Terraria Wiki talk:Rules
- 1 References
- 2 "North American" english?
- 3 Won't start
- 4 interwikis
- 5 Are we allowed to use bold and/or color in the signature?
- 6 Patrolling
- 7 Signature policy?
We need to make a seperate page for references, and make sure they're confirmed. These list of possibles, loose references on nearly every single page annoys the hell out of me. The Scrooge McDuck one for the Lucky Coin topped the cake. They really goddamn grind my gears. half of them are so loose they should be pulled out like a rotten tooth. And then make a rule thst you can't add references to a page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlazingStars (talk • contribs) at 09:55, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
- Does using spaces between sentences instead of 'Enter' also grind your gears? Barhandar (talk) 10:02, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
- Yes, it does actually.
- Yes, it does actually.
"North American" english?[edit source]
I hope this doesn't seem pedantic, but "North American english" is a bit ambiguous and in need of clarification. If it's intended to mean "US english", it should say that, period. - CountPacula (talk) 18:05, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
- I am surprised this has not been changed in two years. US/UK is infinitely more preferable than "North American English"/"Queen's English" HnZ88 (talk) 20:29, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
- I suppose it's easy to forget that a fairly large chunk of North America is Canada. No, we Canadians don't use "Queen's English", just North American English with UK spelling. Saffral (talk) 00:06, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
- Ok, I edited it. Should it say "UK English" rather than "Queen's English", or is the current edit sufficient? – Ferretwings (talk) 14:03, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
- Personally I would leave out the UK English portion, and write it as "Edit in U.S. English, not another version of English.", just because Canadian English uses U.S. English grammar but UK English spelling. And this isn't even counting other versions of English around the world. But it's probably fine either way. UK English is still better than "Queen's". Saffral (talk) 14:31, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Won't start[edit source]
For some reason my terraria game won't start I'm on iPad it worked fine before if enybody knows how to fix it plz email me at firstname.lastname@example.org —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacobmario247 (talk • contribs) at 16:02, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Are we allowed to use bold and/or color in the signature?[edit source]
- It is open to everyone, so long as it follows the rules (mainly having links to your user and talk pages are important).TOTORO01 (talk) 20:24, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
- I'm pretty sure you need to change your signature in preferences, or use BB code to change your signature. I'm not quite sure myself, but if I try this: LordofEditing Contribs talk 20:25, 1 December 2016 (UTC) and then compare it with four tildes (~~~~) LordofEditing (talk) 20:26, 1 December 2016 (UTC), or you could do bold text and four tildes. Though I'm not sure if it's reserved for admins.
- Anyone can style their signatures how ever they like, within reason. Admins don't have any particular special privileges there. The rules come down to "use common sense" -- keep it easy for people to contact you, don't hurt people's eyes with clashy colors etc, and don't obstruct the page.
- You can apply colors with CSS:
<span style="color:darkgreen">my text sample</span>-- my text sample.
- Within a link:
[[User:Equazcion|<span style="color:darkgreen">Equazcion's Userpage</span>]]-- Equazcion's Userpage.
- Equazcion (talk) 22:20, 1 Dec 2016 (UTC)
It has not been clear what patrolling is, thought it has been mentioned under "sock puppeting", plz make it clear what patrolling is, and how to do it. Terrariahelper2726 (talk) 01:34, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
- I don't see "patrolling" mentioned anywhere on the page.
- "Patrolling" is only available to admins. When an admin checks an edit for vandalism, they can flag it as "patrolled". – Ferretwings (talk) 17:05, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, that clarifies it.
Terrariahelper2726 (talk) 23:12, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Signature policy?[edit source]
The new signature policy was introduced by Equazcion in 2015. Looking at that user's contributions, as well as the community noticeboard at that time, it does not seem like there was a prominent on-wiki discussion about introducing this policy. The policy itself, while strongly worded to suggest unconditional unacceptability of any deviation, contains a mixture of overspecification, underspecification, and terms which may be excessive.
On procedure[edit source]
Wiki policy affects its entire user base. It's considered standard that people who will be affected by a decision are involved in making that decision. Intentionally not involving affected parties indicates that the deciding party has an ulterior motive counterproductive to the well-being of excluded parties. Wikis are by their nature collectivist, and wiki admins who have motives incompatible with their community's prospering are not fit for their role.
If it is true that this policy was introduced without a prominent and substantial on-wiki discussion, so that it could be reviewed by the community and amended as necessary, it would mean that this was either an emergency action (in which case, a community review would be expected at the nearest opportunity – and it seems this has not happened), or an action bypassing community review, in which case a review is expected.
