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Picture Formating

Is there a seperate page for imaging formatting? I'll just post it here for now. NAyway, I have noiced that in many artilces, I have noticed they are clumped into a column without care to which part of the article they belong to. Like on the Sickbay page in the Differences amongst starship classes section, the pictures are formatted on one top of each other, instead of pictures in their appropiate section of text. I think it would be more helpful to change it. Peb1991 16:44, 20 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Narrative tense

I notice that tense varies from past (when people watched it), the present tense (the narrative present tense), and the future tense (when the show is set). I propose that we switch to the narrative present tense -- let us split the difference and be consistent. -- Ŭalabio 06:38, 2005 Jan 27 (CET)

Note that discussions about tense can be found at MA:POV. -- Sulfur 13:00, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Suggested change: Indent "alternate timeline" information

I suggest that we break from the Star Trek Encyclopedia style, which italicizes both "alternate timeline" and "meta-Trek POV" material to divide it from the "in Star Trek POV" used by unitalicized text. Instead, we should recommend users indent the alternate timeline or universe paragraphs, but not italicize. This has been discussed at Memory Alpha:Ten Forward.

I find that, in the format of a wiki, using the style for two separate things distracts from being able to discern background info from the in-universe perspective i'd like to see maintained on alternate timeline. At Tom Paris, User:Q instituted this style (i assume he'd support making this a policy since he made the edit), I find i support it as well. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 15:17, 9 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Support

Please simply list your name (* ~~~) below if you want to make this a specified policy.

Disagree

  • Oppose - looks very ugly, and far too distracting from the rest of the text. Strongly support status quo - italics for alternate timelines, italics and indentation for background material. It looks a hell of a lot better, and neater. -- Michael Warren | Talk 18:54, 9 Apr 2005 (EDT)
  • Disagree - to me, it doesn't seem as if italics or any sort of special flag is needed for alternate timeline info; just putting "In an alternate timeline" or something similar should be sufficient (and with bigger articles, an entire "Alternate timelines" heading). -- SmokeDetector47 // talk 19:35, 9 Apr 2005 (EDT)
  • Oppose - I agree with Dark Horizon. I think the way it is now is easily understandable, and does make it look alot more 'cleaned up'. Keep italics for Alt. Time lines! --AJHalliwell 01:02, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Discussion below. -- Cid Highwind 09:57, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Discussion

We have a ten months old discussion about exactly this topic here. Let's not forget the things said there. The comment I made on that page still stands:

Regarding alternate universe info, I think I&I should depend on some specifics of the alternate timeline - if the information is unknown to inhabitants of the original universe, it should be indented/italicized; if the information is known, this should not be done.
Take T'Pol as an example: The "Twilight" timeline basically didn't happen - info about it should be i&i'd. The events of "" are known to the crew, so info about that should just be a normal part of the article. This makes sense if we think of MA as an encyclopedia written by an in-universe person in Trek's future.

To reiterate, the I&I-format, in my opinion, is nothing that is used especially for alternate timeline info. It is a format to distinguish between known and unknown information (from the POV of a person in the Trek-universe). -- Cid Highwind 09:57, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Rule clarification:Quoting texts containing errors

We have a small section about quotations here, but it doesn't really say anything about the way errors in original texts should be handled. Recently, we had the case of a cover text using U.S.S. Enterprise instead of the correct USS Enterprise. Possibilities are:

  • Correct errors in quotations
  • Leave quotations as accurate as possible (don't correct errors)

I prefer the second option - text passages marked as quotations should be kept in their "original" state. What do you think? -- Cid Highwind 11:00, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, we obviously have a well established format, and as long as we are keeping true to the 'words' of something we quote, the formatting should stick to what is already widely accepted here and not to what some 'Joe Blow' intern typed on the paper instered in the back of my DVD case. Besides, when we start adding too many footnotes and corrections to things, it makes for a messy and, quite frankly, ugly article, especially about something so insignificant. Regardless, it's certainly not worth squabbling over. --Gvsualan 11:21, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is, in my opinion, not really a question of using/not using an "established format", but more a question of "accuracy". We can't call something a quotation if it is not - try altering quotes (without marking these changes) in any type of scientific context... Also, it would be best if you dropped the judgement about significance and the "Joe Blow"-type comments. The discussion is already loaded as it is. -- Cid Highwind 11:43, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I prefer to leave the phrases as they would appear if and when they are linked to a MA article title -- for example, the sign in TNG: "The Outrageous Okona" reads: "Charnock's COMEDY Cabaret" -- have i made an error by transcribing the actual title of the MA article as "Charnock's Comedy Cabaret" ? No -- i wrote exactly what it said, but styled it according to our policy -- we shouldn't add irregular stylings to text in our articles unless we are prepared to link to an article U.S.S. Enterprise -- otherwise we are preserving a bad style which will cost us the trouble of creating a piped link ((USS Enterprise|U.S.S. Enterprise)) -- something i find to be wasteful and troublesome, especially considering that we ignore such occurrences in actual canon sources, which is supposed to be our focus here, not the minutiae of merchandising box-art. For an example of canon use, the hull of the main ship in TOS reads U.S.S. ENTERPRISE, but our article is USS Enterprise - why? because "USS Shipname" fits wiki code better as a simpler variation, and its also how ships are referred to in readouts in episodes and films. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 17:29, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Episode title formatting

One thing I have been unable to find in the Manual of Style or elsewhere is a guideline on how names of episodes should be formatted when they're referenced in articles. Two of the most common formats I have run across are:

Other variations include not using quote marks around the episode title. Thoughts on a standard? --Spot 22:28, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

(TNG: "The Neutral Zone") within articles because they are Meta-Trek there, below References ->
--84.131.29.137 22:35, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That topic is covered in Memory Alpha:Cite your sources -- Kobi - (Talk) 07:03, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Aha - that's where it's hiding! Thanks. --Spot 17:19, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

