NSWiki:Tip of the day archive

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Feel free to write up short articles for the Tip of the Day space on the Main Page. You're welcome to change the tip, but try to match the link length to the current feature article. Not all features work out to the same length, and we want our Front Entrance to look nice.

Accuracy and peer review

We strive to make NSwiki as accurate as possible. If you see something that you know is wrong, be bold and fix it. If you see something that seems wrong, leave a note on the talk page and remove questionable assertions if no supporting evidence is provided. Peer review happens constantly through the Recent Changes page and watchlists, but it can also be solicited on NSwiki:Peer review or, if you think that an article is really good, by nominating it on NSwiki:Featured article candidates. Regardless, we do not guarantee accuracy and have a variety of other disclaimers. These are linked from every page, so please do not add disclaimers to articles!

More info: Wikipedia:Replies to common objections

Creating New Categories

For some of us overly-organized types, there is a tendency to want to categorise everything. In fact, a quick visit to Uncategorized pages should show only a very few pages. Categories are one of the best ways to organize articles in the wiki, and all community members are encouraged to add every article to an appropriate category (or occasionally more than one). There's a place for everything else, and everything is in its place.

Others don't want to stop there, and that's where we need some good old NSwiki consensus. It's possible that Hell Bovines want a lettuce category for all their different brands, or SAG Weapons Corporation needs a complete catalog of handguns. Well, they both can, at present, by adding those items to their factbooks. What we're trying to avoid is the existence of standalone categories for Lettuce and Handguns.

If you want to create a new factbook for your main nation, go right ahead. Instructions are posted in Category:Factbooks. Before creating anything else, though, post a comment in the Village pump, bring it to #nswiki, or drop a note on the Talk page of one of the sysops. Thanks.

More info: NSwiki:Page editing

Custom NSwiki Signatures

To add a custom signature, you can go to your Preferences panel (the link is on the top of the standard skin). There you will see a box with "Your nickname (for signatures): Here you can insert code to add more than just your User name.

Don't go overboard! This is more for convenience than for making some glorious sig that will awe and amaze your fellow NSwikians. Here's a suggestion for a simple modification that will make it easier for a fellow reader to click directly to your Talk page:

]]|[[User talk:YourUserNameHere|<small>talk</small>

Looks a bit funky, but that's how you code it. Yes, it really is supposed to start with the ]] facing that way. You may prefer to use a Greek (I use Θ because it looks like a little frisbee), Cyrillic or some other fun ♠ ♣ ♦ ♥ symbols instead of the <small>talk</small>.

Now be sure not to leave YourUserNameHere intact, please! Change it to your User name, which may or may not be the same as your Nation name. It's the name you log in with.

My resulting sig shows up as Frisbeeteria|Θtalk, and the talk link takes you directly to my Talk page. When a message is placed on your User talk page, a banner shows up stating that you've got new messages. Beats telegrams anyday, at least within the wiki.

More info: NSwiki:Page editing

Graphics with Wrapping Text


Adding text wrap in graphics is easier than you think. You just need a small table. For example, here's a simple pictureframe:

{| align="right" border="1"
| http://www.paranoia.ru/mn/x-files/images/ftr1d.jpg
More info: Wikipedia:How to use tables


Are NSwiki entries case sensitive? I'm just asking for the reason that I love things to be, Capitalized for some reason, and tend to turn many things into a proper noun. I created an entry regarding the Multiverse, realized there were entries linking to it, and went about Capitalizing the word Multiverse in all those entries. Anal retentive? Yes. While doing this though, in the page on Earth, I saw the couplet "fractal reality," and couldn't help but change it to "Fractal Reality." I did, but then the link wouldn't work! So I had to settle with "Fractal reality." Ahem. The point- Case sensitive NSwiki? --Fodian Federa 00:52, 25 Oct 2004 (GMT)

The first character of any NSwiki page is capitalized by default. Pages will link to the article regardless of whether it was linked in lower or upper case.
Beyond that, NSwiki IS case sensitive. One possible solution would be to make Fractal Reality a redirect page to Fractal reality. Another would be to use the | symbol in links to pipe link results to a differently capitalized page. Frisbeeteria Θtalk
More info: NSwiki:Page editing

Linking common terms to Wikipedia

There are a number of red links to 'common' topics, such as communist or language. Rather than fill up our NSwiki with a bunch of (probably-contested) terminology, it makes sense to link such things directly to the Wikipedia entry. The easy way is like this:

"It is a [[Wikipedia:communist|]] nation."
→ "It is a communist nation."

