There are no rules about what is or is not allowable in a WikiWikiWeb. There are some recommendations about style, however. There are many (and some lengthy) discussions on other WikiWikiWebs about style, so we won't get into that here. Instead we will cover some basics:
Write First, Pretty Later
The purpose of a Wiki is to encourage people to contribute. So it is more important to write what comes to mind than it is to make it look nice, flow well, or be complete. You can always come back later and complete your text and make it look better. You can also count on others to come by and correct your mistakes.
This is a community
- You are encouraged to share and comment.
- Please don't strip out what others have written unless it is inappropriate or offensive.
- Signing what you contribute are good manners.
Especially if you write in the first person. -- John Q. Manners
- Courtesy is always the best policy.
Preserve the Flow
Users are asked to note how the page is organized and then keep with the spirit of the page. There are three basic types of pages in a Wiki:
- Informational - Meant to be a presentation and reference on a topic or group of related topics. Many people may contribute to the page, but the organization and layout of the page is paramount. These pages typically have headings, bulletted lists, tables, etc. People contribute by adding to or changing the text anywhere on the page. This page (GoodStyle) is an informational example. See also Wiki:DocumentMode
- Conversational - These are more like forums or bulletin boards. They list a series of comments or thoughts in order and read like a conversation. New comments are added to the end of the text and existing text is typically left alone. To add your comment to such a page, add a horizontal break (----) before your additions. Please remember to sign your comment, too. See also Wiki:ThreadMode
- Utility - Provided by the Wiki software and not (usually) created by users. Examples are RecentChanges, PopularPages, SearchPages, PageIndex ...
Most pages in a Wiki start out as informational and then turn conversational as comments about the main information block are added.
Wiki Word Style
- The preferred method of HyperLinks within a Wiki are BumpyText.
For example, WordsRunTogether is preferred over:
- [Words Spaced Out]
- ["A long explanation as a link that breaks readability" | TheWikiWord]
- Plural vs. Singular
- Singular is preferred.
- Try not to create pages named with the plural version of a WikiWord. It is bad form to have a page such as 'SuperBunnies' that simply says 'See SuperBunny'. Only one page is needed in this instance.
- If, for readability, you need to use the plural form of a WikiWord, use brackets.
- Avoid alias pages (pages that exist only to refer the reader to another page).
- For example, some people refer to WikiWords as BumpyText, CamelCase, or WikiText. Rather than creating three pages that all refer to one source, use bracket notation to use the words you like,
- or better yet, just use the WikiWord that exists. The user would be confused if they clicked on a link called MilkIsGoodForYou and was brought to a page discussing how eating carrots can affect your eyesight.
- Don't use articles such as A, AN, THE, OF, etc. They simply extend the length of the WikiWord without increasing readability.
See also Wiki:GoodStyle