List reordering

I've noticed that some users have been reformatting lists from this style:

to a style like this:

Was there ever a vote or a consensus to move over to this new style that I may have missed? I don't find anything particularly wrong with the new style... my only major issue is that episodes become segregated by series rather than chronological order, which is especially bad for things which appeared over multiple series and movies. -- SmokeDetector47 // talk 20:06, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

I think an effort should be made to find lists that are chronologically ordered and maintain the older style.
I like the newer style for removing excessive occurrences of "TNG" and such in longer multi-series lists. I didn't think I'd need a vote to remove extra links -- it is MA policy to remove excess links like the repeated ENTs and VOYs in these lists. Although other users discussed this with me on talk pages, i think the consensus comes as that, when this style is added to an article, it is usually maintained there as the simplest possible ordering of the information. I decided to Be bold and add some lists like these to see how they would work.
You are absolutely right, however, that chronologically ordered lists like the example above should be maintained in the older style to remain as informative as possible. I think it might be worth adding a disclaimer to the Memory Alpha:Manual of Style cautioning users not to disturb the order of the list when multiple series' episodes are interspersed chronologically, and to only institute a simpler style if the list is sorted by series. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 20:45, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
So should we keep it like the first style if chronological order is desired, or do something like this:
I'd be content with this format, in order to both preserve the chronological order and be consistent with the other list styles. -- SmokeDetector47 // talk

Okay here is a good question, I think. What do you mean by chronologically? The episode/movie production chronology or the in-Trek universe chronology. I was attempting to reorder the Template:ShipClass appearances, and in doing so, there was the difficulty of deciding in the appearance of several ships, if whether to organize them by their episodic appearances or their Trek-history appearances. This is especially difficult in cases where ships are shown "out of time", like having the Excelsior and Enterprise-B appearances falling in the middle of TNG/DS9 and VOY's timeline. Below are the two examples of what I mean (sorry it's so long).

Production Chronology:

<snip>

<snip>

<snip>

OR
Trek Universe Chronology:

<snip>

Although I realize the "Emissary", "Flashback", and "Relativity" appearances are debatable, would it just be best to leave all of the TOS Movie appearances together? --Gvsualan 13:29, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I apologize for not responding to this sooner; I seem to have missed this addition. I agree, the motion pictures, at least the TOS ones, should be kept together for simplicity's sake; none of the movies correlate with the episodes that well anyway. I was more concerned with the TNG/DS9/VOY era episodes; and even though some of them featured flashbacks or trips to earlier years, the main bulk of the episode was still primarily set within its respective season and air order. So "Emissary" would belong with DS9 season 1, "Flashback" around VOY season 3, and "Relativity" around VOY season 5. Of course there are exceptions like "Living Witness" and "These Are the Voyages," but I don't think there are enough to cause a huge problem. -- SmokeDetector47 // talk 04:36, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Memorable quotes

Would it be significant to add a section on "memorable quotes" formatting for the articles on episodes? There are a few different ways that are currently used (see "Broken Link", "Ties of Blood and Water" and "Ferengi Love Songs" for examples). Rcog 22:22, 9 Sep 2005 (UTC)

There's even more variation than that. It should be set up like this

Janeway: Dont quote me on that

Chakotay: What?

Janeway: Whatever I said in this quote

I personally think quotes should be set up as definition lists if more than one person was involved. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 22:31, 9 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Janeway 
Dont quote me on that
Chakotay 
What?
Janeway 
Whatever I said in this quote

I like the formatting on most featured articles, such as "Court Martial" or "United". Seems cleaner to me then some others, I particularly don't like the Ferengi Love Songs version. - AJHalliwell 03:10, 10 Sep 2005 (UTC)


"Don't quote me on that."
"What?"
"Whatever I said in this quote.

- Captain Janeway, Chakotay

I prefer this:

Janeway: "Don't quote me on that."
Chakotay: "What?"
Janeway: "Whatever I said in this quote."
--Memory 21:47, 10 Sep 2005 (UTC)

  • This is probably one of those stylistic things that's more personal preference than anything. I do it the way AJ mentioned, but only because I saw "Court Martial" as the Article of the Week and modeled my own pages after it. The way Memory and Mike (they're similar enough) suggest would probably be necessary though if you had more than two people in a quote. --Schrei 06:15, 13 Sep 2005 (UTC)
  • All of the episodes now follow the same format, the same one that's in the episodic template:

"Don't quote me on that."
"What?"
"Whatever I said in this quote.

- Captain Janeway and Chakotay
  • With two blank lines between quotes for spacing. In short, the episodes are (at the least) consistent now. If nothing else. -- Sulfur 18:09, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Miss, Mrs., and Mr.

I'd like to suggest a guideline about avoiding titles such as Miss, Mrs, and Mr. I've seen in numerous articles that characters and performers are referred to with titles, such as "Rosalind Chao played Mrs. Keiko O'Brien in DS9" and "Whoopi Goldberg played Guinan on TNG. Ms. Goldberg was born on...", which nearly all writing guidelines suggest avoiding.--This user is not Jesus 10:10, 9 Dec 2005 (UTC)

I agree with avoiding titles in the above examples, but there may be times when the term will be unavoidable because is was what the character was called on Trek, for example, Mr. Spock and Mr. Homn. --From Andoria with Love 11:16, 9 Dec 2005 (UTC)
For style questions that are not specifically related to Memory Alpha or the wiki format (like this one), is there perhaps some good online "writing guideline" that we could reference? We could then only note "local variations" from that guideline instead... -- Cid Highwind 12:48, 9 Dec 2005 (UTC)

"Alternate timelines" section

I think the title "Alternate timelines" (seen in quite a few character pages) should be changed to something like "Alternate Realities". Information could then be taken from sequences that are not strictly alternate timelines, such as Barash's illusion of the Enterprise-D crew that Riker witnessed in TNG: "Future Imperfect". I'd still appreciate other users' opinion on that before making changes. --Defiant | Talk 14:26, 18 Nov 2005 (UTC)

i'd support this. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk

Hyphens

2 or 3 years ago -- I read in a wiki guide that was linked from one of our policy pages that we try and avoid hyphens in article titles (and therefore article links) whenever possible, to avoid delimiting searches and other wiki-tech related issues.

