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Namespaces and Auto-indexing
Creating and deleting pagenames and namespaces

Namespaces and Auto-indexing


The internal file directory structure of this Wiki consists of namespaces and pagenames. Just as the file directories more familiar to us consist of folders containing files, in DokuWiki namespaces correspond to folders, while pagenames correspond to files. If you follow the "breadcrumb" trail at the top of the page, you will see that this page (pagename) you are reading is named nspaces_autoindex and may be thought of as residing within a folder (namespace) named editors.

We will use the term name to mean the pagename, and title to refer to the heading at the top of the page, in this case "Namespaces and Auto-indexing".

The importance of this is that namespaces are not as obvious as page titles, yet you need to be clear about the namespaces of both the existing page and the new page when creating a new one or deleting an old one (see below).

On creating a new Wiki, its root is given the default namespace wiki. However, the root namespace you will see here is start. Note that (following Unix tradition) namespaces are always in lower case and must not contain spaces. If the name you wish to give a namespace contains more than one word, use an underscore (_) to separate them rather than running them together. To read more about namespace syntax, see .

Please see the Style Manual for how the Wiki should be structured.

Creating and deleting pagenames and namespaces

When you create a new page in the Wiki you generally do so by creating a link to it first by editing an existing page, then clicking the link as if to open the page. If the page has not been created yet, the link will appear in red with a dotted underline. When you click it, the Wiki will inform you that the page does not exist and will ask you if you wish to create it. If you answer in the affirmative, a blank page will be created where specified by the link, and you will be taken to it.

To delete a page, open it for editing, select all the text within it (Ctrl+A), then either Delete it or Cut it (if you are going to move it to another page), then Save. You will be informed that the page does not exist. To reverse this change, click the Recent Changes button at the top RH corner of any Wiki page and then click the sunglasses icon. Save and your old page will be restored.

As you edit the Wiki it is a good practice to glance down at your browser's status bar when you hover over a link. The status bar usually displays the link URL and you can tell whether the page has been created under the correct namespace (folder) in the Wiki. Note that DokuWiki does not automatically assign a page to each namespace; if you want a page for it, you need to create it too.

Note also that the breadcrumb trail (which currently says You are here: start » editortrack » nspaces_autoindex) looks for a page for each namespace. If you created an intermediate namespace without an accompanying page, the breadcrumb trail will display it a red dotted underlined link ("to be created"). But don't feel you need to create a page, particularly if the namespace is auto-indexed (see below); the more pages that exist along the breadcrumb trail, the more clicks it takes to get there, and the more pages to maintain.

For example, if you have one page for text tutorials and another for video tutorials and wish to display their links from the start page, you might want to group them under a namespace named tutorials, but put the links to them on the start page itself so that the user can get to them with one click. So you might create links named usertrack:tutorials:text

Text Tutorials and usertrack:tutorials:video Video Tutorials, leaving tutorials as a username with no accompanying pages. However, if your tutorials namespace becomes structured enough to require an outline of its levels, you might create one for the purpose, named usertrack:tutorials.


Some pages in this Wiki use an auto-indexing plugin to maintain their entries sorted in alphabetical order, e.g.,



Others use autoindexing to serve as a form of classification, e.g.,



In the latter case the system used may seem a little ad hoc, but it will show you all the names of the folders (namespaces) used, which also come in handy for searching for a particular topic. For example, if you want to search the Wiki but not the forum, confine your search string to nameplaces and not to commonly used words. For this reason, many namespaces are seen to have rather cryptic names, all the better for searching on as these names are truly unique!

If you are considering changing the classification for what you hope is the better, check the Orphaned Pages page to see what other pages link back to the page you want to move. Moving a page is not an easy task in Dokuwiki. First you have to open the existing page for editing, select All the text, Cut it, Save the page to delete it, Create a new page under a more appropriate namespace, open it for editing, then paste all the text from the clipboard into it (assuming you haven't accidentally overwritten it with something else while doing this). Then you have to edit all the pages that linked back to the old page. There is a plugin for moving pages from one namespace to another, but current advice is that it is unreliable, so rather than risking losing the lot it is better to proceed, painstakingly, one page at a time.

Last edited by Edgemaster on 19/03/2019 at 20:08