User:NetSysFire/Broken tables

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This article should provide an overview over how to find and fix broken tables.

General

Tables are always a tricky subject. Their syntax is pretty unusual and it can get complex and unreadable insanely quick. But tables are still a very important part of many wiki pages because their rendered version is usually way better to read than the messy source code.

Are you ready to become a wiki carpenter?

How to spot broken tables

Tables can be broken in a variety of ways but the most common one is by accidentally adding another column, usually via ||. An example of this (please do not fix this table):

A nice column in the table
Arch Linux is nice
Something needs to go here
to fill up this table
this is the faulty line
Another faulty line

See the extra column with nothing in it? No? Here is a correct table, compare it to the faulty one:

A nice column in the table
Arch Linux is nice
Something needs to go here
to fill up this table

If you view the source code, you will notice the the extra || in the last two lines. This is the cause of most of the broken tables.

How to fix broken tables

Fortunately, fixing broken tables is easy. Just remove the extra column. If this is a giant table (usually found on the Laptop pages), finding this might take some time, especially if the last column is usually empty.

Tip: If you look closely, you will see the horizontal lines in the faulty column in the faulty lines. This may make finding the faulty line easier.

This is why it is so important to monitor any additions to the table and fix broken entries immediately. This is usually a minor edit.

Warning: Broken table entries may propagate, users will copy the last (faulty) one and there will be more and more faulty entries.