What is a Wiki?

A wiki is a kind of content management system designed for collaborative use whose contents and structure can easily be changed through the website itself. A wiki you may be familiar with is probably wikipedia. To quote the article about wikis linked earlier in this paragraph, some of the key characteristics of a wiki are:

  • A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a plain-vanilla Web browser without any extra add-ons.
  • Wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages by making page link creation almost intuitively easy and showing whether an intended target page exists or not.
  • A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape.

What is this Wiki for?

At the moment, this wiki is for helping STEEP project partners share knowledge and understanding of key concepts in energy masterplanning.

The intention is that anyone participating in STEEP can have an account and may edit the wiki to make it more useful for everyone in the project. To reduce maintenance overhead, account registration is required. You can request an account here.


A typical wiki page; the black boxes and italic text are explanatory annotations

A wiki is a collection of pages; each page has a unique name, and contains text about that name. The text for a page can have various kinds of formatting, in particular subheadings and links, and special text which indicates that the page belongs to a certain category or describes something with particular properties.

Most wiki pages look the same. The content of a page is always surrounded by some standard things to the top, left, and bottom.

At the very top of the page is a row of links which let you login, logout, and change your user preferences.

Below that is the main body of the page; on the left are some navigation and utility links which go to special pages in the wiki, and then the page content is presented.

The bar at the top of every wiki page containing the links to discuss and edit pages, view history, and search

The content of the page is always surmounted by a bar of standard links which let you perform various actions:

  • Viewing the page
  • Discussing the page's content
  • Editing the page
  • Looking at the edit history for a page
  • Renaming and deleting pages
  • Searching for other pages


A screencast summarizing how to navigate around the wiki.

Most wikis should have a lot of links between between related pages; there are also category pages which link to every page which belongs in a given category, and a search function accessible from any page.


A screencast explaining how to add pages and categories to the wiki.

Almost any wiki page can be edited by clicking the edit tab at the top of the page. This will display the source for the page, which is plain text marked up with some special text to indicate links and styling. For more on this, see help on editing.


When a page is edited, the original state is retained as part of the page's history; to view the history, click on View history next to the edit button. For more on how to use the history, see the help on it


All pages have an additional discussion page, for talking about the content of the page, accessible from the Discussion tab at the top of the page.

This page was last modified on 20 January 2014, at 18:46.