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A namespace is name, an identifier at a higher level.

This page is in the namespace 'Help'. You can see its namespace in the tab at the top left of this page; it reads: 'help page'. In this namespace, all pages are grouped which provide help text.

The purpose of using several namespaces lies in the possibility to use one and the same identifier several times without creating any ambiguity. The identifier WikiIndex can be used in several namespaces:

  • In the Main namespace (the 'unnamed' namespace), WikiIndex is the article page (for this WikiIndex wiki site) that is on the same level as all other wiki article pages that are entries of this index of wiki sites. The WikiIndex article page tells how the WikiIndex wiki site came into being, who founded it, where it is, how big it is, its description and aims, and the like.
  • In the namespace Help, Help:Contents is the root page for all 'help' pages about this WikiIndex wiki.

The use of namespaces requires a technical concept that supports namespace which, of course, is already implemented in the MediaWiki software. And in the frame of this wiki concept, it requires the explicit definition of any namespace one desires, except the main namespace, which is the standard, default, or root namespace that would be available even without the concept of having additional namespaces. Such definition is ready made in the software package for most basic pages like File pages, or can be done by the owner and / or a staff for project-specific namespaces.

See also