Manual of Style

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This Manual of Style is a collection of lessons learned and suggested styles based upon user and contributor experience. It does not always follow the suggested writing conventions of other wikis.

General guidelines[edit]

The Traveller Wiki has several guidelines which either extend or replace the general wiki editing guidelines from the Wikipedia.

What Not To Post[edit]

Article naming conventions[edit]

There are some rules regarding how articles on the Traveller wiki should be named.

  • Following the Wikipedia article naming conventions:
    • Article names should be in singular form, not plural. (i.e. Aslan not Aslans)
    • Article capitalization: Unless the name of the article contains a proper noun, only the first word should be capitalized.
    • Titles of articles about individual people should be the name by which the person was most commonly known in the the Traveller universe, with later names preferred to earlier names, and full names preferred to partial names or nicknames. Titles, such as military ranks or titles of nobility, should be omitted. Articles titles about people should be in the form of "Family Name, Personal Name(s)". (i.e. Alkhalikoi, Strephon Aella not Strephon Aella Alkhalikoi)
    • Different from wikipedia naming, articles about a world (like Regina, or Terra) should have the text "(world)" appended to their article title. This is so we can distinguish between (for example) the Domain of Antares, Antares Sector, Antares Subsector, Antares (system), Antares (star) and Antares (world).
    • Sector articles: Similarly, articles about Sectors or Subsectors should be name "X Sector" (e.g. Antares Sector) or "X Subsector" (e.g. Antares Subsector).
    • Other than the world, sector, and subsector articles, there is no requirement for adding specific text to the title of an article with the exception of disambiguation articles.
  • Categories or collections: Following the Wikipedia conventions category names for topic categories should be singular, category names for set categories (a collection of similar things) should be plural.

In-universe point of view[edit]

As much as possible, articles should be kept with an in-universe point of view. Metadata, publication background, and other applicable notes are still valued and appreciated, but they are usually placed on a discussion page or on a metadata page. Please see Template:Metadata for creating a metadata page.

The preference is to keep dates and years, in articles, specific rather than assuming a specific date for the writer. For example, the article should say "in 1095" rather than "ten years ago". All years and dates should use the Imperial calendar.

Grammar, spelling, and style conventions[edit]

The following grammar conventions and spelling conventions are suggested:

  • US spelling and grammar conventions are standard. British spelling and grammar conventions are also accepted. Always use one or the other in an article; do not mix US and British conventions.
  • Unless a specific style convention is requested, use MLA (Modern Language Association) standards, which are readily available online or in printed book form.
  • Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" is a great style guide to start with and is readily available online and in printed book form.
  • Many publishers have their own style requirements such as Steve Jackson Games and Mongoose Traveller. These contain many good suggestions about writing style and conventions for Traveller.

Categories[edit]

All Library entries should include either the {{LE}} (for canon articles) or the {{LEN}} (for non-canon articles) template at the bottom of the article. Please see the Category Templates section for more information.

Links[edit]

External links can be made to wikipedia. Links to less than common terms, or articles on TL-8 or less technologies would be appropriate. Links to any other web site should normally be in a section labeled as such.

Internal links should be made to any Traveller-specific term (e.g. Vargr) this should include races, places, historical events, people, etc. Link to all current articles, and everything that you think should be an article. This includes all references to authors, elements, books, magazines, high technology, even if they don't exist yet as we can use the most wanted list to determine articles to research. Links should be made once on the page for each term, the first time the term is used. (e.g. Aslan should be linked the first time it is used, and not linked afterwards).

Links to worlds should use the WorldS template. This gives a consistent look and feel (and link standard) for all the world articles.

Source citations[edit]

For all library articles, include a Sources template, even if you are the author. For an article published here, or other website on the internet, include the author's name in a link to the author's page. Example:

{{Sources|S1=[[Marc Miller]]}}

which produces:

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

If the article comes from a book we recommend using the Template:Ludography cite which produces a formatted citation to the source material. Example:

{{Sources|S1={{Ludography cite|name=The Spinward Marches|page=32}}}}

which produces:

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

If the article comes from a magazine article the Ludography cite template should include the article name. The Ludography cite includes the author's name, issue, article, and page. For example:

{{Sources|S1={{Ludography cite|name=Signal-GK 1|article=Library Data: Argi Subsector|page=45}}

which produces:

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

If the article has multiple sources, either republished or expanded on, include all (or as many as you are sure of). Example:

{{Sources |S1={{TDref|11}}, [[Joe Fugate]] |S2={{Ludography cite|name=Vilani & Vargr|page=22}} }}

which produces:

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

Your contributions[edit]

In some articles of the wiki, in addition to the usual published sources, there are contributors listed. If you are contributing to an article you may add your own contributors attribution. The general guideline for contribution is a paragraph, 50 or more words, not including infobox or formatting templates, headings or article layout, or categories.

