HRWiki:Standards

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This page describes the standards currently accepted for page formatting and composition by the HRWiki community. Please try to follow these standards when creating and editing pages.

Contents

General

A few guidelines that it is wise to follow when creating and editing wiki pages:

Always use the Summary box

When editing pages, always fill in the "Summary" box above the Save/Preview buttons before saving, and make sure that you fill it in with something useful describing the edit you made and, if it's not obvious, why. For example, "fixed spelling error" or "added fun fact" or "reverted from vandal 127.0.0.1" are all acceptable. Saying "made some changes" or just filling in the name of the page is not helpful, because it's information that we already have. Making your Summaries accurate and useful makes it vastly easier for the rest of us to keep track of Recent Changes and keeps everybody happy.

Use the Minor Edit button appropriately

As a corollary to the above, if you're making a minor edit (e.g. fixing a spelling error, tweaking formatting, or reverting a vandalized page to its original state), check the "This is a minor edit" button below the Summary box before saving the page. On the other hand, if you're making an addition, deletion, or other edit that changes the substance of a page (even if it's just a few words), do not mark the edit as minor. Again, this will make things easier for the rest of us.

Don't link to the current page

In other words, a page should not link to itself. Most pages that do so are actually just stubs with a link to edit the current page. This variety of self-link is OK but feel free to expand upon these articles and remove the stub tag.

Link once

A given article should only contain one link to any other page. If a page links to Strong Bad in one place, then that should be the only link to Strong Bad on that page. Typically this link should be the first instance of the term in the article. For example, characters in a toon are linked in the cast list, and nowhere else. Long tables and lists, however, can contain a link at every instance.

Plainlinks

The code <span class="plainlinks"></span>, is used to remove the external.png from external links. This class should only be used enclosing links within HRWiki which can not be linked to using the standard [[Link]] format. Such links include All talk pages, Log pages, History pages, and several others. Use is not recommended in most cases due to possible confusion with an interwiki link, which would appear identical to an internal link of the plainlinks class.

Note that plainlinks should never be used with links to Homestar Runner, Thorax Corp., Videlectrix, or the Store. The plainlinks tag causes problems with the accompanying icon.

Special Characters

When you must include characters that are not available in 7-bit ASCII encoding (generally, anything you can't type on your keyboard without using special tricks), please use character references, either numeric (&#233; = é) or entity (&eacute; = é) style. Do not use whatever feature of your operating system allows you to insert special characters directly, as this introduces complicated encoding concerns to both the server and the browser. This includes features like Microsoft Word's "AutoCorrect", which often automatically creates such things as arrows, ellipses, em dashes, and left/right quotation marks as you type.

Try to avoid special characters when possible, as some systems and browsers struggle with them. In particular, be sure to use the generic ' and " characters for all single and double quotation marks and apostrophes except in special cases. The exception, however, is the em dash (&mdash; = —), which is much preferable to a single or double hyphen (- or --) when it's used to mark out an independent clause within a sentence or to indicate interruption of a thought.

Don't use conversational style

This is an information site. It should read like Wikipedia, not like your diary.

  • Check your spelling and grammar. Don't use Internet slang (ex. "How r u?" or "c u 2nite"). If you're not 100% sure about the way a word is spelled, type it into Google or Dictionary.com. If you know that you're not the strongest speller, compose your edits in a word processor like Microsoft Word that has spell-checking built in. Also see this list of common misspellings.
    • An exception to this rule is when such misspellings or slang appear directly in a cartoon, in which case they should be preserved in the transcript.
  • Easter Eggs and Fun Facts should be written as statements, not questions. If you're not sure about a fun fact, you can use language like "may" or "could be" to indicate ambiguity; however, unsure and unsubstantiated fun facts are usually quickly deleted.
  • Don't use "smileys" or "emoticons".
  • Don't "reply" to content others have posted. If you think a particular point warrants discussion, post on the article's Discussion page. If you're 100% sure that something should be changed and don't think a discussion is necessary, just change it. Dialogue goes only on articles' Discussion pages or the forum.
  • Don't leave notes or instructions to future editors like "Add more information here if you find it". Again, use the article's Discussion page if you want to communicate with other editors.
  • Never abbreviate the names of characters, toons, or things on the site (e.g. The KoT or SBEmails). Wherever possible, use the full name of a character the first time they are mentioned. After the first mention, you may refer to "The King of Town" as "the king" or "Homestar Runner" as "Homestar" and so forth.
    • An exception to this rule is the bolded character attributions in transcripts, which should always contain the full name of the character speaking.
  • If something on a page contains a factual error, then edit it or remove it. Do not add a comment below saying "this is wrong."

