wi·ki /ˈwikē/

Noun: A Web site developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content.


The beauty of a wiki is it's formed by multiple members collaborating towards one common goal. But in order for the wiki to grow while maintaining a certain level of quality, it's necessary that everyone who contributes understands the goal and what it takes to get there. My apologies if this sounds a little too corporate-culture, but it's true.

Please read through this guide before creating pages or editing the wiki. It's quite long, but consider it a complete guide in building and organizing this wiki.

The Purpose of this Wiki

All over the internet you will find countless resources for the Z32. Twinturbo.net, 300ZXClub, nicoclub, ttxtz, aus300zx, ttzd, zcar.com, the list goes on and on. These are primarily forum-driven sites which employ some method of allowing users to create writeups, which are then added (either by the users or moderators) into a dedicated FAQ or Tech section. And for a few writeups, this works great.

However, over the years, most of these resources have accumulated a massive amount of information. It's now disorganized and disconnected. If you want to find a writeup about replacing a power steering line, you have to sift through a sea of topics discussing everything else. The search functions usually produce seemingly random results or are totally broken, and by the time you do find the article you're looking for, you'd be lucky if the images still load.

My goal with this wiki is to have one source where users can find practically any piece of information needed for the care and feeding of their Z32. More specifically, this wiki is made up of the following types of articles:
  • How-To Guides: Writeups, walkthroughs, step-by-step instructions explaining how to perform a certain task relating to the Z32. How to test a fuel injector, how to perform ECU Diagnostics, etc.
  • Raw information. History of the Z32, what a turbocharger is, etc. A lot of these include "parts" pages which simply explain what a part is or what it does. A lot of these pages go on to explain how to replace, install, or repair that part, like the Boost Controllerarticle. These pages are tagged with both "how-to" tags and "parts" tags, but we'll get into the tagging/category system a bit later. I also really like when these pages include obscure (but useful) figures and technical specifications that may be difficult to find elsewhere.
  • Operative pages. Category collection pages, pages about the wiki (like this one), etc. This includes everything from the home page to the Air Conditioning System (Category) page. These pages help organize the wiki and allow articles to seamlessly and consistency link with one another in a way that's logical and easy to understand.
I've also tried very hard to impose a common look and feel on every article on the wiki. Pages connect with each other, flow a certain way, and share a common layout. This makes the wiki easier to navigate, it makes how-to guides easier to follow, and generally makes articles easier to understand. It also makes finding vital information quick and painless.

General Contributions

Writing and organizing articles isn't for everyone, and I hold no expectations from anyone who joins the wiki. Even if you have a suggestion as simple as "you should do an article about __," I'm all ears. There are three ways you can communicate this to myself (or anyone else who may be interested in fulfilling your request):
  • Post in the Z32 WIKI section of ProjectZ32.
  • Click the "Discussion" link on the left-hand side. Note that this will take you to the same discussion board regardless of the topic you're currently viewing.
  • Email me.

Creating Articles

There's quite a bit more that goes into creating articles than simply clicking "new" and typing away. Even if you're mirroring an article from elsewhere on the internet, all articles should follow these guidelines.

Tagging and Categories

The Wikispaces software allows organizers to apply tags to pages. You can then organize and manipulate articles that share common tags. For example, all articles explaining a specific car part on the Z32 are tagged with the "parts" tag. Articles relating to the Electronic Fuel Injection system all have the "efi" tag. How-to Guides have the "how-to" tag.
You can view the tag of a page by clicking the drop-down arrow on the "page" tab next to the title of the article, then click Details and Tags.
tag1.png

This displays a small in-line detail box.
tag2.png

You can add or remove tags by clicking the "edit" button. This also displays separate tags in little boxes to clearly differentiate them from one another.
tag3.png

Tags shouldn't be confused with keywords. For example, the fuel pump page has the tags fuel and parts because these are two categories we want the fuel pump article to show up under. It doesn't include "fuel pump", or "fuelpump", or any other keywords, because they're not necessary. Adding these tags just clutters the tag system.
In general, articles should have common tags. We don't add a "fuel pump" tag because the fuel pump article is the only article that would carry the tag. The idea is to sort the articles into common categories, so when someone views pages that share the "fuel" tag, they'll get links to articles including the fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel dampener, etc.
If you're creating a new article, add tags that already exist to include the page in relevant categories. If you're not sure if the tag exists, try searching for similar pages and see if they carry any tags. If none exist at all or you're not sure, you can just leave it without tags and another organizer (myself, at the very least) will create one. The page will still show up by searching, regardless of whether or not it has tags.

