Typical Little Messes


Browser Flattens Tabs: Some very old browsers replace tabs with spaces when editing. This changes indented text and old-style bulleted lists into klunky preformatted text. VolunteerHousekeepers simply put the tabs back or use new-style bulleted lists. (See TextFormattingRules, TextFormattingExamples, SimulatingQuoteBlocks, TabMunging.)

Authors Try HTML: A typical mistake is to type a link using HTML tags like
<A HREF="http://c2.com/~ward/">Blah Blah</a>
which is properly written as an inline link :

Occasionally one will see something like [1]. This is a legacy of the now-defunct EditLinks feature. (See FixingLinks.)

Authors Can't Spell: So VolunteerHousekeepers make the necessary adjustments to spelling and grammar without otherwise drawing attention to modest mistakes. (Remembering, gently, that built-in spell checkers are only so smart.)

This can also result in pages added with spelling errors or with word forms (such as plurality) that result in WikiWords that don't get linked to enough. Clicking the page title to see which pages refer to the poorly named page allows a VolunteerHousekeeper to update links and eventually eliminate the poorly named page. (See RefactorByMerging for a list of plural pages.)

Pages Are Accidentally Added: E.g. someone creates the PurduePatternReflectory entry used as an example of a page waiting to be written on WelcomeVisitors. Or someone creates WebPageHere?. So VolunteerHousekeepers delete the pages to clean up the database and keep the site in order. (See HowToDeletePages.)

Spam: Just what constitutes WikiSpam is debatable, as is whether to delete it from "visitor" pages like WikiWikiSandbox and RecentVisitors. But considering this Wiki's variety of visitors, lurkers, and active participants, eliminating porn spam is a must. (See DeletingSpam.)

New authors duplicate content: No one can readily hold all of Wiki in their head. New authors often haven't even read a fraction of Wiki yet are exuberant and, in their WikiRapture, often create duplicate content. Don't grow the page, move the content to the relevant pre-existing spot and leave a little note letting them know what's going on. Consider it an opportunity. If it isn't clear that the content should be moved -- for example, it doesn't quite fit in a pre-existing spot -- then leave a suggestion that it be moved so that such action can be debated.
See also WikiSpringCleaning


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