Help:Style

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This template has only maintenance purposes. For linking to local translations please use interlanguage links, see Help:i18n#Interlanguage links.


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Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary end

One of the best ways to make sure that the information contained in a documentation medium is clear and easily understandable by all its users, is the compliance of its content with a series of conventional style rules. The ArchWiki is no exception to this concept: not only the article text must be coherent, as exhaustive as possible and written using formal style, but it must also appear tidily organized to the eye, being visually consistent with all the other articles. That is why all ArchWiki contributors are invited to follow these guidelines when editing articles.

Note:
  • This guide is a draft, it has not been officialized yet, and its rules cannot be considered in a definitive status.
  • Please discuss your additions or modifications to this page in the talk page, before submitting them; you can also start discussions in the forum, but you should add a link to the thread in the talk page anyway.

Article pages

Title

  • If the subject of the article is commonly known both with the full name and the acronym, prefer using the full name in the title of article.
    Do not include both the full name and the acronym (e.g. in brackets) in the title: if you think both are commonly used, create a redirect for the acronym that points to the page titled with the expanded name.
  • See also Article Naming Guidelines.

Layout

  1. Categories
  2. i18n template
  3. Interlanguage links (optional)
  4. Article status templates (optional)
  5. Article summary (optional? disputed, see talk page)
  6. Preface/Introduction
  7. Table of Contents (automatic)
  8. Article-specific sections

Categories

  • Every article must be categorized under at least one existing category.
  • An article can belong to more than one category, provided one is not ancestor of the others.
  • Categories must be included at the top of every article.
    Note: This is different from some other MediaWiki projects such as Wikipedia, which include categories at the bottom.
  • There should be no blank lines between categories and the i18n bar, because this introduces extra space at the top of the article.
  • See also Recategorizing Pages.

i18n template

  • Template:i18n should be put on every article and category page, right below the categories.
  • See also Help:i18n.

Interlanguage links

  • If the article has correspondence with one of the other external Arch Linux wikis in other languages, interlanguage links can be included right below the i18n template.
    Note that they will actually appear in the appropriate column to the left side of the page.
  • See also Wikipedia:Help:Interlanguage links.

Article status templates

  • As showed at the top of this page, Article status templates can be included right below Template:i18n and right above the Article Summary.
  • Article status templates can also be used inside article sections, when appropriate.

Article summary

Preface/Introduction

  • Describes the topic of the article.
    Rather than paraphrasing or writing your own (possibly biased) description of a piece of software, you can use the upstream/author's description, which can usually be found on the project's home page or about page, if it exists. An example is MediaTomb.
  • Included right below the Article summary.
  • Do not explicitly make a ==Introduction== or ==Preface== section: this will let the introduction appear above the Table of Contents.
  • See also Writing Article Introductions.

Table of Contents

  • The Table of Contents is shown automatically below the Introduction when there are sufficient sections in the article.

Heading levels

  • Headings should start from level 2 (==).
  • Do not skip levels when making subsections, so a subsection of a level 2 needs a level 3 heading and so on.
  • See Effective Use of Headers.

Package management instructions

Official packages

  • The proper way to instruct for the installation of an official package is using a simple wording similar to the following:
    Install Template:Package Official, available in the Official Repositories.
    whose source code is [[pacman|Install]] {{Package Official|package}}, available in the [[Official Repositories]].
    The instructions for the installation of a list of packages may appear as:
    Install Template:Package Official, Template:Package Official and Template:Package Official, available in the Official Repositories.
    You are granted the flexibility to adapt the wording to your specific article.
  • If the package is hosted in [core], [extra] or [community], making reference to the repository is discouraged, since it is not uncommon for a package to be moved to a different repository, and this would make the article maintenance more difficult. If however the package is hosted in an official repository which is not enabled by default (e.g. [multilib]), mentioning it is preferable.
  • Giving an example of the pacman command needed for the installation is deprecated, both for simplicity's sake (every Arch user should know pacman's article by memory) and to avoid errors such as pacman -Sy package or possibly never-ending discussions like the choice between pacman -S package and pacman -Syu package.
    All the more reason you should not suggest the use of pacman frontends or wrappers to install official packages.

AUR packages

  • The proper way to instruct for the installation of an AUR package is using a wording similar to the following:
    Install Template:Package AUR, available in the Arch User Repository.
    whose source code is {{Package AUR|package}}, available in the [[Arch User Repository]].
    You are granted the flexibility to adapt the wording to your specific article, although you should always make clear that the package is unofficial.
  • Do not give examples on how to install AUR packages, neither with the official method nor mentioning AUR helpers: every user who installs unofficial packages should have read the Arch User Repository article, and be aware of all the possible consequences on his system.

Kernel module operations

  • Giving examples of how to add modules to the MODULES array in Template:Filename is deprecated: the standard phrasing is a simple list of the modules involved, possibly remarking dependencies or conflicts with other modules, and a link to Kernel modules.
  • Giving examples of how to load, remove, blacklist or perform any other basic operation with modules is deprecated: the standard phrasing is a description of the actions to be performed, and a link to Kernel modules.

