Ultronomicon talk:Manual of Style

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I haven't really contributed much, but I added just a few things to this style guide based on what I've seen around Ultronomicon. Please feel free to edit the guide and discuss anything that you disagree with here. Thanks! --Phoenix (t) 22:53, 4 Oct 2005 (CEST)

Language[edit]

I wrote American English just because I've seen most articles using it. I personally prefer to use British English, so I will not object if we decide to use that instead (in fact, I'd enthusiastically support the use of British English). --Phoenix (t) 22:53, 4 Oct 2005 (CEST)

I unfortunately have to agree. I prefer British English in general myself, and I'll do use it on the talk pages, but the game itself is in American English, and as such American English seems most appropriate for the actual articles. -- SvdB 20:59, 8 Oct 2005 (CEST)
Ah yes, I didn't even think of that. --Phoenix (t) 19:05, 10 Oct 2005 (CEST)

General style guide comments[edit]

If this style guide is going to stand a chance of actually being read, it's got to be a lot more terse. With that in mind, I'm going to be bold and scrap the entire introduction, which is just stating the obvious.

I'll update the style guide to address your "(disputes)" which are probably satisfied here. --Phoenix (t) 15:38, 11 Oct 2005 (CEST)


Side boxes[edit]

I also think the explanation on the various side boxes does not belong on this page. Ultronomicon:Templates perhaps, or else a new page. This page is about style, not a technical manual.

However, I think we need an explanation on the use of the {{RaceBox}} template, because these boxes need to be consistent. Some of the fields could be filled out in different ways: I think the style guide should specify how this box is filled out.

About the side boxes, I agree that people should know it, but to keep this page readable, I suggest to only make a reference here, and point to a page that contains the details. Something like "The various side boxes need to be filled in correctly and consistently. Read <this page> to see how it is done."

I disagree about moving the side boxes to another article linked from the style guide. I think the style guide should be a reference. It can be read from top to bottom if desired, but it's not really designed to be as such. I see the style guide as something that writers and editors refer to if they have a question about how to write content. I think all the data should be on one page. Having to click a link to get to more content is difficult, and it is also annoying when one wants to print out the page to have a reference with which to edit content. The TOC contains hyperlinks to all the relevant sections, and as long as the headings are verbose enough, I think that should be sufficient for the writer or editor to refer to the correct section.

About the side boxes: To be complete and consistent, we'd want to explain how all the various race boxes work. Consider how large this page would become then. I agree that they should be described, but I don't think it should be on this page. A remark here "For consistency, it's important that the various templates are filled in in the same way. The page ... explains how they are to be used." would do the trick imho. Having a separate page allows the reader to find specifically the information he's interested more easilly. Also, when someone reads the entire page from top to bottom, which imho is something all contributors should do, he/she won't remember all these details anyhow. The template stuff is more of a reference thing that people should know where to find when they need it, not something that is vital that they know when they start editing the Ultronomicon. Most starting editors won't be adding side boxes anyhow.

Do you mean we'd have to explain how all the various sideboxes work? If so, right now, I can only think of two: the {{RaceBox}} and the prototypical {{ShipBox}}. I think the presence of just two boxes should be okay. If the number of side boxes requiring a style guide entry reaches an unmanageable size, I'd agree, but right now, I only see two side boxes that require such an entry, and the style guide can easily handle a few more. In addition, I don't think all fields require an extensive entry. When I get around to expanding the ship box template to include details such as turning rate and battery regeneration, I can just lump all these together into one entry and say "specify the integer as noted in the source code", or something like that.

The Flagship/Vindicator[edit]

We should also stick to one "name" or for the flagship, to keep things clean. I'd say "The Flagship" when used as a title (which it is in most of the cases where you'd want a wiki link). When used as a description it should be lowercase; you'd just be using it as an English word. Suggested phrasing: Use "The Flagship" (note the capitalisation) to refer to the one and only Precursor ship controlled by the player. When refering to the ship by description, used "flagship" as you would in any other English text. Similarly, we should stick to one way of writing "The Captain". — SvdB 08:30, 11 Oct 2005 (CEST)

The Captain/Zelnick[edit]

Okay, I like your phrasing of "The Flagship", but I'm a little conflicted about "The Captain". There have been some cases where "the Captain" would be appropriate, but you're probably right. Just sticking with one eliminates the possibility of mistakes. --Phoenix (t) 15:38, 11 Oct 2005 (CEST)

You said there were cases where "the Captain" would be appropriate. Could you give an example?

The more I think about it, the more I agree that "The Captain" is fine for cases where I previously used "the Captain". Before, I used "the Captain" when it's not the start of a sentence (such as right after a comma), but when you think of "The Captain" as an actual name instead of a title or rank, it seems much more appropriate. Here's one case where I think "the Captain" may have been appropriate (from QuasiSpace Portal Spawner, which currently uses "Captain Zelnick"):

In order to allow The Captain to use such a Spawner on the much larger Vindicator, the Arilou had to amplify a standard Spawner's power using a Warp Pod scavenged from the wreck of an Ur-Quan Kzer-Za Dreadnought at Alpha Pavonis (coordinates 56.2:800).

