For general principles and style guides on editing GWUCWiki pages, see GwucWikiEditPrinciples.

Create a New User Account for ThePsalter

You need a valid account to access some of the pages in this wiki.

Unfortunately, due to numerous spam attacks, we have had to disable making a new account. What you need to do is:

  1. Send an email to with Subject "New Wiki Account (Your Name)" - mail body not needed

  2. We will create an account for you and send you the password.
  3. When you receive the password, click on the 'Login' button at the top of the page to validate yourself.
    1. Enter your username and password
    2. You should do this every time you visit any of these wiki pages.
    3. Most browsers will allow you to remember your details automatically. Click "yes" if you are asked whether you want the username and password saved. (Warning: only do this if you are using a private computer!)
  4. Once you have familiarized yourself with the wiki page, click on the 'Settings' link and then 'Change Password' to change your password. You should do this since the password sent to you is not secure.

You can also visit the HelpOnLogin page for help on logging in once you have an account.

Note to superusers: to create a new account from the command line, use this form

[sudo bash]
cd /var/wiki/share/moin/server
./moin --config-dir=/var/wiki/share/moin/server --wiki-url= account create --name=<WikiName> --password=<freetext> --alias=<whatever> --email=<whatever>
cd data/user
chown www-data:www-data <userfilejustcreated>

According to the documentation, the --config-dir defaults to the current directory if omitted, so it is optional - but I prefer to play safe.

Changing (or Losing) your Password

Once you have a wiki account, you will need to change your password from time to time. If you get an account created for you, you should change the default password straight away. Here's how you do it:

  1. Click on the "Settings" link you will see at the top of the page (when you are logged in).
  2. Then click the "Change password" link that appears on the new page.
  3. Enter your new password (twice), click the "Change password" button, and you are done!

If you ever forget your password (and/or your user name), simply send an email to JohnHurst or DavidMorgan stating your problem, and we will fix it for you. Incidentally, clicking either of those names in the previous sentence (or indeed, anywhere you see a person's name in wiki format throughout the wiki) will take you to that person's home page. If they have an email, clicking on the email address will take you straight to your mailer, with that person's email address pre-filled for you. Isn't that convenient?

Browser Issues

Not all browsers work equally well on this wiki. Indosyncracies in both browser and wiki design can lead to inconsistent behaviour, and even incompatibilities. Here are some details of known behaviours





all (tested on Linux,MacOSX)

works well


all (tested on ?)

works, but navigating to empty cells in a table is tricky. You can do it with the arrow keys, but sometimes not with the mouse.


all (tested on ?)

apparently works, but you can’t get to empty table cells


MacOSX and iPhones

Seems to work

A more comprehensive analysis is provided at ComputerWikiBrowserIssues (which probably should be merged with this table).

Visiting a Page

A Wiki page is just a web page, so you can use any web browser you like to view wiki pages. They have the same means of access as ordinary web pages - an URL, or Uniform Resource Locator (sometimes pronounced as earl, as in hurl, but without the h). This page, for example, has an URL of (You can click on it if you like.)

Anytime you want to visit a page in this wiki, simply enter the URL in this form, replacing the HowToUseTheChurchWiki with the page name that you want. This is also the way you send the address to anyone else, so that when it appears in their email (for example), they just click the link and the web browser does the rest. This is also the way you will see wiki pages quoted in the ChurchBulletin.

Once you are viewing a wiki page, however, things get even more simple ...

Wiki Names

Capitalized words joined together form a WikiName (like this one - click to see more information of how WikiNames are formed), which hyperlinks to another page. This is one of the reasons why the wiki is named: it means "quickly" in Hawaiian, and WikiNames are quick ways to make links to other pages in the wiki. You can stop a sequence of capitalized words from making a link by including an exclamation mark in front of the WikiName.

Incidentally, your username is a wiki name, which is why you must capitalize it and omit the space(s). My name is John Hurst, and my WikiName is JohnHurst. Clicking on such usernames whereever they appear will take you to that person's home page, where you should find important information about that person. Note that this information is derived automatically from the church database (ChurchInfo), and should not be edited.

