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CZ:How to use talk pages

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See also CZ:Talk Pages and CZ:How to Collaborate.

The Citizendium, like other sites that use MediaWiki software, has a system for allowing authors, editors and other users to communicate and discuss ideas, articles and methods. This is done through the use of discussion pages or as they are sometimes more commonly called, talk pages. Every article on the Citizendium has its own discussion page and every user has their own discussion/talk page.

To the new Citizendium user, the system for using and editing talk pages may not be instantly apparent; so the following "How to..." is intended as a guide to assist users so that they can make the most of the talk page facility.

Discussion or talk pages can be divided into two main categories that can be discussed separately: article talk pages are used to discuss topics that are pertinent to the subject of an individual article. User talk pages allow discussion of subjects that do not apply directly to one particular article but rather to a range of articles or to general editing issues that apply to all CZ articles.

Article Discussion Pages

How to view an article's Discussion Page

Starting from the article's main page, click on the tab at the top of the article labeled "discussion". The Discussion page will now load. Near the top of the discussion page will be a menu listing the topic headlines contained on the page. Clicking on a headline in the menu will take you to that point in the page. To return to the top of the page, you can click the back button in your browser or use the side scroll bar.

How to start a new discussion

Begin all new discussions at the BOTTOM of the talk page in question. Any new discussions begun at the top of the page, or anywhere except the bottom, may be moved by anyone. This is to ensure that all readers will always know where to find new discussions.

Look carefully at the top tab menu of the discussion page, between the words "edit" and "history"; you will see a small "+" plus symbol. Clicking on the + tab will open an edit window for a new discussion topic.

Enter the title for your topic in the first box labeled "Subject/headline". In the second text area type in your comment. If you have used any special markup or links, use the "show preview" button to check the comment will appear as you intended.

End your comment with four tide marks ~~~~ This will automatically turn into your signature and time of posting so other users can tell who is talking.

When you are satisfied with the comment, click the "Save page" button. Your new discussion will automatically be formatted and inserted at the bottom of the existing discussion page.

How to reply to an ongoing discussion

Look next to the headline of the discussion you wish to take part in. You will see on the right hand side, a link marked "edit". Clicking on this will bring up an edit page containing the existing discussion.

You should insert your comment directly under the comment you are replying to, rather than at the bottom of the page.

Use an indent to help differentiate your post from that of other users. Indents are made by starting your paragraphs with a : colon. Deeper indents are made by repeating :: two, ::: three or more colons at the start of each paragraph that is to be indented. All talk pages should have continuously advancing indents getting deeper with each post (creating something that looks like old newsgroup or forum threads). Other formats have been used by some members on various pages in times past, and those pages will be grandfathered, but we are now standardizing the indent format on all new pages created from this date on, January 12, 2009.

Example:

How's the soup? --[[Bob]]
:It's great!! --[[Lisa]]
::Not too bad.. --[[George]]
:::I made it myself! --[[Bob]]
I think the soup discussion should be moved to [[Talk:Soup]].. --[[Lisa]]
:I tend to disagree. --[[George]]

The above will produce this:

How's the soup? --Bob

It's great!! --Lisa
Not too bad.. --George
I made it myself! --Bob

I think the soup discussion should be moved to Talk:Soup.. --Lisa

I tend to disagree. --George

Avoid using first and second level headlines like == headline == within your comment as this will break the comment into a new discussion. You may use third level, or deeper, headlines if you want such as === headline === though this is not common in practice.

If you have used any special markup or links, use the "show preview" button to check the comment will appear as you intended.

End you comment with four tide marks ~~~~ this will turn into a signature like this, "Derek Harkness 01:41, 3 December 2006 (CST)" so other users can tell who is talking.

When you are satisfied with the comment, click the "Save page" button. Your new discussion will automatically be formatted and inserted at the bottom of the existing discussion page.