You can make up any titles you would like (within the bounds of decorum and length), but please start the list with "Contributor: " and include a link to your user page so we can find you.

If your contribution is a full sentence, a full paragraph, or longer, please include a [1] or [2] for each sentence or paragraph so we can distinguish your work.

Table and list conventions[edit]

Lists are groups of numbered or bullet items and the following conventions are suggested when using them. Following the Wikipedia style:

  • Do not use lists if a passage is read easily as plain paragraphs.
  • Do not leave blank lines between items in a bulleted or numbered list unless there is a reason to do so, since this causes the Wiki software to interpret each item as beginning a new list.
  • Organize list items alphabetically, unless there is a specific organizational reason to have a different ordering.
  • Use bullet list rather than numbered list unless the numbering has purpose, such as a chronological list.

If you find yourself building a list or table which consists of links to other articles, or information which is already in other articles, please contact the wiki editors. There are several tools available for building templates which will automatically populate, and keep updated, lists and tables from article names, categories, or article content.

Tables[edit]

Use the "sortable" function whenever possible.

Creating a table which allows columns to be sorted requires setting the correct class to the table: {| class="wikitable sortable" |}

Do not build tables using a black background. This makes tables very difficult to read especially when font colors are a default black.

Traveller wiki section headings[edit]

Following the Wikipedia section heading styles use the == (heading) markup for headings, not the ''' (bold) markup. Example:

===This is a heading===

which produces:

This is a heading

If you mark headings this way, a table of contents is automatically generated from the headings in an article. Sections can be automatically numbered for users with that preference set and words within properly marked headings are given greater weight in searches. Headings also help readers by breaking up the text and outlining the article.

  • Capitalize the first letter only of the first word and of any proper nouns in a heading, and leave all of the other letters in lower case.
  • Avoid links within headings.
  • Avoid overuse of sub-headings.

Dictionary entries[edit]

In addition to the library entries, the Traveller wiki contains a dictionary of terms specific to the Traveller universe and translations of words from the numerous alien languages. The Traveller wiki follows the Wiktionary's manual of style for entry layout.

The fundamental elements of an article:

  1. a word’s language (as a level 2 heading),
  2. its part of speech or "type" (as a level 3 heading),
  3. the inflection word itself, including pluralization for nouns, comparatives for adjectives and the verb tenses,
  4. a definition (preceded by "#", which causes automatic numbering), and,
  5. links in the definition for key words

The entry layout article goes into more depth about additional information to be included in each dictionary entry.

Dictionary entries for the Traveller Wiki are to be entered in the "Dictionary:" namespace. Each word for a dictionary has an article title preceded by the text "Dictionary:".

Dictionary entries should include a DE or DEN template at the bottom of the article. This template takes the name of the language dictionary as a first parameter. For example {{DE|Vilani dictionary}} or {{DEN|Aslan dictionary}}.

Some Traveller specific terms might have both a dictionary entry and a conventional library article. The term ihatei, for instance, will require both a dictionary entry and an article. Please see Dictionary: Fiwai'al for a good example of a dictionary entry and Fiwai'al for the related article.

Date pages[edit]

Please see Manual of Style/Date pages for more information.

World articles[edit]

These are articles about the mainworld of a system, usually the largest and most important one.

As stated above, the article should be the name of the world followed by the text " (world)". This is to distinguish the world articles from other astrographic features with the same name. Also many of the templates assume this text is part of the article name.

The article must include the {{World|...}} template with the full name and location of the world. Usually the best place for this is in the {{UWP|...}} template as the name parameter.

Multiple worlds with the same name disambiguation[edit]

The article name should include a two letter code for the sector (List is here) and the hex locations in parentheses.

For example Zephyr'

  • Zephyr (Il 3219) (world)
  • Zephyr (SM 3138) (world)
  • Zephyr (TR 0702) (world)

There should also be an (e.g. Zephyr (world)) article with a {{Disambig}} template and links to each of the duplicate named world articles.

The two letter abbreviation for each sector does produce some duplicate codes. "Da", "Ga", and "Ha" each have four, with several other combinations having three. But there have been no duplicates of name + code + hex.

