter 1|parameter 2}}

For example, here is the code for a See also template, which allows us to notify the reader about another page on a certain topic:

{{See also|Guldhirian conquest of the Rot Wuds}}, which creates:

For the system to know what template we want to use, we always call its name first. Then we provide it with the additional information through parameters. In this case, Guldhirian conquest of the Rot Wuds was the name of the article we wanted to link to. To know which type of and how many parameters you need to provide, you can read the documentation of the template on its page. Every template will contain "Template:" at the start of its page, followed by its name. The page for the See also template is Template:See also.

Infobox templates often contain a lot of parameters, but they will still display regardless how many of them are actually provided. Below is the full documentation provided by the template {{Infobox continent}}. Notice how each parameter has been lifted to the next line for better clarity (and the template will still work!):

Parameters for {{Infobox continent}}

{{Infobox continent
|title               =
|image               =
|imagecaption        =
|area                =
|population          =
|ethnic_groups       =
|demonym             =
|states              =
|cities              =
|footnotes           =
Kuthara / Ceyreto
Area12,875 km² (50,293 chunks)
DemonymKutharan / Ceyretan
StatesNo change since last update 15
Largest cities

Although the template gives us a lot of options, it will only ever display the information we actually provide to it. This, for example, is the information regarding the continent of Kuthara, that creates the infobox displayed on the right:

{{Infobox continent
|title               = Kuthara / Ceyreto
|image               = [[File:Kuthara plain map.png|300px|frameless]]
|area                = 12,875 km² (50,293 chunks)
|demonym             = Kutharan / Ceyretan
|states              = {{Steady|No change since last update}} 15
|cities              = {{hlist|[[Thaambaile]]|[[Kalikhan]]|[[Guldhir]]|[[Wrensbath]]|[[Zethortal]]}}

Note how we can also input files and even templates themselves. In the provided example, we used the image Kuthara plain map.png and the templates {{Steady}} and {{Hlist}} as parameters just like any other text.

Some templates don't require parameters at all. For example, {{CROPSCALENDAR}} takes no parameters, and always displays the current date in the Crops' calendar: May 19, 15 AC.

Here is a list, created using the template {{Hlist}}, of templates you might find useful:

And here is a list of all Alathran-specific infobox templates:

Renaming or deleting pages

Pages can be renamed by moving the article under a new title. This is done by clicking on the Move option either at the top of the page or in the toolbox to the upper right of the page. Before you move a page, please carefully consider whether a move is necessary and avoid doing so if it might result in controversy. The main principles to follow when creating a title are listed under Manual of Style:Article titles. It is not recommended to move or rename a page by copy-pasting its content onto a newly-created page, as this results in creating duplicate pages and also removes any edit history related to the original article, uncrediting contributions done previously by any other users.

When moving a page, in addition to giving it a new title, there exists an option to change the article's namespace. Next to the new article title exists a select menu with options such as (Main), Talk, File, User etc. This option, however, should only be used in rare instances, since most moves happen inside the relative namespace that the page is in. Do not change the namespace of an article unless you know what you're doing!

While moving and editing pages can be done by any user, to keep the wiki manageable, pages can only be deleted by administrators. If you notice a page that doesn't belong in this wiki, or you wish to remove a page that you are the sole contributor to, use {{Template:Db}}, preferably with the reason you think the page should be deleted. This lists the page in a special category, where administrators can review your request for deletion.

Adding categories

Categories can be searched for by first typing "Category:" into the search bar, followed by the category's name.

To add a category to a page, all you need is to enter [[Category:NAME]] at the bottom of a page, where NAME is the name of the category. This page, for example, has been added to Category:Help using the code [[Category:Help]]. The categories that a page is included in are always displayed at the very bottom of the article.