Help:Talk pages

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This page is a help page
It is meant to detail processes or procedures of some aspect or aspects of The Sims Wiki's norms and practices. It is not a policy page.

Almost every page on this wiki has an associated talk page (also known as a discussion page), which is used by editors to discuss improvements to the page. You can access the talk page of any page by clicking on the 'Discussion' tab at the top of the page.

The talk page of a page will share the same name as the page it is associated with, but will have a Talk: prefix (note the colon) in front of it. For example, the talk page of The Sims 2 is Talk:The Sims 2. For pages in other namespaces (for example, the template namespace), the prefix will be the name of the namespace, followed by the word "talk". For example, the talk page of The Sims Wiki:About is The Sims Wiki talk:About, and the talk page of Template:Transclusion demo is Template talk:Transclusion demo.

Talk pages are very similar to other wiki pages in that anyone can edit them. The main difference is in how talk pages are used; regular wiki pages are usually used to hold content, while talk pages are used for discussion.

Talk page conventions[edit source]

Using a talk page may seem strange at first. They are not like other kinds of discussion methods out there on the Internet. You may be more used to "threaded" style discussions where everyone's comments are separated from each other, and where you cannot edit other people's comments. A talk page, by contrast, is just a regular wiki page: you can edit it and write your comments, and other people can technically edit the page later on and remove or even modify your comments. As with other discussion tools on the Internet, there are conventions that everyone needs to follow if they want to use talk pages in a cooperative manner.

  • Editing other people's comments is strongly discouraged. It is not forbidden, but it is looked down upon. If you have a new comment to add, you should add it on a new line of the page, respecting where other people's comments are located. You should not remove someone else's comments or edit them because you disagree with them, nor should you replace someone else's comments or tack your own comments at the end of someone else's. Respect other people's space and opinions.
  • Identify yourself! Like with any other wiki page, if you just write something down and then publish the edit, your name doesn't appear next to what you wrote. Imagine writing something down on a piece of paper and not writing your name down on it. How are people supposed to know it was you who wrote it? As such, on talk pages, you should always sign your posts so that other people know who wrote it and when. You do this by adding four tildes (~~~~) at the end of your comments. When you publish the edit, it will automatically turn into a link to your userpage, along with the date and time you wrote the comments.
  • Keep things tidy. On talk pages, we try to separate discussions by topic, or thread. Everything in that thread should focus on that discussion topic. If you would like to start a new discussion on something else, you should start a new thread and begin the discussion there. You can do this by adding a Level 2 heading at the bottom of the page, and then writing your comments there. Also, if you are replying to someone on a talk page, it is good practice to make it easier to read by starting your response on a new line below the comment you are replying to, and then indent it by adding a colon (:) at the very start of the line.
  • Assume good faith! What this means is: assume that other people are here to help improve the project, not hurt it. If someone has a suggestion, assume first that they intended to help the project, even if their suggestion doesn't seem that way at first glance. In that spirit, do not be rude or mean to other editors, and do not insult them or use harsh language. Disagreements are a very normal part of working together, but they are also great opportunities to learn and work towards a solution. Assuming that everyone wants to help out is an important first step in preventing disagreements from turning into unsightly brawls where everyone is fighting each other.

Keep in mind that all edits to a talk page are, like any other page, recorded in the page history, so other editors will notice if you are not following these conventions. We will also explain these conventions in more detail further down this page, so do not be alarmed if you are confused.

Talk page basics[edit source]

Here's an example of what a talk page discussion looks like.

You type You get
== Soup ==
How's the soup? --[[User:Example|Bob]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:07, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
: It's great!! --[[User:Example|Simon]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 11:21, 28 August 1991 (UTC)
:: I made it myself! -- [[User:Example|Bob]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 14:11, 3 September 1991 (UTC)
I think the soup-discussion should be moved to [[Talk:Soup]].. --[[User:Example|Lisa]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 21:55, 3 September 1991 (UTC)
Soup

How's the soup? --Bob (talk) 18:07, 26 August 1991 (UTC)

It's great!! --Simon (talk) 11:21, 28 August 1991 (UTC)
I made it myself! -- Bob (talk) 14:11, 3 September 1991 (UTC)

I think the soup-discussion should be moved to Talk:Soup.. --Lisa (talk) 21:55, 3 September 1991 (UTC)

Let's say you want to respond to Lisa. To do this, add a new line under Lisa's comments, and then start the line with a colon (:). Then, type in what you want to say. Finally, type in four tildes to add your signature.

You type You get
== Soup ==
How's the soup? --[[User:Example|Bob]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:07, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
: It's great!! --[[User:Example|Simon]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 11:21, 28 August 1991 (UTC)
:: I made it myself! -- [[User:Example|Bob]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 14:11, 3 September 1991 (UTC)
I think the soup-discussion should be moved to [[Talk:Soup]].. --[[User:Example|Lisa]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 21:55, 3 September 1991 (UTC)
: You have a good point, but I think that it should stay here, now that it has already started. ~~~~
Soup

How's the soup? --Bob (talk) 18:07, 26 August 1991 (UTC)

It's great!! --Simon (talk) 11:21, 28 August 1991 (UTC)
I made it myself! -- Bob (talk) 14:11, 3 September 1991 (UTC)

I think the soup-discussion should be moved to Talk:Soup.. --Lisa (talk) 21:55, 3 September 1991 (UTC)

You have a good point, but I think that it should stay here, now that it has already started. --John (talk) 23:20, 5 September 1991 (UTC)

This is the most basic way to use a talk page. Note that, while we could edit other people's comments, in practice we do not, as we respect them and their comments. We respond by starting a new line on the page and adding our comments there. We generally do not modify what other people have said, as this is disrespectful.

