Battlestar Wiki talk:Standards and Conventions/Archive2

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
Archive - Between December 1st, 2005 and February 5th, 2006
DO NOT EDIT OR POST REPLIES TO THIS PAGE. THIS PAGE IS AN ARCHIVE. Post replies to the main talk page, copying the section you are replying to if necessary. (See Battlestar Wiki:How to archive a talk page.) Please add new archives to Archive 3. Thank you. Shane (T - C - E) 12:31, 24 June 2006 (CDT)

Disambiguation

There are two approaches to disambiguation between series currently in practice:

  • The most popular is to namespace (TOS) content and leave the RDM content at the un-namespaced location - this is currently done for most categories, for example. Under this schema, disambig pages should be namespaced (e.g., "Pegasus (disambig)") and RDM content should not (e.g. "Pegasus", not "Pegasus (RDM)").
  • The other practice employed here is to namespace both TOS and RDM content when a collision occurs, and use the non-namespaced article to disambiguate.

I don't personally plan to contribute to much outside of the RDM continuity, but given that this Wiki is given over to all four major incarnations of the show (TOS, 1980, the Video Game, and the current series), I'm not sure its appropriate to give the current series preference.

On the other hand, the RDM series is the only one currently producing new content, and namespacing everything can be tedious. What are your opinions? --Peter Farago 02:49, 2 October 2005 (EDT)

Obviously, most of the people looking up "Battlestar Galactica" in google, amazon, or wiki, or anything nowadays are probably looking for info on the new series. We should make that information as easy to access as possible.
Jzanjani 17:41, 5 October 2005 (EDT)
I'm in favor of using namespaces only when there are articles whose names appear in both TOS and RDM. For "Pegasus", "Galactica" and "Battlestar", namespacing was obviously needed. But for "Ovion" and episodes like "The Living Legend", no, since they are uniquely TOS articles. Since information here wasn't intended to naturally slant to RDM content (though for obvious reasons it is), we should strive to keep the balance by adding related TOS links to similar articles as possible. "The Hand of God" RDM page, for instance, should be namespaced since it has an identical name to a TOS episode, and that RDM article has a link to the TOS article (buried, however). I'm becoming a big proponent of helping to make this site THE authorative reference for TOS information: If you have searched the internet for TOS information and sites, you'd find that it's really, really sparse content out there. This site is going to make me rent or buy the complete TOS series (and, Lords help me, Galactica 1980) so I can study them with the same scrutiny as RDM and get their episode and character pages ship-shape. Spencerian 17:51, 5 October 2005 (EDT)
Having given it some more thought, I tend to agree that we shouldn't treat RDM content preferentially. On a personal note, you're a braver man than I. I hope exposure to the original series doesn't permanently damage you; it would be a shame to lose such a valuable contributor. --Peter Farago 17:54, 5 October 2005 (EDT)
When BSG is good, it's really good. When BSG is bad, it's still BSG. Spencerian 10:19, 6 October 2005 (EDT)
Although I'm sure there are legions of BSG fans who are very interested in TOS and 1980, I think that a more casual viewer will be a little bit lost when he finds a disambiguation page pointing to five different pages which share the same name except for a few capital letters at the end. A lot of people will not be able to appreciate the very clean and precise compartmentalization of one topic according to primary source, because they probably don't even care that there was some other BSG a quarter-century ago. If we're trying to make things clean and tidy for the fanbase, then compartmentalizing like that is the way to go. But casual fans (which the creators of the current series have said they're trying to attract) are going to stumble a little bit when they see that there was an original series, a subsequent, short-lived, non-canonical series, a video game, a mini-series, and then finally the re-imagined series which is really the only thing that's making people even talk about BSG anymore. I really think that if we make RDM pages default, it'll allow a lot more people to take advantage of the content. That way they don't have to educate themselves on the whole production history of the original BSG, and why the 1980's series sucks, and this, that and the other. It's really easy to get lost in wiki just by clicking on the first linked word which you don't understand, and it's going to distract the people who are looking for the real BSG, if you will suffer my usage.
I think people would know what "RDM" means just as much as "TOS", "TNG", "DS9", "VOY", or "ENT". ---Ricimer
I think we should use (RDM) for RDM stuff, rather than assume it as default. Otherwise we have to cross-link everything to the (disambiguation) page, rather than have the disambig page show up when the search is run. What if someone's doing research about TV shows from the 80s or something. I agree that people will know, or quickly figure out the abbriviations we use here. I didn't know who Ronald D Moore was before I started working on this Wiki and it didn't take me very long at all to figure out how things are. It's not some intricate, color-and-alpha catalogging scheme. --Day 04:40, 6 October 2005 (EDT)
Do we have enough consensus on this to make it a guideline? --Peter Farago 00:28, 14 October 2005 (EDT)
Can someone write up the proposed consensus from all of this? I'm ill and it's hard for me to do this at the moment. Spencerian 23:31, 17 October 2005 (EDT)
I will tomorrow. --Peter Farago 01:18, 18 October 2005 (EDT)

Proposal

Where articles from two different continuities exist with the same or easily confused titles, they should be namespaced with a reference to the series in parenthesis. Appropriate namespaces are:

  • (TOS) - Original series
  • (RDM) - Re-imagined series
  • (Video Game) - 2003 Video Game
  • (1980) - Galactica 1980
  • (SDS) - Singer/DeSanto continuation

The page at the non-namespaced title should serve as a disambiguation page. --Peter Farago 19:24, 21 October 2005 (EDT)

I concur; looks good. Should we note the Richard Hatch "Second Coming" info in some way, as it has more material in fact than the DeSanto works. :) --Spencerian 01:34, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
Got a catchy acronym handy? --Peter Farago 02:12, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
Either "SC" (obviously) or "DRM" (for "dream" as "in your dreams") :) Perhaps RH as well. --Spencerian 04:05, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
"SC" and "RH" are the diplomatic alterantives, gentlemen. Others enthusiasts do view this site. --Watcher 06:07, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
Personally, "SC" works for me. "DRM" is confusing, as this is an acronym for Digital Rights Management. (In addition to the point Watcher made regarding its potentially insulting connotation.) -- Joe Beaudoin 14:43, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
Ditto, Joe. DRM is also easily confused with RDM. I like SC. Otherwise, looks real good, Peter. --Day 18:11, 22 October 2005 (EDT)

Okay. Since no one's dissented with Peter's proposal, I'm gonna wait a few days, then put it up on the main page with the addition of (SC) for Richard Hatch's "Second Coming" attempt. --Day 12:11, 31 October 2005 (EST)


Image Sizes

I tend to think that images that are whole-screen captures (and thus letterbox dimensions) should be about 300px wide. This is, however, based entirely on how that looks on my browser window, which is pretty large, but not maximized on a 1280x1026 resolution. So that might look horrid on some other screen. Anyway, with that in mind, I resize all my full-screen captures to be 600px wide since that's a nice two times what I think they should be viewed at. Should I be even thinking this way, or should I just be telling the articles to be thumbs and set my preferences for larger thumbs? In the case of cropped screen-caps, though, I think 300px is too wide, or rather, often too tall. How do others think on this? --Day 05:21, 10 September 2005 (EDT)

Yes, use your preference settings for this. FWIW, I'm a fan of judicious cropping. It helps make smaller thumbs more legible. --Peter Farago 12:28, 10 September 2005 (EDT)
If you're trying to illustrate something specific, sure, cropping is needed in most cases. However, for episode pages and, I think, when trying to show a scene, the whole screen is good for its sense of context. I could be wrong. --Day 16:09, 10 September 2005 (EDT)

Image Credit

Okay... Most images are gonna be screen caps we get from the shows. In which case the credit should go directly to the SciFi Channel, SkyOne Network or Universal Studios. The question is, which one? Or should it be all three? Or does Universal own the two channels and so saying "Cedit: SciFi/SkyOne" is enough? Or... What do you guys think? --Day 23:56, 21 September 2005 (EDT)

Universal Studios. They own the copyright. -- Joe Beaudoin 16:26, 23 September 2005 (EDT)
Following wikipedia's example, we don't need to credit image copyrights in-text, do we? It should be enough to note copyright status on the image's description page. --Peter Farago 00:27, 14 October 2005 (EDT)

The Freakin' Quote-o-Matic

It's not very -o-Matic, is it? ;o) Anyway, I think we need a standard for how they're formatted. I prefer the following:

"The line, in normal-weighted text, enclosed in double quotes."
--Rank and Name in Italics ("Episode Name")

It would also be nice to figure out how to go and look at quotes entered for days other than the current day. What do others think? --Day 19:00, 23 September 2005 (EDT)

