Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-08-09/Dispatches

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Dispatches: Style guide and policy changes, July

By Tony1, August 9, 2008

Manual of Style (main page)

Article titles. The parenthetical phrase was added.

The initial letter of a title is capitalized (except in very rare cases, such as eBay).

This text:

Avoid restating or directly referring to the topic or to wording on a higher level in the hierarchy (Early life, not His early life).

was changed to:

Section names should not explicitly refer to the subject of the article, or to higher-level headings, unless doing so is shorter or clearer. For example, Early life is preferable to His early life when His means the subject of the article; headings can be assumed to be about the subject unless otherwise indicated.

This was added:

Section names should not normally contain links.

Manual of Style (dates and numbers)

The following text was added to Date autoformatting:

Careful consideration of the disadvantages and advantages of the [date] autoformatting mechanism should be made before applying it: the mechanism does not work for the vast majority of readers, such as unregistered users and registered users who have not made a setting, and can affect readability and appearance if there are already numerous high-value links in the text.
In the main text of an article, autoformatting should be used on either all or none of the month-day and month-day-year dates.

A number of not-very-substantive changes were made to Numbers as figures or words.

This text was added to "Conventions" (under "Unit symbols"):

  • Avoid the unicode characters ² and ³. They are harder to read on small display, and are not aligned with supercript characters (see x1x²x³x4 vs. x1x2x3x4). Superscript 2 and 3, created with <sup></sup>, can produce irregular line spacing, but that is usually a less serious problem.
  • The symbol for liter is either the lowercase l or uppercase L. However, since l can be easily confused for I (uppercase i ) or the numeral 1 (one), the uppercase L should be given preference when unprefixed (e.g., writing A 200 ml bottle and A 500 mL glass of beer are both acceptable, but write A 10 L tank instead of A 10 l tank).
  • Do not use the unicode "script ell" character and its variants (, , and ).
  • Articles should use the lowercase l or uppercase L consistently (e.g., do not write This soft drink is available in both 250 ml and 2 L bottles, but rather This soft drink is available in both 250 mL and 2 L bottles).

In Disambiguation, this text:

Use long ton or short ton rather than just ton (the metric unit—the tonne—is also known as the metric ton).

was changed to:

Use long ton or short ton rather than just ton; these units have no symbol or abbreviation and are always spelled out. The metric unit equal to 1000 kilograms is the tonne and is officially known as the metric ton in the US. Whichever name for the metric unit is used, the symbol is "t".

Featured topic criteria

The underlined wording was added to Criterion 3b:

[Articles in a topic that are not featured] due to either their limited subject matter or inherent instability must have passed an individual quality audit that included a completed peer review, with all important problems fixed.

Non-free content

WP:NFCC#8. The final clause was reinstated (after the comma), having been removed, reinstated, and removed over the past three months:

Significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding.

Audio and video clips are now explicitly included in the definition of "non-free content", which is "all copyrighted images,... and other media files that lack a free content license".

Lead section

In Bold title, "need not be" was strengthened to "is not":

If the topic of an article has no commonly accepted name, and the title is simply descriptive—like Electrical characteristics of dynamic loudspeakers, Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, or List of schools in Marlborough, New Zealand—the title does not need to appear verbatim in the main text; if it does happen to appear, it need not be is not in boldface."

MoS (capital letters)

This was added to Mixed or non-capitalization:

Some individuals, such as k.d. lang, do not want their personal names capitalized. In such cases, Wikipedia articles may use lower-case variants of personal names if they have regular and established use in reliable third-party sources. If multiple styles have regular and established use in reliable sources, use the orthography preferred by the individual.

MoS (text formatting)

In Main uses, the third sentence (after the ellipsis) was added:

Italics are generally used for titles of longer works. Enclose titles of shorter works in double quotation marks,... Items of middling length should be italicized or placed within double quotation marks as appropriate for the context.

In Boldface, the opening paragraph was rationalised to this:

Boldface is used to highlight an article title in the opening paragraph. It is typically used with proper names and common terms for the article topic, including any synonyms and acronym. Do this only for the first occurrence of the term; for instance, avoid using boldface both in the lead section and the caption of the lead image.




Also this week:

Ivins' edits — WikiWorld — Dispatches — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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