Category Pages

You may notice that there are several pages with the "(Category)" suffix. These are pages I have created to give users a simple, straight-foward list of pages sharing a common tag. A few examples of these are:
So if I created a tag (like fuel or efi or parts), there has to be a "(Category)" page for that tag. And, for the sake of consistency (and maybe insanity) there is even a page giving a list of Category pages-- Categories. At least I didn't name it "Categories (Category)", right?

Related Articles

I have one more little rule I stick to with categories and tags. At the bottom of every page I include a "Related Articles" section, which includes links to the respective Category pages for any tags that page carries.

tag4.png

Sticking with our Fuel Pump example, you can see that the fuel pump page has the fuel and parts tags. So in the related articles section, I've added links to the "Fuel System (Category)" and "Parts (Category)" pages. This doesn't happen automatically, so you'll have to add these links yourself. This allows readers to quickly and intuitively find other articles relating to the topic they just read, sort of like the "related videos" that pop up when you finish watching a video on youtube. It helps the wiki flow together and helps deliver more (relevant) content to the user without forcing them to go digging for it.
The only exception to this rule, ironically, is this article, as it's really the only article focused on formatting and building this wiki. It would be pointless to have a link to "related articles" which are nothing more than this very article.

Formatting

To me, the formatting of the wiki is as important as the content of the wiki. It's what sets this wiki apart from other resources. If we were to just dump huge amounts of information onto the wiki, it would be like shitting on top of a big shit-pile. It's important that articles are organized consistently, as it makes the articles easier to read, makes critical information easier to find, and makes the wiki easier to navigate as a whole.

Table of Contents & Intro

This is quite simple. The first thing you should add at the very beginning of an article is a Table of Contents. This is quick and easy, just click the Widget button on the toolbar.
toc1.png

Then click the "Table of Contents" link at the top.
toc2.png

And click "Embed Table of Contents."
toc3.png

And presto! Table of Contents at the top of your page!
toc4.png
It might look like a mere Table of Contents-egg right now, but when you click "Save" it will hatch into a beautiful baby Table of Contents.
The nice thing with the way the ToC works is it automagically creates a clickable link to any body of text you've set with the "Heading ___" size selection from the drop-down box on the top of the page.

After that, I generally add a small blurb introducing the article or topic, followed by a relevant picture, and then the main content of the page.

Ending

As I said in the Category section above, each page should end with a "Related Articles" section containing links to the tag-respective category pages the article falls under. From a formatting perspective, use Heading 1 for the "Related Articles" text and the links under it. Sometimes I add a horizontal rule above the heading, but it's not a requirement.

Headings and Sub-Sections

Articles consist of more than just a wall of text. Let's take a look at the Boost Controller article.
boostcontrollerarticle.png
You can see from the Table of Contents that there are four main sections of the article:
  1. Function and Necessity
  2. Types of Boost Controllers
  3. Installation
  4. Related Articles

Further, you can see that two of those main sections each have multiple sub-sections, so the structure really looks more like this:
  1. Function and Necessity
  2. Types of Boost Controllers
    1. Manual Boost Controllers
    2. Electronic Boost Controllers
  3. Installation
    1. Materials & Parts Needed
    2. Wiring harness (EBC Only)
    3. Vacuum Routing & Engine Bay
  4. Related Articles

We could very easily create a separate article detailing how to install a Boost Controller (and indeed many how-to guides warrant their own dedicated articles), but instead we're able to include that in the same article that explains how boost controllers work and what types there are, because these topics are split up by their respective sections and sub-sections. This allows the article to cover multiple topics relevant to Boost Controllers without making the article cluttered. On the other hand, it allows us to organize a lot of information about the boost controller into one article, without having to make a ton of different pages. If someone is searching for "boost controller," they could be looking to find out how they work, how to install them, or what types they are. All of these would be answered with this one article in a way that's easy to understand and navigate.