The WikiName at the top of the page is a link that operates in reverse: clicking on it searches for all pages that link to the current page. Pages which do not yet exist are linked with a question mark or in bold red; just follow the link and you can add a definition.

Whenever you see a highlighted word like this: ChurchBulletin - it means it is a link to another wiki page. Clicking it will take you to that new page. Simple, is it not?

In this way, the ChurchWiki is made up of lots of hyperlinked pages, containing information about some aspect of the church's operation. Not only that, but now comes the real power of the wiki - the ability of each person in the church to make a contribution to that information encyclopaedia: to be able to edit the pages!

Editing a Page

The ability to edit a wiki page changes the whole philosophy of web-based information - no longer is control of the information in the hands of a select few webmasters, but it is now open to all the users of the page. It is like having a car that you could change the design of as you drive it. Imagine the changes you might make to a car if you had this ability - you could make it a small two-seater when commuting to work, a station wagon or van when moving goods, a four-wheel drive when camping, and so on. I'm sure you can think of other examples.

For general principles on editing GWUCWiki pages, see GwucWikiEditPrinciples. The important thing to bear in mind is to HAVE A GO. You cannot break anything, so create your own page and explore! If you do strike trouble (like you just deleted a page when you didn't mean to), just drop an email note stating the problem to DavidMorgan or JohnHurst, and we will restore the damaged goods to new.

If you want to create a wiki page to post information about yourself, your church vision, or just photographs of your pet cat, create a profile page, YourNameProfile. For example, JohnHurstProfile. This page can be edited, and will not be overwritten like your home page (example JohnHurst) will be. In order to get this profile page linked from your automatically updated home page, you need to get its name into the church rolls database. Contact the office, DavidMorgan or JohnHurst.

Creating a New Page

Creating a new page is very simple. The easiest way is to attempt to visit the new page. After in the address line of your browser, change whatever appears to the name of your new page, e.g. ThisIsMyNewPage, or, in full, The name of your new page (ThisIsMyNewPage) should be a WikiName (q.v.).

Load the page (type "enter", or click the "reload" icon). You should see the MissingPage wiki page, which contains several things:

Using the GUI Editor

On the header of each page, there is a menu bar with items such as Edit (Text), Edit (GUI), Info, and so on. This section describes what happens when you click the Edit (GUI) link. New users will probably find this form of editing to be the easiest to use, since it is very like popular WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) word processing applications (Microsoft Word, for example). Unfortunately, not all browsers support the GUI editing feature. If you don't see the "Edit (GUI)", try switching to a supported browser, such as Firefox. Click here to download the Firefox browser application.

Clicking the link places you in edit mode. You see much the same form of the text on the page, but now there is an edit bar at the top of the text. In this bar are are number of tool icons, which should show a short explanatory hint for each as you hover your mouse over them one by one.

The text itself is now live, meaning that when you click in it, and start typing, the characters that you type will be inserted into the page. Not only that, but you can delete things and change the format as well. Try opening up a page and editing it now. (If you are worried about breaking anything, go to TestPage and edit that. It will not matter what changes you make to that page.) Try double clicking on a word, then click the bold B icon to make it bold. Clicking on the B icon again will turn off the bold face. Or you can use the I icon to make your word italic. Or both. Or underlined, or even all three!

The other icons in the tool bar can be explored at your leisure. You can make numbered lists, bullet point lists, indented text, 'outdent' indented text, add links to other web pages (remember, a link to another wiki page is just a WikiName!), and lots of other interesting things. One which many might find useful is the 'Paste from Word' icon, but let's not rush too fast!

When you have made a number of changes, you might want to click the Preview button at the top of the edit window, just above the tool bar icons. This will show your page as it will finally appear, so it is handy for checking what you have done without actually finishing your edits. But more importantly, it saves an interim copy, so if you have to go away, or worse, your system crashes, it will be there when you come back, and start editing the page again.

