Help:Naming protocol

From SNIC Documentation
Jump to: navigation, search

In wikis, stringent spelling of names is always important, and doubly so for the snicdocs wiki, since it relies heavily upon the semantic mediawiki extension to do much of the neat stuff like dynamic generation of lists, tables and mashups based on tagged data in ordinary wiki pages. The price is that in order to retain relevance, we must not let nomenclature run rampant and diverge (see: the problem with the semantic web). Thus the need for this page.

Titles, headings and names

Don't use too generic page titles, such as Introduction, Help, etc. Make your titles as descriptive as possible.

Don't use commas (,) or semicolons (;) in page names (including Category and Property names)! MediaWiki and our templates use commas and semicolons as separation characters, so things will go wrong if these characters are used in the wrong places.

Be very careful to get all names right. Since this is a wiki, misspelling (and Erroneous Capitalisation!) lead to duplication and potentially much backtracking at a later stage when someone has to merge diverged content.

Prefer UK English in names, despite the fact that we consciously and expressly refrain from enforcing UK English in plain text sitewide (since this in all honesty would never work anyway).

Capitalisation matters in mediawiki, to the point that you only get to have some control over it. Case in point: Category:Molecular dynamics and Category:molecular dynamics go to the same page, but Category:Molecular Dynamics does not (and don't you go create it!). Therefore:

All titles, headings and names, including category names and property names, should be in all lowercase, except the first character of the first word, which should be a capital letter. Headings, titles and names should never end with a full stop.

Widely accepted acronyms like SNIC, NSC, SeRC or HMMER are of course exceptions from these capitalisation rules, and should be in the case that everyone knows and expects them to be.


Recommendations for editors
Editing policies
Application expert
Systems expert
Category:Research area

However if you are making a page, you may consider adding a redirect from the "wiki-capitalised" name to the proper name, as a convenience for other editors and users: create the "wiki-capitalised" page and add only the text #REDIRECT [[SeRC]] (or whatever the proper name of the page is). Save the page and you are done.

If you accidentally create a page with wrong spelling or capitalization, you can just Move it to give it the correct name. This will also automatically create a redirect so that any existing links to the page do not break.

If for some reason don't want to keep the page at all, you will discover that you cannot completely delete a page. Quote from Help:Deleting a page:

Normal users cannot permanently delete a Wiki page. This is a deliberate design feature, and is an important part of why wikis work. Every kind of editing operation can be reverted by any other user, and that includes resurrecting deleted content. It doesn't cause significant wasted space; and with nothing but a 'delete' label, the page is effectively deleted anyway.

In this case, you should simply remove the contents from the page and write "DELETE ME" and a short explanation/motivation on the page, so an administrator will know that it is okay to delete the page if he/she happens to find it.

Automatic capitalisation of first character

Mediawiki automatically capitalises the first letter of all names, with the benefit that one can readily type most markup in all lowercase, like so:

[[expertise::python]], [[category:research area]], etc...

However, semantic mediawiki sometimes gets all snooty over namespace capitalisation, so for now it's probably safest to do it right yourself and type e.g.

[[research area::Category:bioinformatics]], [[image::Image:uglymug.jpg]]

This bug has been reported (29536).

Spell it: application expert, systems expert

The term "application expert" is spelled as such, and likewise goes for the term "systems expert". All characters lowercase, except the first character of the first word (A or S), which should be capitalized only where language rules or style so dictates (start of sentence, page titles, headings, wiki links, wiki names, etc...). All other spellings are in error. If you see one: correct it.

Why does this matter? It matters because Wiki. We need 100% consistent naming, or else content that should be sorted together will end up separated for stupid reasons, and that will make the site harder to navigate and make content harder to find, and that will just plain make things look bad.