Themes, Plots, and Assorted Storylines[edit]

Please see the article What is Traveller?

Templates[edit]

The Traveller Wiki Team has developed a number of templates for the site which fall into several categories.

These can all be seen on the Template List page.

Article refinement templates[edit]

These templates should be used to signify that the article has issues, room for improvement, and needs for future editors to address. These are used to mark articles that are not up to standards in one way or another. It is preferable to fix the issue, but labeling it will allow other future editors to easily identify the articles that need work.

Level of completion of the article

  1. Template: Basic - Article has a basic level of completion
  2. Template: Intermediate - Article has a intermediate level of completion
  3. Template: Advanced - Article has a advanced level of completion

General changes required

  1. Template: Stub - For Stub or placeholder articles
  2. Template: Incomplete - Articles missing advanced formatting
  3. Template: Detail - Articles missing important details

Specific fixes needed

Infobox templates[edit]

There are a number of infobox templates that put a box with information at the side of the page (as yet we do not have bottom boxes linking similar pages as in wikipedia). Articles that fit the type should use these templates, which include:

Text expansion templates[edit]

There are templates to expand text and possibly reference one or more other pages. The World and WorldS for example will reference the World, Sector, (Subsector) and present the format for world references in a common format.

Category templates[edit]

The Traveller RPG Wiki uses a set of categories marked at the bottom of each article. These help to make articles more accessible and searchable. The Category Templates insert a standard set of categories for each page depending upon the intended use.

The Category Templates are:

  • DE: Dictionary Entry Template, Canon
  • DEN: Non-Canon Dictionary Entry Template
  • LEA: Alternate TU Library Entry Template (ATU or IMTU)
    • Sometimes a LEN articles will be redesignated a LEA article when it has strayed too far from the OTU. this is a very subjective matter decided upon by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team.
  • LE: Basic Library Entry Template, Canon
  • LEN: Non-Canon Library Entry Template
  • MET: Metastory: Articles about traveler that are not "in-universe" and pertain to rules, authors, and such. May also include non-canon materials although these are more typically organized under LEA.

Each article in the library section should use either the LE (canon) or the LEN (non-canon) template. Each article in the Dictionary namespace should use either DE (canon) or DEN (non-canon) template.

Wikipedia template[edit]

Wikipedia template is used when the majority of the text is copied from wikipedia, if the article is significantly different (more comprehensive) than a similar article about traveller on Wikipedia, please add the Travellerwiki template to wikipedia.

Article organization[edit]

Articles here at the AAB Vilani Galactic Encyclopedia, now the AAB Imperial Encyclopedia, follow a loose, not strictly enforced hierarchy. All wiki authors agree to allow their writing to be mercilessly edited by others with no exceptions. To put it simply, don't write at the wiki unless you can understand and accept this fact. The founders of the wiki, the current wiki head, and every wiki author must accept this open-sourced approach to writing at the Traveller RPG Wiki. The caveat of the wiki is that every edit page contains that phrase mercilessly edited above the "save page" button. We all agree to be peer reviewed, or for that matter, even reviewed by a novice fan signing onto the wiki for his or her very first time. In the end of ends, constructive criticism and correction of our typos (we all make them), is part of the strength of the wiki.

Articles typically undergo several stages of development as they grow into advanced and more sophisticated articles:

  • 1. Stubs, placeholder or basic article → 2. Intermediate article → 3. Advanced article → 4. Advanced collective article
Noble Nobility -> Summary Synopsis Paragraphs
Type Complete % Synopsis Core feature/s Difference/s Remarks
Basic 1-10% Placeholder or Stub Core:
  • A few sentences to several paragraphs most often without an infobox, sources, or other intermediate features.
"Bare bones" May be canon, non-canon, or a mix of the two.
Intermediate 11-90% Structured article Core:
  • Pre. Infobox, if applicable
  • 1. Synopsis, simple descriptive sentence with article name
  • 2. Description
  • 3. History & Background
  • 4. References & Contributors
  • End. Appropriate categories & tags
Basic features & three two-point basic article headers. Optimally, mostly canon, where applicable.
Advanced 91-100% Structured & detailed article Core:
  • 3 or 4-point detail heading/s, where applicable
  • Data in tables, where applicable
  • The vast majority of data filled in and not "No information yet available."
  • Largely free of typos, spelling errors, or grammar mistakes
  • 1 or more references with inline citations, where applicable
Intermediate features & more three or four-point detail headers. Optimally, mostly canon, where applicable.
  • Please note that both American and British spelling are appropriate.
Advanced Collective 91-100% Structured, detailed & integrated article Core:
  • Broad overview of Charted Space, where applicable
  • Referral tree, where applicable
  • Extensive intra-wiki links, where applicable
Advanced features, referral tree, and categories. Should focus on canon or semi-canon, as much as possible, for OTU articles.