Don't sign your edits

All contributions are appreciated, but if every user left their mark on every contribution they made, the wiki would be nothing but signatures. If you've made an edit that you're particularly proud of (such as a transcript or screenshot), the correct place to take credit is on your own user page. If you do not have a user account, we respect your anonymity, but your edits will remain anonymous, too.

Do sign your Talk posts

If you make a post on a discussion page, please sign it. If you have a user account, this is as easy as typing ~~~~ at the end of your post. If you don't have a user account, just sign it with your name or nickname so everybody can tell who's who when reading long conversations. Even better, create an account anyway and use the signature method described. There really is no reason not to if you're going to stick around. Also, please try to keep discussions on the one talk page, not moving it to another talk page and replying.

Be bold, but know when not to be

We encourage you to be bold in making simple edits; if you see something that you think needs to be fixed, then fix it. Please note, however, that in being bold you should not contradict established consensus. Additionally, the reason we encourage boldness is because it's fairly simple to revert a page to a previous state. For larger projects, therefore, the amount of boldness you display in making a change should be directly proportional to the ease of reverting that change. In other words, if it would take us a long time to undo what you've done, then you should start a discussion to see what the community thinks first. In a similar vein, anything that goes against longstanding tradition or that would have a widespread effect on the wiki should be talked about before any action is taken.

Toons

The basic format for Toons pages looks like this:

[[Image:<name of toon>_screenshot.png|thumb|Caption for image.]]

A short summary of the Toon's premise followed by the cast
listing.

'''Cast (in order of appearance):''' {{Film|Homestar Runner}},
{{Film|The Cheat}}

'''Places:''' [[Strongbadia]], [[Place]]

'''Date:''' When the toon was released

'''Running Time:''' The toon's length (by minutes)

'''Page Title:''' What appears in the browser's titlebar

== Transcript ==
''{A brief description of the scene.}''

'''CHARACTER A:''' What Character A said.

'''CHARACTER B:''' ''{singing}'' What Character B sang.

''{Cut to some other scene.}''

== Easter Eggs ==
*A bulleted list
*Of all of the toon's Easter eggs
*:'''CHARACTER A:''' What Character A said in the Easter egg.

== Fun Facts ==
===Explanations===
*A bulleted list
*Of fun facts about the toon
===Trivia===
*Be sure to keep
===(see other subcategories below)===
*Facts in the proper subcategories
*And only use the ones you need

== External Links ==
*[[HR:filename.html|watch "<Name of Toon>"]] <- Strong Bad Emails use the {{sbemailextlinks}} template; see below
*[[HR:filename.swf|view the Flash file for "<Name of Toon>"]]
*[[Forum:###|forum thread re: "<Name of Toon>"]]

[[Category:<Toon type>]]

Screenshot

In most cases this should be a PNG image uploaded to the wiki via the Upload file page. It should be optimized for the web and its size should not exceed 100 kilobytes. Its dimensions should be approximately the same size as on the official site and never exceeding 600 pixels in width. JPEG format is generally only desirable for "live action" toons such as Puppet Stuff, and GIF and BMP formats are never desirable. When uploading the file, be sure to give it a meaningful name which describes its content and more importantly, its use on the wiki, as in the example above. "homestar_with_a_hat.png" is not meaningful. "dangeresque_3_screenshot.png" is more meaningful.

Ther screenshot should be added as a thumbnail, as shown above. Use a caption which is fun and demonstrates the tone or plot of the toon. In most cases, the caption will be a quote from the toon; these should be put in quotes. However, when the caption is not a direct quote, do not use quotation marks. (Please note that articles on topics other than toons normally have a thumbnail as well. The caption to these types of images may or may not be from the same toon the image is from, depending on the article; there's nothing wrong with having the caption and the image from two separate places if it works.)

Summary

The summary section generally contains at most six things, as applicable: a short synopsis, a list of the cast, a list of locations seen in the toon, the date of the toon's release, the running time of the toon, and the page title.

The synopsis should be a brief description of the premise of the toon. It is not necessary to describe the entire plot of the toon or give away the ending, and the synopsis should only be a couple sentences long.

The cast list should take the following form:

'''Cast (in order of appearance):''' {{Film|Character A}},
[[Character B]], {{Film|Character C}} (Easter egg)

Note that everything between (and including) "Cast" and the colon (:) is between the bold markers, and each character's name is separated by a comma and a space. The characters should be listed in the order in which they appear in the toon. If a character appears only in an Easter egg, then denote this as above, with the words "Easter egg" in parentheses. The list of places should be presented in the same manner.

It is preferable to link to the characters or places in the cast or place list but not in the synopsis, so as to keep the cast or place list consistent and so as to follow the Link Once rule.