I think the capitalisation looks a little awkward here. However, I can't very well say use "the Captain" in cases where "The Captain" doesn't look good, can I?

I think "The Captain" works. The capital "T" makes it clear that it's not just any captain, it is the captain.

Humans/humans[edit]

Another issue: "Humans", capitalised or not? — SvdB 08:30, 11 Oct 2005 (CEST)

I thought about the capitalisation of "Human", and I consciously chose to capitalise it (as you noticed, since you're asking me about it). This makes it consistent with how we describe the other races. We're "humans", but the Ultronomicon reads like an intergalactic document: "Humans" are just one among many races. So far, I haven't seen many "ur-quan", "shofixti", or "mycons", so I don't think we should be describing "humans" as if they were somehow different from the rest of the spacefaring races.

I agree with "Humans" btw. I think consistency among SC races is more important than the convention in daily life in this case.

New Alliance name[edit]

"We chose the first option because it gives continuity from the original Alliance of Free Stars." It does give continuity, but I don't consider that the reason. In fact, whether we even want to suggest continuity is open for discussion. I personally like the name because it is descriptive. But we didn't conciuously made any choice. — SvdB 08:30, 11 Oct 2005 (CEST)

With the name of the alliance, I definitely chose it simply because that was in use of the Wiki, but since I haven't really been in on it, perhaps you can note why we chose the name in the style guide. Or, if you wish, we can even just say "We chose the first option because we said so." :-)

Someone started using "The New Alliance of Free Stars" to refer to the alliance, and it stuck. It should really be discussed, and if something else is decided, some pages would have to be changed.

BTW, when referring to the name of the new alliance, are you emphasising the fact that there is a leading "The", or just that the "New Alliance" was chosen as the option out of the four possible alliance names?

My remark about the new alliance was about the choice that the player gets in the beginning of the game. — SvdB 13:20, 19 Oct 2005 (CEST)

I see a few ways of dealing with the name of the new alliance.

  1. New Alliance of Free Stars— Based on your earlier comments, I think we both like this option, though others may not. It provides a clear description of just what this alliance is. Since it's only one of four options that the player can choose, this official title might not be appropriate.
  2. New Alliance (or The/the New Alliance?)— I saw an article that used this terminology (sadly, I don't remember which one it was), and thought about it as a possible title. This style keeps to how we use The Captain and The Flagship as "official names" for what is largely at the player's discretion. The problem with this is that it is a little confusing because it sounds a lot like "New Alliance of Free Stars", and since it sounds so unofficial, I'm not sure if it's appropriate to use it as an official name for a race box.
  3. The Captain's Alliance— I thought of this one as I was typing the first two options. This is also in the style if The Captain and The Flagship, but sounds official enough and different enough from one of the four possible player-choice options that it would be appropriate to use in a race box.

I still like the use of "New Alliance of Free Stars" because it's descriptive and it's certainly very official-sounding (since it's an official name), but I think "The Captain's Alliance" might be a viable alternative. What do you think? --Phoenix (t) 17:31, 20 Oct 2005 (CEST)

I think we need to hear more opinions. As for the side boxes, I guess it will do for now. I'd still prefer them at the bottom of the page though, so that people who give up reading then at least got the most important stuff. — SvdB 12:43, 21 Oct 2005 (CEST)

Yeah, I moved "Race boxes" to a new "Text box template" section at the bottom of the style guide. I'd like to hear more opinions too. --Phoenix (t) 18:10, 21 Oct 2005 (CEST)
I guess I could throw in my two cents. While I can see the reasons, and kind of agree with them, for putting the various box explanations on a separate page, if the headings are done right on this page then the TOC provides a quick link to that information. Moving the section to the end (like SvdB suggested and Pheonix just did) improves the overall readability of the page. Another box that should be addressed in this list is the {{PlanetBox}}. The other thing that we could do is somehow put the explanations in the talk page of each text box, and include the "For consistency..." comment with links to the respective talk pages. I'm not too keen on this idea, but I thought I'd just throw it out there as a possibility. On most of the other topics, I think you all have hammered it out pretty well. When I have little more time I might add a few thoughts. Fyzixfighter 19:38, 21 Oct 2005 (CEST)
Thanks for your feedback. I've added the {{PlanetBox}} section, but feel free to edit it if I've missed anything. Hmmm... I don't see anything wrong with adding a link to the style guide into the talk pages of each side box. It might help people to know how to use a particular template. --Phoenix (t) 22:28, 21 Oct 2005 (CEST)
After running around the wikipedia help sites, I've found something of a standard that they use for templates and infoboxes at wikipedia:m:Help:Template#Template talk page:
...the template talk page has an especially important role. It typically consists of two parts:
  • the first part explaining the template and its parameters
    • preferably examples are given of template calls (put them in nowiki tags) and the results (put the template call without nowiki tags in the wikitext)
  • the second part used for the ordinary talk page function
Take it for what it's worth, I still don't think we are over-burgeoning the style guide page yet with the number of infoboxes we have and with keeping the section at the bottom of the page. --Fyzixfighter 02:12, 16 Nov 2005 (CET)

