Wikipedia talk:Namespace

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The meta page[edit]

In the unnamed first section, the meta page says under bullet point

  • MediaWiki-namespace

that all MW: pages are protected, but they ain't. Someone who can generalize about which tend to be or not to be might correct this, without the errors i might if i tried. --Jerzy(t) 18:34, 2004 Apr 1 (UTC)

I reworded that section. Is it clear now? Angela. 21:58, Apr 1, 2004 (UTC)
Looks fine to me. [smile] Tnx do for the fix. --Jerzy(t) 23:23, 2004 Apr 1 (UTC)

I don't get this[edit]

I want to make some Userboxes and it says I need some kinda namespace thing but I don't get what it is. I went on this page and I still don't get it.

I agree with the previous poster's sentiment. I think the article is unreadable to a layperson. It may have something to do with the fact that as of 2 March 2007, the term "namespace" is used in the article 79 times. Repeating a made-up word ad nauseum does not help me to understand what it is supposed to mean. But that's just me ... and apparently also the poster before me who didn't sign her comment. --Museerouge 09:38, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Ditto. Nowhere in the article does it mention the actual purpose of namespaces. Are they basically a substitute for lack of some sort of folder structure in a wiki? How far does the 'folder' analogy go? And once I create a namespace, what can I do with it? 75.3.18.30 04:46, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, namespaces work more or less exactly like folders. We put different kind of content in different namespaces. And they come with extra functionality, like:
  • From within templates we can detect which namespace a page belongs to, so when a template is used on pages in different namespaces the template can behave differently. For me as a template programmer it has been very useful.
  • In the search function here at Wikipedia you have the option to choose which namespaces you want to include in your search.
There's probably many more things I am not aware of.
--David Göthberg (talk) 20:27, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

To tell the truth, I mostly don't get it either, and what I'm thinking is "God, I hope I don't have to understand this in order to somehow contribute to Wikipedia." And, if it is the case that "namespace" means "folder", what is the point of using a made-up word to displace a perfectly good existing word? 72.196.20.192 (talk) 17:27, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

It looks more like a naming convention (like Hungarian notation) than a true namespace to me. Does the wiki software understand this at all, or is it just naming? The article doesn't seem to explain. 88.159.74.100 (talk) 15:52, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the software understands it (there are mentions of namespace-aware software functionality on the page). It doesn't mean "folder" either (though people with some backgrounds might be helped by thinking of it that way). And no, you don't have to understand this to contribute to Wikipedia. --Kotniski (talk) 16:10, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Meta pages[edit]

Should meta pages (wikipedia:) be used for discussion?

ie. Wikipedia:Unencyclopedic Bensaccount 23:03, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It depends, but for the most part no. One should use the Wikipedia talk: pages instead, unless the Wikipedia: page was designed for some specific discussion such as Wikipedia:Requests for adminship or Wikipedia:Quickpolls. That page does not seem to have been well designed. I have no idea what's supposed to take place in there. Dori | Talk 23:07, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)
I think this page should be a redirect to Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. The discussion content would have to be moved to Wikipedia talk: What Wikipedia is not.

The reasons for this move seem obvious to me so I left them out but if you want me to state them I will.

I wont copy and paste the content, and therefore am powerless. Help? Bensaccount 23:52, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

For the most part, meta (i.e. Wikipedia:) pages seem to act as polished pages, in the same way as articles do, with their corresponding discussion pages. Contrast this, however, to pages on meta (that is, the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki) which function in a more wiki-like way, with discussion simply being refactored into content as appropriate. This is mainly because the meta-wiki isn't really big enough to require the full features (discussion pages, watch-lists...) that the software provides.
Sorry, this is drifting towards a different topic. It's also rather hard to follow all this meta:meta:meta at this time of night, so I'm going to bed. - IMSoP 23:54, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ahh, just seen this. See my prior discussion with Ben on this point at user talk:MyRedDice. Cheers. Martin 19:32, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
See Wikipedia: Wikipedia-namespace Bensaccount 00:29, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Which would be better called Wikipedia:Wikipedia namespace, without the hyphen; so I moved it. Oh, and I'm not keen on having redirects from the article namespace to the Wikipedia: one, but I guess that's another discussion. - IMSoP 00:42, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)
...and then spent 5 minutes following you around fixing all your redirects, accidentally spamming my own watchlist in the process! D'oh! - IMSoP 00:48, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia: Namespace is not a redirect. Bensaccount 00:52, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Huh? Who said it was? - IMSoP 00:58, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

You said "I'm not keen on having redirects from the article namespace to the Wikipedia: one"

This namespace stuff is confusing. I think maybe namespace should be reserved to the definition on the page Wikipedia:namespace and the definition for Wikipedia-namespace on that page should be changed to Meta page (and ditch the Wikipedia-namespace term. Bensaccount 01:06, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Done. (I could have tried to explain what a namespace was for hours with the old version). Bensaccount 01:14, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I don't follow you; those two usages of the word are identical. There are several namespaces, one of which is the Wikipedia namespace. The article namespace is the one with no identifier (a synonym for main namespace) and some of the redirects you created went from one to the other - e.g. Wikipedia-namespace. This is not a very good idea, since the main namespace should ideally consist entirely of encyclopedia articles, and be copyable directly by any of our numerous mirrors and forks.
As for "meta page", I think my earlier comments in this section (and on meta:meta:meta) demonstrate why we should avoid that term wherever possible. Oh, and now you've broken all your redirects again, but I'm not going to fix them this time, because I prefer the old name :-p IMSoP 01:20, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC) (via edit conflict!)

