Help:Manual of Style

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The Manual of Style is a short primer describing the policies for creating and writing Wiki articles on the site. It is highly recommended that these be followed, as these explain the format we want to use on the Wiki. Not following these policies does not lead to any punishment however, as they are not rules.

General

  • Use the "Preview" button before saving a page.
  • Follow the format of existing pages as much as possible.
  • Use proper English, preferably American English.
  • Don't use internet shorthand.
  • Test your wiki code in multiple browsers if possible!
  • Add a descriptive summary, as appropriate, when editing a page.

Talk pages

The talk page of each article is useful for discussion on the article itself. If you must note that you're not done with the content of the article, for example, then do not reference that point inline within the article itself, but make a note of it in the article's talk page (an exception to this is using the Todo template). Some uses for the talk page include noting editors of information about the content and asking for opinions. They are not for the general discussion of the article subject, however, unless that discussion is useful for gaining information on the subject.

When using the talk page, sign each of your posts with two dashes and then four tildes, like so: "--~~~~". Note that you should never do this in regular articles. When starting a new discussion, use the + link at the top of the page and add a description of the discussion topic as the title.

Talk pages are declared to have a less strict standard on language than regular articles. The style guidelines don't have to be as closely followed, as talk pages are a social exchange of ideas. Just so long as words are comprehensible, talk pages are more open in how words may be portrayed.

Description Code

Comment topic


discussion content --Digiku talk 17:45, 9 December 2007 (PST)

reply --DarkWarrior Talk • Contribs 17:50, 9 December 2007 (PST)

==Comment topic==
discussion content --~~~~

reply --~~~~

Article and section titles

Conciseness

Form titles concisely, not conversationally. "How to make a NiGHTS map" is conversational and unacceptable, while "NiGHTS tutorial" is concise and a more acceptable way of forming the title.

Singular vs. plural

For article titles, the general rule is that singular titles are for informational pages, while plural titles are for lists. For example, "Linedef" would refer to the Linedef page, which explains what a linedef is all about in map structure. "Linedefs", on the other hand, would refer to the Linedef types page, which is the list of linedef specials that exist in SRB2. Here are some other examples of hypothetical differences between article names:

  • "Level" - An article explaining what a level is in SRB2.
  • "Levels" - A list of levels in SRB2.
  • "Cutscene" - An article on the structure of a Cutscene SOC block.
  • "Cutscenes" - A list of cutscenes that are available in SRB2.
  • "WAD editor" - An article describing what a typical WAD editor does.
  • "WAD editors" - A list of WAD editors that exist.
  • "Level header" - An article detailing the structure of a level header.
  • "Level headers" - A list of level headers that SRB2 uses.

When a page is both informational and a list, the priority is given to the purpose that is more prominent. For example, the page WAD editors explains in brief what a WAD editor is, but its main purpose is that of a list. Therefore, the plural is used for the title. When in doubt (which shouldn't be often), use singular.

If only one of the two forms in used, you can also create a redirect page for the singular to point to the plural, or vice versa:

#REDIRECT [[WAD editors]]

Capitalization

In article and section titles, capitalize only the first letter of the first word and of proper nouns. The same goes for template and category names. Examples of proper nouns in an SRB2 context are level names, the names of programs, and certain game-specific terms such as "Special Stage", "Chaos Emerald", or "Object".

An exception is made for the names of Thing/linedef/sector types, which are capitalized like book titles, i.e. every word except "to", prepositions, articles and conjunctions (unless they are more than four letters long or the last word of the title) is capitalized.

Test pages

When making test content that's not ready for real articles, you can create a page as a "folder" in your user page. This helps keep the main namespace clean. To create such a new page, simply enter its hypothetical address into the title bar and you will be prompted to create it.

Section header levels

When heading page sections, start with the second header level, like so: ==Header==, and then progressing downward. Don't use the first level to start heading, as that's reserved for the article title. Also, don't skip header levels.

