Help:Talk Pages

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The second tab at the top of a RomanceWiki page says discussion. This will take you to the talk page for the article or user. The purpose of a talk page is to provide space to discuss changes to the article or to communicate with the particular user. Also see specific discussion of Article Talk Pages and User Talk Pages.

Sign Your Posts

Put your user name and the date of your comment at the end of the comment. To sign the comment, type four tildes (~~~~). You can also choose the button above the edit box that looks like handwriting (to the right of the red "No Wiki" button), and this will insert --~~~~ for you. The tildes will be replaced with your username and time stamp, like this: Romancewiki 03:44 Feb 17, 2003 (UTC).

Please note that it is impossible to leave an anonymous comment because your user name or IP address is recorded in the page history, but it is much better to have your user name and the date of your comment so people can follow the thread of a discussion.

Other Good Practices

  • 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.
  • Keep the layout clear: Keep the talk page attractively and clearly laid out. See below for how the lay out works on a talk page.
  • Make links freely: Links to articles are as useful on talk pages as anywhere else.
  • Archive — 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 — archive it. See How to archive a talk page for details on why and how to.
  • Read the archives: Some talk pages contain links to archives, which contain earlier discussions. If you are a new editor to an article, you may find information in the archives. See How to archive a talk page on Wikipedia.
  • Centralized discussion: Avoid posting the same thread in multiple forums. This fragments discussion of the idea, creating discussions in separate places with no interchange of ideas. This is rarely desirable, and leads to redundant effort and wasted time for editors to search for discussions and repeat themselves. Instead, solicit discussion in only one location and if needed advertise that discussion in other locations using a link back to the talk page you have chosen.
    • If you find a fragmented discussion, you can go ahead and move all posts to one of the locations, removing them from the other locations and adding a link.
  • Be welcoming to newcomers: People new to the wiki world may be unfamiliar with policy and conventions. If someone does something against custom or style, assume it was an unwitting mistake. Politely and gently point out their mistake, reference the relevant policy/guideline/help pages (if there is one), and suggest a better approach.
  • Consider How It Sounds: Like e-mail, your tone of voice, facial expressions, and general demeanor are not conveyed in a talk page comment. Also, sometimes the translation from brain to page is not quite as straight-forward as you might hope. It is important that you use the "Show preview" button before you save so that you can see your comment and make sure it is what you meant to say, that it is clear and that it is friendly.

Editing comments

Others' comments

It is not necessary to bring talk pages to publishing standards, so there is no need to correct typing errors, grammar, etc. in someone else's comments.

Editing others' comments is sometimes allowed, but you should exercise caution in doing so. Some examples of appropriately editing others' comments:

  • If you have their permission
  • Unsigned comments: You are allowed to append information about the user to the end of someone's comment if they have failed to sign it. You can find the user's name in the history of the talk page. To add the user's name use something like:
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by [[User:USER NAME OR IP|USER NAME OR IP]] on (date).
If you want it to look small like this example, put a <small> before and </small> after the signature.
  • Interruptions: In some cases, it is OK to interrupt a long contribution, either by a short comment (as a reply to a minor point) or by a headline (if the contribution introduces a new topic). See Layout below for how this should look. You may also need to rearrange the talk page if to group comments on a particular topic. Just don't change someone's words.
  • When a long comment has formatting errors, rendering it difficult to read. In this case, restrict the edits to formatting changes only and preserve the content as much as possible.

Own comments

When you post a comment, you should choose "Show preview" button at the bottom of the edit screen, and think about how your statement may look to others before you save it. This will avoid having to change one's comments (maybe). You can't just go back and delete a comment if you change your mind because people may have already read it and replied to the original comment.

One way to show that something you commented on has changed is to use strike-through or a place holder to show it is a retrospective alteration.

  • Strike-through is typed <s>like this</s> and ends up like this.
  • A placeholder is a text such as "[Thoughtless and stupid comment removed by the author.]". This will ensure that 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.]"

Please do not strike-through other editors' comments without their permission.

Technical and format standards

Layout

  • Start new topics at the bottom of the page:
    • The general rule of the wiki software is to start a new topic at the bottom of the page. If you choose the "+" sign at the top of the talk page it will give you slightly different edit box with a place for a header topic and a place for the comment. When you save this new topic, it is automatically saved to 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. Then the next post will go underneath yours and so on. This makes it easy to see the chronological order of posts.
    • Note that users may want their own talk page organized differently, and they are free to do so. If you want to organize your talk page differently, you might want to make a note to that effect at the top of your user talk page.
  • 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).
  • Thread your post: Use indentation to clearly indicate who you are replying to, you indent with one colon (":") after the comment, the next person indents with two colons ("::"), etc. for several comments and then someone returns to the margin with no colon. We have to be creative when we are proposing language and asking for opinions, so sometimes numbers ("#") and bullets ("*") are used.

New topics and headings on talk pages

  • 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 section and will also appear in the TOC (table of contents) at the top of the page. A heading is easy to create with == either side of the words, as in == Heading ==.
    • When you use the "+" tab or "Post a comment" feature it will give you a place to enter a subject/heading which will automatically add a heading in the talk page.
  • Make headings useful. It should be clear from the heading which aspect of the article you wish to discuss. Do not write "This article is wrong" but address the specific issue you want to discuss.


What To Put In Article Talk Pages

  • About Edits, Plans, Etc. : If you are not sure about how to change and article, it is a good idea to explain what you are thinking, planning or already have done in the article talk page. Make the extra effort so that other people understand you, and you get a proper understanding of others. Being friendly is a great help.
  • Keep on topic: Generally, talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject (much less other subjects). Keep discussions on the topic of how to improve the associated article.
    • Until we have a general discussion area, sometimes irrelevant discussions happen on article talk pages (or on users talk pages). Anyone can move the discussion to a more relevant talk page, just leave a link to the page where you are moving the discussion.
  • Be positive: Article talk pages should be used to discuss ways to improve an article; not to criticize, pick apart, or vent about the current status of an article or its subject. 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.
  • Share material: The talk page can be used to store material from the article which has been removed because you are not sure it is correct, so that time can be given for references to be found. You can also sometimes add new material 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.

What To Put In User Talk Pages

User talk pages are used when you want to

  • General Chat: Communicate with a particular editor about something that is not of interest to other editors, such as a welcome, or offering help and encouragement.
  • Questions:Ask a question if you need help with using RomanceWiki. Any user will be happy to help if they can.
  • Specific Discussion: If you know a particular user will or may have an interest in a discussion and there is no other appropriate article talk page, you might start the discussion on a user's talk page.
  • Link To Discussion: If you start a discussion on an article talk page that you know a particular user will have or may have an interest, you can leave a link to the discussion on that user's talk page.