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The purpose of a talk page (accessible via the discussion tab) is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article or project page. Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views on a subject.

When writing on a talk page, certain approaches are counter-productive, while others facilitate good editing. The prime values of the talk page are communication, courtesy and consideration. The following list is designed to help editors use talk pages effectively.

Central pointsEdit

How to use article talk pagesEdit

  • Communicate: If in doubt, make the extra effort so that other people understand you. Being friendly is a great help. It is always a good idea to explain your views; it is less helpful for you to voice an opinion on something and not explain why. Explaining an opinion helps to convince others and reach consensus.
  • Stay on topic: Talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject (much less other subjects). Keep discussions focused on how to improve the article. If you want to discuss the subject please use the forums
  • Be positive: Article talk pages should be used to discuss ways to improve an article; not to criticize, pick apart, or vent about the current status of an article or its subject. However, if you feel something is wrong, but are not sure how to fix it, then by all means feel free to draw attention to this and ask for suggestions from others.
  • Stay objective: Talk pages are not a forum for editors to argue their personal point of view about a controversial issue.
  • Share material: The talk page can be used to "park" material removed from the article due to verification or other concerns, while references are sought or concerns discussed. New material can be prepared on the talk page until it is ready to be put into the article; this is an especially good idea if the new material (or topic as a whole) is controversial.
  • Discuss edits: The talk page is particularly useful to talk about edits. If one of your edits has been reverted, and you change it back again, it is good practice to leave an explanation on the talk page and a note in the edit summary that you have done so. The talk page is also the place to ask about another editor's changes. If someone queries one of your edits, make sure you reply with a full, helpful rationale.
  • Make proposals: New proposals for the article can be put forward for discussion by other editors if you wish. Proposals might include changes to specific details, page moves, merges or making a section of a long article into a separate article.

Good practicesEdit

  • Sign your posts: To sign a post, type four tildes (~~~~), and they will be replaced with your username and time stamp. Please note that it is impossible to leave an anonymous comment because your user name or IP address is recorded in the page history.
  • Avoid excessive emphasis: CAPITAL LETTERS are considered shouting and are virtually never appropriate. Bolding may be used to highlight key words or phrases (most usually to highlight "oppose" or "support" summaries of an editor's view), but should be used judiciously, as it may appear the equivalent of the writer raising their voice. Italics may be used more frequently for emphasis or clarity on key words or phrases, but should be avoided for long passages. Remember that overuse of emphasis can undermine its impact. If adding emphasis to quoted text, be sure to say so. Italics can also be used to distinguish quoted text from new text and, of course, book and game titles, etc.
  • Be concise: If your post is longer than 100 words, consider shortening it. Long, rambling messages are difficult to understand, and are frequently either ignored or misunderstood.
  • Keep the layout clear: Keep the talk page attractively and clearly laid out, using standard indentation and formatting conventions. Avoid repetition, muddled writing, and unnecessary digressions.
  • Keep discussions focused: Discussions naturally should finalize by agreement, not by exhaustion.
  • Use English: No matter to whom you address a comment, it is preferred that you use English on the Dragon Age Wiki talk pages. This is so that comments may be comprehensible to the community at large. If the use of another language is unavoidable, try to also provide a translation of the comments.
  • Avoid posting the same thread in multiple areas. This fragments discussion of the idea. Instead, start the discussion in one location, and, if needed, advertise that in other locations using a link. If you find a fragmented discussion, it may be desirable to move all posts to one location, and linking to it. Make sure you state clearly in edit summaries and on talk pages what you have done and why.
  • Be welcoming to newcomers: People new to the wiki may be unfamiliar with policy and conventions. If someone does something against custom, assume it was an unwitting mistake. Politely and gently point out their mistake, reference the relevant policy/guideline/help pages, and suggest a better approach.
  • Comment on content, not on the contributor: Keep the discussions focused upon the topic of the talk page, rather than on the personalities of the editors contributing to the talk page.
  • Use the minor flag for minor changes only: The minor flag in your edits should be used as it is with article pages and should only be used for superficial differences between the current and previous versions such as typographical corrections, formatting and presentational changes or rearrangement of text without modification of content. Adding new text to the talk pages should not be marked as minor.

Behaviour that is unacceptableEdit

Please note that some of the following are of sufficient importance that violations (and especially repeated violations) may lead to the offender being blocked.

