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A namespace is a type of page in the wiki. Each page belongs to exactly one namespace. The corresponding namespace to a page is indicated the by the word preceding the colon in the address line. If there is no such word, the page belongs to the Main namespace.

Namespaces are used for the following reasons:

  • allows separation of different kinds of unrelated content;
  • several namespaces have special features related to their intended purpose
  • allows unrelated content to be stored in a wiki (this requires the use of the namespace prefix in each link)
  • provides facilities to limit searches to a particular area
  • in principle allows easy exporting
  • allows for feature separation

List of namespaces

By default, there are 16 namespaces. Custom namespaces can also be created.

{{ns:Media}} Media
{{ns:Special}} Special
{{ns:0}} Main namespace
{{ns:1}} Talk (discussion pages for regular articles)
{{ns:2}} User
{{ns:3}} User talk
{{ns:4}} Apache OpenOffice Wiki
{{ns:5}} Apache OpenOffice Wiki talk
{{ns:6}} File
{{ns:7}} File talk
{{ns:8}} MediaWiki
{{ns:9}} MediaWiki talk
{{ns:10}} Template
{{ns:11}} Template talk
{{ns:12}} Help
{{ns:13}} Help talk
{{ns:14}} Category
{{ns:15}} Category talk

Basic namespaces

The Main namespace ( i.e., ns:0), or article namespace is the informational content of the wiki. In Wikipedia, this would be the encyclopedia article. It is the default namespace and does not use a prefix.

The User namespace has the prefix User: and is used for information about users of the wiki. These pages are linked from page histories and from recent changes. A user page has links to a user's contributions and a link which allows you to email them.

The Image namespace is prefixed with Image:. Pages here are also called image description pages. This namespace is for information about images or other files. Every image uploaded will show the information given in the upload summary on the image description page.

The MediaWiki namespace (prefix MediaWiki:) is a namespace containing interface texts such as link labels and messages. These are only editable by admins. An automatically generated list of all interface messages is at Special:Allmessages.

The Template namespace can be used for small standard texts which need to be inserted on a number of pages.

The Category namespace contains categories of pages, with each displaying a list of pages in that category and optional additional text.

The Help namespace is for help pages on wikis which want to separate these from the main content of the wiki.

Talk namespaces

Except for special pages, each namespace has an associated talk namespace. The talk namespaces are designated by adding talk: to the normal prefix. For example, the talk namespace associated with the main article namespace has the prefix Talk:, while the talk namespace associated with the user namespace has the prefix User talk:. Most of the pages in the talk namespaces are used to discuss changes to the corresponding page in the associated namespace. Pages in the user talk namespace are used to leave messages for a particular user since they will get automatic notification of any messages left there.

Adapted from the same page on Wikia

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