Starting a new thread[edit source]

To start a discussion on another topic, create a new section, or thread, on the page.

  1. Click on the "New section" button at the top of the page.
  2. Enter a title for your thread in the "Subject:" field. Keep it short but specific.
  3. Type in your message in the edit box below.
  4. Add the end of your message, type ~~~~ to add your signature.
  5. Click 'Publish changes'.

This will create a new section with a Level 2 heading containing the contents of the Subject: field, and your message located under that heading.

Replying to an existing thread[edit source]

To leave a comment in an existing thread:

  1. Click on the 'edit' link on the heading of the thread you want to respond to.
  2. To respond to the thread as a whole, just start a new line at the bottom of the section and leave your comments. To respond to a specific comment, add a new line below the comment you are responding to, and indent your comment by adding one colon (:) at the very beginning of the line.
  3. Add the end of your message, type ~~~~ to add your signature.
  4. Click 'Publish changes'.

Indentation[edit source]

Indentation is used to make talk pages easier to read and follow. This helps users see which comment you are responding to, and keeps the page from looking like one long tower of text. You can indent comments by adding a colon (:) to the start of the line. Adding multiple colons will increase the level of indentation. Each comment should be indented one level more than the comment it is responding to. The first comment in a section does not have any colons in front of it. For example:

You type You get
== Coffee ==
Coffee is a wonderful drink that everyone enjoys! --[[User:Example|Bob]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:07, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
: Actually, not everyone likes coffee. --[[User:Example|Jonah]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:14, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
:: That statement should be clarified to be more specific. For example, children generally don't like coffee. --[[User:Example|Udbhav]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:44, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
::: Don't forget the fact that some people prefer tea over coffee. --[[User:Example|Tessa]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 19:01, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
: (re. to Bob) I completely agree with you! Coffee is amazing! --[[User:Example|Jensen]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:21, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
We should buy fair trade coffee instead. --[[User:Example|Amanda]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 21:15, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
: Yes, that is a good choice to make. --[[User:Example|George]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 00:15, 27 August 1991 (UTC)
Coffee

Coffee is a wonderful drink that everyone enjoys! --Bob (talk) 18:07, 26 August 1991 (UTC)

Actually, not everyone likes coffee. --Jonah (talk) 18:14, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
That statement should be clarified to be more specific. For example, children generally don't like coffee. --Udbhav (talk) 18:44, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
Don't forget the fact that some people prefer tea over coffee. --Tessa (talk) 19:01, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
(re. to Bob) I completely agree with you! Coffee is amazing! --Jensen (talk) 18:21, 26 August 1991 (UTC)

We should buy fair trade coffee instead. --Amanda (talk) 21:15, 26 August 1991 (UTC)

Yes, that is a good choice to make. --George (talk) 00:15, 27 August 1991 (UTC)

Some pages may use asterisks (*) instead of colons (:) for indentation. The main difference is that the discussion is formatted as an unordered list with bullets, and that the first comment needs to start with an asterisk (*) too. There is usually no real preference over whether to use indentation or lists; the important bit is that you shouldn't mix them together. For instance, if a discussion is already using colons for indentation, don't use asterisks for a list; and if a discussion is already using asterisks for a list, don't use colons for indentation.

You type You get
== Coffee ==
* Coffee is a wonderful drink that everyone enjoys! --[[User:Example|Bob]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:07, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
** Actually, not everyone likes coffee. --[[User:Example|Jonah]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:14, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
*** That statement should be clarified to be more specific. For example, children generally don't like coffee. --[[User:Example|Udbhav]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:44, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
**** Don't forget the fact that some people prefer tea over coffee. --[[User:Example|Tessa]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 19:01, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
** (re. to Bob) I completely agree with you! Coffee is amazing! --[[User:Example|Jensen]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 18:21, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
* We should buy fair trade coffee instead. --[[User:Example|Amanda]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 21:15, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
** Yes, that is a good choice to make. --[[User:Example|George]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 00:15, 27 August 1991 (UTC)
Coffee
  • Coffee is a wonderful drink that everyone enjoys! --Bob (talk) 18:07, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
    • Actually, not everyone likes coffee. --Jonah (talk) 18:14, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
      • That statement should be clarified to be more specific. For example, children generally don't like coffee. --Udbhav (talk) 18:44, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
        • Don't forget the fact that some people prefer tea over coffee. --Tessa (talk) 19:01, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
    • (re. to Bob) I completely agree with you! Coffee is amazing! --Jensen (talk) 18:21, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
  • We should buy fair trade coffee instead. --Amanda (talk) 21:15, 26 August 1991 (UTC)
    • Yes, that is a good choice to make. --George (talk) 00:15, 27 August 1991 (UTC)

Do not use more than one line break between indented lines of text, since this can cause issues with screen readers. Also, do not use colons for indentation in regular wiki pages, since this is not their intended purpose.

