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#1 2014-05-10 08:30:02

kynikos
Wiki Admin
Registered: 2010-12-28
Posts: 156

The 3 fundamental rules to wiki editing

Everybody is encouraged to edit the ArchWiki, and nobody is required to be aware of all the wiki syntax features and style guidelines, especially new editors. There are however 3 basic and very simple rules that all contributors should try their best to follow:

  1. Always properly use the edit summary - The edit summary is the little text box that is found below the main editing area and just above the "Save page" button. It is very important to always write, in a succinct way, what has been done and why (the "why" can be omitted only for the cases where it is obvious, e.g. the correction of a typo). Note that internal wiki links do work in edit summaries, so use them to link to any related discussions or articles; similarly, paste any urls to relevant edit diffs or external resources.

  2. Do not make complex edits at once - If you want to make an extensive change to a page, be it a normal article or a discussion page, always split your work in several simple edits, for example according to the various logical steps needed to complete it. If in doubt, preview the resulting diff with the "Show changes" button and wonder if another user would be able to understand it, also considering the edit summary as explained in 1. Some common operations that generate confusing diffs are:

    • Moving a section in an article and at the same time editing its content. Solution: move the section unchanged, save, and change its content in a following edit,

    • Reordering several sections of an article at the same time. Solution: move only one section per edit.

  3. Announce massive edits in a talk page - If you want to radically restructure or rewrite an article or a group of articles, announce and explain your intention in an appropriate talk page first, giving any other interested users some reasonable time to reply and share their view.

All wiki contributors must assume and expect that other users will check their edits sooner or later, and respect their right to do so by making it as quick and easy as possible by following these recommendations. Those familiar with collaborative software projects will easily understand the analogy between wiki edit summaries and git commit messages, and between wiki edit diffs and git diffs.

Those interested in reading further on the topic are invited to start from ArchWiki:Contributing.

Last edited by kynikos (2014-05-10 09:06:59)

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