Wiki Editing Protocol

Revision as of 20:48, 16 August 2008 by Christopher Hunt (talk | contribs) (Updating page content and purpose to reflect presence of HI)

Information on the purpose of this wiki, what to put in it, how to organize it, how to edit it.

Purpose & Content

We can use a wiki to improve our organization and communication in many ways.

  1. A place to keep track of common computer problems and how to approach them.
  2. A place to organize our growing collection of how-to articles, to make them more accessible to the public than our current knowledgebase system does.
  3. A place to codify the Helpdesk policy re: language schools, licensing, and the help we offer.
  4. A place to post news on changes to the Helpdesk system, to keep us (and maybe users) updated on policy / protocol / structural decisions, and to post reminders and tips so that we will all be able to see them. A flexible "Helpdesk newsletter" of sorts.
  5. An internal reference which we Helpdesk staff could use to keep track of our duties and how to perform them effectively.
  6. A "common room" for discussing frequent problems, structural problems, and aspects of our technology/ITS system which we could improve.
  7. A central place to keep resources and links which we all want to have available. (Think Petar's and Amy's links! And I know there are more cool pages and links like those out there... they should be here, available to everyone.)

Public wiki vs. Internal wiki

A glance at the uses listed above make clear the desirability of a restricted-access wiki. While the first three uses are probably fine topics to have on a public wiki, uses 4 and after are a bit more questionable. Some of the content of those topics might be perfectly fine for public eyes; other information is in a "grey area" where, often for security reasons, a lot of information should probably be restricted just to those people who are involved in the Helpdesk workings. Still other information, such as passwords and registration keys, should never go on either wiki at all. (See below).

Our current structure actually involves two wikis: this public wiki ("LIS"), and the Page Helpdesk Internal wiki ("HI") . The former can be viewed by anyone in the world, and can be edited by anyone with a Middlebury network account; the latter can only be viewed and accessed by Helpdesk staff and consultants.


Linking between our public and private wikis

Thanks to some super-special setup from Joe and Adam, we can easily create links between our public and private wikis. This will let us mesh our wikis together almost as though they were one wiki - but any information that needs to be private will be kept private. To make a link to an article on the Internal Wiki, the format needed will look something like this:

{{hi|ArticleName|text you want to display}}

Similarly, to make a link from the HI wiki to this wiki ("LIS"), the code will look like this:

{{lis|ArticleName|text you want to display}}

See also the HI linking help page.

Public content vs. private content

For a rundown of what information should be kept private, see the Page HI Main Page .

The basic rule is: Any information that could help an intruder to attack or compromise the Middlebury network, should never go on the public wiki. However, some information (passwords, serial keys) shouldn't go on either wiki at all.

When you want to add some information that might be a security concern and you're not sure whether to put it on the public or the private wiki, choose the private wiki.

If you think you have a better way to state this rule, please talk to Petar, Nate, or someone before changing it. We want your suggestions! But we also need to make sure that this guideline is very clear.


Rules of thumb

  • Sign your contributions! I'd suggest that when you contribute a major section to the wiki, you sign your name next to it. We can see info on all edits anyway in the History tab, but signing makes it more of a community effort. --Topher
  • If you make a new page, make sure there is a link from the main page to it. That way we don't "lose" pages, and everyone can reach the new page easily.
  • Adjust the wiki structure as necessary. As the wiki grows and pages are added, the table of contents might need adjusting or regrouping. It's up to you to change the wiki structure as needed to make it easy to access what we need to access. (Just make sure you don't lose links to articles along the way! We don't want any orphaned articles that don't have any links to them.)
  • When you're not sure whether to contribute, contribute anyway. Err on the side of adding too much. It's easy to take out content or move it to a more relevant section. It's harder to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable jumping in to help. So if you might have something good to say, say it. Same goes if something isn't worded clearly and you can think of a better way to say it.
  • The exception to this last rule is with sensitive information: if you want to contribute something and you don't know whether it should be on the public or internal wiki, stay on the safe side and put it in the internal wiki.
  • When you create a new page, add it to the Helpdesk category. Do this by adding the [[Category:Helpdesk]] text to the top of the page.
  • Please mark a change as a minor edit only if you're correcting spelling, correcting a link, correcting formatting, or other small changes like that.
  • If your are just adding a placeholder page that needs to be fleshed-out, add the {{stub}} text to the top of the page so that others can easily find it. --Franco, Adam

How to edit

  • To edit you'll need to log in using your Middlebury network credentials. Then, on any page you want to change, click the Edit tab (or Edit link to the right of the appropriate section, for long pages) and start editing.
  • Wiki has its own formatting language that takes some getting used to. Check out the Editing Help page, or just use the Edit tab on this page to study how to make text into headers, bold, italics, linked, and so forth.


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