Difference between revisions of "Help talk:Style"

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:As noted at the top of [[Table of Contents]], [[:Category:Secure Shell (English)]] is a good example: if we can solve it we can really try to avoid categories with multiple parents in general, which is something that I don't like either. The problem is that Security could hardly be child of Networking, and vice versa, so either we put Secure Shell only under one of them, or for example we split Security in two categories, one under Networking, the other not, and put Secure Shell under Networking->Security. Of course we could also split Networking instead, but it would probably be less natural. -- [[User:Kynikos|Kynikos]] 11:43, 23 September 2011 (EDT)
 
:As noted at the top of [[Table of Contents]], [[:Category:Secure Shell (English)]] is a good example: if we can solve it we can really try to avoid categories with multiple parents in general, which is something that I don't like either. The problem is that Security could hardly be child of Networking, and vice versa, so either we put Secure Shell only under one of them, or for example we split Security in two categories, one under Networking, the other not, and put Secure Shell under Networking->Security. Of course we could also split Networking instead, but it would probably be less natural. -- [[User:Kynikos|Kynikos]] 11:43, 23 September 2011 (EDT)
  
== Internal and external linking ==
+
=== Internal and external linking ===
  
 
When linking to other articles on the Wiki do not use the full URL of the Wiki article.  For example do not:
 
When linking to other articles on the Wiki do not use the full URL of the Wiki article.  For example do not:

Revision as of 01:21, 26 September 2011

Note: Besides being a place for discussing modifications to Help:Style, this page provides an example for the style to be used in all the talk pages around the wiki, therefore you should respect some basic rules aimed at keeping things tidy:
  • Add new discussions at the bottom of the page and with a proper heading;
  • Indent your answers using colons at the beginning of new lines;
  • Always append a signature to your edits.

Discussing the guide itself

In this section you can discuss modification to the Style Guide itself.

Initial references

Add new discussions at the bottom of the page and with a proper heading.

Maybe explicitly point to the '+' tab between 'edit' and 'history'? -- Karol 12:15, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

OK, I see one problem: it uses '==' headings and you may want to use '===' ones. -- Karol 12:18, 3 May 2011 (EDT)
For one thing you are right, at the moment it should be "at the bottom of the 2nd level section" (like this one), not "of the page". However changing it would sound kind of weird... I don't know.
The problem of the '+' tab is unsolvable until we keep discussions on 3rd level here. Let's not forget about this suggestion when we split this page into subpages. -- Kynikos 12:32, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

Style rules

This section is for discussing the addition or modification of style rules.

Edit summary

All edits to articles should be accompanied by some words in the summary filed, answering the question "Why did you edit the article?". "What", "where", "when" and "how" are self-explained by the diff itself, it's redundant to add them. An explanation is not mandatory in talk pages, where the "why" should be already evident. Remember that links are allowed in the summary field, so it is allowed to point to an existing discussion. -- Kynikos 09:32, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

Maybe we could submit a bug to request the change of the word "Summary:" to "Reason for editing:" next to the input in the edit page itself? -- Kynikos 11:33, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

+1
Would it go directly upstream? The Polish wiki has something like Summarize the changes [you've made to the article]. Wikipedia has Edit summary (Briefly describe the changes you have made). They all deal with what is being changed, not why - we need to fix this :-) -- Karol 12:04, 3 May 2011 (EDT)
Done: FS#24075, remember you can vote it. -- Kynikos 12:57, 3 May 2011 (EDT)
Any wiki admin can change this message (aside: can you view Special:AllMessages?) I think it might be more fitting to include this as an addendum to the copyright notice instead (text above the summary field). Perhaps we should also consider making the edit summary mandatory (i.e. prevent saving with a blank summary). -- pointone 22:55, 4 May 2011 (EDT)
Nice, I can see that page, I didn't know that ^^ Maybe I should close the bug request then. Anyway I'm quite sure that only appending this recommendation to the copyright notice would make people start ignoring it very soon (as it happens with road signs eheh): I'm still in favour of changing the word "Summary", as it's misleading. Making the field mandatory could be a great idea instead, but for what I've seen until now, if the edit page returns an error, it forgets about the editing done, and it would be quite annoying (the textarea could be easily repopulated echoing $_POST['...'] instead of recovering the text back from the database; I have only tested this when trying to edit a page that has been edited by somebody else meanwhile). -- Kynikos 06:15, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
(Well, doing it in javascript would solve the problem, though using JS is not very wiki-style it seems) -- Kynikos 06:17, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
When saving an edit that conflicts with another, your changes are saved. MediaWiki presents you with two text areas: one contains the page contents and the other contains your edit.
Either way, a quick Google search reveals User:DieBuche/forcesummary.js and Wikipedia:Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Scripts/Force edit summary as two possible solutions. There also is a user preference option under Editing > Advanced options > Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary -- I wonder whether we can enable this option by default as a less-intrusive solution.
-- pointone 09:16, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
Uhm it always looked like I lost my changes everytime I had edit conflicts (always easily recovered with the back button), anyway it could be that I didn't look well.
About the main topic, I would first try just to change the Summary text, anyway if you want to go the JS way immediately, do it in a way that the user understands that he has to answer the question "why", not "what", otherwise all edit summaries would probably be filled with "added section", "corrected code", "deleted section" and so on (well, those are summaries in the end, and that's what the form requests literally atm). -- Kynikos 11:07, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
I think it's also OK to combine 'what' with 'why' e.g. 'removed outdated links'. I'm not a native English speaker, but it sounds more natural than 'links were outdated'. -- Karol 11:50, 6 May 2011 (EDT)
Of course it's also ok, anyway I'm not a native speaker either, but if a label says "Reason for editing" it comes more natural to me to write "links were outdated". This system should also exploit a bit of psychology afterall. -- Kynikos 12:56, 6 May 2011 (EDT)
<facepalm> Of course you are absolutely right ... I - ummm - forgot that we wanted to change 'Summary' to 'Reason for editing'. Sorry about that. -- Karol 19:58, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
Since the bug got closed as 'Upstream', do we go upstream with this? -- Karol 19:58, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
I am curious whether this has been discussed upstream already... I have no problem with making the change on our end, since every wiki handles summary policy differently (as pointed-out above in examples). -- pointone 22:46, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
Well you are the one in charge here, you can decide what to do now ;) -- Kynikos 05:53, 9 May 2011 (EDT)
The style part of this discussion has been implemented in the guide. I'd still be interested in changing "Summary" to "Reason for editing", anybody else? -- Kynikos 15:32, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
Going upstream would benefit more that just our wiki, as mediawiki is a pretty popular piece of software. +1 from me. -- Karol 16:45, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
The relevant system message is MediaWiki:Summary. I would suggest that the word "Summary" itself remain, as it is referenced in other locations and the documentation. My vote is for addition of an explanatory subtext à la Wikipedia. (Summary: (Briefly describe the changes you have made)). -- pointone 13:50, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Cooool, that's the way to go! +1000 XD
Some ideas:
  • Briefly explain the reason for the changes you have made
  • Briefly explain the reason for your edit
  • Briefly explain the reason for your changes
  • Briefly explain the reason why you edited the page
-- Kynikos 15:55, 22 September 2011 (EDT)