On perception of policy[edit source]
Wiki administrators should realize that everywhere in real life, the standard behavioral model is Lawful Neutral: an average person's world view is that it doesn't matter what the policy says, or why it says so, following it without question is unconditionally necessary for the community's well-being, and there cannot exist anything good outside such unconditional adherence. "Ignore all rules", a standard in collaborative wiki editing which seeks to shift the "alignment" to Neutral Good, is a massive difference from the RL standard that most wiki contributors have not made part of themselves.
Already active policy is far less likely to be questioned. It will be treated dogmatically – not by everyone, but by many. That means lack of previous complaints, while never indicative of lack of issues, is an especially flawed retort to complaints on policy matters. The fact that it has been that way for a long time is not in any way an indication that it should have been made that way back then, and not an indication that it can't or shouldn't be made better now.
Conjectured motivation[edit source]
Some time ago, an external communication channel received a question about an abuse filter on Terraria Wiki – this wiki – which disallowed a list of words for everyone but admins. There was the issue that a not particularly bad word was included in the list, and this prevented all non-admins from reverting a vandal whose username contained that word. It was revealed that this filter's creation is due to an otherwise constructive editor who repeatedly used problematic language in edit summaries. All statements pointing at this measure's excessiveness have not been heard.
This incident is evidence that it is not unheard of on Terraria Wiki to excessively sanction the entire community for one editor's problematic behavior, and the current signature policy seems if not designed to counteract a specific line-toeing contributor, then at least inspired by such a person. In that case, it would be meaningless – but typical – to keep such policy effective.
Specific issues[edit source]
- They must be unobtrusive. | Is this some kind of a fall-back rule given all of the other restrictions? You have no images, no templates, no large text, no large amounts of text, and easy to read. In addition, who and how determines whether a signature is obtrusive? That's implicit deference to senior editors or admins.
- They must not be difficult to read. | How would one determine whether a signature is difficult to read? Maybe someone finds Comic Sans, or any other custom font, difficult to read? That's again implicit deference to senior editors.
- Your signature must clearly and obviously display the actual username for your wiki account, without any character alterations. | This is typically viewed as excessive, and sufficiently recognizable derivations are viewed as sufficient. On another Gamepedia wiki, after it migrated to Gamepedia in late 2013, I was forced to choose a username which was not my original username, but a derivation of it, and I had to keep it for about 3 years before I could finally decide to choose the one I have now. Yes, it was aggravated by that we were told we would be able to choose any display name, which was later scrapped. I was signing with my original username all those years and hated it when my account name was used as if it was an actual preferred username. Just one example when this rule has an obviously detrimental effect with a questionable benefit.
- Your signature must retain one prominent and obvious link to your userpage, and one to your user talk page. | What does it mean for a link to be obvious? Who determines what's obvious? What if one finds "discussion" a non-obvious link to a talk page? This is also the only Terraria Wiki rule my current generally used signature violates. I made a couple tech jokes in that signature, labeling the talk page link "report bug", and adding a contributions link labeled "view backtrace". That's not very obvious unless you look where the links lead. It's still questionable whether this extent of noncustomizability is necessary.
- Your signature must not display any more than 30 additional characters of text beyond your username and talk page link. | Exactly thirty characters. An arbitrary number just asks for someone to game the system in a manner involving this number – and it was likely a person's borderline behavior was the reason behind this strict policy's introduction. Why not 29? Or 31? Or 0? Or as many as fits within the 255 character limit (fortunately not specified in bytes)? And given that other points already contain implicit deference in judgement to other editors, most likely senior editors or admins, having an arbitrary number as a cutoff is not consistent.
- It must be no taller than 20px. | Okay, given this is most likely related to line height, I will not write how arbitrary this number is. But once again, what if there are inconsistent readings? What if the same HTML is rendered at 20px in one environment (browser, OS, hardware, font availability), but at 21px in another? This wouldn't be a problem if not for the policy being strongly worded, implying necessity of to-the-letter adherence.
Symptom of a greater problem with the rules?[edit source]
After a brief glance at the entire page, not just this particular section, but the entire policy seems to be in need of improvement. I only described the issues with one section because: 1) I doubt I'll find the strength to produce a detailed review of all rules; 2) this section bugs me more than others, partially due to that it could have affected me negatively.
Signature policy: Discussion[edit source]
- First of all, thank you very much for this well-phrased, well-structured, and concise comment; something like this certainly is a rare sight (as far as I can judge, I am editing here for merely a year). I can absolutely understand your point and, to be honest, have wondered about this policy (more than once), too. I have not been involved with the change of the policy in any way, as it happened three years before it would have even affected me, hence I cannot address that part. Perhaps someone else of the editors who have been around a while longer can. The same applies to your third point – I have no knowledge of off-wiki communication or problematic events on the wiki during that time. If the change of the policy was indeed caused by a specific editor (who would most likely no longer edit here, considering that the incident was almost four years ago), then I agree it is more than high time to revise the rules. In the same regard, I agree with the first two points you made as well. In fact, I fail to find anything I disagree with you on and I doubt there are many people who do not, given your clear deduction. Since Equazcion more or less left this wiki as he became busier as a Wiki Manager (at least that is my assumption), it is unlikely he will respond to this.