Its been a while and we've moved servers, so i can't find any policy pages or talk relating to it, but I'm sure that's what i read. This is why we do not hyphenate the title 22nd century or Template:ShipClass.

I ask because there is a new user who needs it explained. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk

German MA moved all articles missing the hyphen to the correct German spelling with it a long time ago (e.g. "Constitution Klasse" to "Constitution-Klasse", the redirect remained). Up to now I thought the "not-hyphened" writing is correct in AE. Is it not? --Memory 23:06, 26 Dec 2005 (UTC)
This is still something that needs to be clarified. Even 3 months later, a user is hyphenating nearly every starship and starship class page. --Alan del Beccio 06:19, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, StarTrek.com uses hyphenated spelling in its library section, while Wikipedia (for example Wikipedia:List of naval ship classes in service) seems to use non-hyphenated spelling throughout. I personally prefer the latter style (no hyphens), but I don't know if there are any rules that would make the first one "more correct". -- Cid Highwind 11:17, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I would prefer to keep the Wikipedia method just to keep things consistent with them and what we've done for the past three years. I am personally going to continue to remove hyphens in class names whenever I come across them, unless we decide to make a formal vote on moving the class names to hyphenated titles. -- SmokeDetector47( TALK ) 22:18, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Seeing that hyphens are still added to starship classes while apparently, there's consensus here to use the spelling without hyphens - does anyone want to add anything else to this discussion? Otherwise this should be added to the MoS soon... -- Cid Highwind 17:53, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Italicization

Should the class names be italicized? I notice that in this discussion they're not, but in may places in the wiki I see that they are. — THOR =/\= 18:04, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it was omitted here just for simplicity's sake. The name before class should be italicized, i.e. Template:ShipClass. -- SmokeDetector47( TALK ) 03:48, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Use of 'The' with Ship Name

USS Honshu (NCC-60205) was a Nebula-class Federation starship...

means the same as

The USS Honshu (NCC-60205) was a Nebula-class Federation starship...

Wikipedia:USS Enterprise (CVN-65) starts "The USS Enterprise..." while Wikipedia:USS Enterprise (CV-6) starts "USS Enterprise..." In Wikipedia generally, ships are more often referred to as "ship name" not "the ship name" but it's not an absolute. Both forms are used within some articles. In universe, both forms are heard. Is there a rule on this? Should there be a preference for one style so that articles are consistent? – StarFire209 14:11, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

No rule, no preference. As you note, they both work, they're both acceptable, so I don't see a huge issue with that right now. :) -- Sulfur 14:36, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I thought so too. Just trying to avoid confusion. I prefer to leave 'the' off but will use it if the article already does. Thanks. :) --StarFire209 14:51, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Paragraphs and formatting

I'd like to propose a new section of the Manual, referring to basic paragraph construction and formatting of articles.

I've noticed a tendency towards HUGE "run on" paragraphs. Some of them numbering dozens of lines and 5+ column inches without a break. This makes the articles hard to read, because everything seems to just flow in together. It also makes it hard to quickly skim articles for data points.

A good paragraph (grammatically speaking) is 2-5 sentences in length on average. It covers ONE thought or idea/piece of information. Any time there is a change in the thought/idea/piece of information, there should be a paragraph change as well.

As for formatting paragraphs, I've found that adding an empty line between paragraphs looks better in the articles than the traditional "paragraph indent" on the first line. It makes for a more definite "break point" visually, and allows the reader to more easily see that they are reading a NEW paragraph at that point.

As an example of what I'm talking about, here's every thing I just typed done as one big block (the way many articles tend to be):
I'd like to propose a new section of the Manual, referring to basic paragraph construction and formatting of articles. I've noticed a tendency towards HUGE "run on" paragraphs. Some of them numbering dozens of lines and 5+ column inches without a break. This makes the articles hard to read, because everything seems to just flow in together. It also makes it hard to quickly skim articles for data points. A good paragraph (grammatically speaking) is 2-5 sentences in length on average. It covers ONE thought or idea/piece of information. Any time there is a change in the thought/idea/piece of information, there should be a paragraph change as well. As for formatting paragraphs, I've found that adding an empty line between paragraphs looks better in the articles than the traditional "paragraph indent" on the first line. It makes for a more definite "break point" visually, and allows the reader to more easily see that they are reading a NEW paragraph at that point.

Compare the two formats...Agree? Disagree?Capt Christopher Donovan 09:27, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea - shorter paragraphs, with line breaks, without indentation. I did a quick check, but couldn't find anything related on one of the MoS pages, do you want to add a section about it? I think it should be placed between "Headlines and sections" and "List style"... -- Cid Highwind 09:45, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Punctuation marks and quotes

I added a section about placing punctuation marks outside of quotes unless they a part of the quotation. I know this may seem obvious, but every English teacher I've ever had has taught me that periods and commas are always inside quotes. This also seems to be the case in any piece of literature I can find (besides wikis). Since I've noticed that MA consistently follows the first rule, I thought it would make a valuable addition.

