How to Get Started

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To be able to contribute articles you will need an account. You must also provide an author page. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to see how others have done it and to use an existing entry as a template for your own. If you want more detail, the advice on this page describes how to do this with MediaWiki, as well as how to start making a contribution. You can also view this short Video Tutorial by Richard Monson-Haefel for a walk-through of how to set up an account and make a contribution.

Creating an Account

You will need an account to create and edit pages. You can set yourself up with an account (just click here) and begin writing your first contribution straight away. No email invitation is necessary to create an account.

Providing an Author Page

  • Author page requirements. Content on your author page certainly doesn't count towards your 500 words, but try to limit your bio blurb to no more than a paragraph or two. We'll want (minimally) a bio and a head shot. Only contributions with associated bios (including head shot and description of background) will be considered for contributions to the book. We may include the bios and head shots in the print version of the book. You may use an icon that's associated with you instead of a picture. Please keep your author page up to date.
  • Create an author page. After adding your tip in the list in the Contributions sections (instructions provided in section below), clicking on your own name will take you to the author page. Choose the edit tab to enter your own bio.
  • Add a head shot. Go to the Toolbox along the left hand side of the page. (You may need to scroll up.) Click on Upload file, the third item on the toolbox list. In the Upload file window, next to the Source filename: entry box, click on the Browse button. Choose the folder on your own computer in which you have stored your photo. Locate the photo you want to use and double click on it. The information will automatically fill in. Click the Upload file button at the bottom on the window. You have now uploaded your photo to the O’Reilly server.
Go back to the Home Page. Copy this tag [[Image:filename.jpg]]
Scroll down to the Contributions section and click on your own name. Choose the Edit tab if it is not already selected.
Go to a blank line at the bottom of your bio. Paste in the tag.
Change the word “filename” to the name of the file with your photo. For example, if your photo was named John.jpg you would type the word John in place of “filename”. Your tag will now read [[Image:John.jpg]]. (If you have a different type of file extension, such as .gif, change .jpg to .gif.) Change from the Edit tab to the Article tab to see your photo at the bottom of your biography.
  • Add your address and e-mail. Please also add your postal service address and email address to the 97 Pro Addresses page. This information will not be released when the site goes public. We need to keep track of it so that we can send you a free copy of the print book if one is published, and in case in the future O'Reilly's legal department decides we need to get explicit releases from all the contributors prior to publication. If you still don't want to disclose your contact info (and we cannot guarantee that this site won't "leak" out to the rest of the world), please still add your name to 97 Pro Addresses, writing "I'd prefer not to" or something along those lines. Then send me your contact info directly.

Contributing an Item

  • Edit the main page. To add your contribution, click the [edit] link on the upper right of the 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know home page to add a new contribution. A new window will appear with colored icons at the upper left.
  • Add a link. Once in the new window, to add your own contribution, click next to an open item number. Click the Ab icon at the top of this page (third from the left). Just start typing the tip you want to add in the highlighted blue area, replacing the words "Link title" which appear inside double brackets. Add -- space "by" space -- and click the Ab icon again. Type your name to replace the words "Link title" within the brackets.
  • Start editing. At the bottom of the page, click the Save page button. You'll be taken back to the home page. Click on the red link showing your own tip to be taken to a window where you can either create or cut and paste your 300 to 500 word article. Remember to click the Save page button at the lower left after you have added your piece. If you later decide that you need to rename your item, use the move tab at the top of the page.
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