Style Guide

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WorldHelp:ContentsStyle Guide

The Cruisers Wiki Style Guide - a primer for new editors.

Firstly, let me say "thanks" for being here and adding new material to the wiki. Without you this resource would be worth very little.

The purpose of this guide is to (hopefully) avoid some of the style mistakes of the past. This keeps editing time to a minimum, which means more actual content can be added, making it a better resource all-round. Since you'll want to get on with it, I'll make these simple-to-digest bullet points.

If you disagree with any of these recommendations or you would like to add your own please make an entry at the Discusion Page after clicking the second button from the left at the top of this page.

  • Please keep in mind that the primary purpose of CruisersWiki is to provide practical information for cruisers. Background information is secondary.
  • There is no need to attempt a scholarly treatise on any place. That means that you should simply write what you know about it, in clear English. If English isn't your first language that's alright; we can clean it up later. The main thing is to get across your passion for the place you're writing about. That means NO CUT-AND-PASTE from Wikipedia. None at all. This is a separate entity and the style should reflect those matters relevant to a yachtsman planning to visit the area today. Some historical information is of interest to many cruisers but for more details refer to an appropriate Wikipedia article.
  • While one link to Wikipedia has a place in the Overview section at the top, this section should not be full of links. Most links should go in the External Links section at the end. Links to local websites can be useful if they provide extra information but please keep in mind that many of these links, links to Wikipedia can disappear over time. If you add such links please monitor them after few months of year and replace them if they become dead ends.
  • Do not use "funny characters" in page names. Example: Use Sao Tome and Principe, not São Tomé and Príncipe. You can use the correct characters in descriptions but not in the actual page names. There are two reasons for this:
    1. Sometimes the database can't handle it, and
    2. Most editors won't know how to use such characters. So keep it simple. But please do use them within the page to reflect local spelling.
  • When adding a new place, use the for the page title the name by which it is known in English-speaking countries. For example, use Athens, not Athina or (heaven forbid!) Αθήνα. Within the page text however do use the place name in the local language. For example create a new page for "Athens" but in the text at the first mention of Athens use "Athens (Αθήνα or Αθήναι). Many local names can be of general use and many of them also appear on different charts. A solution to this problem is to name a page by its most common English name and then create rederection pages for all the other common or local names. For details on this see the Wiki Editor's Guide.
  • The Table of Contents needs to be near the TOP of the page. This can be listed by itself, or with text wrapped around and photos opposite. It doesn't matter as long as we don't have to scroll down to find it. The position of the Table of Contents can be varied using the macro.
  • Use the templates provided for new pages. They can be found on the Templates Page, along with heaps of excellent code snippets for all occasions.
  • When adding Offshore Islands, keep it sensible. Those adjacent to the land mass or port being written about are the only ones relevant here. If editing the main page for a country, islands belonging to that nation but physically remote should be listed as External Territories. External Territories is applicable only for large countries with remote territories, the use of "Regions" may often be more appropriate.
  • When adding islands, don't immediately create links to new pages for each one. Often an island in a lake or bay (for instance) is a bare, uninhabited, guano-covered rock and of little interest to cruisers, and so won't warrant having its own page, especially if it has no anchorages. In fact, it's best not to create links to new pages at all until you're ready and willing to fill them with new contents.
  • Always check the name of a port or island, by means of a search, to ensure that it is unique, and use a name that specifies exactly which one you mean. You'd be surprised how many places called Long Island there are in the world. This is especially true for religious names like St. Something. Here's a link to Wikipedia - San Fernando to give you an idea what I mean.
  • If you don't have time to include all the marinas in an area, add links to their webpages. Later someone can come back and fill in the template, and at least they will know where to get the data. Marinas of large countries should be categorized by local Regions, not Country, because there are so many of them. A large country like the US and Australia may have hundreds of marinas while others may have just a few. Judgement should be used.
  • When trying to make text appear in red, don't make the text into a link. Yes, this works, but then we have loads of "pages" listed that don't really exist. The correct way is to use this code: <code>{{RedText|Your Text}} or <span style="color:red">Your Tex</span></code>. A red link should only tell us that there's a missing page in the wiki.
  • Try to use the correct terms for the region of the country you're editing. Some places use the word State, while others use Prefecture, County, Province or even Oblast. If you don't know, maybe it should be left to someone who knows the place better. In general "Regions" should refer to cruising regions and not political subdivisions.
  • If you don't know how to do something, first run a Google search on it. If you're still stuck, ask an administrator. See Administrators.
  • Unless a country consists of a single island, please don't try to tell us everything on the front page; keep some for the regional and port pages too!
  • Marina owners are welcomed — and even encouraged — to enter their details (on a Marina Template, of course) but should be warned that blatant advertising on higher level pages (port, region or country) will be mercilessly edited out.
  • Convert GIF graphics to PNG or JPG format first. They don't look very good when shown in thumbnail sizes.
  • Use abbreviations correctly. In fact, use common abbreviations for units of measurement like: km for kilometres, mi for miles, km2 for square kilometres, mi2 for square statue miles (and try not to use these too much, since statistics are boring), nmi (or NM) for nautical miles, and kt for knots. But, please keep in mind that cruisers come from many different countries and while an abbreviation is common place one it can be totally unknown in another country. So when you use an abbreviation, other than one for a standard unit of measurement, explain it the first time you introduce it.
  • Links to other pages in the Wiki should not be overused. Linking to the same page over and over is pointless. Sometimes though links even to different sections of the same page can be very useful.
  • If uploading photos, please ensure you re-size them as described on the upload page. Photos should only be uploaded if they contribute to an understanding of the port/anchorage/marina, i.e., show the layout, mooring arrangements, facilities, special hazards etc, or (in moderation) illustrate the key tourist highlights of the port/anchorage/marina. Please resist the temptation to upload snapshots more appropriate to your blog or holiday album than the Wiki.
  • Try to avoid the use of the automatic Maps with their very sensitive scroll bars. Their magnification bar is too sensitive especially with the lower internet speed connections often used by cruisers from their boats. It is best if you download the map, annotate it and then uploaded to the wiki. And please do not forget to add a scale.
  • Finally, when editing existing pages be respectful of the material contributed by other members. Add new material, correct only mistakes, and improve the page layout if necessary.

OK, that's my little rant for now, feel free to add new data or comments. --Haiqu 07:07, 12 June 2011 (BST)

... and mine. --Athene of Lymington 13:27, 12 August 2011 (BST)

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

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Names: Haiqu

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