I dont follow the meta:meta:meta phenomenon. Is it similar to the Wikipedia namespace:Wikipedia:namespace:Wikipedia: Wikipedia namespace phenomenon? (A wikipedia namespace page on wikipedia namespace that defines the wikipedia namespace and the wikipedia wikipedia namespace)Bensaccount 01:27, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The term "meta" is used for multiple purposes - a "meta page" is different from a "page on meta". The latter is a page on a completely different project (kind of a non-language language); the former is the pages beginning Wikipedia: that we're discussing here. More specifically, the software defines a project-specific prefix (namespace) to such "meta pages", which on Wikipedia is Wikipedia:, but on meta is Meta:. With the result that a "meta page" on meta has a name beginning meta:.
Confused? Good, because that's my whole point. Can I have my "Wikipedia namespace" back now ;-) - IMSoP 01:38, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I follow,

Heres are the relevant pages: Wikipedia:Glossary, Wikipedia:Namespace, Wikipedia:Meta page, Wikipedia: Wikipedia namespace.

The way I see it, namespace defines things such as the Main-namespace, the talk-namespace, etc. Meta pages have their own namespace (not to be conbfused with Meta-Wikimedia.) Meta page namespace is used to provide information on wikipedia. I think this is clear, agreed? Bensaccount 01:42, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Yes; but since "meta pages" (on Wikipedia) begin with Wikipedia:, whereas meta:foo will create a link to Meta-Wikimedia, it seems to me that it would be less confusing if we referred to it as the "Wikipedia namespace", and tried to cut down on our use of the word "meta" in this context; this also matches the "talk namespace" (not the "discussion page namespace"), the "image namespace" (not the "image description page namespace") etc. - IMSoP 01:54, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I see what you mean, but using Wikipedia namespace is just as bad. The wikipedia term is also overused. Any namespace on wikipedia could be referred to as a wikipedia namespace (as opposed to a namespace).

I propose we create a new term for meta page namespace aka wikipedia wikipedia namespace. Bensaccount 02:01, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Hmm, now I see what you mean! My head hurts. Is anyone else actually awake who might fancy having an opinion on this? - IMSoP 02:07, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I see no reason to stop calling it the Wikipedia namespace. Angela. 18:24, Apr 6, 2004 (UTC)

I do. See Wikipedia: namespace. Bensaccount 17:02, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

You can not unilaterally change the name of a namespace. Moving the page doesn't change anything. Namespace 4 is still the Wikipedia namespace. Angela. 21:54, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)
Just a thought: we needn't ever refer to that page by that name - just put "[[Wikipedia:Namespace|]]" to create Namespace rather than namespace. (See Piped link) - IMSoP 17:10, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I think you mean wikipedia users should refer to all wikipedia namespaces as just namespaces and the "Wikipedia:" pages as Wikipedia namespaces. I will settle for this I guess. I wonder if anyone else even cares what this means let alone knows what it means. Bensaccount 18:46, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, or to be more precise, "Wikipedia: pages are pages in the Wikipedia namespace". And FWIW, I think most people would know what a "Wikipedia page" was more readily than they'd know what a namespace of any description was. - IMSoP 19:18, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I haven't read carefully enough to be sure someone didn't already say this: at least some of the confusion is between "article namespace" in the sense of

  • "null-named namespace that contains articles" and
  • "article on the subject of namespaces"

--Jerzy(t) 17:44, 2004 Apr 7 (UTC)

Hey! I just noticed somebody (in fact two people: first Timwi, then Eloquence) has changed MediaWiki:Wikipediapage, which is displayed when you're editing, e.g. here, or are on a Wikipedia talk: page, so that it now says "view project page" instead of "view meta page". Good edit in my opinion; much less ambiguous. - IMSoP 22:40, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I just noticed this as well. I wonder if this discussion had anything to do with that. Bensaccount 19:24, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

GFDL on User Talk pages ?[edit]

Is the text in User talk namespace licensed under GFDL? How about the text under User? // Rogper 14:38, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it is. The "All contributions to Wikipedia are released under the GNU Free Documentation License" message in the edit window appears in all namespaces, and the GFDL notice is at the bottom of all pages, so hopefully it is clear to people that their user and talk pages are licensed in the same way as articles. Angela. 22:43, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Portal namespace[edit]

See discussion of a proposed new namespace at Wikipedia:Portalspace. -- ALoan (Talk) 20:33, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Gallery namespace[edit]

Please participate in the discussion of the new proposed Gallery namespace. CG 08:45, September 5, 2005 (UTC)

Pseudo-namespaces[edit]

