Forum:History Manual of Style

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Forums: Index > Watercooler > History Manual of Style

Is there a format or manual of style for history and historical events? If there is not one already I would like to draft one up. I have been putting in entries covering the OTU years between 1116 and 1248 and am coming across a variety of formats when it comes to personalities in different settings/time periods. Examples: Entries marked like Craig Anton Horvath which has a link to Craig Anton Horvath/Rebellion. Entries like Lucan where the different time periods are marked as headings. Entries like Margaret Yetrina Tukera where information related to a different time period is hidden with hidden/show tag of Hidden|header=Rebellion Era (Click Show to reveal) or some such.

I do not on the whole deal with the GURPS: Traveller Universe, but I am cognizant of the OTU/ATU Rebellion/No Rebellion thing. I also know that wikis can get cluttered with "almost duplicate" entries. SO... Is there already a manual of style with regards to History and Personalities? If not, I would like examine further, perhaps propose one.

Nathan Brazil (talk) 06:40, 15 April 2013 (EDT)[[Nathan BrazilNathan Brazil (talk) 06:40, 15 April 2013 (EDT)

OK I have given some thought on this and identified one main issue which must be decided on. Making a decision on how to go with this will point the way on what solution to implement. That is in what tense to write articles, specifically past tense, present tense or future tense. I figured this out when looking at the BattleTech wiki. Consider that the wiki and the articles are omniscient telling past present and future. Your reader is not or may not concern themselves beyond a certain year or universe. That will require deciding on when the default present articles are to be written. As example take Lorette Strider, commander of the first Terran expedition to Barnard's Star. By 1105 she is most definitely dead.

  • Brief sentences about her with a default present in 1105 would say:
    • Lorette Strider was the commander of Starleaper One. She died trying to negotiate a peace with the Vilani.
  • But if the the default present were specifically -2422 (year of first contact) you would necessarily have write it differently.
    • Lorette Strider is the commander of Starleaper One. She will die trying to negotiate a peace with the Vilani.
  • If the default present covers an entire era say Interstellar Wars:
    • Lorette Strider is the commander of Starleaper One. She dies trying to negotiate a peace with the Vilani.

Deciding this or making it "official" in the wiki will determine the path on how to create separations (different articles different headings or whatnot. If it were up to me I would simply take 1248 as the present year, write everything in past tense and separate sections by era. Easiest to write, less articles. But most articles I know are about the "The Golden Age" as the present. Does anyone have thoughts on this? Nathan Brazil (talk) 14:17, 16 April 2013 (EDT)

The variety of styles you have encountered in the different articles represent the various attempts to resolve the exact issue you are addressing here. The things that have been generally agreed to are:
  1. The default date for entries are "Classic" era, at or around the year 1116 in the Third Imperium.
  2. There is a set of categories for each era of history to mark articles which are not set in the classic era. See Category:Milieus. If you are writing an article for a specific Milieu, you should mark it with the correct Era category.
How we handle articles which span eras is not a settled issue. My preference is to have the base article in Category: Era: Milieu 1116, with the other eras as sub-pages - i.e. page/era, for example Craig Anton Horvath/Rebellion. The sub pages would include information specific to that era, rather than a complete rewrite. Depending upon the information the base article can provide a link to or transclusion of the article.
The real challenge here is the Category: Era: Milieu 1120 (the GURPS no-rebellion timeline) vs Category: Era: Rebellion. I have no really good answer for making these play nice together.
Tjoneslo (talk) 22:30, 16 April 2013 (EDT)
OK no problem. I will adapt to the page/era concept. I was reading up on the transclusion concept, not having done that before. Hope I get it right. With regards to the ATU, I think should just go on the bottom of the list page/subpage list to keep things simpler.
10:04, 17 April 2013 (EDT)