Namespaces divide a wiki into different areas. This can be used to stop some areas appearing in search results, to assign permissions differently in different areas and to give these areas different designs. Assigning permissions can be very important to give different groups in a wiki different areas to work in. Nevertheless, flat hierarchies are recommended for wikis.
Compare namespaces to cupboards helps to make the principle clear. There are shelves which everyone can look at and change the contents. There are locked glass-fronted cabinets which everyone can look into but only those with a key can change the contents. Finally, there are locked wooden cabinets and only selected people can look at them or change the contents. Every cupboard, of course, can look different.
Namespaces in MediaWiki
The standard installation of MediaWiki has 15 namespaces, the standard (main) namespace, and 2 pseudo namespaces, which are listed below in the table. Every page will be assigned to the main namespace, unless it is specifically assigned somewhere else.
Although the pseudo namespace are used like normal namespaces, no pages can be created and no existing pages can be changed.
Most of the pages in the namespaces are automatically generated: special pages are generated by the system during installation; media and image pages when data is uploaded. User pages are created when a user acts in the wiki. Discussion pages are generated alongside the article they belong to. This leaves only those pages in main, [Wiki-Name], templates, help and category to be freely drawn up. All the pages belonging to an individual category can be called up using the special page "All pages".
Call pages in namespaces
In order to address a page in a particular namespace or, if it does not exits, to create it, simply place the namespace's name before the page name, separating them with a colon:
[[Category:BlueSpice_free|All the Extensions of BlueSpice free]]
In the example, the pipe symbol (the vertical line) is added to the end as well. This will then not show the namespace when the link is displayed. Instead a text can be entered following the pipe symbol to be displayed which might be easier to read.
If you enter a namespace which is not part of the wiki, then the page will be created in the main namespace. The part of the link given as the namespace will be added to the title of the article rather than recognized as a label for an area.
A page can only be put in a single namespace. The same page name in different areas creates different pages.
Namespaces are all on the same level, this means that an area cannot be further divided up into namespaces. Therefore the discussion pages for a namespace belong to another new namespace instead of being part of an overall discussion area.
The search function lets you restrict your search to individual namespaces.
Your own namespaces
Creating your own namespaces is also only possible in BlueSpice with access to the scripts. However, one can use the namespace syntax and so simulate namespaces within the main namespace by giving the pages that should belong to a specific area the prefix with a colon attached to the name. The general advantages of using namespaces are preserved. In this way, it is possible to use pages that have the same name in different "spaces"and so get different groups working in one wiki. As these "namespace" prefixes you create are actually a part of the page name, one can search in all pages within this "namespace" by simply searching for the prefix.
Show all pages within a namespace
It is possible to showing all the pages within a namespace:
- Call up the Special page "All pages"
- Leave the text boxes empty
- Choose a namespace and click on "Go"
Table of namespaces
|Media||Pseudo namespace for uploaded images and files. It is replaced by the path of the file.|
|Special||Pseudo namespace for special pages.|
|(Main) Normal pages||These are given without prefix.|
|Talk||Talk pages. These are created alongside articles (including in the namespaces that follow) to give a space for the contents to be discussed. Additional tab (+).|
|User||User pages. These are created for each logged on user.|
|User talk||Cf. talk.|
|[Wiki-Name]||Data concerning the wiki or the project involved. Here: BlueSpice.|
|Image||Description of an image or other file. Information about the version and the uses of the file is automatically included.|
|MediaWiki||System notifications. A complete list is available at Special:AllMessages. This can only be edited by users who are logged on.|
|Template||Templates can be included in other pages.|
|Help||Help pages are there to describe how to get things done in the wiki. There is no clear division of contents between this and the [Wiki-Name] namespace.|
|Category||Pages can be assigned categories which are then accessible in this namespace.|