Ur-Quan Hierarchy/Battle Thralls[edit]

A remark about Hierarchy of Battle Thralls" to denote Battle Thralls and "Ur-Quan Hierarchy (fallow slave)" to denote the slave-shielded races.. It makes it sound like the Hierarchy of Battle Thralls is something else than the Ur-Quan Hierarchy, which it isn't. I'm not sure what the best way to solve it is though.

I agree about the Hierarchy of Battle Thralls, but that depends on the actual name. I don't have SC1 in front of me right now, so I don't quite remember how it was referred, but this image seems to indicate that it was just called "Ur-Quan Hierarchy". If that's the case, perhaps to be consistent with how we denote fallow slave, we should instead say to use the following:

"Ur-Quan Hierarchy (battle thrall)" to denote battle thralls and "Ur-Quan Hierarchy (fallow slave)" to denote the slave-shielded races.

Either redirect battle thrall to Battle Thrall, or move Battle Thrall to battle thrall to eliminate the red link. This is probably ideal because Hierarchy of Battle Thralls is just a redirect to Ur-Quan Hierarchy anyway. --Phoenix (t) 20:00, 12 Oct 2005 (CEST)

The term "Ur-Quan Hierarchy" vastly outnumbers "Hierarchy of Battle Thralls". Neither of these terms is ever spoken by either Ur-Quan race. It seems more to be a name given by the allies based on a description, then an actual name. Interestingly, when "Hierarchy of Battle Thralls" is used, it's always as "[The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za] and their Hierarchy of Battle Thralls". Using "Ur-Quan Hierarchy" seems like the better choice now to me. I agree with your description of how to reference battle thralls and fallow slaves.

"Official" canon?[edit]

When I was reading some of the articles, I was thinking about something that (Svdb said about game events: events that have to happen in order for the game to end successfully, and side events (side plots?) that are purely optional. A lot of the articles are very well written and read like historical reference works, but I wonder if player-determined side plots should be mentioned as canon. Just like the use of (optional) to denote payer actions determining certain races' memberships in organisations, perhaps we should use a beginning and ending template, something like "Optional events: the following events are largely dependent on what the player chooses to do in Star Control II." and "End of optional events.", or words to that effect. I think it's also safe to say that the game was finished before the Kohr-Ah had a chance to cleanse any of the races that were still around at the beginning of the game.

Examples of canon events:

In that case, we should probably also have a page that describes canonical events and optional events. I think it could be in the style guide if it's small enough. If it becomes too large, maybe in a separate page linked from the editing essentials and style guide pages. Thoughts? --Phoenix (t) 18:18, 20 Oct 2005 (CEST)

I did a rough draft of "canon" events, and if we decide to do something like this, it should definitely be a separate page, owing to the size and the huge potential for spoilers. --Phoenix (t) 21:52, 20 Oct 2005 (CEST)

I don't like the word "canon" in this context. What we're discussing here is how we describe the events in the Ultronomicon, not what is considered as part of the SC2 universe. I also don't like the past tense used in the articles myself. I'd prefer "When the beast is handed over to ZEX, it will escape and kill ZEX." instead of "After the beast has been handed over to ZEX, it escaped and killed ZEX.". I don't think we'd need an "optional events" template. A separate section would do just fine and look much nicer imho. — SvdB 13:03, 21 Oct 2005 (CEST)

Yeah, I read Canon a little while afterwards. Yeah, I think you're right, it's better to put a separate section instead of a template. What would we name the new section? Player-specific events? Not sure. --Phoenix (t) 17:59, 21 Oct 2005 (CEST)
How about "optional events"?
SvdB 23:15, 21 Oct 2005 (CEST)
Sounds good. Hmmm... now we need to make sure we get the "mandatory events" right (though, of course, we shouldn't name them as such). Did I miss anything in my draft of the mandatory events? --Phoenix (t) 16:29, 24 Oct 2005 (CEST)
The only event that I question is the sending of the Ilwrath against the Thraddash. Granted, I think that I've always sent the ilwrath up there to get decimated. What happens if you don't do this, or what events force you to send the ilwrath up there? Fyzixfighter 04:55, 25 Oct 2005 (CEST)
Sending the Ilwrath to fight the Thraddash was necessary in order to gain access to Procyon (the Chenjesu homeworld). Normally, Procyon is guarded by an infinite number of Thraddash ships. --Phoenix (t) 05:22, 25 Oct 2005 (CEST)
It's not entirely complete, but once it's incorporated in some page everyone can fill in the gaps and pick on the details. For instance, to get the Talking Pet, you'd have to meet with the zombie Umgah, and they will only turn zombie after you've visited the Arilou homeworld. — SvdB 16:58, 30 Oct 2005 (CET)
Okay, I'll refine it the next chance I get and maybe put it up for editing. I haven't tried this, so I'm not sure what the answer is, but what happens if you go to the Umgah homeworld before talking to the Arilou? The standard unlimited Drones? (this matter is probably best left for the discussion page for the future "mandatory events" page) --Phoenix (t) 04:30, 31 Oct 2005 (CET)
I've created the new article at Ultronomicon:Game events and will provide a link in the main style guide. --Phoenix (t) 17:15, 31 Oct 2005 (CET)
If you happen before, you just get plain crazy blobbies. If you piss them off you've got the standard infinite fleet. — SvdB 18:23, 3 Nov 2005 (CET)

