Erfwiki talk:Style Guide

From Erfwiki
Revision as of 19:37, 30 July 2009 by HistoricAccount MisterB777 (Talk | contribs) (Rules-like Pages: Possible in-line "Speculation" template idea)

Jump to: navigation, search

Links to Other Articles

One thing to think about is whether we link a word in an article every time it is used or only the first time it is used. -- Muzzafar 07:45, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Linking only once (or once per section, if it's a big article) tends to be better at avoiding "link salad", where every other word is linked to something. —RevenantTalk 12:59, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I have to disagree. I know that what I was initially doing was too mcuh, but one link per page is far too little. There is nothing as frustrating as reading a 20 page Wikipedia article, finding an intriguing name, and then not being able to click on it. That name is somewhere in 20 pages... and I need to hunt through it because some people don't like a little blue with their black? How is one link per paragraph? --Kreistor 01:18, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
While I see the logic, I also disagree (Manpower the Temporary is the whole point of the joke). I think Stanley is the only character that has had a name change. Worst case, we could redirect Stanley the Plaid to Stanley the Tool. Even if we do make the change, the full title should be included on the character page. --Raphfrk 09:49, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
My opinion is each page should link to another page once. If it's particularly long, once per section is good. (20 page article? really? hopefully we don't have any of those on here, without breaking them up). The exception I see is when things get linked under multiple names - then I think it makes sense to link once per version. So, if an article referred to "marching" and "movement," that both those could link to Movement. CIHN

I agree that references should be made to the three sources named, but we shouldn't completely rule out other sources. For example the "Stanley song" on FuMP: or the Hamstard comic: or interviews or the knol stuff: . --Welf von Ehrwald 12:38, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

(So [[Erfworld mechanics]] does not link to Erfworld Mechanics.)

This is why it's generally a good idea to name pages in sentence case (capitalise first word and proper nouns only). Makes it a lot easier to make links in natural language without [[Awkward Capitalisation]], [[Redundant Link Titles|redundant link titles]], or (almost) pointless redirects. —RevenantTalk 12:51, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Canon, Proposed Canon, and Speculation sections

Canon, Proposed Canon, and Speculation sections are currently mostly using =First-level headings=, which are equivalent to <h1> tags. As already noted on the page, this isn't ideal – in fact, good practice for HTML would have exactly one of these per page, as the page title (which the wiki software already does). Rather than massive headings, I'm actually thinking that we should put together some little templates (a la the Wikipedia Spoiler templates of old) to mark sections of the page as being of whatever canon status and automagically include 'em in the proper categories for review. In fact, I might whip up something basic to illustrate. :)RevenantTalk 10:48, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Something like:
This section is considered canon. Canon information can be generally relied on to reflect "the way things are in Erfworld, according to the creators."
Please do not mark sections as canon yourself – leave that to Rob, Jamie, or someone they appoint to do so.
This section contains proposed canon. These are the parts you are pretty sure are close to the way it really works in Erfworld.
Rob, Jamie, or someone they appoint will take a look at the proposed canon and possibly elevate it to canon.
This section contains speculation. These are mostly unsupported guesses and theories about how stuff works.
You might want to put parts you are pretty sure about in Proposed Canon.
Howzat? :) By the way, I used this for the colour scheme, in case anyone was curious. —RevenantTalk 11:18, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Speculation is a bit dark and canon is a bit ugly. however, I'm a bit colorblind so take that as you will.--Ichthus 14:40, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
When using color in a webpage, something too vivid or dark can be hard on the eyes, or just hard to read -- so it's really really important to be careful. I think these could use a little color-shifting -- if they were in the pastel color range, it could work well. As is, though.. they seem too distracting and attention-grabbing. R3u 02:22, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Both valid points. I did test out the "Simulate color vision deficiency" options, but obviously it can only simulate. Is, say, this better? Feel free to play with the tool/template colours yourselves, I'm by no means precious about them. :)RevenantTalk 03:43, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if we can get a color palette from the Artists? I nabbed RGB values from some of the dwagons already: Dwagon#Dwagon_Types.--Fluffums 04:07, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Rules-like Pages

