Getting Started

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Getting Started


So this is a wiki, and I can log in. Now what? I want to change those icons!

A wiki is a web-based encyclopedia. Some are very broad in scope like Wikipedia, some are very focused like NpWiki++. Yet they use the same tools and the same spirit.

The spirit is one of community of interest. Using the same software makes a community around what relates to the software, if anything. The wiki is simply a way to gather all available information from the community so as to redistribute it.

The implication of this is that the more people contribute to making this information accurate, the easier it is to understand and to update, and the better it is for everyone. This includes those casual browsers who might read the wiki even though they don't (yet) use Notepad++.

First steps

The first thing is to log into the Wiki. If this is the first time, you'll have to wait for an admin to give you write access. Because of different time zones and personal availability, 24-48 hours is our best estimate for the wait.

So what is here? All pages have a row of tabs at the top of the page. Look at the top of this page to see them.

  1. page: if editing, clicking there will cancel
  2. discussion: a place to post comments on the page, like a tiny forum
  3. create or edit: you won't see it if you don't have write access. Clicking there allows you to create a page or change its content.
  4. move: this changes the name of a page. Since you don't know who has links on it from outside the wiki, you must be very certain that this is a good idea, and you must explain why. (Actually, the original page name is kept, and redirects to the new name. If you want the old name deleted, ask an admin, for instance by posting a request using the "+" tab on Ask An Admin). If you do not have a Unix background then you should know that Unix renames files by 'moving' them to a new location.
  5. history: all versions of a page are kept, all changes can be undone by average users (editors, to be precise).
  6. watch: if you choose to watch a page, your watch list will tell you. It shows you at a glance what changed and how.

Great, but those icons....?

To find them, you'll have to navigate the contents of the wiki. They are classified in three ways, all shown on a tool you'll learn to peruse: the sidebar.

The sidebar has 7 components, from top to bottom:

  1. The wiki's logo, which is a variation on Notepad++'s. Nice, but not the most informative, that's right.
  2. npwiki++: has links to the main page, help on using the wiki and help on writing on the wiki.
  3. The search box. This is a good place to start. The Go button will attempt to match your text against a real path name. If successful, you are led to the page. Otherwise it falls back on search. Search will give you a three layered page:
    1. Exact page matches
    2. Partial page matches
    3. Page text matches.


This seems to be helpful. It is.

  1. np++ articles. They are the elementary blocks of this wiki. They can be found in three different ways:
    1. An Usage index, by NP++ Usage. Articles are separated in a few large groups (we say categories) which slightly overlap. If you look for something about icons, User Interface looks more promising than say Basic Editing, right? So click there and see if there is something appealing in the page listing.
    2. A different way is to search by NP++ topic. This is a plain index like you'd expect in any technical book. Each link goes to a small group of pages which are considered to have some relation or closeness with the topic. There is an Icons group. Looks good.
    3. Finally, by Short Title is an alphabetical index of all pages. Browse that to kill time, make your own idea about the content or just get acquainted. Oh, and that "Toolbar Customisation" page is exactly hat you were looking for, probably.

The surroundings

NpWiki++ is only part of a project, Notepad++. So you will be thoroughly surprised to find links to those other parts of the project, as well as some common resources. This is exactly what the np++ resources and np++ links frames are about.

Writing

Editing a page is not too difficul. The wiki uses a mrakup language which mainly use symbols, as they are culture neutral. Check the MediaWiki help, grasping the basics is a breeze.

Of course, you are certain that what you write is relevant, accurate, up to date and useful. Right?

There are a few tools, called templates, to hep you adding some elements. Writing templates is not the easiest thing if you want to get creative. Ask an admin, or read some dense tech docs to get there. Using the supplied tools does not require any technical background, and they are documented!

You find them in Author Toolbox. Also, a page that you must have read is Author Guidelines. It mostly rehashes some common sense stuff, but still worth to be read. And there are a couple norms that will help your new pages to be automatically indexed and thus made available in the easiest way.

Getting deeper in

Now that final frame: the toolbox. They allow you to make queries about the pages. Which are they, how many, linked how. The longest, th shortest, the most visited, the less revised. Not all tools are equally useful. If you are like the original author of this page, you browsed through them, got the meaning of 80% of those, occasionally read the docs about a few out of curiosity and remain puzzled about what a few are doing there.

Well, we had started talking about those icons, and let them on the wayside.... Oh sorry, didn't see you were writing a new page on how to make them more practical.