Clan/clan?[edit]

Okay, here's something I'm having difficult with that would make a good addition to the style guide: How do I capitalise the word "Clan" when referring to the Yehat? With a few exceptions, the game dialogues typically capitalise all instances of "Clan", and I went ahead and capitalised it as such. Definite capitalisation would be actual names of clans, such as "Zeep-Zeep Clan" or "Starship Clans". How would I capitalise "Clan" when used to describe a generic Yehat clan? An example would be in Yehat:

"The Yehat race consists of different Warrior clans, ..."

I think this should either be "Warrior Clans" or "warrior clans", but which one? We definitely need to add various examples to specify how to capitalise this word. --Phoenix (t) 20:47, 24 Oct 2005 (CEST)

When I originally wrote up the Veep-Neep page, I had this same question. I went with capitalizing every single occurrence of the word. In hindsight, that might have been a bit much. Certainly, in the case of the Yehat, there is only one exception when they don't capitalize the word. External sources (like Hayes, the sc2 manual, the resource guide) use clan. The Captain, in one of the dialog options, uses "Clans" however. IMHO the word when not capitalized refers to generic, hereditary groupings, but could be capitalized to add emphasis to the idea of the Yehat social/government structure. For example:
"the warlords tried to unite the clans"
vs.
"the warlords tried to unite the Clans"
In the first one, the warlords are merely trying to unite arbitrary groupings of Yehat. But in the second one, there is added emphasis that these were autonomous, social, political units - like mini-countries - that were more than just family groupings. So for the sentence you bring up, I'd use either "warrior clans" or "warrior Clans", depending on what you're trying to emphasize and communicate. I'm against capitalizing "warrior" because it isn't really part of the title, unlike "Starship", "Royalist", or "Homeworld". I probably should go back over the Veep-Neep article and see which Clans could be changed to clans.
The counter-argument could be made that we should do like the extra-Yehat sources and capitalize sparingly, if at all, since we ourselves are not Yehat. But I think you lose the nuisance of the Yehat cultural meaning of the word. Fyzixfighter 23:28, 24 Oct 2005 (CEST)
Good points. The capitalisation of "Clans" is akin to a title. If it's a title or a name, we capitalise it, otherwise, we don't. I agree that warrior should stay in lower case. I think the simplest thing to do is to list the specific cases where we should capitalise it, and have lower case for everything else. I can immediately think of Yehat Clans, Starship Clans, and Zeep-Pleep Clans (my take on "Example Clans"). Homeworld Clans might be capitalised as a counterpoint to Starship Clans, but this isn't an "official name" that is actually stated in the game dialogs. --Phoenix (t) 04:27, 25 Oct 2005 (CEST)
True, they never say Homeworld Clans. The closest thing in the dialogs is when the Yehat reference the Homeworld dandies. Whether they're capitalizing Homeworld because it's a title for those Clans, because it's the Yehat homeworld, or because they just like to capitalize words isn't clear. But like you said, it provides a good counter-name to the Starship Clans. Fyzixfighter 18:37, 26 Oct 2005 (CEST)
Agreeing with the comments about 'clan', except that I don't think "clan" in "Yehat clans" should be capitalised usually, when it will just be a description. It's borderline though and dependant on the context. As Fyzixfighter said, it depends on whether you want emphasise the clans as an entity. Also, there's no need to talk about "homeworld clans". We have the term "Royalists". — SvdB 17:06, 30 Oct 2005 (CET)
Good points, except I'm not sure about the last one. I think the Royalists and the "Homeworld clans/Clans" are not necessarily mutually exclusive, because not all Royalists are from the homeworld. For example, the Feep-Eeep Clan are part of the Royalists, but they are actually one of the Starship Clans. --Phoenix (t) 04:27, 31 Oct 2005 (CET)
Good point. — SvdB 18:00, 3 Nov 2005 (CET)

PC vs. 3DO differences[edit]

What should the scheme be for handling the content differences between the different versions of Star Control II? I can think of at least two differences that are causing problems as I plan edits. The first is the fate of the Ur-Quan fleet after the destruction of the Sa-Matra (see here for the discussion about this). And the second is the description of Syra and Syreen physiology. The PC version has the diurnal cycles of Humans and Syreen the same, the 3DO (and UQM for that matter) have it being different. There are probably a few others that are significant, so it'd be nice to agree on how to handle these. --Fyzixfighter 18:31, 2 Nov 2005 (CET)