The article Help:Namespace identifies the Special and Media namespaces as pseudo-namespaces, but this article says only that the WP: redirect pages and Transwiki pages are pseudo-namespaces. Can someone resolve the discrepency?--Blainster 21:39, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Excellent observation! There appears to have been a clash in terminology. To the best of my knowledge, both pages (Help:Namespace and Wikipedia:Namespace) are correct in what they refer to as pseudo-namespaces. Here is my understanding:
  1. The Media and Special namespaces are called pseudo-namespaces because their content does not reside in the MediaWiki MySQL database, but rather in the /images and /includes folder in the standard installation. The MediaWiki interface displays them like the content is stored in the database. Of course, some content is probably in the database describing the location of each media file, but the media file itself is in /images. The content of the special pages is generated by PHP files in the /includes folder.
    A better name is virtual namespaces, as they are specified by the MediaWiki software. Most likely m:Help:Namespace should be updated to use this term.
  2. The WP: and Transwiki namespaces are called pseudo-namespaces because they are fake! There is nothing in MediaWiki preventing us from pretending like any prefix is a separate namespace. For example, I could start prefixing a series of articles with CheerfulPaul: and pretend like it was a separate namespace. Would that create a separate namespace? Not in the underlying MySQL database, but it would seem to do so to the user. The prefix WP indicates a redirect page for an abbreviation. The prefix Transwiki indicates a page is in transition to another Wiki. Because the syntax is the same as using a namespace, we can pretend that they live in separate pseudo-namespaces.
Summary: Media and Special were created by the MediaWiki software and are "pseudo" in the sense that the actual content is not stored in the MySQL database. WP: and Transwiki were created by the Wikipedia community as a way of designating pages with a specific function within the article namespace.--CheerfulPaul 21:44, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

I have added several more pseudo-namespaces, determined from some database analysis:

Prefix # Pages Purpose
MOS 28 Manual of Style
CAT 161 Category
P 168 Portal
Wp 366 Wikipedia
WT 646 Wikipedia talk

--Sapphic 15:16, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

User category namespace[edit]

It seems like pages in the Category: namespace should only be categories of articles, and categories of users should be in a separate User category: namespace. —Keenan Pepper 22:38, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

I strongly concur with this. Libcub (talk) 06:40, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Definition of Namespace[edit]

I linked to this page from the "how to edit a page" page in the hopes of learning what a "namespace" is. That should be the first thing written here. Otherwise, for those unfamiliar with the term, its just like trying to figure out what a dog is by readiing a list of the differences between breeds. Folding Chair 06:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't disagree, but being no expert, try going to Help:Namespace for more information. --Blainster 23:45, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I strongly agree. I'm a newbie and though I am sure I will eventually figure it out, there should be a clear one-sentence explanation of what namespace is. Jens Nielsen 10:58, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Note that Help:Namespace still assumes an understanding of the meaning of the word. Every page with the word Namespace dances around a definition, as if the term were in common usage. It is not; wikipedia is the first place I have encountered it, and the dictionary is not very helpful because it offers many definitions of the term and wikipedia is using it in a very specific sense. So although I think I have grasp after reading 3 different pages, someone please tell me, precisely, what in tarnation is a namespace?! Folding Chair 00:25, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Here are some suggestions for a one sentence definition:
  • "Namespaces are like folders."
  • "Namespaces are like folders and just as with folders different content belong in different namespaces."
  • "Namespaces are similar to folders."
Something like that should work, right?
--David Göthberg (talk) 21:12, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Per the above discussion, I've edited the opener to this article as follows:

In Wikipedia jargon, a namespace is that part of the Wikipedia data base where all the data of a similar kind are stored. The main namespace, for example, contains all of the Wikipedia articles ever written and all of the past versions of those articles. The user namespace contains all the personal pages of Wikipedians who have created one.
This definition applies similarly to all wikis using the MediaWiki software.
This software provides for 18 basic namespaces — the main space, where page names have no prefix, and 17 auxiliaries, each with its own prefix. In addition, there are two custom namespaces, with their own prefixes. They are like folders in a filing cabinet — or on your hard drive.

I hope this hasn't introduced any errors and sums up what the problems were. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 19:31, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

New namespaces yet??[edit]

Plans as of this moment for not-yet-existent namespaces in future versions of Wikipedia?? Georgia guy 23:21, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

There's mention of a WikiProject namespace for Wikipedia at the Incubator. Spanish Wikipedia (and probably others) already has a namespace for this, and I think we ought to, but I know not of any further mention. --Gray PorpoisePhocoenidae, not Delphinidae 20:35, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Stray tags[edit]

There appear to be some stray tags at the top of this article. It seems to have to do with the template at the top: {{Wikipedia-specific help}}... ([1]) I tried to puzzle out what to do to fix it, but could not. ++Lar: t/c 00:45, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

what about user-created namespaces?[edit]

I can't find any rules about us users creating our own namespaces for certain categories of articles. Is it good, is it bad? Is it not allowed at all? --Tempel 11:30, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

No idea what you mean... could you give an example? --Francis Schonken 12:05, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I mean this: It appears to me that I can create an article using the namespace syntax, named for instance "warcraft:chapter 1". Now, won't that be created under the "warcraft" namespace then? I know this works with other wikis this way (e.g. DokuWiki). --Tempel 07:27, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

No, MediaWiki, the software used by Wikipedia, does not "create" a new namespace in such case: the available namespaces are listed in Wikipedia:Namespace#Enumeration. The list of "searchable" namespaces can be displayed also by clicking the "Search" tab in your "My preferences".
Only one of Wikipedia's software developers can add a new namespace - which would only happen if there's consensus in the Wikipedia community that such new namespace would be a good idea.
Further:
Does this answer your question? --Francis Schonken 09:30, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, that clarifies it mostly. The article on subpages was not too helpful to me, though, as it is mostly a specification, not a guide, to me as someone who wants to know how to organize articles). Let me summarize the main points:

  • Users can not simply create new namespaces like they can in other wikis.
  • Users may use a colon in new //general// article names as long as the name before the colon does not coincide with one of WP's special namespaces. The colon has no special meaning then (i.e. it does //not// specify a namespace).
  • There is no way to hide a group of articles in their own namespace (one might wish to do that if one writes a series of sub-articles on a specific topic, such as for a game or a TV series), other than providing the articles with a special naming prefix or suffix (examples: "Warcraft:Quest 2 - The tomb of X" or "The funny thing (Friends TV show)").