Disambiguation terms

Titles can be accompanied by disambiguation terms, encased in parentheses. For example, "Crawla (Blue)" is the page about the blue Crawla. "Crawla (Red)" is the article about its red variation. The main use of disambiguation terms is to differentiate one page from another if their title is the same.

Article content

Images

Use whatever format works best. PNG files are the best choice for most SRB2 graphics. This is typical:

Code Result
[[Image:Title.png|frame|Image caption]]
Image caption

Tutorials

Tutorials can consist of both prose and step-by-step instructions. For prose, use paragraphs. For steps, use bullet points (or unordered lists). Make sure to not only give instructions, but also to explain the logic behind them. The Zone Builder tutorial is an example of such a tutorial.

Description Code

Making a level is tricky, but fun. Here's how you do it:

  • step 1
  • step 2
    • step 2 note
  • step 3
Making a level is tricky, but fun. Here's how you do it: 

* step 1
* step 2
** step 2 note
* step 3

It's helpful to incorporate images into the tutorial, as well.

Game version

Concentrate on writing articles for the latest version of SRB2 (Version 2.1), not any future or past versions. In development should consist of information relating to future SRB2 versions. Information regarding past versions of SRB2 should be included in their respective article (e.g. Demo 4 for information on Demo 4). Versions 1.08, 1.09.4 and 2.0 have a separate namespace dedicated to them. Articles that pertain only to these versions should be included in their respective namespace. For example, the list of levels in 1.09.4 can be found under 1.09.4:Levels, while the list of levels in the current version can be found under Levels.

Writing on mod-specific features is reserved to their respective articles (e.g. 2.0:SRB2CB) or sub-articles (e.g. 2.0:XSRB2/Levels) normally, but if such information is important enough to include elsewhere, then feel free to include it.

American vs. British English

Since the majority of the SRB2 community lives in the US, American English is the preferred dialect of the Wiki (e.g. "color" instead of "colour".) In fact, editors may even edit British English rules into American English ones unknowingly, so American English is preferred for consistency.

Inserting common templates

Templates, such as

{{{Stub}}}
Warning icon.png This article is a stub. It already has some of the necessary information on this topic, but it could be expanded upon. You can help the SRB2 Wiki and its users by expanding it!

are often used on the site. A list of common templates to use can be found in the when you edit the page, below the page textbox. A complete list can be found in Help:Editing/List of templates.

Add article to a category

Add your page to a category or more if appropriate. This makes searching easier. You can find a list of existing categories here: Special:Categories. Place the code at the very bottom of the article.

[[Category:Categoryname]]

However, you should first check what kind of article is using the category already - for example Category:Single Player levels is only for articles about Single Player levels in SRB2 itself, specifically, not for any level-related articles. The idea is if users want a simple "unpolluted" list of Single Player levels, they will go to the category.

Citing sources

Most of the SRB2 Wiki documents content in SRB2 itself, so no sources need to be cited. However, there are some exceptions, such as the In development article, where citations of other sources are needed.

If the source is an IRC log, it should be placed here, and the reference formatted as such in the article:

<ref>[[SRB2Fun/IRC logs#{Insert name of the IRC log here}|IRC log]]</ref>

If the source is an external website, then the format is as follows:

<ref>[{insert URL of forum post here} Forum post]</ref>

The <ref> tags should come immediately after the place in the article where the citation is meant to be placed. The source will automatically appear at the bottom of the page once the article has been saved.

At the bottom of the page, <references /> will display a list of all the references.

Templates

Templates have their own style rules. See Help:Editing/Templates for more information. Remember that it's best to look at existing templates to see how they're formatted!

