Help talk:Posting stories

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User Subpages

A note on the User Subpages... posting stories under User:username/storyname categorizes the story title under "U" instead of the first letter of the story, and the "User:username" shows up on the Category:Story page. Kinda ugly. :) Did I do something wrong? (Other than that, everything looks great!) Thanks. -Virmir 00:43, 19 July 2007 (EDT)

You didn't do anything wrong, I just hadn't got around to creating a page describing some of the little gotchas of MediaWiki's categorization scheme yet. :) I've just banged one together as a result, you can find it at Help:Categorization. Basically, if you want to change how your page is sorted in the category listing you can provide an alternate sort key either for that one specific category ([[Category:Story|Slips of Paper]]) or as a new default for all categories on that page ({{DEFAULTSORT:Slips of Paper}}). Bryan 00:47, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
Excellent. Thanks for the help! -Virmir 17:01, 21 July 2007 (EDT)


BD, I think we need a very basic primer on how to create pages in a wiki format. It's not really intuitive for new users. It's not really intuitive for myself, for that matter, and I've used it more often. It needs to be laid out in plain language. --Buck 15:32, 21 July 2007 (EDT)

Special characters

I'm working on adding a bit about the use of smart/curly quotes on pages. Beyond "Don't use them in page names" are there any other "gotchas" I should mention? — ShadowWolf 16:07, 14 August 2007 (EDT)

The only quote-related gotcha I can think of is if one wants to combine italics or boldface with a single quote, as in "that is the llamas' scepter! It belongs to them!" MediaWiki is Unicode compliant and in theory should be able to swallow practically any character one wishes to throw at it without problems on our side of things. The only risk is that some peoples' browsers won't be able to display them properly. Bryan 20:20, 14 August 2007 (EDT)
Now that I think of it, we don't really need to "ban" obscure characters in titles either. If there's a title that's hard to type on a common standard keyboard, one can simply create a redirect from the easy title to the correct one. Bryan 20:26, 14 August 2007 (EDT)

Re: Buck's Confusion

It's like this, Buck...

According to the Help files on posting your stories, it says that in order to create a new story, simply create a link on your existing user page and it will make a new page for the story to be edited. But if the story is to be part of a series, then the help files say that you should make the link on the user page go to a page that all of the stories in that series will stem from, which is why it appears that there is a normal page for it.

But then, the Help files say that in order to get your story listed into the proper 'quick links' section, Categories for example, that you have to place a (category:TITLE) link at the bottom of your story page, which creates a NEW Category page that AGAIN must be edited, therefore, it appears on the site that there is two of these pages.

As I said before, the Help files are not very clear on this AND if you think you're confused over it, then you should try to use the Help files as-is, posting exactly as it says, and you, too, will get the same results that I am getting. It simply makes no sense in the way it is written.

When ShadowWolf deleted my normal page for the TFA stemming page the first time, it screwed up the link leading to that page on the user page, and the Help files go on to say that it is the user's responsibility to make sure that all links lead exactly where you intend them to lead. And because it became ShadowWolf's fault for deleting that page, it should have also became his responsibility to make sure the User Page link led to the actual page that he intended the link to lead to. Because he did not update that link, I had to remake the page, because the Help files said that it was my responsibility to do it.

You people really should re-read over your own Help files. It isn't very clear at all. And THAT is why you're confused, Buck. --Riptide the Rat 21:46, 27 September 2007 (EDT)

If there is a blank page (or a page that, as a result of a move, contains nothing but a redirect) I will delete it. Doubly so if more than two hours have passed since the changes happened. I don't exactly remember this specific page, but if I deleted it soon after the move then I'm sorry about that. In any event, please don't create "holding pages" ahead of time–the namespace for titles is still very open. And with it being a standard practice to create stories as user-namespace subpages namespace collisions will be a long ways off. — ShadowWolf 23:19, 14 October 2007 (EDT)

Possible tweaks

I'm nowhere near comfortable enough with this site to even think about editing help files, but here's a few areas that might need tweaking, since they seem to be inconsistent with other help files and/or the way that most pages on the site are written:

  • The Categories section says that once you create a category for yourself, you should edit the category page and add [[Category:Stories by author]]. From looking at the other help (and at the vast majority of the author category pages), it looks like what you really want to do is just set the text of the category page to {{author category}}, since that adds the standard text to the page as well as adding the page to the category.
  • The Categories section also mentions that admins can help you out with categorization, but doesn't mention the {{needs category}} template you can add to the talk page to actually request this help.
  • The Categories section mentions [[Category:Adult]] and {{XXX}}, which makes it sound like these are appropriate for all mature stories. It doesn't mention {{Violence}}, which tripped me up -- I wound up flagging a violent story with {{XXX}} instead, and possibly traumatizing someone for life. :)
  • Here we get more philosophical: A new author who's not used to the concept of wikis is probably already going to be struggling with the basics of formatting and stuff. Telling the new author that they have to make a decision of whether to put their story in the main namespace or in a user subpage -- and throwing around words like "disambiguation" when discussing the pros and cons -- has probably sent at least one would-be author screaming into the night. :) From looking at the comments on other pages, it looks like most folks have concluded that creating new stories as a user subpage is usually the right decision. And if that's the case, then rather than having the current open-ended discussion about it, it might be better to put the description of creating a user subpage first, flat-out say that this is the way it should be normally be done, and then list the exceptional cases where it shouldn't be done that way. ("If you're going to want others to edit your story, or if you're writing a collaborative story with multiple authors, then here's how to create a story page that anyone can edit...") Phaedrus 05:44, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
You're right - we need to do some work to bring the help files into line with the actual format of the site. There are a lot of things that exist now that did not exist when we created those pages. The most recent ones - about the semantic notation facilities and the custom JavaScript/CSS - are a lot more accurate. The problem is that we are working on a complete redesign of Shifti's web-facing front and this may cause even more upheaval of the help files. -- ShadowWolf 01:11, 3 September 2009 (UTC)