Discworld MUD Wiki:General Formatting

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This General Formatting article documents standard formatting practices for the wiki. Users are encouraged to view this page as an ever-evolving community resource and not hard rules. Focus on the fun of adding content first and someone can always come along later to fuss with formatting.

Please note that edits have to respect the Discworld MUD Wiki:Policy.

If a new article is really empty put a Stub template, but small articles are fine too. Sometimes you really can't think what more you could add, then don't add the stub template.

For merging pages or thinking on how to arrange things better, please use the various talk pages or if it's something more general the Talk:Main Page.

Introductory Concepts

So, you want to edit the wiki. You've intuited the use of the "edit" tab at the top of every page but your palms get sweaty just thinking about selecting it. Let's fix that!

In order to edit you must have an account on the wiki. The Login/Create Account page should give you a list of users to contact on the mud who have the permissions to create one for you.

Once you have your account it's time to select the edit tab and fix that thing that's bothered you. If the page is long and the content you want to edit is contained within a section of the page you can select the "edit" link beside the relevant section header.

Before you submit:

  • Summarize your changes in the Summary field. Even if you add or remove just a single letter, properly documenting your update can help future editors utilizing the page's "history" tab.
  • Decide if your edit is a major or minor edit. Selecting the "This is a minor edit" tick box is another way of increasing the ability to quickly scan and understand updates on the history tab. A minor edit tends to be correcting typos or adding markup to words. A major edit tends to be updating or adding new information. Just use your best judgement as your summary will always be more useful.
  • Copy the updated content and, if you're paranoid or have been working for a while, paste it somewhere safe. Besides potential issues of disconnection or disaster on the user's end, sometimes the wiki goes down. This is the most paranoiac and potentially unnecessary step but keep in mind that Stuff Happens.
  • Preview your changes with the Show preview button. Usually a tiny change is no big deal... until you realize you deleted an important character that dramatically changed the formatting. Better to be overly cautious and Always Be Previewing. Previewing also can act as a "save point" to a limited extent, in that sometimes preview data can be recovered by a browser upon refresh and, depending upon your browser settings, the Summary field history is saved upon submission. We do not recommend drafting this way, but it's still useful to know if the wiki decides to go down before you can hit "Save page". Previewing also helps keep the volume of edits down. Even the "best" editors have submitted a major edit and re-read it only to find a typo. Or two. Don't worry too much though if you spot the typo after hitting the "Save Page" button, that happens to most of us, just edit it again.

Words and formatting

The words and expressions as they appear on the mud are preferred, so when the mud uses 'armour' that is preferred to 'armor'. Sometimes the mud is inconsistent, sometimes it changes later. This is all evolving.

It is preferred to have one (1) space between sentences because it makes editing a tiny microscopic bit easier, but it will not show up when displaying the rendered article.

If you put things on different lines but without an empty line it will display as if there was no line break. It is better to keep things on the same line or put an empty line in between or use lists.

Most of the time spaces don't matter, but in tables it can.

In tables try to keep it consistent, but it should look like this:

{| class="wikitable sortable"
|-
! Header column 1 !! Header column 2
|-
| Wossname 1 || Wossname 2
|}
  • The lines that start with ! are headers. They don't move when sorting and are in bold.
  • Note that there is not a |- at the end. That would be wrong, though it usually does not show.
  • If the table is big you'll probably want to repeat the header (by copying it) at the bottom.
  • It usually does not matter if you have a space before/after the || but try to keep it the same over the table or sorting might not work right.
  • If you start a line with the date for the columns with |-35 and then column items it will break things because |- is for changing lines.

Naming articles

A page name for a character, armour, or weapon would be the same as their short name on the MUD. Except for the beginning when it's "a pair of", you cut that off. Redirects should be made for other, less formal names. This can be done by creating a new page for the informal name with the code #REDIRECT [[Primary Article]], replacing "Primary Article" with the relevant destination.

Player shops should be created with the same name that is on the rental agreement (the address of the shop), as shop names can change.

If there's more than one page that would end up with the same name we add words in parenthesis, ex. short sword (custom), to differentiate them. But this looks horrible, if at all possible avoid doing this.

Opening sentence

The opening sentence of every article should include the article title to the best of your ability, formatted in [[internal link]] or '''bold'''. Internal links used to reference the current article simply display as bold text when the page is viewed directly but links to the page if the page is transcluded anywhere. Leave any parenthesis from the article name out of this sentence, ex. the "Katana (custom weapon)" article name could be introduced with something like, "A custom katana differs from..."

