Religions Wiki talk:Editing guidelines

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Can I suggest that we have some sort of guidelines for how we think the best way is to structure things? Examples of this: Target page naming (e.g. Creationist > Creationism), linking to external resources, categories, and so forth. The sooner we get this down, the sooner we can nip errant page organisation in the bud (which I'd probably be guilty of otherwise!) -- Blu Matt 05:26, 1 August 2006 (MST)

Yes, I'm planning (now that I've mostly finished with Episode 7 of Way of the Master) to rework the front page, the IC introduction page and included editing guidelines on style, structure, formatting....and other stuff. Unfortunately, it may not happen until next week, as I'll be leaving on vacation soon. Some of this information already exists in the admin forums, I just haven't finished incorporating all of it into the wiki pages. Sans Deity 07:07, 1 August 2006 (MST)
Splendid. Enjoy your holiday. :-) -- Blu Matt 07:18, 1 August 2006 (MST)

Major and minor edits[edit]

The rule of thumb I've been using is that a minor edit is one that doesn't change the information in the article. Thus, fixing a bunch of spelling or punctuation errors is a minor edit, but fixing an error of fact (even a small one) is a major edit. Should this be added to the guidelines?

Also, may I suggest adding "DO use the "Preview" and "Show changes" buttons before committing a change"?

--Arensb 06:10, 4 August 2006 (MST)

I've added those tips.
I think I should mention that I am often guilty of not checking the "minor edit" box when I should, because I forget details like that when I'm just doing a quick and dirty style fix.
--Kazim 07:31, 4 August 2006 (MST)

Section headers[edit]

As I've edited various pages I've taken the liberty of changing certain stylistic choices other editors have made, such as removing any space I find after the colon in [[Category:]] links and inserting newlines (blank lines) after ==section headers==. I haven't made a concerted effort to "codify" my opinions on these matters, though, since they don't actually affect the appearance of the article(s). But there is one matter of style that definitely is visible on the page and so really should be decided on and adopted as policy (in my opinion), and that is the choice of capitalization for section headers. We've chosen to use "sentence style" (a.k.a., "downstyle") for page titles; should that convention extend to section headers, as well? I say yes. It looks like a number of other editors would disagree. (Note that Wikipedia tends to use downstyle headers.) What say you? - dcljr 17:53, 26 February 2007 (CST)

I pretty much trust your instincts on these matters. I think most of the section headers already are sentence style, so it's fine with me if we convert the rest.--Kazim 08:30, 27 February 2007 (CST)
I think I've been capitalizing section titles, but I think you're right: sentence style keeps things consistent with page titles. --Arensb 10:22, 27 February 2007 (CST)
Thanks for the quick response. I'll now feel free to change the section headers as I come across them. Not sure I'll make a concerted effort, but maybe.... Oh, and I'll make a note of this in the DOs and DON'Ts on this project page. - dcljr 14:42, 28 February 2007 (CST)

What are we doing here?[edit]

As I pointed out elsewhere, in response to recent problems with Ray Comfort related articles, there are four articles that have been "featured" on the Main Page for years now, and all of them are point-by-point refutations of individual works of apologetics (50 reasons to believe in God, The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism (Way of the Master), Evolution (Way of the Master), and Big Daddy? (Chick tract)). Now Russell (Kazim) apparently thinks we shouldn't be doing this kind of thing anymore. Am I mistaken? What does Matt (Sans Deity) have to say about this? - dcljr 17:59, 21 November 2011 (CST)

I don’t think the editing guidelines have changed, I think an unwise decision was taken in anger without Kazim or me looking carefully at the articles before deletion. We need to take care that Jdog doesn’t manipulate us into getting angry like that again. Proxima Centauri 01:35, 22 November 2011 (CST)
I only criticize contributors' work when I find an irrational, incorrect, and/or useless argument has been made. If I find articles that I don't think belong here, I attempt to explain why I believe that's the case. That's it. You argue with me every single time I do so, (understandably) more vehemently if it's your own work, and I respond as necessary to demonstrate my point. I'm sorry if that angers you, but there's no intent to do so and I don't see how your emotional reaction has any bearing on whether I'm correct or not. If you can sufficiently demonstrate that I'm incorrect, I'll happily change my view.
I understand that you're hurt and angry over having to move the WotM articles to yet another wiki, but trolling me in almost every non-article edit and calling for the WotM articles to be retained here during "a cooling off period" or having wanted your attacks on RC to be restored prior to the RC page being locked for a few days because "a page in transition could be confusing" (it wasn't, Kazim was quite careful to maintain or improve the integrity of the article during the edits) just continues to demonstrate that you're the only one being irrational about this.
  • Some articles placed on the wiki may not actually belong here and need removal.
  • Some articles placed on the wiki may be poorly written or have poor arguments and need correction.
  • The focus of the wiki may change slightly as its purpose is refined, possibly because contributions to it have revealed the need to do so.
  • The articles or arguments subject to modification or deletion could belong to any contributor, including yourself.
Do you dispute any of those four statements? If not, then where is the problem? Jdog 11:41, 22 November 2011 (CST)
Proxima: Perhaps I read too much into Russell's remarks about moving the WotM articles. I'd appreciate clarification by him on whether he thinks we should be encouraging or discouraging (or neither) point-by-point refutations of individual apologetical works in the future. As a general rule, I would say such articles are clearly "on topic" here, and can be very useful to readers as long as they're "fact-based" and only include enough of a "response" as is necessary to address the unique context(s) in which the arguments are being raised; the rest of the explanation/background can be covered in the articles about the arguments themselves. Surely we can all agree on this recommendation? - dcljr 01:13, 23 November 2011 (CST)

Jdog accused me of trolling when I'm trying to protect the wiki, he wrote.

