Wikipedia:Update/1/General style changes during December 2008

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  • WP:External links
    • Removed pointer to Meta:Interwiki map
    • Changed "references ... should not be placed in an external links section" to "references ... should not normally be duplicated in an external links section. Exceptions (i.e. sites that can be both references and External Links) include an official site of the article's subject, or a domain specifically devoted to the article's subject which contains multiple subpages and which meets the above criteria."

When used, appendix sections containing the following information appear after the body of the article in the following order: [Footnote: This sequence has been in place since at least 2003 (when "See also" was called "Related topics"). See, e.g., See also Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Changes to standard appendices. ...]
(a) a list of books or other works created by the subject of the article (works),
(b) a list of internal "wikilinks" to related Wikipedia articles (see also),
(c) notes and references (notes, footnotes, or references),
(d) a list of recommended relevant books, articles, or other publications that have not been used as sources (further reading), and
(e) a list of recommended relevant websites that have not been used as sources (external links).
"Works" is preferred when the works listed includes one or more items that is not a written publication (e.g., music, films, paintings, choreography, or architectural designs). "Bibliography" is occasionally used if the list of works contains only books.
    • Added as an invisible comment to WP:Layout#Further reading: "Please note that "Bibliography" is an alternate title for the works section and is also used as a title in some articles' notes and references sections. Accordingly, it is not suggested as a title here."
    • Clarified Further reading as "A list of recommended books, articles, or other publications that have not been used as sources and may provide useful background or further information."
    • Removed from definition of External links: links "... that you recommend for readers of the article."
    • Renamed and substantially rewrote WP:Layout#Links to other Wikimedia projects
    • Added link: Help:Section