--[User:Trlkly|Commodore Sixty-Four](talk) 10:33, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

No. That's wrong. Punctuation should come inside of the quote, unless the quote marks are around a title (ie, episode, comic, etc). -- Sulfur 11:39, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Citation for "AD"

It's been said that "AD" is mentioned so it's the norm but no one seems to offer any canon evidence for that. Just because "AD" was mentioned doesn;t mean it applies across the board. (It's logically invalid to generalize from a specific. "Some humans are mobsters" doesn't mean "All humans are mobsters." "One date used Christian notation" doesn't mean "All dates use Christian notation.") In needs to seen in context. The only reference I recall has to do with a holoprogram and in that context actually implies that "AD" is not the norm. "BC" is less an issue. Christ, regardless of your beliefs, was a historical figure of some importance. But "Anno Domini" means "in the year of The Lord" and has a much greater religious significance. Whether intended or not, "AD" IS a slight to non-Christians. And it's not even necessary. If you say "19th Century" we all know what you're talking about. – StarFire209 18:23, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Was CE ever used in Trek canon? No. Was AD used in canon? At least once. Problem solved, have a nice day. --OuroborosCobra talk 18:25, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Since you seem to be insistent on continuing this conversation on every bloody page here, I refer you to Talk:Distant past. Keep the conversation in one place. One. One.
As an aside to shut everyone up:
Character first appeared in pulp magazine, "Amazing Detective Stories," copyright 1934, A.D.
That's from TNG: "The Big Goodbye", said by the computer outside the holodeck. When loading the initial story. 'Nuff said. -- Sulfur 18:34, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
As a P.S., and the final word in this conversation on this page. I'm a non-Christian, and I don't see "AD" as a slight at all. It's the Gregorian calendar. Who do you think the Gregorians were? -- Sulfur 18:36, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Alternate Timelines Again

(Originally posted at Memory Alpha talk:Point of view):

I've noticed that in articles that detail alternate timelines, this information is placed in italics. There have been two old discussions about this (here and at Guideline to Layout), but I think they no longer correctly reflect Memory Alpha: Point of view. I think this information should NOT be italicized. My point is, such information should be now treated as analogous to the following situation (From MA: POV policy):

"There are some cases in Star Trek stories in which it was made clear that certain information is highly classified, or entirely unknown due to memory wipes or similar plot twists. While in theory these things are not known to anyone within the Star Trek universe, Memory Alpha's POV is all-knowing, just like the television viewer."

Like these examples, the alt timeline information is unknown in the "real" ST universe, but the TV viewer is aware of it. So what is the current justification under the POV for italicizing alternate timeline information?

Personally, I find this distracting. For articles that concern a subject that only takes place in an alternate timeline is awkward (eg. Morn's, Federation-Klingon War (alternate timeline)). Actually, I see in the latter that this rule was waived for undisclosed reasons. (perhaps awkwardness?)

I do not believe there will be a problem with alternate timeline information not being distinctive. In many (if not most) articles in which it appears it has its own section (especially for characters pages).

All I ask is that this be seriously reconsidered, and hopefully codified into the appropriate policies and/or guidelines. Thanks, Cleanse 09:09, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Not making any judgement call at the moment, but just for consideration: The difference between a "classified" information and an alternate timeline is, that in the first case, the event still took place, whether there is any knowledge about it or not. It is part of the "main" timeline, and may still have repercussion on other future events. The same is not necessarily true for alternate timeline events, so that it might make sense to handle those like background notes rather than like "real" events. This might include any or all of the following:
  • Different formatting for "inline" information.
  • A defined section header for information in its own section.
  • A page note for articles that solely contain alternate universe information, eventually with restrictions on how to link to or from this article.
-- Cid Highwind 13:01, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Currently the stylistic convention of "classified information" is to treat it normally. Background information is indented and italicized. Alternate timelines are italicized, but not indented. Just for some background. -- Sulfur 14:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

For the record, I'm now satisfied with the current section added by Sulfur (italicise with no indent, except if the whole article is alternate timeline). – Cleanse 02:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Rules for writing numbers

Do there exist Memory Alpha rules for writing numbers? I've always used the rule of thumb that states that numbers one through ten are written as words (i.e. "There are seven apples in the basket") and numbers 11 and higher use the actual numerals (i.e. "There are 12 apples on the ground.") I found this webpage which gives some good suggestions, but was curious if MA had an official stance. I couldn't find any, but perhaps I haven't been looking in the right spot. -Rhinecanthus rectangulus 20:12, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

There's no formal policy or guideline for that on MA. The rule of thumb I've used is to spell out one through twenty as well as the tens, i.e. thirty, forty, etc. For larger numbers, I use the numerals. Exceptions, obviously, are things like dates, addresses, etc. -- Renegade54 20:26, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Linking to non-existent articles

A long time ago I read that this was not permitted, i.e. to fill up an article with "red links" to articles that havent been writte yet under the assumption that "somebody will write it eventually". I recall reading that instead such text should not be linked but only linked once the article was written or right before someone was about the write. Its been about two years since I recall seeing that, but cant recall where. Does anyone else remember seeing it? -FC 01:47, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

Erm... the point of building the web requires us to occasionally intentionally link to pages that don't yet exist. The key is to link intelligently, not willy-nilly. In short, add links where they make sense, remove them where they don't (ie, remove red links to things like "the" and words that would only be able to have a dictionary-style definition. -- sulfur 01:58, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I think it did have something to do with the pointless links, like to "the, "and", etc. -FC 02:01, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

Capitalization in Episode Pages

(or, Capitalization in episode pages)

The guideline for headings currently reads:

  • In all cases, you should capitalize the first word and all proper nouns of the header, and leave all other words lowercase. The only place this does not apply is on episode and movie articles. These pages have their own peculiar format with all of the words capitalized.