As far as looking at previous quotes, that's a Joe question, though it would be welcome. Joe mentioned that the template info has to be added manually, but a creative wikipedia might work something out from a large database. At first I added at most 2 lines as a quote, but now I stick to one quote. I think the style you noted worked well (it did for my two contributions this week), so let's see if we all say so. Spencerian 14:50, 25 September 2005 (EDT)
Well, if you want to keep track of all the quotes, why not just add them to Category:Quotes? Theoretically, every quote should then be linked from that category page. -- Joe Beaudoin 09:44, 14 October 2005 (EDT)
However, it's a bit late for quotes already put up, no? --Day 12:49, 17 October 2005 (EDT)
Wait. Is this page automated somehow? If so, then a Quotes category is kind of moot. I remember looking at it a while ago, though, and it having no date information and just a single quote in it. --Day 13:04, 17 October 2005 (EDT)

On second thought, I prefer this:

"The line, in normal-weighted text, enclosed in double quotes."
--Rank and Name in Normal (Episode Name)

For full exchanges I think something like this would work:

Rank and Name 1: Humorous battle banter aimed at Speaker 2.
Rank and Name 2: Scathing insult.
Name 1: Pithy retort.
--Episode Name

What do you guys think of this? If no one replies in a few days, I'll start soliciting opinions on people's talk pages and via AIM. After a few more days, I'll simply make an executive decision and put this policy up. I think it would be best to link it at the head of the Quotes page, too. When the time comes. --Day 04:05, 28 October 2005 (EDT)

Day, I've been adapting that format (per your original thoughts) and I find it works well. My only problem is insuring a proper break between the quote(s) and the name and episode for single-quotation blocks. I think this thing has languished long enough to put up a quick vote or 5-day consensus/no-objection period, where we can make this the practice (and retrofit all recorded quotes to match if necessary). --Spencerian 08:42, 1 November 2005 (EST)
COnsider this that period. Also, do you mean you like the break, but you're concerned about adding it for some reason that I do not understand, or do you mean that your dislike <br/> tags? --Day 12:46, 1 November 2005 (EST)
Okay. I'm about to put my above policy up. I think I'll have to play with it for a bit to get the display format the way I want it for ease of copying and for users who know nothing of HTML. --Day 15:02, 11 November 2005 (EST)
I would suggest putting this policy (when it is finalized) and a note about not repeating quotes right on the Quotes page where the "This is a list of quotes..." statement is. Nwobkwr 19:59, 17 November 2005 (EST)

I noticed that people have started putting in quotes from the original series. I think this is great but in terms of standardization I would follow the same idea as used on the Memory Alpha wiki:

  • If it is an original series episode, quote as TOS: [[episode title]]
  • If it is a 1980 series episode, quote as 1980: [[episode title]]
  • If it is a re-imagined series episode, quote as RDM: [[episode title]]

Nwobkwr 13:46, 21 November 2005 (EST)

Not a bad idea, Nwobkwr, but it might get cumbersome. Might I suggest we use only the "TOS" flag for TOS and 1980 episodes, and leave the RDM episodes as-is? This gives a slant to the current series, but then, we will have many more quotes from RDM than from the old series since transcripts of the TOS/80 shows are far less available than the current. It also saves on visual complexity. --Spencerian 13:30, 30 November 2005 (EST)
I think we should put the dab in the episode credit, and only when there are episodes in each series with the same title. (basically, "The Hand of God".) --Peter Farago 23:53, 30 November 2005 (EST)

Another thing to consider. In light of this quote, should we allow non-BSG quotes on a longer-than-one-shot basis? I think it would be okay, but others (obviously) don't. I'd like a few more opinions and some actual discussion, rather than just editing. --Day 04:00, 13 December 2005 (EST)

Links

So, in my opinion, the first occurance of nearly any proper noun should be a link. Even the thing an article is about. This means that the first occurance of an article's topic will be in bold, which I think is nice. For longer articles, I think linking becomes kind of discretionary. If someone hasn't been mentioned (or linked, maybe) in a while, then they could/should be linked. Also, episode credits at the end of an event description should always be linked. --Day 15:19, 27 September 2005 (EDT)

Using links-to-self to bold title text is discouraged by the Wikipedia Manual of Style. In general I think we should defer to Wikipedia for guidance except where we feel a justified need to explicitly contradict them. --Peter Farago 17:02, 27 September 2005 (EDT)
Ah. I think that's probably wise. Should we, then, manually bold them (or, in the case of ship names, bold-italicize them), or leave it out all together? --Day 17:40, 27 September 2005 (EDT)
Manually bold. --Peter Farago 02:41, 2 October 2005 (EDT)

HTML

I, ah, didn't think this was exactly necessary, but, uh... I think, now, it might be. Do we need to make a note about preffering '' to <i>? I see various posts that have several changes, but leave the HTML intact. --Day 16:51, 21 October 2005 (EDT)

Agreed. Wiki sytnax should always supersede HTML sytnax. -- Joe Beaudoin 14:29, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
Adendum: By the way, I created two templates: {{s}} and {{u}} for striking out and underlining text, respectfully. -- Joe Beaudoin 14:36, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
HTML isn't exactly tasteful, but isn't it preferable to templates? HTML and wikisyntax both retain their formatting if moved to another wiki, but anything formatted with templates won't. --Peter Farago 17:17, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
Good point, Peter... Maybe "hacking" MediaWiki might be an option, so as to create wikisyntax for underlining? Yes, this would undoubtedly create similar problems, but if a patch was submitted to the MediaWiki developers then they may introduce it (or something like it) into future versions of the software. Just a thought... -- Joe Beaudoin 18:58, 22 October 2005 (EDT)
What would you have the Wiki Markup be? Underscores and dashes, maybe? Might be dangerous, but perhaps it would require two of each in a row? Or three? I was thinking that _underline_ would render underline and that -strike- would render strike. However, I don't want underscores to mess up URLs or for strike-outs to mess up use of the em-dash, which is often substituted by the double-en dash (--). I'd just as soon use the HTML tags (except that it would get in the way of validating the HTML of the Wiki in XHTML 1.0 Strict, if that's a concern). Maybe we could use !!underline!! and !!!strike!!! or something. Ohoh! What about ``underline`` and ```strike```. Of course... you could go nuts and '''''`````italic bold underline strike`````''''' for italic bold underline strike. Sounds like a fighting more from some anime. Heh. --Day 05:52, 23 October 2005 (EDT)
The biggest one I saw a problem was with the Overview's in each of the episode's. I was seeing < i > all the time. So.. that's my two cents. --Shane 17:59, 17 March 2006 (CST)

Verb Tense 2

While it may be a "convention" within fiction articles about an episode, the verb tense issue is not using present-tense within an encyclopedia unless something is still ongoing. As I posted in the main page talk page and on a user whom made me aware of the verb tense issue, I posit that this convention be changed for the actual entries for the people, places, things. In other words, in the episode pages, the verb tense would stay as it is, but the verb tense in the individual article entries for say "Gaius Baltar" which would be the encyclopedic entry on him, would follow the norms and conventions used in other encyclopedias. That convention being, again using Gauis Balter's entry, the descriptions of Baltar's background, and events which have already occurred on Caprica, etc. be in the past-tense, whereas referring to him as the Vice-President, and duties onboard Galcatica, etc. would be present-tense since this is the current state within the timeline of the show at present. This would of course be edited as events unfold within the show. If for example he is removed form office as VP, then the verb tense would change for that piece of information as well as adding in how he stopped being VP, etc.

Likewise passages about say the development of the Mark II Viper would be past-tense, while the current disposition and capabilities of the Mark II would be present-tense. Not trying to be overly pedantic, but if we were to use and adopt the convention that this "encyclopedia" were to be discussing things and concepts within BSG as if it "were real" so-to-speak, like say in a present day encyclopedia would describe the development of the F-14 Tomcat in past-tense terms but describe current description of the presently active variants of the F-14 (i.e. the F-14D) and its deployment and present status within the arsenal of the United States Navy, it would be present-tense. Contrast that with descriptions of say, a WWII German Stuka Bomber which would all be past-tense in a current day encyclopedia.

