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Wiki edit rules – learn ’em

The editing help and rules page (aka Help:Editing) in the Fedora Project has grown over the years, including a partial rewrite after the recent MediaWiki migration. It’s really very good.

Sure, it’s a bit long of a page. Well, not really, but I understand how you can feel that way. But it takes less time for all contributors to read and learn from that page than the rest of us cleaning up mistakes or, worse, never finding them and perpetuating a poor quality wiki.

Today’s rule reminder is to make sure you put in a summary for all wiki page changes, including what and why. When people are glancing over their watchlist, it is best to be able to read about the change entirely from the summary. When the full diff is visible, one can read more details, but it should be possible to reliably and quickly skim a watchlist just by reading the summaries. This is the default mode for the web view, although the full RSS feed of Special:Recentchanges does show a full diff (a complete view of all changes.) If your edit is truly minor, just use the checkbox available for that. Often I use the same summary at that point, relying upon Firefox remembering the history from the last time I typed in that field. A few character strokes to recall a previous entry, press [Enter], and away it goes. No hassle, high quality for page watchers.