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Liandri Archives:Style Guide

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The wiki Style Guide is designed to maintain consistency throughout the site. Since editors from all over the world make modifications and additions to the wiki's articles, it is important for the project to have a uniform format and style. This article summarizes our recommended style guidelines, that apply to all articles written on the site. Articles that follow these guidelines are more likely to be well-received by the rest of the community, and will require other editors to spend less time cleaning up the articles.

The style of talk pages is less formal than that used for articles. While most of these guidelines are still relevant to talk pages, there are several differences that are noted as appropriate below.

Content

The purpose of the Liandri Archives is to provide encyclopedia-style content describing the Unreal games. All articles should be informative and targeted at the site's audience. Information that is only of interest to the writer or to other editors should not be included in articles. The article's talk page is the place to discuss questions about the article's content or style.

Attribution and Dates

Do not add any attributions (e.g., "written by QAPete") or dates (e.g., "written on Feb. 14, 2007") when editing an article. The wiki software already maintains an accurate record of all contributions via the history page. Duplicating the information within an article will only clutter the article, adding extraneous editorial information that is not of interest to readers and degrading the article's quality. If you are adding information to a page that comes from another source (e.g., moved from another wiki page or based on comments by another person), you can provide the source with proper credit by using the "Edit Summary" field on the edit page.

Some pages may incorrectly contain attribution or dates. Feel free to remove these and note the attribution in the summary field of the edit page. That way the information still shows up in the history tab.

This rule does not apply to talk pages. On talk pages (discussion pages) you should use attribution to clarify the flow of discussion; simply typing ~~~~ after your message will automatically insert your name and a timestamp.

Redundancy

New information added to the wiki should not repeat or be redundant with other information already on the site. Adding content to the wiki is only useful if the content is organized and presented in a way that makes it easy for all readers to find the information. This means that generally a topic will have a single page (or a section of a page) where the topic is discussed in full detail. Other pages that discuss that topic should not try to repeat the details, but should instead provide a link to the page with the details. Only information that is directly relevant to a given page should be included on the page.

There are several reasons why redundancy should be avoided. First, if a topic is discussed in detail on multiple different pages, then a reader has to read all of those pages to be sure that he has read all the information. Especially on a wiki, where different editors add information at different times, multiple versions of the same information cannot be efficiently maintained. Transclusions should be used instead of copying in cases where the same information needs to be shown on multiple pages. Second, adding extraneous details makes a page long and difficult to read. Only information of interest to almost all readers should be included: 90% of the readers should not have to wade through uninteresting information just so that 10% of readers can find the information.

Before adding a new note to a page, editors should double check whether:

  • The information is being added to the right page. Is this information directly relevant to the page? Is this where readers are likely to look for the information? If the answer to either of these questions is "no" then add a link to the appropriate page instead.
  • The information being added in the right section of the page. The "Notes" section of a page is only for miscellaneous information that does not fit anywhere else, and should not be used if there is another section of the page that discusses the topic.
  • The information should be merged into another, existing paragraph or note. It is generally better to add a few words to an existing sentence than to write a whole new note that mostly repeats existing information. Don't be afraid to revise what someone else has written: wiki editors are supposed to modify content written by other editors.

Unknown Information

It is acceptable to write an article even if you do not know all of the information necessary to complete the article. However, gaps in the article should not be filled in with with approximations or best guesses. It is better to have no information than to have inaccurate information, because inaccuracies mislead readers and are hard to find and correct. Uncertain information, or points that need more followup, should be moved to the discussion page where other editors can add their knowledge. In cases where an approximation in the article is the only choice, the approximation should be marked with a bold "(?)" to notify readers that the information is currently not known.

Language

Liandri Archives is written using American English, in particular following grammar and spelling standards appropriate for printed text. Colloquialisms, slang, l33t speak, and other informal or casual styles are not acceptable. We want the wiki to be a serious resource for people looking for information.

