User:Whiteknight/New Book Guide/Subpages

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Monolithic Pages

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Sometimes as a book is being developed the content is just dumped onto the page in a disorderly manner. If this happens quickly enough, the page will become large and monolithic with dozens of headings and mountains of text. This makes things hard to navigate, and makes pages hard to edit. It also puts a large drain on the server and increases load times. At Wikibooks, we encourage (and basically require) that you break books into a collection of pages, each with a reasonable size. A page should be able to cover a single topic to an acceptable degree. Other topics and advanced details about the same topic can be moved into other pages.


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Like creating a new book from scratch, spliting an existing monolithic book into subpages will benefit from creating a good plan and an outline. Know what pages you want, what content goes on each, and what order they should be in. Create the links, then start copy+pasting code from one to the other. A browser that uses tabs makes things a lot easier. You can open all the pages in different tabs or different windows, and do all the work in one shot. Otherwise you need to copy sections, move to the next page, and paste it in before flipping back. It can get quite tedious!

Breaking into Subpages

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Here are some things you can do to break a page into subpages:

  1. Create an outline for what you want the book to look like, either in your user space or on the main talk page of the book.
  2. Mark the main page of the book with {{Subpages}}
  3. Solicit feedback from community members on WB:CHAT or on the main talk page of the book
  4. Create a TOC with redlinks on the page
  5. Copy+Paste content from the main page to each of the subpages
  6. Make sure to tag all pages with a page header template and with a category of the name of the book