- If nobody disagrees that a revision of the rules cannot hurt, it leaves us with the task of formulating more appropriate rules. I would not expect many contributions in this regard though, because what I did experience here is that what seems to dominate in most on-wiki discussions is... inactivity, for lack of a more precise (and more judgmental but still polite) word. Maybe that is due to the small amount of active administrators (currently counting three) and even returning editors (not more than ten active ones, at most), maybe it is not, I do not know. I would not be surprised if in three weeks I had to just go ahead and change the rules without any input at all.
- Nonetheless, I am glad that you brought this issue up and am impressed by the way you did it. I think a review as detailed as this one is greatly beneficial (for any community, really). --Rye Greenwood (talk) 00:43, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I created the signature policy with some input from the admins around at the time. As a Wikipedia alum, I attempted to create a more concise version of Wikipedia's signature rules. The following is just from the prelude -- if you visit the page and take a look, the rules are rather involved.
- "A customised signature should make it easy to identify the username, to visit the user's talk-page, and preferably user page."
- "A distracting, confusing, or otherwise unsuitable signature may adversely affect other users. For example, some editors find that long formatting disrupts discourse on talk pages, or makes working in the edit window more difficult."
- "Complicated signatures contain a lot of code ("markup") that is revealed in the edit window, and can take up unnecessary amounts of narrative space, which can make both reading and editing harder."
- "Always keep the time/date-stamp: these are used by bots to determine when a discussion is eligible to be archived."
Many Wikipedia practices represent general common-sense wiki etiquette, but have become bloated over the years with input from a hundred-thousand users and the myriad of issues that invariably become evident for a function that many millions of users utilize constantly during forum-type discussions.
I attempted to formulate rules that are similar in effect to Wikipedia's, but easier to comprehend and enforce in a smaller community where games and not academia are more the focus.
Couple of specific responses:
- Intentionally not involving affected parties indicates that the deciding party has an ulterior motive counterproductive to the well-being of excluded parties. Wikis are by their nature collectivist, and wiki admins who have motives incompatible with their community's prospering are not fit for their role.
I'm not sure what kind of "ulterior motive" one could have in controlling the way signatures are created. The motivation was that some people were getting a bit overzealous in crafting their signatures and we needed a rule in place to point to when requesting that they tame their sigs, as the general response from a lay wiki editor when receiving an administrative request is a "quasi-legal" defense in the realm of "but it's not against the rules." Researching talk page and noticeboard posts from that far back would take some time, but I believe I did announce the changes and let active editors know they could weigh in if they thought anything looked funny.
- This incident is evidence that it is not unheard of on Terraria Wiki to excessively sanction the entire community for one editor's problematic behavior, and the current signature policy seems if not designed to counteract a specific line-toeing contributor, then at least inspired by such a person. In that case, it would be meaningless – but typical – to keep such policy effective.
The abuse filter incident being referred to here is just an example of admins attempting to fix a problem as best they could with the tools they have available.
- These are signatures, and not an issue of the public-facing wiki design. It's a relatively minor aspect in the grand scheme of things. If you feel your creativity is being stifled when you make a talk page comment for your fellow editors to see in our behind-the-scenes discussions, we can all discuss that issue, but in the end this is more a matter of keeping the social engine of the wiki rolling smoothly and functionally, with restrictions that only affect visuals being displayed outside of actual wiki articles.
- Rules don't need to be discussed amongst all affected parties before being implemented. Wikis aren't democracies and many things, within reason, can forgo the red tape of a public request for discussion before being implemented -- most notably when the thing we're talking about would not reasonably be predictably controversial.
- That said, on a wiki, nothing is ever permanent. If anyone sees a rule they feel is overreaching, unreasonable, or causes issues -- or if you just have a suggestion for a helpful tweak -- simply say so. The rules page, like most pages, are not The Constitution and there's no need to view additions to them as draconian decrees from a governing body which require organized protest to revisit.
- The specific rules are again largely a simple restatement of Wikipedia's using far less words, including the allowable code length etc.
- Rules aren't laws. All admins should judge rule violations based on common sense and temper their responses to those violations proportionately to the actual damage, or potential for damage, the violation might result in. As a fairly obvious example, if a user's signature is 257 code characters long while the rules states 255 is the max, it might not (and probably is not) worth even mentioning, unless the editor in question has displayed a tendency to push boundaries in general in an attempt to troll the wiki.
Hope my thoughts are clear here. Please let me know if anyone has questions or concerns, and feel free to discuss the merits of the specific rules and any changes you'd like to make. While I think this is a relatively minor topic in the grand scheme of the wiki, it appears at least one user is passionate about it, and if there are other I'd encourage anyone so interested to take a good read through the Wikipedia rules for a better understanding of their purpose before commenting.