I propose we strike out the last two sentences. We should be consistent, and there's no real reason to keep a "peculiar format". So "Background information", "Memorable quotes", "Links and references" etc.– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 00:28, May 20, 2010 (UTC)

I completely disagree and can't understand why it shouldn't be that all headings are capitalized. It definitely makes sense to me if they were, as they are headings, after all! It's a basic practice of using the English language and brings importance to the contents written under each heading/subheading. The contrary seems insane and it completely baffles me why anyone would want to implement a lack of capitalization in headings. --Defiant 10:49, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
I think what he's saying is that we should do one thing or the other for the entire site- not have different standards for different pages when it comes to capitalization. As to which we choose I don't really have a preference, just as long as I know what it is. :) --31dot 11:01, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that point, 31dot, but I didn't misunderstand it. I just feel very strongly that capitalizations should be used. So yes, I agree that the one standard should be used on all types of pages, but I feel that that "standard" should be capitalization. To do away with it opens up a whole new question - Why abide (generally) by the practices of the English language? The answer, IMO, is that it is a language (a method that even new users will be familiar with). --Defiant 11:22, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
I agree that we should have one way of capitalization throughout the whole site, without exceptions. I do not agree that this standard should be capitalization of all words. According to this WP article there is no single consistent capitalization scheme used by everyone, so we're more or less free to pick our own. I prefer the one called "sentence case", which we already seem to use (this avoids having to change several thousand articles for nothing), and which, according to that resource is used by many scientific publications including those by the ISO. -- Cid Highwind 11:34, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for that; I was unaware that differences in capitalization is so widespread. It's strange the article states that "title case [...] has no basis whatsoever in any proper English grammar" yet the Oxford Manual of Style suggests using it. As I understand it, MA uses American English rather than proper English. It therefore follows that we should use title case, as the article states that only one form of title case is considered correct in formal American English writing - specifically, "the practice of capitalizing nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives but not articles, conjunctions or prepositions." As for changing many articles, I don't think we should let laziness stop us correcting our ways and changing over to the proper form of capitalization. --Defiant 12:13, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
That's pretty much misrepresenting my argument: I'm not saying "Let's be lazy, although there's one proper way to do it." - what I'm saying is "There are several proper ways to do it, so let's continue to use the one we're already using.". As an aside, Wikipedia uses the same style. -- Cid Highwind 12:46, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
If Defiant is willing to do the changes, I don't see a reason to not let him. So I would support a change to the policy making that the standard, it's not like it would be the first time something was changed that required a whole mess of minor edits. - Archduk3 13:17, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
Hmmmm... where to start. I guess, first of all, nothing constrains us stylistically in any way, shape, or form. We're free to do as we wish, subject to consensus. Having said that, we *have* agreed to use American English spelling and grammar throughout the site (barring direct quotes), not because it's better or more correct than any other usage, but because Star Trek was/is primarily an American franchise, plain and simple. With that as a basis, we've made other stylistic choices along the way, any one of which I'm sure we could find one or more detractors. For example, we've decided to eliminate periods in such abbreviations as US (vs U.S.), BA, PhD, etc. (vs B.A., Ph.D., etc.), and others. We've decided to format names as John Doe, Jr. (vs John Doe Jr., or John Doe Jr, or any other permutation). We've decided that there shouldn't be a blank line between paragraphs. We've decided that alternate timeline text should be italicized. We've decided that citations should be inline, rather than collected at the end of an article. And there are plenty of other examples that any of us could come up with. The point is, these are all stylistic conceits to one degree or another. The same holds for header capitalization. As Cid stated, many scientific publications and scholarly journals use sentence case. We could certainly take a position that MA is a scholarly cataloging of everything in the (canon) Trek universe from an in-universe viewpoint, and thus justify using a more scholarly header style. We could also take a more fanciful stand that future usage is a more streamlined (and less stilted, or less formal) capitalization format, much like the dropping of the periods in items such as US represents a more clean and streamlined style. Again, it's a conceit, but one that can be supported in a number of ways both in MA's current format and in current real-world usage. -- Renegade54 14:05, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
The key argument is right at the beginning - "subject to consensus". I'd consider the fact that we've been using "sentence case" for years now to be some pretty heavy, though implicit, consensus. This mustn't be ignored and hastily replaced by some unclear 3-people explicit consensus. I still don't see the pressing need for changes, anyway, because what we're doing right now (and have been doing for years) is not wrong! -- Cid Highwind 15:56, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
I suggest we put this to a vote, so we can be sure of what the community's consensus actually is, rather than admins presuming that it's whatever they personally believe in. --Defiant 23:20, May 20, 2010 (UTC)
I think it should stay as sentence case the way it currently is. Every word's first letter in caps always looks ridiculous, in my opinion. Just as someone pointed out above, different people, different styles. Especially when it comes to the small words like "for" or "in" those usually aren't capitalized (based on my seeing them elsewhere) but other words are. If we stick to this one format nobody has to guess. — Morder (talk) 01:10, May 21, 2010 (UTC)

Brackets around registry numbers

What's the thinking behind this? I don't see why we would need them in brackets, especially because we use brackets for citations, and other bg type info. - Archduk3 21:57, July 31, 2010 (UTC)

See to the left. -- sulfur 22:27, July 31, 2010 (UTC)

I know that it's on there, now ;), but I don't know why we decided to do it this way. - Archduk3 04:14, August 1, 2010 (UTC)

Article disambiguations

Since we just use a indent and italics on disambiguations, I've been adding a line (----) underneath them since some are in an out of universe POV, and are not in brackets, as well as to avoid confusion as to where the article starts when we also have a quote at the top, which is also indented and in italics. I think this also lets everyone know where the article actually starts, even if there isn't a quote use. - Archduk3 13:16, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

My problem with this is that one single line disambiguations or pages where there are other boxes near the top, this looks like a cheap box around it, or a complete break in the text. I have no problem seeing where the article begins, and find the excessive use of these lines to be over the top and un-required. I do have other issues with the way that we're doing disambiguations, specifically in the way that we've got 8-10 different templates now and it forces us to use 2-3 templates sometimes, which is not a good thing. A disambiguation should be one line and contain (at most) two individual links. Anything more than that should point toward a disambiguation page.
If we did something like that, we could consider doing something more like the {{bginfo}} template which has different text and a different layout. -- sulfur 13:22, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