Words should be spelled using the American English spelling, except for terminology and proper nouns that originate from the Unreal series games; game-specific words should always use the in-game spelling. Similarly, capitalization follows standard English rules, except in cases where a proper name or title comes from an Unreal series game, in which case the game capitalization is kept (e.g. Na Pali). More specifics on spelling and capitalization are provided at Spelling.

Numbers should generally be written out as words if they are used as part of a sentence and can be written out in one or two words. For statistics and tables, however, it is proper for the numbers to always be in numerical form.

Writing Style

Liandri Archives content should be written in a style appropriate for an encyclopedia. Descriptions should be clear, concise, and authoritative; speculations or uncertain facts should be avoided unless notated. Articles should be written for the wiki's readers, and should attempt to tell the readers what to expect when they play the game. Instruct and explain to the readers, and let the encyclopedia center around them.

No First Person

One of the most common mistakes made by well-intentioned editors is to provide information using a first-person point of view. First-person descriptions are typically used when an editor shares an example of something that happened to them in-game to further illustrate or clarify a point. An example of first-person narration is "When I entered the area I saw two titans". This writing style implies that the events only happened a single time (when the editor was playing the game), and therefore does not provide the reader with a meaningful description of what the reader should expect when he plays the game. Content submitted to an article in first-person will often be deleted and moved to the article's talk page until someone can verify the information and rewrite it.

Instead of first-person descriptions, wiki contributions should use second-person or third-person. An example of second-person is "When you enter the area you will see two titans". This style talks directly to the reader. Although less formal than third-person, second-person descriptions can often be easier to write. This sentence in third-person would be "When the player enters the area he will see two titans".

Format

Wiki formatting is used to improve the legibility of an article. Bulleted lists, numeric lists, bolding, italics, and coloring are all tools to help text "pop out" at the reader. When properly used, these tools help the reader to quickly scan a page for the key points, then focus on individual paragraphs of interest. For general guidelines on how to make articles legible, see "How Users Read on the Web" by Jakob Nielsen.

General information on how to implement wiki formatting is provided at Formatting (or an overview at Quick Editing Guide).

Bold

  • Bolding should be used for headings, subheadings, and article names. This is done automatically when using the wiki heading format (e.g., ==heading==).
  • Bold the article name the first time it appears in the page's introductory sentence. Any alternative names in the introductory sentence should also be bolded. (e.g. "Vandora, also known as Pandora, is best known for being one of the Nali gods.")
  • Bold the word or phrase being defined in bulleted or numeric lists. (See Criteria for Speedy Deletion for an example.)
  • Keywords for which readers are likely to be scanning may be in bold for emphasis, but this should be used sparingly.
  • Avoid using bold formatting for general emphasis.

Italics

  • Italics should be used for the titles of books and lengthy works.
  • Italics can be used for proper names (e.g., of places or items) to clarify that the phrase is a proper name.
  • Italics can be used for general emphasis, but should be used sparingly.

Emphasis

  • Avoid using ALL CAPS for emphasis.
  • Avoid bolding words for general emphasis, unless giving crucial notice. (e.g. Do not install mods from unreputable sources.)
  • Avoid using double emphasis, such as combining italics with quotation marks. (e.g. "an example of double emphasis")
  • Do not over emphasize, as each emphasis added will lessen the effect of other emphases and detract from the appearance of the article.

Avoid Cluttering Links

Cross links between wiki pages are important navigational tools, allowing the reader to easily follow up on interesting points and find more detailed information. However, it is possible to fill a page with too many links. More details on how to create links and guidelines on their usage are provided on the Links help page.

Links to other articles should only be created when they are relevant to the content, and will be helpful and informative to the reader. Creating too many links can distract the reader and make the article hard to read; some readers are likely to pause on each link to determine whether the link is of interest. Be sure that any link you add will help readers and be used by readers. You should avoid creating duplicate links in an article. A link can be repeated if it last appeared in a previous section (since many readers will not read all sections of a page), but there is hardly ever a reason to link to the same article more than once in the same section.

Cross-wiki links should be used sparingly, and only when the content of the page or information pertaining to the page may be found on another wiki.


See Also