PESWiki:Talk page guidelines

Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 14, 2016 at 9:12 pm.

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The purpose of a PESWiki There was an error working with the wiki: Code[9] is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article or project page.

When writing on a talk page, certain approaches are counterproductive,

while others facilitate good editing. The prime values of the talk page

are communication, courtesy and consideration. The following list is

designed to help PESWikins use talk pages effectively.

Central points

Maintain PESWiki policy

A talk page is research for the article, and the policies that apply to articles also apply to talk pages. Research and debate should meet the same standards of PW:V AND PW:OR. There is reasonable allowance for speculation, suggestion and personal knowledge with a view to prompting further investigation, but it is a serious misuse of a talk page to continue to argue any point that has not met policy requirements.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[10] and treat the other person in the discussion as a fellow editor, who is a thinking, feeling person, trying to contribute positively to PESWiki, just like you - unless, of course, you have objective proof to the contrary, which can be validated by a third party. Someone's disagreeing with you is no such proof!

Pay particular attention to There was an error working with the wiki: Code[23]:

:''Editors should remove any negative material about living persons that is either unsourced, relies upon sources that do not meet standards specified in There was an error working with the wiki: Code[24], or is a conjectural interpretation of a source.

How to use article talk pages

Communicate: If in doubt, make the extra effort so that other people understand you and you get a proper understanding of others. Being friendly is a great help. It is always a good idea to explain your views it is less helpful for you to voice an opinion on something and not explain why. Giving an opinion helps in convincing others and reaching consensus.

Keep on topic: Talk pages are not for general conversation. Keep discussions on the topic of how to improve the associated article. Irrelevant discussions are subject to removal.

Be positive: Article talk pages should be used for ways to improve an article, not to criticize, pick apart, or vent about the current status of an article. However, if you feel something is wrong, but aren't sure how to fix it, then by all means feel free to draw attention to this and ask for suggestions from others.

Stay objective: Talk pages are not a forum for editors to argue their own different points of view about controversial issues. They are a forum to discuss how the different points of view obtained from secondary sources should be included in the article, so that the end result which may mean including conflicting viewpoints). The best way to present a case is to find properly referenced material. (For an alternative forum for personal opinions, see the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[25] proposal.)

Deal with facts: The talk page is the ideal place for all issues relating to PW:V. This includes asking for help to find sources, comparing contradictory facts from different sources, and examining the reliability of references. Asking for a verifiable reference to support a statement is often better than arguing against it.

Share material: The talk page can be used to store material from the article which has been removed because it is not verified, so that time can be given for references to be found. New material can sometimes be prepared on the talk page until it is ready to be put into the article.

Discuss edits: The talk page is particularly useful to talk about edits. If one of your edits has been reverted, and you change it back again, it is good practice to leave an explanation on the talk page and a note in the edit summary that you have done so. The talk page is also the place to ask about another editor's changes. If someone queries one of your edits, make sure you reply with a full, helpful rationale.

Make proposals: New proposals for the article can be put forward for discussion by other editors if you wish. Proposals might include changes to specific details, page moves, merges or making a section of a long article into a separate article.

Good practice

PESWiki:Sign your posts on talk pages: To sign a post, type four tildes (~~~~), and they will be replaced with your username and time stamp, like this: Reddi 17:27, 25 Dec 2006 (EST). Please note that it is impossible to leave an anonymous comment because your user name or IP address is recorded in the page history.

Avoid shouting: It undermines a reasoned argument with the appearance of force through Italic text, Bolded text, and especially CAPITAL LETTERS, which are considered 'SHOUTING', and 'RANTING!!!!!' Italics, however, can be usefully employed for a key word, to distinguish quoted text from new text and, of course, book titles etc.

Be concise: If your post is longer than 100 words consider shortening it. Long, rambling messages are difficult to understand, and are frequently either ignored or misunderstood. If you need to make a detailed, point by point discussion, see PESWiki:Talk page guidelines for how to lay this out.

Keep the layout clear: Keep the talk page attractively and clearly laid out, and avoid repetition, muddled writing, and unnecessary digressions. Talk pages with a good There was an error working with the wiki: Code[26] are more likely to attract continued participation.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[11]: Many article talk pages contain links to archives, which contain earlier discussions. If you are a new editor to an article, be sure to read them, as they often deal with common content disputes and resolutions to them. You may well find your questions and/or objections have already been answered.