I'm all for placing them in a bgifo box. I actually tried to find a format that would allow for all/most of the disambiguations to be used with one template, but found that the current selection to be the best at reducing duplicated text, as well as autolinking. Of course, I've twisted some of them for format options. I could give a single template a go again, since I do have a few new ideas on that front. I do think that, with the exception of just mirror and AR disambiguations, if there is going to be more then three options for the same title, there should be a disambiguation page. - Archduk3 13:31, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

How about this? (As see here) - Archduk3 15:22, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

IMO, that solves nothing and adds confusion about how to use (or even maintain) that template, exactly. As I see it (in agreement with sulfur), the problem with disambiguation links is not that they sometimes use more than one template - but that, no matter how it is created, the resulting text uses more space on the page than it should. If the disambiguation is between two pages, there should be one line of text on both of them. If the disambiguation is between more pages, then each one should also contain just one line of text, only that it refers to a proper disambiguation page this time. There might be valid exceptions to that rule, but those should not become the rule.
Also, I don't think that disambiguation notes need to (or even should) use the same formatting as bginfo. -- Cid Highwind 16:27, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

How would you handle James T. Kirk then? Both the AR and mirror options should only be one click away IMO, and there is only one other page. Do we really need disambiguation pages for the main AR cast? Does that make MA any easier to navigate or use? As for actually using a template, any template, it lets us find pages that have disambiguations on them with only a few clicks, instead of combing the entire database. Since we have no way of knowing what will be the first template used, how should the others be formatted to adjust for only one line?

As for the super disambiguation template, I don't see how it's all that hard to use, each set of three variables acts as one of the current templates, with improvements in some cases. The rest of the formatting, like font, line breaks, break line (or absence of), etc., can be easily adjusted. This is just a mock up based on the bginfo template. - Archduk3 16:56, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

In the general case, there are the following options:
  • One article is much more prominent than any single other and/or more prominent than all others combined. In this case, the prominent article can get the non-disambiguated title and
    • if there's just one other article, that one is linked to directly or
    • if there's more than one other article, a (disambiguation) article is created listing all others, and this disambiguation page is linked to.
  • There's no single most-prominent article and instead, at least some of the articles in question share about equal prominence. In this case, there's no indisputable decision about which article should get the non-disambiguated title - and as such, no article should get it and a disambiguation page needs to be created there instead. Obviously, individual articles can then link to this page and don't need to link to each other.
In the specific case of James T. Kirk, I would handle it exactly like that. Either old-timeline-Kirk is considered to be the most prominent character with that name (the first option), or at least new-timeline-Kirk is considered "about equally prominent" (the second option). -- Cid Highwind 19:25, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

That's a lot of text to just say that you would drop the mirror link. Of course, I believe that our guideline shouldn't hamper reader navigation, and that we have, in the case of the seven main characters with AR counterparts, the very exceptions to said guideline. I also don't think that three disambiguation links is pushing the page any further down then all the rest of the stuff we have up there, and none of that addressed the reason I/we/Sha Ka Ree started this. The formatting for the disambiguation text is the same as formatting we use for other, completely unrelated things, and doesn't take into account any real-world POV links. We should have some way of separating it from the articles. - Archduk3 20:28, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

Disambig splitting Redux

To bring this back up again, specifically the addition of a line between disambig and page. I still feel that with a one-line disambig (and no quote), this is utterly unnecessary. With a multiple line disambig or a big quote on the page (which uses the same formatting at the moment), I can see value in this.

What I dislike about the way that things were done over the last year (and change) with these was the attempt at a quiet addition to the disambig templates to automatically add the line in and then simply adding it back in to pages when no consensus was ever reached on the formatting style.

I think that we need to revisit this as having one person add the line break in to various articles but it not being added to others makes the format of stuff look terrible (again).

If the format of leading quotes and disambigs stays constant, then I am all for having a line break between those, but not otherwise. A better solution might be to try and alter the text of either the disambig or the leading quote and dump the line break entirely. -- sulfur 13:52, November 18, 2011 (UTC)

My opinion hasn't changed from last year. One disambiguation link, not more. No complicated template to cater to a bazillion of different eventualities. I'm open to different suggestions regarding formatting (nothing, line, box, whatever), but I definitely agree that whatever formatting is used, should be used throughout and be part of the template (not added to the article itself). -- Cid Highwind 14:07, November 18, 2011 (UTC)
I'm remain adamant that template(s) should be used for disambiguations, and that three disambiguations doesn't push the article down beyond reason. Also, I'm only the most visible user who has added a line back in after sulfur's removal of them during this discussion last time, there have been others. That said, it was suggested before that we use something similar to {{Quote}} for opening quotes, though the objections to that template would need to be resolved first. If anyone here can make sense of the js runes that run the magic behind it, then by all means see if we can get the font to something that everyone can agree on and deal with the appearing/disappearing text. That should resolve the formatting issue with quotes. - Archduk3 14:33, November 18, 2011 (UTC)

Punctuation and MLA style

Moved from User talk:Sulfur...