The way we handle version differences in the UQM project is to consider the reasons for the change. If it's likely that the change was made because the 3DO didn't have the capabilities, we go with the PC version. With intentional changes that could have left alone we go with the 3DO version. Now with the Ultronomicon it is a bit different, as we can specify *both* cases, and I think that unless it is clear that TFB intended one specific version, we should go with that. And even in the case that we know what TFB intended, we should mention that there is another version, which is considered "wrong".
BTW, for the UQM project, I have a list of similar questions I intend to mail TFB about at some point.
SvdB 18:20, 3 Nov 2005 (CET)
The only article that I've found that tries to explain a major content/conversation difference between the 3DO and PC versions is Glilandy, using brackets around the discrepancy. Is the style that should be used for other similar differences? Or do I just come out and say something like:
"In the PC version, the Syreen and Human diurnal cycle are nearly identical. However, in the 3DO version, Talana states that the Syreen diurnal cycle is fifty percent longer than the Human diurnal cycle."
Or do I add a comment about the difference like an editorial comment, using italics? --Fyzixfighter 10:10, 10 Nov 2005 (CET)

(indent left) I would favour using italics to explain specific differences. It depends on your writing style. In your example, I'd do something like the following:

The Syreen and Human diurnal cycle are nearly identical, though reports vary.
In the 3DO version, Talana states that the Syreen diurnal cycle is 50% longer than the Human diurnal cycle.

--Phoenix (t) 14:03, 10 Nov 2005 (CET)

I've gone ahead and made some changes on the Sa-Matra, Syreen, and Ur-Quan articles to account for the differences. I opted to just state both equally, since neither has a dominant claim to be correct. The meta-italics, imho, implied a judgement that one set of information was more correct than the other. The more I think about this, the more I like the idea of using a notes and references section at the bottom of the article to give greater detail on the source of the discrepancy and to give those hard to find sources for debated comments. --Fyzixfighter 07:13, 12 Nov 2005 (CET)

Or use the italics to point out the differences between the PC and 3DO version while the "official" text states both as possibilities (along with our ubiquitous "reports vary" text). --Phoenix (t) 19:08, 14 Nov 2005 (CET)
That might work. I'm a little worried about the italicized text breaking up the flow of the article if placed after the paragraph in question. But if we put it at the end of the article, people might forget what the comments are referring back to for large articles. Hence some kind of footnote system, though I don't like the idea of having a notes and reference section with a single entry. Perhaps we can add to the Version Comparison article or even create a page for "Internal Discrepancies" to contain a list of just information discrepancies that we can link back to from the original aricles. Using "Internal Discrepancies" would make it more open and allow us to not only address certain 3DO/PC differences, but also explain and give sources for Miwok/Far Voyager, Veep-Neep/Veep-Zeep, Syra/Syrea, apparent timeline problems, Vela I/II, etc. --Fyzixfighter 21:28, 14 Nov 2005 (CET)
I think I favour the footnote with italics at the end of the article or a section of the article (probably the former). It's simpler than the other options, though not quite as comprehensive. --Phoenix (t) 21:44, 14 Nov 2005 (CET)
True, and I think I'm still mostly on that side of the fence for footnotes with italics. I think I still will create a page to gather all the internal discrepancies, though. --Fyzixfighter 22:30, 14 Nov 2005 (CET)

Locations: which ones and how[edit]

We need to setup a standard of how to refer to locations. Some of the articles seem rather, dare I say, pointless - such as articles on the constellations like Aquila and Canopus. Then there's the issue of refering to the constellation (Hyades), the star system (Delta Gorno), or the planet itself (Alpha Cerenkov I) for places of interest. Certainly it depends on the bent of the article, but if we can deal with this by setting up a standard and using it when writing the articles. For example if we say reference the star system then Alpha Cerenkov I -> Alpha Cerenkov and we add a comment about the star system itself, followed by specific info about the first planet (where the bulk of the old article info would go). Personally I'd prefer to go with the star system standard, except in cases where we know the actual name (beyond the designation) of the planet, like Gaia, Unzervalt, or Spathiwa. --Fyzixfighter 22:37, 11 Nov 2005 (CET)