Use English: No matter to whom you are addressing your comments, it is preferred that you use English on English PESWiki talk pages. This is because comments should be comprehensible to the community at large. If the use of another language is unavoidable, please provide a translation of the comments if possible or on request. If you cannot, it is your responsibility to either find a fluent third party to do so or to contact a translator through the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[27].

How to vote: Some pages invite you to vote on a topic. Add your vote as a bullet () underneath the relevant topic and bold (''') your actual vote. Your vote will typically not carry much weight unless you include your rationale for making it. Make sure to sign your post (~~~~), as described above.

===Behavior that is unacceptable=== Please note that the following are

of sufficient importance to be official PESWiki policy. Violations

(and especially repeated violations) may lead to the offender being

banned from PESWiki.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[12] A personal attack is saying something negative about another person. This mainly means:

No insults: Don't make There was an error working with the wiki: Code[28] attacks, such as calling someone an idiot or a fascist. Instead, explain what is wrong

with an edit and how to fix it. Don't threaten people: For example, threatening people with "admins you know" or having them banned for disagreeing with you.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[13]: Threatening a lawsuit is highly disruptive to PESWiki, for reasons gone into at the linked page.

Never post personal details: Users who post what they believe are the personal details of other users without their consent may be blocked for any length of time, including indefinitely.

Don't misrepresent other people: The record should accurately show significant exchanges that took place, and in the right context. This usually means:

Don't edit others' comments: Refrain from editing others' comments without their permission (with the exception of prohibited material such as libel and personal details). It is not necessary to bring talk pages to publishing standards, so there is no need to correct typing errors, grammar, etc. It tends to irritate the users whose comments you are correcting. Never edit someone's words to change their meaning.

Unsigned comments:You are allowed to append There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[2], and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[3] to the end of someone's comment if they have failed to sign it. The form is There was an error working with the wiki: Code[4], which results in —The preceding PESWiki:Sign your posts on talk pages comment was added by USER NAME OR IP (There was an error working with the wiki: Code[14]There was an error working with the wiki: Code[15]) There was an error working with the wiki: Code[5]}..

Don't change your text: Obviously you can edit or delete your own words, while you are still composing the initial text, but afterwards, you should not do so, as this will put others' comments in a different context. Even if no one has replied, someone may still have read what you have written &mdash so think before you speak! If you wish to amend your statement, use strike-through or a place holder to show it is a retrospective alteration. Strike-through looks like this and ends up like this.

An apologetic exception: If you wish to retract a negative comment in the interests of harmony, insert a placeholder in the text such as, "[Thoughtless and stupid comment removed by the author.]", so your fellow editors' irritated responses still make sense. In turn, they may then wish to replace their reply with something like, "[Irritated response to deleted comment removed. Apology accepted.]"

===Disputes=== If you are having a disagreement or a problem with

someone's behavior, please read There was an error working with the wiki: Code[29].

Technical and format standards


'''Answer a post

underneath it''': Then the next post will go underneath yours and so on. This makes it easy to see the chronological order of posts. The one at the bottom is the latest.

Separate multiple points with whitespace: If a single post has several points, it makes it clearer to separate them with a paragraph break (i.e. a blank line).

Indent your post: This makes it easy to see that you are a different user to the previous post. Any indentation system is acceptable. The important thing is that the sequence of talk should be easy to follow. There are two main systems:

1) Each post indents by one regardless of user: The thread starts as above, but each new post is indented by one extra colon (:), regardless who made the post. When the post is indented too far, the next post can start at the left margin again, marked (Unindent). Sometimes a post in this system will develop its own sub tree to discuss a particular response in more detail.

2) Each user has a specific indentation: The first contributor is all the way to the left, the following person starts with one colon (:), and the one after starts with two colons (::) and the one after with three colons (:::) and so on. Then, when the first contributor responds, they start at the left margin again, and the second, third and fourth persons continue to mark themselves with one, two and three colons respectively. Each user's posts are vertically aligned. However, this system tends to break down when there are many different contributors, as there are only a few usable indentation levels.

New topics and headings on talk pages

See also There was an error working with the wiki: Code[16].