May I ask that someone who understands this would put this information into the main article? I came here to understand how namespaces work and this new information was not clearly stated there, especially since it suggests that anything before a colon specifies a namespace (apparently it does not) and since other wikis work like what I originally had assumed. --Tempel 06:49, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Changes to the talk namespaces section[edit]

I've made several minor changes to the #Talk namespaces section of this page. Firstly I corrected a link to the help namespace and changed some italics around. I also added a note that you only see the new messages bar when you log in, just to make sure people don't wonder why they don't see the new messages banner when they aren't logged in. Next, I mentioned that the new messages bar appeared at the top; not really necessary (that is, I doubt anyone would go looking for it at the bottom), but no harm either. Finally, I added the line:

"(However, edits by the talk page-archiving Werdnabot don't set of the new messages bar anymore.)"

I'm not sure how Werdnabot has been enabled to skip setting off the bar, but I can verify it has, at least for me; nor do I know if there are any other bots that do this. (Ralbot doesn't, for one.) Any objections to any of these changes? Picaroon 05:30, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

A discussion on WP:BN has lead to the clarification of this; it's all minor bot edits which don't cause new message bars to appear. Picaroon 20:53, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Help namespace[edit]

Recently, a few pages have been moved to the help namespace from project namespace by User:Radiant! following the idea that the help namespace is for any kind of help page, whereas I always had the impression that the help namespace was more about technical features of the Wiki software. This project page doesn't do much to define the help namespace, though. What do others think? Mangojuicetalk 17:18, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Based on a little preliminary feedback at Wikipedia talk:Handling trivia, I've added a definition. It's still probably worth discussing, though. Mangojuicetalk 17:25, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. Do you know when the namespace was created? Perhaps something was written back then. >Radiant< 08:36, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
See Uncle G's latest edit, which I disagree with. Not sure when the help namespace was created, but it was first mentioned on this page May 31, 2004: [2]. Mangojuicetalk 14:23, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I think, all help pages which are not inappropriate as Wikipedia project pages, except copies of the master help pages at Meta, should be moved into Wikipedia project namespace. So, I agree with Mangojuice -- PBeaver 03:34, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
It would help if you explained your reasons rather than simply making an assertion. Why would a namespace called "help" not contain content known as "help pages"? >Radiant< 09:18, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
(At the risk of being redundant, I'm reposting this from the earlier discussion):
For what it's worth, the majority of pages in the Help namespace, such as Help:Category, are copies of the master help pages at Meta. And only a very small number of pages in Category:Wikipedia how-to are in the Help namespace.
It is possible to distinguish between "help" pages that pertain to all Wikipedia wikis (that is, help with features built into the software), and "help" pages that pertain partly or almost entirely to the English wikipedia - for example, Wikipedia:How to read a taxobox. If in fact the latter are to be put into the Help namespace, then where does one draw the line - are guidelines (certainly designed to answer questions) to be moved there? The Manual of Style?
In short, for those who believe that many articles need to be moved into the Help namespace, here's a challenge - please clearly enunciate the rule(s) by which a decision should be made about the pages in Category:Wikipedia how-to, and illustrate the rules with five specific examples. (Or, alternatively, please explain why having extensive discussions about each and every page considered for a move - because that's the alternative to a clear set of rules - is a good idea.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 22:49, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
  • That's just red tape. I'm looking for a reason, not bureaucracy. >Radiant< 09:42, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I have no particularly strong feeling, but it has always struck me as odd that the Help namespace was so underused. It's difficult to see *why* it shouldn't include anything of a Wikipedia how-to nature. So, to respond to the challenge above, I would say that anything that belongs in Category:Wikipedia how-to could also be sensibly moved to helpspace. -- Visviva 10:55, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
If Wikipedia is the only MediaWiki wiki, then all the help pages should logically be in the Help: namespace. However, there are lots of wikis that run on the MediaWiki software. The English Wikipedia happens to be the one with the largest and most active user community. As we all know, the Wikipedia: namespace is actually the Project: namespace (for example, Wikipedia:Namespace and Project:Namespace link to the same page). The Project: namespace on a MediaWiki wiki is for pages that are about the project (i.e., about that particular wiki). The Help: namespace is somewhat constrained by the need to reduce the redundant labor requirement for the thousands of other MediaWiki wikis out there. When someone downloads the MediaWiki software and sets up a new wiki, they would like to get a set of generic help pages which describe basic editing and administration commands common to all MediaWiki wikis. Thus it is useful to keep a master set of help pages on Meta, for many MediaWiki wikis to copy. Maintaining the master help pages gets more complicated if Wikipedia's Help: namespace gets filled up with project-specific help pages (that is, pages which we cannot add to the master set of help pages on Meta). So, basically, what seems appropriate to a given user to put into the Help: namespace on the English Wikipedia probably depends on whether that user does wiki editing only on Wikipedia or on a lot of other MediaWiki wikis as well. The existing system shows signs of having evolved rather than having been designed for the current reality - in the beginning, there was only the English Wikipedia, then there were more language Wikipedias, then the MediaWiki software became available for anyone to download, and now the original concept of the Help: and Project: namespaces is not quite up to task. In any case, it's hard to see why it matters which namespace holds a particular help page, since one can look them all up so easily in the Editor's index. --Teratornis 18:43, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Ah, thanks Teratornis. Now I see! Like this: If I wrote a help or how-to page here at Wikipedia named say "Help:Spam" and then later on some one would create a page on Meta named "Help:Spam", then we would get a name collision. Since the page "meta:Help:Spam" is supposed to be replicated here at Wikipedia as "Help:Spam". So instead I have to put my Wikipedia specific how-to page about spam at "Wikipedia:Spam".