This sort of tense usage within things such as the Star Trek technical manuals, Omnipedia's etc., which match he tense usage of current "real world" encyclopedias. Again, not trying to be a bull in a china shop as the new guy on the block, but it is rather jarring to read encyclopedic entries which do not follow the verb tense conventions used in "real world" ones. Lestatdelc 22:54, 1 December 2005 (EST)

I can see why you feel that way, but past tense sounds horrible in a literary criticism context, and I don't think it's reasonable to expect "star trek encyclopedia"-style articles to be free of critical analysis. --Peter Farago 23:26, 1 December 2005 (EST)
I am not suggesting that the past tense be used in the literary criticism and or episode entries or sections, but in the encyclopedia type entries. It isn't just the Star Trek encyclopedias but encyclopedias et all which use the past tense for historical or background content and present tense about current status content. In other words, in all encyclopedias (and I post those style content sections here) would say:
"Bill Clinton was born (past tense) in Hope Arkansas, and was elected President in 1992 (past tense) and after leaving office (past tense) now lives (present tense) in the State of New York and has (present tense) offices in New York City."
If he were to move to Anchorage Alaska to live and had offices in Juno Alaska this would be updated in a real encyclopedia to read:
"Bill Clinton was born (past tense) in Hope Arkansas, and was elected President in 1992 (past tense) after leaving office he lived (past tense) in the State of New York and had (past tense) offices in New York City, on Dec 2nd, he moved (past tense) to Alaska and now lives (present tense) in Anchorage and has (present tense) offices in Juno."
To use present tense throughout this site, to be honest it reads awkward in many places. Not to mention that it does shatter the kinda cool suspension of disbelief aspect to have an encyclopedia Galactica. — Lestatdelc 00:38, 2 December 2005 (EST)
The idea of a fictional "encyclopedia Galactica" is patently not this site's goal. We document plenty of in-canon stuff, certainly, but we have a great quantity of content given over to actors, writers, behind-the-scenes material, critical analysis, and three or four different incarnations of the series. I don't have any interest in working toward the false document mystique, personally. --Peter Farago 01:35, 2 December 2005 (EST)
Well for me personally, that is 9/0ths of the appeal of wanting to work on things at this site. Particularly since BSG in its re-=imagined form is a rich subject to do just that, because of the attention to detail and "realism" as the underlying ethos of the show. Having a robust wiki that reenforces and builds out upon that quality of the show is, to my mind, ideal. Not saying you have to want that to, but it is a real cold shower for me perosnally. Just my 2/100ths of a cubits worth. — Lestatdelc 20:53, 3 December 2005 (EST)
I can appreciate Lestatdelc's arguments on using present-tense, and it took me a bit to digest, but I agree with the standing convention. I've recently discovered the Star Trek Memory Alpha wiki (wow, and to think such a wiki could be done is amazing to me) and reviewed a few pages at random. Many use past tense there, but some, like the page on the excellent episode, "The Enterprise Incident", is successfully written in present-tense. I suspect that Memory Alpha hasn't a verb tense convention there, but note how the active-tense generates a feel of the characters doing something, rather than being "historical". As Peter explained to me, fictional characters are always in the act of doing something each time you read or watch them--and after a time I realized how correct he was--it keeps the characterization alive to me and to the article. The use of the verb tense also makes it more challenging to write the article as good fiction tends to evolve--in an active voice. --Spencerian 10:15, 2 December 2005 (EST)
But we in theory are not advancing the story but discussing what has occurred on the show and describing the details of the universe presented in the show (as well as "about the show(s) themselves). If we take the notion of suspension of disbelief at face value, and imagine the events of BSG not being fiction and documenting the events and details there of, particularly in encyclopedic form we would present events which have occurred as past tense, and present status and ongoing things in present tense. What Peter has said up-thread is that there is no interest in such a thing for him personally (and it would seem that most concur) I would consider it unfortunate as this is a great missed opportunity. I think that such "false document" mystique is actually something that has rather large appeal, witness the massive industry of such things in the Star Trek fandom, from blueprints, tech manuals, omnipedias, and the entire supplemental industry to the RPG medium. As for other projects about fictional stories and their universes, I would point to things like the The Encyclopedia of Arda which is based on the Tolkien universe. I don't wish to be a disrupting presence here, especially being a "nugget" as it were, but I think this is a bad call for a missed opportunity. I can envision a clear convention which would allow for discussing each incarnation of the series and the "about the show" aspect in tandem with the "in universe" repository of content about said universe in the style of such things as the Trek universe things of Omnipedia, Concodrance, Tech Manuls, etc. and the Arda/Tolkien examples. — Lestatdelc 20:53, 3 December 2005 (EST)


If one cares to review the earlier verb tense discussion, I originally thought past tense was the Way To Go. However, now I stand with the current convention (I think this is also displayed in the past discussion, but I'm too lazy to check). I agree with the present-tense being used to talk about, say, the Oddesey or The Matrix or Friends or whatever, but those aren't, to me, the most compelling points, good as they may be. The compelling point is, once again, that I'm lazy. The amount of man-hours it would take to update the tense in every character bio every week while the show's not on hiatus is, well, a lot. We have a hard enough time with the stuff that's already within scope and I don't see Lest's reasons as nearly as compelling as the three against: Added workload, literary precedent, and more "alive" feel (to borrow Spence's word). And, more specifically, I, too, find the false-documentary idea only "eh" at best. The new series is shot in a way that kind of feels like a documentary, but let's leave that to them and let's us do our own thing. And, in any case, how would one account for multiple series and spoilers in a documentary? Bleh. We might have to start talking in alternate realities or adaptive physics if we went down that road. ;) --Day 05:24, 3 December 2005 (EST)
Well we would be updating the character entries anyway as new events unfold, and placing those events in past tense as they are entered is no more work than putting them there in present tense. The only distinction would be what is currant and ongoing status. For example "Gaius Baltar is the VP in the government" which stays like that until events change that, which would be editing that entry to add whatever event changed that anyway. In fact having both be present tense would be really awkward from a readers perspective. I would also point out that it is not "false documentary" so much as "false document" i.e. if there were an up-tp-the-minute encyclopedia that covered the vast array of things within that BSG universe that was "passed through" the proscenium to us here, that is the style of content about the things within the show which I posit, should be presented in the relevant verb-tense. And the "outside the proscenium" content, about the show, the actors, episode summary, analysis, and comparisons between series, etc. would all be in the present tense which, I agree is much more natural and engaging. I don't honestly see it as more work once the bulk of such tense resolution is done to the exiting content where needed, and as I have posited (probably to the point you guys wanna toss me out the nearest door me already, sheepish grin) would hold much more appeal to me and I am sure others of whom it is demonstratively evident there is an audience for, otherwise fandom and official creation of things like blueprints, tech manuals, etc. for other series stuff, which is presented as if they were "genuine documents" from said universe depicts in those various shows, would not be so prevalent. Again, not trying to be cantankerous or difficult. — Lestatdelc 20:53, 3 December 2005 (EST)
I would also really prefer past tense. Like Lestatdelc says, it creates the feel of the article being real. Starwars Wiki always uses past tense, and refers to the articles as being written "in-universe", which to me sums up why past tense is so good. Writing is present tense sounds like someone is writing the events as they watch them on TV, which kind of takes you out of it. Also, I personally find present tense just seems really clumsy. It's like reading a little childs picture book (without so many pictures, and uh, bigger words :) ). Day makes an good point about keeping with the documentary style, and as for alternate series and spoilers, just check how starwars wiki handles non-canon and spoilers. It would be a bit of work to change, but not too much if lots of people work on it. One more point, it might be easier to convince those who are new here to write in past-tense than in present-tense (which seems like an uphill battle). Anyone else agree, or are us pro-past-tense people just in the minority here?--Undc23 22:13, 16 January 2006 (EST)
As I've stated above, the "in-universe" conceit does not appeal to me at all. Present tense prose is more difficult to write than past tense, but I think the results are crisper and sound more professional. The process forces one to pay closer attention to their writing style.
As for your comment about convincing "those who are new here to write in past-tense", I find that notion troubling. This matter is such that there can only be one standard. The purpose of the Standards and Conventions process is (naturally) to create and promulgate a consistant style. If you wish to change the policy, discussion here is the place to effect it, not through unilateral action. --Peter Farago 22:34, 16 January 2006 (EST)
You've misunderstood me, I was merely suggesting a change - one which I don't expect will happen, and I'm fine with that. My comment was that at the moment people are coming in and writing past-tense, and having to be told to write in present-tense as they have not read these standards. I was saying that one advantage of changing the standard to past-tense would be that they would probably not have to be told. I'm not about to tell people to go against the standard - that we have one standard is more important than what it is anyway.--Undc23 00:11, 17 January 2006 (EST)
I also think that present tense sounds more academic. As has been noted before (more than once), this style was initially adopted chiefly because that is the accepted academic style when writing about works of fiction. This is one of the ways in which we attempt to be encyclopedic. --Day 01:55, 17 January 2006 (EST)

Ranks and Locations

Okay. So I was playing this this quote and I ran into an issue. In Civillian Speak, I'd call Apollo "Galactica's CAG, Captain Lee Adama", but I have an inkling that in Military Speak he'd be something like "CAG (Galactica), Cpt. Lee Adama" or whatever. You'd only use this when needing to differentiate him from, say, the CAG (Pegasus), but we might want to. Same goes for Tyrol and Laird. Does someone with a better grasp of military (specifically US Naval, if possible) conventions with respect to this have a suggestion on what kind of convention we should adopt? I'd love it if it didn't conflict with the current Quote of the Day episode convention (since Pesgasus is half of the ships this is likely to apply to), but we can always change the QotD thing, if we have to. --Day 04:04, 6 December 2005 (EST)