  • No personal attacks: A personal attack is saying something negative about another person. This mainly means:
    • No insults: Do not make ad hominem attacks, such as calling someone an idiot. Instead, explain what is wrong with an edit and how to fix it.
    • Do not threaten people: For example, suggesting you'll have someone banned for disagreeing with you is not acceptable. Explaining to an editor the consequences of violating policies, like being blocked for vandalism, is permitted however.
    • Never post personal details: Users who post what they believe are the personal details of other users without their consent may be blocked for any length of time, including indefinitely.
  • Do not misrepresent other people: The record should accurately show significant exchanges that took place, and in the right context. This usually means:
    • Be precise in quoting others.
    • When describing other people's contributions or edits, use diffs. The advantage of diffs in referring to a comment is that it will always remain the same, even when a talk page gets archived or a comment gets changed.
  • Do not ask for another's personal details
  • Do not impersonate other editors
  • Do not claim to be an administrator or claim to have an access level that you do not have, as this can be highly disruptive and may cause other editors trouble in the cleanup process. User access levels can be checked at Special:ListUsers by anyone.
  • Do not use the talk page as a forum or soapbox for discussing the topic. The talk page is for discussing how to improve the article.
  • Generally, do not alter others' comments, including signatures. Exceptions are described in the next section.

Editing commentsEdit

Others' commentsEdit

It is not necessary to bring talk pages to publishing standards, so there is no need to correct typing/spelling errors, grammar, etc. It tends to irritate the users whose comments you are correcting. The basic rule – with some specific exceptions outlined below – is, that you should not strike out or delete the comments of other editors without their permission.

Never edit or move someone's comment to change its meaning, even on your own talk page. Editing – or even removing – others' comments is sometimes allowed. But you should exercise caution in doing so, and normally stop if there is any objection. Some examples of appropriately editing others' comments:

  • If you have their permission.
  • Removing prohibited material such as libel, personal details, or copyright violations.
  • Removing harmful posts, including personal attacks, trolling and vandalism.
  • Refactoring for relevance: One form of refactoring is to move a thread of entirely personal commentary between two editors to the talk page of the editor who started the off-topic discussion.
  • Attributing unsigned comments: You are allowed to append attribution (which can be retrieved from the page history) to the end of someone's comment if they have failed to sign it. This typically takes the form of the template {{unsigned}}
  • Signature cleanup: If a signature violates the guidelines for signatures, or is an attempt to fake a signature, you may edit the signature to the standard form with correct information. Do not modify others' signatures for any other reason. If the user's signature has a coding error in it, you will need to contact the editor to fix this in their preferences.
  • Interruptions: In some cases, it is okay to interrupt a long contribution, either with a short comment (as a reply to a minor point) or with a heading (if the contribution introduces a new topic or subtopic; in that case, one might add :<small>Heading added for REASON by ~~~~</small> below the heading to make the nature of the change clearer).
  • Fixing format errors that render material difficult to read. In this case, restrict the edits to formatting changes only and preserve the content as much as possible. Examples include fixing indentation levels, removing bullets from discussions that are not consensus polls using <nowiki> and other technical markup to fix code samples, and providing links if it helps in better navigation.
  • Fixing layout errors: This could include moving a new comment from the top of a page to the bottom, adding a header to a comment not having one, repairing accidental damage by one party to another's comments, correcting unclosed markup tags that mess up the entire page's formatting, accurately replacing HTML table code with a wikitable, etc.
  • Sectioning: If a thread has developed new subjects, it may be desirable to split it into separate discussions with their own headings or subheadings. When a topic is split into two topics, rather than subsectioned, it is often useful for there to be a link from the new topic to the original and vice versa. A common way of doing this is noting the change at the [then-]end of the original thread, and adding an unobtrusive note under the new heading. Some reformatting may be necessary to maintain the sense of the discussion to date and to preserve attribution. It is essential that splitting does not inadvertently alter the meaning of any comments.
  • Section headings: Because threads are shared by multiple editors (regardless how many have posted so far), no one, including the original poster, "owns" a talk page discussion or its heading. It is generally acceptable to change headings when a better header is appropriate, e.g. one more descriptive of the content of the discussion or the issue discussed, less one-sided, more appropriate for accessibility reasons, etc. To avoid disputes it is best to discuss a heading change with the editor who started the thread, if possible, when a change is likely to be controversial. It can also sometimes be appropriate to merge entire sections under one heading (often preserving the later one as a subheading) if their discussions are redundant.
  • Disambiguating or fixing links, if the linked-to page has moved, a talk page section has been archived, the link is simply broken by a typographical error, etc. Do not change links in others' posts to go to entirely different pages. If in doubt, ask the editor in question to update their own post, or add a follow-up comment of your own suggesting the alternative link. Only fix a link to a template that has been replaced or deprecated if the effect of the new template is essentially the same as what the poster used (otherwise, simply allow the post to red link to the old template, as a broken post is preferable to one with altered meaning).
  • Hiding or resizing images: You may hide an image (e.g. change [[File:foo.jpg|<var>...details...</var>]] to [[:File:foo.jpg|<var>...details...</var>]] by adding a colon) once discussion of it has ended. Another common image-related edit is re-sizing images that were posted in full size and take up too much room on the talk page.
  • De-linking categories: you may make category links inactive (e.g. change [[Category: foobar]] to [[:Category: foobar]] by adding a colon) to prevent the page from being added to a discussed category.
  • Personal talk page cleanup: On your own user talk page, you may archive threads at your discretion. Simply deleting others' comments on your talk page is permitted, but archiving is strongly preferred. Many new users believe they can hide critical comments by deleting them. This is not true: Such comments can always be retrieved from the page history. Removal of a comment is taken as proof that the user has read it.

