It has been brought to my attention that, although there are rules for this wiki, they are scattered out all over the place and new users can't easily locate them. This is not fair to them, so I'm proposing to create this guideline page so that new users will better understand what this wiki is about, and established users will be able to better answer any questions that may get directed to them. Please leave any comments about the guidelines I propose, or potential changes, or if you think of any other other rules that also need to be added to this list, and leave them on the talk page. If we can work this out then everybody will know what is expected from them as well as what is expected out of every other member of this community. Here are some guidelines - these include things that have been discussed previously and worked out:
Guidelines To Help Make A Wiki Work
A wiki is really nothing more than an online encyclopedia. The reason that encyclopedias work and have worked for many years, is that they all function in a similar fashion, no matter which company publishes them. Therefore, somebody had the brilliant idea to take the principle behind an encyclopedia and transform it to something that could work on the internet. Thus, Wikipedia was born. Now, miniature Wikipedia's have been allowed to be created, this particular wiki for instance, and the best way for them to work would be to emulate the original. Keeping this in mind, here are some guidelines that should be employed to help keep a wiki running smoothly and stay as user-friendly as their book-bound counterparts. If everybody follows the same guidelines, this will ensure that the casual reader of the wiki who is seeking information of any kind, will be able to navigate around it, find what they're looking for with ease, and without having to learn everything specific to only this one wiki.
Correct Grammar and EnglishEdit
1. If you've ever used an encyclopedia to look up something, the first thing you'll notice is that correct grammar and English (if printed in English) are always used. The theory behind this is that more people can speak correct English than the "slang" that crops up from time to time. If a user isn't good with the English language, he/she shouldn't inflict his lack of understanding on everybody else who uses the wiki just because he/she wants to take part.
2. You will also notice that in an encyclopedia, abbreviations are avoided. This is usually due to the fact that an encyclopedia can be as many or as few pages as it needs to be. This wiki has been set up so that space issues aren't an issue, so there is no need to worry about saving space by using abbreviations.
Avoid All-Capital LettersEdit
3. Using all capital letters is incorrect grammar and should be avoided. However, in the specific case of descriptions for a tampo which uses all capital letters, using what is considered incorrect grammar in this situation is not wrong. It is merely being more descriptive as to what the words actually look like that are painted on the vehicle. And after all, that is the whole purpose of an online database such as this - and that is to be as accurate as possible.
4. Proper punctuation should be used at all times. Except in the case of tables, where there is no need for periods at the end of a sentence. Normally periods are used to clearly denote the end of a line. Where there are physical lines and grids such as used in tables like those found on this kind of wiki, the ends of lines can be clearly seen and do not need to be further highlighted with a period.
Conform to Established StyleEdit
5. Certain methods of doing things were chosen when the wiki was first created. That is the creator's perogative - to have it function in the manner he/she thinks will work best for the particular subject the wiki is about. Yes, it does say on the homepage that anybody can edit this wiki, but that doesn't mean you can implement any change you wish for no reason. You have to edit in the "spirit" the wiki was intended so that it can remain consistent and navigable by everybody. If you think you have an idea for an improved method of doing something, the polite way would be to describe it on a talk page and get everybody's consensus. Changing one thing just to suit your way is not only rude, but if everybody did it, the wiki would soon be so incomprehensible that nobody could use it.
6. Certain words or phrases that have more than one way of being used or spelled will sometimes be singled out in a manner which shows every user the best version to use on this particular wiki. Such as the word "metalflake." Where "metalflake" and "metallic" mean almost the same thing, the only difference being the size of the flakes in the paint, one or the other had to be chosen as the "catch-all" word to use. The actual difference in definition of those two words is merely the difference in the size of the flakes in the paint. Since there are no specific measurements for the size of the flakes in 3-inch long toy cars, it was long ago decided to adopt the word "metalflake" so as to describe any paint that had metal flakes in it - no matter what size they were. Is there really any point in requiring every user to measure the size of the flecks of metal in the paint so as to know whether or not to use the word "metalflake" or "metallic?" That would be ridiculous when you could just say "metalflake" and everybody would know what that means.
7. Registered users get a page of their own to talk about whatever they wish others to know about themselves, what vehicles they have in their collection or what pages they are following; anything of this sort. It would be considered bad manners to go editing somebody else's page, unless they specifically said you could do so. But, then that would defeat the whole purpose behind each user's page, so let's leave each user's page to be only edited by the user it belongs to. This will prevent any future problems.