From a formatting stand point, this is easily accomplished. The main articles are defined by the "Heading 1" size on the toolbar. I tend to use "Heading 3" for the sub-sections. The Table of Contents will automatically indent "sub-categories" due to their heading text being a smaller type. This makes the Table of Contents perfectly mirror the structure of the article itself.

On a side-note, you may be wondering "how do you decide what sub-sections get their own articles, and which remain part of another article?" This isn't quite as easily answered without being a bit familiar with the Z32 community. But generally, it's a case-by-case basis. For example, the instructions on installing a boost controller are included in the article that explains how boost controllers work, because people would typically search "boost controller" while trying to find either of these things, and because they're generally of equal relevance to the average reader.
A counter-example is the ECU Diagnostics article being separate from the ECU article. This is for a few reasons:
  1. The ECU Diagnostics article is quite large and in-depth and would make the ECU article unnecessarily long, especially for those searching for other information about the ECU.
  2. Readers on forums tend to share links to other users detailing how-to guides. The ECU Diagnostics guide is one of these often-shared links, so it's easier to understand and follow for someone who's never visited the wiki before when the page jumps right into diagnostics without bothering them about the ancient history of ECUs.
  3. If anything, the Diagnostics page is more sought-after than the main ECU article, so it stands to reason that users frequently search for the Diagnostics page don't care about how the ECU works or what it's for. However, it would defeat the purpose of having a complete wiki about the Z32 if we excluded that kind of information. Keeping the pages separate prevents readers from frequently having to sift through large articles to get what they want.
These aren't universally true, however. A reader may read about the ECU and what it does, then decide that they want to perform diagnostics on theirs. Fear not! This is the very reason behind the tag/category system, and that reader will find a link to the EFI system category page under "Related Articles."
Additionally, this particular example shows another step that can be taken. As readers may stumble upon the ECU article while searching for the Diagnostics article, the ECU article includes a link right at the beginning to the diagnostics page, making it even easier to follow it to the diagnostics page without cluttering it up.

Links and Images

Links are very simple to create, just click the "Link" button in the toolbar at the top of your edit-page. I really like when articles feature plenty of links to other articles, but it generally isn't necessary to link to the same article more than once throughout your page.
If you're creating a link to an external page, you can do that with the same button. Just click the "External" tab on the link-creation dialog. Be sure to check the "new window" box to prevent the link from taking the reader away from the wiki article they're reading.

Images are added in a similar fashion. I commonly add images from Concept Z's website or Z1 Motorsports. These are all watermarked with their respective logos, so the owners of those operations get free advertising (and I have yet to receive a complaint from anyone).
If you're using someone else's image and it's not blatantly obvious where it came from, be sure to add a caption explaining where it came from. Give credit where credit is due.

We are using a limited amount of storage here, so please don't upload excessively huge (let's say, greater than 500kb) images.
If you add images with large dimensions you can also scale them down using the - and + buttons on the toolbar that appears when you select images. You can go a step further to turn the now-small image into a link to the full size image.
  1. Right click the image (even after you've resized it) and click Copy Image URL/Address.
  2. Click the "Add Link" button on the image toolbar.
  3. Select the External Link tab.
  4. Paste the link you copied into the box.
  5. Check "New Window"
  6. That's it!

Be sure to add "Click for full size" in the caption of the image, so readers know the image is clickable.
By the way, if you want to add an image below a numbered/bulletted list item, like this:

  1. Blah blah blah, check this out.
    1301903134515.jpg
  2. Wow wasn't that sweet?
  3. I'm sure glad I stuck around for it.

...it can be a little tricky, but here's how.
  1. Create the list by clicking the numbered list or bulletted list in the toolbar.
  2. Add all the items you want (just hit enter to add a new line).
  3. Once you've created all the items, click the end of the line under which you want to insert an image.
  4. Hit Shift+Enter.
  5. Insert your image.
It's necessary to add list items before you add the image because once you hit Shift+Enter, the wiki software will refuse to add another list item.

