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Discussion about styles used in Spearfish Lake Tales Wiki

Style questions, suggestions, comments are welcomed!


We need to bring the discussion of problems, bugs and how to do things to this discussion area so that we do not clutter up the forum too much. the forum needs to be for what Wes intended. A place to discuss the stories.

The Editors

Suggestion for handling characters with multiple names.

 sjl 5/18/2009

How about using Wiki redirect pages for characters with multiple names (maiden/married names), nicknames, etc.? Just to try it out, I created a link for Linda Caserowski that redirects to Linda Clark. Note that if you click on these two links, they will both take to to the Clark, Linda page, and with the first link there will be a line at the top showing where it was redirected from. You can click on the link in that line to get to the redirecting page, and edit it to see what is in the page. That way all info for a character can be included in one page, and will be displayed no matter which name is used to get there.

If we go with this, we might want to come up with with some kind of standard or recommendation as to which page should have the full info in it -- or maybe not, since the information will be accessible regardless of what link is used to access it, and it shouldn't be too difficult for editors to find the right file to edit. I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other.

I did find one thing out -- you shouldn't redirect to a page that is another redirect page. To try this out, I created a page for Linda Caserowski. I initially created this page to redirect to "Caserowski, Linda". When it was set up this way, going to Linda Caserowski showed a page with the redirect to "Clark, Linda", and I had to click on that to get to the real info. Note that in this file, I did not include the CATEGORY tag, so it doesn't clutter up the Characters page.

Redirects could also be used to create links in first name last name format to make it easier to include links in the articles and for searches (like I did with Linda Caserowski just for testing purposes).


Personally I think that is a good idea. It would fix the one thing I don't like about the current standard which is information split between pages.

Mike, would it be too hard to make this change now before things get too much further along?


I'm not Mike, but I don't think there are that many character pages created yet that would be affected. I'll even volunteer to go in and make whatever changes are needed if you want. There should probably be an update to the instructions for creating character pages to reflect this.



Let's get Mike's input before we do since he is the primary coder on this project.


As has been found out, multiple redirects aren't practical in mediawiki.

The prime reason for the redirect function from what I have seen is to deal with pages that have been misnamed. It allows for the old name to point somewhere - the proper place - rather than be an orphan link which all instances of which would have needed to be changed.

Extra pages in a wiki are not burdensome. With the proper links at and from a page I have no problem with extras such as the nickname pages - but redirects don't affect the page count.

Since for instance for Judy Sorensen redirecting to Judith Sorensen, etc. it is no real storage difference, I have no strong preference.

Given that some people both have discovered redirection, why not? As long as the Category:Characters and ones for the appropriate book(s) are included, sure. We need to make sure that on the real page, say for Judith Sorensen, all the nicknames are included.

This does lead to the question about maiden/married names. Since Judith Niven is a character should their only be a redirect to Judith Sorensen? This leads to unnecessary spoilers!

Bottom line, programming it makes no difference to me. Stylistically, it hadn't occurred to me. If one or more people feel strongly about it, go ahead! Just write the style down somewhere - for now at least here on SPLTstyle.

Maybe we are about at the point where we need a separate SPLTcharacterstyle page, too! (Maybe even a character template.)

thanks Michael Slade

My observations on Mikes comments:

I am not sure that redirects are primarily for renamed pages, although I did notice that the pages that I renamed (moved) due to a misspelled name, there is a redirect under the old name. I stumbled on while looking up something in Wikipedia, and noticed that I ended up in a different page than I thought I would. I saw the redirect notice, and being curious, went in to find out how it was done. The light bulb went on, and I thought it might be useful here. Lest I come across as being any kind of Wiki expert, I should mention that until I looked at this project, I had never so much as looked at the page source for a Wiki page, let alone tried any editing. So I'm just kinda stumbling around here and hoping that someone will set me straight if I head off down the wrong path.

As for spoilers, I can't really get too excited about that. There is a spoiler warning on the main page, and there are likely to be spoilers for maiden/married names in the character pages even if they are separate pages. My view of SPLTWiki, rightly or wrongly, is that it will be more useful to readers who are familiar with the stories and are rereading them or trying to cross-check something between stories, than it would be to a first-time reader.

Here is my take on how this could be approached:

Create a page under the name first used for the character (for example, Niven, Judith). This page should include all names and nicknames for that character. It should also have a Category: tag for Characters and for each book the character appears in.

Create a page under all other names/nicknames used for the character in lastname,firstname format, containing a redirect to the first page, and also Category tags for Characters and for each book the character appears in under that name. (I don't think it would be useful to have Judith Niven appear by that name in the character list for Facing the Storm, for example).

