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This is MLNWiki's official Manual of Style, which guides you through how articles on this wiki should be written and formatted. Although this Manual is not a policy, it important that you understand how wiki-editing should be executed on MLNWiki. Please do not judge this Manual too seriously—be reminded that not all of us have viewed this Manual at all.


Editing Text

The most important part of the wiki, of course, is the text. For our readers to be able to understand and enjoy the material within our articles, this text must be well-written. Here are the basic guidelines:

Grammar and Spelling

If you would like to check some common spelling and grammar mistakes, there is a subsection available to view.

As usual, please try to adhere to the rules of grammar and spelling as much as possible. Although not everyone on this wiki is a professional proofreader, you are encouraged to do the best you can in ensuring that your technical details are grammatically correct. If someone corrects your spelling or grammar, do not take it personally. They are simply helping the readers by saving them the trouble to decode unreadable writing.


Capitalization of Terms

Some terms, such as Networker, Item, or Module, are capitalized within the LEGO Group. Editors are encouraged to do the same. Note, however, that not all terms are capitalized. These include "ambush" (as in ambush Module,) "secret" (as in secret Networker,) and "click." It is rather difficult to distinguish these from those that must be capitalize, but to keep it simple: if it is a term invented by users, do not capitalize it, unless it consists of terms that are normally capitalized.

Here are some examples:

  • Network, Networker, Item, Module, Video, Skin, Vote (official, normally capitalized)
  • click, user, mailable, secret Networker (official, normally lowercase)
  • ambush Module, arcade Module (unofficial)
  • [T]DEM, XML (unofficial, acronyms)
  • Networker Module (unofficial, consists of official terms)
  • MLNO, MLNWiki, MLNTips (unofficial with respect to MLN itself, but have their own official spellings)

Follow LEGO's wording directly

Please also copy down LEGO's text exactly how it is written. This includes if there is a spelling error or some other obscurity. To indicate that you have copied an error from LEGO (and it is not an error of your own), please use the [sic] tag. Many examples of this can be found on the List of MLN Mail messages page.

If you want to read more on [sic], please see the related Wikipedia article.

There may also be an error regarding Module spellings and/or grammar. Again, please use LEGO's text exactly, and make a note on the page. Where the Blueprint name is different to the Module name, the Module name supersedes as the article's name, and a redirect is created from the Blueprint's name. An example of this can be found on the Pet Ball Lightening Module page, which generated some controversy, since the Blueprint was spelled correctly.


No Contractions

At best, make an attempt to avoid contractions such as "don't" and "can't." These sound very informal and, in general, decrease the formality and professionalism of the article.


Remain in Third Person

A common mistake while editing is to use phrases like the below:

I think Echo distributes the Apple Pie Blueprint.

Although this is completely valid due to the grammar rules above, notice that it is expressing the idea in first person. This can confuse the reader a good deal. Who is the "I" speaking?

Second-person statements are also not acceptable. Take, for instance, the below phrase:

If you send Echo an Apple, he will reply with the Apple Pie Blueprint.

These are slightly trickier to spot. Notice how the author is explaining the situation using the reader as the example, as if the reader is the subject of the situation.

In general, attempt to stick as close to third-person as possible. Try this phrase:

When the user sends Echo an Apple, he will reply with the Apple Pie Blueprint.

Or

Apple Pie Blueprints are obtained by sending Echo an Apple.

The only exception is in Walkthroughs. In such cases, use second-person instructional text if possible.


Linking

Links are the thread that sews the wiki together. Although their importance cannot be stressed enough, it is also important that you know how to use them properly.


Do Not be Obtrusive

Although links are important, do not let them get in the way of the reader. The following sentence is unacceptable:

Notice how the text seems to acknowledge the existence of the links and seems to "point" at them with the "see" phrase.

This is better:

Although link text is blue and stands out from the rest of the text, do not let links halt the flow of the writing.


Avoid "Click Here" Syndrome

Many web designers know that link text that says "click here" is not descriptive and requires the reader to click on the link to discover what article is the destination. This rule of thumb also applies to wikis as well, especially within the article namespace. In particular, "click here" syndrome is to be avoided within standard articles, although its use is also discouraged within the Template, My Lego Network Wiki, and Help namespaces.


Short Article, One Link

When adding links within a short article, it is unnecessary to link the same word multiple times. In longer articles, however, the better choice is to "renew" the link for every section.


Treat Readers Like Idiots...

A rule of thumb for music notation is "treat the musician like an idiot." Although this seems odd at first, it makes sense that the composer ensures that the musician does not assume certain dynamics, articulations, etc. without the composer's consent. Composers should also assume that the musician does not fully understand the feel and attempted emotion of the music, and that all needed articulations should be added whether the musician expects them or not.

The same also applies to encyclopedias. Suppose a reader who is inexperienced in MLN reads the following sentence:

An Apple is an important thing in Rank 0.

Wait, what is a "thing" in the world of MLN? What makes it "important?" These questions pop out of the reader's mind when he/she reads the sentence.

Be very specific, regardless of the complexity of the topic. The words "person" and "object" are very general. Terms such as Networker and Item are not only more formal, but they tell the reader exactly what type of "person" the Networker is, for example.


...But do not overdo it

Do not be too specific because of the Treat Readers Like Idiots guideline. The following article beginning is not acceptable:

An Apple is a type of food in MLN.

Um...what? The term "type of food" is, in fact, very specific, but it does not have an article and leaves the reader wondering what a "type of food" is.

Do not delve too deeply into how an article is classified. If it is an Item, say that it is an Item, and not that it is a "type of food" or the "rarest album."


Line Breaks

Please use the <br/> tag, rather than the <br> or <BR>. This is because XHTML uses <br/>, and, although probably will not affect the coding of the Wiki or browser generation, it looks more professional.


Multiple Line Breaks

Multiple line breaks (<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>...) look messy. If they are in place to align a picture or template, it may be better to use a {{clr}} template instead.


English (American)

Many of MLNWiki's articles, and MLN Modules*, are in the American English language. Please remain in the American English format. This includes templates.

However, where possible, please switch an American word, or where spelling is questioned, to a neutral word. For example, the American spelling "Traveled" and English "Travelled" should just become "went" as necessary.

Where there must be a decision, American will be used; however English will also be made available where possible. In an example template, Template:Color, a redirect from Template:Colour can be used and either template used to the author's discretion. However the word "color", where no ideal synonyms exist, can be kept.

* For example the Cruiser Command Center, and Defense System.


Coloring

Unless there is an extreme case with a very good purpose, do not use coloring in articles. There are two major types of coloring:

  1. The whole page is a single color or format. While the universal color scheme may seem much more interesting and "cooler" than the plain, black-on-white text, the inconsistency can be both distracting and irritating. If you have a general color that you want to apply to all pages, talk to the administrators about the wiki's skin or insert some CSS into your personal settings.
  2. A single portion of the text is colored. If you use the colors to apply emphasis, use bold or italic fonts.


Editing of Userspaces

  • Generally, users should only edit their own userspace, unless permission is given by the page's author (e.g. a guest list), or you are genuinely helping the user (e.g. replacing an old picture or fixing poor code).
  • All userpages must adhere to the Polices laid out across the Wiki.
  • If you wish to remove one of your own pages, please use the {{Speedy}} template with a summary such as "Author request" and an administrator will do it for you.
    • Note: please note that this is an encyclopedia and not a place to just edit your userpage with cool codes. You are free to edit your userpage as much as you want but please help contribute to improve this wikia, Thank you.

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