Capitalization and proper nouns

Proper nouns are capitalized. In some cases, it's obvious what is and what isn't a proper noun. Names of people, games, and levels are proper nouns, for instance. "Meadow Match Zone" and "SSNTails" are both proper nouns. However, the designation of "proper noun" is a little hazy in some areas. The general rule is that game-specific entities are capitalized when they use terms that have a different meaning outside the context of the game, e.g., "Object" or "Thing". Below is a list of terms that are considered proper nouns and are therefore always capitalized:

  • Names of game modes, gametypes and level types (e.g., Single Player, Record Attack, Match, NiGHTS, Special Stage)
    • Note: The term "single player" has two different meanings. When referring to the gametype, it is capitalized (e.g., "Single Player"). When referring to the portion of the game that is played alone (as opposed to "multiplayer"), it is not capitalized (e.g., "single player").
  • File formats and scripting languages (e.g., WAD, SOC, Lua)
  • Names of enemies and items that are specific to the Sonic franchise (e.g., Crawla, Jetty-Syn, Eggman, Chaos Emerald, Star Post)
  • Established game-specific entities, to differentiate from the normal meaning of the term (e.g., Axis, Object, Thing)

Depicting commands and internal names

Always enclose console commands, technical terms, and SOC names in <code> tags, e.g.: <code>objectplace</code>.

SRB2 screenshots

A good example of a screenshot to be taken for the Wiki.

In all cases, SRB2 screenshots should be taken in Software mode, in any aspect-correct resolution; in other words, the resolutions of 320x200, 640x400, 960x600, and 1280x800. Software mode is the only supported rendering mode in SRB2, and thus gives the best representation of the game as it was intended to be seen. Aspect-correctness is mandatory, as non aspect-correct resolutions often feature oddities in the Head-Up Display, or other rendering quirks that do not occur normally.

OpenGL screenshots are discouraged unless the image covers a topic pertaining to that render. If Software screenshots can't be taken for whatever reason, GR_FILTERMODE must be set to 0, or Nearest. OpenGL-specific glitches must not be prevalent and/or obvious in screenshots.

SRB2 screenshots should always be taken in the official release of the game, unless the content in question is a modification with a custom executable.

Animated movies

For an animated movie taken with SRB2's included movie mode, GIF mode is preferred, and should be used unless this is otherwise impossible (for example, in OpenGL mode). Animated PNGs should not be used normally, as they are not a widely supported format and tend to be larger in size in any case.

For animated GIFs, the game's internal optimization and downscaling options should be turned on unless they are causing relevant information to be removed from the image. These options result in smaller image filesizes, which means less load on the server.

Using abbreviations and other shorthands

Using abbreviations and shorthands, such as "GFZ", is acceptable, provided that the unabbreviated term is specified first. When using abbreviations, specify the abbreviated term right next to the unabbreviated term, e.g.: "Greenflower Zone Act 1, abbreviated as GFZ1, is the first act of Greenflower Zone, the first zone in Sonic Robo Blast 2." Once the abbreviated term has been introduced in this way, it can be used freely for the rest of the article.

An exception to this rule is when the abbreviated term is easily and obviously implied. "SRB2", "WAD" and "SRB2MB" are all good examples. However, this only applies to pages where the subject matter is not about the abbreviated term itself. For example, the Sonic Robo Blast 2 article begins with: "Sonic Robo Blast 2, abbreviated as SRB2, is a computer fangame based on the Sonic the Hedgehog series." In other articles, you can simply use "SRB2" without introducing the abbreviation first.

A good idea is to make page redirects for the abbreviated term so the reader can search the term and then be redirected to the full article. SRB2, for instance, redirects to Sonic Robo Blast 2.

Self-referencing the SRB2 Wiki

Self-referencing the SRB2 Wiki is inappropriate in main articles. However, there are some places, such as within these documentations, where it's indeed acceptable. In such pages, where formality is preferred, it shall be referred to as "SRB2 Wiki" first, and then "Wiki" subsequently. "Wiki" by itself is still capitalized. In looser instances, such as within talk pages, just "Wiki" can be used.

Line breaks

Manual line breaks, which are made with the <br /> tag, should generally be avoided. They are acceptable when there is no other way to create a line break, such as within templates or tables, but they should not be used otherwise. Specifically, do not use line breaks for layout purposes, for examples to move a paragraph of text below an image or template. Use the Clear template in this situation.

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