A character with a filmography category should be linked to by the {{Film}} template. All major characters have this category. See Category:Filmography for a complete list of characters with filmography categories.

The date of release should be formatted with the month (spelled out), the day (numeric), a comma, and the year (four digits). The date is determined by the time in Atlanta (Eastern Time) when the toon is released (this is observed strictly, despite any efforts by The Brothers Chaps to be sneaky, for example by releasing a Halloween toon late and claiming it's still Halloween in certain time zones). The running time should match what is listed as the running time on the official site unless that time is clearly wrong. If no official time is listed, the running time is generally calculated by assuming 12 frames of Flash equal one second. (Rarely, a toon will be produced with a different frame rate. Use the correct frame rate to calculate the length of the toon.)

Finally, denote the page title after the running time like so:

'''Page Title:''' A Funny Page Title

The page title is found in the titlebar at the very top of your Web browser window, usually next to the name of the browser, e.g. "A Funny Page Title - Mozilla Firefox" or "A Funny Page Title - Microsoft Internet Explorer".

Transcript

A transcript is a detailed account of a toon's dialogue and action. Its basic format is this:

''{A brief description of the scene.}''

'''CHARACTER A:''' Something witty.

'''CHARACTER B:''' ''{singing}'' Something melodious.

''{Cut to some other scene.}''

As you can see, a line of dialogue begins with the character's name in upper case followed by a colon, all of which is bold. This is followed by a space and then what the character said. When different characters are speaking their dialogue should be separated by a blank line.

If a character does something while speaking a line of dialogue, or if more description is needed for their manner of speaking or inflection (e.g. if they're singing or whispering) the action (if it is not too long to describe in a few words) can be enclosed in curly braces — { } — and made italic, like this: {goes to the refrigerator}. Note that the curly braces themselves are also italic. Short actions like these do not need to be proper sentences.

If there is a scene change or major action (which takes more than a few words to describe), it should be separated from the dialogue by a blank line above and below, and in this case complete sentences and proper capitalization and punctuation are desirable.

There is a special case for Strong Bad Emails. When Strong Bad is reading an email on his screen, its text should be enclosed in <blockquote></blockquote> tags like so:

<blockquote class="email">
<div>subject: bored...</div>
Dear Strongbad,<br />
Does it ever get boring where you live? Right now I am<br />
bored out of my mind.<br />
<br />
With lots of crap,<br />
Callie, Lake Jackson, TX
</blockquote>

The email should be formatted as it appears on Strong Bad's screen, with line breaks, etc. in the same places. If Strong Bad is using his Tandy 400, use <blockquote class="tandy email"> instead of <blockquote class="email">.

Links in transcripts should be limited. There should never be links in dialogue or email sections. Links in annotations between curly braces are not prohibited, but should also be kept to a minimum. One common exception is when The Paper comes down; unless The Paper is mentioned in a Fun Fact, link this in the transcript.

Easter Eggs

An Easter egg (or just "egg" for short) is a secret part of a toon that can only be accessed by performing a particular action (e.g. clicking on a particular word or object) during a toon. Also, an interesting discovery which can only be found by manipulating the Flash file itself can also be considered an Easter egg, but only if it's clear it was put in the toon with the intention that it would be discovered. Things that happen if you wait a while after the toon has "ended" are not considered Easter eggs, but rather are noted at the end of the transcript.

Easter eggs should be listed in chronological order (that is, the order in which they are accessible in the toon).

The transcription format is similar to the normal transcripts, except with a colon ( : ) placed at the beginning of each line.

:''{A brief description of the scene.}''
:'''CHARACTER A:''' Something witty.
:'''CHARACTER B:''' ''{singing}'' Something melodious.

Fun Facts

A fun fact is anything about a toon that is unique or out of the ordinary. Some examples include:

  • Something that makes reference to a previous toon or feature on the site.
  • Something that makes reference to something in popular culture, e.g. a band, a television show, or world history.

It is difficult to define everything that a fun fact could be. A fun fact might appear in the form of a bit of dialogue, an object in the background of a toon, a graphic or a musical riff.

What fun facts are not is obvious. If something is obvious to 95% of the audience (including first-time viewers), then it is not a fun fact. If a fun fact is questionably fun, or questionably factual, please see HRWiki:STUFF for instructions. Also, the fact must be relevant to the article in question; if the only connection to the article is extremely tenuous, or nonexistent, then the fact is likely to be removed or STUFFed.

When posting fun facts, please refer to the General rules above, particularly the prohibition on conversational style, and place all fun facts at the bottom of the list, please.

