Help:Furry Book of Style

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The Furry Book of Style is a guide to style and layout on WikiFur. This page covers the presentation of information; technical information on syntax is in the section about editing. If you want the pages you edit to fit in well with WikiFur - and you should! - you should try to ensure that they use the styling and layout presented here.

If you do not know exactly how to do something, don't worry - do what you can, and then ask for help with formatting in your edit summary or on the article talk page. Remember that if there is another page that uses a certain technique, you can edit it to see how it's done. As with all style guides, it is sometimes appropriate to break the rules - just don't do so needlessly!

These first few paragraphs are called the lead section, and they are the most important parts of an article. They are indexed heavily by search engines and are usually the first thing a visitor reads. You should ensure that the lead section contains a synopsis of the page's content, and a few of the most relevant links to other wiki pages.

The full name of the subject should be prominently present in bold text. Other names, aliases and abbreviations that commonly represent the same concept should be included, also in bold, and you should add those pages as redirects to the main page (edit the entries to be #REDIRECT [[Main Page Name]]).

Contents

Headers

Headers are used to denote boundaries between sections. They are present on almost all pages, as even short articles have external links with more information.

Header titles on WikiFur are normally not capitalized after the first letter, unless there is a proper name involved. There should be a single blank line before and after the header, as this provides for easier reading when editing without inserting extra space into the output.

Header types

There are several different levels of heading, each denoted by increasing level of = marks. The first level is typically not used unless three levels of "ruled" section dividers are appropriate, as it's rather big and restarts the section numbering - the second, third and fourth levels are most popular, while the fifth is used rarely, and the sixth almost never.

Fourth level

Fifth level
Sixth level

Note that text written here still stays the same size as other text in the article, making sixth level headers harder to notice.

If you find yourself going five or six levels deep in an article, you may want to consider a different organization scheme or even breaking the article up into separate articles.

Table of Contents

A Table of Contents is automatically added before the first section heading on pages with more than four headers. If desired, it can be hidden by adding __NOTOC__ anywhere on the page (it does not have to be on a separate line).

If it is getting in the way or would look better elsewhere, it's possible to force it to display in a particular place by typing __TOC__ where you want it to appear. This will also force it to appear on pages with fewer than four headers (as will __FORCETOC__, for the default position). A common trick is to "float" the table to one side, with <div style="float:right">__TOC__</div>

Edit links

Edit links are available to the right of each header. To disable these, add __NOEDITSECTION__ anywhere in the article.

Links

In general only the first mention of a topic on a page should be linked, unless the page is long and the link is likely to be missed. Try to use the full name of an article rather than an acronym, unless space is restricted (such as on a picture).

Article names

Article names should either match the proper name or common usage of a subject (including capitalization), where possible. If there is no obvious correct name, use the name you would be most likely to link to from another article. Do not use capital letters for subjects that are not normally capitalized.

If it is not possible to use the correct title - for example, an IRC channel, which starts with a # - name the article something like Yiffnetbeats (IRC) and put this template at the top: {{wrongtitle|title=#yiffnetbeats}}. Link to the article with piped links ([[Yiffnetbeats (IRC)|#yiffnetbeats]]).

Articles about people

Generally speaking, a fan name, fursona name, or alias, should be used in preference to a Real Life name for articles about people, unless they only go by their RL name. Be careful about connecting the real name of someone to an article about them, even as a redirect. If they include their real name on their website or generally use both a real name and a fan name, that's fair enough, but if it's not something they obviously want known it usually should not be included.

At the start of the article, give the person's full name, along with any public alternative names. Use bold text for all such names, especially if you have created a redirect from that name to the current article. In subsequent paragraphs, start with whatever name is commonly used to refer to them (often the first part of their name).

People should be referred to using their personal pronoun. If you don't know what pronoun the person uses, refer to them by name throughout the article.

Do not give a person's current age, since that will become outdated. Give their year of birth instead, if that is public.

Try to avoid giving unordered lists of facts. Instead, create a paragraph or two of descriptive prose which incorporates these facts.

Articles should be written in the third-person. If you are writing about yourself, avoid the use of "I".

Articles about people should not include future plans, such as "plans to attend a convention soon".

Redirects

If there are many possible names for an article, you should pick the best one and then add redirects from all the other pages to that page. Do this by editing the other pages and placing #REDIRECT [[Main page title]]. As above, be careful about redirecting, or linking to or from a character that is not publicly associated with a person.

The, A, etc

If the subject of an article properly starts with "The" or a similar preposition (e.g. The Prancing Skiltaire), you should generally use this and redirect from the name without the The.

