Chester Wiki Guide
A wiki is a linked set of pages which anyone can edit and expand. This freedom allows for unique expression and helps foster interesting and new ideas in an organic and very dynamic way. The emphasis here is on "anyone". You do not need to be a PhD.
It's also an example of so-called "creative-commons", where people spend some time to make something and then share and share it alike without worrying too much about ownership. The benefit you get in return is that you have free access to the content generated by others.
So, if you see something you think is inaccurate or incorrect, you have the power to change it - or even add a link to a "better truth". If you see that something is incomplete, you can add more information, either on the page or by adding a link to elsewhere. You can also create completely new pages of content and tie it into the rest of the site. Likewise, others have the power to veto/edit your changes. It is a delicate balance but one which ultimately leaves the users with the content they most want.
Never be afraid to change something or try something new! All changes can be "rolled back" if you make a mistake.
IMPORTANT: In order to edit pages, you must first create an account. This is a very painless process and the only hurdle to contributing content.
If you are going to do anything on the internet then you need to think about security. For example, your username and password for ChesterWiki should not be the same as that of your online bank account. If you engage in a discussion in the "talk" pages then please be careful what personal information you reveal. If you agree to meet someone at midnight in a secluded country lane outside of Chester to discuss the contents of a page, then .. well you get the picture. As this is a wiki, anyone can read it, and if you post your email address where it is visible, expect to get tons of "spam". Investing a few pounds of real money in commercial "Internet Security" is nowadays as sensible as buying a decent lock for your front door. Just think about it - if someone was handing out "free door locks" in the center of Chester, would you take one home and fit it to your house?
Creating an Account
This is realy simple. You should see a label on the page which says "Create Account". Simply click on that. You will then we asked for three things:
- a username (which needs to be unique - but don't worry the system will check that);
- a password (which neeeds to be entered twice) - DON'T FORGET TO WRITE IT DOWN!
- to type in a "Captcha" phrase. This is to help protect against "spam" - you should only need to do this once.
Your email address and a "real name" are optional, and you can come back and add those later.
You should then have an account!
The first page you will see is your "own page". If you want to tell the world about yourself, type something here. Otherwise, leave it blank. Please don't fill it with links to dubious sites as we simply delete users who do that.
When editing pages, there are a few conventions:
- Keep to the facts. The occasional bit of opinion is OK, but in that case your links/sources should be such that people can make up their own mind.
- Photographs and graphics are good as they help make content "real". It would be good if every sub-section in an article had at least one image. Please do not violate copyright.
- Links to internal pages help people, and links to external sites are even better.
It would be great if this was a commercial website where businesses in Chester paid hundreds of pounds for a mention, but that is not the case. This is a free site set on "Shoutwiki", so it is not the place for businesses to be getting a free ride. If you want to advertise on the web try ChesterWalls.info or ChesterTourist.com, and pay their very reasonable costs.
Facts and Opinions
The aim of a wiki is to present objective facts, rather than personal opinions. We recognize the importance of healthy and lively debate. If you wish to express your personal views on, for example, aspects of development plans in Chester or other controversial local topics, please use the Forum (when we get it working).
That being said, Chesterwiki is a lot more relaxed than Wikipedia. So if you have a useful bit of knowledge about Chester that was passed on by your Grandfather, you can put it here and (maybe) no-one will complain that it is not backed up by a reference.
Chester Wiki does not (yet) have the same rigorous approach as Wikipedia to providing references to stated facts on the various pages. This is largely because in many cases it is not necessary - if you say "The Cross is in the center of Chester" no-one in Chester is going to ask for proof. However, if you are writing anything historical about Chester, it is polite and useful to back up your facts with referenced sources. You can do this in two ways: either add a superscript notation number to your fact and create a list of numbered references at the foot of the page; or add a link to the external web page you consulted.
There are a number of other "unofficial" sites about Chester:
..and it is always better to put a link in to information on these sites rather than simply copy the information and put it on here. For example, if you want to inform people about the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra - simply link to Chester Philharmonic Orchestra. Or add a reference like the one given below:
- Chester Philharmonic Orchestra at "A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls of Chester"
Editing a page is as simple as clicking on the "Edit" tab at the top of the screen. There are, however, many possible options for markup (i.e. making the page look pretty.) For your convenience, there is a formatting toolbar, which works very much like a toolbar in a word processor. By highlighting text and clicking one of the buttons, such as Bold, the text will be surrounded by the appropriate markup to make it appear bold. More information on editing can be found over at Mediawiki's Help On Editing. In general, just looking at how existing pages do things (by clicking on Edit and looking at the "raw" content) should let you figure out the markup — which is very simple! (Always make sure you "Preview" before you "Save Changes", otherwise you might end up editing a page several times).
Linking is the most important concept. If you create a page and do not link it then it will become invisible unless people look in the list of all pages.
The idea is to have all pages linked together in a logical and intuitive way. To make a link to a page, type the exact name of the page you wish to link to, surrounded by 2 square brackets. This means to link to the "Main Page" while editing a page, I type [[Main Page]] which looks like Main Page. Yes, it's that simple.
To make a link to a page that displays differently, such as a link to the Main Page that displays as Hello World! you just type [[Main Page|Hello World!]] which displays as Hello World!. Usually, it isn't necessary to do this.
To link to something "outside" Chesterwiki use single brackets, and have both the URL and some text inside the brackets. For example, typing [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester Chester on Wikipedia], will display as: Chester on Wikipedia and will take you to the relevant Wikipedia page. External links appear with a little superscript.