User Discussion Pages

How to view a user's Discussion Page

Starting from the user's main page, click on the tab at the top of the article labeled "discussion". The users discussion page will now load. At the top of the page, the user may have left instructions on how to use their talk pages such as where to leave comments, where to leave replies and other methods of contact. If the user has such instructions, you should follow their direction rather than this article. The following is intended as a general guide for user talk pages where no other specific guidance has been given.

Near the top of the discussion page will be a menu listing the topic headlines contained on the page. Clicking on a headline in the menu will take you to that point in the page. To return to the top of the page, you can click the back button in your browser or use the side scroll bar.

How to start a new discussion

Look first for any special instructions left by the user you want to talk to. Follow such special instructions in preference to the flowing. If no other direction has been given then:

Look carefully at the top tab menu of the discussion page, between the words "edit" and "history", you will see a small "+" plus symbol. Clicking on the + tab will open an edit window for a new discussion topic.

Enter the title for your topic in the first box labeled "Subject/headline". In the second text area type in your comment. If you have used any special markup or links, use the "show preview" button to check the comment will appear as you intended.

End you comment with four tide marks ~~~~ This will automatically turn into your signature and time of posting so other users can tell who is talking.

When you are satisfied with the comment, click the "Save page" button. Your new discussion will automatically be formatted and inserted at the bottom of the existing discussion page.

How to reply to an ongoing discussion

Protocol

There are several acceptable ways of replying to a comment on a users talk page.

  1. Reply directly under the comment on the same talk page as the conversation started on.
  2. Reply on the users own talk page.

The first method keeps the thread of the discussion together, allowing the full conversation to be traced and read easily. The latter method allows the software to alert the user to a comment on their talk page and thus avoids a comment going un-noticed by the user you wish to talk to.

Frequently, users will post instructions at the beginning of their talk pages - or at the end of their comment - directing other users on which method they wish to receive replies in. Always follow such instructions. Failing to do so may result in the user not receiving your reply.

Method

Look next to the headline of the discussion you wish to take part in. You will see on the right hand side, a link marked "edit". Clicking on this will bring up an edit page containing the existing discussion.

You should insert your comment directly under the comment you are replying to, rather than at the bottom of the page.

Use an indent to help differentiate your post from that of other users. Indents are made by starting your paragraphs with a : colon. Deeper indents are made by repeating :: two, ::: three or more colons at the start of each paragraph that is to be indented. Some talk pages have continuously advancing indents getting deeper with each post (creating something that looks like old newsgroup or forum threads) where as other talk pages simply alternate posts from no indent, to indented, to no indent etc. For reasons of consistency, you should continue the same style as already used on other discussions on the same talk page.

Example:

How's the soup? --[[Bob]]
:It's great!! --[[Lisa]]
::Not too bad.. --[[George]]
:::I made it myself! --[[Bob]]
I think the soup discussion should be moved to [[Talk:Soup]].. --[[Lisa]]
:I tend to disagree. --[[George]]

The above will produce this:

How's the soup? --Bob

It's great!! --Lisa
Not too bad.. --George
I made it myself! --Bob

I think the soup discussion should be moved to Talk:Soup.. --Lisa

I tend to disagree. --George

Avoid using first and second level headlines like == headline == within your comment as this will break the comment into a new discussion. You may use third level, or deeper, headlines if you want such as === headline === though this is not common in practice.

If you have used any special markup or links, use the "show preview" button to check the comment will appear as you intended.

End you comment with four tide marks ~~~~ this will turn into a signature like this, "Derek Harkness 01:41, 3 December 2006 (CST)" so other users can tell who is talking.

When you are satisfied with the comment, click the "Save page" button. Your new discussion will automatically be formatted and inserted at the bottom of the existing discussion page.

Linking to a talk page

You can link to a talk page using wikilinks simply by prefixing the article name or username with "talk:" for example [[talk:Some_article]] or [[talk:Username here]] In order to link directly to one topic headline within a talk page, append your link with #topic. For example: [[talk:Some_article#Some_headline]].


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