Memory Alpha is currently hosted by Fandom, which means Memory Alpha is run on a heavily modified version of MediaWiki 1.33.3. Some of the things that Fandom has changed in the MediaWiki software have led to significant problems with editing and maintaining the Memory Alpha database. As such, Memory Alpha has some recommended changes for users' default preferences and personal CSS that will make editing the database much easier.
Archivists are responsible for the changes to the database that are made in their name, including errors Fandom's meddling introduces! To avoid having your edits reverted or blocked from editing for things outside your control, Memory Alpha recommends you remove the barriers Fandom has introduced between you and actual wikitext the site runs on.
Logged in users can change the type of editor in their preferences. Memory Alpha strongly encourages you to use the "source editor," so you can use our standard formatting templates and wikitext markup. The templates were made to standardize formatting, and Fandom's other editors make it harder for users to see the formatting already used on the page, and thus use it themselves. Use of the VisualEditor is strongly discouraged, as that editor adds unwanted wikitext into pages without the editor's knowledge. Edits made with the VisualEditor may be summarily reverted due to this.
Starting an edit
- Use a blank page as default for creating a new page
- Disable "Create a new article" flow
- Disable Category module
These changes will return control of how a new page is created, or a category is added, to you.
Using a blank page as the default for creating a new page will mean that only what you intended to be added to any new page is what is actually added there.
The "create a new article flow" forces users to use Fandom-made templates for pages that are not used on Memory Alpha, since Memory Alpha predates Fandom and its templates. Because we don't use these article templates, it is faster for users to skip the whole thing instead of being forced to choose one and then delete the wikitext. The "flow" also breaks any Memory Alpha preload templates, such as those used in the pages and files for deletion templates and on the restoration discussions page.
The category module makes it possible to add categories through a button on the bottom of a page instead of having to enter the editor. It also removes the category wikitext from your view when using the editor, making it impossible for you to copy or modify it, like adding required sort keys. The module also occasionally will add a category to a page that isn't the one the user was trying to add. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that you disable the category module and take the extra few seconds of opening the editor when adding categories to ensure they are added correctly.
Memory Alpha maintains a CSS file that logged in users can add to their personal CSS. This file restores some standard MediaWiki behavior and removes a number of undesirable elements that Fandom has introduced over the years. You can add this file to your personal CSS by clicking this link and saving the page.