I only criticize contributors' work when I find an irrational, incorrect, and/or useless argument has been made.

It’s difficult to know how to avoid feeding the troll when doing nothing risk good articles being deleted. Jdog is trolling me and other users, making tactless criticisms. I’m trying to prevent or limit damage to the wiki. Would a good contributor try and get material deleted that was featured on the main page for years? These articles are not irrational, incorrect or useless. Other users wrote the current versions of:-

  1. The Firefighter
  2. The Satanic Influence
  3. The Beauty of a Broken Spirit
  4. Evolution

If Jdog wants to improve the wiki why is he trying to get good articles deleted? I suspect Jdog knows the site owners stay away a great deal so the site owners don't always know what's worth keeping. He knows he may persuade the site owners to delete worthwhile material if he makes the site owners feel good. Then people who care about the wiki get upset and Jdog has the fuss and controversy that trolls crave. Proxima Centauri 07:26, 23 November 2011 (CST)

I suppose it's out of the question to get you to consider the idea that I also care about the wiki and believe I'm taking steps to improve it?
I do not share your opinion of these articles being "good" (regardless of who wrote them and whether or not they've been listed on a front page that hasn't been significantly changed in years) and think the wiki would be better off with a single article for WotM that gives links to the handful of actual arguments the series makes and repeats ad nauseum. I also don't see how anything I've posted to the wiki could rationally be construed as trying to make the site owners "feel good". If I wanted to stir up controversy, I certainly wouldn't do it here; there are much better venues (such as online gaming) for that sort of thing. You're welcome to reply to this comment or my previous one with rational argument instead of emotional appeals and unfounded speculation as to my motives and methods; if I'm wrong about these issues, I would very much appreciate it being demonstrated. Jdog 08:29, 23 November 2011 (CST)

Kazim's response[edit]

Sorry for my absence. First: Jdog is not a troll. Second: I am just as happy to see most of the Way of the Master stuff get migrated somewhere outside of Iron Chariots, but I've had some additional good points to consider in a recent email exchange.

Look, Proxima, it's really hard for me to explain this diplomatically and I hate to be this blunt, but I really don't have a choice now. You and Feredir have been EXTREMELY prolific in writing articles for the past couple of months, and there aren't enough active editors to try to proofread what you're coming up with faster than you write it. I've seen you do good work, and you are awesome at keeping spammers out. However, the writing that the two of you have been doing on subjects related to Ray Comfort is of low quality, for reasons I've gone over in the past. Please don't repeat previous arguments that your writing causes the Google page rank to go up, or that the writing is appealing to high schoolers. It is, absolutely, an editorial decision, and the comments I've seen from Jdog confirm to me that he sees the problem in the same way I do.

I made an effort a few weeks ago to start paring down some of the things that I think shouldn't be a part of the articles (Ray Comfort's article as well as a few surrounding arguments, like bananas and parachutes). Meanwhile, though, I'm checking the "recent edits" log and every single day I see new edits being done by you on the dozens of "Way of the Master" specific articles. Just spot reading a couple, they're plagued by the same problems that I'm trying to clean up in the other articles, and I just do not have the time to play whack-a-mole and bring their quality up to some kind of standard. So, to be blunt, when I suggested you moved those articles off-site, I'm trying to recommend that you use your own sandbox site to do whatever you want with it, and prevent Iron Chariots from become "That wiki that is 80% about making sarcastic remarks about Ray Comfort."

Now Dcljr made a good point, which is that Matt -- a founder of this site -- contributed the first such examples of fisking these shows, and in fact they've been highlighted on the front page for years. So in deleting ALL such articles, we'd also be deleting some articles that don't have the aforementioned writing problems. Also, there's the implication that it's hypocritical to say that this category is now excluded.

I am not totally sure how to address all these issues. But MEANWHILE, as I'm trying to figure out what we should do next, you appear to be attempting to foment a mini-rebellion on the site: it started with some passive-aggressive remarks, then moved to comments like "some of the people are concerned" and "I think we should disregard what the moderators say and just put things back the way I like them, who's with me?" and calling people who disagree with you trolls.

One thing I do know is that has got to stop. I have come close to banning you a few times but you've never QUITE reached the point where I feel justified in doing it. But seriously... don't keep pushing your luck. --Kazim 14:53, 23 November 2011 (CST)

I edited Ray Comfort last on Nov 1st and Way of the Master last on NOv 6th. Is Jdog allowed to accuse me of trolling? Proxima Centauri 15:40, 23 November 2011 (CST)

There's about a 15 day offset between the date shown on the "recent changes" and article history pages and the actual (UTC) date. Look at the date on your comment (Nov 23) made today (Nov 23), then look at the date as it appears in the article history (Nov 8). You last edited those pages on Nov 16th and 21st, respectively. Haven't you already explained this offset to another user within the last couple of months, anyway?
As to trolling, perhaps I should have said "attacking" instead. You appear to have decided to attack me now that you're not allowed to attack Ray Comfort anymore (and blame me for the decision). If you had legitimate criticisms of/issues with my article edits or the one article I've written and/or rational reasoning to explain why the criticisms I make are invalid, I'd welcome them because I like to discuss such things (obviously). Ad hominem statements about my motives in the majority of your recent comments on discussion pages are not those things and it upsets me that you make them. I'd urge you to read the caveat in the "feeding the troll" article you linked from RationalWiki. Furthermore, let's assume for a moment that I am a troll; if that was the case, wouldn't it be best not to give me "the attention trolls crave" by mentioning me so much or talking about how angry I make you? Jdog 20:23, 23 November 2011 (CST)