I've tended to use the military abbreviation style as the Army used that I learned while a civilian employee.
ADM, CDR, MAJ, COL, CPT, LT, LTJG, ENS
CPO, SGT, PVT, SPC
Deck Hand, Recruits have no specific abbreviation I can find.
All caps, no spaces or punctuation. There should be plenty of Internet resources for this. And RDM has already noted the format he used, taking it mostly from the Original Series and his military experience. --Spencerian 15:15, 18 January 2006 (EST)
Enlightening (and I'm just glad someone replied to this at all), but somewhat tangental to my wonderment. I guess it was really about how we're supposed to specify where people are assigned when they have a specific role. In "Pegasus" Tigh and Fisk are both Colonels, but they're also both XOs, so for would we call one "COL Tigh (XO, Galactica)" and the other "COL Fisk (XO, Pegasus)"? Or what? --Day 15:49, 18 January 2006 (EST)
They would be referred to as Galactica XO and Pegasus XO repectively. They're referred to by position first, not by name. Unit, Position, rank, name. Joemc72 16:02, 18 January 2006 (EST)
So, I guess, with relation to the quotes, we don't really need to say where given characters are assigned... I don't know why I'd gotten that need into my head, really. --Day 17:59, 18 January 2006 (EST)

Image Format

Mostly, the images I upload have been .jpg files. That's just what I tend to use on the web by default. However, because we scale our images a lot (i.e. all out thumbs), would it be more prudent to use .png formatting which, I hear, scales better? And, if that's so, should we make a note on this page about preferred image formatting (though, as long as it shows up alright, I don't see why we'd discriminate)? --Day 01:09, 23 December 2005 (EST)

Most imprudent. PNG is far less efficient at compressing photographic images than JPEG. All image scaling is handled by the wiki software, and based on the original JPEG, so no significant generational degredation should exist.
PNG has its own distinct uses, and is much better than JPEG at line art and schematics. I think this is commonly understood by most internet users, and I don't think that we need an explict policy on it. --Peter Farago 01:32, 23 December 2005 (EST)

Image Control Station

I was working on identifying and classifying unused images that have been uploaded, rather than deleting them outright (at Peter Farago's suggestion). While I started this with the intention of it being something I could handle myself, it has been suggested that it might merit a project or sub-project. I wanted to see if there was any consensus for a project that:

"would take over the Images section of Standards and Conventions (since that's not really where that shouold live, ultimately), and it would cross-coordinate with Characters. I'd want to call it something like Aft Image Control or Auxilliary Image Control... Or, failing those series-references, the Ministry of Images (Day)."

Potentially I would move Island of Misfit Images to a Project namespace with a more Galactica-themed title, but it would be a subpage/project of the Image Control Station (to avoid slamming bandwidth-challenged folks that might stumble across the Control Station). The actual control station would be more of a place that coordinate all the image related project pages (present and future).

So the main options I'm proposing are, a project page for Images in general with a subproject for misfit images, just a project/subproject for the misfit images (and we'll link to it from somewhere), or just leave it in Steelviper's user space. (Though I'm open to other ideas as well). --Steelviper 09:30, 18 January 2006 (EST)

I'm, perhaps obviously, in favor of an entire images project. It could also consume Requested Images and have a section for images that we have, but might need bigger/less blurry/just better versions. I think, too, it should probably eat the "List of Characters Wanting Pictures" over at Characters, and have a link to it from there, instead. I mean... while we're doing all this, if we do. However, I think another few opinions are needed before diving off and making the page and doing all this moving and cross-linking, etc. --Day 01:30, 20 January 2006 (EST)
I'm in favor of moving Steelviper's Island of Misfit Images to the Battlestar Wiki namespace, under its current title. I'd like requested images to remain a separate page, although they should be cross-linked to each other. --Peter Farago 01:39, 20 January 2006 (EST)
Why's that, Peter? Just for ease of finding for new users or so that all those images aren't on the requested page (we were thinking, or I was, that the Island would be a sub-page of whatever project it became part of) or what? --Day 03:05, 20 January 2006 (EST)
It's no favor to my position that I can't articulate my point well, but I just don't feel that either image requests or image deletions would be a logical subcategory of the other. Better just to have Image Requests refer users to check the Island before making a request, and the Island refer users to Image Requests before deleting an image. --Peter Farago 10:47, 20 January 2006 (EST)
Hrm. I see your point, but I wasn't thinking that one would be, well, inside the other, for lack of a better phrase. I was more thinking of a hierarchy like this:
Images Project
  • Requested Images
    • Characters
    • Episodes
    • Locations
    • Equipment
    • etc.
  • Island of Misfit Images
    • As currently organized
  • Images needing improvement
    • Characters
    • Episodes
    • etc.
  • Images to be deleted
It's not precisely clear there, but they're all on the same level, I'd just put the Misfits on a page of their own to keep load times to a minimum. Maybe that's too ambitious, though? Anyway, now if you disagree, I at least am certain you know precisely what you're disagreeing with. I'm not sure I was entirely clear before. --Day 16:10, 20 January 2006 (EST)
What goes on the hub then, besides links to the sub-pages? I do agree that an "images needing improvement" category or project would be good for when we ultimately want to upgrade from TV captures to DVD screenshots. --Peter Farago 17:18, 20 January 2006 (EST)

Any updates on this? So far the only action proposed (by somebody other than the guys trying to sell the "Control Station") is moving the island to the BW namespace. It's been around long enough that I'd be comfortable doing that if there is consensus that it belongs there. People might be more willing to hack and slash on it if it were out of my user area (even though people are already welcome to tear into it). --Steelviper 08:46, 27 January 2006 (EST)

Please, go ahead with this. --Peter Farago 10:48, 27 January 2006 (EST)

Dates

Do we have a convention for dates? I am referring here to Earth dates; i.e., those pertaining to the production, such as brodcasts and DVD releases. I have seen at least these four: "Jan 20 2006", "January 20 2006", "20 January 2006", and "January 20th, 2006". Which is preferred? -- Mayosolo 03:46, 20 January 2006 (EST)

Note sure. Didn't know if it really mattered. --Ricimer 16:02, 20 January 2006 (EST)
Personally, I prefer "4 January 2006", but that's me. I think having the whole month out is goo, whichever order we decide on. Normal American convention is "January 4, 2006". So... that's my two cubits. --Day 16:13, 20 January 2006 (EST)
I'm partial to the "4 January 2006" format, myself. M/D/Y is a crime against civilized mathematics. --Peter Farago 17:19, 20 January 2006 (EST)
I agree too. Plus, the M/D/Y format may be more confusing to non-US readers. (For example the UK does D/M/Y)Joemc72 17:26, 20 January 2006 (EST)
For what it's worth, as I was going through all the eposide info boxes, I found the majority to be in "January 4 2006" style, so I attempted to unify to that format as I went along. I agree with the mathematical elegance of D/M/Y, however, and I dislike the comma and the ordinal number. -- Mayosolo 18:34, 20 January 2006 (EST)
Yeah. Ordinals suck. I don't care whether we put the date before the month or after, as long as it's clear what each piece of data is. The only argument for using ##/##/#### is to ease the understanding of non-English-speaking people, but--if we want to do that, we need to make translations for the whole Wiki. --Day 00:38, 21 January 2006 (EST)
Y-M-D, all numeric, is easily the nicest for sorting, so I'd say it's the one with "mathematical elegance" by virtue of its computer science elegance. That said, "10 March 2006" is the nicest for instant reading clarity and agrees with the output of ~~~~. Commas are a waste, and ordinals would be horrific.
Anyway, someone should actually put up a consensus if this counts as one; I don't mind going through and standardizing them some day relatively soon. --CalculatinAvatar 11:53, 10 March 2006 (CST)
So, have we decided what date format is to be used? --Grafix 04:58, 17 March 2006 (CST)

Battle pages formatting

I realize that although I created the battle pages, I never clearly set out the format they should take. Basically, they try to imitate real world battle pages at Wikipedia as much as possible. Using this, I created battle boxes for the entire Lord of the Rings battles series, then just re-applied it here. I'm going to be revamping the boxes in the next few days (no info changes, just formatting changes, nudging, etc. little fixes). However, because they should try to follow real world battle, they should try to stick as closely as possible to these. Long story short, there are 3 basic categories that an "engagement" should fall into:

  • A) Battle - large scale engagements
  • B) Skirmish - small scale, but noteworthy, engagements
  • C) On *rare* occasion, alternative names can be used. This largely consists of the "Fall of the Twelve Colonies" which was less a battle a more of a slaughter. This was then re-applied to the "Fall of the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards" because it was part of the larger "Fall of the Twelve Colonies". But this was really an exception, for reasons which I think are obvious. I mean, if ever the Galactica crew destroys the entire Cylon homeworld with a [Wikipedia:Christopher Blair|Temblor Bomb] in season 5 or so, we'd call it the "Fall of the Cylon Homeworld", but otherwise this term is reserved only for engagements resulting in massive damage. Another notable exception is the "Great Cylon Turkey Shoot"; you see the Battle of the Philippine Sea is so commonly known as the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot", and RDM said it was directly inspired by this, that I thought it fitting to alter the name to fit that (that, and it took place in an unspecified region of interstellar space, and Basetars don't often have names. I mean, if a Basetar named "Truth and Reconiciliation", this battle would be called "Battle of the Truth and Reconciliation" or something. But the engagement in "Flight of the Phoenix" didn't have this. However, "Battle of the Resurrection Ship" did have a notable ship with a name in it, so it became "Battle of...etc".