Daemon operations

  • Giving examples of how to add daemons to the DAEMONS array in Template:Filename is deprecated: the standard phrasing is a simple list of the daemons involved, possibly remarking dependencies or conflicts with other daemons, and a link to Daemon.

Command line text

  • Use $ as a prompt for regular user commands; use # as a prompt for root commands.
    Note: Since # is also used to denote comments in text files, you should always make sure to avoid ambiguities, usually by explicitly writing to run the command or edit a text file.
  • The sentence introducing a command should usually end with :.
  • Prefer using # command instead of writing $ sudo command unless it is really necessary.
  • Do not assume the user uses sudo or other privilege escalation utilities (e.g. gksu, kdesu).
  • # sudo command is always wrong.
  • Do not add comments in the same box of a command (e.g. # pacman -S foo #Install package foo)
  • Avoid writing excessively long lines of code: use line-breaking techniques when possible.

File editing requests

  • Do not assume a specific text editor (nano, vim, emacs....) when requesting text file edits, except when necessary.
  • Do not use implicit commands to request text file edits, unless strictly necessary. For example: Template:Pre Should better be:
    Append the following lines to Template:Filename: Template:Pre

"Tips and tricks" sections

  • Advanced tips or examples of using the software.
  • Standard title is Tips and tricks.
  • The various tips and tricks should be organized in subsections.

"Troubleshooting" sections

  • Frequently asked questions regarding the software, or solutions to common problems (compare to #"Known issues" sections).
  • Standard title is Troubleshooting; Trouble shooting, Trouble-shooting, TroubleShooting are common mistake examples.
  • You can also report temporary workarounds for known bugs, but in this case it is very desirable that you provide a link to the bug report, and, if it has not been reported yet, you should report it yourself, thus increasing the chances that the bug will be properly fixed.

"Known issues" sections

  • Known bugs or usage problems which do not have a solution yet (compare to #"Troubleshooting" sections).
  • Standard title is Known issues.
  • If a bug report exists for the known issue, it is very desirable that you provide a link to it; otherwise, if it does not exist, you should report it yourself, thus increasing the chances that the bug will be fixed.

"See also" sections

  • A list of links to references and sources of additional information.
  • This should be a list where each entry is started with *.
  • The standard title is See also, other similar titles like External links, More resources etc. should be avoided.

Non-pertinent content

  • Please do not sign articles, nor credit article authors: the ArchWiki is a work of the community, and the history of each article is enough for crediting its contributors.
    Reporting the sources used to write an article, though, is good practice: you can use the "See also" section for this purpose.

Discussion pages

  • Add new discussions at the bottom of discussion pages and with a proper heading.
  • Indent your answers using colons at the beginning of new lines.
  • Always append a signature to your edits.
  • Discussion pages cannot be categorized.
  • You should take care to strike the header of exhausted discussions using <s> tags.
    Exhausted discussions will be deleted a while after striking.

Category pages

  • Every category must be categorized under at least one parent category, except for root categories.
    Root categories are language categories, like Category:English and some other special categories: Category:DeveloperWiki, Category:Sandbox, Category:Template and Category:Website Resources.
  • A category can be categorized under more than one category, provided one is not ancestor of the others.
  • Avoid circular relationships: two categories cannot be reciprocal ancestors.
  • Categories must be included at the top of the category page.
  • Categories should not redirect.

Redirect pages

  • Redirect pages should contain only the redirect code, nothing more.

User pages

  • User pages cannot be categorized (this rule can be infringed in very rare, admin-approved cases).

Generic rules

Edit summary

  • All edits to articles should be accompanied by some words in the summary field, answering the question "Why did you edit the article?". "What", "where", "when" and "how" are self-explained by the diff itself, it is redundant to add them.
  • An explanation is not mandatory in talk pages, where the "why" should be already evident.
    When deleting exhausted discussions, however, some explanation words are required.
  • Links are allowed in the summary field, so it is possible to point to an existing discussion.

Blank lines

  • Avoid double blank lines as much as possible.

HTML tags

  • Usage of HTML tags is generally discouraged.
  • When tempted to use <pre>code</pre>, assess the possibility to use space-initial lines or {{Bc|code}} (see Help:Editing).
    Exceptions to this rule can be made when trying to put some code in a list, or when trying to indent it: in both cases, however, see if you can use {{Ic|code}} instead.
  • When tempted to use <tt>text</tt> or <code>text</code>, always resort to {{Ic|text}}.
  • Especially avoid HTML comments (<!-- comment -->): it is likely that a note added in a HTML comment can be explicitly shown in the article's discussion page.
    You can add an appropriate Article status template in place of the comment.
  • Use <br> only when necessary: to start a new paragraph or break a line, put a blank line below it.
    Common exceptions to this rule are when it is necessary to break a line in a list item and you cannot use a sub-item, or inside a template and you cannot use a list.