Of course, once you have finished your edits, you will want to make them available to other readers. Click the Save Changes button to do this. It is good to also write a brief comment in the Comment: box just below the edit window, so that others can quickly see what your changes were about.

Note that when Editing a link, such as a name in a roster, in GUI mode, it works best if you select the old link, hit delete, and then type the new link.

Using Word documents on the Wiki

If you ever want to upload a word document to the wiki, all you need to do is to open the target page for editing (using IE or Firefox) through the "Edit (GUI)" link on the page.

Once the edit page comes up, you will see a little icon that looks like this WordIcon.png just under the "Save Changes" button. Click this icon (make sure you choose the "W" one and NOT the one next to it that has a "T" instead!), and you will get a dialog window asking you to cut and paste your word document. Go to the Word application and the document you want to post, select all (or just the bit you want to post, if not all), copy, then back to the dialog window, and paste. Click OK, then the "Save Changes" button (mentioned above), and you are done.

The resultant document is not entirely satisfactorily formatted, but it will do as a starting point, and it sure saves a lot of (re)typing!

(JohnHurst note: If you have on-line access when typing up the document, it is better to do it straight into the wiki, rather than make a Word document first. It will be less work in the long run!)

Using the Text Editor

Wiki pages use a form of document known as markup, as opposed to WYSIWYG. The GUI editor hides all this markup from you, but this is actually what is stored in the file when you save it. Every time you open a page in your browser, the wiki engine converts all this markup to another form of markup, known as HTML. You may have heard of it - it is what all web pages are ultimately rendered into whenever a web browser displays them.

This wiki markup is not quite as powerful as HTML, but it is much easier for humans to read! And because it is not constrained by the features of the WYSIWYG editor, it is what the wiki 'poweruser' tends to use. If you are still a wiki beginner, you may prefer to skip this bit.

You can start text edit mode by clicking the Edit (text) link at the top of a wiki page. Like the GUI editor it opens a window in which the text is 'live', but it is no longer displayed in WYSIWYG form. Words in bold, for example, have three apostrophes at each end. To make a word underlined, you add markup at each end - in this case, two underscore characters. Two apostrophes at each end will make a word italicized.

You don't have to remember all this - there is a short 'cheat sheet' below the edit window containing the more frequently used markups. In this cheat sheet is also shown the markup for headings, how to markup for lists and links, and for the poweruser, tables!

If you want to have a go at using the text editor, you may prefer to go to the TestPage to try it out, where any boo-boos are completely inconsequential!

Again, like the GUI editor, clicking Preview will show you how the markup will finally look, without leaving the editor, and importantly, will save an interim copy in case of disasters. When you are finally satisfied with your edits, Save Changes makes your changes visible to other users. Again, it is good to leave a comment in the Comment: box to explain briefly what you have changed.

Subscribing to Pages

Because the church wiki is used to convey information about church activities, you may well want to know as soon as possible when things change. For example, suppose you are a member of the choir, and the rehearsal for the week has to be cancelled. If the ChoirPage is changed to reflect this, you want to know as soon as possible. To do this, the ChurchWiki allows people to subscribe to pages in which they have a keen interest. Subscribing simply means that you will be sent an email whenever anyone changes the page to which you have subscribed. Assuming you read your email regularly, you will get direct notice of the change, and it is equivalent to the person changing the page emailing their changes to all the subscribers directly without knowing who those subscribers are.

To subscribe to a page, there is a link at the top of each page which will say subscribe if you are not yet subscribed to the page. Click the link to subscribe yourself. Notice that when you now visit the page, this link will say Unsubscribe. If, later on, you decide you do not want to subscribe, then clicking Unsubscribe will do just that.

You can subscribe and unsubscribe as often as you like. For example, if you are travelling overseas, you may not want change messages while you are away (since it may clog up your email inbox). Simply unsubscribe from the pages before you leave, then re-subscribe on your return.