Markup

Markup is wiki code used to format content. While the wiki can handle html if you must, markup is far easier to read and keeps the wiki uniform.

The Discworld MUD Wiki runs on the Mediawiki framework, much like Wikipedia. These outside sources provide thorough references for editors:

Keep in mind that due to version and template differences, some markup may differ or not exist from these links.

When commenting on a Talk (Discussion) page or in certain Research scenarios, please remember to sign your comments with -~~~~, which will look something like: -Kymtastic (talk) 18:11, 6 March 2020 (EST)

Enjoy some basic markup for your perusal and reference:

Text Formatting
Description Input Output
Italic ''italic'' italic
Bold '''bold''' bold
Bold & Italic '''''bold & italic'''''

bold & italic

Escape Markup <nowiki>no [[wiki]] ''markup''</nowiki> no [[wiki]] ''markup''
Bullet list
* Line breaks <br />don't break levels.
** More asterisks give deeper
*** and deeper levels.
  • Line breaks
    don't break levels.
    • More asterisks give deeper
      • and deeper levels.
Numbered list
# Line breaks <br />don't break levels.
## More number signs give deeper
### and deeper levels.
  1. Line breaks
    don't break levels.
    1. More number signs give deeper
      1. and deeper levels.
Definition
;item 1
: definition 1
item 1
definition 1
Indent
: Single indent
:: Double indent
::::: Multiple indent
Single indent
Double indent
Multiple indent
Link Formatting
Description Input Output
Internal Links
Internal Link
[[Main Page]]
[[Special:Categories]]
Main Page

Special:Categories

Piped Link
[[Special:Categories|List of all Categories]]
[[#Templates|Go to section on same page]]
List of all Categories

Go to section on same page

Pipe Trick
(skips namespace)
[[User:Kymtastic|]]
Kymtastic
Suffixing Links
[[Time]]s
Times
Link to Category
[[:Category:Items]]
Category:Items
Link to File
[[:File:Am.png]]
File:Am.png
External Links
External Link
[https://mediawiki.org MediaWiki]
MediaWiki
Numbered External Link
(please avoid in favor of <ref> tag)
[https://mediawiki.org]
[1]
Ref tag
The <ref> </ref> tag is preferred in place of numbered external links. Text within the ref tags is not shown in-line and instead will populate wherever <references /> is placed. On this wiki, that would be under a header titled "References" near the foot of the page. For more information and examples, see Wikimedia's citation page.
Images
Images are essentially an internal link preceded by the "File" namespace, ex. [[File:example.jpg|caption]]. For more information and examples, see Wikimedia's images page.
Tables
Tables can get a little complicated to explain, so we'll leave it to Wikipedia's table page.

Quoting the MUD

There are several ways to quote things so it stands out, so the text characters are all the same width and so line breaks can show as is. Try to use the method that's optimal.

The simplest way is to just add one space before each line (also add a space for empty lines). This can be tedious for long spans of text, so the next method can be used.

This is a test!

These lines have a space at the start. (Even the one in the middle.)

For descriptions and other things from the mud with multiple lines (or text maps) that you'd rather not modify to add a space at the start of every line, you can use:

<pre>
Quoted text here!
</pre>

However, if you want to put coloured text (and who doesn't occasionally!) then <pre> will not work. {{Prebox}} allows you to use wiki markup such as links, bolding, italicizing, etc.

  • Unfortunately, if there's | characters then you need to replace those with | or it will remove everything after the first |.

You can use <code>stuff</code> for MUD commands/syntax in the middle of sentences without changing lines. Italic, bold, and "quotes" have been used in the past - quotes break up the sentence more so code looks better and stands out more.

Page layouts by content type

It is strongly recommended to copy the data from an existing page of the type you want to create and be sure to update all the data, removing the information that does not apply or that you do not have.

To do so, open an existing page of the type you want to create, enter the edit tab, copy the code into an editor, make the changes for the new page, open the new page you want to create and paste your modified code.

There are some example pages, but if there are differences between examples and actual pages it is the actual pages that are more up-to-date.

Important: Never remove lines from a template! Just leave the lines you cannot fill right now as empty.

Don't stress if things break, someone will fix it when they see it.

Items

Some items, such as blue water or lockpicks, do not currently have a template. Recommended headings include: Location/Obtaining, Use, Effects, Types. These misc items should be included in [[Category:Items]] or a relevant Items subcategory.

Armour

Use the armour formatting page as a guideline. A Category is unnecessary, as the armour infobox will automatically assign one based on the coverage type(s).

