The Azimuth Project
Help edit this wiki



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Help edit this wiki


This page is a quick intro. If you you want more details, check out the How to page. And if you want to practice doing stuff, go to the Sandbox! Press Sandbox and then click “Edit Page” at the bottom of the page.


If you have any material you’d like to add to the Azimuth Project, be it

  • a tiny correction,
  • a major correction,
  • a missing aspect,
  • a missing topic,
  • a missing reference,

it’s easy to do. Just remember:

  • We want information with sources whenever possible: saying that it’ll take 5000 square kilometers of solar cells to power North America is worth vastly less when the reader has no way to check this claim. So learn to create links. It ain’t hard! If you type something like

[Rapid Cenozoic glaciation of Antarctica induced by declining atmospheric CO2](

you’ll get a clickable link like this:

Rapid Cenozoic glaciation of Antarctica induced by declining atmospheric CO2

Square brackets for the name of your link, round brackets for the URL!

  • We want information that’s clear: saying that it’ll take take 5000 square kilometers of solar cells to power North America is worth vastly less when you don’t state the assumptions that go into this claim: how efficient are the solar cells, what it means to ‘power North America’, and so on. So if you have the time to fill in details, please do.

Don’t worry too much!

First a remark on what not to worry about.

No need to be perfect in the first go

Don’t worry if things don’t come out quite the way you would like them at the first go – the important point is that we have your material in some form - with luck, the lab elves will eventually go over the entry and polish it, if necessary, expand it, if necessary, etc.

(We don’t yet have designated lab elves, but with luck they will appear.)

No need to worry about breaking anything

Never worry about “breaking” or “ruining” anything. Each and every revision is stored and we can always “Rollback” to an earlier version if you make some mistake, e.g. delete material on accident. To see a list of revisions for any page, hit the “History” link at the bottom of any page.

Learn by example

A good way to learn about how to format Azimuth Project pages is to look at the source of another page. Near the bottom of each page is a list of “views” (these are different displays of the page) one of which is “source”. This shows the raw code that generates that page and can be cut-and-pasted into another page.

See the latest changes to get an impression for what other contributors are working on currently.

Copying your blog comment to the Azimuth Project

Chances are that you are already familiar with discussions and with posting comments at the Azimuth blog. This section describes how you forward material from a blog comment to the Azimuth Project. You should do this for references and well-research factual pieces, not opinions or shoot-from-the-hip guesses.

To paste your comment into an Azimuth Project page, note the “Edit” link at the bottom of each Azimuth Project page. Clicking on this will bring up the edit box.

From here, you simply paste your copied content into the edit box and hit the “Submit” button at the bottom. Please type your name into the text box next to the “Submit” button.

Copying material from other sources

The above works best if you copy the HTML of your comment to the wiki before you hit ‘Post Comment’. If you want to copy material from the Azimuth blog to this wiki after you or someone has written it, or copy material from other sources, you can proceed as above but should be aware of two dangers:

  • cutting-and-pasting from what is on the screen will result in much of the formatting being lost,

  • what happens to any non-standard characters will depend on a variety of factors (they may come out as unicode characters, they may get converted to the nearest alternatives in your charset).

Slightly better is to copy the XHTML+MathML source (in Firefox : “View” followed by “Page Source”) except that then you are pasting raw XHTML into the nnLab. Whilst this will work, it makes it harder to others to edit afterwards. (But a lab elf will probably come by to clean it up afterwards, so don’t worry about this too much.)

Adding new material

You create a new entry by creating a link to it.

If the entry with the title that you are looking for does not yet exist, find some entry that is somehow related, go to the edit window as described above and add a line “see also [[Your keyword]]”. Please capitalize the first word in the keyword list inside the [[ and ]]. We like to have our page names start with a capital letter.

Then after hitting submit, “Your keyword?” will appear with a gray background and a clickable question mark. Click on that question mark by your new keyword to create the desired entry.

This will bring up a new page with an edit box for the new text for the page.

Read the information on the template page to learn how to follow the standard Azimuth Library format. Don’t worry, you normally can just copy the template from the template page, paste it into the blank edit box for the new page, and fill in a few areas without having to know much about the funny characters the Instiki wiki software uses for formatting. You will pick these up as you go along.

For more information on creating links on new pages, see: How to - New page.

Please log your changes

In order that the rest of the Azimuth crew has a chance of becoming aware of your changes, drop a note about what you did in the appropraiate subcategory of latest changes.

If you edited an existing page. Use the search box to see if there is already a discussion with the exact name of that page. You can describe the changes you made in a reply to that discussion. If more than one discussion appears, just reply to the last one.

If you have created a new page or can’t find an existing discussion. Click on “Start a new discussion,” enter the name of the page as the title, and then describe the changes you made in your post.

Please include a link to the page(s) you edited or created so the rest of us can find your changes easily; the same link syntax [[Page name]] to Azimuth pages works on the “latest changes” forum.

You’ll have to either create an account at the forum, or reply to a captcha in order to post as a guest. For more detailed instructions, see the sticky post at the top of the latest changes link.

Finally, an unfortunate reality is that sometimes malicious changes get made (often by unregistered users who show up as “Anonymous Coward”). If you happen to spot (and fix) such a change, when reporting about malicious changes please use a thread in the category “Technical” to mention it. (This will ensure it gets seen by the right people.)

Pat yourself on the back

Congratulations! By helping the Azimuth, you have done your good deed for the day. All glory comes from daring to begin.

Optional: how to place your material in context

If you do feel like going a bit further, here are some remarks on how to make your material interplay nicely with the whole structure.

Use Google to check for existing content

If you don’t know where to put your material, Google for “Azimuth your keywords” to see which entries exist. Better yet, you can Google

and it will look for only keywords on Azimuth. (Most other search engines can do similar tricks.)

Add links back and forth between other Azimuth entries: enclose important keywords in your material in double square brackets [[your keyword]]. That equips them with links to the corresponding other nnLab entries. Conversely, go to related nnLab entries and add pointers to the entry you just created.

For more information, try:

  • How to: more detail for how to add information to Azimuth.

  • FAQ: frequently asked questions, so far mainly about Instiki, the software this wiki runs on.

category: meta