[Home]RulesToConsider

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Since this is a wiki, there are no editors. We must rely on developing our own good habits and occasionally taking a bit of time to correct the results of someone else's bad habits. But it might help to specifically enunciate particularly rules that some of us wish we'd make an effort to follow. So here's a page containing such rules. Two suggested features of this page are: add your name to a list of the rule's "supporters" to get an idea of how strongly WikiPedians support a rule, and "[nameofrule]Debate" pages where we can talk about the merits of the proposed rule. (The latter will help keep this page nice and clean for those people who are mainly interested in the rules themselves.)

See also Naming conventions and RefactoringPolicy.

Rules are established according to the vigor of their enforcement.


Ignore all rules: If rules make you nervous and depressed, and not desirous of participating in the wiki, then ignore them entirely and go about your business.

Supporters of this rule include (at least) Larry Sanger, WojPob, Jimbo Wales, AyeSpy, OprgaG, and Invictus

I now pleasantly ponder the paradox encountered by those who seek to rigorously follow this rule. --Jimbo Wales

Well, what about the related paradox that there is no Rule to decide that something is a Rule (and so should be ignored) --OprgaG

See IgnoreAllRulesDebate


Always leave something undone: Whenever you write a page, never finish it. Always leave something obvious to do: an uncompleted sentence, a question in the text (with a not-too-obscure answer someone can supply), wikied links that are of interest, requests for help from specific other Wikipedians, the beginning of a provokative argument that someone simply must fill in, etc. The purpose of this rule is to encourage others to keep working on the wiki.

Supporters of this rule include (at least) Larry Sanger TimShell Invictus


Explain jargon: It would be great if you would hyperlink all jargon (area-specific terminology that someone who might happen not to have had a college course in your subject might not understand) and explain it, and then explain all the jargon you use to explain that, until you've reached terms that ordinary educated people can understand.

Supporters of this rule include (at least) Larry Sanger, JerryMuelver, TimShell, and AyeSpy (fervently)

See ExplainJargonDebate?


Avoid bias: Since this is an encyclopedia, after a fashion, it would be best if you represented your controversial views either (1) not at all, (2) on *Debate, *Talk, or *Discussion pages linked from the bottom of the page that you're tempted to grace, or (3) represented in a fact-stating fashion, i.e., which attributes a particular opinion to a particular person or group, rather than asserting the opinion as fact. (3) is strongly preferred. See the NeutralPointOfView page for elaboration.

Supporters of this rule include (at least) Larry Sanger, JerryMuelver, and AyeSpy

See AvoidBiasDebate?


Integrate changes: When you make a change to some text, rather than appending the new text you'd like to see included at the bottom of the page, if you feel so motivated, then please place and edit your comments so that they flows seamlessly with the present text. Wikipedia articles in the end shouldn't be a series of disjoint comments about a subject, but unified, seamless, and ever-expanding expositions of the subject. (Rule introduced 29-03-2001)

Supporters of this rule include (at least) Larry Sanger

See Integrate changes debate


Delete patent nonsense: I propose that we delete PatentNonsense when we run across it, and then put it on the BadJokesAndOtherDeletedNonsense page. The problem with this is that people disagree about what is PatentNonsense. So be careful, anyway. It's possible that this makes me a ["wiki reductionist."]

Supporters of this rule include (at least) Larry Sanger, TimShell and JerryMuelver

See DeletePatentNonsenseDebate


Give the author a chance: I propose that we add comments at the bottom of a page instead of within the text, when we disagree with an author but to delete or re-write portions of his material would substnatially alter its meaning. Then the author may make changes in his own style, and/or discussion of the material can be moved to a Talk Page. When one encounters obvious vandalism of another's work, he should feel free to Delete PatentNonsense.

Supporters of this rule include (at least) AyeSpy TimShell and JerryMuelver

See GiveTheAuthorAChanceDebate


/Establish Context Supporters of this rule include (at least) Jimbo Wales and Larry Sanger TimShell


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Last edited April 2, 2001 12:09 pm (diff)
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