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Namespaces are rather like folders on your computer. They are discrete locations into which certain types of pages are created. For instance the File: namespace is the "folder" where we put pictures. The Talk: namespace is the place where we put discussions about how to edit articles. And the Help: namespace is where we put help files like this one.

Different namespaces, different rules

Just as on your computer, different kinds of folders can have different rules associated with them. Likewise, we can and have established certain rules about various namespaces. Our video policy governs what can be placed in the Video: namespace. Our spoiler policy specifies that only the Howling: namespace can have unrestricted spoilers about upcoming stories, and gives restrictions on the presence of spoilers in other namespaces. Our discussion policy applies to any namespace with the word talk in its name, but also to Forum: and Howling: namespaces as well.

By far, most guidelines focus on what's called "main space" or just "main". This is the biggest part of the wiki, and it contains what most people think of as "regular" pages. That is, none of the pages here have namespace prefixes. These are pages like Doctor Who, TARDIS and the like. Probably the most important set of guidelines governing this space is the Manual of Style.

It's important to understand the namespace to which a rule applies. To take a ubiquitous example, British spellings are required by the Manual of Style. But the MOS is only really enforced in main, or those things which can be seen on main, like category names. Thus, American spellings are routinely challenged and corrected in main, but almost universally ignored elsewhere. You'll find the American spelling of "licensing" in the File: namespace, for instance, and you might very well catch some Americanisms in help files like this, forum discussions, user pages, and video pages. But the rule doesn't apply here so it's not "wrong".

Powerful tool

Namespaces are a powerful beneath-the-surface way to organize the wiki. Because you can get the wiki code to recognize the namespace of a particular page, you can start to define actions that only happen in certain namespaces. One prevalent example of this is the message that appears when you create a new page. You may have noticed that this message changes, depending on the kind of article that's being created. This system fully leverages namespaces. You can examine the code at MediaWiki:newarticletext. If you're scared of coding, you may find that this very simple bit of coding actually reads in a way that's completely understandable. You may find that the code explains namespaces to you better than this entire help file.

List of namespaces

The following is a list of all namspaces present on this wiki. You'll note that each namespace is numbered. In most cases, most editors never need to know this number. However, there are some instances in advanced coding where it is more convenient to work with the number, such as when you want something to apply to all namespaces with a value under 10, or a number over 300. Ranges are more easily done with numbers than text.

Namespace Code Namespace Name Notes
{{ns:Media}} Media
{{ns:Special}} Special
{{ns:0}} Main namespace for regular wiki articles
{{ns:1}} Talk Discussion pages for regular wiki articles
{{ns:2}} User
{{ns:3}} User talk
{{ns:4}} Project

(on this wiki, "Tardis")

This namespace is for articles having to do with the running of the wiki
{{ns:5}} Project talk

(on this wiki, "Tardis talk")

{{ns:6}} File
{{ns:7}} File talk
{{ns:8}} MediaWiki
{{ns:9}} MediaWiki talk
{{ns:10}} Template
{{ns:11}} Template talk
{{ns:12}} Help
{{ns:13}} Help talk
{{ns:14}} Category
{{ns:15}} Category talk
{{ns:110}} Forum See Help:Wiki-style forums
{{ns:111}} Forum talk Generally should not be used; all discussions about a topic should take place on same page
{{ns:112}} Howling Tardis only
spoiler-friendly forum
{{ns:113}} Howling talk Tardis only:
should not be used
{{ns:114}} Theory Tardis only
spoiler-friendly forum
{{ns:115}} Theory talk Tardis only:
should not be used
{{ns:302}} Property Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:303}} Property talk Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:304}} Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:305}} Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:306}} Form Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:307}} Form talk Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:308}} Concept Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:309}} Concept talk Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:370}} Filter Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:371}} Filter Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:420}} Layer Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:421}} Layer talk Used by Semantic MediaWiki
{{ns:1100}} still in beta; not present on most wikis as of September 2012
{{ns:1201}} Thread Used both in Message Wall (which isn't present on this wiki) and 2012 Forum (which is)
{{ns:2000}} Board still in beta; not present on most wikis as of December 2012
{{ns:2001}} Board Thread still in beta; not present on most wikis as of December 2012
{{ns:2002}} Topic still in beta; not present on most wikis as of December 2012

You'll note that we only have a couple of truly unique namespaces — Howling (112) and Theory (114). The rest of these namespaces are standard across all Wikia wikis, meaning that you can use this chart safely elsewhere on the Wikia network. Because Wikia haven't done a lot of fiddling to the MediaWiki defaults, most of these namespaces work well beyond Wikia. Wikipedia, for instance, have very similar namespace numbering schemes — at least insofar as namespaces under 200 are concerned.

We do have some namespaces that are not a part of the standard Wikia installation, but they are nevertheless "standard" to the optional installation of the Semantic MediaWiki extension. You won't find namespaces in the 300s on every Wikia wiki, but when you do, you know that means that Semantic MediaWiki has been installed.

Wikia's explanation

Below you'll find the generic, Wikia explanation of namespaces, which is found on every wikia wiki. It contains a few points not covered above.

A namespace is a way of separating types of content on a wikia; groups of pages with similar purposes can be grouped together, and can be searched and listed separately from each other. Each page belongs to exactly one namespace.

The namespace of a page is indicated by the word preceding the colon in the page title. For example, "Talk:Pagename" is a page in the "talk" namespace, and is used to describe a page called pagename. If there is no prefix (or the prefix does not match an existing namespace) the page belongs to the "Main" or "article" namespace of that wikia.