Notifications[edit source]

Main article: Help:Notifications

If you are responding to someone, it may be helpful to send them a notification to let them know that you have responded. You can do this easily by using the {{Reply to}} template. The notification will be delivered in the "notifications" box at the top of the page. We call this pinging, or mentioning, the user. For example, to ping a user with the username "Editor 1", type the following:

You type You get
{{Reply to|Editor 1}} You may be interested in this. ~~~~

@Editor 1: You may be interested in this. --Username (talk) 19:37, 12 December 2019 (UTC)

Here are some important notes for using this system:

  • You need to sign your post for this to work. You must do this by typing four tildes (~~~~) at the end of your comments. If you forget to sign, you cannot resend the notification by simply adding your signature; you need to start a new line and use the template again for it to be resent.
  • This system works by seeing if you have a link to their user page in your comments. You can ping "Editor 1" by simply typing [[User:Editor 1]] somewhere in your comments (and provided that you have signed your post).
  • You can't simply type the @ symbol in front of their username. For example, you cannot ping "Editor 1" by simply typing @Editor 1 on the page. Remember that the system only works if you link to their user page.

We highly recommend that you set up notifications for failed pings, which will notify you in case your ping did not go through and the other person did not receive it. You can do this by going into your user preferences, going into the 'Notifications' tab, and then selecting the 'Failed mentions' checkbox.

User talk pages[edit source]

When someone leaves you a message on your user talk page, an orange box will appear at the top of the page.

A user talk page is the talk page for your user page. If your username was "John Doe", your user page would be located at the title "User:John Doe", and your user talk page would be located at "User talk:John Doe". User talk pages are used to leave messages directly for a particular user. For example, a user can contact you by leaving you a message on "User talk:John Doe". When you are logged in, you will see a notification at the very top of the page letting you know that you have new messages on your user talk page. If you want to leave a message for the user "Editor 1", you would leave them a message on the page "User talk:Editor 1".

You can access the user talk page of a user by clicking on the 'talk' link that appears next to their username when viewing recent changes or page histories. Signatures on talk pages will also usually have a "talk" link that points to their user talk page.

You can access your own user talk page by clicking on the 'Talk' link at the top-right corner of the page, or by following this link.

Here's a few guidelines for using user talk pages:

  • Users do not "own" their talk pages. You cannot, for instance, ban everyone from being able to leave you messages on your user talk page, or inappropriately edit other people's messages. Your user talk page is public and is ultimately owned by the community at large. Your user talk page is how other members of the community are able to contact you.
  • You have some limited control over your own talk page. For example, you can leave introductory notes or even decorations at the top of your user talk page to personalize it. You can also freely remove most messages other people leave on your talk page. Other people are expected to respect your user talk page by not removing messages or editing other content without your permission.
  • Talk pages aren't private. Everyone can see a user talk page, not just the person it belongs to. The Sims Wiki isn't responsible for, and should not be used for, the transmission of private information. Consider using email to send messages that other people shouldn't be able to read.
  • Use user talk pages responsibly. The main goal of a wiki is still to work towards improving its content. User talk pages are not a good way of messaging users about other off-topic stuff. There are plenty of other social media sites out there that are better suited for this purpose. You are still expected to be civil and observe good netiquette when talking to other users, whether it be on your own or someone else's talk page.

Being civil[edit source]

You are interacting with other people on the Internet, who may have different thoughts, beliefs, concerns, and ideas that you do. You will not always agree with what other people have to say, and other people may not agree with what you have to say. It is actually perfectly normal for people to disagree; it's what makes us unique, and having different people with different ideas helps the project diversify and grow. However, a lot of people think disagreements are a bad thing, and that disagreements must always result in fighting. This is not a good way to view things, as fighting can damage the collaborative spirit of the wiki and makes it harder for editors to work out issues and, ultimately, to improve the wiki.

A good way to help resolve disputes is to try to look at things from both sides of the argument. Try looking at and reflecting on the advantages and disadvantages of a proposal. If you are supportive of something, try looking at the reasons why others may be against it. Focus on what other people say and not who is saying them; in other words, don't go looking at their user page to go criticizing them over something about them, since that derails the conversation. If someone disagrees with you, don't take it personally; they may be disagreeing with what you are saying, but it's not because they don't like you or think you're stupid. If you feel like you're getting heated and angry, step away from the discussion for a bit and go for a walk. It is never a good idea to try to have a discussion online when you're feeling angry.

Remember that talk pages are used to help facilitate the development of a wiki page, so discussions there should ultimately go for improving the page. Making the wiki better with each edit should be in your mind when using the talk page.

Archiving[edit source]

When a talk page gets very long, it may be helpful to archive old discussions in order to keep the page from getting too long and out of hand. See Help:Archiving a talk page for how to do that.

See also[edit source]