Own commentsEdit

It is best to avoid changing your own comments. Other users may have already quoted you with a diff (see above) or have otherwise responded to your statement. Therefore, use "Show preview" and think about how your amended statement may look to others before you save it.

Substantially altering a comment after it has been replied to may deny the reply of its original context. It can also be confusing. Before you change your own comment, consider taking one of the following steps:

  • Contact the person(s) who replied (through their talk page) and ask if it is okay to delete or change your text.
  • Use a place-holder to show the comment has been altered.
    • Deletion (which in most browsers is rendered as struck-through text, is coded <s>like this</s> and ends up like this.
    • An insertion, which in most browsers is rendered as underlined text, is coded <ins>like that</ins> and ends up like that.
    • A placeholder is a phrase such as "[Thoughtless and stupid comment removed by the author.]". This will ensure that your fellow editors' irritated responses still make sense. In turn, they may then wish to replace their reply with something like, "[Irritated response to deleted comment removed. Apology accepted.]"
    • Please do not apply any such changes to other editors' comments without permission.
  • When modifying a comment, you can add a parenthetical note pointing out the change. You can also add an additional timestamp by typing ~~~~~ (five tildes).

DisputesEdit

If you have a disagreement or a problem with someone's behaviour, please contact an administrator.

Technical and format standardsEdit

LayoutEdit

  • Start new topics at the bottom of the page: If you put a post at the top of the page, it is confusing and can easily be overlooked. The latest topic should be the one at the bottom of the page. Then the next post will go underneath yours and so on. This makes it easy to see the chronological order of posts. A quick way to do this is to use the "new section" tab next to the edit button on the talk page you are on.
  • Separate multiple points with whitespace: If a single post has several points, it makes it clearer to separate them with a paragraph break (i.e. a blank line). Whitespace is not necessary if your post is indented with colons; simply starting another line with the same indentation level will have an appropriate gap in the output.
  • Thread your post: Use indentation to clearly indicate who you are replying to, as with usual threaded discussions. Normally colons are used, not bullet points.

HeadingsEdit

  • Make a new heading for a new topic: It will then be clearly separated into its own section and will also appear in the TOC (table of contents) at the top of the page. A heading is easy to create with == on either side of the words, as in == Heading ==. The "Post a comment" feature can be used to do this automatically.
  • Keep headings on topics related to the article. It should be clear from the heading which aspect of the article you wish to discuss. Do not write "This article is wrong" but address the specific issue you want to discuss.
  • Keep headings neutral: A heading should indicate what the topic is, but not communicate a specific view about it.
    • Do not praise in headings: You may wish to commend a particular edit, but this could be seen in a different light by someone who disagrees with the edit.
    • Do not be critical in headings: This includes being critical about details of the article. Those details were written by individual editors, who may experience the heading as an attack on them.
    • Never address other users in a heading: A heading should invite all editors to respond to the subject addressed. Headings may be about a user's edits but not specifically to a user.
    • Never use headings to attack other users: While "No Personal Attacks" and "Assume Good Faith" apply everywhere at the Dragon Age Wiki, using headings to attack other users by naming them in the heading is especially egregious, since it places their name prominently in the Table of Contents, and can thus enter that heading in the edit summary of the page's edit history. Since edit summaries and edit histories aren't normally subject to revision, that wording can then haunt them and damage their credibility for an indefinite time period, even though edit histories are excluded from search engines. Reporting on another user's edits from a neutral point of view when reporting vandalism or other incidents to administrators is an exception.
  • Create subsections if helpful. Talk page discussions should be concise, but if a single discussion becomes particularly long, it may be helpful to add a subsection for ease of editing.

Links and page nameEdit

  • Make links freely: Links to articles are as useful on talk pages as anywhere else.
  • When mentioning the name of the page, cite the current name: This applies when a page is moved (i.e. retitled). In such a case, the Talk page is usually also moved. If you continue to use the old name, it will be confusing, especially for new editors to the article.

ArchivingEdit

  • Archive—do not delete: When a talk page has become too large or a particular subject is not discussed any more, do not delete the content—archive it.

User talk pagesEdit

While the purpose of article talk pages is to discuss the content of articles, the purpose of user talk pages is broader, though largely they are used to draw the attention or discuss the edits of a user.

Users may freely remove comments from their own talk pages, though archiving is preferred. They may also remove some content in archiving. The removal of a warning or a block message is taken as evidence that the warning has been read by the user. This specifically includes both registered and anonymous users.