Or make it specific to a nation, as Constantinopolis has done.

"That Constantinopolite is a [[Communist Party of Constantinopolis|Communist|]]."
→ "That Constantinopolite is a Communist."

Take special note of the pipe ( | ) symbol before the final brackets. Add the pipe, and the word after the colon gets piped directly out. You don't see the Wikipedia or Constantinopolis reference. If you prefer, you can change the text after the pipe:

"Our national language is [[Wikipedia:Sindarin|Elvish]]."
→ "Our national language is Elvish."
More info: NSwiki:Page editing

Manufacturing consent

When working on an article, please strive for consensus with other contributors. While maintaining neutrality and factual accuracy is essential, there are often ways to accommodate others without sacrificing either. Try to find out what it is that the other side wants, and try to find a solution that is mutually acceptable. When both parties are slightly unhappy with the outcome, that is in fact often an indication that a compromise has been reached. You can start non-binding polls if you want, but you should only call for a binding vote on a matter when other dispute resolution methods have failed, and you should seek consensus among the contributors first that such a vote is acceptable.

In NationStates, factual accuracy can be a matter of opinion. Since roleplayed actions can be interpreted differently by different players, no single viewpoint can be considered the absolute truth. It's best to build the potential for multiple viewpoints into the article, so that everyone gets a chance to be represented.

More info: NSwiki:Dispute resolution

Moving right along

If the title of an article does not follow NSwiki's naming conventions, or it has simply been misspelled, you can fix this with a page move. This creates a redirect at the old location, so please fix any double redirects that result. The talk page, if any, will normally be moved as well. However, a page move is not possible if a page already exists at the desired destination. If you have this problem, please do not simply cut and paste the content to the new location (otherwise we lose the edit history, which is included in a page move). Instead, please contact an administrator, so they can arrange the merge / move.

More info: NSwiki:Page moves


Pages on NSwiki can have the same names, but different namespaces. A namespace is a prefix in front of the name. A name with no prefix is in the (default) article namespace. Pages in that namespace have a white background. All other pages have a yellowish background and are "community pages". For instance, the "Talk:" prefix is for pages discussing articles; the "NSwiki:" prefix is for pages about NSwiki's policies, FAQs, etc.

More info: Wikipedia:Namespaces

Recent Changes on steroids

When you click the recent changes link, you get a protocol of recent modifications to wiki pages. One neat feature of that page is the "Show new changes starting from" link. If you keep a browser tab open on the Recent Changes page, you can use it to regularly fetch a list of changes that you haven't seen yet.

Have you tried the option "Enhanced recent changes" in your user preferences already? It requires a modern browser to work and is disabled by default. Unlike the normal "recent changes" page, this one summarizes edits to the same page and lets you dynamically expand and collapse the list items. For multiple edits to the same page, it also provides a single "changes" link which will show you a view of the differences between these combined edits and the last non-recent revision.

Section links

When linking to a page, if the link is particularly relevant to a specific section of the page, you can have the link take people straight to that section by adding the # sign and the section title to the link. If you include a section link in an article, always use a piped link to display normal text for readability. Also, keep in mind that the section title might change, in which case the link will simply go to the top of the linked page. Redirects do not follow section links, however, so it is useless to include them there.

More info: Wikipedia:Section#Section linking

Sneak preview

While editing a page, you can use the show preview button (located right next to the Save page button) to see in advance what your edits will look like. This lets you check your work periodically without filling up the page history by making lots of smaller edits. The preview function can also help you avoid mistakes, such as when using an unfamiliar type of wiki markup. The preview will appear together with the edit box you have been working in (either above or below it, however you prefer).

