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See also the Main Page on the basic intent.

See also Help:Editing for more technical parts of editing.

On style and content

Within the basic ideas of augmenting and pragmatic style, you may find that a page ends up with both summary and details. If so, try to split it. For example, "In practice this usually boils down to..." is as useful as "bunch of backing theory". Paragraphs, or sections, depending on bulk.

The 'how you would have liked to find it' criterion mentioned elsewhere is rather subjective.

The idea is that if you find a resource, or made your own, the immediate need to create a succinct summary is something that is likely to lead to structural and understandable pages, more than unchecked verbosity is.

The just-mentioned split is part of that, as is no-nonsense language.

But yeah, when very subjective, e.g. "works for me, don't know exactly why" stuff, it's nice to mark it as such. It's one of the things that bothers me about the 'net - you need a lot of cross-referencing before you know how much to trust a statement (consider how you tend to disbelieve most forum content and other overly assertive stuff).

This wiki can't be an exception when it has more interests than time, so don't be too careful. But I'd like to see a tendency for qualifiers - 'usually', 'apparently', and markers like {{verify}} on things you suspect but don't know.

Less is easily more that way.

Brevity is valued when it leads to bite-sized readability - so as a tendency, not a requirement. 'course, a few choice boldface words and some good splitting into section headers can be just as nice for skimmability.

Content has a long-term life here when the answer to "will this be interesting to someone specifically looking for information on this" is yes, or at least more positive than "erm, maybe?".

Yeah, that's a fuzzy and subjective criterion, but probably also a useful one since it avoids a prohibitive bulk of policy notes. I'd rather make this about cooperating people than rules.

Expect content to change, be rewritten into something more succinct when possible (or, say, more separation into 'good tidbits' and 'more detail for those who care'). If you believe you can make something more structural without loss of information, do it.

Messy-notes-while-learning-something-new are also welcome -- arguably some of the best content, as long as it's got notes about its own shortcomings.

If you like these idea but all this feels restrictive, I encourage you to start your own wiki. 's pretty simple, and I think a bulk of wikis like this would be pretty damn cool.

There are certain topics (say, statistics, electronics), where there is seems to be mainly beginner content, no intermediate discussion, and then a lot of fragments of hard information without reasons, discussions in very specific contexts, and such - in other words, where you need a lot commitment to extract the actually-not-so-complex information you need.

I am experimenting with some pages that try sit somewhere between beginner and intermediate level to help bridge that. ('course, that's a lot of work, so most are not very good yet).

Many articles here are in the data collection phase ({{stub}}), still waiting to be boiled down. Feel free to contribute information and nice rewriting.


Things like wikipedia focus on a very general public. Tutorial pages focus on people with a lot of basic knowledge. Blog pages tend to assume the most common setup and usually give little suggestion how it would work under even mild variation. Specific how-to can be awesome (I love instructables and such) but usually offer little background. Friends tend to have good summaries, but details from those are often quickly forgotten.

Something inbetween those is nice whenever it's not too much bother.

Consider how some experienced people, informative books and such are good at separating angles and aspects, like:

  • "Okay, the reason you want this is ..." <quick description of problem and solution>
  • "this usually practically works out as..." <instructions> and/or <just the relevant cold hard details>
  • "...because..." <current context and assumptions, and comparisons where necessary>
  • "But when you think about it, it's just a case of / similar to ..." <abstraction that makes it easier to remember>

This is partly an experiment in trying to write down things with that in mind.