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==Summary: How to use Talk== ==Summary: How to use Talk==
-The sidebar of every page has a link entitled "Discuss this Page" on it which links to the Talk page for that article. Talk pages allow you to discuss the content of articles without cluttering up the article itself.+At the top of every page there is a link titled "discussion" which links to the Talk page for that article. Talk pages allow you to discuss the content of articles without cluttering up the article itself.
Examples of things to mention on Talk pages: Examples of things to mention on Talk pages:

Revision as of 00:07, 24 April 2005


Summary: How to use Talk

At the top of every page there is a link titled "discussion" which links to the Talk page for that article. Talk pages allow you to discuss the content of articles without cluttering up the article itself.

Examples of things to mention on Talk pages:

  • Needed information.
  • Problems you have with the current content of the page.
  • Possible solutions to edit wars.

Please note that it is generally considered bad ettiquette to delete or alter the comments of another user. While this is perfectly fine on the rest of the wiki, doing so on a talk page disrupts the conversation.

Remember to sign and date your comments. Typing "~~~~" will do this automatically.

A talk page is a special Wikipedia page containing discussion about the contents of its associated "subject" page. To view the talk page of an article, click on the "Discuss this page" link in the sidebar or at the bottom of the screen. When you are in the talk page, clicking on "View article" will take you back to the main article.

Inevitably, there will arise situations in which collaborators on an article can benefit mutually from discussing the article--thus we have designated a namespace specifically for such discussion.

What is it used for?

The purpose of a talk page is to help to improve the contents of the main page, from an encyclopedic point of view. Questions, challenges, excised text (due to truly egregious confusion or bias, for example), arguments relevant to changing the text, and commentary on the main page is all fair play. In other words, talk about the article, not about the subject.

That said, we are all fallible creatures, so it's entirely natural that a bit of partisan wrangling takes place on talk pages - and occasionally this even leads to improvements in the article! So there's a fair degree of tolerance, and most editors succumb to a bit of wrangling from time to time.

User talk pages

Your user page has a talk page as well, and that one has some special features. For one thing, there is a link to it in the header next to your name (if you use a "skin" other than the default it may be somewhere else). Also, if edits are made to it by others, the text You have new messages will appear at the top of the page. These pages can be used for occasional personal communication among users; but note that these pages are public. If you want to communicate privately, use e-mail.

To write in another user's talk page, click the Discuss this page link on your sidebar when you view the user page (which you can do by clicking on a user's nickname). On the list of recent changes and on your watchlist, you can directly access a user's talk page by following the (Talk) link behind the user's name / IP address.

"Post a comment" feature

For editing a talk page, one can optionally use the "Post a comment" feature, but only for a new thread and for a reply to be put at the bottom of the last thread.

  • For a reply to be put at the bottom of the last thread, do not fill in the "Subject/headline" box. In this case it is not possible to supply an edit summary. Instead, edit the previous thread.

When using "Post a comment", an edit conflict is impossible. However, in the case that you are not starting a new thread but replying to an existing one, your response may be appended to a newly created post that was added while you wrote yours. It is therefore generally recommended to use section editing to respond, and "Post a comment" to start new threads. If your comment is accidentally misplaced, just edit the page and move it.

Standards and conventions of writing and layout

A few community standards do apply to talk pages, these are not to be taken strictly as "rules" but were developed by the users of some Wikis to make the talk pages more useful and easier to read.

  • Sign your posts: To sign a post, type three tildes (~~~), and they will be replaced with your username after saving, like this: Eloquence. Type four tildes (~~~~), and they will be replaced with your username and time stamp, like this: Eloquence 03:44 Feb 17, 2003 (UTC). On MozillaZine Knowledge Base we recommend that you try to always sign your posts on talk pages. You can also use a pseudonym, or just "--anon".
  • Use indenting to keep the conversation straight: The first contributor is all the way to the left, the next person starts with one colon (:), the next person starts with two colons. Then, when the first contributor responds, they start at the left margin again, and the second and third persons continue to mark themselves with one and two colons respectively, In that way, who is saying what is clear.
  • Separate discussion topics: Put each new topic under a different headline (== Subject ==). The "Post a comment" feature accomplishes this automatically when you enter a subject line. The edit summary is automatically the same as this header. Thus every thread is a section. This allows section editing of the thread in question. You can also use horizontal lines (----), although some users strongly dislike them.
  • Proceed vertically: The further down the contribution to talk, the later it was made.
  • Feel free to ignore typographical conventions: Do as you please to make your points clear. The style rules are for articles.
  • Make links freely: Links to articles are as useful on talk pages as anywhere else, and links to non-existent articles can help get them onto the most wanted pages list.
  • Don't misrepresent other people: Typing errors, grammar, etc are always fair game, and remove personal attacks where you can, but don't edit someone's words to have them say something they don't believe in. Editing or deleting your own words is up to you. Avoid context swizzling.
  • Archive rather than delete: When a talk page's content has become extremely large or the discussion of the issue in hand has simply died down and no one has a reasonable chance of adding to it. Then create a new page. Place the page in a talk namespace. Give it an explanatory name. Often people simply add "archive" to the original name. Explain on the archive page where the text you plan to archive will come from and provide a link. Cut the relevant content from the original page and paste it into the new page. Replace the text on the original page with a link to the archive. An alternative is to summarise the discussion and provide a link to the version with the full text.
  • Summarize discussion (or refactor): After a discussion on a page has died down for several weeks or the discussion has become heated and long, you (if you can be smart and respectful at the same time) might replace the discussion with a summary of major points, as though you were (!) writing an encyclopedia article about the discussion. If the discussion entailed opposing arguments, present the arguments from an unbiased point of view. Where possible, distinguish the common ground from the points of contention. See Refactoring talk pages below.
  • Keep to the topic: Not layout, but worth keeping in mind. Talk page discussions can be much more humorous and subjective than the typical article, but personal attacks don't do much to make articles better.
  • Use UTC when referring to a time, e.g. the time of an edit or page move.
  • When discussing the name of the page, cite the current name: if the page is moved afterwards, the Talk page is usually also moved, so then it would not be clear what you were talking about and people may think e.g. that you are suggesting to change the new name, while you were referring to the old one.


This article is great. Adam Conover 18:20 Jan 30, 2003 (UTC)

No it isn't! --hao2lian
Yes it is! --Heroist
I was talking to Adam Conover! --hao2lian

I like wojahowicz better. Adam Conover

Now, now. hao2lian