Improvement guidelines

Owing to our glorious history, this wiki is an odd beast. Create a Wikidot account and then join this wiki so you can edit pages and make it better. Here's what needs doing:

  • Add lead sections to articles to provide context at a glance, for new readers.
  • Move stuff that people shouldn't be messing with to the archive.
    • Distil useful info from archived email into real articles.
  • Write about the canon, like detailed publication histories, and brief summaries of the official scenarios and fiction.
    • Gather playthroughs, re-interpretations, reviews and other fan work about the official scenarios, such as props uploaded to the DGML file section.
  • Add abandoned fan creations that are still useful, and great threads from the DGML (past and present), unless you think the creators might object.
  • Add your own original work, and collaborate. Work on the public-domain Kurotokage sourcebook, for example.
  • General maintenance. If you find a dead external link, mark it as such, see if you can describe what it used to point to, and consider importing the contents.

In short, make good stuff easy to find and easy to read. It's all explained below. If you've got a major change in mind, pitch your idea to the DGML for help.

What you need to know about Wikidot

Before you can make things pretty, you must prevent Wikidot from making them wrong.

Title case

When you're creating a new page, Wikidot automatically capitalizes The Initial Of Every Word In The Title For You. Don't leave it like that. Please follow the same rules as Wikipedia editors:

  • A title that is actually the name of something else, like a literary work or an organization, deserves initial capitals in most words. Do not use capitals for prepositions, articles or conjunctions (except where one of these is the first word), even in these titles.
  • By contrast, other titles use initial capitals in the first word and proper nouns only, i.e. regular "sentence case" rules.

Changing case in titles does not break links on other pages. If you're wondering whether to include "the" in a title, e.g. "The Karotechia" or just "Karotechia", the latter is usually preferred.

Page title versus address

On Wikipedia, the address of a page is a function of the title of the page. On Wikidot, the article titled Delta Green has the address delta-green, which is obviously similar, but not quite the same. The title and address are independent.

Wikidot links go by address, not title. The address is also known as the name, and more specifically as the “unix name”. Putting triple brackets around "dELTA,,;;GREEN" will link to the "Delta Green" article, because "dELTA,,;;GREEN" and "Delta Green" boil down to the same thing in a simplifying (“stubbing”) algorithm. By default, the address of a new page is such a simplified form of its title. Case is ignored and most (strings of) separators are replaced with single hyphens when Wikidot tries to find the address.

If you want to change the title of a page, go ahead. Just remember that the address won't change automatically. If you don't change the address to match the new title, links based on the new title won't work, but old links will. For example, old links to Delta Green would still work even if you changed the title of that article to "The Group" while editing its contents, but links to "The Group" would be dead.

You should change the address of a page to match the new title you give it ("Options" button, then "Rename"), but when you do, old links on other pages will suddenly break, and you will need to repair them. Look at the list of backlinks ("Options" button, then "Backlinks") before the move, to identify which pages will need fixing. This extra work is why good tags are better than manually maintained lists of static links.

Colonics

Most separators in links are replaced with single hyphens to find addresses, but the colon is special. If you tried to create a page based on the phrase "Operation: SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY", what you would really get is two things:

  • A new category of articles called operation. A category can have special editing and viewing rights.
  • An article within that category named Southern Hospitality (southern-hospitality).

Just call the article Operation SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY, or use a comma, dash or other harmless separator in place of the colon.

Policies

You can think of the Fairfield Project as having two types of pages:

  • Normal articles, such as Delta Green. These are living documents. Change them as much as you like. They are a collaborative effort.
  • Archived articles, such as Without Intent, which is a finished work of literary fiction. Anything whose content should not be modified, for reasons of intellectual property or respect for the original creators, belongs in this category. This includes fiction (special tag: “fiction”), email archives (special tag: “email”) and imports from old fan sites that have gone off the web.

Normal articles can be founded on the content of archived articles, as long as we're not breaking laws. Some copyrighted content is presented in this wiki for non-commercial purposes with the permission of its authors; this includes the shotgun scenarios.

Credit

If you are expanding on or reworking something that didn't originate with the community at large, remember to give credit to the original authors. The recommended method is to create a section under the heading “Credits” at the bottom, explaining the origin, and outlining any changes you've made.1

Tags

To create a tag, use the Tags button at the bottom of an article. All tags automatically get their own index, and there's a list of all tags. A tag cannot contain whitespace (" "), so multi-word tags must be separated with an underscore ("_") or dash ("-"), as appropriate. Do not try to separate tags with a comma.

Please add tags describing a page. You are not changing the contents. Be careful with existing conventions! For example, use "majestic-12" as a tag, not "mj-12"; the shorter tag cannot be made to function as a link to the popular one.

Formatting

Wikidot uses its own formatting syntax (snippets here), which is underutilized on many pages. In cutting and pasting from the Ice Cave, most users simply ignored what little there was of italicized names, headings, subsections and so on. Adding these would help make the articles easy to read and navigate. The Ice Cave had tables of contents with hidden HTML anchors, but these were rarely copied at all.

If you find a page that looks hard to read because of malformed or insufficient formatting, fix it right away or tag the page with "unformatted". This helps you and other contributors find problem pages later.