So the "Help:" namespace really should have been called something like "Meta help:" or even better "Mediawiki help:". But for historical reasons it is not so. So we are stuck with putting any Wikipedia-local help and how-to pages in the local project space "Wikipedia:".

So that answers the question I came here for. So I should not move our new how-to guide Wikipedia:Line break handling to "Help:Line break handling".

--David Göthberg (talk) 21:02, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Main namespace covers what?[edit]

Now, "main namespace" on Wikipedia:Namespace#Basic namespaces links to "Main page". "Main namespace" means only "Main page"? -- PBeaver 03:12, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

No. I've removed the wikilink as misleading. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:41, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Help with Namespaces[edit]

Is there a walkthrough anywhere that shows how to set up custom namespaces? This page is extremely confusing. I would like to be able to set them up on my site so that each person can create a main page, and then use namespaces to create subsequent pages without all the colons showing up in the titles, as well as offering the links back to ancestor pages.

You're probably looking for m:Help:Custom namespaces, on Meta. The page here on Wikipedia relates specifically to how namespaces are used on Wikipedia; for more general informaion on namespaces try m:Namespace. (Actually, the information you want *should* be on MediaWiki.org, but mw:Help:Namespaces is rather disappointing). -- Visviva 16:44, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
If you are administering your own MediaWiki wiki, I suggest keeping these links handy:
For example, search both sites for "namespace" and you will find not only the manual pages, but also talk page discussions and so on. Lots of how-to information is on both sites, sometimes in unlikely places, but you can google for it. --Teratornis 18:15, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


RfC on Lists and Contents pages[edit]

Please see a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Contents#Contents pages, and lists of lists concerning the Wikipedia:Contents subpages, and specifically on the namespace they belong in. Thanks. --Quiddity 18:41, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Procedure for creating a new pseudo-namespace?[edit]

Initial question[edit]

Hello, I have read Wikipedia:Namespace, Wikipedia:Shortcut, and this talk page, looking for some clues about the procedure for creating a new pseudo-namespace. Yes, I get that a pseudo-namespace is just a name we give to a part of an ordinary page name in the main namespace that happens to contain a colon character, and the stuff to the left of the colon character is not a real namespace prefix, nor an interwiki link prefix, nor an interlanguage link prefix. So there is nothing in the MediaWiki software to stop anyone from concocting all the pseudo-namespaces he or she likes, as far as I can tell. I'm just wondering if there is a correct way to go about it. Obviously, someone should list the new pseudo-namespace at Wikipedia:Namespace#Pseudo-namespaces and Wikipedia:Shortcut#List of prefixes, but do we need to discuss it first, and if so, where and with whom? The situation I have in mind relates to the Editor's index to Wikipedia. John Broughton and I have discussed adding a large number of shortcuts to the index, to link to major headings; for all the gory details, see:

Our latest idea is to create a new pseudo-namespace/shortcut prefix such as EI: (E uppercase eye) or EIW: (the latter may be that is a better choice, to avoid possible confusion with the interlanguage link El: (E lowercase ell) which points to the Greek Wikipedia). So, do we need to discuss this prefix with anyone first, or just go ahead and start making our shortcuts, and then add our prefix to the relevant lists in the documents? The Editor's index is extremely handy for answering questions on the Help desk and elsewhere, and we need a quick way to cite particular headings in the index. Since we will be creating a fair number of shortcuts (and the number should increase as the index grows along with Wikipedia's project documents), we think a separate pseudo-namespace would be good for grouping the index shortcuts (simplifying bot operations) and to avoid name collisions with existing and future shortcuts in the WP: pseudo-namespace. If there is no existing thought-out, articulated procedure for creating new pseudo-namespaces, then let's work one out here, and document it on Wikipedia:Namespace. If all else fails, I suppose we can track down the people who created pseudo-namespaces such as MOS:, and ask them what, if any, procedure they followed. --Teratornis 02:00, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I think I'm missing something here. This index is so deucedly useful that the real question that ought to be asked (perhaps it's already been thrashed to death and I missed it since I don't follow the talk on John's page closely??) is what namespace should this live in? It ought not to live in usernamespace in my view, it ought to be in Wikipedia namespace. In that case i think the need for a new pseudonamespace goes away? ++Lar: t/c 04:16, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Move it to Wikipedia namespace. WP:EIW as a shortcut. There doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to create a new prefix to remember, just for a single page. (?) --Quiddity 17:07, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
John plans to move his Editor's index to the Wikipedia: namespace when he "finishes" it, perhaps by sometime in November, 2007. For his to-do list, see:

Restart[edit]

I seem not to have made my request clear, perhaps because I started by asking a general question before mentioning the specific situation which motivated the question, and because the specific situation is fairly complex (as a mind-numbing read of the talk page discussions I cited above would show). I'm not talking about creating a new pseudo-namespace just to make one shortcut to the whole index, but to create many shortcuts to headings within the index. See the part of my question above beginning from: "...adding a large number of shortcuts to the index, to link to major headings." These will be shortcuts that link to anchors inside the index, for example we have this one:

which links a user to the index heading which says: "Access (limiting):". (That particular shortcut is merely a prototype; it is in the WP: pseudo-namespace. However, we would like to create a new pseudo-namespace so that shortcut could be: EIW:Access.) The index has many major headings, and we would like to make shortcuts for all of them. What we want to do is similar to what other editors did for the Manual of style. See: Special:Prefixindex/MOS: - we want to do something like that, with a new EIW: pseudo-namespace. For example, this shortcut:

links to the section:

The motivation for creating shortcuts to topic headings in the index is so we can cite them easily, for example when answering questions on the Help desk or on talk pages. The index is so large that we need to be able to link to particular parts of it, to avoid sending the reader on an arduous process of scrolling and hunting. Hopefully that clears up what we want to do. We want to make a whole bunch of shortcuts like EIW:Access, EIW:Account, EIW:Admin, EIW:Advert, and on through the whole alphabet. Because we will be making so many shortcuts, we think grouping them into their own pseudo-namespace is better than piling them into the WP: pseudo-namespace, where they are likely to collide with existing shortcut names (since the index is full of words which also appear throughout the project and help namespaces). Now, returning to my original question: we feel pretty confident that we know what to do, but we want to know if there is any agreed-on procedure for creating new pseudo-namespaces. Is this something that anyone can just do, or should we discuss it somewhere first? --Teratornis 18:13, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps I can summarize quickly: the reason for having shortcuts like EIW:Privacy is so that an editor can point other editors to a major topic within the index; as in, For more information about privacy in Wikipedia, see [[EIW:Privacy|the section in the Editor's Index]]. Possibly even more useful, assuming the shortcuts are named well, an editor can say to him/herself: "I wonder what there is in the index about maps - I'll type EIW:Maps into to the search box and take a look at the Editor's Index." -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:46, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
(I am not a developer/code-guru, but) That should be fine. Tagging them with {{R from shortcut}} will place them in category:Unprintworthy redirects, so there aren't any mainspace-overlap issues. As nobody has objected, I'd say you can just do it. :) --Quiddity 18:46, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Index lists - RfC[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 14#Index Lists, a complex issue which I've tried to summarize. It concerns unsourced pages in mainspace like List of timelines, List of basic mathematics topics, and List of film topics. Its scope is currently a few hundred pages, and potentially a few thousand pages. Feedback would be appreciated. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:26, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Auxiliary and custom namespaces[edit]

What are the 17 auxiliary and two custom namespaces? Could we have them added to the article, please? Yours very sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 19:48, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Triple false intro[edit]

  • "The main namespace, for example, contains all of the Wikipedia articles ever written and all of the past versions of those articles."
    • Not the permanently deleted.
  • "The user namespace contains the personal pages of all Wikipedians who have created one."
    • A can create a personal page for B. Then the namespace does not include a personal page of A (who create a personal page) and on the other hand it includes a personal page for B who didn't create one. Also it does not include permanently deleted ones.
  • "This definition [the above + more] applies to all wikis that use the MediaWiki software."
    • There are Wikis that do not have any Wikipedians.

TechControl (talk) 22:15, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Is the namespace numbering hexidecimal?[edit]

Apparently, the namespace numbering is hexidecimal because the number goes from 0-15 and then goes to 100 (for Portal namespace). Would it be better if the numbering is changed to hexidecimal format in the chart? (e.g. ns:10 becomes ns:A, ns:15 becomes ns:F). Thanks, -- Myfavouritecolourispink 01:13, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Not really, because it doesn't work like that. If you type {{ns:15}} you get Category talk, but type {{ns:F}} and you just get Template:Ns:F.--Kotniski (talk) 09:11, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
The technical reason that Portal's number is so high is that it is a custom namespace rather than one built into the software. —JAOTC 15:21, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

File: "not for sound"?[edit]

It says at Wikipedia:Namespace#Basic namespaces: "[[File:Foobar.jpg]] will insert the image directly into the page (not for sound files)". It seems to me that it works just as well for sound files: [[File:Accordion chords-01.ogg|90px|noicon|left]] displays a play button. The same is true for Ogg files: [[File:Bach BWV 939.ogg|right|90px]].

With MIDI files it seems the behaviour is the opposite to images: [[File:Schumann - Landmann.mid]] gives a link to the File page – File:Schumann - Landmann.mid, but [[Media:Schumann - Landmann.mid]] gives a link which will play the file: Media:Schumann - Landmann.mid.