Package installation

pacman -S package vs pacman -Syu package: already started discussing in User talk:Kynikos#"pacman -S foo" vs "pacman -Syu foo" and User talk:pointone#"pacman -Syu package". Probably a nice subject for a new thread in the forum? -- Kynikos 11:46, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

Agreed; this should be discussed with the community at large. -- pointone 22:56, 4 May 2011 (EDT)

[myusualbrainstormingmode ON]I would even add a third opponent: treat official package installation similarly to AUR packages: just list the packages to be installed (possibly with Template:Package Official) and link to Pacman or some other article for details on how to install.[myusualbrainstormingmode OFF] -- Kynikos 05:23, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

Ah, and maybe rename Template:Package Official to Template:Package or just Template:Pkg for ease of use. -- Kynikos 05:32, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

I agree! I don't think we should use the verbose "Install Template:Package Official: pacman -S pkgname" outside of the Beginners' Guide. "Install Template:Package Official." should be enough, and I don't think we need to link to pacman each time we do it, since archers learn how to install packages during the initial install. Explicit instructions are useful when it's not something completely obvious, like using --asdeps or -D. thestinger 05:48, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
Well the link could be implicit, like in "Install Template:Package Official". -- Kynikos 06:03, 18 May 2011 (EDT)
I think we could have a template for that too. Something like {{install|pkgname}} which would render as: "Install the Template:Package Official packagehow?" Bonus points if the template can accept a list of packages. I think the "how?" is small enough to be ignored by the more experienced but friendly enough for the novice. One could have a separate template for AUR packages which links to the AUR Wiki article instead. James Eder 17:19, 3 June 2011 (EDT)
Is there a way to use templates and point to a specific package? This is not what I want, I want just kernel26. Selecting only core repo makes it a bit better, but still not perfect. This method can cause some confusion so it would be nice to avoid it. -- Karol 18:06, 3 June 2011 (EDT)
I don't know if there is a way but it seems in most cases the right package appears at the top of the search results at least. On the other hand, most users probably are going to be using pacman to grab their package anyway. In that case, linking to the web front end for the database might not be that useful anyway. James Eder 19:24, 3 June 2011 (EDT)
About the template, I have the same position as for the daemons: it would force to use always the same wording while there are cases which would require different, more natural ways of explaining the installation. For example what would you do with optional packages? Would you make a Package Optional template? And with lists of packages? As far as I know, templates don't support for loops, so how would you print a list of packages with a single template?
About Karol's question, I think that the main problem would be the difference between i686/x86_64 and any packages: this would require 2 templates, unless we'd like to provide only one package in case it's a i686/x86_64 type. Apart from that, each package has a well defined URI, so it would be easy to compose it providing as arguments the package name and the repository.
Anyway, as stated by Pointone, all "this should be discussed with the community at large", e.g. in the forum I guess. -- Kynikos 10:20, 4 June 2011 (EDT)

Related: #AUR package installation

Let's sum up this discussion:

  • Package installation instructions should be given as "Install Template:Package Official, available in the [reponame] repository". The alternative is a template for doing this.
I think linking to the package is sufficient. Official and unofficial (AUR) packages should be differentiated, however. I do not support the use of a template which would tend to restrict editors. -- pointone 14:03, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
I agree, except that I haven't understood if you support the link to pacman or not. At the moment this is implemented with the link. -- Kynikos 16:38, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
  • Do we enforce also mentioning the repository? This will have to be maintained in case the package is moved somewhere else.
As mentioned above, official and unofficial packages should be differentiated. Maintaining repository information is unnecessary and troublesome; repository changes are not wholly uncommon. -- pointone 14:03, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Implemented. -- Kynikos 17:16, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
I think we should make an exception for official repositories which are not enabled by default. Currently this is only [multilib] on x86_64 machines and [*testing] repositories. This is somewhat rare if we consider the relatively few (by the numbers) packages in [multilib] and the nature of testing repositories (packages do not stay long and could be broken). However, mentioning a that a package is in multilib which is not enabled by default can avoid some confusion. It would be a loss to not include such information, IMO. James Eder 12:01, 23 September 2011 (EDT)
You certainly have a point there, do we keep a whitelist of allowed repos ([multilib] and [*testing]) or a blacklist of not-allowed ones ([core], [extra], [community])? I'm for the baclklist way. -- Kynikos 15:48, 23 September 2011 (EDT)
A blacklist sounds simpler.  :) James Eder 00:05, 24 September 2011 (EDT)
Done. -- Kynikos 15:34, 24 September 2011 (EDT)
I support this move. What would you suggest as a more succinct title for Template:Package AUR? Template:Pkg2? -- pointone 14:03, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Uhm, I'd say Template:UPkg or Template:PkgU or Template:PkgAUR or Template:AURPkg or, why not, Template:AUR. -- Kynikos 17:16, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
  • Allow using direct links to packages to avoid ambiguities?
Perhaps the package search API could include an "exact match" option as Template:Package AUR now uses? (Relevant code). -- pointone 14:03, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Definitely, the template for official packages is not meant to be a search tool, it should point to the right results as fast as possible, and the user inserting it is supposed to use the exact name of the package in the first place. -- Kynikos 17:16, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Ah, but this means we're not going to allow direct links? I'm in favour of forbidding them, provided that the "exact match" option works as desired. -- Kynikos 17:19, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
The trouble with direct links for packages in the official repositories is that you end up linking to either the 32-bit or 64-bit package which may not be appropriate for the reader. It would be best if the template lead to search results which match an exact name (which should, in most cases, contain only two packages in the results). +1 for not directly linking to packages in official repositories if it can be avoided. James Eder 12:22, 23 September 2011 (EDT)
What about e.g. Template:Package Official, Template:Package Official, Template:Package Official, Template:Package Official? I think we should use
# pacman -S ruby
-- Karol 13:32, 23 September 2011 (EDT)
I'm not sure if I have understood correctly your reply: those packages would be included in sentences like "To get the latest version of Python 3, simply install the Template:Package Official package." (reworded from Python): by clicking on Template:Package Official, with the eaxct match option the user would be shown only 2 results, python for i686 and python for x86_64. I think that would be the desirable way. -- Kynikos 16:02, 23 September 2011 (EDT)
  • Create a template which composes a direct link when given repository name, architecture and package name as arguments?
Maintenance would be difficult -- repository changes are not wholly uncommon. -- pointone 14:03, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Kk, discarded. -- Kynikos 17:16, 22 September 2011 (EDT)

-- Kynikos 15:17, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

Article summary templates

Article summary templates provide a place to sum up the content of the aricle. The problem is that, in my opinion, this conflicts with the text written in the first part of the articles, before the first heading, which is kind of used for the same purpose. You can see this even in the page I've linked at the beginning of the paragraph, and in Writing_Article_Introductions. I suggest that the summary should only be written as normal text before the first heading, and that Article summary templates should be used only to provide additional schematic introductory informations, like links to related articles (also note that this could conflict with "See also" sections), using the Overview templates, listing packages to download (like in Trinity) and so on. Writing Article Overviews and Writing Article Introductions should be edited in accordance, or maybe merged with this very article? (They actually talk about style) -- Kynikos 12:12, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

I never liked those summary templates and I prefer to have all the related links either in the article itself or at the bottom in the "See also" section. The introduction should have info like This is an article about foo. If you're looking for foo2, go to this page and if you want bar, go to this page. Examples Gnome v. Gnome 3, Virtualbox v. Arch Linux VirtualBox Guest. -- Karol 13:24, 3 May 2011 (EDT)
Would you definitively deprecate Article summary templates? It would KISS things up, I could agree.
Let's try to be concrete, otherwise discussions like this can last for eternity: I'm listing all the possible uses for Article summary (add more if you can think of others), then evaluate each briefly to see if it can be put back in the "normal flow" of the article:
  • Article summary:
it could easily (and I think should) be always substituted by the text before the first heading (which appears before the ToC);
  • Overview template:
more hardly replaceable, unless we just list its links in the See also section and get rid of the rest of the description; I don't like Overview templates very much, they could also be included in the normal summary at the beginning of the article;
  • Related articles and other links (Wikipedia articles, Series, Changelogs...):
easily mergeable with the See also section, anyway I don't know if I would like the opposite more;
  • Legal info:
This is rarely used (Fonts is the only occurrence I've found with a brief random search); it could be easily integrated in the normal flow;
  • List of packages:
Also rarely used (Trinity is the only occurrence I can think of at the moment); it could be integrated in the normal flow, though a long list would not look as good.
  • ...?
In the end, I would start removing the conflict for the summary itself, and then take care of the rest, also because a lot of articles make use of these templates in various ways.
As always the last word will come from the administrators. -- Kynikos 17:54, 3 May 2011 (EDT)
In my mind, the introduction should be used to describe the topic of the article whereas the summary should be used to describe the structure and scope of the article. E.g. Introduction: X is an application that turns your computer into a killer robot. Summary: This article covers installation and configuration of X. A slight distinction, I will admit. (Analogy: abstract versus introduction in research articles).
I created the overview templates as a way to add context to the related articles. Yes, article X is related to Y, but in what way? I also prefer seeing related links at the beginning rather than the end of articles.
-- pointone 23:03, 4 May 2011 (EDT)
Well I agree about the links: as we are trying to standardize the style you could consider approving to move all links from See also and External links sections to the Summary box.
About introduction and summary, I still think the difference is really too subtle to be noticed and applied in all the articles without having to puzzle over what to write where. We should think well if it really gives an advantage to have the two kind of text separated; also IMHO the purpose of the summary, as you have descripted it, is almost completely fulfilled by the Table of Contents. -- Kynikos 10:36, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
I’m not really a fan of these floating templates either. I tend to start reading a page sequentially, at least until I get a feel for what the page is about and decide if I am reading the right page or not. I ignore these sort of floating boxes because they don’t visually have a place in the main text sequence. I often just assume that if they contained important information, that information would be present in the main body as well. Perhaps I would take more notice of these templates if they were on the left (since I read from left to right), but on the other hand perhaps that would make me even more annoyed at the pages that use those templates :P.
How do the templates help add context to related articles? Vadmium 06:13, 1 August 2011 (EDT).
I was referring to the so-called overview templates such as Template:Package management overview. I believe this adds context to related articles rather than simply saying "See also: pacman, Arch Build System, PKGBUILD, etc." However, the overviews can be moved to respective category pages, as touched upon in #A crazy idea (about Summary templates, Overview templates and categories). -- pointone 14:18, 22 September 2011 (EDT)

