Battlestar Wiki:Standards and conventions

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This page serves as the central hub for standards used in writing articles on Battlestar Wiki. Discussion on new or established standards and conventions listed in this section should be discussed on the talk page.

This set of pages are not designed to supersede other projects or policies. Some overlap is expected, but project-specific standards and conventions should be moved to their project page, if one exists or a page created for a project, if one does not.

Overview

Here is an overview of the standards and conventions sections.

  • Page Formatting: This covers our preferences on wiki syntax over HTML, in addition to how to format images and categories.
  • Article Prose and Grammar: Discusses our use of present tense for a majority of our articles, as well as how to properly format titles, using names vs. callsigns, etc.
  • Cast and Crew Biographies: Covers how to write and format a biographical article on cast, crew, and people involved with the various series.
  • Episode Guides: Tackles what an analysis and questions section of our episode guides should look like.
  • Disambiguation: Tackles why those pesky little "(TOS)" and "(RDM)" suffixes are added to article names, as well as how to properly format a disambiguation page.

Summary of Standards and Conventions

This is the CliffsNotes version of our Standards and Conventions guidelines for your convenience. While they are explained in more detail in the sub-pages, most people will not want to use their time reading through them (despite the fact that we've made them as concise as possible). Still, here we go...

Formatting

Markup

  • Always use wiki code instead of HTML code, unless the wiki code equivalent does not exist.
    • NEVER use: <b> for bold face, <i> for italics, <a href> for links, <img> for images.
    • Exception: There is presently no wiki code for underlining text, so one would use <u>text to be underlined</u>. Further, to center text on pages, you will have to use <div align="center">text to be centered</div>.

Images and Audio Content

  • Avoid burdening down a page with pictures. Use only pictures whenever necessary to illustrate the subject. Each picture must have a reason for use under the fair use clause of United States' copyright law.
  • Image galleries are limited to unique pages, like articles on rooms of a ship (i.e. Combat Information Center) and pages on ships, like Galactica.

Categorization of Articles

  • All pages, with the exception of disambiguation pages, are to be categorized using our category system.
    • Articles are never to be sorted by articles ("the", "and", "or") or by first names.
    • The {{DEFAULTSORT:}} syntax is always to be used to declare a sort key for category listings.

Linking to Episodes

  • When linking to episodes, always link the first instance of the episode name per section. Beyond that, do not overlink episode titles.
  • As for how to refer to episodes within an article:
    • When referring to episode titles as part of the sentence, always include the episode name in quotation marks:
      Example: "In the episode "Pegasus", Galactica finds Pegasus."
    • When citing a single episode title as a source for a body of text, use parentheses.
      Example: "Galactica finds Pegasus (TRS: "Pegasus")."
    • When citing multiple episode titles as a source for a body of text, place all episode names within one set of parentheses. Each episode title should use commas to separate them within the parenthesis.
      Example: Lee Adama is moody often (TRS: Miniseries, "33", "Water", "The Hand of God").
    • Major exception: The term Miniseries should never be placed in quotations, since this is not the technical name of the pilot. (The Re-imagined Series' pilot is simply called "Battlestar Galactica".)
    • Second exception: When writing episode titles and book titles, the comma should always go after the quotation mark, never before it.

Red Links

  • Red links should either be corrected to point to the proper article on the intended subject, or submitted with the {{requested}} tag.

Prose and Grammar

Spelling and Numeric Notation

  • American English spellings are default. British English spellings are allowed by users familiar with that language, but expected your edits to be converted into American English. (i.e. "colour" will be converted to "color", etc.)
  • Numbers should use commas ( , ) to mark every three digits, and decimal points ( . ) to denote numbers with decimals.
  • Numbers less than 13 should be spelled out, "five" for "5", etc.
  • Any proper nouns with numbers should be written out without Arabic numerals, this includes Colonial One and The Twelve Colonies.
    • The exception to this are Vipers or Raptors identified by numerics, i.e. Viper 8757 or Raptor 1.
  • Use an apostrophe-S ('s) for all possessives, unless the noun is plural.
    • "Pegasus's fuel reserves are low." (singular possessive)
    • "The Vipers' ammunition would not fire." (plural possessive)

Characters Names and Titles

  • When first introducing a character, always introduce them by their first and last names.
  • In text, characters should always be referred to by their last names.
    • Exception: Characters sharing the same last name, like Saul Tigh and Ellen Tigh, or William Adama and Lee Adama, may be either be referred to by their first names, by rank and last name (if applicable), or - sparingly - with rank only (e.g. in an article from Lee Adama's point of view: "The Admiral tells Adama to...")
  • Members of the Quorum of Twelve should always be referred to as "delegates", not "representatives".
  • Characters should not be referred to by their nicknames. For instance, when writing an article, William Adama should never be referred to as "the Old Man" or "Bill".
  • For characters with both callsigns and proper names, like Apollo/Lee Adama, Hot Dog/Brendan Costanza or Kat/Louanne Katraine, generally refer to these characters by their last names. Using callsigns may be appropriate when dealing with pilots in the cockpit, however.