I think you (and the MA guide) are wrong about emitting the extra s after the apostrophe. According to the MLA, the extra s after the apostrophe should be there. – Distantlycharmed 16:58, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

We do not use the "MLA" guide. We use our own. It was decided by consensus. That's the way things are. -- sulfur 17:00, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

Oh well excuuuuuse me for inquiring. How inappropriate of me. I mean it's not everyday I see people make up stuff and think it is ok and correct cause it was done by consensus. We are an encyclopedia (supposedly) but we do not use the formatting by the Modern Language Association. Do we use the Chicago manual of style or maybe the "make stuff up as you go along" one? – Distantlycharmed 17:09, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

We use a mix of sources, including using some styles here because a) they work better in the context of Memory Alpha, or b) they are entrenched in Memory Alpha from the early days as it is too difficult to change 32000+ articles to suit. A couple of other notes, the last edition of the MLA I saw eschews "Harvard commas," but we use them here. We use no "formatting" source exclusively, but a combination of things that has been deemed to work for us. Also, your initial approach of "you are wrong" is not a way to endear people to you and does tend to result in blunt responses. Your response to such does the same. -- sulfur 17:13, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

Although I have no interest in getting into a personal argument about how we speak to each other, I must say I have often noticed your approach (to me at least, I havent followed your interaction with others) to be very blunt and unfriendly. Your responses are always in the format/tone of "this is how it is, take it or leave it" or "what do you want now, this how we always done it. Go away". I try not to take it personal as I think the written word can be misunderstood as it does not convey real tone and emotions. At the same time, I can see how me approaching you with "I think you are wrong" can come across, but it wasnt meant that way and sorry if you felt attacked or anything. Anyway, going back to the style: I do not see how omitting the extra s after the apostrophe is in any shape better suited for the context of MA. The MLA is also an accepted manual of style in many literary works and it can very well be used here without disturbing MA's flow so to say. Also, the whole "we have always done it that way and changing is too difficult" attitude is in my opinion also not constructive. I mean yes this is a big project and we got a lot of people here and you gotta start somewhere. I have seen and read the extra s after the apostrophe practice in many places and find it odd to opt out of it because of some outdated MA policies from 6 years ago or because it could be inconvenient. – Distantlycharmed 17:32, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I think that MA could be a bit more open to outside opinions on questions of style and other subjects. On Wikipedia, there's a saying that "consensus can change", especially if a good new argument is brought to the table. Perhaps it's time to revisit some of the stylistic decisions that were made in MA's infancy. —Josiah Rowe 03:49, September 21, 2010 (UTC)
Weighing in, too (and probably this shouldn't even be on a user talk page but on Memory Alpha talk:Manual of Style or similar): of course, consensus can change - but the question might as well be "When does consensus change where a site-wide practice is concerned?". Apparently, there's a good dozen style guides for AE, plus at least as much for other variants of the english language. Some state one thing, some another, neither seems to be totally incorrect. With whatever process, this community has chosen to follow one specific practice of the many possible, and has written over 30K articles with that practice in mind. That alone should be a good reason for not changing the practice - and if someone wants to have it changed to something else, he better bring up better reasons and wide support by contributors, because it means looking at all those 30K articles and changing a good percentage of them for mainly "stylistic" reasons. -- Cid Highwind 10:07, September 21, 2010 (UTC)
I agree that "MLA does it" is not sufficient reason to make such a massive change. Change is fine- when there is a good reason for it. There isn't one here- at best changing it to that would be different but not necessarily better. We need to know why it would be better.--31dot 10:18, September 21, 2010 (UTC)

The "we have 30k articles and shouldnt implement any changes" excuse is just that, an excuse. How often have I heard that simply because something wasnt fixed in another article, doesnt mean that it is right. No one would need to go through 30,000 articles and make the changes. What would practically happen is that once someone runs into the "s after apostrophe" issue, they can just change it. Simple. This place is a work in progress.

We always say that consensus can change, but in reality, once something is reached, it is held on to rigidly and anyone who suggests something new gets either the "gtfo" response 9when they are new) or is ignored or it is said that correcting 30k articles is "too many". These whiny attitudes towards change are not constructive. See for example the debate on "The Doctor", and whether it should be with the capital t or lower t. I think whoever brought it up again was ignored, even though he/she made very good oints about why it shouldnt be written capital t ...Or the Apogee talk where a mathematical concept is written in the past tense even though really it doesnt make freaking sense. An apogee is an apogee. "The point in an orbit that is most distant from the object being orbited" wont change. Yet it is written in the past tense and we will probably have another 50kb debate to arrive at a conclusion.

Finally, we are not having a fundamental philosophical debate over the moral and practical implication of introducing change into established norms etc. So let's not blow the "s after apostrophe" debate out of proportion and make it something it is not. I dont care about revolutionizing the style guide of MA, as of now, my point is the "apostrophe after s" issue. One, the fact that the Modern Language Association - whose members are scholars of language and literature - is supporting the "apostrophe after s" is and should be good enough. The practice of writing it that way also takes away a lot of the confusion and misspelling we see in many articles when it comes to the possessive apostrophe. Saying "Tom Paris's book" is easier and more straightforward than "Tom Paris' book". What if you want to use the plural of Tom Paris. Like "Alternative Tom Paris'".

I understand that one of the downsides of a wiki is the consensus issue. And i call it a downside because, as with democracy, I dont think every uninformed person should be just allowed to give their 2 cents toward issues they know nothing about. We have to adhere to certain styles and rules here because (sometimes not always) the uninformed masses have decided that it should be so. So we make it so,m even though a pro in that field would not agree. But i understand that this is what comes with wikis so I am not really debating that or making it an issue. Just a side point really since everyone is holding the consensus issue in such high regards. – Distantlycharmed 00:59, September 22, 2010 (UTC)

May I suggest that we confine the discussion here to the issue of the MLA? Again, I don't see why changing the style is better than the way things are now. I reject the argument of "it will take away confusion" as this will happen no matter what style is used, as there are numerous styles out there. Saying "the MLA says so and they are all scholars" is not a reason why using their style here would be better.--31dot 01:17, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
To only address one small bit of that at the end (since I'm a bit too tired to do anything else right now), you NEVER use an apostrophe in a plural of someone's name. NEVER. EVER. The plural of "alternative tom paris" would either be "alternative tom paris" or "alternative tom parises". No apostrophe. Unless you're talking about something possessive in there. That's when apostrophes are used. -- sulfur 01:18, September 22, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifying sulfur. Note that I am not talking about adopting MLA style for everything and rewriting every single article. This is about the "apostrophe after s" issue. Do we HAVE to change everything to MLA style? Can't we just change the apostrophe issue. Like we specified with the doctor? Anyway, I can see this is not going anywhere, since according to your optimistic views nothing is going to make a difference anyway and there will be confusion no matter what and you dont think it will be an improvement etc. You already made up your mind and diss any arguments I make as invalid and BS - as is to be expected and probably will be the case with any other change someone will suggest in the future. Have it your way dudes. You might as well just write the rules in stone. cheerios... – Distantlycharmed 02:08, September 22, 2010 (UTC)