Almost any encyclopedia-style article that would take up more than one page if printed needs headings, and a table of contents to provide an overview. Put the table ("[[toc]]") after the introduction. Headings, like page titles, should not be ALL UPPERCASE.

Stubs

Do not create pages that are effectively empty. Delete them if you find them, so somebody else can break new ground by looking at the list of wanted pages, available through the "Site Tools" button at the bottom of every article. The “stub” tag should only be used for pages that already have a start, but need expansion.

Redirection

If you need to merge articles into one, the proper syntax to use on the old (now empty) page is [[module Redirect destination="x"]], where x is the name of another page.

It is preferable to fix the links you're breaking, and give the page a title and name that provides context and makes it easy to find, rather than adding redirects to an obscure address. Also, please consider that tags on the redirecting page are not removed automatically, so remove them before redirecting. (To reach the page afterwards you have to append /noredirect/true to its URL.)

Care and feeding of the archive

Please help out so that an archived page has as many as possible of the following properties:

  • It is in the archive category, i.e. its address begins with “archive:”.
  • Its title ends with “ (archive)”, to make its nature apparent in a quick search.
  • Its tags are appropriate. For example, it's fine to use the “fiction” tag with an archived story, but the “archive:kurotokage” tag should be applied instead of “kurotokage”, so that it is easy to navigate in the archived and living ecosystems separately.
  • There is a note of where the archived content comes from. Include the import template at the top (more on templates below). Obviously, don't remove the author's name or copyright notice, if there is one.
  • If one or more normal articles use something from the archived page, include the archive backlink template at the top of the archive page, and the original backlink template in each normal article.

You can change an archived page to make it appear more like you think it was intended to, and make it easy to navigate. For example, you can mark up chapter headings with wiki syntax, and add a table of contents. However, you cannot modify the actual content, unless you are the original author. Do not add emphasis that wasn't in the original email or HTML. Do not fix typos. Devote that effort to a living document instead.

Do not archive anything that hasn't already been presented to the public (e.g. the DGML) with the understanding that it may be preserved in this public way for the benefit of the community. If you would like your own work to be removed, please contact the administrators and we will delete it as soon as possible.

Our templates

Some special pages in the template: category are regularly included (transcluded) in other articles. This is done with special include syntax. When creating a new page, please do not choose a template for it in the drop-down menu, because this will copy the source of the template page. That is quite different, and much worse for maintenance. Please use the code words exemplified below.

You type “[[include template:import source=[[[somewhere]]]]]”, you get:

import.png The following material was imported from somewhere.

You type “[[include template:archive-backlink single=@@ | living=[[[somewhere]]]]]”, you get:

You type “[[include template:archive-backlink multi=@@ | living=[[[A]]] and [[[B]]]]]”, you get:

You type “[[include template:original-backlink original=[[[somewhere]]]]]”, you get:

copy.png Material relevant to this article has been archived by the Fairfield Project at somewhere.

How to format an email archive

Go through the text:

  • Remove distractions like the word "top" on its own line after a message. (This has been copied mindlessly from the Ice Cave. It was once a link.)
  • Use horizontal lines as separators between messages: "------" on its own line will be shown as a separator.
  • Keep the "Date" and "From" lines consecutive, with one blank line separating them from the contents. Dates go before names.
  • Use block quotes ("> text") for copied text within replies. Note the space between the angle bracket and the content; this must be present even for blank lines within quotes ("> ") to get them to show up.
  • Remove extraneous line breaks within paragraphs. This is quick in an editor like Vim.

An example:


Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 18:16:43 +0900
From: "David Farnell"

OK, this is one for the more medically-minded folks out there […]

How to make a normal article out of an email archive

If the original is not already in the archive category:

  1. Click on the + Options field at the bottom of the page, and then click on rename.
  2. Add the prefix "archive:" and the suffix "-discussion" to the name (address). yakuza becomes archive:yakuza-discussion. (Do not change page dependencies. If you don't know what this means, you don't know how to change page dependencies.)
  3. Add the suffix “discussion (archive)” to the page title. “Yakuza” becomes “Yakuza discussion (archive)”.

Once the original is properly archived:

  1. Create a new page with the old name, e.g. Yakuza.
  2. Fill the new page with normal article-type stuff that is easy to read, like a proper introduction, sections on different points of view or styles of play, neatly framed anecdotes on using the topic in Delta Green, stats, credits, footnotes etc.
  3. Feel free to add original material. Whether you do or not, link to the relevant archive page from the new article, and vice versa, explaining the article is based in part on, or just related to, the conversation(s) or fan-site material.
  4. Clean up typos and do some formatting. Use headings and lists if it makes the content clearer. Add internal references; for example, the first time Nyarlathotep is mentioned, change it to a Nyarlathotep internal link.
  5. Remove the Undistilled template.

Sometimes, a single email archive deserves several normal articles, none of which can appropriately be titled like the archive page. The information from Yakuza discussion might make it into both the entries for Yakuza and Japan. Just be sensible and link back to the source.

The intellectual property known as Delta Green is ™ and © the Delta Green Partnership. The contents of this document are © their respective authors, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.