Visualizing Computation/quick-start

This page is a quick mini how-to designed for anyone who wishes to contribute a page to Visualizing Computation but does not have any prior experience building entries for Wikibooks or Wikipedia. There are doubtless better references for anyone who wants to gain a deep understanding of working with wikis.

Here are some basic steps that can be used to create and edit a page for Visualizing Computation:

  • Add a link to the name you'd like to use for your page
    • click "edit" link by the section "The Visualizations" on the main Visualizing Computation page
    • copy-and-paste one line and edit it to create a link to your not-yet-existing page
    • click on "save" to save your edit—you should now see the list of visualizations with your link in red
  • Identify and copy a page with structure similar to the one you want to edit (perhaps the first entry of Visualizing Computation)
    • click on the existing page you'd like to copy (if you're not already looking at it)
    • click on the "edit this page" link at the top of the page
    • select and copy all the text of the page (in the window pane in the center of the editing window)
  • Use your browser's back button (about twice) to get back to the list of visualizations
  • Create your page by just clicking on your link and entering text for the page
    • click on the red link you added before
    • paste, into the edit pane, the text of the existing page you copied
    • delete the bodies of the sections and enter your own text (or, better yet, paste your text into a word processor, edit it locally, and then paste the result into the Wikibooks site)
    • the Wikipedia cheatsheet is a useful reference for wiki text
  • Apparently Wikimedia drawings are conventionally done as SVG—to enter your examples of visualization techniques
    • download, install, and learn to use an SVG editor such as Inkscape (I had real problems with my image size until I discovered that I could set the canvas size to my image size; also non-integer canvas sizes make many renderers display a solid black image, scale or rotate incorrectly, or otherwise crash—so after any automatic adjustment make sure the height and width are integers.)
    • Upload the resulting file using the "upload file" entry in the Wikimedia "toolbox" (on the left as you're editing text). Uploading to Wikimedia Commons will allow broader use of the image.
    • Create a link as you would for Wikipedia.