Okay, I just realized that we have a major problem. I confirmed with Rob that he is only looking through the Proposed Canon section to determine if there is anything to advance to Canon. So that means "Erfworld Mechanics", the connector page that links to everything, will never advance to Canon. The entire page is listed as Spec, despite 90% beig Prop C, because its' a mix of both to maintain a rules-like feel. For the connection page to the more detailed Rules, that's a problem.
But as a Rules page, it needs to be written with a flow. What's holding the page back from being Prop C is that it needs PC dots connected with Speculation in some places, and even though it's strongly understood Spec, it's not entirely proven. Moving that Spec to a different section ruins the flow, removing the most important aspect of Erfworld -- similarity to a game, where rules are written in progressive sections of related rules. We need to maintain the flow, but also advance much to Prop C, or it will always appear that we've learned nothing.
My solution is to advance the entire section to Prop C, but flag the connecting Speculative dots in some fashion. This will give the reader the knowledge of what we believe to be true, and what connections between them are not yet proven, and it takes any load off Rob in trying to figure out what we think is PC and what Spec. He'll see the flag, and knwo to just block chop the section if wrong.
--Kreistor 17:11, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd say that makes perfect sense. There are plenty of pages that could use a template that marked out a single section of Speculation in an overwhelmingly Proposed Canon page. What about a simple table like this that could be turned into a template?
Hamstard.JPG Just so you know, the following section describes an aspect of Erfworld that is technically Speculation.

So, consider its contents to be less definitive than other Proposed Canon sections.

You'll thank me later, foo. Now, if you will excuse me, I gots me a date with a pie.

Obviously, it could be a little simpler than that, but then it wouldn't be as much fun. ;-) --MisterB777 00:37, 31 July 2009 (UTC)


We need to standardize on the use of capitals. I'm putting them in, others taking them out, and it's would be better if things were consistent. There is a good reason to capitalize terms that have rules behind them. Take, for instance the term Turn. For the purpose of game rules, Turn has a particular meaning, but it has other meanings as well. I can turn the knob on a dial. In order to distinguish Turn vs. turn, most game systems capitalize Turn. I suggest that wherever a game term is being used, it should be capitalized for clarity.

The other alternative is to Link every use of a defined term, in every single instance. But instead of a single letter change ('This' instead of 'this'), that requires '((This|that))', which is more work.

The following are a short list of game terms that should be capitalized: Turn, Side, Capital, Unit, Stack, Combat, Defense, Warlord, Caster, Barbarian. --Kreistor 12:50, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree – capitalise where we're referring to a game mechanic. —RevenantTalk 13:53, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Ditto. That said, we should also strive to link the first use of a capitalized game mechanic term.--Fluffums 04:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone else have any feedback, or can we go ahead with choosing which terms are always cap'ed? --Kreistor 20:30, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Nothing more said against. SO terms to Capitalize: Unit, Stack, Hex, Commander, Warlord, Chief Warlord, Overlord, Caster, Move (as a stat), Combat (as a stat), Defense, Hits, Turn, Side, Movement (as Movement Hex-to-Hex, not movement inside a Hex). --Kreistor 05:23, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

There has been absolutely no discussion on this in weeks, and we're still working at cross purposes. Please chime in, because clearly others don't agree. --Kreistor 02:14, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I have generally been capitalizing words that got capitalized in Parson's Klogs - words like Commander and Warlord, for instance. I don't always remember to do so, however. Personally I am in favor of capitalizing all game terms, but I'm not annoyed if someone fails to do so. That does bring me to a different point - many people seem to think anything that a character says, even once, is a game term. --Commander I. Heartly Noah June 4 2009

It seems that there are no pre-defined words for Erfworlders. Stanley calls them Unit points, while Parsom calls them stats. We, however, need something more concrete, so something must get chosen. We then cross-link the alternatives. Easier than writing things twice. But when it comes to an uncapitalized term in comic like "turn"', which has multiple meanings, it's easier on the reader to Cap the game term. They come here looking for explanations, not further obfuscation. Let's give people explanations that explain, not ones that continue the confusion in the comic. --Kreistor 20:52, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