Further ground rules to lay out are what actually deserves an article: officially, "Skirmish over the Red Moon" is about the smallest engagement we're ever really going to make a page for. Generally, something deserves an article if:

  • 1) A Colonial ship is destroyed (Vipers, Raptors, etc). They can't easily be replaced, and the loss of even one can be considered a blow. (The upcoming engagements in "Scar" might be a skirmish instead of a battle, depends how many ships are involved at once Note: the fighting in "Scar" involved basically one or two Raiders vs. one or two Vipers at a time, and is thus so drawn out over such a long time period that it's simply too long to be a skirmish).
  • 2) A massive number of Cylon vessels is destroyed, making the engagement a noteworthy event. For example, the "Great Cylon Turkey Shoot" resulted in no Colonial losses whatsoever, yet so many Cylons (hundreds of ships) were destroyed that it warrants it's own page.

An example of something that would not deserve it's own page is like when 2 Raiders were destroyed in "Final Cut", with no Colonial losses. No personnel or ships were lost, and the losses to the Cylons were insignificant in the extreme (considering that they still have production facilities and the Colonials do not).

As a rule of thumb, any engagement that involves a Battlestar or a Basestar firing it's own guns at the enemy is a "Battle" (Battle of the Coral Sea was a full scale battle, yet no enemy ships directly engaged each other; just fighters). However, if a Battlestar launches Vipers, but doesn't actually get involved in a small scale fight against enemy fightercraft, it's probably not a battle (case in point, "Skirmish over the Red Moon".

Nextly, we have the matter of Commanders and Casualties. We don't know who the heck is commanding the Cylon Fleet or if there are "commanders" in the sense we think of aboard the Basestars. Thus they should be left as "unknown" (though if a Basestar is destroyed, you can assume the "commander" died, also if the entire Cylon force is wiped out). Mind you, if we ever see Number Six standing in a Basestar giving orders during a battle, if she actually gives orders she may be listed as a commander. Usually, a Commander is the highest ranking person present; don't bother to list Colonel Tigh if he never actually takes over command from Adama at any point. We should list "Admiral Cain AND Commander Adama" because Adama wasn't really serving "under" her at the time but by joint agreement, etc (complicated).

Casualties are easier now in Season 2; count how many people died in the episode who were *not* involved in the battle, then subtract that from next week's survivor count. For example, in "Resurrection Ship, Part II" two people died that weren't in the battle: Admiral Cain and an unnamed Pegasus Marine. Thus, when we see the survivor count in "Epiphanies", we should subtract 2 from it, and us that as "casualties" (I got the idea from "Battle of Kobol").

"Battle of Kobol" was on the whole a messy, drawn out affair as I think you will agree. We agreed that there's a cut off point where Centurion actions in "Home, Part I" no longer count as a battle or skirmish because it was so small scale (again, no Vipers were destroyed, etc).

As for "Numbers" we are keeping a running tally of ships, though "Cylon" numbers are a little tricky. I just go with "associated Raiders and Heavy Raiders" when a Basestar is involved, when no numbers are stated on screen.

As for forces, it's "Cylons" not "Cylon Alliance" (from TOS) because we have no idea what the political structure of the Cylons is. For every battle after the massive loss of 118 Battlestars in the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, every other engagement after this is done by "Remnants of the Colonial Fleet".

I hope that sorts out stuff for now. --Ricimer 16:01, 20 January 2006 (EST)

That's awesome, Ricimer. Now, before we put it up on the main S&C page, I think it needs some concising, though it will be key to not let it become less clear. I would suck at that job, so... please someone else volunteer. I'd also like to see the battle box become a template (as mentioned on your talk page), for ease of changing it if we need to and also for ease of CSS-ifying it so that it can change with themes, eventually. --Day 16:25, 20 January 2006 (EST)
As noted on Talk:Battle of the Resurrection Ship, I continue to prefer "Attack on" for situations where the target is named but the battleground is not. As for Fall of the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards, there is no reason why "Battle of" wouldn't encapsulate that idea accurately. --Peter Farago 17:22, 20 January 2006 (EST)
Because it's doubtful if shots were even fired by the Colonials at Scorpion; it was a one-sided slaughter, but nonetheless deserved it's own page. --Ricimer 17:25, 20 January 2006 (EST)
That's a fair point. I continue to believe that "Battle of" is inappropriate when the field of battle has not been specified. --Peter Farago 17:27, 20 January 2006 (EST)
I'm sorry but this is the format that more or less works. "Battle" is a standard name. "Attack" sounds like a Doolittle Raid, as opposed to the MASSIVE engagement we just saw. --Ricimer 17:30, 20 January 2006 (EST)
Your ex cathedra assertions on style are unbecoming. I am interested to hear the opinions of other users, particularly Joe, who named the page in the first place. --Peter Farago 17:35, 20 January 2006 (EST)
I fail to see what is rude about this: rather than simply editing pages as I saw fit, you told me to make a full write up of my view on the subject here, and then let consensus agree or disagree: you are chastising me, for doing as you requested? That said, not ex cathedrda, but with plenitudo potestatis :) --Ricimer 17:54, 21 January 2006 (EST)
I went to Wikipedia hoping to find a definitive pattern to follow, but came up empty. Naming Battles Apparently the british had a whole committee for this purpose ("British Battles Nomenclature Committee"). While almost all of the battles listed in Wikipedia follow the "Battle of" convention, they are always followed by a geographic reference (which we're not really going to have in this case). If we're going to name it after the resurrection ship, we might consider the outcome as well. Rather than just calling it the "Attack of", we might consider the fact that the result was its destruction. In Star Fleet Battles there was a scenario called "The Mighty Hood Goes Down" that always stuck in my mind (a Klingon ship attacks a greatly disadvantaged Hood, usually resulting in its destruction). I guess that would be similar to "Fall of the Twelve Colonies." ("Destruction of the Resurrection Ship"?) Although that would certainly spoil the ending if someone hadn't seen the episode. Sorry not to be able to take a decisive stand, but hopefully some more people will weigh in. --Steelviper 17:29, 21 January 2006 (EST)
Good info there. Well, If it was them surprising the Resurrection Ship alone, I would go with "Destruction", but instead it was an all-out battle to destroy it, case in point it's the only ever engagement between multiple Basestars and multiple Battlestars. --Ricimer 17:57, 21 January 2006 (EST)
That's a good point. With all this focus on the Resurrection ship, I lost sight of the fact that it was essentially a non-combatant. It was the strategic objective, but the actual firepower lay in the basestars and the raiders. I guess naming would have been a lot simpler if they gave us a goofy sector name like the TOS would often do (Hatari sector, etc) to use as a geographic landmark. --Steelviper 18:29, 21 January 2006 (EST)
I still think "Attack on the Resurrection Ship" is descriptive, succinct, and has a good ring. The fact that the actual combat didn't involve it is incidental - the Resurrection ship was the primary target, and it certainly was attacked. --Peter Farago 18:44, 21 January 2006 (EST)\
"Battle of the Resurrection Ship" is just as descriptive and succinct when you think about it, and I personally believe that it has a bad ring. Funny thing was, remember when they were doing that recon mission near a moon? (orange one that they flew by in Res Ship Part I), I had hoped that would provide a location (like the Red Moon with Starbuck, etc) however, the actual battle did not take place near there at all. Of course, what WOULD we have called it? Old Red Dwarf joke about that. It's a "bluey-green planetoid"...they're ALL bluish-green planetoids! (no names, etc). At any rate, it wasn't just attacking that ship; it was a full scale battle between the Basestars and Battlestars. That said, Galactica vs. Pegasus should be deleted, because I intend on merging any relevant information into a short paragraph for "Battle of the Resurrection Ship"; I'm just busy and can't do a full write-up yet. Monday.--Ricimer 11:32, 22 January 2006 (EST)
My sentiment is that "Battle of ~" should be used with the location or nucleus of a battle. I agree with previous comments that the Resurrection Ship was effectively a stationary set piece around which the battle was waged. That it was destroyed does not disqualify it from functioning as a virtual location. The time and place of the battle were directly related to the presence of the Res Ship, so I believe it functcions as a location for our purposes. Insofar as that translates to S&C, shall we say "Battle of ~" necessitates a location, but that locations can include noncombatant targets? (Even if they possess mobility.) -- Mayosolo 22:32, 21 January 2006 (EST)
On the matter of survivors, we absolutely should not assume that every off-screen casualty that happens between episodes in which a battle takes place was caused by said battle, although it certainly provides an upper limit. --Peter Farago 17:24, 20 January 2006 (EST)
Oh, I just meant "follow the pattern we already established with "Battle of Kobol", that is, say in the casualty box "XX number at most; survivor count decressed by YY, but ZZ number were scene to not die because of the battle" etc. (well, shorter than that). --Ricimer 17:28, 20 January 2006 (EST)

