SL Conventions / Usefulness Discussion

Sub-page of SLConventions

This is part of the SL Conventions / Discussion.

Dave Sigaty: I think that trying to set forth and refine a list of conventions is not very likely to succeed. The nature of a Wiki works against it. The size of SL in particular means that few people are going to even find the list in the future. Also I do not entirely agree with the idea that contributors to SL should feel that they have to take the point of view of a "conscientious writer". I think that this anticipates a degree of ability (and time) that many contributors do not have. This is especially true for non-native writers of English. Although personally I try to express myself clearly and effectively, I worry a lot more about my lack of understanding of Go than I do about my failures to convey my thoughts in English or to properly beautify the pages. :-)

Dieter: When I was lurking around here for about half a year, I felt the same need for standardizing a couple of things that seems to be at the source of the SLConventions page creation. I abandoned the idea, because

  • The wiki spirit, as explained above
  • The feeling I'd interfere with administrator business

Text Formatting Rules and Wiki etiquette are the guidelines the adminstrators chose to lay upon the community. Even if a lot of things have become common practice, I wait for Arno to put them into one of the above pages and if he doesn't, I'd rather mention the fact on some discussion page, than create a page of conventions of my own. In the same spirit, however, when someone decides the community should be educated more and makes up a new convention page, who am I to deny him the right. Wiki will solve the issue. That is why Arno didn't say anything about it, I guess.

Arno: well, I guess the reason why I don't interfere, is because I have a very clear picture of my role as admin and my personal interpretation of wiki philosophy. SL wouldn't be where it is today if I would have forced my (initial) vision upon it. So, unless someone gets rude or offensive or SL starts filling with pages unrelated to go I will not interfere.

Btw, I find it interesting that people use the difficulty headers in combination with HomePages for indicating their own strength. An usage I didn't think of. At least as interesting as this usage however is Charles' and SAS' point of view that this is somehow "incorrect". Who is right? I don't dare to say.

On a side note: If you are an SL-veteran (say, here for at least 1 year) you will have noticed that certain topics and certain styles have been en-vogue for some time, then disappeared. The reason why a wiki is so easy to contribute to is because you don't even have to read Text Formatting Rules. You just hit edit and do copy&paste. Whatever is on SL's mind (==RecentChanges) is what shapes SL.

Do you think that people are nice and polite here, only because we ask so on WikiEtiquette? Of course not! It's because new contributors see how politely we interact with one another. Same goes for SLConventions. No-one will follow it just because you write it down. Enforcing rules is not really possible either. Soon enough you will find out that SLConventions are those which people actually use, not what is written down.

Just my two cents ....

Charles I agree with SAS about capitals. On the main question, I hope any conventions are seen in the right way. Not, naturally, to constrain people who won't or can't be constrained - contributors here are all welcome, according to what they have to say. There can really only be at most one recognised house style (per area, perhaps). Conventions can help in understanding what that would mean.

Hu: Good discussion. I have taken note of it and have accordingly softened the introduction on the SL Conventions page: "Feel free to use [...], but we value your good ideas and knowledge more than any writing guidelines". I hope this comes closer to the spirit of a Wiki. We may wish to change the title of Text Formatting Rules to something like "How SL Text Works". I altered the link on the Text Formatting Rules page to say: "You may follow some SL Conventions but they are less important than your ideas and insights." I changed the text on the Wiki Etiquette page to say "You may use SL Conventions as guidelines". Would it be good in a similar spirit to change the text at the top of that page from "rules" to "guidelines"?

I join the others in thanking Arno and Mort for their enlightened administration of this world class resource. -- Hu

SL Conventions / Usefulness Discussion last edited by Nico on August 8, 2003 - 10:37
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