The documentation here and at Wikipedia:Extended image syntax should reflect the actual behaviour of the software. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 08:33, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to define an alias for the "User talk" namespace[edit]

There is ongoing discussion here of a proposal to define "UT:" as an alias for the User talk namespace. Comments and participation are welcome. -- Black Falcon (talk) 20:33, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Thread space? Summary space?[edit]

When doing a search today, I noticed four options I hadn't seen before:

What's up with these? --A. B. (talkcontribs) 18:48, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

They're for mw:Extension:LiquidThreads (see 2009 Signpost article: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-10-05/New talk pages).
Test out at http://liquidthreads.labs.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:RecentChanges
Hopefully someone who understands the details, will write something up for this page, before they're actually implemented here. :) -- Quiddity (talk) 23:07, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Promote to guideline[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I'm boldly closing this because, as has been pointed out, it makes no sense for this to be 'promoted' to be a guideline. It gives information, it is not a guide. Fences&Windows 02:13, 3 January 2011 (UTC) {{rfctag|policy}} I propose promoting this page to a guideline. I previously encountered this page without any identifying header, so I labeled it an information page. I believe it is suitable for becoming a guideline. I am not aware of any other pages which serve as guidelines for what belongs in each namespace. This basic guidance is important to Wikipedia, and should, I think, be contained in a guideline. I expect, since this page has been stable and has existed for a while, that there may not be many content changes required to elevate it, but let's discuss if anything is needed. Regards. --Bsherr (talk) 20:21, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Why would you want to make it a guideline? I don't understand. The page is informational only, users can't "follow" its advice. It just gives technical details about the namespaces like what sorts of thing are in each one. Placing the guideline banner at the top that says it should be "followed with common sense and occasional exceptions" doesn't fit; it's unlikely a user'd try to create a userpage or upload media into the category namespace; they'd have a hard job doing it. Actually I don't think the information page header is needed either. –Whitehorse1 13:01, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
While it may seem obvious, no other page documents as a guideline that the main namespace is for articles and lists, the WIkipedia namespace for project-related pages, the Help namespace for help pages, the template namespace for pages that are transcluded, etc. That's how users would follow its advice. While it's true that some uses of a namespace are technologically precluded, most are not. Does that address your question? --Bsherr (talk) 14:53, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't object strongly if this page was labelled as a guideline, though it seems to consist mostly of technical information rather than guidance, and it would probably make more sense to label as guidelines the pages which deal with the various individual namespaces. The "guideline-type" content on this page is little more than a summary of the information that's on those individual pages.--Kotniski (talk) 15:38, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Many of the individual namespace pages have the same issue. One solution would be to split the information between the project and help namespaces. --Bsherr (talk) 16:23, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I for one very strongly oppose this. Can you say instruction creep? Guidelines are necessary when, sorry for the tautology, guidance is needed. Exactly what problems do editors commonly have regarding namespace? What solutions can you propose that would adress those problems that is not already covered by the information in the namespace page? If you have answers you are welcome to start WP:Namespace guidelines. Making the current text a guideline will result in a bastard monster of declarative and normative.walk victor falk talk 20:51, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Disambiguation namespace[edit]

I've been throwing ideas around at WT:Disambiguation, and am curious about one particular idea. What would it take to create a Disambiguation namespace, specially for dab articles? It would be sort of like the Portal namespace. Dab articles are obviously different than the rest of article space, similar to portals. What are your reactions to this idea? What are the technical pros and cons that I'm not aware of? ...comments? ~BFizz 04:11, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

File-namespace alias[edit]

There's actually another alias for the File namespace, which is Media, there's no Media talk though. Is there a reason, why this isn't mentioned in the alias section? F. F. Fjodor (talk) 22:54, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Found it already on Wikipedia:Media_namespace#Virtual_namespaces. F. F. Fjodor (talk) 23:10, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it's not exactly an alias, it's a different way of "linking" to the target page.--Kotniski (talk) 10:34, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Integrate pseudo-namespace into alias-namespace[edit]

Pseudo-namespaces like t:, cat:, h: and p: are now in fact alias-namepaces in other Wikipedia like Chinese Wikipedia where I type t:navbar, it links to template:navbar without the need of extra redirect page. Is there any technical issues that prevent the implement of these shortcut namespaces in English Wikipedia? They're so convenient like wp: namespace. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 03:05, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

They pollute the namespace. There are many articles (I had the number, and I can re-find it presently) with a : in their names. Rich Farmbrough, 21:32, 16 May 2012 (UTC).
Namespace Count
Main 77800
Talk 33860
User 23067
User talk 2291
Wikipedia 20817
Wikipedia talk 1795
File 178
File talk 1
MediaWiki 32
MediaWiki talk 6
Template 2839
Template talk 276
Help 46
Help talk 10
Category 1443
Category talk 325
Portal 56
Portal talk 7
Book 84
Book talk 81

So 77,800 in mainspace, of which some are cross name-space redirects, of courses. Rich Farmbrough, 22:14, 16 May 2012 (UTC).