Correct category sorting

Do not do something like moving an article to Prancing Skiltaire, The to ensure correct categories - instead, do this: [[Category:Furry homes|Prancing Skiltaire, The]] or {{DEFAULTSORT:Prancing Skiltaire, The}}. This is a common issue for articles about works of fiction.

Article about websites

WikiFur contains information on many websites. As the site is the purpose of the article, links are typically not relegated to an External links section (see below), but are instead placed in the lead section, after a short (one paragraph) introduction. The links are presented in an unordered list, along with a summary of important facts about the website. The website logo, if any, is placed floating to the right of this introduction.

For example, here is a lead section for the article about WikiFur:


WikiFur

WikiFur is a website dedicated to the collection of information about the furry community and its culture, among other things. It is built by contributions from readers - anyone can edit the site, and their changes are reflected immediately.

For more information about how WikiFur works, see WikiFur:About

If a website has only one relevant address, you should skip the Web site and just put it as the Address. Redirections should be indicated with an arrow (->) from the redirection name to the actual address.

If a website is currently down (temporarily or permanently), it is good to include a link to a Internet Archive copy of the page, if available. Do so after the main link, as so:

Pictures

Furry Peace logo

Images should normally be floated to one side - large pictures should be sized appropriately by specifying a size on the File: tag. It is rarely appropriate to have an image wider than 300px, unless the intention is to cover the width of the whole page.

It may be appropriate to place a picture without a frame, especially if it has a white background. Most buttons and banners are displayed in this way.

Stubs

Very short pages (generally two paragraphs or less, excluding links) that could be expanded are termed stubs. These pages should include the {{stub}} template (or a more specific variant, like {{person-stub}}).

Note: If there really is very little to be said about something, it's not a stub, but it may be more appropriate to merge it with another page.

Categories

Categories help organization and offer readers a way to browse through related articles. Articles are added to categories with [[Category:Name of category]] at the end of the article, either all in one line or on separate lines. Like article names, category names should only be capitalized for words that are normally capitalized - thus, [[Category:Further Confusion]] would be correct, but [[Category:Convention Terms]] would not: the correct name is Category:Convention terms.

Regarding sub categories, the most specific category wins. For example, if you are categorizing a movie, it belongs in [[Category:Movies]] and not [[Category:Culture]], which is the parent of [[Category:Movies]]. The exception is an article on a person, which should always have Category:People.

Categories should reflect the information in the article, and vice versa. For example, a person's article could have Category:1980 births, but should also have (born 1980) in the article text.

If you are unsure of what category something belongs in, place it in [[Category:Unsorted]], and someone else will take care of it.

For a person, [[Category:People]] comes first, then furry-specific categories like Category:Fursuiters or convention staff membership, other categories, the species of their character, their location (only the most specific; Category:Toronto, not Category:Ontario or Category:Canada), and lastly their birth year. If the ordering is still not clear, put the most relevant ones first.

See Help:Categories for more detail.

General advice

  • Write actively and concisely
  • Write an article you would want to read
  • Write in a way that encourages interest in the topic
  • Write with a view to future expansion
    • Insert appropriate links, even if they don't exist yet
    • If a section should be there, add it, even if you don't write more than a line about it
  • Write what you know - and if you don't know, find out
  • Use headings, pictures and Did you know? sections to break up long passages of text

Links to other documents

WikiFur is a big place - but there's far more out there than we can or should put on WikiFur. There are hundreds of great resources for furry fandom information, as well as the actual items of interest. Links to these external resources are typically placed in a section at the bottom of an article, unless part of a website as described above.

It is sometimes appropriate to insert external links into the main text of an article. This is typically done with links to further information that is directly related to the text, such as a forum conversation, and where a References section is inappropriate.

References

Reference sections contain references (citiations) for information in the article. Titles should be presented in italics, and a date should be noted, if known (and appropriate). References to online material should include the date that material was last updated (if it is on the material), and the date it was retrieved, i.e. looked at and made a reference.

References are usually presented as a numbered list (#). If you wish to refer to items in the body of the text, you should use the newer method of referencing[1] which lends itself to a reasonably natural style and reduces the need for templates. Read the reference below for more information.

  1. Cite extension for MediaWiki - user guide

See also

The See also section is used to link to other wiki pages, either on WikiFur or on other places, that are related but which were not included as links in the main text of the article. You can link to Wikipedia by adding [[Wikipedia: at the front of your links. Items are presented in an unordered list, as below:

External links

The external links section contains off-site links to related web material. They are presented in an unordered list. Try to separate links for site names like this:

The title of the link can be in italics for the names of journals and the like.

If a link is of a mature nature, it may be appropriate to float a rating image button to the right of it (e.g. [[Image:Censor_MA_button.png|right]]). If there are large numbers of links, some mature and some not, divide the sections with a horizontal rule (----) and use different buttons, or use subheadings.

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