Start new topics at the bottom of the page: If you put a post at the top of the page, it is confusing and can also get easily overlooked. The latest topic should be the one at the bottom of the page.

Make a new heading for a new topic: It will then be clearly separated into its own There was an error working with the wiki: Code[17] and will also appear in the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[18] (table of contents) at the top of the page. A heading is easy to create with == either side of the words, as in == Heading ==. The "Post a comment" feature can be used to do this automatically. (If you're using the default There was an error working with the wiki: Code[30], you can use the "+" tab next to the "Edit this page" tab instead.) Enter a subject/heading in the resulting edit page, and it will automatically become the section heading.

Keep headings on topicsrelated to the article. It should be clear from the heading whichaspect of the article you wish to discuss.

Keep headings neutral: A heading should indicate what the topic is, but not communicate a specific view about it.

Don't praise in headings: You may wish to commend a particular edit, but this could be seen in a different light by someone who disagrees with the edit!

Don't be critical in headings: This includes being critical about details of the article. Those details were written by individual editors, who may experience the heading as an attack on them.

Never address other users in a heading: A heading should invite all editors to respond to the subject addressed.

Section headings appear in edit summaries: This happens automatically. If you add your own particular edit summary

after it, other users can see what section you have posted in.

An example of good practice: If your problem with the article There was an error working with the wiki: Code[31] is that it states that "All dinosaurs walked on two legs," do not write a heading on the talk page: "This article is completely wrong and stupid," or, "Morons think all dinosaurs walk on two legs," or even "All dinosaurs did not walk on two legs." Rather, attempt to make your headings welcoming to those you disagree with. Try, "Did all dinosaurs walk on two legs?", "Dinosaur locomotion", or, "Brontosauri walked on four legs". This will make it easy for people to address that issue. Note that, due to the above rule, the heading you choose will appear in the watchlists of everyone who is watching the page, each time someone contributes to that section. A heading that piques interest

tends to draw more people into the discussion.


Feel free to ignore typographical conventions: Do what you need to to make your points clear. The PESWiki:Manual of Style is for articles. However, please note the following point:

Avoid HTML markup: Use of HTML markup where equivalent wikimarkup works fine is frowned upon, except the use of &#60s&#62 (strike-through) operator for retracting parts of your own posts that have since been superseded, as stated above. (Using &#60s&#62 on another user's posts is covered by "Don't misrepresent other people", above.)

Substitution: Although you may help to There was an error working with the wiki: Code[19] warnings on user talk pages, it is not recommended and is also quite tedious for the average human, which is why there are PW:BOT that do the job. (See There was an error working with the wiki: Code[32]).

Links, time and page name

Make links freely: Links to articles are as useful on talk pages as anywhere else, and links to non-existent articles can help get them onto the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[20] list.

Use UTC when referring to a time, e.g. the time of an edit or page move.

When mentioning the name of the page, cite the current name: This applies when a page is moved (i.e. retitled). In such a case, the Talk page is usually also moved. If you continue to use the old name, it will be confusing, especially for new editors to the article.

When pages get too long

Archive &mdash don't delete: When

a talk page has become too large or a particular subject is no longer being discussed, don't delete the content &mdash archive it. Here's how:

Create a new page (see Help:Starting a new page and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[33] for details).

Place the page in a talk or PESWiki talk namespace. Give it a suitable name: usually this is simply by adding "archive" to the original name.

Explain on the archive page where the text you plan to archive will come from and provide a link.

Cut the relevant content from the original page and paste it into the new page.

Replace the text on the original page with a link to the archive.

Sometimes you may find it suitable to leave a summary of the discussion on the talk page and provide a link to the full text in the archive.

Summarize ("refactor"): See There was an error working with the wiki: Code[34] for details on why and how to refactor talk pages.

Template talk page

One exception to the style guideline is the template talk page. This is because the talk page usually functions as two pages, so it's recomended to use level 1 headers to separate the issues. Example: =Documentation= =Discussion= or = Documentation = = Discussion =

The primary reason for doing this is that using section=new will create a level 2 heading, and it's preferable to separate discussion and documentation so a new comment is placed under discussion. See also There was an error working with the wiki: Code[6].

See also


There was an error working with the wiki: Code[35] There was an error working with the wiki: Code[36]

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[21]

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[22]