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Hi all,

I thought that I'd start a blog talking about the Classic editor and some technical things about templates. A lot of people aren't too experienced with the source editor, so I thought I'd use my three-to-four years of experience editing wikis to help out.

Bear in mind that this is completely my opinion and doesn't reflect the opinions of the entire wiki.

What This Guide is About

This guide will talk about how to use the Source Editor, how to use (and code) templates, and the best ways to make sure that other editors know what you're doing. This guide assumes you have read Help:Editing, so please read up on that before you read this.

You'll also want to use a computer, not a mobile device, to follow alone. In my opinion, editing on mobile is almost always painful. Like, extremely painful. For you.

The Source Editor

If you've never used the Source editor before, I definitely recommend that you start using it as your main way to edit wiki pages. While the VisualEditor is great at helping you visualize how a page might look, the source editor allows you to directly edit the code of a page.

Getting Familiar With Code

For starters, you will notice that the Source editor looks pretty uninteresting. There is the main editing space, a few buttons, and a panel to the right. You won't actually need to use the Add features and media, or Templates parts. In fact, you actually don't need to use anything in the UI if you know your stuff... except probably the Preview section. That's important, but we'll get into that later.

Anyway, the source editor will show you code like this with different highlights called "Syntax highlighting". Syntax highlighting is extremely important, and it allows you, as an editor, to see what text might be formatted.

Here's a list of different highlights:

  •  blue-violet  = section headings, bold and italic text
  •  light blue  = internal links
  •  red  = general wikitext
  •  red-violet  = tags
  •  grey/brown  = templates

Take a look at this page in the Classic editor (also called Source editor) and check these highlights out:

{{}}[[]]Italicized text, Bolded text
"Tags"
External links do not have a highlight (on this wiki)

Best Practices

Opening and Closing

One of the best things to know about any sort of code is this: If open something, you must close it. What does this mean? Well, if you "open" a "tag" (that's things like <code> and <p>), you must close it with the same type of tag (i.e. </code> and </p>, respectively). The same applies to ''italicizing'' and '''bolding'''

Templates are the same: If you "open" a template with {{, you have to "close" it with }}.

Some tags, like the "break" tag <br>, or <br />, don't need to be closed. However, they do need a backslash (/) at the end of their tag.

Line Breaks and Spacing

The MediaWiki text parser is the mechanism that changes wikitext like ''This'' into This. While it is great most of the time, the parser does not like line breaks.

This Becomes this
Line
Break
Break

Line Break Break

To work around this, use the "break" tag or surround the text with <poem> tags.

This Becomes this
Line<br>
Break<br>
Break

Line
Break
Break

<poem>Line
Break
Break
</poem>

Line
Break
Break

You can also just do two line breaks to make a paragraph.

This Becomes this
Blah Blah Blah Blah

Blah Blah Blah Blah

Blah Blah Blah Blah

Blah Blah Blah Blah

Preview That Edit

Before you publish any edit, be sure to double, triple, and quadruple check to make sure that you used templates correctly, linked to the right pages, and formatted correctly. It's often a single typo that messes up the entire page, like forgetting a forward slash when closing a tag.

Discuss on the Forums

We have a constant stream of debates, proposals, and all-around discussions on our Forums. Don't forget to check these often and discuss major changes.

Using Templates

Using Templates is very easy once you know what the template needs. Templates are in the namespace Template, and thus have the prefix "Template:".

Templates are invoked using double brackets like this:{{, and closed with double brackets: }}.

Some templates have parameters that are filled in using equals signs (=) and are separated by "pipes" (|). For example:

{{Template name
|parameter 1 = value
|parameter 2 = value
}}

Some templates don't even need to name their parameters, so you can just do something like this:

{{Template name|value|value}}

There are a lot of Templates on this wiki. The one you'll probably be using the most is Template:Rip, so read up on it at that page.

Other resources

Some very important things you should read on:

To be continued

Did I miss anything? Is anything in this guide to obvious? Please give me feedback in the comments, or talk to me on my Message Wall. Cheers!~ironwestie (talk to me)(contribs) 19:22, June 4, 2017 (UTC)

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