I found out why <ref> doesn't work. It requires an extension that has not been installed. See this Page on MediaWiki. If Rob ever adds this extension, we should get rid of the sup /sup methd and switch to proper referencing. Unless someone out there knows how to do it without that extension. --Kreistor 12:58, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Indeed. I think our best bet if we want "proper" references is to use the older Ref/Note system. Alternatively, we could stick with plain links – it's not like this is an encyclopedia, we don't need a bibliography/references section. Inline links would be fine, IMO. —RevenantTalk 13:03, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I've got a working basic copy of the old Ref/Note system working on this wiki. Feel free to try it out. —RevenantTalk 13:51, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

I think we need to avoid multiple redundant references on the same thing, to avoid clutter, for example the breath weapon column in the Dwagon article. --Doran 18:01, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Just something to watch out for, the page numbering on the archive is different from the page numbering on This may cause misaligned links, when people are changing the giantipt links to the page.

For example,

is different from

Has there been any comment if the current indexing is 'stable' ?

--Raphfrk 12:03, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

The hilarious thing about this (for me) is that it's exactly the file naming scheme I used when saving the archives to my HDD, so for me there's zero adjustment needed. :PRevenantTalk 04:30, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Stumbled onto a bug in the Erf template. If you do 'erf|1|0xx|whatever [something] whatever' and then hit "Preview", clicking on the edit window will send you to the comic 0xx. Freaky. Just a heads up... don't put [ ] into the hovers. --Kreistor 20:25, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Addressed on Template talk:Erf. —RevenantTalk 05:05, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

References seem to be working out okay. Erf template is working fine. This section of discussion appears closed. Shall we delete it as irrelevant? --Kreistor 02:16, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Nay! Remember, Deletionism is Naughtymancy. ;) Just leave it, we can archive talk pages if they grow too large. —RevenantTalk 02:21, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Deletionism also refers to articles and not talk about articles. These are essentially a chat room to be added to and cleared as needed. *shrugs* --Ichthus (eyeBook) 02:25, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Reusable formatting

If there is a little bit of block formatting or tables that is used over and over such as the stat blocks or the school of magic breakdown, please be sure to request a template. This will allow everything to appear consistent. I imagine we will end up making templates for factions, capitals, in the near future. We just have to decide on what they'll look like and what information we want in them.--Ichthus 14:57, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Canon Future Spoilers

Came across this when doing 2198313, are we okay with putting them in white text. There may be a template for doing so. --Doran 18:48, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Created {{Spoiler}}, a la TVTropes. Works like this. —RevenantTalk 04:06, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Although we need a better definition of 'spoiler' as some people are going to see any future speculation as spoilers ala the Giantitp forums, and some just the creator's explicit spoilers. Any thoughts? --Doran 16:02, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I think that most things that have shown up in the actual pages of the comic should not count as spoilers -- people can finish reading the comic before checking the wiki, and the wiki will look strange if 90% of it ends up being in white text. I think that future speculation should just be 'speculation', and put in that section, while specific commentary from the comic creators counts as 'spoiler' if it refers to future events. My 2 cents. R3u 20:45, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I do not like GitP's def'n of spoiler. But, I think anyone reading the Wiki is going to see Spoilers. All of the Game Mechanics are spoilers for a new reader, and putting the entire definition of Turn into white text is, well, not desirable. I think it's best that when we get around to creating a Header for the pages that all headers just include a general spoiler warning, and then don't bother with worrying about anything specific in the text. --Kreistor 20:29, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Added a fairly narrow definition of spoiler on the page - things revealed by the creators relating to the future comic direction. --Doran 20:37, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
That's not the description of Spoilers. Spoilers are any events in the comic that a new reader would not be aware of. For instance, if I were standing in line for Empire Strikes Back and someone said as he left, "I can't believe Vader is Luke's dad!" then I was just spoiled. Spoilers are unavoidable on the Wiki, by its very nature. All those rules were spoilers, since they are based of events late in the BfGK that would spoil a new reader. --Kreistor 20:46, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Let me just cast my vote for the wiki to be written with the up-to-date reader as the audience. If you are starting from the beginning, you really should just read the whole comic. If you don't want to read the whole comic, then the wiki should provide you with the information you need to make sense of what is going on. In other words, I believe the entire wiki should be considered a spoiler. If we really have to, maybe part of the icon or a line on every page of the wiki should read, "Erfwiki is a spoiler. Read Erfworld first."--Fluffums 03:54, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

