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What's going on here?
User interface
Formatting rules in a nutshell
Finding out more

What's going on here ?

This site is a wiki - a kind of collaborative website. (wiki wiki means quick.) This site is running a modified version of the ZWiki 0.60.0 software.

Wikis try to put as little as possible in the way of people sharing useful content - often text, but also pictures and files. Wikis are usually wide open and assume a cooperating community, which in practice tends to work well. Anyone can edit, add comments, and make new pages on the spot. Like any medium, there are best practices which you'll discover in due course.

Intuitive naming and text formatting rules are used to simplify the process of writing and linking pages. The idea is to keep the text that people edit simple, so it's readable as is, and, most importantly, editable by anyone, without sacrificing attractive presentation.

Zwiki sites can also send out and receive comments and edits by email, effectively acting as a mail list where you can subscribe to topics of interest. You will see a "subscribe" link on each page.

For some basic definitions, try the ZWiki:Glossary.

User interface

Zwiki's UI is quite customizable. Use the "full", "simple", "minimal" options to adjust the level of detail on screen. Tip: if you can't see one of the features described here, try clicking "full".

You can set your user name, time zone and UI preferences in UserOptions? ("preferences").


Each page in a wiki has a unique name, most often a WikiName? - two or more capitalized words joined together (Zwiki also allows trailing digits). When a page name appears in wiki text, it forms a link to that page. If the page does not yet exist, a ? creation link will appear.

Pages may also have a [Free-form name], which can be (almost) any word or phrase. Links which look like two wikinames joined by a colon lead to another site (ZWiki:RemoteWikiLinks).

Zwiki additionally arranges pages in a hierarchy. You'll see this when browsing in full mode.

  • To return to the front page, click the site logo
  • To see the page hierarchy, click "contents"
  • To see an alphabetic index, click "index"
  • To see recent activity in the wiki, click "changes"
  • To see which pages link to this one, click the page title
  • To see the recent edits to this page, click the "last edited by" link
  • To jump to a known or semi-known page, enter the first part of it's name after the last / in your browser's address field. Capitalization and spacing don't matter.
  • To search the names and text of all pages, type in the search field and press enter

With a modern browser, you can use convenient quick-access keys (keyboard shortcuts) to navigate - see ZWiki:QuickReference.


If you see a "subscribe" link, you can subscribe to this page or the whole wiki to receive comments by mail, as follows:

  1. Click "subscribe"
  2. if needed, enter your email address and click "Change"
  3. click the button to toggle your page or wiki subscription status (green means you are subscribed).

Subscribers may also send comments by mail. Just reply to a comment, or send mail to the wiki's mail-in address. Your mail will go to the page named in brackets in the subject (or to a default page).


You have full editing rights to any page, unless restricted by the site admin. Note your comments may be received by many subscribers. To avoid this, please use SandBox for testing.

  • Add a comment using the form at the bottom of the page
  • Click "edit" to change the page's text. You may also be able to rename the page, upload a file, or choose other options here.
  • Follow the Wikipedia guideline of being bold in updating wiki pages: Don't ask, just update (i.e. improve) the page.
  • Create a new page by writing it's name on an existing page (free-form names must be enclosed in brackets), then clicking the question mark which will appear beside it.
  • In full mode, visit the backlinks screen to reparent the page (place it in the hierarchy)
  • After you have configured a user name, in full mode you may also use the page management form at the bottom of the screen to reparent, rename and delete pages.

Formatting rules in a nutshell

When you save a page, Zwiki normally applies standard ZWiki:TextFormattingRules - most often ZWiki:StructuredText, which is described here; wiki linking rules; and some additional formatting for comments.

  1. non-blank lines are run together to form a paragraph; paragraphs are separated by blank lines
  2. a one-line "paragraph" followed by a more-indented paragraph makes a heading. Tip: you need only indent the first line.
  3. a paragraph beginning with - or a number followed by a space makes a bullet or numbered list item; a more-indented list item starts a sub-list
  4. short text enclosed in *italic*, **bold**, _underlined_ or ' monospaced ' is italic, bold, underlined or monospaced respectively
  5. WikiName?'s, [Free-form name]s enclosed in brackets, ZWiki:RemoteWikiLinks , http://bare/urls , and Structured Text links are made into hyperlinks
  6. HTML tags may be added if necessary; on sites which permit it, DTML (server-side code) may also be used
  7. short text enclosed in single quotes is quoted, ie displayed in monospace font and protected from some of the above formatting. For reliable quoting of a body of text, indent it after a paragraph ending with a double colon :
           Like this (edit this page to see source).
           This is the surest way to prevent WikiLinks, <HTML tags> and &dtml-tags;
            and preserve
             fixed-width formatting.
  8. don't bother trying to learn all the text formatting rules and their interactions. Mimic the text around you; when it does something unexpected, tweak it until it looks right; go to the docs or ask for help when you get really stuck or curious.

Finding out more

More about Zwiki: start at http://zwiki.org

Zwiki Users Guide: http://zwiki.org/UsersGuide

More about wiki in general: WikiWikiWeb:FrontPage , WikiWikiWeb:EvolutionOfaWikizen

More about LatexWiki: http://mcelrath.org/Notes/LatexWiki

And about Structured Text with LaTeX: http://mcelrath.org/Notes/StructuredTextRules

Or check out another wiki that uses TouchGraph: http://mathis.heydtmann.de/WikiLiver

  Subject:   Be Bold !!
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