Guide du débutant

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First things first

Starting out

If you aren't familiar with mediawiki syntax, check out Wikitext markup and this [tutorial] from Wikieducator. This covers basic wiki commands and style. Of course, to edit a page, you really only need to click the edit tab and start changing text, but knowing how to format pages will help you present information more clearly and effectively.

You should also create your user profile, making sure to add


at the bottom. Generally, every time you make a new page, you should categorize it. A list of existing categories can be found [here], but don't be afraid to create your own if you feel the need.

The best way to get familiar with the wiki is to use it, exploring different ways to present information and format articles. You may also want to create a subpage of your user page just for experimenting and playing with syntax, so that you can try out new things without affecting pages in the wiki. For example, you can create a subpage of your user page to play in (generally known as a sandbox), by putting


in your profile.

Editing pages

Feel free to edit pages, but be respectful of others. Keep your tone neutral, include citations if possible, and link to discussion threads when referencing them.

To talk about what you think should be on a page, use the related discussion page instead of the article itself (these are tabbed in the upper left of each page). To talk to other users, leave a note on their user talk page, [[User talk:USERNAME]].

Templates and userboxes

You can copy/paste templates into new pages to save yourself some work. Templates are named a little differently from normal pages, like this: [[Template:Templatename]]. There are two ways to insert templates.

Static templates

If you just want to insert a block of text (like the Wikipedia stub template), simply put curly braces and the name of the template. For example, to insert the stub template into a page, you would insert


Note that the first part, "Template:" is left off.

This will not convert to wikitext, so you can only change what the inserted text says by changing the original template. This is good for marking things like stubs, that don't need a customized message.

Dynamic templates

What if you wanted to edit the text in your template after inserting it? Then you would insert


The substitute command will convert to wikitext after you save the page. So, you can insert a template with subst:, save the page, and then edit it again to replace the included text.

Useful templates

  • Template:User profile|User profile (put {{subst:User profile}} into your user page)
  • Template:Romantic|Romantic orientation navbar (use {{Romantic}})
  • Template:Sexuality|Sexual orientation navbar (use {{Sexuality}})
  • Template:Sidebar|Sexual orientation sidebar (use {{Sidebar}})

Also, see the full list of templates.

Style Guide

In order for our wiki to be coherent and readable, everyone should follow a basic set of stylistic conventions (this page is inspired by the OLPC style guide).

Naming pages

  • check for alternative capitalizations; it would be awfully confusing to have a page named "Project Team" and another page named "Project team"
  • avoid capitalizing titles, unless there are proper nouns (for example, "Beginner's guide", not "Beginner's Guide")


Subpage creation should be carefully considered and general avoided. Good uses of subpages include:

  • user subpages - it's fine to make [[User:USERNAME/Sandbox]] or [[User:USERNAME/Brainstorming]]
  • archive pages of a general page - for example, [[Boston meetups]] could give general information for planning the latest meet, and [[Boston meetups/Jan 12 2007]] could give information about a specific past meetup

Looking to the future

You should start a page with the most generalized name possible. For example, start by making [[Boston meetups]] and not [[Boston meetups 2008]].


  • when linking within the wiki, use spaces instead of underscores, even if they go to the same place - i.e. [[Boston meetups]] instead of [[Boston_meetups]]
  • avoid running together words in CamelCase unless you are referring to a proper noun (like MediaWiki); this allows for easier reading and comprehension


DO NOT use H1 headers (single =) within a page; start with H2 headers. H1 headers indicate the title of a page, so using them within a page should signify inclusion of an entire new page.

General writing

  • write clearly
  • try to avoid words with unclear or multiple meanings
  • avoid making pages dependent on one another; this makes reading and editing unnecessarily difficult
  • categorize pages!


In general, avoid using colored text. To emphasize text, use '' or '''


Don't understand something? Want some help? Contact Jaybird721 [on AVEN] or on the wiki.

See also

  • Editing Basics
  • For a full list of editing commands, Wikitext markup
  • To experiment with editing, use the AVENwiki:Sandbox