This style guide
gives a brief summary of the style conventions suggested for use throughout the Encyclopaedia. Most articles already mostly conform to these guidelines, and the minor changes currently being applied do make for a slightly more authoritative tone.
- A new entry should generally include the term being defined in italics within the first 1–3 sentences of the entry. Second and subsequent mentions of the term being defined need not be highlighted.
- Avoid excessive use of capitalisation. Proper names, station names and terms such as Boris and Brian should be capitalised, but most game modifiers – e.g. spoon or knip should be in lower case. It is advisable to follow a similar convention to that for the SI units – those named after prominent scientists (e.g. Kelvin) are capitalised, others (e.g. metre, kilogram) are not.
- When linking, use double brackets around the item to be linked, and use spaces rather than underscores as separators. e.g. [[Baryshnikov, Boris Antonovich|Boris Baryshnikov]] (Note that this example link has been slightly altered so that it both works as a link and also shows the preferred link format, including the surrounding double brackets.)
- Also when linking, try to make the link self-describing, so that users can tell where it will send them before they click on it. For example, rather than 'To review game 242 at parslow.com, click [here]', use something like 'The following link points to [game 242 at parslow.com]'.
- Terms which are particularly important to an entry should have links provided. Terms of only minor relevance should not be linked. It is only necessary to provide a link the first time a related term is used, not every time it appears. Additional links may still be added in longer Encyclopaedia entries and in any other cases where readers are likely to find it helpful.
- Links to famous players should be given in the form [[Surname, First names]] as per the Boris Baryshnikov example given above.
- When detailing famous players, the year of their birth and death, if known, should be given at the head of the article within parentheses.
- When linking to a compound term include the full term inside the link (rather than part of the term inside the link, part outside) and if necessary use the pipe ('|') symbol to provide more suitable alternative text. e.g. "… with an incredible 26 consecutive forcing passes …" rather than "… with an incredible 26 consecutive forcing passes …"
- Use the Wiki codes for bold, italic, lists, etc. as far as possible rather than inserting HTML markup.
- Use single quotes in preference to double quotes except when quoting a person's actual words.
- Write single-digit numbers in words, numbers of 13 or more as numbers. The numbers 10–12 represent a grey area where either convention may be used as seems appropriate. Number ranges and numbers with decimal fractions should always be written as numbers.
- Use HTML glyphs for specialist symbols. Do not forget the trailing semicolon – while most browsers will still display the glyph even if it is missing, this is not guaranteed to work reliably. Of the sample glyphs given, the ampersand, quotes, and the less than and greater than symbols are the least critical, because the Wiki software will usually automatically alter them to the correct forms. There is a good [summary of commonly-used HTML codes and glyphs] available courtesy of [[DrQu+xum]]. Some of the glyphs already in use within the Encyclopaedia are given below:
- ampersand : & : &
- dashes : — – : — –
- degrees : ° : °
- dipthongs and ligatures : æ œ : æ œ
- ellipsis : … : …
- less than, greater than : < > : < >
- pi : π : π
- double quotes : " : "
- square root : √ : √
- superscripts : ² ³ : ² ³
- times : × : ×
- When writing equations, please use a colon at the start of the line to indent the equation, making it easier to see and read. Use spaces around each symbol and terminate with a full stop:
: e = m c ² .
… which will produce
e = m c ² .
- Avoid contractions (it's, doesn't) and exclamations.
- When adding a comment on an entry, put it in parentheses, and in italics within the parentheses.
- When giving a list of items, provide the entries in ascending alphabetical order unless there is some other more compelling sequence.
- If desired, contributors may sign the entry with their initials or other identifier enclosed within single brackets [ ].
- Where multiple contributors have added material, either list them after the section to which they contributed, if it is significant (see Mornington Crescent Out-of-Bounds), or add them to a single line at the end of the article (see Station Cascade).
- End the entry with four minus signs '----', then a new line containing 'Categories: A to Z, Famous Players' – or whichever category or categories are appropriate for the entry. List the categories in alphabetical order separated by commas. This will bring the most commonly-used entry, A to Z, to the beginning of the list.
- Finally, please remember to add links to the new article to the A to Z index, the list of famous players, the station index and any other locations as appropriate.
- Where an entry qualifies under multiple categories, such as Baker Street, which has notes both in its capacity as a station and as a ruleset, split the entry into sections. Use a level two or three header (e.g. "=== Station ===" or "=== Ruleset ===") and a row of four minus signs '----' to split the sections apart. If the article already uses headers, demote those headers to level two, three or lower by adding = signs, and use level one headers ("= Ruleset =", "= Station =") to separate the sections.