Is the Article Summary to be optional or required (mandatory) on every article? And if it's optional, the choice is purely based on authors' preferences or do we suggest some guidelines? -- Kynikos 07:02, 17 September 2011 (EDT)

I am neither for nor against the summary templates. The majority of users (here) are against them, so it would seem. -- pointone 14:18, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Honestly, I would really like to deprecate every summary template except for the overviews, and I would finally implement #A crazy idea (about Summary templates, Overview templates and categories): I read it again, and my own words "This way every category would have a brief description, Overview templates would become unnecessary (merged with category pages), all (categorized) articles would have an almost automatic overview, and people would be more willing to categorize pages well" have convinced me again of the advantages of such a system. -- Kynikos 17:32, 22 September 2011 (EDT)

A crazy idea (about Summary templates, Overview templates and categories)

[Brainstorming mode ON]I don't even know if this could be feasible at all, but what if we could instruct the Article summary template to "read" (with an internal inclusion like those in the Beginners' Guide?) a specific standard section in each Category page that the article belongs to? That standard section would contain a description of the category, and that could somewhat replace the Overview templates. (How hard it is to explain insane ideas, further clarifications could follow)[Brainstorming mode OFF]. -- Kynikos 12:43, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

This is an example: looking at the code, I have used Template:Graphical user interface overview, but with this method its text would be in the includable section (Overview) of the Category, and would be included (automatically with some template hacking?) in the Summary template field:

Lorem Ipsum

Category: Desktop environments

{{:Category:Desktop environments}} (Would this work?)

Template:Graphical user interface overview

Related

External links

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin egestas, magna non sollicitudin commodo, sapien elit semper sapien, adipiscing consectetur nisi ipsum ut elit. Sed ac neque ut nulla tempor porttitor. Mauris interdum. Cras feugiat sodales nibh. Proin neque turpis.

Categories: Desktop environments

<noinclude>

Category:Desktop environments

Overview

</noinclude>

Template:Graphical user interface overview

<noinclude>

Subcategories

...

...

...

</noinclude>

This way every category would have a brief description, Overview templates would become unnecessary (merged with category pages), all (categorized) articles would have an almost automatic overview, and people would be more willing to categorize pages well. -- Kynikos 06:02, 5 May 2011 (EDT)

Ok, this definitely works: see Template:Sandbox, Category:Sandbox and Sandbox for an example (Note that Template:Sandbox has been edited meanwhile, so the examples don't work anymore at the moment. -- Kynikos 08:22, 15 May 2011 (EDT)). My suggestion would be an Article summary category template, or just Category to be put among Article summary templates; note that it automatically adds the page to the category, so it doesn't even duplicate its name in the source.
Template code:
<includeonly>{{Article summary heading|Category: {{{1}}}}}
{{Article summary text|[[Category:{{{1}}}]]{{:Category:{{{1}}}}}}}</includeonly>
Usage:
[[Category:My category]]

{{Article summary start}}
{{Article summary text|bla bla bla}}
{{Category|My category}}
{{Article summary heading|Other heading}}
{{Article summary text|bla bla bla 2}}
{{Article summary end}}
[[Category:My category]] is not needed at the top of the page. -- Kynikos 09:56, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
Of course if there's some category text that needs to be prevented from displaying in the template, it should be enclosed in <noinclude> tags (see the source of Category:Sandbox for an example). -- Kynikos 10:42, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
My original plan with respect to overviews was to include them on their related category pages (category summaries). I, too, thought of something similar, but realized that many existing categories are too broad. Consider Template:Access control overview, which includes pages under Category:Security (English). I also envision an "Encryption overview" which would fall under Category:Security (English). For this to work, we would need to split Category:Security (English) -- not necessarily a bad thing, but I believe the template system provides more flexibility. -- pointone 20:41, 10 May 2011 (EDT)
All this idea was built on the assumption that if two articles need two different overviews, then they very likely belong to different categories (possibly in a parent-child relation) and vice versa: in your example there probably should be an Encryption category, child of Security. I still think that the flexibility given by the Overview template system has a (IMVHO too high) cost in terms of ease of use and maintenance, with respect to the category system, anyway as I said it was just brainstorming. -- Kynikos 08:58, 11 May 2011 (EDT)

