Lately I observed that more and more people use the possibility to discuss the content of articles in the articles discussion page in the Developers Wiki if they have questions that require feedback. Replies are prepended with ‘:’, ‘::’ and so on (indentation), which builds up threads. Also very good. The only concept that many people have been missing so far is how to Sign Off a comment. Many people just write their own nick behind it, so even write something like [[User:Danimo|Danimo]]. But of course there is also the lazy folks’ approach to things: Just write
This will automatically be substituted with something like
--Danimo 20:48, 3 January 2007 (CET)
as soon as you hit “Save”. This way messages in threads can even easily be identified by timestamp. This one and more useful tricks can be found in the Wikipedia Cheatsheet, which is also available as PDF for printing.
Do you know if it’s possible to make the ‘username’ part of the signature link to the user’s User:username page?
This happens automatically (exception: you signing on your own users page). You can even create your own signature style in the preferences 🙂
couldn’t the wiki be made smarter and automatically add the signatures?
wikis have gone from being quick to being overcomplicated
wikis require far too much learning of new syntax for beginners and frankly everyone else, much more automation is needed.
It possibly could, but that’s the wrong approach: you would need to sign on every change, and you certainly don’t want that. Plus in Mediawiki, there is the toolbox on top of the edit field which provides you with the most important commands (signature being one of them).
In the end, you want a full WYSIWYG editor for wikis, but that’s just a matter of time. I don’t think the toolbar and the help page are too bad. Plus, mediawiki is fairly widespread.