Ages

As has come up elsewhere, I'd like to get the age thing going here. I think, by and large, ages should not be included. In the case of Saul Tigh (and any others who meet these criteria after), I think we should include it. Here's my plan: The numbers must be a link to a note at the bottom citing the source of the information. If that means including a bunch of math at the bottom, so be it. If it gets too big and complex, then we can move it to, say, "Saul Tigh/Age" or whatever. This way, the information is as transparent as we can make it, without muddying up the template with justifications right there. --Day 16:29, 20 January 2006 (EST)

FYI, footnotes do not appear to work inside the character data template. I'm not sure why. --Peter Farago 17:26, 20 January 2006 (EST)

Ship gender

Which pronouns shall we use for ships? I believe the normal convention is for friendly (for our purposes, colonial) vessels to be referred to as female, and enemy (Cylon) craft as male. IIRC this is consistent with Galactica-Boomer's terminology for the captured raider. (Thus, enemy craft repurposed to the colonials retain their masculine identity.) I would suggest that gender-neutral pronouns for ships should be avoided when possible, if only as a matter of taste. Thoughts? -- Mayosolo 18:16, 21 January 2006 (EST)

I believe the current convention is the female for all ships (Battlestar_Wiki:Standards_and_Conventions#Ships). I've not heard of using male for enemy ships. I do agree that gender neutrality ought to be avoided, if only to make it easier to translate into Spanish (I'm not very familiar with gender neutrality in that language, other than generally defaulting to masculine). --Steelviper 18:29, 21 January 2006 (EST)
I've never heard of enemy ships being referred to in the masculine. --Peter Farago 18:46, 21 January 2006 (EST)
I must have hallucinated it, then. Very well, feminine it is. (Boy do I feel silly for missing the item in Standards and Conventions. I did a search on "gender" but somehow glossed over the big ol' heading.) Thanks for the input. -- Mayosolo 19:17, 21 January 2006 (EST)

Perhaps this goes without saying, but I think it makes sense to leave pronouns neutral when referring to ships in a general sense or on a class basis ("If it is armed, the Blackbird likely fires the same ammunition…") and make them feminine when referring to a ship by name (Laura quickly proves her worth…). Kosher? -- Mayosolo 19:24, 21 January 2006 (EST)

Sounds right. --Peter Farago 19:50, 21 January 2006 (EST)
Most navies refer to their vessels in the feminine. I do know that the Russian Navy does refer to its vessels in the masculine.--Ricimer 01:25, 24 January 2006 (EST)
Ah! That must be where I got tangled up. I bet I read a cold war spy novel a decade ago and misremembered the convention. Thanks, Ricimer. Now... can anyone confirm that Galactica-Boomer called the captured Raider a he? If so, should all Autonomous Raiders be masculine? -- Mayosolo 04:22, 24 January 2006 (EST)

XHTML Compliance

So. We all (should) know that <i> and <b> are Bad. However, it's (apparently) less common knowledge that all <br> is bad as well. For the DOCTYPE of this website, it should be <br/>. All tags must be closed in a XHTML 1.0 Transitional Doctype. I've also learned that <s> is equally bad for XHTML Documents. Apparently, the tag to be using is <del>. Just thought I'd put this up here and see if anyone had any thoughts before moving it to the S&C page. --Day 21:08, 23 January 2006 (EST)

This would be particularly relevant if we were using a strict doctype, which, god-willing, will never happen. --Peter Farago 21:11, 23 January 2006 (EST)
Well, yes, I think it would be a bad idea to expect all Wiki contributers to know how to follow strict and to take the time to do it (we use tables for a lot of our formatting stuff), but While we have the Transitional Doctype, I think we should try to do at least that. --Day 12:33, 24 January 2006 (EST)
If bots are enabled, I could get a bot to sit on the server and go through the pages and change tags to XHTML and then also to Wiki code.

Policy?

This is policy right? Because then we can add the {{Policy}} tag on the page. --Shane 18:01, 17 March 2006 (CST)

Replacement and retirement of the term "Humano-Cylon"

I propose that we replace the term "Humano-Cylon" with "humanoid Cylon". The term didn't really expand much outside of BattlestarWiki; I've heard Humalon, BioCylon, Cylon Agents, etc. and other frequent combinations out there. That's not why I want to change it though. In light of the fact that there will soon be a Human/Cylon Hybrid on the show, and I've put a lot of thought into this over several days, and I can only come to the conclusion that leaving the terms as they are will lead to dreadful confusion unless changed. I mean, they were called "Humano-Cylons", "Humalons" because they're Cylons that are "like" Humans, but now we're going to have a Hybrid that is a genuine cross between the two on a cellular, nay, molecular level. I know it will take a lot of work (I'm willing to do it), but I think we should phase out "Humano-Cylon" because it was never canonical, and will be all too readily confused with the hybrid. --Ricimer 01:51, 24 January 2006 (EST)

I agree that Humano-Cylon should go. The term initially struck me as clumsy, though I didn't question it because it was so widespread in the Wiki. I wonder if we could get by with plain old "Cylon" when the context is clearly RDM; Centurions, after all, are usually called out as such. Within the world of the show, the usual term seems to be Cylon. I also feel we should avoid adopting other contrived portmanteaux (Humalon et al.) -- Mayosolo 05:21, 24 January 2006 (EST)
That is a good point, and a surprisingly elegant solution. I approve. --Peter Farago 09:54, 24 January 2006 (EST)

On top of this, I think it's time that we created a page for the Cylon-Human Hybrid; info is gathering and Sharon's daughter is going to be a pivotal character eventually (consquently, I've heard that the later episode of Stargate SG-1 season 9 will focus on Vala Mal Doran (Claudia Black) returning with a "miracle pregnancy", unfortunately her daughter turns out to be the physical manifestation of the bad guys, the Ori, and she will be sort of the bad guys "messiah" figure in their 10th season. It makes you think...). --Ricimer 01:51, 24 January 2006 (EST)

And while I'm on the subject, I think that she should make separate character pages for Cylon "copies" that develop individual traits over time. For example, we should keep a main "Sharon Valerii" page, with stubs for the main articles for "Galactica-Sharon" and "Pegasus-Sharon". Also, Gina should probably have her own page separate from the main Number Six article, as she's differentiated into a separate character.--Ricimer 01:51, 24 January 2006 (EST)