This I'm not sure either. I was just grouping uncategorised articles into categories for better structure. Racial names like Earth, Mars, Gaia, and Spathiwa are okay, but I also don't see too much wrong with Alpha Cerenkov I. I suppose we should come up with a standard style on how to present these. I don't mind seeing all the star systems grouped together, for some reason, but what you guys decide is fine by me. Some places, like Delta Gorno are of some significance. Aquila seems kinda pointless, but Wiki isn't paper... I almost see this as an "encyclopedia" on all things Star Control. Maybe it's not a bad thing to have Gorno be a description of the constellation, containing a bulleted list of Alpha Gorno, Beta Gorno, ... and Delta Gorno could have more information, maybe a link to Kyabetsu. Same with Cerenkov > Alpha Cerenkov > Alpha Cerenkov I, the difference being that Alpha Cerenkov I has no racial name, but Kyabetsu does... Maybe I'm rambling, maybe I'm going into too much detail. But this isn't Wikipedia, where such information is non-notable. Maybe this Wiki should go into this much detail. --Phoenix (t) 00:21, 12 Nov 2005 (CET)
One of the big questions is how much detail do we go into. A lot of the pertinent info about constellations (location and number of stars) is found on List of constellations. If there is something of interest there, then it might warrant an article with a brief description and a bulleted list (or single link) to the star systems of interest within the constellation and maybe a short blurb why it's of interest. There we have a description of the star system and and important info about the star if any, with a similar list or single entry to the planets/moons of interest. And then in the planet/moon article have the real juicy information. I think that's what has been bugging me the most, that there isn't any order. We have articles about constellations and star systems and planets that are doing the same thing when they shouldn't be imho. So here's an example of the my proposed system and using your ideas for the hierarchy:
Cerenkov article
Hi am the cerenkov constellation...yada yada yada
Star systems of note
  • [[Alpha Cerenkov]] - Admiral ZEX
Alpha Cerenkov article
I'm a star. I did this and this and yada yada yada
Planets of interest
  • [[Planet I]] - Admiral ZEX
Alpha Cerenkov I article
ZEX was here. yada yada yada
And if later on we decided to be real daring and detailed and include every star system and planet, we can easily expand the bulleted lists. As I'm writing it I do see how this might mess with the Locations category. Hmmm...I'll have to think on that one. Thoughts on the this pattern though? I think I'll try a practice hierarcy setup with Gorno>>Kyabetsu, and if it doesn't look good, meh, it's all just electrons. --Fyzixfighter 01:17, 12 Nov 2005 (CET)
I think if we establish these articles further, it will be time to create subcategories like "Constellations", "Stars" (or Star systems), and "Planets". Locations like Earth Starbase will remain in the Locations supercategory, of course. --Phoenix (t) 19:28, 14 Nov 2005 (CET)

Constellation names[edit]

Thanks Phoenix for those subcategories. One other thing that we need to address as there is some confusion - should we use the constellation names found in-game and on the starmap that came with the game (usually the genitive form), or use the nominative, undeclined forms of the names? Someone went through early on and changed most of them to the nominative, and there have been a few editors who have changed a few back (like Musca/Muscae and Lynx/Lyncis). I'm in favor of not using the nominative forms, and instead using the way they originally appear on the starmap because it's easier and honest to the game. There is one name that isn't declined (Cygnus), one that looks like should be declined (Saurus), and one whose nominative form is already used (Velorum=Vela). Rather than try to come with rules for the special situations, I say use the game's designations. But that's just my two cents. What does everyone else think? --Fyzixfighter 17:30, 17 Nov 2005 (CET)

(after edit conflict) Like you, I'd personally prefer the in-game form. I think the use of the nominative is based on List of constellations (though I see you are aware of this list). This list was compiled before I came back here, and edited by some respected Ultronicans (Ultronomiconians?), so maybe we should stick with the constellation names as listed there after go over it and correct anything that is wrong. --Phoenix (t) 17:37, 17 Nov 2005 (CET)
My one worry is that people will interpret the inaction as a consensus to keep it. I wonder if that's what happened before. Granted some respected names, like Svdb, edited the list after the change to nominative, but there was never discussion on this point and those edits don't necessarily imply agreement. Then again, maybe I'm just late to the game and there was a tacit consensus on the matter. I'm fine with keeping it nominative for now, though let's get some other opinions (that means you, anonymous/silent readers/editors), with the exception of Velorum and with the understanding that this convention is disputed. --Fyzixfighter 19:18, 17 Nov 2005 (CET)
Good point. I'd be in favour of changing to the in-game name, and this would require changing the Wikilinks in the above list and moving a few few of the articles that already exist. This is a relevant question because I've finished gathering some relevant data for my little foray into the "detailed constellations" attempts (the Centauri/Centaurus constellation). Centauri just sounds "better" and easier to recognise. --Phoenix (t) 19:56, 17 Nov 2005 (CET)
After letting this mull in mind for the day, I say let's be bold and force a confrontation/discussion between editors of differing opinions. Yes, edit wars are bad, but small edit battles enable the collaborative process for resolving concerns like this and are helpful. But if those of the opposing opinion (Phoenix and I in this case) don't do something in the absence of any previous discussion, we're being negligent. So I'm going to be bold and change them to the game names - and anyone of a different mind can discuss it further here or there. --Fyzixfighter 03:24, 18 Nov 2005 (CET)
I'd usually be in favour of calling things by their proper name (which would mean nominative here). But the game consistently uses the genitive form for all references to constellations. And I think sticking to the game is more important.
And while I still think having separate pages for each constellation is silly, if we are having them, it wouldn't hurt to add an extra link from the nomimative form. — SvdB 07:06, 18 Dec 2005 (CET)