(This next part I am not sure about. It may be overkill, and it would be a little extra work for whoever is setting up a new character, but it could be useful for linking and for searches):

Create pages for any minor variations on the name with a redirect to the first page, but WITHOUT Category tags. (This would probably not apply to very many characters). Examples would be Niven, Judy and Sorensen, Judy. Then, do the same in firstname lastname format for all names: Judith Niven, Judy Niven, Judith Sorensen, Judy Sorensen.

(And more that I am not sure about:)

Create a page with only a redirect using the character's first name (or names, as Judith, Judy). This could be useful in searches, because a lot of the stories only refer to a character by first name (I suspect there are characters for whom we have not (yet) seen a last name.) Most of the characters, so far anyway, have first names that are unique within the SPLT universe. Not totally true, I believe there are at least 2 Bob's, and probably other examples as well. Wiki has a disambiguation feature that would probably cover these cases, but I have no idea how it would be set up or if it is worth it.

Now, on a different topic: Perhaps it would be a good idea to put a strongly-worded suggestion on the instruction pages to PLEASE double and triple check the spelling of names, books, etc. when creating new pages. I have fixed at least 3 character pages that were created under a misspelled name, and I know others have done the same as well.


I agree that having all the information for a character on one page makes the most sense, and I'll go along with having it under the first name a character is given.

Two cases to illustrate how I understand this. All the information on Judy Sorensen (Niven) would go under Judith Niven. Also all the information for Jackie Archer / Jackie Gravengood would go under Jackie Archer. Redirects on other versions of character's names would make sure people found the information.

If we go with doing redirect pages for first names any case of two characters with the same first name would require a disambiguation page. If we don't do redirect pages for first names it adds a step for people searching with a first name, but since there is so little overlap it should be easy for them to find the character they're looking for.

Was this ever a consensus? I see the the SPLTstyle still says A page should be created for each alternative name but in First Last order with a simple sentence link to the full character's page. Maiden / Married names should each have separate full character pages with the appropriate references to the stories in which they occur. Somewhere on each of the married and maiden name pages there should be a cross reference link to the appropriate other page. I actually agree with suggestions above -- to keep all information about a character on one page.--Samuelmichaels 23:44, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

For the record to do disambiguation exactly as wikipedia does it someone would need to copy the Dmbox template, the Disambig template and probably the image associated with the disambiguation note. Then put the Disambig template on a page and use that page to reference the various characters with the same first name or whatever. --SRdV 04:44, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

--SRdV 06:21, 20 May 2009 (UTC) It just occurred to me that there are at least two Johns, John Archer and John Pacobel, so if we're going to add a page for "John" it will need to be a disambiguation page rather then a simple redirect.

--Sjl 17:19, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I copied the Dmbox and Disambig templates from Wikipedia, and created a disambiguation page for John. The basic concept looks good to me, but I think more template stuff and images need to be copied and/or edited for use here. I looked at the File:Disambig gray.svg page in Wikipedia, but I'm not sure how to create/copy it in SPLTWiki. Can someone look at this and figure out what else needs to be done? One option would be to simplify the templates, since I think there are a lot of options, etc. that are overkill for our needs here. Also any comments on how I set up the page for John would be appreciated. Thanks.

--Kilobytemangler 01:44, 30 May 2009 (UTC) Same for Michelle - tnx

Character questions

--Bytemangler 26 May 2009

  1. What about characters who are only known by their first names? There are a number of these in Alone Together - Michelle, Angela, Molly, I'm sure that there are others.
  2. If a character does not appear in a story, but is mentioned [even if not named], is he a character in that story? I'm thinking of Phil Wine, who was the unnamed engineer who was stuck with Pete in Japan.

Thanks - bm

--Sjl 17:55, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Interesting questions. It would seem to me that if a character is mentioned in passing by first name only, and has no significant part in any of the stories, they could probably be omitted. Angela and Molly are Lambdatron employees, so I would think they should have a character page. If a last name is later supplied, it can be updated at that time.

Michelle is an interesting one. There are a whole bunch of Michelles in the stories:

2 in Dawnwalker -- In chapter 1, Michelle is the girl who what supposed to go with Karin on her Grand Canyon adventure. In chapter 67, Michelle is mentioned as the person who mangled Karin's name on the reservations, so she would be the same one as in Alone Together. There is a brief mention of a Michelle in Rocinante Chapter 8. There is another Michelle, a swimmer, in The Lone Ranger in the outtakes. And then Michelle is named as the wife of Garth Evachevski -- these two haven't yet played a major role in any of the stories, but they should each have a character page. I would think that the one in Rocinante probably doesn't need a character page, and maybe not the swimmer. I guess we would need a disambiguation page for Michelle, and some way to create unique character pages for each one of them.


How do I do a disambiguation page? Also, what about the other question - does Phil belong in AT or not?

