More MediaWiki Editing

Published on July 9, 2022 at 7:07 pm by LEW


In this post I will continue where I left off in the last post, with adding data to media wiki.

In the last post, I started populating MediaWiki with some top level categories, and some pages. As of this writing I have created three main categories; Retired Techie, Maris Stella, and To-Do Lists. I am going to focus on the Maris Stella category as that is why I started this series of posts in the first place, using a wiki for organizing notes and information that may eventfully make it into a novel.

I talked a little about data entry in the last post. In this post I will be using specific examples.

Create A Main Category

Once I have logged into my wiki, I want to create a main category for my creative writing notes. Then I want to link it to the main page. To create the category I type the following into the Mediawiki search bar.

Category:Maris Stella

If the category exists, I will be taken to its page. If it does not exist I will have the option to create it, and do some editing. One of the things I like to do is add a short heading with current notes about this category.

Quick information about status

I add whatever information I think I will need to identity this category, its purpose, and current status. When you have a lot of categories, I find it a good idea to make some notes about them right at the top. Then I save the page.

Note that in these examples, I am editing source code. This is the normal mode of Mediawiki. I have the Visual Editor installed which provides a nice graphical user interface (GUI). I like the Visual Editor for writing, however when working with links I prefer to edit source. That is just my personal preference.

Link to Main Page

The next thing I wan to do is link my top level category to the main page. This is also a good time to edit the default content of the main page.

Deleting the original content, I create two headers on the main page. This is similar to what I did with the Maris Stella page.

==Main Categories==

In the Notes section I can write some important notes and reminders.

Note that there are specific pages for information about the wiki and other general data. If you look at the very bottom of the wiki page you will see three links; Privacy Policy, About <Wiki Name>, and Disclaimers. Since this is currently a private wiki, I have not gotten around to creating/editing these links/pages. If I decide to allow access to others, then I will be filling them out.

In the Main Categories section I place links to my top level category. In source edit, a link to a category looks like this.

[[:Category:Maris Stella|Maris Stella]]

This is similar to adding a page to a category, which we will see shortly. The “[[” and “]]” show this is a reference to something in our wiki. The initial “:” says this is a link. Our link is the same as we used to create the category above. The “|” indicates we want to give a specific name to this link, in this case just “Maris Stella”. This many seem like a pain, but once linked, Mediawiki will take care of tracking the link, and any changes for us. Don’t forget to save.

Add a Page to a Category

I want to create a task list for Maris Stella, and I want to link it to both Maris Stella category, and my To-Do category. So I type the following in the Mediawiki search box.

Tasks (Maris Stella)

I type it like this to distinguish it from other task lists (like the one for Retired techie). I am given the option to create and edit the page.

First I add a link to my Maris Stella category, and my To-Do list category at the top of the page. Technically these can be added anywhere in the page, I use the top for my own convention.

[[Category:Maris Stella]]
[[Category:To-Do List]]

I then add some headers. I put a Notes header close to the top (again just my convention). Then I follow up with some task headers and task information. Note that at some point (I believe it is on the fourth header) Mediawiki will automatically add a table of contents at the top of the page to aid in navigation.

Add a Sub Category

The next thing I want to do is add a sub category to the Maris Stella page. I am going to name this category “History”. It is going to contain a time line page, and pages for specific historical events in this fictional universe that link to the time line.

To create the sub category I create a normal category as I did above, by entering it in the Mediawiki search box.


I chose to create and edit the page. At the top I add a link to the parent category. Then I add my standard notes header.

[[Category:Maris Stella]]

After this I add a time line page, then I add pages for specific events in the fictional history.


By this point you should see that building out your basic wiki structure is simple repetition of category/page creation and linking. This is where the power of a wiki shines through. You can create other categories, like one for characters. Then link events in the characters life back to the time line. Or link the relationships between characters to each other.

In the next post I will talk about name spaces , and specifically templates.

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