More info: NSwiki:Page editing

Soft and hard breaks

When you edit a page, you can create paragraphs the way you would do in any word processor -- by pressing the "Enter" key twice. Single line breaks in the article source should be avoided except for lists and for structuring HTML code. While single line breaks have few effects on article display, they do reduce the amount of context information shown in "diff" comparison views between two revisions. If you want to create a single line break in the rendered page, you can use the <br> HTML tag (it has no closing tag). Its use should be reserved for very few special cases, particularly tables and complex layouts. Do not use it within normal prose, where it hampers readability.

More info: Wikipedia:Do not use line breaks


This article is a stub. You can help NSwiki by improving it.

Have you ever clicked that stub link? I hadn't. I thought it belonged on every article that needed more information. Not so, as it turns out. Click it and read.

This is a wiki. Every page could stand improvement. If you add a stub to every short page you post, they don't count in our page count. It's not that big a deal, but leaving off unnecessary stubs helps give us a better understanding of the progress we're making in building the wiki.

In short (stubbishly, you might say), don't use gratuitious {{stub}}s. Even this one's a fake, just so the Tip of the Day doesn't disappear into statistical oblivion.

More info: NSwiki:Template messages

Summarizing your work

If you make anything other than a minor edit to an article, it helps to use the edit summary. Edit summaries are visible in the page history, watchlists, and on Recent changes, so they help other users keep track of what's happening to a page. If you use section editing, the summary box is filled in with the section heading by default (in gray text). You can also put links to articles in the edit summary - just put double brackets around [[the article title]] like you would normally. The summary is limited to 200 characters, so many people use common abbreviations, such as sp for correcting spelling mistakes.

More info: NSwiki:Page editing

Table of contents

Any article with more than three headings automatically gets a table of contents. The TOC is placed above the first section heading. All text above the first section heading is commonly referred to as the introduction. The introduction should not exceed one or two paragraphs in length and should summarize the article's key points.

If you do not like the TOC placement in an article, you can put it exactly where you want with the __TOC__ command. If you do not want a TOC on a particular page, add the text __NOTOC__ anywhere on the page; if you, personally, do not like the TOC feature, you can disable it in your user preferences.

More info: Wikipedia:Section

The Template namespace

A page in the Template:-namespace can be included on another page using the syntax {{Page name}} (this may include spaces and all other title characters). On NSwiki, this is used for a variety of purposes, such as navigation boxes (e.g. Template:Infobox Nation) or notices (e.g. Template:welcome). Templates support parameters. For example, a nation box template could include the text {{{Population}}} (note the three braces). These parameters can then be substituted with specific values, e.g. {{Infobox Nation | Population=82,544,000| Flag=Germany_flag_large.png}}.

When using a template like Template:Infobox Nation or Template:Infobox Region, it's important to leave the template name as-is (e.g. {{Infobox Nation). Don't substitute your nation's name in that first line, as the wiki will think you are trying to create a new template, when all you want to do is link to the original one.

More info: NSwiki:Template messages

To serve and to protect

Among other things, administrators can protect pages from editing using the link "Protect this page" in the sidebar. This happens when a page has been the subject of an edit war or is the target of repeated vandalism. Admins have no special rights over NSwiki content and policy states they should not protect pages in which they are personally involved. Admins only edit protected pages when absolutely necessary. An exception is the Main Page and a few widely used templates, which are permanently protected because they are highly exposed targets. On protected pages, non-administrators see a "view source" link in place of "edit this page", allowing them to see and copy (but not save) the wikitext.

More info: Wikipedia:Protected page

Tuning your edit window

Is your edit window too large and you cannot reach the "preview" and "save" buttons without scrolling? Try reducing the number of rows of the window in your user preferences. Disabling the edit toolbar should also save some screen real estate. Alternatively, in a modern browser, try hitting "ALT+P" for Preview and "ALT+S" for save. If you think the edit window is not using enough of your screen, try setting the option "Edit box has full width". Be warned, however, that the human eye has a harder time tracing long lines than short ones - you risk getting confused.

More info: MediaWiki Handbook:Preferences

Undoing edits

Anyone can revert a page to fix vandalism. All revisions of a page back to the first one are stored in the page history. To revert to an earlier version, just go to the history and select the date of the version (It will look like this: 09:31, 2 Oct 2000), the revision you have chosen will then be shown before you, with the words: (Revision as of 09:31, 2 Oct 2000) under the title. Edit and save it, and you should have successfully reverted a page. When not dealing with obvious vandalism, reverting is often a bad strategy. It alienates other users and provokes edit wars. Stay cool, talk to the user in question directly, or try to resolve issues on the talk page. Please do not revert the same page more than three times within 24 hours; doing so can lead to a temporary ban against you. Admins have a handy "rollback" feature which allows them to instant-revert changes from a user's contributions page; this, too, is primarily intended to deal with vandalism.

