DigiClass/Wiki editing

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Editing the Digitalclassicist wiki

The Digitalclassicist wiki runs on MediaWiki, which uses a Wikipedia-style markup system apply links, add tables, insert images, and so forth. MediaWiki has a good guide to the standard conventions for formatting pages. An excellent way to learn how to edit is to find a page that looks interesting, click edit, and study the formatting.

Frequently asked questions

How do I create a new page?

First use the search box on the front page to search for the exact text (note capitalisation) you would like for the title of the page. When the page is not found, the Wiki will offer you a link to create a new page by this title. (This method neatly preempts any attempt to create a duplicate page.) Note that while it is possible to move or rename a page once it is created, it is much better to get the title right the first time.

There are inconsistencies from one type of page to another. Which one do I follow?

Because the wiki has been put together by many people across the world, over a stretch of years, inconsistency is inevitable. Much commonsense advice is provided by Wikipedia. Feel free to bring some regularity to inconsistent pages, keeping in mind that the best format is the one that best serves scholars and students of classical antiquity.

A typical project page in this wiki may have a format along the lines of:

Taken from the project website (Accessed 2016-01-14):
<blockquote>copied or exerpted text</blockquote>

How do I add a page to the list of projects or tools?

At the bottom of the page please add this text: [[category:tools]] (vel sim.).

How do I add links?

MediaWiki has a full explanation of link nomenclature. This wiki tends to use mostly the following types of links (note the subtle but important differences in punctuation):

  • external pages, of the form [http://www.example.com link title] (editing tool shortcut: click the picture of the globe)
  • other wiki pages, of the form [[Link title]] (or, if necessary, but at the cost of some clarity [[Link title|alternate text]] ) (editing tool shortcut: click the Ab)
  • wiki categories, of the form [[:category:example|alternate text]] (no shortcut for this one; and make sure the first colon is included; without it the page is simply assigned to that category and no link will be supplied)

Can I add footnotes?

Unfortunately not at the moment. The currently installed version of the wiki software does not support the <ref>note text</ref> markup needed for footnotes.

How do I include HTML or wiki markup in the text of an article?

If you write "<i>hello</i>" in the source code of a wiki article, the HTML tag "<i>" will be interpreted as markup for "italics" and won't show up (instead, the word "hello" will show up, in italics.

Likewise, if you write "[http://www.example.com link title]", a link will be visualized (not the brackets). But what if you want the code (including brackets etc.) to be visualized?

You have to wrap the code to be visualized with tag <nowiki>. A fast way to do this is highlighting the code and hitting the nowiki button in the formatting toolbar above.

Thus, the exmaples above should be encoded as follows:

  • <nowiki><i>hello</i></nowiki>
  • <nowiki>[http://www.example.com link title]</nowiki>

Which pages need my help?

Come along to one of the wiki editing sprints, which are held approximately once a month, and get ideas from other volunteers. See below for details on the sprints.

Encyclopaedic content

Pages in the Digital Classicist Wiki should be encyclopaedic in content and tone. This is similar to, but less dogmatic than, Wikipedia's style preferences, notably for content, style and tone. Formal language, measured tone, neutral viewpoint and concise writing are especially important. While unlike Wikipedia the DCWiki does not forbid or even discourage authoring the article on your own project, a neutral POV is still to be desired; if you add your own project or tool to the DCWiki, please make sure to avoid including advertising copy, autobiography, self-promotion, long lists of collaborators, funders, publications, and other material that belongs on your projects "About" page. The content of a wiki article should be enough to give an interested user an overview of the project (past and present), with links to the primary source to learn more if they choose.

Remember that, as it says in the small print before you get to the "Save changes" button:

Please note that all contributions to The Digital Classicist Wiki are considered to be released under the Creative Commons Attribution (see Digiclass:Copyrights for details). If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here.


  • It is better to have information in an inconsistent style and format than no information at all.
  • If you see a way to bring some consistency to entries you visit, do so.
  • Avoid words and phrases that depend upon the time when you are writing, e.g., currently, at this time, now, so far. Rather, if a time needs to be signalled, use precise dates, e.g., as of 2012, since May 2008.
  • Don't forget to add categories to the web pages, as far as possible adopting the terms already in use.
  • Try to add a main link for information or content of the project at the top of the article, with the heading Available. It is convenient to include the link as visible text (i.e. with no square brackets) at the top of the document so the (often meaningful) domain etc. is visible.
  • Be selective about the links you add, focusing on those that will not be subject to link rot.
  • Make contributing to the Digital Classicist Wiki part of your routine. Perhaps you've just sent an email or a tweet about a new project or tool. Don't stop with a message that has likely already disappeared and been forgotten. The best way to permanently announce that new discovery is by making it part of this wiki.
  • In a sprint you can let people know you're working on a page so no one else touches it in the meantime, but it's always a good idea to save often, since if there's a save conflict you can lose work. Don't worry about saving an incomplete page—so long as you plan to finish it later.

Wiki editing sprints

What, when, where?

Sprints are arranged approximately once a month, and are advertised via the Digital Classicist discussion list and similar venues.

How do I join?

If you'd like to join us, please:

  • A meeting link is usually circulated before each sprint. Sometimes these are open, or may require registration. Some sprints may be asynchronous, and not involve a real-time video meeting.
  • If you don't already have one, get in touch with any of the DigiClass Wiki Administrators in advance to request an editing account on the wiki.

Please do extend this invitation to any colleagues, students or other collaborators who may be interested.

I'm in a sprint. What do I do?

Most sprints have a theme, so people are invited for a particular session that is relevant to them or their project. If this month's theme doesn't interest you, though, you are welcome to come anyway and work on something else. The sprint is a time to discuss pages, ask questions, see what other people are up to, and so forth.

In addition to general editing and enhancement of project and tool pages, some of the organizing principles in a typical sprint include:

  • see if random pages we find need work (click on the Random page on the menu on the left of any wiki page);
  • look at the categories and see if we can rationalize/add to any of the categories in there (click on the Categories link on the left menu);
  • consult a To do list we keep running notes of wiki pages that need work, requests and suggestions for new pages, etc.;
  • work through external lists of projects we might have lying around (such as External lists of projects) and see if the projects listed there are in the wiki and up to date;
  • help on how to edit wiki pages are at the top of this page and in the MediaWiki Help:Formatting cheatsheet.