Prepare examples of both simple and advanced use of the (new) wiki templates & formating

so users can easily figure out how to get what they need and not get stuck with ugly stuff like this: Template:Cli

I've added <nowiki> tags and it already looks better:

Template:Cli I'm not sure if this idea belongs in the Style Guide and if the new templates will need much explaining :-) -- Karol 13:31, 9 May 2011 (EDT)

I'm not correcting edits like that, because I have faith the Age of the New Templates will come :P -- Kynikos 13:07, 10 May 2011 (EDT)
I too shall eagerly await its arrival ;P -- Karol 13:42, 10 May 2011 (EDT)

If possible, automatically escape any disallowed character in the templates

like '=' in the urls. We can't simply <nowiki> the whole thing, because we want to keep the urls clickable . -- Karol 13:31, 9 May 2011 (EDT)

I don't think this is possible with our current wiki configuration. -- pointone 20:25, 10 May 2011 (EDT)
I think he meant to suggest using HTML escape characters in templates (and other breakable features?) like &#61; for =. I'm in favour. -- Kynikos 05:14, 11 May 2011 (EDT)
Let's not forget that if the name of the argument is specified (or its numeric value), the equal sign won't break templates, as in:
{{Tip|1=Example [http://www.archlinux.org/index.php?arg=100]}}
-- Kynikos 08:03, 6 June 2011 (EDT)

Related: ArchWiki:Requests#<tt> is deprecated in HTML 5 (closed discussion).

I think the methods to escape characters should be explained in Help:Editing rather than here, right? -- Kynikos 15:56, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

Implemented in Help:Template (that page needs improvement). -- Kynikos 17:02, 25 September 2011 (EDT)

rc.conf arrays

When adding to DAEMONS, MODULES, etc. don't paste extraneous code in the example; don't background by default. (Source: User:Pointone/Style_Guide)

Use File template?

Example(s):

Add dbus to the DAEMONS list: Template:File

...
DAEMONS=(!hwclock @dbus @ntpd)
DAEMONS=(... dbus ...)

-- Kynikos 09:58, 13 May 2011 (EDT)

Thestinger has another idea. -- Karol 00:56, 15 May 2011 (EDT)
I see, but shouldn't he better discuss such radical changes first like we're doing here? Of course I don't like it that way, as it shows extraneous daemons, though that could be easily fixed. Anyway using such a template would have the disadvantage of a loss of flexibility, for example how could you make the template accommodate for cases like this?
It has also to be noted that at the moment that template can be used only in articles which already make use of the Cli (and File) template, otherwise it will look ugly; this won't be true any longer when there will be official rules for style.
Tell me your opinion, and then maybe we could invite Thestinger to discuss here. -- Kynikos 08:22, 15 May 2011 (EDT)
The problem with a free-flowing wiki is that instead of fixing something in one place, you need to do it in a dozen places and you can't be sure you got them all. Templates are a way of lessening the maintenance burden unless they themselves are a PITA :-) He wrote that this template is not (yet) intended for all daemons, since some may need to be started before network, and some after (along with other conflicts, such as networkmanager v network). and he's working on some better ones.
I would just keep a wiki section on how to add, remove / disable (!foo) and run daemons (rc.d foo ...) and then just write "Add foo to the DAEMONS list" w/o any templates or use some generic ones if it's more complicated than that, so basically I'm with you on this. You can use his talk page or e-mail him and ask to join us here. -- Karol 19:37, 15 May 2011 (EDT)
I've just left a message on his talk page. The article about daemons already exists, it could be linked in a similar fashion to how AUR packages installation has been discussed to be handled. -- Kynikos 12:39, 16 May 2011 (EDT)
Hi, I ended up making the template only because it seemed silly to manually sync the dbus instructions given on a bunch of pages. I definitely agree that it should be handled like AUR installations with a link to generic instructions (that you only have to learn once) but I didn't feel comfortable replacing the instructions without any consensus. The page should just have info specific to the daemon, such as dependencies on other daemons. thestinger 18:12, 16 May 2011 (EDT)
I see. Trying to adapt Template:Daemon to all the possible scenarios could lead to a template even more complicated to use (if possible at all) than simple text. I think that before starting to change how daemons are treated in the articles, we should find a "definitive" solution here, with the approval of administrators. -- Kynikos 05:18, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
This is why I don't like the template way: it forces to use always the same phrasing and to renounce using much more natural expressions; for example with this edit we lost the explicit request to prevent hwclock from starting in rc.conf. -- Kynikos 06:06, 22 May 2011 (EDT)
reverted back to the old way, I agree that templates aren't going to work for this. thestinger 20:29, 22 May 2011 (EDT)
In the next days I hope I can find the time to start implementing in the main article some of the ideas in this talk page, so we have a more concrete basis for duscussing. -- Kynikos 11:29, 23 May 2011 (EDT)
Wow, exactly 4 months later, this is what I mean when I say "in the next days" XD
However this is somewhat implemented now, but what are we doing with start/restart/stop daemon instructions? Currently they are handled with rc.d examples. Note that I have already deprecated add/load/blacklist modules examples in the guide, although of course nothing is definitive yet. -- Kynikos 18:02, 23 September 2011 (EDT)

