Talk pages are a special type of namespace pages, used to discuss changes on the corresponding "main" article or page. All Wikipedia articles, personal user pages, policy pages, templates, etc. have an associated talk page (linked on the English Wikipedia as "discussion" in the top menu).
- Article talk pages are used to discuss changes to the particular article.
- User talk pages are used to leave messages for particular users. A message box stating "You have new messages" is automatically displayed to a user at the top of any Wikipedia page, until they view their user talk page.
- WikiHowTo talk pages are used to discuss existing and developing policy, and proposals. The namespace in current usage it is most limited to active and updated information regarding the process of editing articles. (See meta Wikimedia for more open Wikimedia related discussion).
The "discussion" link references a page in the same namespace as the article, userpage, or template with an additional "talk" before the colon separator, for example: Talk:Foo, User talk:Foo, or Template talk:Foo (where foo is a placeholder).
Basic rules for all talk pages Edit
- Sign your comments - You can use three or four tildes (like this ~~~ and ~~~~), which are automatically converted to your username or IP.
- Log in.
- See: Howto sign your posts on talk pages
- Use coherent formatting.
- Copy formatting from others.
- Indent with colons (:), not with tabs.
- Break up very large paragraphs.
- Be civil at all times.
- Don't make personal attacks
- Don't SHOUT
- For some important guidelines on how to use a Talk Page, see Help:Talk page guidelines. See also Howto archive a talk page.
- Note: Use of the WikiHowTo talk pages is recommended as the first step in Help:Dispute resolution.
On WikiHowTo, the purpose of a talk page is to help to improve the contents of the main page, arguments relevant to changing the text, and commentary on the main page are all
It is not advised to use talk pages just for the purpose of partisan talk about the main subject. WikiHowTo is not a soapbox; it's a colection of howtos. In other words, talk about the article, not about the subject. It's only the habits we encourage that keep WikiHowTo from turning into another h2g2 or Everything2. See also: Wikiquette
It's entirely natural that partisan disputes take place on talk pages. It is the purpose of talk pages that such disputes be resolved on the talk page rather than in the article itself.
Because the wiki software platform provides for a wide range of formatting styles, proper or at least consistent formatting is essential to maintaining readable talk pages.
The depth of a message is determined by the number of colons (':') in front of the message. Each colon represents a tab, and are commonly used in discussions on user and article talk pages. If a reply is made to a statement, one adds a colon to the number of colons used in the statement being replied to. This style of conversation makes it more comprehensive to read.
How's the milk? --[[Bob]]
The above will produce this:
How's the milk? --Bob
User talk pagesEdit
Each user page also has a corresponding talk page. New additions to your own talk page will alert you with a "You have new messages" banner at the top of any Wikipedia page.
To leave a message for another user on their talk page, click the discussion link on the top of the page when you view the user page. 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. Many users have a link to their talk page built directly into their signature, as well.
Can I do whatever I want to my own user talk page?Edit
Most users treat their user talk pages like regular talk pages, and Howto archive a talk page the contents periodically to a personal subpage -- either when the page gets too large, on a regular schedule, or when they take a wikivacation. Others delete comments after they have responded to them.
Actively erasing personal messages without replying (if a reply would be appropriate or polite) will probably be interpreted as hostile. In the past, this kind of behavior has been viewed as uncivil, and this can become an issue in arbitration or other formal proceedings. Redirecting your user talk page to another page (whether meant as a joke or intended to be offensive or to send a "go away" message), except in the case of redirecting from one account to another when both are yours, can also be considered a hostile act. However, reverting such removals or redirects is not proper and may result in a block for edit warring. If someone removes your comments without answering consider moving on or dispute resolution. This is especially true for vandalism warnings - removing them from one's talk page is also considered vandalism.
If you feel that your user talk page is getting too large and is taking a long time to load, you may archive it. You may then remove comments from your talk page, but please make sure that those comments are readily accessible on another page.
Feel free to decorate your personal pages as you see fit, but keep in mind that your user talk page has the important function of allowing other editors to communicate with you. People will get upset if they cannot use it for that purpose.
How to keep a two-way conversation readable Edit
If you are writing messages back and forth between user talk pages, the resulting text can be hard to follow. Here are two systems for making what would otherwise be disjointed comments easier to follow:
- Copy the text you are replying to from your user talk page to the other person's user talk page. Put your reply right underneath it, but indent the reply section so it stands out. (Just like a regular talk page.)
- Or: Put a notice on your user talk page that you will reply there unless they ask otherwise. Do this for conversations that other people start.
- Watchlist the other person's user talk page and tell them they can reply there. Do this for conversations you start.
Other points Edit
- Except for special pages, each namespace has an associated talk namespace. The talk namespaces are designated by adding talk: to the normal prefix. For example, the talk namespace associated with the main article namespace has the prefix Talk:, while the talk namespace associated with the user namespace has the prefix User talk:.
- When discussing the name of the page or discussing merging it with another page, always mention the current page name: after renaming (moving) a page with its talk page, references to "this page name" would not make sense.
- The "Post a comment" feature allows convenient appending of a section with the section header the same as the edit summary, and typed only once. This also works on other than talk pages, only there is no link for that; one has to use the url, e.g. http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Sandbox&action=edit§ion=new
- The practice of "spamming" - posting similar messages to more than a few users' talk pages, often for the purpose of soliciting a certain action - is discouraged.