[[!meta title="Editing the EmacsConf wiki"]]
[[!meta copyright="Copyright © 2020 Amin Bandali"]]
This site is a wiki, editable by anyone on the planet. The pages are
written in markdown, and converted to HTML using the
[ikiwiki](//ikiwiki.info) wiki compiler. You are welcome and
encouraged to edit and help improve the site.
**Important:** see the [[EmacsConf wiki license terms|COPYING]] before
proceeding further and making any changes to the wiki.
To edit the wiki, you need to install `git` if it is not installed on
your machine already. Then, you can clone the sources from any one of
the following addresses:
Note that the `https://` access is read-only and does not allow
pushing changes, while the `ssh://` and `git://` methods allow pushes
as well. Even though `https://` access is read-only, it can be useful
if you would like to manually cross-check and compare the hashes of
commits with hashes of the commits of a clone over the insecure
We strongly recommend using `ssh://` (which is both secure and allows
pushes), and avoiding `git://` (no transport security) and `https://`
(read-only access) when possible.
## First time SSH setup (recommended method)
To use the `ssh://` method, you need `openssh` installed on your
machine, which is available on virtually all GNU/Linux distributions
and other Unix-like operating systems like the BSDs.
You also need to download the ssh private key
[`id_rsa_anon_git_emacsconf`](/id_rsa_anon_git_emacsconf) and install
it into `~/.ssh/` (the `.ssh` directory in your home directory). The
key fingerprint is `SHA256:XbUoLgO2YH9+phNPKvwq8w0Q/8NhaKfS/VE6pDwTPsM
email@example.com`, and its randomart image is:
| . |
| o . |
| + o . o . |
| . * + o o |
| . * S + . |
| + &.B.o |
| ..+ E=* |
| o.ooo@.o |
| +o++.. |
Note that `openssh` requires SSH private keys to be secured with
permissions that prevent other users on your machine from reading or
To download the key and set appropriate permissions on it, you run
something along these lines in your terminal:
mkdir -p ~/.ssh/
mv id_rsa_anon_git_emacsconf ~/.ssh/
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/id_rsa_anon_git_emacsconf
You can show the fingerprint of the key to examine with the expected
fingerprint mentioned earlier using:
ssh-keygen -lf ~/.ssh/id_rsa_anon_git_emacsconf
Lastly, you need to create a `~/.ssh/config` file (if you don't have
one already) and add the following to it:
The `Port 22` line is optional, since SSH uses port 22 by default.
The SSH server listens on ports 21, 22, 53, 81, 8000, and 8080 for
your convenience, if you need it.
You're now all set and ready to clone the repository containing the
wiki sources. To do so, run:
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:emacsconf-wiki
Now that you have cloned the sources of the wiki to your machine, you
can type `cd emacsconf-wiki` to change directory to the wiki sources,
and start making changes.
If this is your first time using Git, please set valid and real
`user.name` and `user.email` configurations options (see [Getting
Started - First-Time Git
for more details and instructions).
## Pulling in changes by others
If you just cloned the `emacsconf-wiki` repository using `git clone`
moments ago, you can skip this section. I still recommend reading it
now though, as it contains important information for your future
Git is a distributed version control system, meant to allow many
people to simultaneously work on a repository, and ultimately
consolidate their changes together into a canonical copy of the
repository. For our purposes, the canonical `emacsconf-wiki`
repository is the one on the `git.emacsconf.org` server.
It is quite likely that others have made changes to the
`emacsconf-wiki` since the last time you made changes, and making new
changes without first consolidating the changes by others is likely to
cause headaches for you down the line.
As such, before making new changes to the wiki, it's always a good
idea to check for potential changes by others, by fetching the latest
state of the canonical repository from the `git.emacsconf.org` server.
You can do so by running `git fetch`. You can then see a compact list
of changes using `git log --pretty=short ..origin`. You can omit the
`--pretty=short` to get a more details about the changes. To learn
more about `git log` you can read its manual by running `man git-log`.
To see a diff of the changes, run `git diff ..origin`.
Having examined the changes, you can now try pulling them into your
local repository. In this workflow, you should almost always be able
to run `git merge --ff` to do that. If for some reason there are any
merge conflicts, Git will ask you to resolve them. There are a great
many articles around the web explaining how to do that.
If you really get stuck and cannot successfully pull in others'
changes, the best approach would be to try looking for others running
into similar situations online (e.g. on question boards) and learn how
to resolve them. If you're short of time, you can also rename your
local copy of `emacsconf-wiki` repository to something else, clone the
repository again, and proceed to make new changes.
## Editing pages and committing changes
The wiki pages are written in markdown, and you should be able to use
any decent text editor ;-) to edit them.
Once you're done making changes, do:
git add X Y Z
git commit -m"descriptive commit message"
where `X`, `Y`, and `Z` are the names of the files you changed; and
`descriptive commit message` is, well, a descriptive text describing
your changes. :-)
The first command tells git to get ready to record your changes to the
said files, and the second command tells git to "commit" (record) your
After making a commit, you can start making more changes, `add` and
`commit` them, and so on. These will all be only in your local
repository, until you explicitly push them to the canonical
When you are ready to push your changes from your local copy of
`emacsconf-wiki` to the canonical repository on `git.emacsconf.org`,
and assuming you have read and agree with the license terms linked at
the top of this page, you can push your changes by running `git push`.
If all goes well, your commit will be pushed, and your changes will
appear on the website within a few seconds.
Note that the act of pushing commits using `git push` is an
irreversible step and cannot be undone. The effects of changes, of
course, can be reversed by making a series of new changes that reverse
the current changes. Git even has a `revert` subcommand just for that
(see `man git-revert`).
## Have questions?
If you have any questions, or are having trouble pushing your changes
to the wiki despite following the above instructions, don't hesitate
to get in touch with [[bandali]].