Wikibooks:Reading room/Technical Assistance

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Welcome to the Technical Assistance reading room. Get assistance on questions related to MediaWiki markup, CSS, JavaScript, and such as they relate to Wikibooks. This is not a general-purpose technical support room.

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There are also two IRC channels for technical help: #mediawiki for issues about the software, and #wikimedia-tech for WMF server or configuration issues.

The opening <ref> tag is malformed or has a bad name?[edit]

Hi there, I'm trying to get to grips with referencing a source and keep getting this message every time. I've had a look at the Help section for referencing and still not sure what I'm doing wrong. Thank you for your help in advance! —Preceding unsigned comment added by EmilyMDaniel (discusscontribs)

@EmilymDaniel: Tell me if this makes sense to you:
Here is the text you want to reference.<ref>Daniel, Emily. ''How to Reference Things'', p. 9</ref>
More text, going all the way to the end of the page.
<references />
Let me know if you need more help, please. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:38, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: Thank you for your help, that's perfect. And sorry for forgetting to sign off on my query, still getting to grips with Wikibooks. --EmilymDaniel (discusscontribs) 09:23, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
@EmilymDaniel: Please let me know if you need anymore help. You can post to your talk page and include {{Ping|Koavf}} and I will see it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 15:57, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Changing book title[edit]

I'd like to continue work on an existing book which was started but not continued past an initial stage. The problem is I really hate the existing title and would like to rename it. Is there a way to move the book page and the half dozen sub-pages all at once rather than doing seven separate moves? Thanks in advance. --RDBury (discusscontribs) 08:18, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

@RDBury: An admin can move the entire collection of pages at once, since it's relatively small. If you're adopting a book, it may make sense to propose the move at its main talk page and wait a bit before moving it, to give others a chance to respond to the idea; that may depend on various factors. What is the current name of the book, and what are you thinking of renaming it to? --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:14, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
The current name is Beginning Rigorous Mathematics. First I dislike the word "beginning" since it doesn't describe the level of the audience; it's targeted to Freshman & Sophomore university students. Second, it doesn't include the word "proof" which is mainly what the book would cover. There hasn't been any work on the book for about five years now (just maintenance edits) and the only editor who's worked on it is no longer active, so I don't think there's a community there to get feedback from. The title I had in mind was "Introduction to Mathematical Proof", but I'd be willing to listen to other ideas. Books with similar scope and audience are "An Introduction to Proofs and the Mathematical Vernacular" [1] and "Book of Proof" [2].
@RDBury: Looking under Subject:Mathematical logic (one of the two subjects of the book), I see we have a book Mathematical Proof. There is, obviously, plenty of room for more than one book on a subject; it may be useful for you to think about the similarities and differences between the two books, as a help to your planning for BRM.

I see from page information on BRM that it's on two users' watchlists (you can find that by viewing the page history and looking on the left nagivation bar; [3]). When I had in mind major changes to book Conlang a few years ago, I proposed the changes on the main talk page and waited a few days for anyone to reply; nobody replied before I'd started, but about a month in to one of my major changes a contributor from the book's past came along and provided some useful input. I'll add the main page of BRM to my own watchlist (that will, presumably, make three watchers, and I'll be curious to see how quickly it's reflected in the page info), and if a proposal on BRM's main talk page isn't challenged for a few days, I'll be happy to do the move myself. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:11, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

I missed the other book. What probably happened was I was looking under Category:Subject:University level mathematics books and it's not listed there, and seeing BRM there I didn't count on there being another one. I'm guessing BRM is about 5% complete and Mathematical Proof is about 10% complete, and while there seems to be some overlap it's not clear that they should be merged. I do think there should be some book covering this material on Wikibooks, and it appears neither of the versions is being worked on. I'd like to help and it's a subject I've taught in the past so I believe I have a good idea what should be covered, but I feel like it's a "you can't get there from here" situation. --RDBury (discusscontribs) 09:48, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
@RDBury: I hope it isn't that bad. It sounds like you know the subject and have something to contribute. With some thought, it should be possible to work out what needs to change, then propose actions on the book(s) main talk page(s), and start rearranging things. Case in point: A while ago I tackled the problem of a Wikijunior book on religions; there had been more than one such book started, each with some ideas worth saving, but none of them had been successful. I worked out that the most prominent of them had stalled because it was set up with a standard set of questions, to answer for each religion, that was based on structural assumptions that only applied well to religions similar to Christianity; this wasn't done with malice, I think, but it resulted in something that people couldn't extend over time. After some planning, I merged the books (I think there were three of them) and revised the set of questions, and while I can't say it's growing like crazy, it's no longer stalled as it was. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 13:51, 23 February 2017 (UTC)