Exploring Wikipedia. Wikipedia and its sister projects run on MediaWiki are greatly beloved by me and many others.


Wikipedia is a Web-based, multi-language, free-content encyclopedia written collaboratively by volunteers and sponsored by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. It has editions in about 200 different languages (about 100 of which are active) and contains entries both on traditional encyclopedic topics and on almanac, gazetteer, and current events topics. Its purpose is to create and distribute a free international encyclopedia in as many languages as possible. Wikipedia is one of the most popular reference sites on the web,[1] receiving around 800 million hits per day.

Wikipedia contains approximately 1.6 million articles. More than 700,000 of these are in English, more than 250,000 in German, more than 150,000 in French and more than 100,000 in Japanese and Swedish. It began as a complement to the expert-written Nupedia on 2001-01-15. Having steadily risen in popularity,[2] it has spawned several sister projects, such as Wiktionary, Wikibooks, and Wikinews. It is edited by volunteers in wiki fashion, meaning articles are subject to change by nearly anyone. Wikipedia's volunteers attempt to uphold a policy of "neutral point of view" whereby views presented by notable persons or literature are summarized without an attempt to determine an objective truth. Due to its open nature, vandalism and inaccuracy are constant problems in Wikipedia. The status of Wikipedia as reference work has been controversial, and it has been both praised for its free distribution, free editing and wide range of topics and criticized for alleged systemic biases, preference of consensus to credentials, deficiencies in some topics, and lack of accountability and authority when compared with traditional encyclopedias. Its articles have been cited by the mass media and academia and are available under the GNU Free Documentation License. Its German language edition has been distributed on compact discs, and many of its other editions are mirrored or have been forked by websites.


Jimmy Wales (aka Jimmy Donal  Wales; "Jimbo") was the original creator and leader of Wikipedia. Wales is also the president of the Wikimedia Foundation. Larry Sanger (aka Lawrence Mark Sanger; "Larry") was also involved in the creation of Wikipedia.

A separate login is needed for each wiki project.

Quick editing notes

" # $ * + < > = @ [ ] \ ^ ` { } | ~   //Characters disallowed in titles

<b>  //bold '''bold''' works too
<caption>  //for tables
<center>  //centers  -->Not officially 
<cite>  //-->Not officially 
<em>  //emphasis
<font color= face= size=>  //yech
<hr>  //horizontal rule. ---- works too.
<i>  //italics. ''works too''
<p>  //paragraph. Empty line works too
<pre> //preformatted. A paragraph starting with a space works too.
<s>       //strikethrough
<strike>  //strikethrough
<sub>  //subscript
<sup>  //superscript
<tt>  //typewriter or code
<u>  //underline
<var>  //variable
<!-- comment -->

<h1> ... <h6> //headlines
=Usually reserved for page titles= //like <h1>
==Top level heading==  //2 equals signs, like <h2>
=====Lowest level===== //5 equals signs. 

<ol>  //ordered list
<li>  //list item
*First list item
*Second list item
**Sub-list item under second
*Singleline breaks, like 
this within list or indentations start a new paragraph. 

<ul>  //unordered list
<li>  //line item
#First item
#Second item
##Sub-item under second item
#Third item 

<dd>  //definition list definition
<dl>  //definition list 
<dt>  //definition list term
;word : definition
;long phrase
:long phrase defined

<tr>  //table row
<th>  //table header cell
<td>  //table data cell
{| class="wikitable"  //or other styling for rows, cells, or table
|+ Table caption
! A1 col header 
! B1 col header !! C1 col header
! A2 row header
| B2 cell || C2 cell

Alpha<ref name=Alpha>Alpha has several footnotes</ref>
Alpha<ref name=Alpha/>
Beta<ref>Beta has one footnote</ref>
<references/>  //Put this at the footer

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

[[George Washington]]             //Looks like "George Washington"
[[George Washington|Washington]]  //Looks like "Washington". So called "piped link".
[[dolphin]]s                      //Looks like "dolphins"
[[wiktionary:Ran]]    //Looks like "wiktionary:Ran"
[[wiktionary:Ran|]]   //Looks like "Ran". Hidden namespace.
[[Ran (1985 film)|]]  //Looks like "Ran". Hidden parentheses.
[[2005]]-[[09-02]]  //My preference
[[:de:Michael Jackson]]  //Goes to foreign language version
[[smarty party farty]]  //Unwritten article shows as red 

http://www.google.com           //Looks like "http://www.google.com"
[http://www.google.com]         //Looks like "[1]"
[http://www.google.com Google]  //Looks like "Google"

[[Image:Westminstpalace.jpg|option1|option2...|caption text]]   //options include: thumb,right,left,center,none,frame,pixelWidth
[[Image:Crayola 24pack 2005.jpg|thumb]] //defaults to the the right
[[Image:Crayola 24pack 2005.jpg|this text is shown under picture]]
[[:Image:Crayola 24pack 2005.jpg]]  //Text link to the image description page
[[media:Crayola 24pack 2005.jpg|text is shown instead of the picture]]

[[Category:Category name]]

[[/Subpage]]    //Link to subpage
[[../]]         //Link to parent of subpage
[[../Subpage2]] //Link to sibling subpage

//Templates I like
{{rh}}  //row header

//Common shortcuts:
WP:D   //Disambiguation
WP:R   //Redirect
WP:SB  //Sandbox

~~~   //username. EG: George Hernandez. Use esp. on Talk pages.
~~~~  //username & timestamp


Links that lead to off-site pages about Wikimedia and its projects such as Wikipedia.

Links by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Links not by the Wikimedia Foundation.

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