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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 3 months ago


Never Fight With Your Wiki


by vmguy


The joy of a Wiki is the simplicity of creating attractive web pages with very few editing rules. Every once in awhile, attractive starts to compete with simplicity, and then it's time to reach for other simple tools with a slightly different set of rules.


We explore two alternative entry styles for lists and tables.



The three things I look for in a job (Two out of three is ok)


  1. Sex


  1. Power


  1. Money



I could explain to the recruiter that these items are all #1 in my priority scheme, or I could be honest and say I don't understand Wiki list formatting rules.

Hint: The renumbering of a Wiki list is caused by a blank line.


Markup that includes specific begin and end tags.

Reach for a simple, effective alternative to Wiki Lists.


The <ol>>

    • tag indicates an Ordered List, and the end of the list is positively indicated with </ol>>.

The <li>

    • tag is a List Item. For simple lists, the </li> tag is optional.


Let's see how this looks:

  1. Sex

  2. Power

  3. Money


Simple Lists and Bullet (UnOrdered) Lists

These use exactly the same markup, except for the beginning/end tags:



    • </sl>> ~Simple List


    • </ul>> UnOrdered Bullet List

Simple List

  • Sex

  • Power

  • Money

    UnOrdered List

    • Sex

    • Power

    • Money

    Greater flexibility with html lists

    Simply switching from # encoding for a list item to <li>

      • gives you added flexibility to expand your lists in ways that are hard with Wiki formatting.

    1. Sex

      Will Work for Sex spotted on a T-shirt

    2. Power

      Instant human; just add coffee

    3. Money

      Let's start with too rich; I'll work on too thin later.

    Notice the paragraphs beneath the list item are all properly indented;

    something that is difficult to do with Wiki markup.


    Table Markup

    Simple tables are so easy to create with a Wiki. All of the columns automatically reflow to make everything line up with nearly zero effort.


    When you go beyond simple, Wiki Tables can be difficult.


    Switch, don't Fight, to html tables.


    The issue here is that every Wiki table row must be encoded on a single line.

    If you have complicated values going into the table cells (URL's, for example), it becomes an editing nightmare to enter those lines in the Wiki edit window.

    Hint: Disable the Hints in the Wiki Edit to expand your useable edit window.


    html tables have positive start/stop tags that simplify data entry

    These are the only tags you need to get more flexibility with simple tables.

    Table Samples takes you to the next level.



      • Table start |


      • Table Row |


      • Table Data |


      • Table End |


    There are end tags for tr and td, but they're usually not necessary.


    Recoding the table above in html tables:

    table table start

    tr table row

    td table data

    /table** table end

    I need help. table above intended to be markup example

  • Comments (1)

    Anonymous said

    at 1:32 am on May 9, 2006

    Within this page markup are examples of shifting table baselines that I don't yet understand.

    Please don't "fix" them. I need them as examples for the pbWiki wonks.

    You don't have permission to comment on this page.