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See also Helpful:About, and the Main Page.


Not many.

Mainly 'Minimize visual clutter'

Sections are good, particularly where they aid someone to the right bit of content. A simple summary, 'usually this amounts to', and 'crazy details' can coexist this way.

Or just if you have a page full of text.

Linking to software's project page, (interesting parts of) manuals, datasheets, and such (whatever you're augmenting or drawing together) is nice. The wikipedia page may be a lazy way as it usually links to those things well enough.

When adding web links, try to mention the title of the linked content to make them recognizable as well as easier to fix when they 404.

I have the habit of keeping half-arsed content in <-- --> style comments, when I want to do some more polishing before it becomes visible. You may want to look for that if you suspect there's some reason for that empty section.

Wiki syntax, templates, and such

See Markup_language_notes#mediawiki for some syntax notes.

Basic templates in here

There are some defined templates you can use if you wish, currently including:


  • {{verify}} puts a bracketed 'verify me'. Useful when you're not entirely sure of what you or someone else states. Looks like (verify). Partially made so that people who want to polish stuff can look for uses of this template.
  • {{comment}} make parenthetical text subtler in-page, and consistently style in the wiki, and easy to change in style later. {{comment|this syntax}} currently gives this effect. Useful for things, such as (This is not guaranteed to be thread-safe on all systems.).
  • {{inlinecode}} can be used in paragraph text to get a style that imitates text blocks (constant-width font, background color). {{inlinecode|this syntax}} currently gives this effect
there is also {{tag}} for <tag>
for code blocks, see below

Page/section markers (see next section)

  • {{stub}} - nice whenever you dump in a few links and sentences in preparation, so for pages that haven't received real attention from writers/editors. In some cases it can make way for one of the other templates, in other cases it can fall away once the text is decent. look for uses of this template
This article/section is a stub — some half-sorted notes, not necessarily checked, not necessarily correct. Feel free to ignore, or tell me about it.
  • {{notes}} looks like
📃 These are primarily notes, intended to be a collection of useful fragments, that will probably never be complete in any sense.
  • {{old}} looks like
⌛ This hasn't been updated for a while, so could be outdated (particularly if it's about something that evolves constantly, such as software or research).

  • {{info|this}} looks like
    🛈 this
  • {{warning|this}} looks like
    ⚠ this
  • {{zzz|this}} is meant for side-information that is easy to skip, and looks like
    💤 this
  • {{ELI5|this}} looks like
    👶 this


  • {{key}} c

  • {{keyhold}} Ctrl

Other templates

  • {{search|query}} - a web search (currently google) for the first argument. Link text is the same string, or the second argument if there is one.
  • {{imagesearch|query}} - an image-search variant of the last
  • {{luckysearch|query}} - first hit for a web search for the first argument (google's feeling lucky)

  • various subject-related TOC-like things to navigate to related pages


Aside from above-mentioned inlinecode, you can use space-indented text (and/or <pre>), possibly with <nowiki> to avoid parsing some mediawiki-ish text patterns, to get monospaced blocks:

def yay():
  for i in range(10):
    print "thing %d"%i

...but code tends to be a lot more readable with some syntax higlighting. There's an extension that means that

<syntaxhighlight lang="python">
def yay():
  for i in range(10):
    print( "thing %d"%i )

gives you:

def yay():
  for i in range(10):
    print( "thing %d"%i )

See this list for supported languages/syntaxes