Tone, Grammar and Spelling

I'm quite lax on tone and writing style on the wiki, as long as articles are easy to understand and don't stick out like a sore thumb. And you've probably noticed that I don't mind a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor lightly sprinkled throughout articles. I do, however, require correct grammar and spelling without any exceptions. This wiki should be easy to read and comprehend to everyone, and that cannot be accomplished without using proper English. I understand that we are human, of course, and I'd be lying if I claimed I hadn't made several fuck-ups throughout the wiki which still haven't caught.

I also ask that, with few exceptions (this article being one of them), articles are written from a (mostly) neutral, third-party tone. This prevents this wiki from sticking on a side of a fence surrounding debates and adds to the overall look and feel of the wiki through its individual articles. Keeping a neutral tone also includes in "controversial" topics like the merits of replacing parts with Nissan-only or generic eBay parts. Always offer both sides of the story, and offer all known options, even if you don't agree with them. The wiki should reflect reality, not necessarily what you want reality to be.

Mirroring Articles & Citing Sources


Citing Sources

I create a lot of original content for the wiki, but not all of it. A lot of images and step-by-step directions are from other sources. It's quite easy to cite these sources, so please remember to give credit where credit is due. I have no guidelines for a "sources" section on articles, just place a blurb about it in a conspicuous place, like at the beginning of the copied content. If you can add a link to the source in its original form, even better.
source.png
Just remember the wiki is here for the benefit of the community. We don't want to piss content-creators off. And as I said in the image sub-section above, be sure to add the source to the caption of an image if you didn't create it yourself (or even if you did, if you want people to know about it..).

Mirroring Articles

I tend to tweak the formatting on articles I copy from other sources a LOT. That is, sometimes a how-to guide will list the tools or parts necessary to complete a task. I'll include these lists, but add them with my own formatting.
toolspartsneeded.png
Tools Needed and Parts Needed subsections.

..and I keep this format consistent with all articles. Consistency makes the wiki easier to follow and understand. <3

You may also find that if you just try to copy and paste a how-to guide into the wiki, you'll get a poorly-organized mess that just looks a bit off. For example, this great how-to guide already has numbered list items.
svt_example.png

But if we just tried to copy and paste the guide into the wiki, it would look totally out of place compared to other how-to guides which already exist.
svt_example2.png
A lot of times, the wiki software will also include the font and formatting from the original article, which makes the article look even uglier.
I usually paste the copied section into a plain text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) to remove the font styling.
svt_example3.png

Then I remove any pre-existing formatting options like the "1, a, b, c" etc. Keep the linebreaks of course.
svt_example4.png

Then copy and paste that into the wiki article. After pasting, you can even select the body of text and click the numbered or bulletted list button and it will automagically give each linebreak its own number or bullet. You can also add the necessary headings, tweak the wording if needed, etc.
svt_example5.png

And don't forget...!
svt_example6.png

In a nutshell, don't just copy/paste articles in, even if you're giving them credit. It still takes some tweaking and re-formatting in order to make copied articles flow with the rest of the wiki.

Closing

Did you get all that? Remember, I hold no expectations with contributors and organizers who joint this wiki. If you're not sure about editing/adding pages, or just don't have it in you to do work without pay (who would blame you), you can always share your ideas (see the General Contribution section at the top) and hopefully someone else will work it in!

3/5/2012 Registration

I have disabled organizer registration requests for now. Basically, anyone who was not a member/not logged in would get a big "YOU SHOULD JOIN THIS WIKI LOL" banner at the top of the page, which is impossible to disable without disabling organizer requests. But the registration presents itself like you're joining a forum when in reality, it's to get organizer/editing/page creation privleges. Since these aren't necessary for people to view the wiki, I just turned it off. It's misleading and makes people think it's a necessary step to view the wiki when really, it's not at all, and I don't really like just handing editing priveleges over to everyone who asks (often without knowing they're asking for such priveleges).

If you're interested in becoming an organizer, please email me directly at stadsport@gmail.com. If you have a request or suggestion, post it up on the Wiki's subforum over at ProjectZ32.