Weapons

Follow the basic steps for adding weapons to the wiki, such as weighing, measuring, judging, etc. Use the weapon formatting page as a guideline. Adding a Category is unnecessary, as the weapon infobox will automatically assign one based on the weapon type.

Locations

Player Shop

Use the player shop formatting page as a guideline.

Terrain

Use the terrain formatting page as a guideline. You will not need to fill in information for every season! Fill in what values you can, or at least create the page and then use the Research tab to list your findings. If you are satisfied that the range of values are correct for a season, you can remove the relevant "<season> needed" template.

Magic

Priest Rituals

Use the ritual formatting page as a guideline.

Wizard Spells

Use the Wizard spell formatting page as a guideline.

Advanced Concepts

Namespaces

Namespaces help organize all wiki content and sometimes come with special properties. You can easily identify a namespace by looking at the URL, as every namespace except (Main) will appear as a prefix in the title, ex. <namespace>:Pagetitle.

Articles about the Discworld MUD itself are under the (Main) namespace, which is the default and therefore does not prefix the title in the URL. The default search on the wiki includes only the (Main) namespace but this can be expanded with an advanced search. Category is another namespace you're probably already familiar with!

Please note that for technical reasons pages in the category namespace should not be articles or long. They should have a brief description and link to the appropriate articles.

Three other frequently used namespaces are Talk, User, and File. Every article has a Discussion link that will create or link to a Talk:Pagetitle page where users can speak at a meta-level about the page and its formatting or information. User namespaces allow editors to sandbox and create personal pages that are linked to their username, which might be signed on a Talk page or documented on a page's history. The File namespace is where all of our uploads live and is a good example of a namespace that gives its page special properties, as you can see. Try to edit the page and you'll find you can only control the file's description! That's because the old file versions and list of pages using the file are automagically generated due to its namespace.

For further information, check out the Wikimedia Namespace Helpfile.

Templates

Templates are essentially shortened code that allow users to plug in variables. For example, some of the more frequent templates an editor might use include:

  • Money Templates - ex. Template:Dollars in use &&&&&&&&&&+20120 A$50.30
  • Link Templates - ex. Devblog links to a Developer Blog post.
  • Template:Fontcolor - Shows text in different colours! You can also hide spoilers: sekret text
  • Template:Prehidden - Hides spoiler-adjacent information, most frequently used to refer to quests. However it takes it's own line and a lot of space, so fontcolor is usually a better choice. Example:
    sekret text
  • Volume Templates - An invisible friend, you won't know they're there until you're using the values in a sortable table and it sorts properly despite different measurements being used!
  • Infoboxes - Usually located at the top right of a page to show quick facts from the article.
  • Navboxes - Usually located at the bottom of a page to help navigate an expansive topic, like pages related to a guild.

When on a template page, using the What Links Here tool (available on the left side of every page when logged in) can allow you to see how others have used the template on older pages. This can be essential, as some templates exist purely to be used in a more all-encompassing template and will look wrong / throw errors on its own. Always preview, but especially when using an unfamiliar template for the first time.

A full list of Templates available on the wiki exists but please be careful in using them for the above reasons. The best advice is to use a template you already see in use in an article, but the full list can be useful when you know there's a relevant template and just can't quite remember the name off the top of your head!

While template use is encouraged, it is recommended that those unfamiliar to wiki editing exercise caution when making changes to templates, as they affect multiple pages.

For further information, check out the Wikimedia Templates Helpfile. Looking up what you intend with a template can be helpful in preventing confusion between expectation and reality. For example, "when a category link is contained in a template, however, [an update to the article's categories] does not happen immediately: instead, whenever a template is edited, all the pages that transclude it are put into the job queue to be recached during periods of low server load" is the kind of detail that isn't intuitive and might lead an editor to think their code was incorrect and make unnecessary panic edits afterward, when the code was sound all along and the wiki simply needed time to process.

Transclusion

Transclusion is the ability to include an article, or portions of an article, into other articles. A page's partial transclusion can be achieved using various include tags:

  • noinclude - Using <noinclude>...</noinclude> will skip the content within the tags when the article is transcluded elsewhere.
  • onlyinclude - Using <onlyinclude>...</onlyinclude> will limit inclusion to the content within the tags and nothing else in the article. This tag can be used multiple times in an article and in combination with the other transclusion tags.
  • includeonly - Using <includeonly>...</includeonly> will include the content within only when the article is transcluded and not on the main article itself!

For further information, check out the Wikimedia Transclusion page.