Xeno Series Wiki:New editor welcome

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Wiki icon - Help.svg This is a help page, intended to help users learn.
Be very sure that any prospective edits are informative and correct. If in doubt, discuss on the talk page.

So you've decided to start editing the wiki pages, or are considering it. Awesome! We'd love to have you help. Here is some advice for those that are new to editing.

First things first[edit]

Be bold! As long as you're intending to help, any edits you make are likely to do more good than harm - and you won't learn or improve if you don't try. Mistakes are part of the process and will be forgiven, unless they are clearly in bad faith. Even if you manage to royally mess up a page (which is unlikely), edits can always be undone.

You will probably want to join the Discord server. It's not obligatory by any means, but it's a great way to communicate with admins and experienced editors, especially if you want quick answers to questions. Minor decisions may get made there, so it's also a good place to voice opinions and learn why we do things certain ways. The alternative is to ask questions on talk pages.

The Manual of Style and spoiler policy are important to know. Give them a read before you start making major edits. Likewise, the FAQ may have answers to some of your questions before you ask them. The copyright policy may be useful to know. If you need help with the syntax, the Basic editing or Advanced editing pages may have answers.

Where to start?[edit]

The best place to get started is something for which you're knowledgeable and enjoy learning or talking about. Whether you ease yourself in with making minor edits like correcting typos, or launch straight into a major project like creating a set of articles for something that hasn't been covered yet, or start anywhere in between, is up to you.

Some areas of the wiki are more beginner-friendly to edit and contribute to than others. The main reason for this is that certain aspects of gameplay pages can be automatically created from the in-game data, and we try to do this whenever possible. Getting to grips with the templates and syntax required to do this takes time and experience, so it may not be the best idea for an entry-level project.

That being said, there can still be value in manually creating pages and page sections that would in an ideal world be automated. This is mainly because automation takes time to figure out how to do correctly, and so it may be a long while before it gets done that way. In the meantime, the information is still useful to people; so filling in even partial information by hand can be worthwhile, especially if it's something you needed to search up yourself when playing. (If it is partial, though, make sure to mark it as incomplete using {{incomplete}}.)

In general, the following types of projects are the most beginner-friendly:

  • Filling in prose. This is needed everywhere, from character story arcs to equipment overviews to instructions on how to get to difficult-to-find areas. Pages where prose is needed are easy to find; if you don't have somewhere specific in mind, the pages in Category:Bot-created articles needing human verification, Category:Stubs, and Category:Incomplete articles need prose in the vast majority of cases. Experienced editors can point you to useful examples of filled-in pages if you're concerned about style; just ask.
  • Uploading screenshots. Many pages should have images of some sort, and many pages lack them; see Category:Articles needing images for a list. Upload images to the wiki using Special:Upload (accessible from every page via the sidebar), then you can add them to the page itself. When you're uploading any media, don't forget to give it a category within the "Summary" text field.
    • Images showing where an item or location is on a map can be particularly useful, especially if that information isn't always obvious in-game.
  • Adding translations. Many pages have text in other languages that needs to be translated to English - typically just names of concepts, but some pages have full paragraphs of untranslated text or more. The bottom of the main page and the top of Recent changes (under "Other review tools") have lists of pages with text that needs translating, organised by language. Read through Xeno Series Wiki:Manual of Style#Translations before you start working.

If you ever find yourself unsure how to do something, check another page that's done it already. Copy-pasting syntax from one page into another, and editing it to fit what you need on the new page, is the best way to learn wiki-ing.

Once you get to grips with the basic syntax, you'll be in a good place to learn more advanced editing if you so desire: creating and editing templates, getting to grips with Semantic MediaWiki, and editing/page creation automation. Everyone learns at their own pace; don't ever feel as though you're obligated to do something more difficult than you're comfortable with. If you feel a page should have material that you're not ready to add for whatever reason, that's what the {{incomplete}} and {{data needed}} page notice templates are for.

Good habits[edit]

  • Preview your edits before saving them, especially if you're doing anything with templates or tricky syntax such as tables.
  • Whenever you're making a very large edit, it may be best to write it in a separate text file saved to your computer. Keeping an edit page open for too long runs the risk of losing your progress if you get logged out or the window closes for whatever reason.
  • Prowl the Recent Changes frequently. It gives an idea of where the action is on the wiki, and looking at the edits other people make can help with learning how to make better and more advanced edits yourself. Plus, if a recent edit needs to be altered for whatever reason, those looking at the recent changes page will be able to catch it quickly.
  • If you edit a page and someone else edits it shortly afterwards, check what they changed. (You can see this from the page's "View history" button, or from the "diff" or "prev" buttons on Recent Changes.) It could've been that you made a mistake and they fixed it; checking gives you the chance to learn what the mistake was for next time. Or it could've just been that they were inspired to add to the page after seeing you add to it. When in doubt, ask.