Help talk:Editing

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[edit] Style Guide Discussion

Do we need to have a "style guide" to standardize how we represent certain functions or types of info?

We have three "regular editors" now, plus a fair amount of legacy content from the old wiki (which had another handful of editors/contributors). We seem to represent only one type of thing consistently among the three of us + legacy content:

  • paths (incl. paths ending with a filename) or terminal commands

Other things seem to vary widely:

  • Menus submenus (: or -> or something else) Waldo says always use sentences, not "->". And not just sentences, but sentences that instruct the user on what to do (pull down menus, select buttons, check boxes, etc.) in the order that they appear to the user. Ie, "In the View menu, under Toolbars, select Customize."
  • Menus (standalone in text, i.e., Choose the Tools menu--sometimes boldface)
  • Filenames (standalone--should be boldface)
  • "Dialogue/window titles" or "Preference Option Name" (sometimes boldface, sometimes in "quotes")

Should we agree on a wiki style for the latter types and adhere to it from here on out, and clean up the older stuff as we get time or modify those article?

--sardisson 04:27, 29 Apr 2005 (CDT)

Good question. Having worked on a Gentoo wiki or too, i have to say I was impressed with their templates that give a unified look to the whole thing. I think a style guide is not a bad idea.. here are some suggestions.

  1. bold all filenames, menu items, application names, or any text string that appears on-screen. this will facilitate readability tremendously, especially when following instructions.
  2. put "pre" or "tt" tags around all typed Terminal commands (or use something similar to the gentoo templates.)
  3. When describing procedures to be done that involve rooting through menus, list the menu items in the order they appear to the user. for example: "In the menu bar, under the File item, select Save."
  4. I think that writing directions out in English has several advantages over the "Item 1 > Item 2" method of indicating options/navigation. For one thing, there is not much room for misunderstanding when you say "Make sure that the whatever radio button is selected." or "Press the Ok button to continue." Also, it is more accessible, I think, to a newbie user who may not be familiar with the 'item->item' shorthand.
  5. When issuing a series of instructions, I think it's always a good idea to express to the user what will happen next, ie "Press the Ok button. A window labeled Preferences will appear."

I'm sure I'll think of more style stuff... this is just a start.. I think the gentoo wiki templates really help unify the site and the navigation stuff facilitates site organization and helps you get around easily.

--Waldo 04:46, 29 Apr 2005 (CDT)

FWIW here is a sample HOWTO I wrote for gentoo. This was the first one I wrote, and it was really easy w/the templates... see how it fits w/the entire site?

--Waldo 05:25, 29 Apr 2005 (CDT)

I'd really like to differentiate window/item titles from filenames and menus; otherwise, I've updated my list of style to match Waldo's text description.

--sardisson 22:34, 2 May 2005 (CDT)

[edit] Mac vs. Windows/*nix

Since the goal of Neo/J is making OOo more Mac-like, we should always prefer "Mac conventions" where possible; e.g., sending someone to the Activity Monitor utility to quit a hung process instead of ps -aux | grep blah, and using the Preferences... item in the NeoOffice menu rather than the Windows-like Tools menu, Options item.

If something can't be done (or can't be done as easily) without firing up the Terminal, fine, but let's prefer Mac-friendly instructions. This also conforms with Waldo's points 3-6 above.

--sardisson 04:51, 14 Jul 2005 (CDT)

this page may need some cleaning. =D

as for the template list, here is an easy way to find it:

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