IBWiki:Guidelines

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Beware of the Dragon!

About Ill Bethisad
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How It All Works
What IB Is and What IB Ain't
Membership of Ill Bethisad
IBWiki Policy
Guidelines for using this wiki
Basic principles

Of course, we should all be nice to each other, respect each others work, respect netiquette, no personal attacks and all that, but that's not what this page is about. It is, however, meant to provide some general guidelines about how to use the possibilities provided by the Wikimedia software that makes this wiki tick.

Contents


Red and Blue Links

One of the nice features of Wikimedia software is this: it allows linking from one article to another article. By placing a word within the article between double square brackets, the word automatically links to an article of that name. If you type

[[Kemr]] is a country in Europe

it comes out as: "Kemr is a country in Europe".

If you want a word in your article to link to an article of a different name, you first write the title of the article you want to link to, followed by a pipe | and then by the word(s) as you want them to appear in the article, all that between double square brackets. The sentence

[[Gorbachenko|Mikhail Gorbachenko]] became [[Rulers of Russia|Russia's new leader]] in 1985

comes out as: "Mikhail Gorbachenko became Russia's new leader in 1985". The keywords "Mikhail Gorbachenko" and "Russia's new leader" now link to the articles Gorbachenko and Rulers of Russia, respectively.

Links to an existing article appear in blue, links to a non-existent article appear in red. We do have an article about Armorica, we don't have one about Aquitania.

Guidelines

  • In general, don't exaggerate with those links. An article without them may look unwikilike, but an article with a link under every third word doesn't look good either.
  • Try to avoid linking to an article in the same text more than once. In a text about the Second Great War, the name Hessler and the country name Germany are likely to occur frequently; in such cases, linking to those articles the first time they are mentioned will do. Of course, there is no harm in linking to them a second and a third time, but don't create links for every occurrence of a word.
  • Be careful with red links. Create a red link only when you really intend to write a fairly decent-sized article under that title, or want someone else to write it. Articles full of red links look bad (like they were copied straight from Wikipedia, perhaps).
  • If you want to link to an existing person, event or whatever, you may consider linking directly to the corresponding Wikipedia article. You can do so by typing, for example:
[[Wikipedia:Julius Caesar|Julius Caesar]] was the leader of the [[Roman Empire]]
which comes out as: "Julius Caesar was the leader of the Roman Empire", and voilà, if you click on Julius Caesar, you will be directed straightly to what Wikipedia has to say about him. You'll notice a slight difference in the shade of blue. Note: a link to a non-existing Wikipedia article appears in blue as well, so you better check if it really exists.

"Special" pages

Disambiguation pages

These can be created when two or more items carry the same name. For example, "Galicia" is the name of a region in Eastern Europe, but also of a region on the Iberian peninsula. To avoid the problem that two pages cannot carry the same name, we have called these two articles Galicia (RTC) and Galicia (Castile-Leon). There is also a page Galicia, which is a disambiguation page: it gives the reader the option to choose between links to both articles.

Disambiguation pages are marked as such by using the tag {{disambiguation}}.

Proposals

An important mechanism in The Way We Work is the so-called Cycle of Proposals". The basic idea behind it is that we create our world in an iterative process that works more or less like this: Proposal ==> Discussion ==> Modification ==> Further Discussion ==> Acceptance or Rejection. If you have written an article you'd like to see approved by the group, you can present it as a proposal by using the {{proposal}} tag.

Obviously, this mechanism fails when there are hundreds of proposals at a time, and nobody takes the effort to discuss them. Therefore, every IB member is kindly asked to skim through the List of Proposals every once in a while. If you disagree with something, please mention it on the talk page, and if possible, come up with an alternative suggestion. There's also no harm in expressing your approval when you dó agree.

A few things to note:

  • First of all, do not launch every idea as an official proposal. If the scope of a new article remains safely within the boundaries of your country/area of expertise, and you know in advance that it doesn't violate QSS, then there's no need for "group approval". If everything we write up needs to be approved by the rest of the group, we'll never get anywhere. Conversely, dó list an idea as a proposal when it touches "the world", or at least the territories of other members. In other words, if you write the bio of an ancient king of your country, don't use the {{proposal}} tag. But if you suddenly remember that there was a devastating war with Russia in the 19th century, then by all means do.
  • The "proposal" status an article should expire at a certain moment. In general, one month is long enough for an article to be on the proposal list. Once it has been there longer than that, the proposal tag should be removed.
  • Of course, certain proposals can stay on the Proposal List longer, for example when they have a very deep impact, or when they touch the realm of a currently inactive member. But even then, a proposal should not remain a proposal forever.
  • Everybody is responsible for his own proposals. After submitting a proposal, please keep track of it, and after a certain period (say, a month or so) remove the tag yourself. If no one has reacted yet and you want to be sure, just mention it in Lla Dafern.
  • Always keep in mind, that even an article that has been deproposed can still be modified or expanded. QSS means that we accept the basics; details can always be discussed, and inconsistencies must always be fixed.

