Using Categories in the wiki

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Mac_Fife
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Using Categories in the wiki

Post by Mac_Fife » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:49 am

Mod Note: Split from the "Thinking about Infrastructure" thread.

Just a sort of "tech note" here: It may also be worth remembering that wiki pages can be assigned categories which can help to organize groups of pages beyond any interlinking that may exist within the pages. That list of categories can be extended pretty much as you wish, and pages can have multiple categories, so a page could be assigned "Documentation", "Age Projects", and "OSgrid" categories if required and depending upon content.

Remember that the wiki is, by default, an unstructured set of individual articles: Structure comes about because of the way pages are inter-related. At the moment, we probably don't make enough use of categories to help people find stuff and instead rely on manually indexing by page titles.
Last edited by Mac_Fife on Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Add mote on split
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Re: Thinking about infrastructure

Post by Nalates » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:55 am

ummmm... your right. In my case it's from not knowing how to add the categories to a page.

I am also not sure many users understand how to use categories to find things. But, that my be because I don't.
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Re: Thinking about infrastructure

Post by Mac_Fife » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:59 am

Nalates wrote:I am also not sure many users understand how to use categories to find things. But, that my be because I don't.
No, it's because we (I) haven't taken the time to show people that this is an option. More things to go in the "help" at some point. I probably should link to the categorized index from either the Main or Community Portal pages.

Adding categories is pretty easy. At the bottom of each (most) pages you'll see a bit of code like this, when you edit it:

Code: Select all

<!-- Categories -->
[[Category:Improvements]]
[[Category:Age Projects]]
So all you need to do is add a line like one of the bits with the double square brackets; after the colon put in the "category" name that you'd like. It doesn't need to be one that already exists, but it's always worth checking the existing categories to see if there's one (or several) that suit. [geekmode]The bit up to and including the colon, "Category:" is essential, as that creates the link in the Category namespace rather than in the main wiki namespace[/geekmode]. Once you save the page, you should see a grey banner at the foot of the page listing the assigned categories.

If you create a new category, then it'll appear as a red link on the grey banner (may also be the case with some existing categories), to show that there's no description of it. Follow the link, and type in a brief description of what the category is for - this helps others to determine if that category could apply to any of their pages too.

It's sometimes worth looking at the Special Pages on the wiki (there's a link in the wiki sidebar). Some links there can reveal quite a bit that you might not otherwise find on the wiki ;)
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Re: Using Categories in the wiki

Post by Dot » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:59 pm

Perhaps it would be helpful to have a basic explanation as to how Wikis work, and how we can make them useful. I must admit to ignorance on setting up and using Wikis. Are there any articles out there on the web you would recommend for people like me? Or am I being lazy?

So it would be information on how to use them to structure information, as well as the basics of setting up and formatting pages using codes.

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Re: Using Categories in the wiki

Post by Mac_Fife » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:27 pm

Dot, I've tried to answer your editing query in the Editing thread.

Wikis don't inherently impose any structure to the content: All pages are created equal and have no particular position in any hierachy. Any "structure" arises from how the page is referenced by other pages. Like the web itself, a search can help you find something you're looking for but that article may then point you to somewhere else and you're off on a voyage of discovery ;) .

But at times you will want to apply some kind of order: Basically the prime entry points into the wiki are the Main Page and Community Portal. From these places, the wiki can take you to a number of pages, which may each be indexes to groups of thematically related pages. This is a fairly conventional type of hierarchical structure, and probably the easiest to get to grips with. But these indexes need to be maintained, and that doesn't always happen.

Categories are another way of looking at things. By assigning categories to a page (based on the subjects discussed on the page, and there could be multiple subjects), then you can create implicit links to all other pages that have same category. Click on the Category name of interest at the bottom of the page and you'll get a list of all other pages that share that category. So you can get to things that are outside your "page structure" but are on a similar theme in maybe another project.
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Re: Using Categories in the wiki

Post by Mac_Fife » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:46 pm

I've added some help material to the wiki to help describe what Categories are and how to use them:
http://wiki.openuru.org/index.php?title ... Categories
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Re: Using Categories in the wiki

Post by Nalates » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:10 pm

Thanks Mac_Fife. Your additions help. :)
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