AIRWiki is composed of two layers:
- a public layer, visible to everyone on the internet;
- a private layer, accessible to registered users only.
The public layer is used to publish information on the internet. The private layer is used by the people working on AIRLab's projects as a repository of all the information related to such projects. Eventually, much of the information in the private layer will be suitably formatted and moved to the public layer.
The most important pages of the private layer of AIRWiki are the discussion pages. These are the pages where users (and students in particular) write their work notes. For each public page, a discussion page is automatically created and associated to it: such discussion page is accessible by clicking the "discussion" tab on the top of the public page.
Students are encouraged to use the discussion page of the project they are working on as a repository of all the information they produce or gather regarding that project: see this HOWTO for details.
The public layer of AIRWiki is the main namespace of AIRWiki, while the private layer includes every other namespace. In a nutshell, a namespace identifies a subset of pages of a wiki having common characteristics. Every page of the wiki has a name in the form [prefix:]PageName. The namespace that a page belongs to is the prefix, separated from the actual page name by a colon (':'). If no prefix is given, the page belongs to the main namespace. For instance page AIRWiki belongs to the main namespace, while page Special:Listusers belongs to the Special namespace. Therefore the first page is part of the public layer of AIRWiki, while the second is part of the private layer.
In AIRWiki, the "Talk" namespace (i.e., the discussion pages) is the part of the private layer used to collect interesting information which is not yet ready to be published in the public layer.
Generic access to the AIRWiki from the Internet is restricted to the public layer. Conversely, Registered users can (after logging in) view and modify any page of both the public layer and the private layer. The only exceptions to this rule are:
- the pages belonging to namespaces AIRWiki and AIRLab: these are reserved to professors and researchers, and can be accessed only by them;
- the pages that a system operator (sysop) chose to protect: this is done by clicking on the 'protect' tab on the top of the page, and restricts the editing of such pages to a specific category of users (typically sysops; see here to know who the sysops are).
Also user pages (in the "User:" namespace) are in the private layer of the wiki. If you want your page to be visible to external users, see HOWTO make your user page public.