Notes, Warnings, Tips

Define non-overlapping scopes for these templates. -- Kynikos 18:06, 27 May 2011 (EDT)

A few ideas:
  • Note should be used for information that is important but easily overlooked by someone new to the subject area.
  • Warning should be used where the described procedure could carry severe consequences such as being reasonably difficult to undo or resulting in damage to the system. Warnings should generally indicate both the worst case scenario(s) as well as the condition(s) that could lead to or avoid such worst case(s).
  • Tip should be used to indicate a preferred method and the benefit(s) of using it (e.g. it saves time or is safer).
James Eder 14:47, 25 September 2011 (EDT)
My attempt (I have slightly different ideas):
  • Note should be used for information that somehow diverges from what the user would naturally expect at that point. This definition would include also information that gives more in-depth information on something in particular that otherwise would be considered a bit extraneous to the article.
I don't know if "for information that is important" using bold formatting would be better.
  • About Warning I agree with James' definition.
  • Tip should be used to introduce additional information that is absolutely not needed (this does not imply that it can't be useful for somebody) and can be ignored without any negative consequence.
For "preferred" or even faster or "safer" methods I'd like to suggest using keywords like "recommended way", "preferred method" and so on, possibly in subsection titles.
Of course these will just be loose guidelines, those templates have to adapt to many unpredictable situations.
-- Kynikos 18:48, 25 September 2011 (EDT)

Stacking

In general, would you prefer a stack of Note templates, like:

Note: Noting something bla bla bla bla bla.
Note: Noting something else ble ble ble ble.
Note: I'm a note bli bli bli bli bli.

Or a list inside a single template, like:

Note:
  • Noting something bla bla bla bla bla.
  • Noting something else ble ble ble ble.
  • I'm a note bli bli bli bli bli.

-- Kynikos 18:31, 23 September 2011 (EDT)

I prefer the single template so long as the notes are all fairly well related. I suspect most cases where note boxes are stacked that they will be decently related. James Eder 14:47, 25 September 2011 (EDT)

Do not privilege one shell over the others?

Inspired by this edit, I'm wondering if articles should always assume bash as the user's shell or be as neutral as possible (note the default shell is indeed bash). -- Kynikos 08:11, 29 May 2011 (EDT)

I think in such cases there should be info about other shells too and possibly a universal method - one ring config to rule them all. -- Karol 08:28, 29 May 2011 (EDT)
(The heading of this discussion was misleading, I've changed it)
I was more thinking of avoiding the use of headings like "~/.bash_profile", and if the code is different between the shells (not in this case), use subheadings or an unordered list. -- Kynikos 05:16, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
Implemented somehow, but it's difficult to think of a general rule... What I've added should be enough to convey the general idea behind it. -- Kynikos 17:37, 25 September 2011 (EDT)

Do not use <pre> for one-liners

Example of what not to do. IMHO it's better to start that line with a space. What's your opinion? -- Karol 05:31, 3 June 2011 (EDT)

I don't think we have many cases where you should be using a one-liner with a space or <pre> - we have the Cli and File templates which cover one-line commands and lines in a specific file. thestinger 11:42, 3 June 2011 (EDT)
I don't like the Cli template for many reasons (I don't like the colors, the need to escape some characters, it doesn't use <pre> to render) but maybe the new templates will make me change mind mind :-) -- Karol 12:43, 3 June 2011 (EDT)
I've seen <pre> used for one-liners in ordered/unordered lists. I left them partly because they also work around the quirkiness of having more than one block element (paragraph) per list item. (<br> works too but I don't care for that much either since it breaks whatever style sheet type stuff you might have in place for spacing between paragraphs.) The other reason I left them is that the File and Cli seem too bulky for short one-liners. It's not so bulky/ugly that I'd consider removing the templates if they are used for one-liners, but I'm indifferent and lazy about adding them for short 1~3 line spans. James Eder 13:04, 3 June 2011 (EDT)
I'm not sure if Thestinger and James followed the discussions about templates restyling, so I'm reminding you they are linked at the top: we tried to find some ways to standardize and simplify the usage of Cli, File and similar templates, but I haven't had the time yet to sum them up in this page. -- Kynikos 10:29, 4 June 2011 (EDT)
How about we just have a rule "Avoid unnecessary uses of <pre>. It is generally preferred to simply begin a line with a space which often has the same effect. See [[Help:pre]]." The article link at the end would link to an article (or some article section) about the differences between <pre> and lines beginning with a space:
This is a <pre> block. '''markup does not work here'''. http://www.example.com <b>test</b>
Note: the HTML tag causes the use of a fixed-width font and preserves whitespace. In the
Wiki it additionally causes markup to be treated as plain-text.
This line begins with a space.  It has similar appearance to a <pre> block but is still
affected by markup: http://www.example.com bold text italic text wiki link