One person's pollution is another person's treasure. Redirects help wikitext legibility and speed up writing. They don't pollute mainspace pagenames because no article will probably be titling itself something like the typical name such a redirect might take.— CpiralCpiral 23:47, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Sameboat, read up on redirects. What you seem to propose is a merge of redirects and namespace-aliases, because pseudo-namespaces are just plain old, classical redirects. What you want seems to be mw:Manual:Using custom namespaces. Maybe your wiki has the alias T, (see mw:Help:namespace#Localisation) but that is hard-coded if it is a namespace alias, and not wikitext, as is a redirect/pseudo-namespace. There is nothing basically wrong with yet another redirect page. They have negligible impact on performance, and don't pollute the mainspace pagenames.— CpiralCpiral 23:47, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

FAQ Namespace[edit]

Where would one petition to have a FAQ namespace added? There are many articles where discussions are endlessly repeated, and calls for merges, deletions, or era changes, etc are repeated by newcomers. A few of the Talk pages I've seen recently have mentioned the desire to have a FAQ page where results of major-change discussions, or results of discussions of questions frequently asked can be placed for easy reference without having to rehash a long discussion all over again on the Talk page. Is there a place at WP where a request for a new namespace could be placed? Many thanks. — al-Shimoni (talk) 07:51, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

New #?[edit]

How come portal namespaces and book namespaces (and their appropriate talk namespaces) have the numbers in the hundreds, instead of Being numbers 16 through 20? Wouldn't that be more efficient?Drla8th! (talk) 20:10, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Namespace#Programming where it states The portal and book namespaces (as well as their associated talk namespaces) are numbered in a higher range because they are not standard MediaWiki namespaces. Namespaces 0-15 are the same in all languages - numbers 100 up vary between languages. For example, the Albanian (Tosk) Wikipedia has numbers 100-111 defined; the German Wikipedia has only 100 & 101 defined. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:34, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thanks.Drla8th! (talk) 20:58, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Might be more accurate to say between projects, rather than between languages. Rich Farmbrough, 21:31, 16 May 2012 (UTC).

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved, perhaps its worth discussing the wider issue on the Village Pump or other venue Salix (talk): 19:54, 16 February 2013 (UTC)


Wikipedia:NamespaceHelp:Namespace – This page explains details of a technical feature of the MediaWiki software. Though there is much overlap and confusion between the Wikipedia: and Help: namespaces, the general practice is to have such documentation in the Help: space. See for example Help:Wiki markup, Help:Category, Help:Searching, Help:Link. the wub "?!" 13:31, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose this doesn't seem like a help page, rather a documentation page, so should exist in WP:space and not Help:space. The provided examples are help-pages, not documentation pages. -- 76.65.128.43 (talk) 05:06, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Do larger task first. I would think a better delineation between the Wikipedia and Help namespaces would be the first place to start. Libcub (talk) 02:43, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Needs more detailed analysis. So you think details of MediaWiki software technical features belong at Help: namespace? But Wikipedia:Page name gives more comprehensive information to assist editors, while the much simpler Help:Page name seems to be intended just for readers. The Help: namespace contents (Help:Contents or WP:HELP) underwent a top-level overhaul (see RfC: Redesign of Help:Contents, the old system is at Help:Contents/Browse), but I have the impression (I just started looking at this) that some of the lower-level pages are a bit of a mess: some old and some new. There actually used to be a separate Help:Namespace page, 10 June 2009 until June 2009, when it was redirected here. Proposed here, merged a couple days later. Wbm1058 (talk) 03:14, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per IP. This is more documentation than a (how-to-ish) help page. I do think there are a fair number of W-space pages that should be moved to H space, but this isn't one of them. --BDD (talk) 18:29, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Add more info about Module: namespace[edit]

Since we have now deployed ‎Scribunto, we should probably add some more information about the Module: namespace {{ns:828}}. I would have been bold and updated it myself, but it is semi-protected. Cheers. 64.40.54.86 (talk) 14:42, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Pseudo-namespace section edited[edit]

I edited the pseudo-namespace material.

I start the section off with how to get a list of real namespace, then go to how to get a the list of pseudo namespace shortcuts. I then go on to explain the usefulness. I mention redirects and shortcuts, but don't even begin to explain how things work, as it is complex and lengthy, and I removed that addition I tentatively made. I also removed the existing mention about the "validity" of using the shortcuts in a search box for the same reason. Finally, I clarified the transwiki stuff. — CpiralCpiral 21:18, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2013 September 10#CSD:G1[edit]

A new pseudo-namespace prefix for the WP:Criteria for speedy deletion has been unilaterally created, and is now subject to a deletion discussion. Apparently this is the place where people interested in such things happen to be. You are invited to join the discussion. Keφr 10:25, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Notification of RfC: Should CSD: be an exception to the immunity of pseudo-namespaces to deletion?[edit]

There is an ongoing RfC going on at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/CSD pseudo-namespace that anyone visiting this page may be interested in. Technical 13 (talk) 16:55, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Subject namespace[edit]

See this at WP:VPT. About using the word "Subjectspace" instead of "Non-talkspace" (ouch) or "Basic namespace". -DePiep (talk) 16:43, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Pseudo-namespace Redirects[edit]

There is currently an RFC opened at the village pump to clarify current consensus and policies about the controversial pseudo-namespace redirects that you might want to participate in. TeleComNasSprVen (talkcontribs) 23:52, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Discuss recent changes in pseuo-namespace[edit]

I disagree with the recent changes to the pseudo-namespaces section. The redefinitions (!) might not be appropriate. Reverting might be appropriate. -DePiep (talk) 05:49, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

What exactly do you disagree with? What was "redefined"? By the way, I am confused by the RfC linked to in the section above this. It borders on "too long, didn't read". Would be helpful if someone could clearly state what we are expected to comment on. All I see is that there have been many past discussions on this topic. Wbm1058 (talk) 13:05, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 9 July 2014[edit]

[...]

Inkdexter (talk) 12:17, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Namespace. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 12:27, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
content of request removed per WP:SOAP --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:01, 9 July 2014 (UTC)]