Custom namespaces can be created on a wikia if the standard ones do not meet the needs of that Wikia project.

Namespaces are used for the following reasons:

  • allow separation of wikia content from help and policy pages about the creation of content;
  • allow separation of different kinds of unrelated content;
  • allow control of which content is indexed by search engines;
  • provide some special features related to the namespace's intended purpose;
  • provide facilities to limit searches to a particular area;
  • allow easy exporting.

What namespaces do all wikias have?

By default, every wikia has 18 namespaces, and 2 special namespaces. Custom namespaces can also be created.

Namespace Code Namespace Name Notes
{{ns:Media}} Media
{{ns:Special}} Special Special pages on your wikia
{{ns:0}} Main Main namespace for regular wikia articles
{{ns:1}} Talk Discussion pages for regular wikia articles
{{ns:2}} User
{{ns:3}} User talk
{{ns:4}} Project
("Community Central")
Uses the wiki's sitename
{{ns:5}} Project talk
("Community Central talk")
{{ns:6}} File
{{ns:7}} File talk
{{ns:8}} MediaWiki
{{ns:9}} MediaWiki talk
{{ns:10}} Template
{{ns:11}} Template talk
{{ns:12}} Help
{{ns:13}} Help talk
{{ns:14}} Category
{{ns:15}} Category talk
{{ns:110}} Forum See Help:Wiki-style forums
{{ns:111}} Forum talk

Namespaces added by default extensions

Namespace Code Namespace Name Notes
{{ns:400}} See Help:Video embed tool
{{ns:401}}
{{ns:500}} User blog See Help:Blogs
{{ns:501}} User blog comments
{{ns:502}} Blog
{{ns:503}} Blog talk
{{ns:1100}} Related Videos See Help:Videos module
{{ns:1200}} Message Wall See Help:Message Wall
{{ns:1201}} Thread Used by both Message Wall and Forums
{{ns:1202}} Message Wall Greeting See Help:Message Wall
{{ns:2000}} Board See Help:Forum
{{ns:2001}} Board Thread See Help:Forum
{{ns:2002}} Topic See Help:Forum

What are the basic namespaces?

AllPagesNamespace

You can see a list of all the namespaces on your wikia by going to Special:AllPages and clicking the dropdown menu next to "Namespace"

The Main or article namespace ({{ns:0}}) is the informational content of the wiki. In Wikipedia, this would be an encyclopedia article. It is the default namespace and does not use a prefix. Only the Main namespace is indexed by public search engines such as Google or Bing (unless the magic word __NOINDEX__ is inserted.)

The Project namespace's prefix is the title of your wiki (the same title displayed in the {{SITENAME}} variable). On some wikis, this namespace is used for policies and guidelines, deletion discussions, requests for administratorship, and other behind-the-scenes details; other wikis use it for other purposes, or don't use it at all. If you don't know the name of the wikia (or just don't want to bother to type it,) you can use the shortcut, "Project:" as a substitute. This will be converted automatically to the real name of the wiki. For example, on the Community Central wiki, Project:Admins and mods will link to the same page that Community Central:Admins and mods does.

The User namespace has the prefix User: and is used for information about users of the wiki. A user has a main user page and possibly some sub-pages. The main user page is linked from page histories and from recent changes. A user page has links to a user's talk page and contributions.

The File namespace is prefixed with File:. Pages in this namespace are also called image description pages. They are used for information about images or other files. Every image uploaded will show the information given in the upload summary on the image description page. (note: the previous prefix Image: will continue to work)

The MediaWiki namespace (prefix MediaWiki:) contains behind-the-scenes code and messages such as link labels and color schemes. These are only editable by a wiki's administrators. An automatically generated list of all interface messages can be found at Special:Allmessages. See Help:MediaWiki namespace for more.

The Template namespace can be used for small standard texts which need to be inserted on a number of pages. Templates can be things like infoboxes or items in a list. They can be inserted with {{Template name}}; see Help:Templates for a more in-depth description.

The Category namespace contains categories of pages, with each displaying a list of pages in that category and optional additional text; see Help:Category.

The Help namespace is for help pages. The Shared Help system automatically provides pages from Wikia Help to each individual wiki, but projects can add their own notes about local practices above the shared text, and add new help pages that are unique to their projects in this namespace.

The Forum namespace can be used for threaded forum messages. These are normally conversations and questions for the entire wikia to contribute in. See Help:Forums. Note: It is suggested to now use the Wikia Forum tool instead.

What are the talk namespaces?

Except for special pages, each namespace has an associated talk namespace. The talk namespaces are designated by adding talk: to the normal prefix. For example, the talk namespace associated with the unprefixed main article namespace has the prefix Talk:, while the talk namespace associated with the User: namespace has the prefix User talk:. Most of the pages in the talk namespaces are used to discuss changes to the corresponding page in the associated namespace.

Pages in the user talk namespace are useful for leaving messages for a particular user, since they will get automatic notification of any messages left there; see Help:User page.

What are virtual namespaces?

There are two virtual namespaces that do not relate to pages stored in the database.

Special pages, or the special namespace, are automatically generated and uneditable pages, such as Special:RecentChanges or Special:UserLogin. They're vital to the MediaWiki software.

The Media prefix can be used to link directly to an image or sound clip, in the form [[Media:Image.jpg]] or [[Media:Sound.ogg]], rather than linking to the image description page.

See also

Further help and feedback

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