You can make lines beginning with a space behave like a <pre> block by additionally using the <nowiki> tag.
On the other hand we could just have a rule to avoid HTML markup in general reserving its use exclusively for templates. This, combined with the template unification/simplification proposals, could simplify the rule book since we will not need more rules to govern the use of other HTML tags. James Eder 14:53, 18 September 2011 (EDT)
Ok with avoiding all unnecessary uses of <pre>, but there are cases where it has no substitutes atm, for example:
indented code blocks
  • bulleted code blocks
Maybe one solution could be to move Template:Bc to Template:BHc (where H means with Heading) and use Template:Bc as a replacement for <pre>.
About HTML markup, the wiki makes use of some floated divs somewhere, the Main Page is an example, so avoiding HTML tags completely should allow exceptions. Nonetheless we could indeed keep a whitelist of allowed tags and their uses.
-- Kynikos 06:26, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
I would like to keep Template:Bc as-is and create instead a Pre template. -- pointone 14:22, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Wouldn't its name break coherence with its fellows Template:Ic and Template:Bc? Let's also hear other opinions on this. -- Kynikos 17:39, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Perhaps Template:Bc could become Template:Hc and Template:Pre be moved to Template:Bc? I do not like "BHc." -- pointone 13:30, 23 September 2011 (EDT)
Why not, I like the compromise ;) -- Kynikos 16:04, 23 September 2011 (EDT)

Point to "authority" articles (i.e. de-duplication of efforts)

Before writing a specific procedure in an article, or describing something in particular, always think: is there already an article that treats this part in detail? If yes, link that article instead of duplicating it; if not, wonder: could this part be generalized and made useful also for other articles? If yes, write a new appropriate "authority" article for that and then link it in the article you were writing; if not, just go on with your original article.

For those who are a bit familiar with programming languages, this is the same as defining functions, classes, methods, structures and so on... You don't want to uselessly repeat code ;) Also for ease of maintenance.

The negative side of this is the possible loss of flexibility, and this is especially true when making templates: in these particular cases it's better to discuss with the community first.

Already described examples are #Package installation, #AUR package installation, #rc.conf arrays and to some extent, #Introductions: de-duplication of effort.

-- Kynikos 05:34, 7 June 2011 (EDT)

Also avoid duplicating guides of external projects which already have their own original documentation: the ArchWiki should talk about how to make things work in Arch Linux, nothing more. -- Kynikos 05:41, 8 June 2011 (EDT)

There's a risk that the linked site will go offline or will get abandoned & vandalized. -- Karol 06:03, 8 June 2011 (EDT)
And that's the positive side of duplicating efforts, a.k.a. reinventing the wheel; while it's true that some work seems "wasted", having multiple instances of the same "project" is as useful as competition in nature or economics: the healthiest/stronger/smarter/richer lives, the other one dies. Afterall, the Linux community is one of the best examples of multiplication of efforts.
Maybe the administrators will take a decision about this subject. -- Kynikos 10:36, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
How about a general suggestion that when creating new articles, create the "See Also" or "Resources" section first? Doing so naturally causes one to go look at what's already out there. It may even lead to the writer asking the question "Do we really need our own article for this?" Who knows, one might even discover the upstream has a wiki of its own which can be improved instead. Even if the documentation is not on a wiki, if the upstream documentation is broken or out of date then one really should ping the author about it (bug reports, patches, gentle nudging via email or mailing lists, etc). At any rate, I would hazard to say that almost all articles should link to upstream documentation. That effort alone might reduce some duplication of effort especially if the upstream is in good shape. James Eder 15:51, 30 June 2011 (EDT)
In theory yours could be a good idea, but in practice I think that this style guide will be mainly helpful for people fixing existing articles, not for users creating them. For example when creating new articles, users should also remember to categorize them, but that is done very rarely indeed. -- Kynikos 06:09, 5 July 2011 (EDT)

Implemented with modifications and additions. -- Kynikos 18:11, 25 September 2011 (EDT)

Configuration header

According to the Help:Editing guidelines, a general outline for an article should have a configuration header that follows the installation. Should this 'configuration' header also include the steps on how to run the software as well,(e.g. 'running somesoftware' + 'running somesoftware at startup') or should the 'running' steps be separate. In many cases, running the software is often a part of the setup or configuration part. I think it should be included in the configuration to keep the hiearchy more KISS. -- Roygbiv 10:12, 8 July 2011 (EDT)

I think this should be adapted to each article, I don't see a big advantage with standardizing it. About the hierarchy, I don't think that the less the headings, the better (i.e. KISSer): I believe that there shouldn't be unnecessary headings, but also the idea of trying to put systematically everything under the fewest possible headings can't be always the best solution. -- Kynikos 05:26, 9 July 2011 (EDT)
Some articles do include a "Usage" section, if running the software provides its own challenges or requires explanation. See MediaTomb as an example. -- pointone 14:27, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
But do we really want to standardize the scope of such sections? I don't think it would be useful to anyone. -- Kynikos 17:43, 22 September 2011 (EDT)

Templates don't play nice with article summary

ASP.NET with Apache shows template on top of the summary. Do we want to fix this or is it a "special case" as the articles shouldn't feature any templates of this kind (i.e. merge, delete, out of date etc.)? -- Karol 23:06, 25 August 2011 (EDT)

No need for a special case, this is much more easily handled with the rule "put article summary after block templates like requests". -- Kynikos 09:45, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
Ah, of course. Thanks a lot. -- Karol 10:08, 26 August 2011 (EDT)
I should have thought of it before, there's an easy fix for this, we just have to put Template:Codeline to the containing divs of all those block templates. -- Kynikos 05:13, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
I mean, I'm asking here for confirmation before doing the needed changes. -- Kynikos 05:16, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
I can only whine about templates, I can't really fix them, so +1 from me if you want to have a go at it ;P -- Karol 09:59, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
ATM I've edited Template:Box, which affects all derived templates like Note... If you think it works fine (see example in pacman), the style could be added to the protected request templates as well.
Would it be useful to add it to other templates like Cli, Command, File...? Note that also overflow:auto should solve the issue, and it's already used for Template:Bc, maybe it's a better solution?
-- Kynikos 12:21, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
Are similar changes in the works for Template:Message box used for merge, delete, etc? James Eder 17:33, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
Template:Message box is protected, only admins can edit it (honestly I don't really get the need for this protection thing, but that's another story ^^ ). -- Kynikos 19:06, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
Ok, now I could fix this, but Message box templates are intended to be used always at full width, so I won't add the needed css unless somebody reports an example where a derived template (Deletion, Merge...) could possibly lay under a floated block element. -- Kynikos 16:33, 24 September 2011 (EDT)

