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Using PMDG Ops - tutorial thread...

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**Sorry for the monospace text and lack of working links, but the forum software wouldn't allow some of the wiki code examples without turning off the forum code...**Hi all,As Robert just announced, PMDG Ops is now live and open for business!As the main creator of the site, I thought I'd take a bit of time here to explain some of the basic functionality of the system as it applies to creating and editing articles.=================The Wiki Concept:=================The software back-end that powers Ops is called MediaWiki (www.mediawiki.org) and it's the same software that runs the wildly successful Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) network of online encyclopedias.The basic premise of the system is that a vast number of people all collaborate to create a database of information. The collaboration isn't planned out in any concrete way however - just as a market economy naturally produces all of its goods and services independently of any sort of high level coordination, a wiki develops naturally as all its users contribute their own little bit of expertise in a particular area of knowlege. PMDG's customer base immediately struck me as capable of this type of collaboration - we have so much good information that passes through this forum already from a huge number of knowlegeable people. I believe this wiki system is the best possible way to harrness all of this collective knowlege.The software is essentially self-indexing and self-regulating - as long as you follow some basic guidlines when creating or editing articles, it will organize itself, create table of contents sections, populate the search engine, and so on.==================================The basic structure of an article:==================================Wiki articles are written using a system called WikiMarkup. It is very similar to the forum code system in use here at AVSIM and at other message boards. It is not as complex as HTML, but it is very powerfull and capable of doing some really great things.The most important part that you need to understand to create a basic article is the system of heading levels.Take a look at the page for the 747-400 TRC Lesson 1 here:http://ops.precisionmanuals.com/wiki/PMDG_...Course_Lesson_1Notice how there's a nice table of contents that lays out the article right at the top? If you use heading levels correctly, this will be created for you COMPLETELY AUTOMATICALLY!There are really only three heading levels you will use - 2, 3, and 4. Heading level 1 should not be used as it is reserved for things like the actual title of the article, which is created automatically.==Heading Level 2==Level 2 is marked when typing an article with two equals signs on each side of the heading text. This is the heading level you want to use for MAJOR sections of the article.Level 2 headings will appear as single digits in the table of contents:123etc===Heading Level 3===Level 3 has, you guessed it, three equals signs surrounding the text. This is the level you're gonna want to use for sub section titles within your major sections.Level 3 headings appear as indented decimal digits in the table of contents:1 1.1 1.22 2.1 2.2etc====Heading Level 4====You probably won't use Level 4 very often but it basically just acts as a futher level of specification beyond 2 and 3. Use as you see fit.Level 4 headings appear as further intended decimal digits in the table of contents:1 1.1 1.1.1 1.1.2etcThat's really all there is to it for structuring a basic article. There are more advanced things you can do with tables, inserting actual HTML code into a page etc, but those are beyond the scope of an introduction and will be covered later on after the database starts to grow.The absolutely BEST way to learn the markup language is to look at the source code for an already existing article. Every article on Ops, even ones that are protected from public edits, have the source viewable via a tab at the top of the page. You can see exactly what the person who made the article typed in to achieve the effect on the finished page. Look at the front page, the TRC lessons and the FAQs for examples on how to create bold and italicized text, numbered and bulleted lists etc...======Links:======Links in a wiki work a little bit differently than you may be used to if you know HTML or post URL links on forums. There are basically two types of links:1. Links within the wiki:Wikis are able to easily link to articles contained within the wiki. This is done by enclosing the name of the article in double brackets.[[PMDG FAQ]] for instance would link to the article called PMDG FAQ.You can specify different text for the link as well: [[PMDG FAQ|Frequently Asked Questions]] (that's the "pipe" character - shift+backslash) This will produce a link that says "Frequently Asked Questions]] but actually links to the article titled "PMDG FAQ" This is very similar to how HTML works when your href="http://x.com" argument in the anchor tag can point to something other than the actual text the tag encloses to make the link.2. Links to external URLs.To create a link to an external URL, say - the PMDG Homepage, use the following syntax:[http://www.precisionmanuals.com PMDG Homepage]This will create a link to the specified URL with the text after the space.PLEASE NOTE that external links use a SINGLE BRACKET! Only links to articles within the wiki use double brackets.=============Further Info:============= I will continue to post more tutorials and answer questions in this thread as I have time. For now though, read through the "How to edit a page" article at Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:How_to_edit_a_pageSome of the more advanced things there like extra namespaces, templates, etc do not (yet;)) apply to PMDG Ops, but all of the things related to formatting text and the layout of articles is exactly the same and will work at Ops as well.I'm really looking forward to seeing how this develops. This is a first in the FS Addon developer world and represents a totally new way of approaching customer relations and support. This is going to enable all of us to very quickly find the information needed to answer your own questions or anyone elses.Enjoy!


Ryan Maziarz
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For fastest support, please submit a ticket at http://support.precisionmanuals.com

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Keep up the hard work Ryan. I'm sure you've been busy on this for awhile now.


Mike Roth

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