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MER Manual
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Table of Contents

This page describes how to duplicate the MER wiki for your own use. Before going through this guide, it may be useful to see the diagram on the Manual - Navigation page, which details the "tree" structure of pages in the Math Exam Resources wiki. In addition, our Manual - Design page describes how MediaWiki templates, category flags and Dynamic Page Lists (which form the core of the MER architecture) work.

Installation Elements

Pages and Templates

This guide assumes that you have access/editing rights to a wiki powered by MediaWiki. The following headings will explain how to create all the main pages of an MER-style wiki. Each page will require the following steps:

  • Create the appropriate page on the wiki (this will be in the namespace to which you have been assigned).
  • Create the templates needed for that page (detailed in the next section). Creating a template is the same as creating a normal wiki page, just with the namespace prefix
    instead of the usual namespace. The link to each template listed below will take you to a page with documentation. Clicking on "edit" will take to a page with the source code, which you can copy and paste into your template.
  • Edit the templates as necessary. The indentation structure of the template lists, as well as the transclusion map at the end of these instructions, should show which template names will need to be edited in your own templates. Also, any template or page with DPL will likely need editing to reflect the names of your pages/categories.
  • Include your new templates in your wiki page. There may be additional page specific source code for certain pages; see the source code of our pages to determine what must be added.

Note that the first round of page creation will take a long time - creating and customizing all these templates is a lot of work (at least a day, if not more). However, after creating your first exam, the rest of the process will be almost entirely automated and it should take no more than a few hours to outline a wiki with multiple courses and many exams.

For a full listing of templates used in the MER wiki, see this page


Categories are an easy way to track the pages/templates you have created, are using, or are part of your project. You may note that there are two category flags present on nearly every main MER page or template, namely Category:MER or Category:MER_Template. Choose corresponding categories for your project. When you create the pages/templates listed below, make sure that each page/template includes either your project category or your project_template category.

As your project grows, you can add administrative categories to pages as needed.

If you want to implement a quality control system, you will need more categories. If using a peer-review system like ours, you will need content-needed, needs-review, good-quality, bad-quality flags, one for each type of content. The critical flags for our wiki are:

If you are creating an exact copy of the MER wiki, you can use our flagging system almost verbatim.

Installation by Page

Main Page

Create the main page on the wiki. The address should probably be the "title" of the wiki project you are creating. All following pages (course, exam, etc.) will be subpages of this page (see here).

Source code:


Course Pages

Source code:


Exam Pages

Source code:


You can automate the procedure of creating exam pages by installing the following templates:

Simply create an auxiliary page, transclude Template:Create_MER_Exam_page, and from that page you will be able to create exam pages automatically.

Question Pages

Source code:


Summary Pages

These are optional pages created at the end of exams. The page itself must be created by hand. Source code:



For creating new topic tags, these templates could go on an auxiliary page, similar to the exam creation templates.

Used to give credit to external resources

Meta-template - including this in the documentation of the other templates gives a standard blurb for the documentation.

Contributor Pages

While these pages/templates are not necessary in terms of content delivery, they can be extremely helpful in coordinating the effort of contributors.

Transclusion Map

To aid in understanding these install instructions, the diagram below illustrates how templates are transcluded in the MER wiki:

(to do)


Note that the above instructions copy the MER wiki architecture directly. There are many ways to customize the wiki - due to its construction via templates, it is easy to change the look or formatting of the wiki by editing the template components. Obviously the tags used in a particular wiki can be created on an as-needed basis. Our current scheme contains only one major tree of subpages - Courses - but could be expanded to include other subpage trees. Finally, the Main Page - Course - Exam structure could be easily modified to other uses.