Checking the RecentChanges page is another way to keep up-to-date with wiki changes. This has the advantage that you can choose when you want to check what has changed. For example, if you use subscribe/unsubscribe as suggested in the previous paragraph, checking RecentChanges on your return allows you to see what pages have changed while you were away.

Adding a New Page

The wiki is not a static thing - it can (and should) change over time. New pages get added, and old pages get renamed or even deleted, as well as the usual edits and updates that are discussed above. One thing many users may want to do is to add a new page. This may be a new agenda or minutes page, or a new project, or expanded information that does not necessarily belong on an existing page - all these things can lead to the desire to create a new page.

Creating a new page is very simple - just edit a non-existent page. For example, ThisPageHasNeverBeenCreated is a new wiki page that has not been created, and it should be greyed out (unless someone has gone in and created it for me!). A greyed out WikiName means that the page does not exist. Clicking on this link ThisPageHasNeverBeenCreated will ask you "This page does not exist yet. You can create a new empty page, or use one of the page templates.". Most times you will just want to create a new empty page, so just click that option, and you get a new blank page, upon which you can do the editing thing.

Once you have edited this new page, click Save Changes and it will become a wiki page with the name you originally tried to open. This makes it the easiest way to proceed: on the page that you want to link your new page from, edit it and insert your new WikiPageName. Save your changes, then click the (greyed out) WikiPageName that you inserted. You get the 'create a new page' dialogue, so create it, edit it and save. Now when you visit the original page you linked from, there will be your WikiPageName, no longer greyed out, but displayed as a full link which you can now click to visit your new page.

Deleting a page is also simple, providing you have admin rights. Since we don't want pages to be too easily deleted, we restrict admin rights to certain key people. You will know if you are one! If you need to delete a page, and find that you cannot, email JohnHurst for assistance.

Access Control Rights

Which segues nicely into talking about access rights. Because wiki pages are so easy to change, some people will change them for no other reason than that they can. These people are like graffiti 'artists' who spraypaint walls simply because they can - they are basically vandals. To stop them, each page has a set of access control rights, or ACLs, which say who can do what to a page. To know who you are, we may require you to login in each time you visit one of the church wiki pages. 'Logging in' is the process you need to do by clicking the Login button on the top of a wiki page when you first open it. Most browsers will allow you to remember that you have a username and password for certain pages, and once you enable this feature, you won't normally have to do even that.

Some pages are 'open access', meaning that anyone can read them, even those not logged in. This makes these wiki pages much like ordinary web pages - you can read, but you cannot write. But many of the church wiki pages are controlled, which means that only certain people can read and/or write them. For example, we have set up the CouncilPage so that it is readable by anyone who is logged in, but writable only by Council members. Minutes of Council meetings can also be accessed, but some parts are confidential, and these are 'whited out' if you are not a council member. Sort of like Freedom of Information documents, if you recall seeing some of those!

These access control lists are very powerful, and beyond the scope of this introductory document, but it is important to know that this control is there, so that the information that should be restricted to church members, and various sub-groups within the set of church members, is appropriately restricted. Talk to JohnHurst or DavidMorgan if you want to understand more about this feature.

Links to Other Pages

If you want to include a link to some other (non-wiki) page, there is markup to do this. A typical link would look like this, and to put that into a wiki, you use the markup [[|John's Home Page]], which comes out looking like this: John's Home Page. You can leave the second part after the vertical bar out, when you get just the link like this:


Just like in email, you can add attachments to a wiki page. Attachments are used when they are subsidiary to the main import of the page to which they are attached, or when they are in a format not easily rendered directly in the wiki (or both). For example, photos may be attached as JPEG, GIF or PNG files, which are then viewed by adding a link to the attachment. Or documents circulated for other purposes as pdf files can be attached, so that readers may see exactly what recipients of the original pdf file (or printed renditions thereof) would see. For example, all ChurchBulletins are handled this way.

