islamWiki:Tutorial/Talk pages

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This Project page is based on external pages: Wikipedia Project and MediaWiki Help, in accordance with their copyright and reuse policies.
Note: Any links below, which lead to the original website(s) are meant only for reference and tutorial purposes and islamWiki maintains no formal affiliation with them.

Talk pages are a key feature of Wikis based on MediaWiki software, offering the ability to discuss articles and other issues with other users. They are not to be used as a chat room, soapbox, battleground or for general discussion of the article topic.

If you have a question, concern or comment related to improving an article put a note in the article's talk page and not in the article itself. You do that by clicking the "talk" tab at the top of the page. Do not worry if the link shows up in red; it is all right to create the talk page if it does not already exist.

If you are responding to someone else's remarks, put your comment below theirs. You should indent it properly (see section below). If you are not responding to someone else, but are posting about something new, use the "Add topic" or "New section" tab/link at the top of the talk page to create a new section, which automatically is started at the bottom of the page. Be sure to fill in a helpful "Subject/headline" to uniquely identify what the new discussion is about.

You should always sign your comments by typing ~~~~ for your username plus a time signature. Then, when you click "Save page", your signature will be inserted automatically. Otherwise your posting will still appear but without your name. (For your convenience, there is a button at the top of the edit box with a signature icon which inserts "--~~~~" when clicked.)

Note: You can not add an automatic signature or datestamp to a page in the visual editor. Also, VE, as of yet, has not been turned on for talk pages.

If you do not have a username account, or if you have one but have not logged in, your computer's external IP address will be used instead as your signature, when you type ~~~~ and save your edit. And in such cases, whether or not you sign your comment, your IP address will be recorded (in the page history) as having made the edit. If you do not want your IP address recorded by the Wiki in this way so that everyone can see it, then you should get a username by creating a free account.

User talk pages

Every editor (every person with a username) has a user talk page on which other contributors can leave messages. This includes contributors who have not created an account. If someone has left you a message, you will see a note across the top of Wiki pages (if you are signed in) saying "You have new messages", with a link to your user talk page.

You can reply in either of two ways. One is to put a message on the user talk page of the person you are replying to. The other is to put your reply on your own talk page beneath the original message. Both are common on Wikis; however, be aware that replying on your own talk page runs the risk that your reply won't be seen, if the user does not look at your talk page again. To ping the user with a notification use template: {{Reply to|WikiSysop}}, where "WikiSysop" is the user you want to notify.


Indenting can improve the layout of a discussion considerably, making it much easier to read. A standard practice is to indent your reply one level deeper than the person you are replying to.

Using Wikitext

Plain indentations

The simplest way of indenting is to place a colon (:) at the beginning of a line. The more colons you put, the further indented the text will be. A newline (pressing Enter or Return) marks the end of the indented paragraph.

For example:

This is aligned all the way to the left.
: This is indented slightly.
:: This is indented more.

is shown as:

This is aligned all the way to the left.
This is indented slightly.
This is indented more.

Bullet points

You can also indent using bullets, which are also used for lists. To insert a bullet (when your edit is saved), type an asterisk (*). Similar to indentation, more asterisks in front of a paragraph means more indentation.

A brief example:

* First list item
* Second list item
** Sub-list item under second
* Third list item

Which is shown as:

  • First list item
  • Second list item
    • Sub-list item under second
  • Third list item

Numbered items

You can also create numbered lists. For this, use the number sign or "octothorpe" (#). This is usually used for polls and voting, and otherwise is fairly rare. Again, you can affect the indent of the number by the number of #s you use.


# First item
# Second item
## Sub-item under second item
# Third item

Shows up as:

  1. First item
  2. Second item
    1. Sub-item under second item
  3. Third item

Using VisualEditor

Lists and indentation: The first two items allow you to format text as either a "Bullet list" or a "Numbered list". The last two items allow you to decrease or increase the indentation level of list items. This can also be done by pressing the Tab key. (The Tab key increases indentation; use the shift key plus the Tab key to decrease indentation).

VisualEditor Toolbar Lists and indentation-en.png

Example discussion

Here is an example of a well-formatted discussion:

Hi. I have a question about this article. I'm pretty sure purple elephants only live in New York! JayRandumWikiUser 02:49, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Well, last time I was in New York, the elephants I saw were green. — try2BEEhelpful 17:28, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think you should find a source for your claims. Living × Skepticism 20:53, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Okay, these elephant journals agree with me:
  • Elephants Monthly
  • Elephants World
try2BEEhelpful 19:09, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Well, those two sources are unreliable. According to New York City Animal Control, there are no elephants, purple or otherwise, in New York outside of zoos. IloveNYC&elephants 17:28, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I live in Australia, where the elephants look like kangaroos! The people below agree with my statement: -DontGdayMateMe 17:28, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
  1. ElefantLuvr 01:22, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
  2. AisleVoteOnAnything 05:41, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
  3. alittlebehindthetimes 18:39, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I think you should have a source. Remember verifiability. IloveNYC&elephants 20:56, 28 Jan 2004

Again, signing your message (posting) is done by:

  • Writing ~~~~ for your name and date (try2BEEhelpful 19:09, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC))

You can add a signature only, or a date only, but this is unusual. Here is how:

  • Writing ~~~ for the name (try2BEEhelpful), or
  • Writing ~~~~~ for the date only (19:09, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)).

Votes are often signed with names only.

Note: This can presently only be done through wikitext and not when using VisualEditor.

For more information, see Help:Introduction to talk pages

Other project pages

In addition to Talk pages, there are some other categories of behind-the-scenes pages that help Wiki users communicate with each other, and serve a variety of other roles in building a Wiki. These different areas are often referred to as namespaces — as in, "the Talk namespace".

Pages in the islamWiki namespace provides information about this particular Wiki and how to use it (such as this page).

Content written in a Template page will be displayed in articles that contain the corresponding template reference. For example, the content written in Template:Pp-protected will appear in any article that contains the {{pp-protected}} tag. Take a look at Wikipedia:Template messages to see what templates have already been created for Wikipedia users. Almost all of them are unavailable on this Wiki, but can be requested for implementation from site administrators (such as WikiSysop (talk)). You can also create new templates, by yourself.

All of these project pages also have Talk pages of their own.

Continue the tutorial with Keep in mind