Stubs, placeholders or basic articles[edit]

The simplest articles are stubs, not much more than a few sentences to a paragraph with little to no organization. And often without template or sources. Articles typically begin their "lives" as simple stubs or placeholders before being further developed. Sometimes stubs are little more than a brainstormed idea or a kernel of a creative thought. That's okay. FFE encourages fans to use this wiki for development of the universe, and has not strictly limited it to only canon OTU data.

Basic articles are distinguished from intermediate articles by:

  1. A lack of organizational structure.
  2. A lack of editing including spelling, grammar, and other errors.
  3. A lack of tags or markers helping to structure the article into the greater wiki.

Intermediate articles[edit]

These are longer articles which collect several paragraphs or more of data and use an organizational format of several headers and sometimes a template as well. The basic structure for intermediate articles, also known as commonplace or mainstream articles is:

  1. Manual of Style#Infobox templates (no heading), at the top of the article for the articles where it is appropriate. Some articles may have more than one infobox. Many types of articles do not have an infobox at all.
  2. Synopsis (no header, designed to float at the top of an article). Think of them as a sort of executive summary for the reader. Quick, direct information and definition. A Synopsis should optimally be one to three sentences long. Articles with referral trees place them below the synopsis.
  3. Description, a two-point heading. Descriptions sometimes have a parenthetical helping to define what kind of description is suggested to be used. In the case of a goods article, it is a basic description of the item. In the case of a VIP, or personage, it is a description of the character of the sophont, a sort of mini biography of the most important things the sophont did. In other cases, it is a direct description of the focus of the article. The description should optimally be a collection of factual, objective data. Less factual data and subjective opinions go below under the history and background heading.
  4. History and background, a two-point heading. The dossier or file is an indirect description of the focus of the article. It is commentary, opinions, sociographic notes, and storyline features such as history or background.
  5. References and contributors, a two point heading. Article refinement templates, Sources template, metadata template, secrets template, other notes or remarks, and categories templates and categories are all placed here.

Advanced articles[edit]

These are longer, more fully developed articles with great detail, richness of data, and a complex organizational structure. Sectors, subsectors, worlds, and other such articles use complex article structure. Nearly all complex articles possess a template allowing them to be more easily searched and organized. Advanced articles use the same fundamental structure as basic articles (1. Infobox 2. synopsis, 3. description, 4. history & background, 5. references, etc.), but with greater complexity and development. Advanced articles are distinguished from intermediate articles by:

  1. A basic article is typically composed of only three two-point headings: description, history and background, and references and contributors. Complex articles might have many more than three two-point headings. Please see the article Core Sector with many two-point headings.
  2. Three-point headings help to add detail to an article and really bring it out. More complex articles often have a fairly standardized set of expansive three-point headers. Many world articles have extensive detail with regular sets of three point headers.
  3. Fourth or lower levels of subheadings are generally avoided with the exception of very large and complex articles such as Third Imperium.
  4. Advanced articles very often include data in tables to make it easier to grasp. Traveller is so big and complex that sometimes a well designed table is the only way to make it accessible. Please see an article like Languages of Charted Space for several examples of data. There is also an advantage that tables may include a simple sorting feature.

Advanced collective articles[edit]

These articles pull together entire topics and make it easy for readers to explore the universe of Traveller. Collective articles usually include an overarching title such as Robots of Charted Space as well as a referral tree, a set of defined intra-wiki links helping a reader to find related information. Please see the article Jump Drive for an example of a well developed referral tree. The following features are indicative of a collective article:

  1. Has a broad overview of large parts of Charted Space and the greater Traveller universe.
  2. Has a referral tree to help new and older fans find related information.
  3. Contains extensive intra-wiki links to explain acronyms, specialized terminology, and Traveller specific details.

Suggested organizational layouts[edit]

The following organizationally stylistic layouts are recommended for articles:

  • An unpublished factoid written by Tjoneslo (talk) 20:23, 16 October 2017 (EDT)
  • An unpublished factoid written by <Your contributor title>