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The Transfer Guidelines describe essential steps to be followed in order to ensure a smooth and efficient transition of articles from our old wiki instance.

Understand the differences to the old wiki

The old wiki was the first wiki the openSUSE project ever had. We started without a real concept and without the experience for what people would use the tool wiki. In the course of its 5 year existence we used it for everything: As landing page and marketing page, news outlet, collaboration space, hardware/knowledge base, calendar, pastebin, teaming app and so on and so forth. Basically we tried to map out the whole openSUSE project inside the wiki and use it for every possible task. This was so tedious that we ended up with a simple information dump.

People opened up in their browser and added content about Foobar. In most of the cases Foobar was an article about Foobar and a solution to a problem they had with it. In some cases Foobar was a group of articles about a specific topic. In almost no case people made sure that Foobar was correctly integrated with the rest of the wiki. There was no structure, no way to navigate and no consistent look and feel.

The opposite of these things described above are what we try to bring to this instance now. We want to respect that the wiki is a tool and use it for what its good for: collaborative editing for everybody. We don't want to use it for everything that is happening in the openSUSE project. So we have this 4 pillar strategy:

The concept is an overview over how the openSUSE wiki works and how it should be maintained.

Structure: Namespaces

The content in this wiki is separated into topics by so called namespaces. These namespaces correspond to the interests of our visitors. The two most important topics are the Main namespace with pages about the current version of the openSUSE distribution for our users and the openSUSE namespace with pages about our teams, policies and activities for our contributors.

See Help:Namespace for a more precise introduction into all our namespaces.

Navigation: Links, categories and portals

Navigation happens through means common to any wiki, links. There are also collections of links called portals and categories. Categories are automatically generated overview pages about a topic and Portals are manually currated overview pages for a topic. Our navigation aids readers in finding the content they seek, whether that is an individual article or an overview about a topic.

See Help:Category and Help:Portal for a more precise introduction to our navigation.

Styling: Templates

Styling of content in this wiki happens through templates. There are two kinds of templates: article templates and fragment templates. Article templates are templates for specific kind of page like portals or support database articles. Fragment templates are used for styling of recurring content in pages, such as an introduction or boxes with info. With these styling templates we ensure that people understand the content we produce.

See Help:Style for a more precise introduction to our styling.

Quality assurance: Page validation

Prominent namespaces in this wiki are subject to a quality assurance (QA) process to ensure articles meet the required quality. This QA process happens via a system of page validation. Page validation means that a team of people review all changes to articles before they are visible to everybody else. Page validation does not limit creation of new content, but allows only quality content to be shown by default. With this process we ensure that first time visitors get drawn into our wiki and stay.

See Help:Page_validation for a more precise introduction to our quality assurance.


Important part of our concept is that wiki content must be accessible to people that don't use English to read or contribute to the articles. We have multiple wiki translation projects for various languages and we also have a multilingual wiki that can be used to start a new wiki translation project.

See Help:Translation for a more precise introduction to our translation efforts.

Before everything else, please make sure you understand this strategy and the differences to the old wiki. It makes no sense working in this wiki with the thinking of the old instance. You will just get confused and confuse others.

How to decide which articles to transfer

Scratch your itch

The open source incentive "Scratch Your Itch" is a nice way to decide which article to migrate. Are you missing the description of a distribution feature? The solution to a problem? The page of your team? Then transfer it!

Popular pages

If you are not missing anything but still want to help there is an automatically generated list of popular pages in the old instance to give you an idea what readers are looking for, have a look if something that is on this list is not transferred yet.

How to transfer articles

First you should check the content of the articles you want to transfer. Please do not transfer articles related to obsolete technology (e.g. ZMD), support database articles exclusively about "out of maintenance" versions (older than 11.0), pages of teams/projects that are no active any more (e.g. JackLab) or similar things. We only want to transfer content that matters from now on going forward and we do not want to be backward compatible to the old wiki. In doubt, ask a wiki team members on #opensuse-wiki IRC channel or on the openSUSE-wiki mailing list.

Whole topics

Best practice is to choose a topic and transfer every article that belongs to this topic. This way you can ensure that all required articles are transferred in a consistent way. You should start with the Portal. Often a topic has an introduction page already, just not in the Portal format. See for instance

Adapting these pages to the Portal format will not only make the Portal ready but will also give you an overlook over the articles important for this topic. After you have adapted the styling you will have a lot of red links on the Portal, follow them and transfer the individual articles. If the individual article uses a Template that is not there yet try to find an equivalent on Help:Standard_templates. General styling help for content you find on Help:Style. In the end make sure that your Portal is reachable from the Main Page, either directly or through another Portal. Also make sure that all individual articles you have transferred are reachable from your portal. And that all pages you have created are at least in one Category.

Individual articles

If you are transferring an individual article because the Portal or individual article you can link it from already exists just skip all the Portal steps from the description above.