WikiIndex:Talk Pages for Wiki People

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WikiIndex:Talk Pages for Wiki People — this project page describes specific namespace pages – commonly known as 'talk' pages, also known as 'discussion' pages – which are available to all registered users, and also all IP address pages which have edited the wiki.

Alerting to messages[edit]

Users unfamiliar with all of the clever things the MediaWiki software can do may not be fully unaware of the intricate detail of this.

Every persons' user page has a corresponding talk page (correctly known as 'user talk'). Not just any random page to add to the jumble: it is special for its user. As soon as a user talk page is edited (by anyone other than the 'owner' of its respective user talk page), the MediaWiki software creates a message in the form of a highly visible banner to that user – displayed at the top of any page being viewed; as soon as that user logs in, or during any page transition whilst logged in; advising that he or she has new messages on their user talk page. This message banner disappears after the user opens their user talk page – which is very easy to do because the message includes wikilinks to their talk page, including a direct link to the section having been changed. An example is shown below:

Newer versions of the MediaWiki software add the option of a link that goes to their user talk page that shows the latest difference; which is extra-useful if your visitor added something not at the end but under an appropriate heading partway down the page, or edited a more than one heading. You see the text that was added, and can then work your way through previous edits to see if there are any you missed.

If two or more other persons edit your user talk page, the message banner has some subtle changes in its display; for example, should three persons have edited your user talk page, it would appear as follows:

In the above example, it can be deduced that three edits (and maybe more) have been made to your user talk page. When you click on the 'last changes' link, your user talk page will open on a 'diff' display – as in: Difference between revisions of "User talk:Your Username". This will show an aggregated view of all edits, alongside your last-viewed version of your user talk page; and will state in brackets the number of 'hidden' revisions, for example: (4 intermediate revisions by 3 users not shown). If you wish to view each individual edit consecutively, click on 'Older edit' near the top of the left column, then click on the 'Newer edit' in the right column, and again on 'Newer edit' until you reach the latest version.

Please note: the above example banners are for illustrative purposes only, as they do not contain actual diff links.

Wiki-etiquette about user talk pages[edit]

The convention on Wikipedia, its related projects, and several derived works – is that nobody should alter anything that someone else has written on anybody else's user talk page – unless they wish to fix red links or disambiguations, or if it's offensive, etc., (and maybe not even if it is - it may be useful evidence!)

Users occasionally archive the older parts of their user talk pages, with a wikilink to their archive (which can easily be a sub-page of their talk page); for example, [[User talk:Robin Patterson/archive1|Archive Aug-Nov 2005]]. Please see Template:TalkPageArchive, as this will auto-include any archived talk page and/or user talk page into category:TalkPage Archives.

User talk pages should be about the user's editing in general and can include friendly greetings, questions, or clarifications. It's fine to use these spaces for chatting and collaboration but WikiIndex does not support or allow harassment on the site. Users have special expectations of ownership over their own talk pages, so if someone asks you to not post there or not post certain kind of content, then it is expected that you will abide by that request.

Talk pages in general[edit]

Question has come up here on WikiIndex about the usefulness of having information on two pages, when it would easily fit onto one page, thus using the talk page in a different way than Wikipedia.

Is this a question about wiki people talk pages or talk pages in general? TedErnst | talk 14:03, 22 May 2006 (EDT)

See also[edit]