You can also submit an article or an image for deletion by using the {{delete}} tag. If you do so, please explain your reasons on the Talk page of the article in question why you want to delete it (unless the reasons are obvious). Only sysops can physically delete an article. This can be treated as a proposal, too. And just like there is a List of Proposals, there is also a List of Articles that have been Nominated for Deletion. Please look it through sometimes; if you object against an article being deleted, please make that clear on the Talk page.

Redirects

A redirect is a page that does not contain any data, but redirects you automatically to another article. For example, the page Holy Roman Empire points straightly towards another page called Germany. You can make one in the same way you start a normal article. Using the HRE as an example, the content of a redirect looks like this:

#REDIRECT [[Germany]].

Creating a redirect is recommendable when:

Avoid creating redirects when none of the above is the case. There's no point in creating a redirect when:

  • you think it might come in handy once (in that case it will be created once the need for it becomes obvious);
  • it won't probably be used in more than one or two articles; in that situation, you better check for the correct title and link to it;
  • Wikipedia would have done the same. For example, in wikipedia the English language is usually referred to as English language, because the word "English" can also be an adjective. We don't do that: we simply refer to it as English, and there is no need for a redirect from English language.

Source material

We have two tags that can be used to indicate that the contents of a page or a section are source material. There are to kinds of source material, each of them with its own tag:

  • {{source}} is used for text from the real world that has not been adapted yet to IB. In most cases, it has been imported directly from Wikipedia.
  • {{ibsource}} is used for all kinds of rough material (notes, fragments of e-mail exchanges and the like) that is accepted IB material but not yet written up in article form.

Stubs

Stubs are, in short, Very Short Articles That Need To Be Expanded. They give a shortish description of a subject under the motto: "better two sentences than nothing at all". Ideally, they replace a red link in another article with some provisory data in cases where an explanation would be in place. Thus, they serve as a "footnote" to, or an extension piece of, another article. A stub is by definition something that requires expansion.

We used to have a special template for stubs, the {{stub}} tag, but at some point we decided that it would be silly to provide articles of one or two lines with a special warning that the article in question was a Very Short one. And a special warning that the text is not complete yet makes little sense either, since essentially all our articles can be expanded continuously. If you want to be explicit about the article not being finished yet, better use the {{workinprogress}} tag. Remember however, that the purpose of that tag is mainly to warn people that you are currently working on it, so it shouldn't stick around for longer than a week or so.

A few remarks regarding Very Short Articles:

  1. Try to avoid creating them when it is easy to have the same text in another, existing article, where it will probably look better anyway.
  2. An article must at least contain some information. Don't create articles, which don't contain info can't be found elsewhere and that probably won't ever get expanded either. That means, articles like "X is a province of Y", "X is the capital Y", "X was a king of Y" really shouldn't be here, unless you indend to flesh them out soon. In such cases, it is better make a list of provinces or kings on the country page, or when the latter becomes too long, create an article "Provinces of country X" or "Kings of country X".
  3. Also, avoid creating pages that contain only a template.

Articles like the ones mentioned under #2 and #3 will be at some point be submitted for deletion, if they haven't been expanded after a long time. Remember, a smaller number of nice-looking, well-elaborated pages looks a lot better than hundreds of pages with little or no information at all. Pages like that make us look bad in the eyes of the occasional visitor, while they are of little or no value to ourselves.

Categories

Categories are one of the frameworks that hold together the materials on the Wiki. Links are used to direct the interest of the reader from the topic at hand to an interesting diversion; categories are used to bind several articles of a kind or type together under a single overall heading. See the article on how to use Categories for more help.

Other tags

There are a few other tags, too. You can see them on Templates for user messages#Standard texts. On the same page, you will also find instructions about how to use templates and how to make new ones.

Images

It is always good to remember that we are only guests on this server. Images and sound files and the like are nice additions to an article and should definitely not be discouraged, but we should also try to keep the space they occupy as limited as possible. Therefore:

  • Downsize your images as much as possible, and use formats that require less space.
  • You can also link to images outside this wiki. If you have your own webspace, you can always link to an image uploaded there. The only visible difference is that you cannot manipulate the size in which it is presented in an article.
  • If you want to replace an image with a newer version, do not upload it separately, but use the "Upload a new version of this file" feature on the description page of the current version.
  • If you upload an image, please make sure that it is used in some article(s). If you want it deleted, please use the {{delete}} tag to nominate it for deletion.

About making and uploading flags

Please do not take flags, in toto or elements thereof, from the "Flags of the World" websites. These are not open source. If you can't find a free-of-use image to illustrate a flag (or any other images for that matter) just ask Marc Pasquin or any of the other list members that are interested in infography instead.

Note to sysops

If you delete an image, never use the "delete" tab the way you are used to when deleting other pages; doing that, you only delete the file description page, but not the image itself. Instead, use the "delete all revisions of this file" option under "File history" to delete the image properly.

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