Help:Good Editing Practices
New users to the NANOG wiki, and even some veteran ones, often make mistakes while editing Wiki pages. While most of these mistakes are minor and are usually quickly fixed by other Wiki users, sometimes the mistakes are more serious, and stem from a lack of understanding about, or misunderstanding of, Wiki policies and accepted editing practices. This page serves as a guide to new and forgetful users about some of the Wiki's conventions for accepted editing. Feel free to add suggestions to this page if you think of any that are left out, and they are accepted by the majority of the Wiki community.
- Use the preview button: Before you click "Save," click "Show preview" and make sure that all of your changes look correct. If you are making several small changes, then instead of saving in between each one you should use preview, and save only when you are done.
- Think before you write: Remember that as soon as you save a page, anyone can see it, and even if you revert your changes, they are saved in the page's edit history. Before you save a page, especially in heated discussions, make sure that you really want to say what you're about to say. Read it from the other person's perspective, and if you don't like what you wrote, change it.
- Stop problems before they begin: If you're having trouble with another user that you can't resolve on your own, don't start a flamewar. If you see vandalism, revert it and report the vandal.
- Check your spelling and grammar: People will be more receptive to what you have to say if you make sure that you don't have any typos, and if your sentences are grammatically correct. After you edit a page, and before you hit save, double-check what you wrote to make sure that it makes sense. If you're still unsure, consider running what you wrote through a program that performs grammar and spelling checks.
- Always sign your comments: Since usually anyone can edit talk pages, it can be very difficult to tell who left a comment if the comment is unsigned. To leave a signature, insert ~~~~ at the end of your talk page comments, or click the "Your signature with timestamp" button in the editing toolbar.
Formatting and Style
- Unless there is a very good reason not to use it, Wikimarkup is strongly preferred over XHTML. (Which is in turn strongly preferred over HTML.)
- If you plan on doing any formatting, know your wikimarkup! There are plenty of good reasons to learn it, the most important ones being that it makes pages easier to maintain, and lowers the chance that you'll get flamed by ornery members of the wiki.