Help:Editing FAQ

From DispersiveWiki

Frequently asked questions about editing

I'm afraid to change anything.

Don't worry, all editing changes are easily reversible (by going to the history page and retrieving an earlier version of the text). One can also "preview" each edit before saving it, to get some idea of what the change will look like.

An edit doesn't need to make an article absolutely perfect; it just needs to be a little bit of an improvement over what was previously there. Even adding a word or a sentence of clarification can be better than doing nothing.

If you think a change is controversial, click on the discussion page and post your suggestion or other comment there. (Don't forget to sign your name, using three or four tildes.) Anyone else who is watching the page will then be able to respond to it; if there is agreement on the change then go ahead and implement it!

Wikipedia has a policy: be bold in updating pages. It works well there, and it should work well here also.

If you are reluctant to use an existing page to experiment with editing, you can try our sandbox. Alternatively, you may use your own user page (click on your user name at the top right of the screen), which is yours to edit and experiment as you please.

How to I do basic formatting?

  • You can create a link by enclosing a word or phrase in double brackets. Example: [[well-posed]] => well-posed
  • You can italicize using double apostrophes, and boldface using triple apostrophes. Examples: ''ad hoc'' => ad hoc; '''Miura transform''' => Miura transform.
  • LaTeX-style equations can be created using the <math> and </math> tags. Example: <math>M(u(t)) = \int_{\R^d} |u(t,x)|^2\ dx</math> => .
    • Sometimes, the method does not work well. Instead, we can use the standard dollar sign. Example: 'dollar sign' \|u(t)\|_{L^q(\mathbb{R}; L^r(\mathbb{R}^n))}'dollar sign' => $\|u(t)\|_{L^q(\mathbb{R}; L^r(\mathbb{R}^n))}$.
  • Bulleted un-numbered lists (like this one) can be created by placing an asterisk * at the beginning of each item. Numbered lists are similar but use #. One can nest lists using ** and ##, etc.
  • Create new sections using two equality signs = on each side of the section name. Subsections use three equality signs, and so forth.
  • You can sign your name using three or four tildes: ~~~ or ~~~~. This is generally good practice on discussion pages.
  • If all else fails, find an existing page with the formatting you are looking for and view the source by clicking on the "edit" tab (without actually doing any editing, of course).
  • There is extensive help on this topic at wikipedia.

How do the references and bibliography work?

This is a bit tricky. Please read our policies on references and our naming conventions. But perhaps the simplest thing to do is to just dump any references onto the bottom of the page you are editing; they can eventually be moved to the centralized bibliography at a later date.

Where are these stub messages, boxed texts, and stuff coming from?

These are instances of a template in action. You can get an idea how to use tempates by viewing the source code for a page which invokes them, or by viewing the template directly.