We do welcome feedback, and I hope most of your questions have been answered.
- Regarding our abuse filter: Yes, we have a rather comprehensive abuse filter. This did not happen overnight, it took years. Terraria is played by children and teenagers who often decide that trolling the wiki sounds like fun. I have worked rather hard to eliminate false positives. If anybody complains to you, please report it on the Admin noticeboard, and we will handle it. We would need to know either their username or the date it happened, so we could look it up. We do check the logs, but occasionally a false-positive slips through.
- Regarding limits: Most often, limits are actually approximations (you tell a driver they can go 45 mph, they go 50). Nobody will police you if your signature is 21px (we'll only check if it appears to be abnormally large on a talk page). Nobody will police you if your signature is a couple of characters too long. Problems only become apparent when we look at a talk page, and think "wow... really?" Or if we edit the talk page, and it becomes obvious that somebody took great liberties with their signature. If we believe that a signature needs changing, we will notify the user.
- Regarding wordage: The important thing to remember is, we need to be able to identify (easily) the wiki user. If your username is Michael, and your signature is "John", and you then change your signature to "William", how are we to know that these are all the same people? If we begin a discussion with "John", and then "William" shows up a month later, we will not equate the two. You are not the first user to complain about this rule, and we may indeed need to add some wiggle room.
- Note: I wrote most of this post right after Equazcion posted here, but before Ferretwings did. Some points addressed exclusively the former post, and while I have adjusted them to try to make them fit better given the latter post, I may have missed something.
- The abuse filter incident being referred to here is just an example of admins attempting to fix a problem as best they could with the tools they have available. – with admin-only restrictions causing rather predictable negative consequences in terms of false positives. Since this is off-topic, I will not go into detail here.
- If anyone sees a rule they feel is overreaching, unreasonable, or causes issues... – unfortunately, many people view all rules in a dogmatic manner, and reasoning tends to be among the lines of "there's a reason why X is Y, and for that reason X must be Y". It takes more than basic wiki experience to understand that wikis are unique in that their rules are open for discussion to a very substantial degree.
- The specific rules are again largely a simple restatement of Wikipedia's – ...with a 30-character text limit and a total ban on any derived usernames, something completely absent in the original policy?
- I have re-examined the issue, and I believe the 30-char clause and the no-character-alterations clause are the two most primary reasons these rules seem wrong. As I stated above, 30 is arbitrary, while no derivation is far more strict than the baseline common on wikis. These two rules also feel worded in a way as to suggest no deviation is acceptable (which both of you state is not true as all of the above are open to admin judgement), and this makes all other rules seem that way.
- I also considered several cases where users would prefer to use sufficiently recognizable derivative usernames in signature. I have already provided my case with sudden and unexpected change to a despised account name with no means to choose a new one any time soon. One more case is normalization: MediaWiki does not allow usernames with a lowercase first letter, and underscores are replaced with spaces. Making a non-normalized variant display in a signature would involve "character alterations" and therefore technically disallowed, but who would find this problematic?
- I believe that if rules are written as strongly enforced boundaries, but are not enforced in this manner, users will be able to report non-problematic, but technically violating signatures to admins (the inverse situation to "but this isn't against the rules"), and if admins refuse to enforce the rules, this will hardly be viewed positively.
- Given all this, I propose (high-level description, no specific rule wording yet):
- Refactor the "unobtrusive" and "not difficult to read" clauses into less strongly worded generic clauses for cases when a clearly problematic signature is not technically violating any specific rule. (It's similar to having a "disruptive behavior" clause in general rules: making a complete list of what's disruptive is just not possible.)
- Refactor the "actual username, no alterations" clause to allow sufficiently recognizable usernames. Since whether a signature is too problematic is open for admin judgement, there's hardly any need to make a rule this strong, is there?
- Remove the 30-character clause completely. This is an overspecified instruction with a large probability for false positives/negatives, and I expect this instruction to be completely covered by the generic clauses.
- Refactor the "no taller than 20px" to refer to interfering with nearby text display, with examples referring to excessive height and line breaks. This could be added as a sub-point of making signatures non-obtrusive.
- Refactor the "255 characters of code" restriction to a more generic "excessively long code", while saying that going over 255 characters is strongly discouraged. This could be added as a sub-point of making signatures non-obtrusive.
- Add a link to the relevant Wikipedia policy for those who are interested in getting more information.
- If this causes no objections, I can help preparing a low-level description (that is, actual text of the rules).
- P. S. Ferretwings, the username link in your signature is 21px tall. While I don't have any objections against your signature, it just serves as an excellent case in point that very strict numerical limits (or limits that look like such) are not beneficial. 😆 --AttemptToCallNil (talk) 21:08, 14 June 2019 (UTC)