Help:FAQ

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What is this site?

This is a wiki for the University of California, Irvine. The service is provided by OIT via EEE. All content is provided by individuals at UCIrvine.

See EeeWiki:About for more information about this Wiki on EEE.

What is a wiki?

A wiki is a collaborative website with content provided and edited by the community.

See Wikipedia:Wiki for more information.

Who can use the EEE Wiki?

While any page on this wiki can be viewed by anyone in the world, only users with a UCInetID may edit pages. Discussion pages can be edited by anyone that logs in.

To log in, simply follow the login link in the top right of any page. If you are not logged in to UCI WebAuth, you will be brought to https://login.uci.edu. Enter your UCInetID and password, and you will be redirected to the page on the wiki from which you left.

If you are already logged in to UCI WebAuth through another service (such as EEE or Student Access), you might be magically logged in to this site when you are browsing it.

Who can read EEE Wiki?

Anyone can read this wiki. It is open to the world. However, only authenticated campus users can edit the wiki.

Note: EEE has placed a restriction within the application that will not allow search engines to index the content of the wiki. Therefore, postings to the "EEE Wiki" will not be listed on popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

What content isn't allowed?

Content on this site is governed by the University's terms of use, as defined in the following documents:

This information is present in the footer of every page on this wiki via the legal notice link.

In general, editors are responsible for what they post. If posted material is found to be inappropriate as outlined above, it can be removed. People can file complaints about what you say on this site and you can face punishment from both the university and external legal entities.

When posting, remember that all article changes are archived forever. Even though the current version of an article may not have unapproved content, the article version history is preserved.

Why is a login required to make edits?

The Wikipedia definition says that a wiki is a site that allows anonymous edits. One could argue that this site is not a true wiki. If you insist on having anonymous edits, we insist that you send us your comments.

There are quite a few reasons why we require users to login to edit pages.

  • Preventing spam and vandalism
    • For an example, check out Wikipedia's history for a featured article of the day. You will usually find numerous vandalisms. Some automatic bots even crawl the internet looking for and preying on open wikis. Correcting vandalism requires time that few are willing commit.
  • Promoting accuracy in content
    • If a name is tied to an article or modification, you are more likely to make a proactive and accurate change. Anonymous users, who don't stand by their words, can populate the wiki with unjustifiable content. This isn't very helpful to someone using the wiki for legitimate information gathering.

What is the difference between a blog and a wiki?

Although both blogs and wikis provide ways to easily publish content to the world, they are different in intent and purpose.

A blog provides a platform for individuals to publish personal accounts, stories, et cetera. When content is created, only the author can change it. Once it is published, anyone else in the world can leave a comment. In general, a blog becomes a component of ones digital identity.

The EEE Wiki provides a platform for individuals to collaboratively create content. The content is intended to be as factual as possible, like an encyclopedia. Unlike blogs, content on the wiki can be edited by any user. Like blogs, the content within can be as limitless as one's imagination. The wiki also has a sense of community attached to it. By contributing to the wiki, you are contributing to the combined work of hundreds of your colleagues.

Can content be locked to prevent future changes?

You just spent countless hours editing a page and now it is the best page in the universe. You would be heartbroken if it were changed. Can you protect the page from further editing? The simple answer is no.

Only administrators of the EEE Wiki have the ability to protect pages (see the guidelines for protected pages). The protection of pages requires extra effort by the administrators and goes against the intention of this wiki.

The primary reason for wanting to protect content is most likely concern that the article will be defaced or changed without permission. While we cannot guarantee that pages you edit will never be negatively changed, there is some reassurance.

First, only users with a UCInetID can change articles. Second, the wiki keeps a full history of changes for every page. If someone vandalizes a page, you will know exactly who and will be able to contact that individual and/or report him or her to the appropriate authorities.

The mission of the EEE Wiki is community participation. Protecting pages reduces the role the community can play, so the practice of protecting pages is discouraged.

Can I receive article update notifications?

Yes, you can monitor updates with the content watching option. For more information, see Help:Watching content.

When is this wiki not the solution?

At its most basic form, a wiki is a means to publish information. Since, from a technological standpoint, it imposes no limits on what information may be presented, it is possible to use this wiki to publish almost any type of information. This is the appeal of wikis. It is also the biggest trap for potential users.

The EEE Wiki was designed to be an information repository -- an encyclopedia -- about the University of California, Irvine and closely related topics. Although it is possible to use this wiki for other purposes, it is important to recognize several limitations.

Limitations of the EEE Wiki:

  • All information is public and editable
    • Once something is entered in the EEE Wiki, anybody can see it. Only a handful of users have the ability to delete content.
    • Almost all articles can be edited by anyone with a UCInetID. See Help:ProtectedPage for more info.

Depending on your needs, another service may be more appropriate. Before selecting the EEE Wiki, you might want to research the services below to see if there isn't a better fit for your requirements.

Alternative services:

The EEE Wiki administrators are well aware that wikis are very useful technology and it is inconvenient that the EEE Wiki does not provide the desired functionality for everyone. This holds especially true for instructors wishing to use wikis in the classroom, but who do not wish for content to be viewable by everyone in the world. Until EEE establishes a wiki farm, those who need a more personalized or controlled wiki will have to install and maintain wikis with their own resources.

Can you create a wiki for me?

The scope of this wiki is currently limited to the University of California, Irvine and closely related topics. Unfortunately, the wiki software currently does not allow us to create sub-sections of the wiki for private use (classroom environment, workplace documentation, etc). The ability to create wikis for groups is commonly requested of EEE. There has been talk of establishing a wiki farm, which will allow people to create small wikis. Unfortunately, this service does not yet exist.

Why MediaWiki?

MediaWiki is the software powering the EEE Wiki.

After reviewing the available wiki software options, it appeared that MediaWiki met our needs and provided the functionality most commonly associated with a wiki. Also, the popularity of resources such as Wikipedia means that many people are already familiar with a MediaWiki environment.

If you have further suggestions for consideration of wiki software, please contact EEE. We'd be happy to hear your opinions.

About this FAQ

Network & Academic Computing Services thanks Case Western Reserve University and its wiki administrators for coming up with a comprehensive FAQ and releasing it under the Creative Commons Attribution license. The Case Western Reserve University Wiki is available at http://wiki.case.edu/.