Wiki Maintenance

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The change to a proper wiki under modern MediaWiki framework and updates means that while we have greater control over the wiki's appearance, what goes into it, and so on, that also means that some of the conveniences of Wikia no longer hold true -- most notably in the loss of their infobox builder, which we began to utilize prior to the wiki switch. This page will assist users in adjusting to the new wiki framework, what it can do that Wikia could not, and in how to contribute to the general maintenance of the wiki.

The Wiki Port of 2018

The wiki port essentially entailed creating an XML dump of the Chrono Stars Wikia and using an import function on the wiki to bring it over. This section will help you figure out what did and did not make the transition so that you know what to look for (or what will never be brought over here).

Things that ported over

  1. Page content as of the XML dump. (i.e. If you edited anything after December 23rd, 2018, in spite of me saying not to, that edit will not be reflected on this wiki.)
  2. Categories and what pages are contained within them.
  3. Infoboxes that were already created.
  4. File names and corresponding descriptions.

Things that did not port over

  1. Images or other files. Uploading an image to an existing file name will allow it to "inherit" its old description and locations on existing pages.
  2. Wikia-specific functions such as the infobox builder or the forums.
  3. Page histories. Existing pages will continue to curate their histories from here on out, but they did not carry over their old page histories from Wikia.

Uploading Files

oooo its the fuckin upload wizard

The most obvious change to file uploading compared to Wikia is the ability to mass upload files, which is especially helpful for porting over images that would not have transitioned over from the XML port. If you want to only upload one file, you can simply go to Special:Upload and follow the instructions there. For your convenience, this link is also in the sidebar under "Upload File".

If you need to upload multiple files, you can use Special:UploadWizard to do so. Simply click past the tutorial (if it's your first time using it) and follow the steps presented in the Upload Wizard to upload your multiple images all at once. Note that the Upload Wizard is an external extension, and so it may take more time to load than a typical page will.

Creating a Page

You can create a page one of several ways:

  • Going to Special:CreatePage and following the instructions there. For your convenience, this special function is also in the sidebar of the wiki.
  • Typing in the desired URL of your page into your web browser, such as https://chronostars.com/wiki/Vector_the_Crocodile, and letting it take you through the process there.
  • Clicking a "red link," which indicates a linked-to page that does not yet exist, and following the process listed on that page.
  • Searching for your desired page name, like inputting Sea Cats into the searchbar, and following the red link on the search page if the search does not turn up anything.

Remember to always use proper prefixes if creating a special page. If you're just creating a basic article page, you don't need any prefixes; the wiki will automatically consider it a normal article part of the "Main" namespace and handle everything for you. If you're making a category page, however, you would need the Category prefix, like Category:Characters who will surely die by the next campaign.

Editing a Page

Editing a page can be done in one of two ways: the Visual Editor and the Source Editor. When you select an existing page and just hit "Edit," it brings you to the Visual Editor; if you select "Edit Source," it'll take you to the Source Editor.

The Visual Editor is also called "what you see is what you get" or "WYSIWYG" in some wiki tutorials. It's based on modern word processor design, namely that coding should be behind the scenes and not in the user's face. If I hit enter, I should get a linebreak. If I hit ctrl-B, then the text should be bolded. I shouldn't have to know specific codes or commands to get the text to look how I want. Visual Editors for wikis are mostly finished, but may still have some hiccups or glitches. If this happens to you, just try clearing out the text giving you trouble and trying again.

The Source Editor is the original standard for wikis.It is plain and reliable, but also requires a bit of knowledge on the user's part for what they want. In Source Editor, you can't just hit ctrl-B and get bold text; you have to open the bold text with ``` and close it with ``` so the editor knows you're done with the bold text. That said, the Source Editor does have a toolbar for automatically implementing certain pieces of commonly used code, like text formatting, adding in links, or inserting images. It also has a Preview function that will occur in-window (unlike Wikia's, which was a pop-up) so you can see what your text will look like and check for any broken pieces of code.

You can use whichever editor you want, and you can even switch between editors as you need to while editing a page by hitting the pencil icon in the upper right corner of the editor. Note that when going from Source Editor to Visual Editor, you may be warned that your recent changes will not be preserved if you switch. Don't just click through this warning; save before leaving Source Editor. This warning does not occur if you go from Visual Editor to Source Editor; you will simply have a confirmation pop-up making sure that you intended to hit switch.

By selecting "rollback" in a page's history, a page can be reverted back to a previous state, or you can simply view old versions of a page by clicking its history label.

You are encouraged to use the Test Page for messing around with either editor and learning the ropes if you're not familiar with MediaWiki or if you simply want to try something out. If you make a mistake on another "important" page, though, don't worry! You can always roll back the page to a previous iteration of it, and your horrible mistake will be erased from time.