To add an attachment, first make sure that your file is in the right format. Preferred formats are png and pdf, as these can be directly rendered by the wiki using most browsers, and png files can be shown inline with wiki articles (see for example MissionInTheTopEnd). Make sure that the extension to the file shows the format: for a pdf file, the file name should end in .pdf, and for a png file, in .png (etc.). Without this, other users will not be able to see your attachment!

Then, click on the Attachments link at the top of the page to which you want the attachment added. You will see a new page identifying New Attachment and Attached Files. Use the Choose File button to browse your computer's file system and find the file that you want to attach. You can rename the file as it is uploaded, and this is usually a good idea, since the way you name your files, and the way that other people might want to find your file may be quite different! For example, calling your attachment My Photo is not very helpful to other readers! Think about how others might view your attachment (which is a Good Christian Principle to follow :-) )

Once you have done all this, then clicking the Upload button will upload your file, and you should then see it in the list of attachments. If this is all you want, you are finished!

But attachments by themselves are not very obvious, unless someone looks at the attachment page. You probably want some form of link to it, so that readers' attention are drawn to it. Do this by copying the [[attachment:filename.pdf]] link (where filename.pdf is appropriately changed), and pasting it into the page to which the attachment is attached. Then you will see in that page a little paper clip symbol, and a link to filename.pdf - which, when clicked, will take you to the attachments page, and (hopefully, depending upon your browser) render the original .pdf file (or .png, or whatever) for viewing.

Normally you should attach an attachment to the page where you want to reference it. But occasionally you might want to reference an attachment that is attached to some other page. You can still do this, but you need to include the name of the page where the attachment is held. For example, on the MissionInTheTopEnd page referred to above, there is an attachment called AmePics.png, which is linked to on that page using [[attachment:AmePics.png]]. But we can also link to it here on this page, using [[attachment:MissionInTheTopEnd/AmePics.png]]. This is the result of cutting and pasting that link right here.

Lastly, in-line attachments occur when you want a photo to appear within the page you are writing, not in some attachments page. They can be done too, but you do need to use a png format for this (png is an open source format, and is to be preferred for all web-work). To convert jpgs or other formats is beyond the scope of this article, but there are various software tools on the web that will do this task (Photoshop or Gimp are two obvious ones - if you use a Mac, then Preview will also do it for you using the Save As ... feature). Upload your .png file and then include it inline with a  {{attachment:Adelaide.png}}  insert - just like this: Adelaide.png This is truly inline, and you will note that is does change the line spacing, and will appear in various places across the line as the text around it changes. If you want it to appear in a space by itself, just put it on a line by itself with a blank line before and after it, like this:


: which you will see at the end of this section. Mind you, you do have to be careful about the size of the image that you upload. This one is 400x300 pixels, which is probably as large as you ever want to go, at least for inline images. Note that images are expensive in space - this one is 244KB, and they rapidly get larger as you go up in pixels.

That's all there is to it! Happy attaching!



I was going to put something in here, but Tables are a bit complex, so I will defer discussion of this until a later date.

Getting Help

The easiest way to get help if anything goes amiss, or you cannot understand what to do, is to contact JohnHurst. His details are available if you click on that link, but the best way to reach JohnHurst is through the email address on that page. He will endeavour to respond to your issue within 24 hours!

If you feel confident, there are plenty of wiki pages giving help on all sorts of things. The obvious way to access these is through the HelpContents link at the top of each wiki page. You will learn a lot about using this wiki simply by browsing these pages whenever you have a spare moment.

From time to time, we run workshops to help people get up to speed with the wiki. Watch the bulletin for information about these. Outcomes from these workshops are recorded at WikiWorkshops.

Changing the Wiki

Warning: this page is intended for people who want to know about the internal workings of the wiki! Not for the faint-hearted! But you can read about how this wiki was created, how it works, and how to maintain it on the LookingAfterTheChurchWiki page.


HowToUseTheChurchWiki (last edited 2019-03-18 01:17:47 by JohnHurst)