I also agree we should split the Cylon copies. Perhaps (using your example) the "Sharon Valerii" page might well be nothing more than a disambiguation, and contributers would be encouraged to link directly to "Sharon Valerii (Galactica)" or "Sharon Valerii (Caprica)". Migrating all the links would be a substantial project, but one I feel is worth taking, and sooner the better. As for naming convention - it might not work every time, but perhaps the location where that copy is first introduced? -- Mayosolo 05:21, 24 January 2006 (EST)
This is long, so forgive me, but there are important issues that change our nature that I cannot agree to.
Let's deal with the terminology change first. I had my qualms about "humano-Cylon" when I first saw it, but it is an efficient term to differentiate these beings from robotic Cylons here, especially given that the show has not really furnished a unique term. "Cylon Agent" is the closest that the show has used, with "human models" and "Cylon humans" after that. Battlestar Wiki has many articles that use descriptive terms as placeholders in lieu of a canonical name: "Presidential security service", "Identification Tags", and "Colonial wireless alphabet" are other examples. "Cylon agent" can be used as a placeholder redirect if one is tired of typing it, but we need more reason than "we don't like the term" to change "Humano-Cylon" now, as it appears on many, many articles here. And frankly, it's grown large enough that purging it will be very difficult. Our naming conventions are here for a reason, so making exceptions for the Sharon Valeriis diminishes our effectiveness as an encyclopedia, which MUST NOT be ambiguous, strive to keep to the basic definition and not wallow about in subdefinitions as an unnecessary article into itself--which is what you are proposing. "Humano-Cylon" is very popular here, and what goes on in the "outside world" doesn't really matter in the context of maintaining this wiki, so long as others can use their own terms and we provide appropriate redirects to our article as appropriate. I understand the spirit of what you're suggesting, but we lack a sufficient "why", in my opinion. Although I see a good reasoning between what are "Cylons" in RDM and what are "robot Cylons" that can withstand further debate, I think we should adjust the wiki as the characters do: when the characters begin to see the Cylons with human traits and not a machine to be shut down, our data here should reflect it. Otherwise, differentiating them to any large degree would be like writing bios on the "Borg" drones from "Star Trek." No point, as they are all generally the same.
Two: Sharon's baby has not been born yet. Do not assume it will come to term. Imagine the holy hell that the Cylons will unleash if they learn that it doesn't. Imagine the political hell in the Fleet if it does. Either way works well for the writers, so we can't make the assumption. Ron Moore has promised some radical changes for the Fleet at the end of this season, and much of this could involve that child to be. Once we know for certain that this hybrid is born and is even given a name, then a page is quite appropriate and necessary. But until then, creating an article for this or any other hybrids or proposed character to-be goes against our sourcing policies (it's speculation until shown in an episode) and is premature (no pun intended).
Three: To differentiate between the Valerii's and other Cylon agents is asking for trouble at present. They are identical in creation and mission; if they begin to vary on that mission, a subarticle is written. The Number Six article shows at least three variations and it appears to work well. Now, a number of articles are becoming long, true. But, as a wiki, we haven't created a policy yet as to how to break up or concise such data as it relates to these character bios. We have worked out a process for the Cylons (RDM) and Twelve Colonies (RDM) article series, which could be adopted for the characters with some thought. Changes that are more POV or assumptive like these, and less in form to the wiki's overall format or mission are detrimental, IMO. --Spencerian 09:44, 24 January 2006 (EST)
I don't think the show has yet provided a canonical term to distinguish the "human models" from the more mechanical models. I think "Cylon Agent" would be a good placeholder/redirect, but that's based on the writing on a folder and not consistent adoption within the show. One thing that hasn't been established well (at least in my mind) is WHO the Cylons are. Are the humanoid-cylons the new, REAL cylons (with centurions, raiders, etc. serving their interests)? Or are all models part of a true "Cylon collective" (resistance is futile) where everybody is considered equally "Cylon". If the humano-Cylons prove to be the "real" Cylons, then I would see them taking more of a prominent role at Cylons (RDM). Until then, I think that any term we use is just serving as a placeholder.
Even if Sharon's offspring (I'm not sure if baby is the right word) comes to term and is born, I'm not sure that Cylon-human hybrids deserve an article of their own. Peanut butter gets an article, and jelly gets an article. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches even get an article (being a distinct, important, and common combination of the other two). However, just because somebody once made a peanut butter and tuna sandwich doesn't mean that it necesarily would merit an article. The offspring would DEFINITELY merit its own article, but until proven otherwise would be a unique proof-of-concept. All information about her would represent the totality of what we know about the hybrids, until such time that more hybrids come into being. (That is if she even comes into being. Adama may yet "drown the baby in the pond.") --Steelviper 12:38, 24 January 2006 (EST)
A note on the offspring: perhaps it would be fun to create a short, amusing-but-still-relevant biography page for the fetus ("prebiography"?), noting its (can we say ";;her" because Sharon said so?) unique physiological properties, Baltar and Six's fascination with her, political ramifications of her delivery or lack thereof. A nod, if you will, to the "life begins at conception" faithful. I realize such a page could easily become political, insulting, or trivial, but I think it's worth a shot. Treating the subject like a regular character bio affords plenty of oppurtunity for ironic humor as well, as with the Toaster article. Yeah? -- Mayosolo 14:39, 24 January 2006 (EST)
The Cylon-Human Hybrid article cannot be created until after the episode in which it is born. It is BattlestarWiki's firm policy to categorically deny the "life begins at conception" viewpoint and instead support the life at birth viewpoint. An embryo which is little more than a clump of cells, the potential for life, yes, but not life. Regardless, following the tenets Naturalistic science fiction, BSG supports "realistic" science, as opposed to "opinions". Creating the article before the child is born would undermine BattlestarWiki's established stance against "life begins at conception", and creating it before the birth would be like holding up a big sign saying "we support Life-At-Conception". --Ricimer 14:51, 24 January 2006 (EST)
I hope I'm not stepping into a political debate here, because that is not my aim at all. But can you provide support for your claim that BattlestarWiki has a firm policy on this topic? -- Mayosolo 15:00, 24 January 2006 (EST)
Battlestar Wiki has no policy on the matter of the status of a fetus, Ricimer. This is a non-sequitur that actually worsened your position, not reinforced it. In short: Don't make stuff up. Everyone here can see and (and in most cases, edit) all policies. That said, jumping down to new thread and clarification... --15:37, 24 January 2006 (EST)
No, no, sorry; I was being really sarcastic. Sorry, I thought everyone could tell. Well, if not, "that life at conception is a policy thing I just wrote was just a sarcastic joke". I appologize for the inconvenience. --Ricimer 16:06, 24 January 2006 (EST)
As for the Valerii problem... I think that's going to be a tricky issue. "Caprica" Valerii does seem to behave distinctly differently from "Galactica" Valerii, and both of those differently than the other "Caprica"/command Valerii. I'm not sure it has been definitively proven whether they are unique individuals, or whether they are just playing different roles based on what the mission calls for. Personally I like the current grouping by "model", though I might more seriously rethink if their individuality/uniqueness is eventually proven. I think "Downloaded" would be pretty decisive (if it hasn't been canceled as rumored).
Feel free to copy my sig to any of these if you need to repond to an individual issue. --Steelviper 12:38, 24 January 2006 (EST)


A few points to clarify:

One: I didn't suggest this simply because I "don't like" the term "Humano-Cylon". I was actually okay with the continued use of it, until the Hybrids came along. The *ENTIRE* reason I have raised this issue of changing the name is officially "I think it will get confused with the Cylon-Human Hybrid". Just wanted to clarify that.

Two: I did not expect the pages to be changed immediately, and I understand that Caprica-Sharon's daughter hasn't been born yet: The reason I put foward the issue now, is so that we could have a lenghty amount of time to debate the issue and set up parameters and rules for this change here, in advance, so there will be less confusion later. Never too early to debate. I wanted to get the ball rolling.

Three: Regardling the popularity and practical removal of "Humano-Cylon": How do we know it was ever "very popular"? I only used it because it was the term that this wiki was already using when I got here. Curious, can we have a show of votes here of who actually "likes" the term enough to keep it? (largely irrelevant, sorry, I'm just saying; How can we quantify it as "popular", when in the earliest days ("In the Long-Long Ago"...) BattlestarWiki used that name and redirected all future references to these begins to that page. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

What I meant by stating that it's "not used much outsite of BattlestarWiki" is that I mean it isn't based on anything outside of this wiki, ***so we can feel free to change it without being fettered by external constraints. I mean that changing it will not contradict other material out there.

As for "practical removal", recently we gutted this entire wiki updating "Commander Adama" to "William Adama" following his promotion to Admiral. If such as pervasive name as Commander Adama can be replaced and revised, surely there will be not so great difficulty in replacing "Humano-Cylon" with "humanoid Cylon", etc. (That's my personal choice, but any other name that doesn't sound like "Humalon" or something (the Hybrid confusion, etc) would be okay after a vote).

Four: The separation of Cylon copies with distinct personalities into different character pages. I was willing to ignore this through season 1, but after hearing about "Downloaded" I realized that we'd have two copies of Sharon, each distinct from both the other standard Sharon-copies AND each other, on the show. And the more I thought about it, the more I think they have finally reached the point where they need to be considered separate major characters with their own pages. ***Again, we can do this after "Downloaded" airs, I just wanted to get discussion started now, so we know what to do ahead of time. Yes, I did PLAY AROUND with creating separate pages for both two days ago (after which made the request here in standards and practices), but at the time I wanted to raise interest in the issue and experiment with how this would work.

