Help:Page name

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For comprehensive explanation of "page name" and "pagename", see Wikipedia:Page name.

Page name is a term for the title of any page. A page is named for the convenience of linking to it by its title. It is shown on the title line (the top line) in large bold letters.

The database stores a page, and so a page is named also for the convenience of a database query. In the case of articles, the query is simply the topic. In the more advanced, administrative queries, the page name will include a topic and a namespace. Talk pages are also stored in the database, and their page name will add the word "talk" to the queries for those page names.

A page name on Wikipedia differs from a web page, in that the title can always be interpreted from the URL. A web page is more like a file name, which can be given any chosen title. Page name is also different than file name because whereas "file name" and "filename" can now mean the same thing, "page name" and "pagename" cannot always mean the same thing. But pagename is very similar in meaning to "web page title" in that both terms reference the title of the subject, which is a variable for the author.

The namespace[edit]

Name of a Wikipedia article. The wikilink for that article is Salvo D'Acquisto, and the URL is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvo_D'Acquisto. See Wikipedia:Page name for an explanation of pagename.
Wikipedia pages which are not articles are prefixed with a "namespace" identifier. See Wikipedia:Page name for an explanation of basename.

Wikipedia has a lot of material to organize, and although the main purpose is the content of articles, most of the pages on Wikipedia are actually organizational and administrative in nature. Just as the title of any document indicates the precise topic that the subject material covers, so operative page names on Wikipedia indicate which department it serves. A "page name" is just how things work here to title, link, and transclude any page, so in fact most page names on Wikipedia have the form namespace:subject. Adding a namespace to a page name, enables subject material to focus into two different topics each having its own audience that is described at Wikipedia:Namespace. For example, Linking is a subject of two page names, one at Help:Linking, which is a Help (namespace) aspect for beginning editors, and the other at Wikipedia:Linking, which is Wikipedia (namespace) aspect for advancing editors. (The namespace is called "Wikipedia" because the most advanced editors are called administrators of Wikipedia.) A topic is a narrowed, or focused, subject.

Every single page name on Wikipedia has one other aspect beside the subject and the namespace, and that is its talk page. Each talk page also has the word "talk" added to its a page name. The audience for the subject material on any one talk page is concerned about the wording of, or terminology in, its own topic page. The audience of a talk page is described at Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Namespace talk as a whole may tend to develop a shared style in the pages in its namespace.

The content of articles is Wikipedia's main purpose. There is no technical, proper name for the namespace of articles, but its common name is variously "Main" and "Article" or "mainspace" and "articlespace". Articles are so obviously the main reason for Wikipedia in the first place that a term for the namespace doesn't exist to even make mention of it in article titles or links.

The term for the Main or the Template namespace conveniently defaults to what is obviously the main reason for the namespace. For example, we can link [[An article title]], but to transclude it we write {{:An article title}}. The ":" character is not part of any namespace name, but here it is as close to the mainspace name as possible. The namespace for an article is a default that is not technically writable in the page name. Although it is not technically necessary to write "Template" in the page name for a transclusion that achieves the text processing power of template code, it remains true that the markup for transclusion is "a page name in double curly brackets".

Linking by title[edit]

Any page on Wikipedia can be wiki-linked to any other using exactly the title. This convenience requires us to prefix the namespace word even if it's a page in the namespace we are working in, unless its Main. If you stay editing only "content" in "articles", it might seem you can forget about the namespace word in links and titles. That would be true only if only you could discuss on the talk page without making a link to the Wikipedia operational aspects. This is almost certainly impossible, because the Five Pillars of Wikipedia are not in the main namespace. The complication of a namespace was minimized, but it is not gone.

The good news is that there is one way to link that can guarantee error-free linking in all cases: render the target page, use the "copy and paste" operation from the title line of the target page, and use that for your own page. Some of the page names you will find the need to link to in discussion will be policy, guidelines, templates, and the other namespace names. So because the namespace name is in the title, the link will always works by using the title.

See also[edit]