Using the wiki


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The most important function of this page is to provide a rudimentary protocol for adding and editing iGEM content. It should be a good introduction and remain a good reference, and hopefully provide some practical suggestions for dealing with the idiosyncrsies of the growing iGEM wiki.

While you are reading and editing this page, consider that the power of a wiki is to provide a framework by which knowledge and information can be organized and standardized in such a way that adding more content is an almost effortless task. Remember that essentially all the information that composes the now-mighty wikipedia existed first somewhere else in the world, before the wikipedia was built, and hence its fundamental power is not derived from the existence of knowledge itself, but from the effects of standardizing how that knowledge is organized and related to more knowledge and minimizing the work necessary to incorporate more knowledge into the framework. With that in mind, this protocol should provide a simple but valid set of suggestions so useful that they are consistently applied.

Basic Editing

Complex Editing


Look into templates. Could we use them to make some sort of common navigation bar for all our pages?


Unless each team adds a unique string to each of their pages, the ones with common names, such as "schedule" or "plan" will certainly be linked to from many different teams. The wikimedia documentation is confusing, but there seems to be some sort of system for a namespace, although it may only have 16 slots, and in any case doesn't seem to be activated here on the iGEM wiki. The nomeclature for using the namespace involves prefixing a page's title with the namespace and a colon, like this "NewTeam06:schedule". In the meantime, using a team's school abbreviation + two-digit year seems like a logical way to prefix articles with a unique string. Some pages might best be left without that unique string, however, to encourage collaboration. For instance, if we were working on LuxR and created a page with the same name, perhaps another school would have an easier time finding it and contributing their experience.

Additionally, the mediawiki has something called the subpage feature which allows users to organize their pages into a tree structure. If this were enabled, perhaps each team's mainpage could be the root of their own tree of resources, or something. But I don't think it is enabled.

Also, it would probably be really smart to start using the category feature of the mediawiki. By adding a [[Category: team identifier]] to each page, a centralized list of each team's pages is automatically generated at [[:Category: team identifier]] like this: Category: Boston University 2006


Ok, well, I actually implemented this idea and moved the BU main page to [[:Category: Boston University 2006]] and updated the 2006 Participants to link there. I hope this isn't confusing or troublesome for those people who set bookmarks to the old page. We'll have to see. So to take advantage of this, on each new page you create add this somewhere (it won't be visible):
[[Category: Boston University 2006|NAME OF THE PAGE]], replacing NAME OF THE PAGE to whatever the page is called, minus the BU06: part (note, this name is what categorizes the page, and so is sensative to both case and leading whitespace like space-characters).

See Also

Help with MediaWiki markup.

Sandbox for playing with wiki-markup

Personal tools
Past/present/future years