It's not going anywhere because you choose to criticize the process and the opposing side instead of offering real arguments or refuting criticism of yours. --31dot 02:14, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
As for the "we have loads of articles" problem, couldn't we make site-wide changes with a bot, like other wikis do, or is there some problem with this? Personally, I'd expect it would make the oft-cited "too many articles" difficulty moot. --Defiant 08:20, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
@Distantlycharmed: Calling the opposite side in a discussion "whiny", consider their arguments to simply be "dissing" the other side and finally misrepresenting their cause will not get you very far. For example, I was not stating that "changing 30K articles is too hard", but that "30K articles written with a specific style in mind must count for something". If some style already is in use, it should count as some sort of "implicit consensus", and not be overridden by two guys that agree to a change and a third one that doesn't care. That's what I was trying to get across when referring to a "wide consensus". Also, as 31dot just repeated, this is also about giving good reasons for a change, and not just throwing something in the air that is "somehow different" and expecting people to agree with you just because you say so. I'm not convinced by the argument that "with s" is less confusing than "without s", and that is the only one you've brought up so far.
Finally, @Defiant: As explained above, "it's too difficult" is not the main point, making your request somewhat tangential. However, I'd expect any simplistic bot run for this issue to contain many false positives - what about all the italicized names ending in 's', for example. Or what about the letter s in single quotes I just used in the previous sentence. A bot could perhaps help with this issue, but definitely shouldn't do it uncontrolled. -- Cid Highwind 09:05, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
Of course not; I agree! And having used a bot in the past, I know it wouldn't be too much of a problem to control such technology. (I had more difficulty with signing in to wikis.) Also, I'd think that, whenever a bot is used, it is logical common practice to control it; that just seems to follow. Regardless of whether "it's too difficult" is the main point or not, it's definitely still a point that is repeatedly raised as being problematic (as, for example, I see it has been in this discussion). It just seems a bit like people are making a bigger deal of things being problematic than is actually true! --Defiant 10:55, September 22, 2010 (UTC)

Listing of background information

I've just added some BG-notes on the Galileo type shuttlecraft-article which brings me to the "Manual of style" of adding these notes. As far as I can discern no definitive style has been agreed upon. I've noticed in the past I've been corrected both ways in regard of presentation. In the case at hand two possible presentations are possible:

  • In the script of The Final Frontier (scene 56), the shuttle was described as having retractable wings and of such size that "even with wings retracted, the Galileo clears the door with only a few feet on either side." [1] These notions were not transferred onto the full-scale mock-ups and studio models.
  • While never stated on-screen, the in-universe dimensions of the Galileo-type shuttlecraft were apparently intended to be 30×13,5×8 feet (9,14×4,11×2,44 metres) without engines, according to information from the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction catalog (part two, p.225) and American Cinematographer, (issue July 1989, p. 80).
  • The Galileo-type shuttlecraft is one of the few prominently featured Federation starship based shuttlecraft that has not received a canonically established class or type designation.

or:

In the script of The Final Frontier (scene 56), the shuttle was described as having retractable wings and of such size that "even with wings retracted, the Galileo clears the door with only a few feet on either side." [2] These notions were not transferred onto the full-scale mock-ups and studio models.

While never stated on-screen, the in-universe dimensions of the Galileo-type shuttlecraft were apparently intended to be 30×13,5×8 feet (9,14×4,11×2,44 metres) without engines, according to information from the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction catalog (part two, p.225) and American Cinematographer, (issue July 1989, p. 80).

The Galileo-type shuttlecraft is one of the few prominently featured Federation starship based shuttlecraft that has not received a canonically established class or type designation.

Like I said, I've been corrected both ways, so I guess there is no consensus on this one. I for one prefer in this particular case the "asterix" method because the facts stated are short, a paragraph or less, and not related to each other, the "un-relatedness" a bit lost if the non-asterix method were employed....Thoughts anyone?--Sennim 16:16, December 3, 2011 (UTC)

The preferred method is method #2. The non-ordered list version. -- sulfur 16:28, December 3, 2011 (UTC)

I'm cool with that, but it would have been nice to have it elevated to policy, as not to cause ambiguity. For example, I just endorsed the reaffirmation the FA status of The Way of the Warrior (episode), which quite clearly does not comply to the "preferred method" (and might be construed as a reason not to endorse it)...I'm not going to rescind, mind you, but I guess you see where I'm going with this, ambiguity is the mother of all dissent (re-editing the article to the preferred mode ;))...--Sennim 16:42, December 3, 2011 (UTC)

Episodes should be in the list format. Episode pages are different from every other page in many many ways. :) -- sulfur 16:48, December 3, 2011 (UTC)

Definitively granted :) --Sennim 16:52, December 3, 2011 (UTC)

They aren't different because that magically makes sense somehow, though, but because the different article types just "happened" to evolve in different ways. If a policy for that gets created, it should not put that difference in stone, but rather make one of them the preferred version. That aside, it's better to write coherent prose instead of adding unconnected items to a list (of whatever formatting), anyway. -- Cid Highwind 17:08, December 3, 2011 (UTC)

You´re absolutely right, a coherent piece of prose is most definitely preferable, but we have to concede to the fact that this is not always possible, due to lack of additional info, like in real life archeology for example, so some sort of ordered way to present these kinds of tidbits (for lack of a better word) might be in order, which, was what I was trying to convey...Again I´m fine with either way--Sennim 17:26, December 3, 2011 (UTC)

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