Thoughts?--Ricimer 14:23, 24 January 2006 (EST)

To Spencerian's points on terminology: (1) The lack of a solid canonical term is a valid argument for keeping the old term only until a new term is agreed upon. Clearly we do not wish to frivolously or rashly change the Wiki; hence this discussion. (2) The difficulty of the task is not a disqualifier, as Ricimer has stepped forward to take it on, and I'm certain others of our cadre will pitch in. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but could not a search-and-replace bot easily change such a unique term as "Humano-Cylon"? (3) I don't see how this represents an exception for Sharon Valerii. I believe we're talking about replacing the term globally. Can you elaborate on this point? (4) If you are waiting for the characters to realize cylons are not merely machines to be shut down, I assume you are referring to the mainstream colonial opinion. There are plenty of characters (Helo, Baltar, all of the Cylons, and Demand Peace, who give them a bit more credit. -- Mayosolo 14:57, 24 January 2006 (EST)
Thanks for the clariification. On the work front, of course, the changing of the terms throughout isn't an impossible undertaking, but note that once a term is in use, it's hard to stop. In the case of the Cylons of RDM, an article is already there. To make the changes, we have to go all the way for all pages or not at all to ensure that referencing info, as well as the info itself, remains consistent. Ricimer's point #4, which I've suggested on the Valerii page, using Sharon Valerii as a disambig/parent page where subarticles for supporting characters that have appeared should keep article sizes down while organizing data well. I'm all for this idea the more I think of it. "Sharon Valerii" is like a class of ship (all generally the same), but each ship has a characteristic identity (Boomer, Caprica-Valerii), thus the parent page and subarticles for all major players. Sorry if I confused you on my thoughts on this.
The Cylons, be they truly biological and not to be treated as machine, are still the central adversary of the Colonials. While the characters can make their judgements on what they see the Cylons to be, we as wikipedians just report what we see, ultimately--we don't make the "news". In other words, if Adama (who runs the Fleet) sees the Cylons as a threat, they still have to be reported here in that light. Helo and others may have differing opinions, which should also be added. We must spin interpretation very cautiously and not to interpret it as fact. With that, I'm in favor of "Cylon agent" (the most commonly used term in the show, IMO) for a H-O replacement, but still, "Cylons (no suffix)" may also have merit. Current aliases are still OK, but the convention would be for that. I also suggest that we form parent/child pages for each of the Cylons (see, I'm doing it already now that I understand the subtle point) to avoid confusion and oversized articles. This also prevents issues with over hyphenations: Picon-Valerii, Tauron-Valerii, Cheese Whiz-Valerii..you get the idea. And when/if the baby is born, she gets her own page as she will be quite unique (I hope). To keep from this thread going crazy again, let's go for support/oppose tags at your replies from here, with your suggestions on how or what to do with terms and page design. --Spencerian 15:37, 24 January 2006 (EST)

Proposal

There will be no special term for the human models. All references to Cylons in the Re-imagined series will be taken to refer to the humans, unless prefaced with "Centurion" or other relevant distinguisher. This is in line with the show's own usage, and avoids creating a non-canon term.

The article Humano-Cylon will be deleted. Its content will be merged into Cylon Models, the individual overview pages for each cylon model, and a new page on potential cylon agents, with the previously discussed "whitelist" and "graylist" sections, as relevant.

Links to Humano-Cylon will be redirected to the Cylons (RDM) article cover-page (which will be spruced up, but probably remain fairly spare), or to various subsections, as appropriate. --Peter Farago 21:55, 24 January 2006 (EST)

Counter-Proposal

The human-appearing models of Cylon are indeed distinct enough that they deserve a special term. All references to Cylons in the re-imagined series don't necessarily refer to the humanoid models (we have no idea how these things are deployed, and in context, whe Lt. Gaeta shouts "Cylons incoming!" he's not talking about humanoid Cylons floating in space). Plent of times on the show they have made a distinction between the "mechanical variety" and "the human variety", so the "Proposal" would not, in fact, be "in line" with the show's own usage.

The article "Humano-Cylon" will remain entirely intact, but have its name changed to something else (my suggestiong would be "humanoid Cylons", but someone else might be able to come up with a better name and some ideas were tossed around above, etc). The contents of "Humano-Cylons" will not be merged. The already existing overview Character pages for the humanoid Cylon models will remain intact as they are now. There will be no new page for potential humanoid Cylons; it will remain a sub-section of the article dealing with the humanoid Cylons (as it is now). If by "whitelist" and "graylist" it is meant "people we suspect of being humanoid Cylons" and "people who it has been proven could not possibly be humanoid Cylons", such sub-headings will be added into the list of suspected Cylon Agents on "Humanoid Cylons".

Links to "Humano-Cylon" will be redirected to the new term ("Humanoid Cylon", for example, pending consensus on name). Humanoid Cylons models that have developed distinct personalities that have made them unique Characters on the show will be separated into having their own Character pages, while a stubb about these individual copies will be made in the article dealing with that particular "model" (as well as a link). --Ricimer 00:38, 25 January 2006 (EST)

Discussion of Proposals

I think we may be trying to decide too many things at once. I think it would be much easier to make this decision in a couple of steps:

A. Move all discussion of creating copy-specific pages on specific models to Talk:Sharon Valerii#Keeping Track of the Valeriis, just so it doesn't get so confusing here. Really, that's the only character we're considering doing this to and once we make a decision on her, we can make that a policy without much discussion here.
B. Do we want to change the term?
C. What do we want to change it to?
D. What does that entail?/Plan of Action/Enact PoA.

Now, I would not be opposed to changing the term. I agree it could be a bit confusing when/if Sharon delivers us a little halfling. One thing that's not been brought up when speaking of work load is the fact that not all references to Humano-cylons are links. So they'll be harder to track down than, say, all occurances of "Thrace, Kara". So, there'll be a lot of hand-searching, if you take my meaning, to be done. That being said, I don't think that's a reason not to change, really. What we do here is edit stuff.

On the point of C (really we could do my steps B and C together, without too much confusion), I support the change to simply Cylon. In a vast majority of cases context will make it readily apparent whether we're talking about Simon or a raider. In the few cases where we'll have to be more specific, then I think we could use "humanoid Cylon" or a "human-type Cylon" or "a Cylon of the human variety" (if you're not into the whole "brevity" thing) or any number of other circumlocutions that need not be standardized. As for changing the article name, we could make it "Cylon (human type)". I think it should continue to be an independant article because raiders and basestars have articles of their own... We just don't know what to call it. --Day 01:15, 25 January 2006 (EST)

What about putting it on the front page of Cylons (RDM)? We could list capsule descriptions of the known models there, just like The Twelve Colonies lists the individual colonies. --Peter Farago 03:21, 25 January 2006 (EST)
For me, part of the elegance of using the simple term "Cylon" is that it doesn't limit itself to the human-looking ones, but that context will take care of that for us nearly every time. Clearly, "cylons approaching" does not mean space-walking humanoids. But neither does "Tigh is a Cylon" imply Tigh may be a centurion, or a Basestar. Let's give folks some credit. Also, I must have been confused - I didn't realize we were only discussing branching the pages for Sharon. I think at the very least, Baltar's-Psychosis-Six and Gina have different enough agenda to merit different pages. -- Mayosolo 03:51, 25 January 2006 (EST)
I may have mis-understood the issue of splitting, then, but I think it's different from adopting a replacement for "Humano-cylon", so I'd rather talk about it in another place, even if it's just further down on this page. As there's another place already in use, why not consolidate discussion to that place? --Day 16:23, 25 January 2006 (EST)

Punctuation

Dicussion moved from Talk:Main Page by Joe Beaudoin at 10:53, 5 February 2006 (EST).

Hello, I'm new and my edits have so far been of the proofreading type (that's what I'm good at), and I've noticed a particular area of inconsistency in commas/periods and quotation marks. Since it has been decided that we shall prefer American spellings, perhaps we should also use American punctuation style, which places commas and periods inside quotation marks. I have seen them this way a few places, but I've mostly seen the British style used, which places commas and periods outside the quotation marks. I don't care either way, but I think consistency is good so there should be a guideline one way or the other. Bunchofpants 08:40, 5 February 2006 (EST)

IMO British style is much, much easier, both to write and to read. --Redwall 09:43, 5 February 2006 (EST)
Then perhaps we should declare "British style" the rule so that those of us who fret over punctuation can change the non-British occurrences to match.Bunchofpants 10:20, 5 February 2006 (EST)
Welcome to the wiki, Bunchofpants. You've noted a significant inconsistancy we do, and I'm a bit guilty as well. Punctuation should (based on my experience) be within quotations (such as, "Kara, you're just crazy."). But, when dealing with episode references in parentheses, our convention is to place the punctuation after the episode reference, outside of the quotes. (Tyrol says "Put the gun down" (Fragged).) This convention, I think, is fine. However, in sentences without episode references, the punctuation should be inside. I'll need to check our policies, where, if we don't make up our own policy, we tend to stick with Wikipedia policy. Another administrator may also have an opinion to this. So that others can chime in, we should move this discussion to Battlestar Wiki talk:Standards and Conventions.--Spencerian 10:26, 5 February 2006 (EST)

This is, I think, probably because we're on the internet. Apparently, I think according to the hacker slang dictionary which I don't have time to find a link to, it is very, very common amongst prolific internet users to use the British style, not because we're all Anglophiles, but because we tend to have a large cross section with the computer science community. Basically, if the period is not part of the quote, you don't put it so that the reader can tell exactly what goes in the quotes. Especially in help menus for *NIX systems, that use it so that you know the command is "hup" or whatever, rather than "hup." which would be wrong if "hup" were the actual command. Anyway... I like this system. The end. --Day 10:27, 5 February 2006 (EST) (Post Script: Let's allow a few days for discussion. Maybe move this to S&C? I HATE EDIT CONFLICTS)