How much cruft on the planet pages?[edit]

I realize that there is some disagreement even on what planets to write articles for - but there has to be a limit also on the information that we include in each planet page. Recently information on the lifeforms on planets has been included on some pages. Not wanting to bite a new editor, I thought I'd bring my concerns here before doing wholesale removals and find out what other editors thought on this level of minutia. Personally, I think it crosses the line. The only time to mention the lifeforms present on a planet, imho, is in the case of the VUX Beast, the Evil Ones, and maybe Luna - all unique cases. I've always thought that the lifeforms that the planet lander encounters are representative and not actual - especially since if it were actual, the level of biodiversity on homeworlds and in the galaxy in general would be extremely lacking and there would be an amazingly high frequency of convergent evolution/panspermia. Thoughts? --Fyzixfighter 06:44, 27 November 2006 (CET)

I agree completely. — SvdB 07:23, 27 November 2006 (CET)

Style for referring to moons/satellites[edit]

The style has been to refer to them as <Starname> <ROMANNUMERAL><letter>, ie Zeta Hyades VIb. I can't seem to recall if we had any discussion specifically on this, or if it just arose from an initial page. Doing a quick search, User:Phoenix indicates that this was how it was done in the original PC version (can anyone confirm this?). The RPRG and 3DO manual use a variation on this, using modern numbers in place of the roman numerals, ie Zeta Hyades 7b. In-game I can find two references (Utwig and ZFP) that use the ...-<LETTER> format, ie Zeta Hyades VI-B. There may be other references that I'm missing. So, rather than perpetuate an edit war (<cough>Val</cough>), when need to discuss this and decide on a format. Thoughts and have I missed any instances of a nomenclature? --Fyzixfighter 20:23, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

I'm really sorry for having taken rash action, but I only remembered to look at the move edit summary after I had moved the page back and after I had already made some other moon nomenclature-related edits. And since <Roman numeral><lowercase letter> does not appear in the canon, I thought it isn't that *silly* anyway, and I hope you aren't *frumple* or it is *squeezing* the *juice*. In any case, perhaps after the biggest *party* you will understanding the Valaggar and I can showing you other *edits*.
Indeed, the PC version uses <Roman numeral>-<uppercase letter>; see sa-matra.net. Valaggar 20:57, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
I think Phoenix, in referring to how the PC version does it, was not talking about the dialog, but how it shows up when you're in orbit (ie the scan/lander screen). That's the format that I'm curious about (assuming it exists). --Fyzixfighter 21:48, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
My DOS SC2 version says "no" when asked about the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything whether moon names are used in the planet scan/lander screens. Valaggar 08:52, 14 October 2007 (CEST)

Homeworld: one word or two?[edit]

I'm not sure if "homeworld" should be one word or two. This is a good case for a style decision. I've seen most external sources use one word, but there are enough instances of "home world" at the Ultronomicon for me to ask here. --Phoenix (t) 18:18, 15 Nov 2005 (CET)

I'm of the mind that it should be one word. The SC2 manual and Resource Guide pretty consistently use "homeworld" (with one occurence of "home-world" and one possible occurence of "home world"). Similar terms used in these are "homestar," "home planet," and "home star system." The SC1 uses "home world" the two times it comes up. The dialog also consistently uses one word with only one exception (that I can find) in Hayes report about the ZFP distress call. --Fyzixfighter 18:53, 15 Nov 2005 (CET)

Making notes and references[edit]

I've started putting some notes and references on some of the pages to explain the "Some sources...Other sources..." comments. The notes also come in handy for giving references for debated/challenged topics, or for indicating some of the speculation. However, It would be nice (especially for long articles) to be able to jump between the text and the notes with a link of some kind. To that end I fiddled around trying to make a couple templates (User:Fyzixfighter/fref and User:Fyzixfighter/fnote), similar to the Wikipedia:Template:fn and Wikipedia:Template:fnb. I'll add them to the Hyper-Radar page temporarily for other editors to see how it looks. Any feedback would be appreciated, but specifically I'm worried about what the appearance should be down in the notes and references section, ie "1 -", "1:", "1. ", or "1". And should the intext reference go inside or outside punctuation? If people think these templates are useful, I'll move them out of my personal space to be with the other general templates so that it's easier to call them. --Fyzixfighter 18:31, 16 Nov 2005 (CET)

Seems like a good idea. As for how it is here, I think you should look at the Wikipedia style. I think the Wikipedia style uses 1 for both in-text, and at the footnote. --Phoenix (t) 20:55, 16 Nov 2005 (CET)
The latest Wikipedia style actually seems to follow CMS, using the # symbol to create a numbered list. It looks like Wikipedia has had three incarnations of footnote standards/templates. The one I created is similar to their footnote2 style, but I'm not a fan of the "Note #:" in the notes section. The downside of the fref and fnote templates is that the numbers aren't automatically generated. I think it would be possible (but still not sure) to duplicate in MediaWiki the current Wikipedia templates for footnotes, but I'm also not a fan of the brackets in the superscript - it looks to big. As for the notes section, MLA and APA agree with you and recommend the superscript, and personally I think that looks better. Let me change it and see if I still think that. --Fyzixfighter 22:57, 16 Nov 2005 (CET)

Tense of optional events[edit]

While we've decided on from what perspective optional events should be described, we haven't talked about the tense. Should these events be described as if they may have happened in the past, or as things that may happen in the future?