Template:Filename

Is Template:Ic going to replace also Template:Filename? -- Kynikos 09:18, 19 September 2011 (EDT)

My opinion: I like current Template:Filename usage as it is currently. I would, however, like to see other templates and other HTML tags migrated to Template:Ic and Template:Bc. That is, of course, once they are no longer "in development" (nudge, nudge). James Eder 20:37, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
Eheh those templates are in development because they're waiting to be enforced together with this very article, I also prepared some sort of a migration procedure some time ago in User:Kynikos/Random formatting ideas#Upgrade_procedures although it'd need heavy upgrading itself.
Waiting for more responses about Template:Filename, default is not replacing it. I am a bit undecided on this, because replacing it would go in the direction of simplicity, and it would be coherent with the decision not to distinguish between cli and file text in block code templates; on the other hand I've never been very convinced by that decision, so that's why I'm asking for opinions.
-- Kynikos 05:52, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
Can summarize what we do and do not have a consensus on here? The migration process seems to be fairly straight forward it just needs to be said which templates we are sure about. Is Template:Filename the only one left undecided? James Eder 13:06, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
There has never been an official discussion on this, so I'm creating #Migration to new Code formatting templates. -- Kynikos 12:50, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

Migration to new Code formatting templates

Months have passed since the initial proposal to restyle the Code formatting templates, references can be found here:

The new templates are Template:Ic for inline code, and Template:Bc for block code.

A possible migration strategy could be the following:

  • Cli -> space-initial lines or <pre>
  • Codeline -> Ic
  • Command -> space-initial lines or <pre>
  • File -> Bc
  • Filename -> Ic (or keep Filename? see also #Template:Filename)
  • Kernel -> Bc
  • Cursor -> deprecate?

As discussed initially on #Do not use <pre> for one-liners, we could also copy the current Template:Bc to Template:BHc, and restyle Template:Bc to look like <pre>, thus deprecating the use of <pre>.

Another related discussion: #Prepare examples of both simple and advanced use of the (new) wiki templates & formating.

Please share your ideas. -- Kynikos 12:50, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

See also or Related in Article Summary?

I think we'd better be coherent whether to keep links, references etc. either in a "See also" section at the bottom of the article, or in one (or more) boxes under the Article Summary at the top right of the article.

See also #Article summary templates.

-- Kynikos 15:15, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

Advantages of links in See also:

  • There is more space for link descriptions
  • It is likely one will read or skim the article before actively looking for additional reading material. This naturally leaves the reader at the end of the article. It is convenient for the reader in this case if links are at the end of the article. James Eder 00:29, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
  • It seems more common (elsewhere) to have links at the end of articles (when they are not inline with the rest of the text). Following common convention it may be better from a usability perspective. James Eder 00:29, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
  • I am not sure how much we care about this but it having the links at the end could be more friendly to small form factor screens and screen readers. James Eder 00:29, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
  • As a section, "See also" gets its own TOC entry granting easy access from near the top of the article. Alternatively one may press the END key. James Eder 00:29, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
  • [add more advantages...]

Advantages of links in Article Summary:

  • Immediately visible
  • Beyond some minor editing inconvenience, is there any real disadvantage of having the most interesting links in both locations? It could be advantageous for the reader to have some links in both locations. James Eder 00:29, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
  • [add more advantages...]

Category pages - tree or otherwise?

The ArchWiki category tree was originally designed as just that: a tree. I disagree with the point: A category can be categorized under more than one category, provided one is not ancestor of the others. I believe that categories should themselves be categorized under only a single category. Non-overlapping categories should be devised in cases where one category could belong to many. Related categories can be listed on the category page itself. -- pointone 10:39, 23 September 2011 (EDT)

As noted at the top of Table of Contents, Category:Secure Shell (English) is a good example: if we can solve it we can really try to avoid categories with multiple parents in general, which is something that I don't like either. The problem is that Security could hardly be child of Networking, and vice versa, so either we put Secure Shell only under one of them, or for example we split Security in two categories, one under Networking, the other not, and put Secure Shell under Networking->Security. Of course we could also split Networking instead, but it would probably be less natural. -- Kynikos 11:43, 23 September 2011 (EDT)

Internal and external linking

When linking to other articles on the Wiki do not use the full URL of the Wiki article. For example do not:

[https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Help:Style#Generic_rules The Law]

The above syntax should be used for linking to content external to the Wiki. For content internal to the Wiki use:

[[Help:Style#Generic rules|The Law]]

This has additional benefits for Wiki users:

  • "What links here" (not accurate if the full URL is used)
  • Links to articles which do not exist appear in red
  • If the Wiki's base URL changes the Wiki text does not need modified

This is a rough draft, feel free to rewrite/extend it. I wanted to get this out there for critique/refinement at least. James Eder 21:20, 25 September 2011 (EDT)