-> PLEASE TRANSLATE THIS MESSAGE INTO YOUR LANGUAGE AND SEND A COPY TO
YOUR LOCAL PROJECT MAILING LIST. THANK YOU!
MediaWiki is a great software package, but in one department it is
lacking: documentation. In spite of the collaborative power of wiki, so
far there exists no single user documentation. Instead, each project
maintains its own fork, and the Meta pages are one big mess (although the
English documentation has become a bit better with the introduction of the
I have just taken live some code changes which allow us to finally
systematically document MediaWiki. I have added code to allow custom
namespaces, so that any wiki can have any number of namespaces beyond the
ordinary ones. Using this, I have then created namespaces in the largest
languages (for which I had translations of "Help" and "Help talk") on
for a list of available namespaces.
That means you can now edit Hilfe:Inhalt or Aide:Aide like the English
users have been editing Help:Contents. Why is that important? Because it
allows us to easily export all the help files in one language, and import
them into another wiki.
Any wiki may want to make custom changes to the help pages. This is best
done using custom header and footer templates. Interlanguage links should
also be passed to a template as a parameter, so that users who only import
one translation can hide them easily (by removing the parameter).
I have laid out some basic editorial guidelines for working on pages in
the Help: namespace of your language:
This also includes a modified Template:Hc which shows how interlanguage
links can work.
The gist of it is that we must make sure that the pages in the namespace
can be imported by *any project*, Wikimedia or not, without changes
(except to a handful of templates).
Once the pages have stabilized, we should clean out the Help: namespaces
of all Wikimedia projects and import the meta pages instead. We can then
upgrade them regularly (even daily) and automatically on all wikis.
The project namespace ("Wikipedia:", "Wikisource:" etc.) should then
used strictly for policy.
I propose that the Help: namespace be used both for user and
administration documentation (installation guidelines etc.), so we can
move towards a single neatly integrated handbook.
I invite all interested parties to participate in consolidating our