By 'spoilers', I mean an example such as this on Word of the Titans, not just anything you can get by reading the comic. I agree with the erfwiki as a spoiler, but i think anything relying on such as the above should be its slef hidden hbehind spoilers. --Doran 13:47, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Uncroaked Character Images

For characters that start off alive, perform things, and only later become uncroaked of some variety -- do we want the pictures on their page to include pictures of them before uncroaking, after uncroaking, whichever way they spent the most of the story, or both? Could this count as a spoiler, in the case of people like Webinar and Dora, or does it not matter? R3u 20:45, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Wait on that until Spoiler decisions are made. If no spoilers allowed, then it has to be the first image only. --Kreistor 20:35, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
While this must wait until the spoiler decision is made, I suggest that with the Erfwiki-as-spoiler option we use a picture of the character's current or most recent form, and then include previous forms in a sub-section.--Fluffums 03:54, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Erworld Mechanics

I have been stripping out mentions of specific people in Mechanics pages. Mechanics are rules, and so should be written as rules, not descriptions of what people have done. Those activities are references to support a proposed rule. So for isntance, "Parson can't see Level with his glasses, but others can." is not a rule. The rule is "Warlords can see the Level stat". Parson is an exception to the rule, anbd all of his exceptions should be shown on his page. Parson-specific exceptions are not rules, and should not be mentioned on mechanics pages.

As for writing rules... be definitive. "Apparantly" is not definitive: it is inconclusive. 'Apparant' comes from 'appears' which means you are simply stating an observation, and observations are mere references for rules, not rules themselves. If you think you know something because you interpret an image in a particular way, then say it with confidence! If we don't agree, well, we'll change it and you can argue it out on the forums or on the discussion page. --Kreistor 20:43, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Naming Conventions

I'm sure there are more, but I've noticed already pretty haphazard page naming. The first one that comes to mind is character names. We oughtn't use titles and pseudonyms in page names, because of the risk that a character's title will change. For example, had we been making this wiki from the beginning, Stanley's page would have been Stanley the Plaid. If we wanted to keep up with titles, we'd then have to move it to Stanley the Tool. If he then gets another arkentool and changes his name to Stanley the Toolbox, we'd have to move it again. If he's finally deposed and becomes just plain Stanley, there's another move. The logical manner to deal with this is just to put character pages under their name, and nothing more. Stanley, not Stanley the Tool. Manpower, not Manpower the Temporary. Et cetera. --Erk 20:53, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

