Wikipedia talk:Timeline standards

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I think this is the correct talk page for this. Year, decade, century, and millennium articles seem to collect anniversaries of notable events, such as the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 2012, the tricentennial of the founding of the United States in 2070s, quadricentennials (which probably should be "tercentennials") in 22nd century, millennials in 28th century, etc. I propose a general standard that states

Anniversaries should not be listed unless there was (for past events) a notable celebration/memorial, or (for future events) a notable celebration/memorial is presently planned.

Any other suggestions? — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 21:53, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Dead project?[edit]

Is this page dead, also? My comment above, more than a month ago, hasn't got a response.... — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 02:34, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I've been watching, but our categories system horrifies me, so I don't have anything useful to add to that thread. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:52, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia to present facts and ideas, not trivia; so random possible future anniversaries (as opposed to expected events i.e. eclipses) are not relevant - perhaps the best place to raise it is on the talk page and then delete said trivia. I would support that. On another note, quadricentennial is awkward but probably correct as consistent in Latin origins; tercentennial is used although stylistically wrong as it is a Greek-Latin hybrid--AssegaiAli (talk) 15:45, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Events section[edit]

Currently the standard for the year pages describes the events section as follows:

The events section is divided into months, each month has a calendar at the beginning and lists any important events that occurred. The month header once linked to the particular month in the year (if the page exists, eg. January 2004), but doesn't anymore. Every item links to the day.

I would like to propose a similar standard for the millennial pages, but instead of dividing them by century, I propose that we divide them by geography. The geographical divisions I propose at this time are: West Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Africa, America, Europe and Australia. More specific or more general geographic sections may be more appropriate for different millennia. As a reader, I think such sections would make the event list much easier to read and take in. This might be particularly appropriate for millennial pages which do have corresponding century pages since our current scope states:

Articles for the year 500 BC and earlier should be redirected to the relevant decade. Articles for the year 1700 BC and earlier should be redirected to the relevant century. Articles for the year 4000 BC and earlier should be redirected to the relevant millennium.

-ErinHowarth (talk) 22:28, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Standards for formating timelines?[edit]

YMCA has a timeline of the history of the organization. Currently it's a simple bullet list, e.g.:

  • Before 1844: The oldest of all YMCA-like organizations is the Basel association, which was founded in 1787 as Lediger Verein. Bremen Jünglingsverein was founded in 1834. All German Jünglingsvereine were cancelled by Nazis and re-established after the war as CVJMs (German initials for the YMCA). In Britain the oldest association is in Glasgow where it was founded in 1824 as Glasgow Young Men's Society for Religious Improvement. In France the Société Philadelphique was founded in Nimes in 1843.
  • 1844: George Williams was a 23-year-old draper, typical of the many young men who were being drawn to big cities by the Industrial Revolution. His colleagues were similarly employed, and they were concerned by the lack of healthy activities for young men in cities such as London. The alternatives were often taverns, brothels, and other temptations to sin. On June 6, Williams founded the first YMCA in London for "the improving of the spiritual condition of young men engaged in the drapery and other trades."

Is there a more formal standard for such timeline lists? {{timeline-item}} seems plausible, but appears to be used in only one article.

Jordan Brown (talk) 17:20, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Present tense or past tense?[edit]

The article doesn't specify whether timelines should use present tense (1492: Columbus sails the ocean blue) or past tense (1492: Columbus sailed the ocean blue). Should it? Tayste (edits) 06:33, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree that such a standard would be very useful, but I don't really have an opinion as to whether it should be present tense or past tense. -ErinHowarth (talk) 23:10, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
"Historic present" is in vogue, however it is confusing, and inappropriate for Wikipedia. The reason is that phrases can be taken as the continuous present - "warring factions continue to disrupt peaceful commerce in Afghanistan" - does that mean they did then, or they continue to now, and clumsy qualifying phrases such as "until the present day" are needed as qualifiers (which, as we know need to be modified with the current date - "as of 2011 XXX continues/continued to..."). Rich Farmbrough, 00:51, 1 January 2011 (UTC).

MoS naming style[edit]

There is currently an ongoing discussion about the future of this and others MoS naming style. Please consider the issues raised in the discussion and vote if you wish GnevinAWB (talk) 21:02, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Standards for day/hour/minute timelines[edit]

The articles Timeline of the Fukushima I nuclear accidents and Timeline of the Fukushima II nuclear accidents were built ad-hoc because there were no standards for articles whose events take place on a minute-by-minute basis or the article is built as the events take place. The deletion discussion for Timeline of the Fukushima I nuclear accidents concluded that the article needs to be retained, but also needs cleanup.

I am not taking a position on what the correct format and process should be, but I am documenting some of the characteristics of this article and its evolution for the purposes of further discussion:

  • Main section for the timeline (e.g., ==Timeline==)
  • Section heading for each day (e.g., ===Friday, 11 March===)
  • Each timestamp in a day is hour:minute using 24 hour format, begins on a new line that was preceded by a blank line, the timestamp is on a line of its own, and the text for that timestamp begins on the line after the timestamp and is indented.
  • Each timestamp used the format of a bolded hour:minute followed by a colon and space (e.g., ; 15:01 (approximate): Text or ; 02:44: Text) and paragraphs in the text following the timestamp were indented using a colon and space (e.g., : Text)
  • The timestamps used the local time of the geographic location of the event
  • Some timestamps are the time of the event, and some timestamps are the time of the report of the event, but this is an inconsistency
  • Timestamps in sources for the same event did not always agree
  • The timestamps are in chronological order starting from the earliest, not most recent on top
  • The events for all the geographic locations (in this case, primarily the nuclear power plants) are mixed together so there is one big timeline
  • Technical status tables
  • This timeline article was not done in a vacuum, but was part of an ecosystem of articles, navigation, hatnotes, categories, templates, and lists, including the overarching 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents‎, with name changes to the articles as events evolved
  • Initially, the timeline of events for Fukushima I and Fukushima II were combined, but a discussion to split the article resulted in the article being split into two articles.

Timeline resources:

Obankston (talk) 03:16, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Should not be called "Timeline" standards[edit]

Timelines are not exempt from the RfC determination in 2009 concerning the formulaic linking of chronological units. If the name of this article is not changed, this will need to be pointed out explicitly. Tony (talk) 09:24, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Timelines are not specifically exempt, but "inherently" (or intrinsically) "chronological articles" are. The examples of "inherently chronological articles" in the MOS are clearly not complete, so the question of whether a timeline article is "inherently chronological" is still open. Still, this article is presently about year / decade / century / millennium articles, with a see also for month-and-day articles, so it should be renamed. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:17, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Please look again at the community's decision. We've been through this recently, and you know this assumption is wrong. Tony (talk) 10:58, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we have been through this recently, and there is no community input in favor of your interpretation other than that of the principal architects of the biased RfCs. Still, we are in agreement that this guideline should be renamed. Any ideas for a target. WP:Time interval standards? WP:Epoch article standards?
Also, be sure to follow the redirects everywhere they appear before attempting to create the guideline you want at WP:Timeline standards. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 11:07, 14 December 2011 (UTC)


Where would I find the description of and code for this timeline here? --Saippuakauppias 12:51, 15 February 2016 (UTC)