For most toons and emails, the facts should be split into multiple categories for readability. Please do not add a category if the facts are not already split, unless you split all of the facts. A category under Fun Facts should be surrounded by three equal signs on each side (for example, ===Trivia===) Toon fun facts should be split into the following categories:

Explanations

If a plot element is very obscure (either something not obvious in general or something that would be unfamiliar to a certain group, like international viewers), an explanation might be necessary. In the vast majority of cases, however, you should not explain the joke. If you feel that a sizeable portion of the audience won't understand a joke, instead of explaining it directly, explain what the pieces of the joke are (or list the various pieces of the joke in one of the references sections below) and allow the reader to put them together. Note that generic references to concepts are usually listed as Explanations, whereas direct references should be listed in Inside or Real-World References.

Trivia

Facts in this category include trivia about the toon, such as the first time an event happens or verified details about the production of a toon. These are generally more "nitty-gritty" than the facts in the Remarks section.

Remarks

Can be viewed as the "miscellaneous" subcategory. This includes facts that are not direct references, not explanations, not mistakes, and don't really belong in Trivia, but are still notable enough to be added. These include non-obvious "did you notice?" plot details (that are not noted in the transcript) and general comments about the characters and locations in the toon. Some facts can fit under both Trivia and Remarks; it is up to the writer's preference where the fact is more appropriate. (But no fact should appear more than once.)

Goofs

The Brothers Chaps are not perfect. Sometimes they make mistakes. If there is a plot or continuity error, or if things mysteriously vanish or appear (and it's not obviously intentional or due to a Glitch), then it can go into the Goofs section. Please do not add anything to the Goofs section if it was clearly intentional as part of a joke. This especially applies to Powered by The Cheat segments: assume that all "goofs" in these segments are intentionally mocking amateurish Flash animation. If there is an oddity that is not a clear goof, consider adding it to the Remarks section.

Fixed Goofs

The Brothers Chaps sometimes correct their errors shortly after they release an update. These goofs should not be deleted from the article; rather, they should be placed under the Fixed Goofs category.

Glitches

Similar to Goofs, but limited to mistakes in the Flash software. NOTE: Flash byproducts are NOT allowed, unless they note something humorous or extra. A Flash byproduct is something odd or strange found by manipulating the Flash file, either by watching the .swf file directly, or by right-clicking and using the playback options. This can include missing parts of characters, different things "outside the wall", animations continuing while paused, etc. (See The FAQ for more information). A Fixed Glitches category can also be made, similar to Fixed Goofs, if a glitch is removed after an update.

Inside References

An Inside Reference is when a toon makes a clear reference to a previous Homestar Runner cartoon. A repeated line of dialogue or the return of a non-regular character count as Inside References.

Note: For references, please only add the fact if you are CERTAIN that is a direct reference to exactly what you add. If there's any reasonable doubt, or it's a reference to "(this) and (this) and (this other thing) and (lots of other similar things)", or if it refers to something which is itself a reference to something else, please add it to the Talk page or the STUFF page before adding it to the article.

Real-World References

This is when a toon makes a clear reference to something outside the Homestar Runner universe that took place before the creation of the toon in question. Celebrities, commercial products, famous quotes, and so forth can be Real-World References.

(See note in Inside References.)

Fast Forward

A fact in the Fast Forward category is something of significance in the toon that is re-used later on, either in a later Homestar cartoon or in the real world (for the latter, also see Sightings).

Ad hoc subcategories

Subcategories that are appropriate for just one toon (e.g. Homestar's attempts at DELETED, Strong Bad's list of 3-letter words) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

External Links

External links are links that point to sites other than HRWiki. The links should be in the form of a bulleted list. Most toons have two links, one which links directly to the toon (usually ending in .html) and one which links directly to the Flash file (.swf). If there is currently a discussion taking place in the Forum concerning a toon you may create a third external link pointing to the forum thread. External links typically look like this:

*[[HR:filename.html|watch "<Name of Toon>"]]
*[[HR:filename.swf|view the Flash file for "<Name of Toon>"]]
*[[Forum:###|forum thread re: "<Name of Toon>"]]

For Strong Bad Emails, use the {{sbemailextlinks}} template:

{{sbemailextlinks|<email no.>|<no. of forum thread>}}

Note that links to toons always read "watch <Name of Toon>", links to Flash files always say "view the Flash file for <Name of Toon>", and forum thread links always say "forum thread re: <Name of Toon>". Note that ### in the Forum interwiki link should be replaced by the thread number, found in the url for the thread (http://forum.hrwiki.org/viewtopic.php?t=###).

Categories

All toon articles should have categories listed at the bottom of the article according to what type of toon it is. Filmography categories are already covered by the cast list, but additional categories need to be added manually to each toon. The first category is the type of the toon as it is listen under the main site: Toons, Shorts, etc. Other categories depend on the style of the toon and its characters, e.g.: 20X6, Cheat Commandos, and so on.

See also

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