We don't have to move pages when names change. We can just make a redirect. It is not that I am really happy with Stanley the Tool, but it is not a problem as long as Stanley and Stanley the Plaid redirect to it. It works fine.
As for titles: following your logic we should move Archduke Ferdinand to Ferdinand. Do I get it right? Half of the titles used in the comics mean something. I doubt I would get the joke if the character is referred to Ferdinand or Manpower or Phat-Singh. Even if it is a title, it still has a critical importance.
Anyway, let's wait and see. Things work as they are at the moment. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, they say. If Rob or Jamie decide that Manpower the Temporary should be moved to Manpower, they can do it or tell us to do it. That is my opinion. -- Muzzafar 07:24, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, I disagree with your reasoning: the humour of a name shouldn't be a factor in naming its article, because the article name is just a place to find the page. The name should be evidently funny and mentioned in its funny context within the page. Further, moving pages is not a substitute for bad naming conventions: mediawiki only supports a single redirection, after which it breaks. What I mean is, if we started with Stanley the Plaid, then moved it to Stanley the Tool, we'd be fine, but if we then moved it again to Stanley the Titan, all the old links to Stanley the Plaid would break. With minor characters like Archduke Ferdinand it's really trivial, but then, it's also really trivial to have him called Archduke Ferdinand throughout the article. The name of the page isn't what we have to refer to him as whenever we talk about him.
That said, I asked the Balder, and he says multiple name changes will be so rare that we don't need to fuss about it, so we're cool: if it's not going to come up practically then I'm not concerned. Cheers! --> ERK!|eyeBook me 15:50, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
A better example of where I think this is a problem is Prince Ansom. He's not a prince anymore, he's decrypted, so he's just Ansom. Because the page was "prince ansom" before, now all the old wikilinks to "prince ansom" will be out of date. If the page had just been made as Ansom in the first place, and the initial text had made it clear he was Prince Ansom, this would not be a problem. --> ERK!|eyeBook me 17:17, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
So we're suffering a little from the prejudices of earlier authors. Deal. Ansom = Prince Ansom, so Ansom|Ansom the deCrypted still hits the same page. Or create a Redirect yourself for something you think should be defined. Most people will type "Jillian" into the Search, not "Jillian Zamussels", so as long as the short form is in the list, it'll work out just fine. --Kreistor 05:17, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
That was my point too. As long as all variations of the name redirect to one page it does not matter what the name of the page is (IMO). We can always move a page. Hell, if Rob or Jamie think that this is of critical importance, they would do it themselves. I'd say we still have other, more important things to do at the moment. -- Muzzafar 21:30, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you both missed where I said "we're cool: if it's not going to come up practically then I'm not concerned". I just think we need an organised convention for future pages, which will prevent any more work coming up at a later date. I am giving you examples of what I mean so that we may discuss.
And, once again, letting things lie with redirection is bad wiki practice. It leads to broken links that look like they work. This is not cool. --> ERK!|eyeBook me 21:42, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Color Conventions

I propose that we develop a standard palette for anything with a background color on Erfwiki. I further propose that we base the palette on the Erfworld palette, as this is fitting and will complement images from Erfworld. As an example, I have pulled RGB values from the dwagons featured in Erfworld:

  • Dwagon Pink = rgb(221,163,175)
  • Dwagon Red = rgb(199,61,61)
  • Dwagon Yellow = rgb(209,200,97)
  • Dwagon Green = rgb(109,165,116)
  • Dwagon Blue = rgb(84,109,165)
  • Dwagon Purple = rgb(114,76,117)
  • Dwagon Black = rgb(73,51,53)

Even if we don't use these colors, I believe Erfwiki's aesthetic will be enhanced by a Erfworld-based palette.--Fluffums 04:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Having a predefined colour palette is a great idea. What do you propose we use dwagon colours for though? I think first we should decide what we'd be using these colours for, then decide what erfworld palette colours to swipe for them. --> ERK!|eyeBook me 15:52, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I have no problems with that, but remember that any colour selected should be fine for black text to appear on. --Kreistor 05:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Currently, the stat boxes for units listing Move, Defense, and such are a nice blue. We also have Revenant's proposed section headers for Canon/Spectulation. Those are the only two places I know we're using color. For the stat box, we might try to match the color used in Klog #4 ( For the section headers, just about anything could probably be used. Kreistor brings up a good point about black text, but I like that the stat box matches the comic with white text.--Fluffums 06:40, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Move to ErfWiki:Style Guidelines

We should get the Meta pages out of the regular wiki space and into the ErfWiki space, methinks. It's good wiki organisation. --> ERK!|eyeBook me 03:59, 9 May 2009 (UTC)


What do people feel about creating another category called Analysis, not for speculation, but for analysing stuff that has already happened e.g. the Parsons_Plans pages.--Doran 13:47, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

I like this. Let's have it for sure. Balder 00:07, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Done Doran 23:27, 30 May 2009 (UTC)