As an example I'll take the effect of starting the Yehat revolution (the action) on the final battle (the event):

  1. As if the event has taken place, we just don't know how: "If the captain has started the Yehat revolution, he had assistance in the final battle."
  2. Similar, "If the captain started the Yehat revolution, he would have assistance in the final battle."
  3. Actions in the past, effects in the future: "If the captain has started the Yehat revolution, he will have assistance in the final battle."
  4. The present is the time when the action can be made: "If the captain chooses to start the Yehat revolution (after having resurrected the Shofixti species), he will have assistance in the final battle."
  5. Everything in the future: "If the captain starts the Shofixti revolution (after resurrecting the Shofixti species), he will have assistance in the final battle.

Imho, 1 makes the text awfully vague, and not very pleasent to read. 2 reads slightly better imho, but has the same problems. 3, 4 and 5 don't make the text vague, but imho 4 makes the best reading.

SvdB 11:27, 17 March 2006 (CET)


  • *gg* "Shofixti revolution" ;)

Quote punctuation[edit]

(copied from Talk:Juffo-Wup#Quote punctuation)
Even if the original quotes do not have the correct punctuation (grammatically-correct as well as like in the sound files), this does not mean that the correct punctuation shouldn't be added when referencing the quote.
In the game, commas, dashes and semicolons are often replaced by new lines (like in poems, sometimes), and, as such, are no longer necessary, but, just like scaling is included in UQM (and that Chmmr dialogue fix addressing the Chmmr speaking a "no" in post-Process voice, even if they were pre-Process), proper punctuation should be used in Ultronomicon quotations.

Just my 2 bani. Valaggar 14:32, 23 May 2007 (CEST)

I'd like to know what the source is of the UQM dialogue text - did someone transpose the 3DO speech, or did the 3DO version also include dialogue text? Either way, my preference would be to use the punctuation from the UQM dialog text, except in those rare instances where we specifically reference the PC dialog. While I'm not totally against it, I'm not certain how I feel about replacing the linebreaks with commas et al, as that isn't always the case, even in poetry (I always cringe when someone reading poetry pauses at the end of a line with no comma). I'd say we should take it on a case by case basis, since I don't think there will be too many instances. The alternative is to use slashmarks "/" to indicate new lines (usually what I've seen in poetry/literature analysis stuff) but that looks rather ugly imo.
Here's a real, I'd like 98 centavos back please. --Fyzixfighter 17:02, 23 May 2007 (CEST)
The 3DO dialogue did not have text. Yes, they transposed the speech to text, using the PC dialogue as an aid for punctuation.
However, the voice actors make some visible pauses sometimes between lines (coincidentally coinciding with the places where there should be commas); I'm referring to those places when I'm saying that there aren't enough commas sometimes. See the edits I've made to the Juffo-Wup quotes for reference.
Anyway, it seems that we are on the same side here, as I understand, so...
And yes, the occurrences are too few for this rule to be included in the manual - it seems that only the Mycon have such problems (mostly). Thank you. Valaggar 17:30, 23 May 2007 (CEST)

Punctuation: within quotation marks or outside them?[edit]

(such as in I don't think they said "yes." versus I don't think they said "yes".)
As we're preferring American English, the answer would be inside them. However, this looks awkward and is sometimes ambiguous. Shouldn't we make an exception in this case, as the idea behind choosing American English was that the game uses it, however the game makes an exception for this case, using the British variant (punctuation outside quotation). For example, In the partially translated Precursor text, the device is described as a `Mental Amplifier' which focuses the mental energies of the holder `for the purpose of discrete change'.

So shall we apply the aforementioned change? Valaggar 21:58, 20 June 2007 (CEST)

The Twin Gods of Star Control (Blessed Be Their Holy Names)[edit]

I think we are being way too disrespectful and blasphemous in omitting the obligatory "(Blessed Be His/Their Holy Name(s))" after mentioning the Mighty Name(s) of One or Both of the Twin Gods, Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III (Thrice Blessed Be Their Holy Names). I propose enforcing as a rule the respectful acknowledgment of the Divine Status of the Two (Blessed Be Their Holy Names) and burning at the stake any editors that fail to comply, since that's how heretics are to be dealt with. Valaggar 12:07, 11 November 2007 (CET)