More info: NSwiki:Vandalism

(Revision as of 06:27, 4 Oct 2004)

Using your watchlist

If you are logged in, you can make use of the watchlist to keep track of changes to the articles you work on. You can add an article to your watchlist by clicking "Watch this page" when viewing it, or marking the "Watch this page" checkbox when editing it. There is an option to watch all your edits by default in the user preferences. Once you have set up your list, click the "My watchlist" link to show changes to the articles on it.

More info: MediaWiki Handbook:Watching pages

User contributions

If you click on a user's name, you can view their user page. If the user exists, there should be a "User contributions" link in the sidebar. This link will show you all the edits that user has ever made, up to 500 per page. Edits with a "top" link are the most recent ones to that particular article. If you click the link you will see exactly which changes the user has made. This is useful for tracking vandalism in progress. The "hist" link will show the history of the page. You have your own contributions list, which is particularly useful for tracking your conversations on talk pages. If you are logged in, you can access the list from the "My contributions" link in the sidebar.

User pages

Any registered user on NSwiki can create a page about themselves. To create an account, all you have to do is click on the "Log in" link, enter a username, a password (twice), and click on "Create an account". While you are logged in, your name appears in the upper right corner of the screen; click on the name and then click "Edit this page" to edit your user page. Tell us about yourself and your motivation to participate in this project. Other users can leave comments on your talk page. For experiments and personal projects, you can also create subpages on your user page.

More info: Wikipedia:User page

What NSwiki is not

  1. NSwiki is not a personal homepage and/or file storage area. NSwikians have their own personal User pages, but they are used for working on the encyclopedia. If you're looking to make a personal webpage, there are many free homepage providers on the Internet.
  2. NSwiki is not a free wiki host. You may not host your own website or blog at NSwiki. If you are interested in using the wiki technology for a collaborative effort on anything other than writing the NationStates encyclopedia, even if it is just a single page, there are many sites (such as SeedWiki or Riters.com) that provide wiki hosting (free or for money). You can even install wiki software on your server.
  3. NSwiki is not a roleplay site. Historical accounts of roleplay activity belong here. Active roleplaying should be done on the forums.
  4. NSwiki is not a link repository. If you want to track your forum posts, use the Forum Search feature on Jolt.
  5. NSwiki is not a Discussion forum. If you want a regional forum, visit ProBoards.com or InvisionFree, where they do that sort of thing. Please try to stay on task (the task here is to create NationStates encyclopedia articles). NSwiki is not a discussion forum or chat room.
  6. A vehicle for advertising and self-promotion. We don't need articles on items just because a contributor is associated with them. Links to your roleplay storefront are fine, links to your Ebay storefront are not.

More info: NSwiki:Policy

When to use subpages

Subpages are pages which are separated with a "/" from their mother page, for example, NSwiki:Deletion log/Archive. When you visit a subpage you will see an automatic backlink to the mother page. Subpages are allowed in the User:, Talk: and NSwiki: namespaces, and with care and forethought may also be used in the main namespace. Plan your subpages beforehand. You don't want to build a subpage structure too deep, as it makes it harder for others to link to relevant pages. Subpages can be useful for organizing and archiving content. You can create a subpage by typing [[/Name]] on the page in question, and if you end the link with a slash - [[/Name/]] - the slashes are hidden in the output.

More info: Wikipedia:Subpages

Signing talk pages

Leaving a comment on a talk page is a great way to discuss page content with other editors and improve the quality of NSwiki. When you do, be sure to sign your comment by typing four tildes (&126;&126;&126;&126;) at the end of your comment. It saves people time figuring out who left the comment, and makes your comments hold more weight. Note that you can (and should) sign pages when editing as an anonymous user, but consider logging in, as you become easier to identify, especially with a custom signature.

More info: Wikipedia:Signature