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Getting Started
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Routeboxes, Infoboxes and other Templates
Editing Guidelines
Now what?

What is this?[edit]

"Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki" is our repository for all road related articles. It originally came from a series of projects to document the routes of all classified roads in Britain, but has since expanded into a number of other areas including signs, lighting, and highway maintenance.

What can I do?[edit]

You are welcome to browse the wiki and have a look at what's already been contributed. We currently have route information for most motorways, and 'A' and 'B' roads in the UK and Ireland. Some of these routes have annotations and descriptions; many do not, or are some years out of date.

It might be a good start to look at roads in your local area. If you go to the Roads by Area listings, you can see the largest and most important cities in the UK and Ireland listed immediately. If your local area is not one of these, then you can select the list of other, smaller, Primary Destinations or even the list of non-Primary Destinations. Once you select your place category, there are simple colour-coded displays to help you find things that need improving - the star ratings are especially useful here.

If you're not sure what to add, try looking at Help:Research for ideas, or even the list of 5 star articles, which showcase the best content on the SABRE Wiki.

Something's not right. How can I change it?[edit]

Any SABRE discussion group member can edit a page.

To start editing, you must be logged in. You can see if you are by looking at the yellow bar at the top of the page. If you are logged in, this will display "Logged in" with your username. If you are not logged on, this will display "Log in". The process for logging in is the same for the wiki as for the discussion forums.

If you are already logged in via the forums, you will also be logged into the wiki.

Once you are logged in, you will be able to edit the page by clicking on the "Edit" menu option located on the grey action bar at the top of the page. You'll then be able to edit the text on the page, at which point you can click on "Save page" to confirm your changes. On longer pages, individual sections also have edit buttons to the right of the section heading. You can use this instead if you prefer.

Next to the Save Page button is a Show Preview button. You might like to use that before saving it so you can check it looks the way you were expecting.

Finally, when you've made a change, put a comment in the summary box above the Save Page button. Your comment will be added to a list of recent edits, which can be viewed by clicking the Recent Changes button in the blue menu on the left hand side of the screen. If you've corrected a typo or changed the formatting, you could mark it as a Minor Edit by checking the box above the Save Page button.

I don't want to edit existing things, I want to create something new! How do I do that?[edit]

First of all, it's a good idea to check that the page you want to create really doesn't exist at all. Use the Search button on the left hand menu, and type in the name of the page you're looking for. If it doesn't exist, you'll be given the option of creating a new page with that name instead. You can then add and save content to this page just like you would when editing an existing one.

I don't understand all these weird squiggly characters? What's going on?[edit]

Some advanced content, such as titles, routeboxes and map links use a special set of codes that the Wiki uses. If you're unsure of what these do, don't panic! We have several contributors who are happy to tidy up and format coding issues - but your raw content is invaluable. And if you make a mistake and destroy part of a page by accident, we'll be able to get it back for you.

No, I really don't understand all these weird squiggly characters! Can I contribute without having to go near them?[edit]

We appreciate that wiki markup code just isn't for everyone, and some people just want to be able to enter text so "it just works". If you're familiar with our discussion forums, you could try posting your additions to the SABRE Wiki and Maps Admin forum, and somebody will enter your information for you.

I want to get my hands dirty - How do I format?[edit]

The easy bit of coding using a wiki is the basic formatting.

  • For italic, you would use ''italic'' - 2 apostrophes each end of the text
  • For bold, you would use '''bold''' - 3 apostrophes each end of the text
  • For bold & italic, you would use '''''bold & italic''''' - 5 apostrophes each end of the text

You can find out more about basic formatting here

I want to get my hands more dirty - How do I link to other articles?[edit]

The great thing about a wiki is that you can link an article to another article. You can do this simply by placing a pair of square brackets [[ ]] around a word, route number or other bit of text that you want to link to. This is known simply as an internal link. Typing the text [[A1]] in the edit box would give you - A1 - which links to the wiki page on the A1.

You might want to to link to an article but call the link something else - for example, you might be referring to the A1 on the Isle of Man from another page about the Isle of Man; this is called a piped link. By typing [[A1 (Isle of Man)|A1]] you would get A1 - which links to the page about A1 on the Isle of Man - The first part before the | is where you want to link to, the second part after the | is what you want the link to look like in the page.

Getting a little more creative you might want to link to an external website - in the most simple form, just typing the other website URL will automatically create a hyperlink to that page. As you will know, some URL's are very long and often meaningless, so if you wanted to create a link to an external site and rename the link to something that will be understood, you would place a single square bracket [ at the start of the URL, leave a space at the end of the URL, then type whatever you want to call the hyperlink, then close with another square bracket ] to create the reworded link. So typing [ CBRD page on the A1(M)] would give you CBRD page on the A1(M)

You can find out more about linking here

I want to get my hands very dirty - What about structure?[edit]

To add structure to a page, section formating is used. In general, most articles are split into parts using what is called level 2 section formating. To create sections, you would use ==Title of Section==.

Articles generally take the structure of:

  • Introduction - without any section formating - See A1
  • Route - Some articles do this in one big section, eg A1, we are working towards breaking these big pages down, take a look at the A5 page for some ideas on where we are heading for the F99's
  • History - Detailing changes to the route through the years
  • Notable locations and improvements - Including bridges, opening dates etc
  • Links - Highways Agency, Local Authorities, Pathetic Motorways, CBRD etc

Two other levels of section formating is also in general use;

  • ===Title of Section=== which is generally used for breaks in the body texts of the articles.
  • ====Title of Section==== which is generally used to bold out the sections in the links section.

You might also want to add a bulleted list, this is done by using an asterisk * at the start of each line of text, or a hash symbol # for numbered lists. To add a paragraph break, just leave an empty line.

You can find out more about sections and bulleted lists take a look here

Adding Images and Maps[edit]

A very famous sign

Many of the articles now have images in them, like the one to the left. This is done simply by using the link formatting as explained above. However, there are a few extra pieces of information to be inserted.

The general format is as follows: [[File:Chopsticks.jpg|thumb|left|A very famous sign]]. The first piece is the file name, and the File: bit must always be included. Then after the first | symbol it says thumb. This indicates that a pre-formatted thumbnail image is to be placed on the page. This is generally how we place images on the wiki, however occasionally it may be desirable to put in a bigger picture, so 'thumb' can be replaced with '200px', where 200 is the width of the image. After the second | symbol, it says left. This left-aligns the image. For variety, 'right' can also be used. Finally, we have the caption for the image. Whilst not essential, it is desirable to tell people what the picture is of!

Maps are generally located in the routebox at the top right of the page. To find out how to do this, see Help:Maps.

Deletion and renaming of pages[edit]

Most users can't delete pages on the wiki. If you think a page needs deleting, then you can add the Delete Me template to the top of a page.

If you know that a page has the wrong name, then simply select "Move" from the top menu, and then fill out the form you're given. Only logged-in users can move pages.

Technical bit: a move actually creates a new page and then sets up a redirect on the old page, so that people get automatically sent to the new page. It can often make sense to request a deletion of the old page in order to tidy things up a bit.

Isn't this just a rehash of Wikipedia?[edit]

Although the software (MediaWiki) is basically the same, and the various markup characters we've described will be familiar if you've tried to edit Wikipedia, the audiences are quite different. Wikipedia is a general purpose encyclopedia, which means many road articles are unsuitable for its purpose, and cannot be added, or need to cater for the layman reader, so can't go into as much depth. That's not the case here, where you can add a far wider variety of content to do with roads, and go into more depth for the enthusiast!

You haven't answered my question![edit]

If you're still unsure of what to do, try posting a message on our discussion group boards.