Make sure you save often while editing a page. This prevents any accidents, either by the wiki or on the user's end such as internet problems or browser malfunctions, by forcing the wiki to essentially keep copies of your work. You can even select "this is a minor edit" on the save confirmation pop-up if you don't want your little edits to show up in Recent Changes wiki news feeds.

Navigating the Wiki

Coming soon to a page near you!

Infoboxes

Infoboxes visually appear as they did on Wikia thanks to an extension we installed that converts HTML coding (what Wikia's infoboxes used) into the visually appealing infoboxes. However, editing and especially creating those infoboxes is a little different now, because the infoboxes are not natively part of MediaWiki's software.

The most important thing to remember with infoboxes is that they are case sensitive, no matter what editor you are using. If you are editing the "class" label, it needs to be "class" in your infobox and not "Class," or the infobox won't know what you're talking about. If you try to point to an image called Cancchia.png and tell the infobox to use cancchia.png, it won't find the image. Always use proper capitalization when dealing with infoboxes.

Adding a New Infobox

This is the part where the infoboxes not being native parts of MediaWiki becomes apparent. Adding a new infobox onto a page is a little bit janky, and it requires you to sort of know more of what you want to put into the infobox and how it needs to look. I promise you that editing existing infoboxes is much easier.

With that caveat out of the way, let's look at the two ways you can add an infobox -- through the Source Editor (where you actually put in specific, easy-to-use code for the editor to then translate into proper formatting, such as ``` for bold text rather than just hitting ctrl-B in the visual mode editor) or Visual Editor (where what you see in the editor is ultimately what the page will look like and all the code is kept behind the scenes).

Source Editor

I recommend everyone use the source editor when adding in a new infobox. Why? Because you can literally just copy and paste the infobox into the page, save it, and then edit the rest in whatever editor you prefer. It is significantly easier despite the initial "Oh, no, source editor?! With code?!" gut instinct that non-programmers may have. I need to reiterate that my programming background is flunking out of a programming 101 course in college and messing around with HTML when I was ten years old on Neopets. If I can do this, you can, too.

Defining the Infobox
The anatomy of an infobox within the source editor. Blue: Curly brackets that must begin and end every infobox. Red: Infobox's name. Green: Divider between fields. Yellow: Label name. Purple: The equals sign that must go between each label and data. Pink: Data, also known as what will be in that field on the infobox.

To start off, let's define the specific terms I will be using just so everyone can feel more comfortable editing the infoboxes in Source Editor because they will understand what they are editing. You can see these in action in the image on the right.

Every infobox must begin and end with a pair of curly brackets. That means to start your infobox, there needs to be {{. To end your infobox, there also needs to be }}. This tells the editor, "The infobox starts here!" and "The infobox ends here!" so that it knows what belongs in the infobox and what does not.

After your entry brackets (as in the ones that start the infobox), you need to put in the infobox's name. In our example, we're using EaldremenRaceBox. You will probably be using EaldremenCharBox for characters, but you could be using anything.

After the infobox name comes our divider, |, which is the vertical line/pipe character on most \ keys. It is not a lowercase L. The divider needs to go between every different label of an infobox. This tells the editor, "This is where my age entry is and where it ends!", for example, so that it doesn't combine all your text into one massive infobox entry.

After the divider, you put in the label name, or the field name. The label name is our secret handshake with the editor. It tells the editor, "When I put in image1, you show us an image," or "When I say primarylanguages, I really want you to display Primary Languages, as two separate words with capitalization and everything." That means you cannot put anything you want into the label name; if you put in a label name that does not exist in the infobox, the editor won't know what you're talking about, because we haven't established that secret handshake with the editor. This is on an infobox-by-infobox basis. I can't use a handshake with one friend and expect another friend to automatically know it; similarly, I can only use labels that have been defined by the infobox that I am using. You can see what labels the infobox has on its template page, such as Template:EaldremenRaceBox for the infobox I am using in this example.

After the label name, we need an equals sign. This equals sign is still within the divider, because we're still in this particular label. This is just a mathematical equation for the editor -- image1 equals whatever I put after the equals sign. The infobox does not care if there are spaces between the equals sign and surrounding text; image1=Cancchia.png is the same to it as image1 = Cancchia.png.

Finally, we get to the data. This is basically what you want the infobox to show in the infobox itself. For example, in the image1 label, I could tell it to put in the cancchia race example image. You can do minor coding in this part, such as using straight brackets [[ and ]] to link to another page, or using <br> for a line break (putting whatever follows the <br> onto a new line). Remember to properly close whatever codes you use here.

At this point, the infobox will repeat itself until it is closed out with that final pair of curly brackets we mentioned before.