  • WP:Manual of Style
    • Replaced italics in many places with the new {{xt}} template to denote example text
    • In the list of endsections, changed "See also, Notes", etc. to "(a) a list of books or other works created by the subject of the article, (b) a list of internal links to related Wikipedia articles, (c) notes and references", etc.
    • Removed the section WP:MOS#First sentences, since the material is covered in WP:Lead section
    • Changed "Sun, earth, and moon ... may be proper nouns in an astronomical context" to "... are proper nouns and capitalized when personified ... and in an astronomical context"
    • Changed "Other planets and stars are proper nouns" to "Names of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, stars, constellations, and galaxies are proper nouns
    • Changed "northeast and north-east, Southeast Asia and South-East Asia" to "Southeast Asia and northwest in American English, but South-East Asia and north-west in British English".
    • Removed "Extraneous normal or non-breaking space ( ) characters between the quotation marks should not be used; Wikipedia presents quotations, character for character, exactly as in the original."
    • Added:
Allowable changes
Though the requirement for minimal change is strict, a few merely typographical elements of the quoted text should normally be altered without comment, to conform to English Wikipedia conventions. Such a practice is universal, in all publishing. Such alterations include these:
  • Styling of dashes (use the style chosen for the article: unspaced em dash or spaced en dash; see Dashes, below).
  • Styling of apostrophes and quotes (they should all be straight, not curly; see Quotation marks, below); such typographical elements as guillemets (« », in quoted French, Portuguese, and other foreign-language material) should be altered to their English-language equivalents (guillemets become standard straight quote marks, for example).
  • Spaces before periods, colons, semicolons, and the like should be removed, since they are merely typographical and are alien to the conventions in use throughout English Wikipedia, and English-language publishing in general.
  • Some text styling (of course the typeface will be automatically made the same as the article's default typeface; but preserve bold, underlining, and italics; see Italics, above).
  • Ellipses should be used whenever parts of a quotation are skipped. Legitimate reasons for omitting parts of quotation include removing extraneous, irrelevant, or parenthetical words or skipping over unintelligible or guttural speech (umm, ahhs, and hmms, for example). Care should be made to not use ellipses to remove context or to selectively quote so as to change the meaning of the quote (as is sometimes seen in advertisements for movies and plays that selectively quote critical reviews to make them appear more favorable).
    • Changed "The ellipsis is represented by ellipsis points, a series of three dots (or sometimes four at the end of a sentence)." to "The ellipsis is represented by ellipsis points: a set of three dots."
    • Changed "Ellipses" to "Ellipsis points (loosely called ellipses)"
    • Added "... no space between an ellipsis and: ...
  • a parenthesis or a bracket, where the ellipsis is on the inside
  • sentence-final punctuation, or a colon, semicolon, or comma (all rare), following the ellipsis"
    • Expanded the WP:MOS#Commas subsection
    • Examples added to the WP:MOS#Serial commas subsection
    • Added "A colon should normally have a complete grammatical sentence before it, except sometimes when it introduces items set off in new lines like the very next colon here. Examples:"
    • Added:
In very rare cases, a comma may be used where a semicolon would seem to be called for:
Accepted: "Life is short, art is long." (citing a brief aphorism; see Ars longa, vita brevis)
Accepted: "I have studied it, you have not." (reporting brisk conversation, like this reply of Newton's)
    • Added to WP:MOS#Hyphens: "Some words ending in -ly function as both adverbs and adjectives (a friendly-looking driver, the natives used us friendly and with kindness). Some such dual-purpose words (like early, only, northerly) are not standard -ly adverbs, since they are not formed by addition of -ly to an independent current-English adjective. These need careful treatment: Early flowering plants evolved along with sexual reproduction, but Early-flowering plants risk damage from winter frosts; northerly-situated islands."
    • Added: "Avoid two "sharp break" em dashes in a sentence, since they are readily mistaken for a parenthetic pair."
    • Added, after "A spaced slash may be used": "or rarely when quoting prose, where careful marking of a paragraph break is textually important"
    • Added to WP:MOS#Punctuation after formulae: "Within a sentence, other punctuation (such as comma of colon) is used after a formula just as it would be if the text were not a formula."
    • Added to WP:MOS#Precise language for dates: "or simply use at instead:The population was over 21,000,000 (at December 2008)"
    • Added to WP:MOS#Times: "A hard space (see above) is advisable: 2:30 pm."
    • Added to WP:MOS#Unit symbols and abbreviations: "Further, a space—preferably a non-breaking space ( )—always separates the value and temperature symbol (e.g. 35 °C, 62 °F, and 5,000 K."
    • Expanded the WP:MOS#Consistency within articles subsection
    • Added to WP:MOS#Images: recommendation and discussion of "alt text"
    • Added new section, WP:MOS#Style guides on other Wikimedia projects
    • In WP:MOS#Further reading, added The MLA Style Manual

Links to a subheading on a page are denoted by a # symbol between the page title and the subheading ([[Article#Section|name of link]]). For example, to link to the "Culture" subsection of the Oman article, type [[Oman#Culture|culture of Oman]]. When naming a piped link, think about what the reader will believe the link is about; in this example, the piped section-link should not be named "Oman", because the reader will think that link goes to the general article on Oman.
Links to a subheading on a page are denoted by a # symbol between the page title and the subheading (see HTML anchor#Links and anchors).
Section links can also be "piped", e.g.:
[[Baden-Württemberg#Geography|Geography of Baden-Württemberg]]
(Geography of Baden-Württemberg).
However this often becomes unwieldy in the main prose, so it may be preferable to create and link to a redirect, e.g.:
[[Geography of Baden-Württemberg]]
(Geography of Baden-Württemberg).
As of 2008 this points to a section within the main Baden-Württemberg article, but it is quite likely to become a separate article in the future (see also WP:REDIRECT#NOTBROKEN). Also as of 2008 Special:Whatlinkshere provides no way to determine which pages link to which section(s) of a given article, so this also offers a better way to filter incoming links and identify related articles.

is accessible (ideally following Web Content Accessibility Guidelines recommendations).
is technically sound (with lists marked up as such, foreign-language text labelled with {{lang}} or equivalent, etc.)