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. Therefore, it does not always follow the suggested writing conventions of other wikis.

General Guidelines

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

In-universe point of view

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 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 particular 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 (IC), noted as IY XXXX where disambiguation is required.

Article Categories

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.

External Links

External links can be made to Wikipedia. In addition, links to less common terms or articles on TL–8 or less technologies would be appropriate. Links to any other website should typically be in a section labeled as such.

Internal links should be made to any Traveller-specific term (e.g., Vargr), including races, places, historical events, people, etc. In addition, 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 afterward).

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

Your Contributions

In some wiki articles, in addition to the usual published sources, there are contributors listed. If you are contributing to an article, you may add your contributor's 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 {{Unpublished cite|author=~~~~}} or {{Unpublished cite|author=<Your contributor title>}} at the end of each sentence or paragraph so we can distinguish your work.

Basic Mechanics

Table and list conventions

Lists are groups of numbered or bullet items. We suggest the following conventions when using them. Following the Wikipedia style: [1]

  • 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 a purpose, such as a chronological list.

If you find yourself building a list or table consisting of links to other articles or information already in other articles, please get in touch with the wiki editors. Several tools are available for building templates that will automatically populate and keep updated lists and tables from article names, categories, or article content.

Tables

Use the "sortable" function whenever possible.

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

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

wiki section headings

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 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.

Templates

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

You can find these on the Template List.

Infobox templates

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:

Advanced Mechanics

Date Article Pages

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

Dictionary Article Entries

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 keywords

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|Trokh 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 an example of a dictionary entry and Fiwai'al for the related article.

World Article Pages

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)". Doing so distinguishes 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

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. For example, "Da", "Ga", and "Ha" each have four, with several other combinations having three. But there have been no duplicates of name + code + hex.

Text expansion templates

Text Expansion Templates expand text and possibly reference one or more other pages. World and WorldS, for example, will reference the World, Sector, (Subsector) and present the format for world references in a standard format.

Category Templates

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, Canon
  • DEN: Dictionary Entry, Non-Canon
  • LEA: Library Entry, Alternate Traveller Universe (ATU or IMTU)
Sometimes a LEN article will be redesignated an LEA article when it has strayed too far from the OTU. It is a very subjective matter decided upon by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team.
  • LE: Library Entry, Canon
  • LEN: Library Entry, Non-Canon
  • MET: Metastory: Articles about Traveller 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. Likewise, each article in the Dictionary namespace should use either DE (canon) or DEN (non-canon) template.

Wikipedia template

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 Citations

For all library articles, please include a Sources template and use the citation formatting even if you are the author. Please review the detailed instructions in the Sources formatting article? For an article published here or another website on the internet, including the author's name linked to the author's page. Example:

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|{{Ludography cite|name=The Spinward Marches|version=Classic Traveller|page=32}}}}

which produces:

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.

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

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

which produces:

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.

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

{{Sources
 |{{Ludography cite|name=The Travellers' Digest 11|page=2}}
 |{{Ludography cite|name=Vilani & Vargr|page=22}}
}}

which produces:

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.

Article Grammar, Spelling, and Style Conventions

The following grammar conventions and spelling conventions are suggested:

  • US spelling and grammar conventions are standard. However, 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 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 style requirements, such as Steve Jackson Games and Mongoose Traveller. These contain many good suggestions about writing style and conventions for Traveller.

Article Images

Articles may and should use images whenever possible. Every article should have a simple, small logo in the top right of the page. Wikipedia refers to this as an article lead. The image should be a simple logo reflecting the article's theme, usually based on a polity symbol or major race symbol. The default symbol is the Third Imperium starburst, in an article type appropriate color if nothing else is available. Other images in the article are welcome by following the Images policy.

Article Naming Conventions

There are some informal rules regarding how we name articles on the Traveller wiki.

  • The Traveller RPG Wiki follow the Wikipedia article naming (regular wiki) conventions, but not always:
    • Article names should be in singular form, not plural for sophonts. (i.e. Aslan not Aslans)
    • Titles of articles about individual people should be the name by which the person was most commonly known in the Traveller universe, with later names preferred to earlier names and full names preferred to partial names or nicknames. One can always make a redirect from a nickname to the full name. Titles, such as military ranks or titles of nobility, should be omitted. Articles titles about people should be in the form of "Personal Name, Family Name" or "First Name, Last Name" or "First Name, Middle Name, Last Name." (i.e. Strephon Aella Alkhalikoi not Alkhalikoi, Strephon Aella)
    • 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 to add specific text to an article's title, except for disambiguation articles.
  • Categories or collections: Following the Wikipedia conventions category names should be plural. They are a collection of similar things, and the names for such collections are typically plural.

Article Organization

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 the 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 their very first time. At the end of the end, constructive criticism and correction of our typos (we all make them) are 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
AAB Library Data Article Formatting Ideals -> 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, often without an infobox, sources, or other intermediate features.
"Barebones" Maybe canon, non-canon, or a mix of the two.
Intermediate 11-90% Structured article Core:
  • Pre. Infobox, if applicable
  • 1. Synopsis, a simple descriptive sentence with the 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 is appropriate.
Advanced Collective 91-100% Structured, detailed & integrated article Core: 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

The simplest articles are stubs, not much more than a few sentences to a paragraph with little to no organization. And often without templates 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 creative thought. That's okay. FFE encourages fans to use this wiki for the 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 tie the article into the rest of the wiki.

Intermediate articles

These are longer articles that collect several paragraphs or more of data and use an organizational format of several headers and sometimes a template. 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 (Specifications), 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 & Background (Dossier), 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 & Contributors (Sources), 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

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 structures. 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 three two-point headings: description, history and background, and references and contributors. Complex articles might have many more than three two-point headings. For example, please see the article Core Sector with many two-point headings. It might also include a Referral Tree.
  2. Three-point headings help to add detail to an article and bring it out. More complex articles often have a relatively standardized set of expansive three-point headers. Many world articles have extensive detail with standard sets of three-point headers.
  3. Fourth or lower subheadings are generally avoided except for extensive and complex articles like 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

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 and a referral tree, a set of defined intra-wiki links helping a reader find related information. Please see the article Jump Drive for an example of a well-developed referral tree. In addition, 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

The following organizationally stylistic layouts are recommended for articles:

Article Refinement Templates

These templates should 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. Of course, it is preferable to fix the issue, but labeling it will allow other future editors to quickly 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

References & Contributors (Sources)

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.