- Under preferences, you have the choice of using one of two editing interfaces, "source editor" or "visual editor." Source editor uses what is called "wiki markup" or "wiki text" which is what Vault Academy primarily teaches. Visual editor works more like a word processor or blog. Each dictates what the screen looks like and what options you have while in "edit view" which just means "while editing an article."
- You can take some time trying each out if you'd like, to see what works best for you. It is always possible to switch back and forth, too. For all of my instructions and examples, as well as all editing I do in general, I use the "source editor" option. I have listed all of my chosen preference options below, in case you want to line yours up for a bit while you get used to the tools.
Note: We will work on your signature in the next lesson.
Some of these don't work for me even if checked yes, just a heads up in case that happens to you.
In order to edit any page on the wiki, you will click the edit button. It is in the upper right hand corner of each page. If you click "edit," your preferred editor interface will automatically open, revealing what information is already on the page. There is a drop down that shows other options for the page, including switching to the other interface. Here are the options and what each means.
- Edit: Edit current page (opens default interface)
- Interface: Edit article using nondefault interface
- History: See log of all past edits, content changed, on what date, by which user
- Move: To change name or rename an article (covered in upcoming lesson)
- Protect: For admins, to lock vandalized article or for edit war (see below)
- Delete: Completely removes article and its history (covered in upcoming lesson)
- Talk: Discussion of improvements or suggestions for article
Skipping ahead, now you have made your hypothetical edit and are ready to publish. To do so, you can click "preview" to make sure the article looks as you intended, and if so, you can click "save" to publish it.
One step that I want to make sure you add to this routine is the utilization of the edit summary field. This field gives editors an opportunity to briefly describe what changes they made on an article, which appears in the recent changes feed and the page's edit history. By explaining in a few words what your changes were, you can communicate your thought processes to other editors as well as provide guidance to new editors, who can watch and learn in real-time. Minor edits don't need a summary (adding a space or comma, for example). If you are doing repetitive, similar edits to many pages, leaving an edit summary on the first two or three will suffice.
This brings up the importance of keeping edit summaries constructive and polite, and that they stay on the edit history in perpetuity. Here are some examples of my expectations for mentees:
- edit summary: "terrible punctuation"
- edit summary: "remember to keep periods and commas inside of quotation marks"
Best practices to follow:
- all substantial edits summarized
- most brief edits summarized
- no summary needed for minor changes, but check "minor edit" box
- all summaries polite, no exceptions
An important place to tour as a new editor is the Recent Changes page. It is a running list of all activity across Nukapedia, recording each edit in each namespace. Edit summaries will appear here as well as how much was added (green) or removed (red) from articles via the accompanying edit. An "m" means it was marked as a minor edit and an "N" means it is a new page.
The log also shows who made edits, including a list if more than one person has worked on it recently, as well as the time each edit was made.At the top of the page, you can select options for settings as well as see various categories of items that may need work. Don't worry too much about any of this for now. As long as you know where to find recent changes and what it is used for, you can poke through everything at your leisure.
The topic of user conduct is never the most fun to introduce, but it is important that I share what you may experience or observe as you spend time in the community, as well as how to identify and understand poor user conduct, how to avoid engaging in it personally, and resources available to you for help, including reaching out to administrators.
Everyone should be able to come to the wiki, discussion boards, or discord and feel welcome, respected, and happy. If anything is going on that is causing the opposite, we rely on all users to be cognizant and willing to bring it to the attention of administrators, who can expect the administration to address and rectify the situation.
The wiki has several policies and guidelines that help point editors in the right direction as far as how to edit and how to conduct themselves. The entire list is available here but I wanted to shine some light on some conduct-related points that are common and important to know. We will be covering the editing policies as we learn the related skills. Below are some important terms every new editor should know.
- Edit stalking
Edit stalking or edit hovering is a form of harassment. It is when one user follows behind another user, changing edits they had just made across a succession of articles. This should not be confused with the behavior of "patrollers," who are staff members tasked with the specific job of checking all edits for all users. Aside from patrollers, following another editor around from article to article can make users feel targeted, and is bad form. No one wants to feel singled out. Do not engage in this behavior and of course assume good faith that someone may be doing this unintentionally, but if you notice another user doing so repetitively, let me or another staff member know so we can look into it.
- Edit wars
Edit wars are one of the most common events that lead to banning, so I want to explain what they are, how to spot them, and how to stop before you find yourself engaging in one without meaning to. We are all passionate about editing here, and sometimes we disagree. Be ready to discuss your changes with others. If you disagree with another editor, discuss the issue either on user or article talk pages (we will learn these soon).
Repeatedly reverting (undoing) each other's changes ("edit warring") is bound to escalate the conflict instead of solving it. If you make an edit and someone reverts it, you can change it back. Then leave a talk page message or article page message to talk it out. If that user reverts a second time, it breaks the policy. In general, a consensus should be reached or ask an admin to come in and mediate. Always err on the side of talking things out, even though it is frustrating. Admin are here to help you work through these things so you don't have to risk escalation and edit warring.
Vandalism is always against policy. Do not mess pages up on purpose. Blanking articles or sections, replacing content with nonsense, or intentionally adding inaccurate information or advertisement to articles is considered vandalism. If you see vandalism, remove it or restore the content as soon as possible (we will learn this soon). Alert an admin right away.
- Admin assistance
When I refer to admin, I should really say administration, which is the combined total of all staff members. You can see the current list and role descriptions here. We are all here to help and have extra tools to do so. Don't ever hesitate to ask us questions or inquire if you see something amiss. We need all the eyes we can, including yours!
The following guide can be used to refer back to how to format articles code-wise, which is called wikitext or wiki markup. You won't memorize this right now and I don't expect anyone to. We use the same formatting as wikipedia, so I like to provide their guide as a primer and add Nukapedia-specific code as we move along. So for right now, you can just take a look and don't worry to much about committing it to memory.
|Introduction to editing with Wiki Markup|
|Lessons||Lesson one - Lesson two - Lesson three - Lesson four - Lesson five - Lesson six - Lesson seven - Lesson eight - Lesson nine - Lesson ten - Lesson eleven - Lesson twelve|
|Quizzes||Quiz two - Quiz three - Quiz four - Quiz five - Quiz six - Quiz seven - Quiz eight - Quiz nine - Quiz ten - Quiz eleven - Quiz twelve|
|Links||The Vault Academy - All lessons - Quiz answer report page|