Ship Names

Rule of Thumb: If a ship has a name, like a person, then you do not use the word "the" before it. You wouldn't refer to the commander of Galactica as "the William Adama," now would you? So why would you call Adama's ship "the Galactica" instead of Galactica? The answer: you wouldn't—and you shouldn't—because it's wrong.
  • Ship names are proper nouns, and therefore should be treated in the same manner.
  • It is incorrect to use the definite article "the" before a ship name (Galactica, Rising Star, Pegasus, et al.), although many people in both writing and speaking make this grammatical error.
    • Exception: The word "the" should only be used when describing the ship type before naming the vessel, i.e. "the battlestar Galactica", "the civilian ship Scylla."

Titles for episodes, movies, books and shows

Tense

  • All articles that involve the fictional characters, events and places of the series are to be written in the present tense, unless:
    • The article occurs before the "Event Zero" of a continuity. "Event Zero" is defined by the following:
  • As for the Re-imagined Series, anything happening before the events depicted in the Miniseries should be written in the past tense. However, this is where things get interesting:
    • If an article is exclusively about Caprica (which occurs roughly 50 years before the Miniseries), then it should be written in present tense, except for events from before the Caprica pilot. The same applies for articles exclusively about the Re-imagined Series.
    • If an article spans from Caprica to the Re-imagined Series, then:
      1. Events occurring before the Miniseries (timeline-wise) should be written in the past tense.
      2. Events occurring during and after the Miniseries (timeline-wise) should be written in the present tense.

About Signatures...

Biographies on cast, crew, and people

  • The lead sentence or paragraph introduces the reader to the subject matter. It includes, the person's full name, date of birth and death, nationality, role in the series' and other appearances that the person is notable for.
  • The article's tense is determined by whether the subject is presently alive or deceased. If alive, everything is written in present tense; if deceased, everything is written in past tense.
  • Always refer to the subject by their last name.
  • Articles of reasonable length should be sectioned off, and typically written in this order: Childhood, Early career, Work on Battlestar Galactica, and Later career.
  • Articles with time sensitive information should be written with care. Always specify when the event is to occur, and never use vague words like "currently", "most recently", "presently", "this year" or "latest". Instead, use "as of [this date], such and such is to occur".

Episode Guides

  • Should always be written in the present tense. Also, all parts of the episode page are to be sectioned, even the "overview" portion.
  • The summary section should always be in Teaser, Act 1, Act 2, etc. header formats. Bonus scenes should also in their own header. These acts correspond to US commercial cuts.
  • Episode guides should never argue with itself. Any "arguing" should be hashed out on the corresponding talk pages.
  • When in doubt about any piece of content, always bring it up on a talk page.

Questions

  • The questions section should be for questions that are raised by the episode, but not answered within said episode.
  • Questions that are answered in a subsequent episode should also have a link to said episode where that question is answered.
    Example: Why do the Cylons want to keep Karl Agathon on Caprica? (Answer 1, Answer 2)
  • Questions should never be debated on the episode guide page. Questions should always be questioned and discussed on the corresponding talk page.

Notes and Analysis

  • Any questions that are raised, and subsequently answered within the same episode, are typically placed in the analysis section. Use of {{inlineref}} is recommended, so that questions raised in previous episode guide articles can easily link to the specific analysis point.
  • The different between "Notes" and "Analysis": notes are for information that require no further explanation or plausible speculation, whereas analysis is content that requires digging into the meat of the series and explaining contradictions, plot evolution, and other content that requires critical thinking.
  • Further, items under either or both "Notes" and "Analysis" should be sectioned off by topic.
    • For example: Cylon related developments should be sectioned under "The Cylons", points about specific characters should be noted under a sub-section on that character, and analysis of major events (such as Gaius Baltar's trial) should be noted under that specific topic. This allows bullet points to be better ordered, and to avoid "jumping around" in the text.

Disambiguation

  • Disambiguation are navigational aids that help direct people to articles on specific subjects that share the same names, since many of the Battlestar Galactica series use the same names. Disambiguation come in two forms: a page (such as Adama), and in the form of an acronym within parentheses tacked on an article name (such as Adama (TOS)).
  • To refer to either the 1978 series or the 2003 series within the body of an article, the proper nouns are acceptable: Original Series and Re-imagined Series.
  • Due to the popularity of the new series, as well as the volume of articles related to the Re-imagined Series, the use of the link [[Galactica]] will lead to the Galactica (RDM) article on the new series' battlestar. A disambiguation header always appears on this article for the two other ship articles on Galactica. The same is true for Pegasus.
  • Disambiguation pages themselves have a unique format, consisting of:
    1. An introductory sentence introducing that the following articles share the same name, with the disambiguated term boldfaced.
    2. This is to be followed by one-sentence bullet points about each article that shares that name, ending in a full stop (i.e. a period).
    3. If necessary, section off the bullet point lists by series or, failing that, by a unique classification.
    4. After the bullet points are completed, the page is ended with the {{disambig}} template.
    5. Disambiguation pages are not categorized.