Also, try to be descriptive in your linking. Try not to use the "click here!" phrase: "For more info check here" is bad! "See Hermitage for more info" is good! (and simply typed as "See [[Hermitage]] for more info"). However, it is even better simply to incorporate links into text:
Remember — use 2 brackets for things inside the wiki, and one pair of brackets for things outside (external websites).
Linking, an example
Here is some "boring" text about Norman history:
- Thurstain accompanied Duke Robert to the middle east and was entrusted to bring back the relics the Duke had obtained from the Patriarch of Jerusalem to present to the Abbey of Cerisi - it is not clear whether any of these relics were later unknowingly sworn upon by Harold. Duke Robert died on the return trip and William became the Duke of Normany at age eight in 1035. Unfortunately, Thurstain revolted against the young Duke William in 1041 and as a consequence was exiled, and his lands confiscated and given by the Duke to his mother, Herleve, wife of Herluin de Conteville. Richard Goz, Vicomte d'Avranches, or more properly of the Avranchin, was one of the sons of the revolting Thurstain, by his wife Judith de Montanolier, and appears not only to have avoided being implicated in the rebellion of his father, but obtained a pardon and restoration to the Vicomté of the Hiemois.
Here is the same text with links added to make it more interesting and useful. Of course a link alone does not make a statement true...:
- Thurstain accompanied Duke Robert to the middle east and was entrusted to bring back the relics the Duke had obtained from the Patriarch of Jerusalem to present to the Abbey of Cerisi (in 1035) - it is not clear whether any of these relics were later unknowingly sworn upon by Harold. Duke Robert died on the return trip and William became the Duke of Normany at age eight in 1035. Unfortunately, Thurstain revolted against the young Duke William in 1041 and as a consequence was exiled, and his lands confiscated and given by the Duke to his mother, Herleve, wife of Herluin de Conteville. Richard Goz, Vicomte d'Avranches, or more properly of the Avranchin, was one of the sons of the revolting Thurstain, by his wife Judith de Montanolier, and appears not only to have avoided being implicated in the rebellion of his father, but obtained a pardon and restoration to the Vicomté of the Hiemois. For further information see "The Conqueror and His Companions.
A picture saves a lot of words and makes an article look much better. You need to remember that people do not take kindly to their images being used without permission, and you also need to be aware of "Some legal stuff about images of buildings". The UK law at present enshrines "Freedom of Panorama" which means you can photograph public buildings and 3d works of art (but not murals) and put photo's on here - it is different in other countries. There are a few simple steps to adding an image:
prepare the image
You don't need to use a 3MB image in Chesterwiki, and if you do it will annoy people because it takes a while to load and it will use up a lot of server space. Most images can be less then 100kB and quite adequate. One way to make an image smaller is to display it on screen and take a picture using "Greenshot". The image on the right is 14kB.
add a frame for the image
A frame looks like this in the editing window:
[[File:Alphonso of England.jpg|thumb|Right|Alphonso may have been Earl of Chester but there is no real evidence]]
If you simply save that then you would get the frame and text, but the name of the image will be in red. This tells you it is not uploaded. Of course, if there is already an image with the same name that will be displayed instead.
upload the image
This is done by using the "Upload File" page. The easy way to access that is via the "red text" in the image frame. Then simply browse to the image, check everything is OK and hit "upload". The image should now display (if it doesn't click edit and save the page without changes to refresh the cache).
Making a Gallery
There is a simple example of a gallery on the Grosvenor Bridge page. The syntax is really simple:
<gallery> File:Gros1.jpg File:Gros2.jpg File:Gros3.jpg File:Gros4.jpg </gallery>
The result looks like this:
These are a little more complicated, but are the "index" system. Do not worry if you add a page without "categories", because someone will come along and add them. However, if you can get your head round categories then it will make your contribution more visible.
"Loose End" editing
Some people write their content offline and then copy it to the wiki. Others prefer to work "live" so that their half-finished works are visible. Chesterwiki has quite a few half-finished pages and there are several reasons for this:
- someone got bored/stuck and gave up;
- its a half-restored page from the original site picked up off the "Wayback Machine";
- someone was called away...
IF you see a half-finished page then it's up to you to try and complete it, leave it alone or delete it. Deletion is not a good idea if you know the author is very busy. If you try and complete it and someone else is trying to do the same the server can get confused - so use "discussion" to come to an agreement.
Wiki's grow and develop because more users find them, and then contribute, so wherever you can, (and it is sensible to do so) put a link to this site. We are not selling anything, but the more people who come to see "Chesterwiki" as a valid and valuable source of information on Chester, the more members we can expect and the more accurate content we gain. That benefits everyone.
Tricks and tips
For "advanced users"!
You can create an "icon" using a gif and a link. This is useful if you are linking to an external site, such as a maps site or the guestbook.
The one on the left uses the following code:
The one on the right uses the following code:
You can set anchors in the timeline using <div id="NameOfAnchorHere">optional text</div>
To link to them use [[Timeline#NameOfAnchorHere]]
Here some examples of how to use them:
- [[Timeline#1066|1066]] which looks like 1066.
- [[Timeline#1066|Norman invasion]] which looks like Norman invasion.
- [[Timeline#1066|(Timeline: '''Norman invasion''')]] which looks like (Timeline: Norman invasion).
Eventually the Timeline should be full of Anchors (if you add them please leave them as invisible).
You can use the navigation icon like this:
= [[Image:last.gif|60px|right|alt=Alt text|Go to next|link=Hugh of Avranches]]
See the pages on the Earls of Chester for an example.
Imagemap + Anchor
You can use a similar icon to link to the timeline anchors like this:
= [[Image:ticon.jpg|20px|left|alt=Alt text|1066|link=Timeline#1066]]
N.B you may need to add an anchor to the timeline.