Starting a discussion
Add a new discussion at the bottom of a discussion page with a proper heading (see Help:Style#Section headings). You can also make use of the
+ tab at the top of each discussion page. It is recommended to include the discussion title in the edit summary.
If the discussion page does not exist yet, create it.
Note that discussions on the wiki are often slower-paced than the forums, let alone IRC, so please be patient and give other users the time to structure their answers.
What does not belong
A discussion page is used for discussing subjects relevant to the article in question. With that in mind, please avoid:
- Posting edit summaries instead of using the dedicated line available in editor pages, see ArchWiki:Contributing#Always properly use the edit summary. You can however expand an edit summary in a discussion page if you could not fit all the details you wanted there.
- Asking for personal help: please use the forums or the chat room for this kind of requests.
- Categorizing a discussion page, see Help:Style#Categories.
Joining a discussion
- Basically, add a new comment below the last one of the discussion you want to join.
- Use colons to indent and format your discussion. Standard practice is to indent your reply one more level deep than the comment on which you are replying. If there is any existing replies to this comment, put yours after the latest one with the same indent, keeping the tree structure of discussion.
- Sign comments by typing
~~~~to insert your username and a timestamp.
- Avoid editing another user's comments.
- Do not edit your posts if somebody has already replied, otherwise you will break the flow of the discussion and make it difficult for others to further respond. Only striking (using
<s>tags) words or sentences is allowed, but the related explanation should be given in a regular reply.
- It is possible to split a discussion in order to reply to different parts of a post separately, but you will have to copy the signature of the split post at the end of every resulting section.
Closing a discussion
You should take care to strike the header of exhausted discussions using
<s> tags. The reason for closing the discussion shall be included in the discussion itself, formatted as (part of) a response to the discussion.
Exhausted discussions can be deleted three days or more after striking.
When closing or deleting multiple discussions on a page, make one edit per discussion; closing or deleting multiple discussions simultaneously is discouraged. Also remember to include the title of the discussion in the edit summary, which will help retrieving the deleted discussion from history. Editing a section instead of the whole page by clicking on the section's edit link will enter the title automatically, otherwise it should be entered manually.
User talk pages
Note the difference between a user page, and a user talk page. Everyone may have a user talk page on which other people can leave public messages. If one does not exist for a particular user, you may create it so that you can leave a comment. If someone has left you a message on yours, you will see a note saying "You have new messages" with a link to your own user talk page: in this case you are supposed to reply on your own talk page beneath the original message with appropriate indentation. Please avoid replying to a discussion on a different talk page, for example the one of the user who contacted you, since such a style of communication creates disconnects with the flow of information regarding the subject at hand.
Do not edit a user's own page without permission (i.e. [[User:Name]]); these serve as personal user spaces. The "user talk page" is the correct place for communicating (other than sending private email if the address is published). Also please do not delete closed discussions on a user's talk pages without permission.