No Info on the FutureEdit
8. This wiki is about toy vehicles that exist as a physical piece. Something that can be seen, touched, photographed and described. If it doesn't yet exist, there's no place for it here. This wiki doesn't deal in the future, only the present, which encompasses everything from past releases to current releases that have actually been "released" and can be proven by there being at least one physical copy. (In the case of an prototype, for instance.)
9. In the case of pictures, only use pictures you yourself have taken. Do not find images somewhere on the internet and use them on this wiki. It is illegal to do this. And in images, the first preference would be a photograph of a vehicle out of the package and filmed on a clear background of some kind. The second preference would be one that is not brand new, but is at least out of the package and does give a good idea of what the vehicle actually looks like. The third preference would be to show a car still in the package. The fourth preference is that if there is no image at all, please use the "Image Not Available.jpg" placeholder. And when naming images, be sure to use descriptive names such as "Cadillac CTS Wagon First Edition.jpg" or "Ford Galaxie White 1966.jpg," etc. instead of names such as "3.jpg" or names with a long string of numbers and letters that are meaningless. By naming images properly, that makes them easier to locate in a search.
10. If you really like what this wiki is about, please register and choose a user name like everybody else has done. It is more courteous to have a name that people can get to know you by than hiding behind an anonymous I.P. address.
11. When a page is created for a vehicle, the name of the page should be the name the vehicle was first released under. In some cases, the same name gets reused for a different vehicle and this confuses issues. But, until a name is reused to confuse the issue, stick with the original name.
12. If you don't really understand how to do the coding properly or what coding even means, then why are you making edits? Learn how to properly use code before trying to make an edit and messing up things. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to first go to Administrator and ask them to answer your specific questions or there might even be other users who might be able to help you out. The key is, learn how to do things the right way first, before you do things the wrong way. Because when you make a mistake that you aren't aware of, somebody else that is aware of it has to spend their valuable time correcting your mistakes instead of being able to have fun and do what they want to do.
13. Absolutely no name calling, filthy language, or pornographic images will be tolerated on this wiki. This is your only warning. This site has people of all ages, including children, visiting it and that's not the kind of impression we want to make.
14. One feature of this wiki is that you can "follow" certain pages, as many as you like, and whenever a change is made to that page, you will get an e-mail notification. It works this way for Administrators as well - they only get e-mail notifications of pages they are "following," not every single edit that is made. So, if you see or suspect incorrect behavior on the part of another user, don't think the Administrators are "playing favorites" if they don't do anything about it. It's probably because they haven't yet seen this particular infraction, so help them out by leaving a message about it on their talk page. Administrators are not "all-seeing" gods.
15. Whenever you make any change to any page on this wiki, be sure to fill in the box at the bottom of the edit window where it says "Summary" describing the edit you did. This will help all other users to know what you did. It also saves time for Administrators so they don't have to follow every new user around just to make sure they haven't made mistakes. Trying to figure out what a user did with any particular edit can be time consuming when no summary is given, so please use this every time.
16. A handy tip to use is to click on the "History" tab of the top of each page so that you see who has made edits, what they were as listed in the "Summary" of the edit, when it was made and even who created the page. These things can be very helpful once you become an experienced user and it will speed up your work greatly.
17. Another useful thing to do is to click on the tab on the left side of every page called "Recent changes." There you can see if any new pages have been created, any old pages have been edited or even if pictures have been uploaded and by whom. The better informed you are about this wiki, the better editor you will become.
Sign Comments on Talk PagesEdit
18. Whenever you leave a comment on any talk page, always type in 4 of these "~" at the very end of your comment. This is coding that signs your user name and dates the comment so users know if it is an old comment or a new one. This is another one of those things you should always do to help be a better member of the community. And, ostensibly, that's what this wiki is about. People who share a similar interest coming together.
19. Please also notice on the left side of every page is a space called "Search." If you need to find something on this wiki, try searching for it using whatever descriptors you might now. Usually the search function will bring up a pretty specific list for you to look through and probably find what you're wanting. This is a powerful tool, so don't hesitate to make it work for you.
Images in TablesEdit
20. On vehicle pages where there is a place for an image of the vehicle in the table, these will be inserted using proper table coding, not as a thumbnail. To view proper table coding, click "edit" at the top of the page and look at the coding. There you will be able to see how it is coded.