Implementing the Infobox in Source Editor

Go to your desired template's page, such as Template:EaldremenCharBox. If the creator of the infobox was nice, which should always be the case if everyone is doing their jobs right, this page will have a section that says "Example usage". Take that code in the box, drop it into the Source Editor on the page you want the infobox on, and edit out anything that says Example and delete any fields you don't want, such as removing the line that says "Title" if your character doesn't have a title. You'll even notice that the editor doesn't mind if each part of the infobox is on a separate line, so you can easily format it to go back in and edit later if you need to.

Yeah, see how easy that was? Just use the Source Editor.

Visual Editor
Adding a template in Visual Editor.

If you really must use Visual Editor for your infoboxes, it's a bit more janky and still requires you to actually know what the infobox is looking for. To add the infobox, go to Insert -> Template and then type in the desired infobox's name. It will come up with a list of suggestions based on your initial query, like Google autocomplete. Select "Add Template" when you've found your desired template, and it will take you to a frighteningly barren infobox editor page. Because these infoboxes are not native to MediaWiki, the labels/fields do not autopopulate. That is to say, you need to actually tell the infobox, "I want to add a 'class' field" by typing "class" into the "Add more information" field. It will not put up a class field for you automatically to edit, and you will need to repeat this process for every part of the infobox that you want.

For this reason, you still need to know what the specific labels/fields are namedthrough the infobox's template page, respect their capitalization (i.e. it's class, not Class), and you will have to add in all of these fields yourself. It's an option if you are truly wary of even the slightest bit of coding, but it's a lot of work compared to just copying and pasting an infobox into the Source Editor and modifying it from there. Existing infoboxes will autopopulate their labels, but only for labels already in the infobox. New infoboxes start from scratch, and the only way for the editor to know what you want in there is by adding it all in yourself, one by one.

Just use the Source Editor.

Editing Existing Infoboxes

Visual Editor

Infoboxstealth.png

To edit your infobox, click where it appears in your Visual Editor. It may appear almost like a heading with that instance of the infobox's title on it (which tends to be the same as the page name), but mousing over it will display the infobox's name. Click it, and a little in-window pop-up will appear that will allow you to edit it, taking you to the Visual Editor for infoboxes.

Unlike adding new infoboxes, existing infoboxes will allow for labels/fields to be modified, and it will display those labels/fields in the Visual Editor for you to modify as you please. If you put in a "class" label already, it will always appear in the Visual Editor unless you delete it; you won't have to constantly keep adding in a new "class" field every time you want to change it. However, there's an important distinction to be made here with the old infobox editor on Wikia and our current one here: labels sort alphabetically, not by what order they show up in. For example, if "Weight" was the first label in the infobox's coding and displayed as such on the actual page, it would still be at the end of the infobox Visual Editor, because Weight isn't at the start of the alphabet. So don't panic if labels aren't in the order you expected; they will reorder themselves according to the infobox's template.

Source Editor

Editing an existing infobox is the same as adding a new one -- in Source Editor, simply modify whatever parts of the infobox's code you need changed or removed. Remember to always refer to the infobox's template page so you know what you can and cannot do with that given infobox.

Creating New Infoboxes

An example of the wiki automatically detecting certain errors in an infobox's coding, making troubleshooting a broken infobox much easier.

First of all, if you are at all anxious about editing an infobox, you have some playgrounds to mess around in without fear of needing to constantly roll back an existing page or editing something on another page that you shouldn't have. You can go to the Test Page and use Template:TestBox in that page, freely editing either, to get your bearings on what editing an infobox will look like and how it plays out on an existing page. Feel free to break these pages as much as you want. It is their purpose.

If creating a new infobox seems intimidating, you have a lifeline -- the wiki will automatically detect HTML errors in your infobox. For example, if you have a tag that's still open, or if you have extraneous bits of code, the infobox will notify you on the page after you hit "Save" and maintain those big obvious errors on the infobox's source page until they are fixed. This will allow you to easily troubleshoot if an infobox is not working the way you wanted; you can rule out code not working properly because, in most cases, the wiki will indicate where broken pieces of code are. If you don't see these errors, then the code is sound, but it may be ordered differently than you wanted, or you may have used an incorrect tag (but otherwise correctly opened and closed the tags).

Once you're ready to make a new infobox, you need to create it using the Template prefix. So, if I wanted to make an infobox called EaldremenCatsBox, I would need to make a page called Template:EaldremenCatsBox. If I just made a page called EaldremenCatsBox without the Template prefix, it would take me to the "Main" namespace, which means that it would create a content page, not a template page, and my template wouldn't be able to be used. When making new infoboxes, please follow the standardized format of SettingPurposeBox, like VisteloPlanetBox, VykenSpellBox, and so on. This will help in organization and easily figuring out what template is for what.