--Sjl 18:00, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

To create a disambiguation page, you could copy what I did in the page for John. The "disambig" in curly brackets is a template reference, and right now the templates aren't set up right. As far as I can tell all it does is add some formatted boilerplate to the page. That will have to be sorted out at some point, but the page will work OK until then.

As for Phil, my opinion (which is worth every penny that you paid for it) is that Phil doesn't need to be listed in the AT characters category, since he doesn't appear by name and in any case is a very minor character in that book. I think it would be good to include a line in his character page like this: "In Facing the Storm, it was revealed that Phil was the unnamed engineer who went to Japan with Pete Chladek in Alone Together and quit immediately after that trip." Something similar could be added to the AT book page for the chapter in which he is referenced.


Disambiguation I *think* I know what's wrong with the template, but can't find any template files either here or on big Wiki. It looks like the one on this site is expecting arguments. For an example of what we might want to use, check out WikiPedia for Leibniz. kbm

I think the disambiguation pages work just fine now, including the little disambiguation icons. Just include {{Disambiguation}} at the bottom. I've updated the page John. Let me know if you have any questions.--Samuelmichaels 23:53, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Category usage

--SPLTWikiSysop 01:49, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Can't figure out why this page is included in the Characters category. If anything it should be the SPLTstyle page rather than the talk about the style?

Also a short category has been created but not developed to list the short stories as opposed to the book category. I'm inclined to just include the stort stories in with the books. Perhaps it should be a subcategory of the book category.

--- Mike's reply to Kirby's post had a Category:Characters tag with the double brackets around it as an example. I removed the brackets; that appears to have corrected the problem.


--SRdV 06:00, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I put the two short stories in the short category. At the time I was thinking that short stories are not the same as books, but that might have been because I had just finished creating the short template. On reflection you're probably right. They could be put in the book category and it would make sense since all of the items there are stories. It could be made a subcategory of book if it would be useful to have all the single chapter stories grouped together.

If you want I'll go in and switch them over to the book category.


--SRdV 06:00, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I noticed that the SPLTstyle page says "After adding data to a page end your entry with your initials or screen name and the date the edit was done."

I also noticed when looking at the various pages that almost no one does this. Since, we have to be logged in to make edits the history tab records this information. This makes adding initials and a date time stamp redundant. Additionally, as pages are edited they could accumulate rather a lot of initials and time stamps.

I suggest that this line be dropped from the style page.

Good call the change has been made. Kirby

Places - real vs otherwise

Should we adopt a convention for identifying real places and distinguishing them from fictional places? I was fleshing out Myleigh's page, and came across this problem; we have NMU (real), Cornell and Oxford (real) and then Athens University (probably Ohio U in Athens Oh?) and Marienthal College, which don't seem to exist under the names used in the tales. Take a look at what I did; hopefully your flames won't be too vicious.


Places only referenced in a book

I've just stared editing, and I'm wondering how I should deal with places (or people for that matter) that are only referenced in a book, but are not actually a location where action occurs. For instance, chapter one of Snowplow Extra mentions Moffat, Meeker, Albany River amongst other places, but these are never actually visited in the book. I don't feel they justify a page, yet they shouldn't be left out altogether. Later on in the bookthe names Craig Beindorf, Emil Laske and the Brine Brothers are mentioned, but they never actually appear. Should there be some sort of "also mentioned" list?


Also: Does Spearfish Lake really enter into The Next Generation or Alone Together?

Is anyone following this talk page?


I'd wondered that myself - if it was up to then no Spearfish Lake is only mentioned in those books, none of the action occurs there so I wouldn't put it in those categories. I do take notice, though I've not been doing this long. trouble is that according to the statistics page there are only 5 active editors as it it, which will include SPLTWikiSysop and Wes!

steve_h 13:28, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

New Category

I've started going through create chapter pages (Have a look at Alone Together to see what I'm doing. Could do with someone to go through and write proper summaries.) I think it might be an idea if there was a category for chapters - sub categories for each title. Otherwise the special page uncategorised pages will be swamped. Any objections?

steve_h 17:28, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


I've upload 4 PNG files for the families category (Archer/Gravengood/McMahon, Evachevski/Matson, Clark/Matson, Chladek). The Chladek one isn't that useful since there are currently only 7 individuals in it, certainly I don't believe it is worth doing for any less than that. As things stand, other than uploading new versions with extra information in them (i.e. after Jennifer Walworth gives birth etc) I'm not planning on creating any more, unless someone points out I've missed a family with several people in it. I'd like to upload the GEDCOM files I used to create these images - although they use the extension GED, they are actuall ASCII format files (see [[1]] all Genealogy software will import and export this format) so that anyone else can have a go if they want without re-typing the information. I tried to pack them into a zip file and upload that, but I got an error message to the effect I'm not allowed to upload zip files. I'd appreciate suggestions as to what to do.

Other than adding links from the Family page back to existing character pages, I don't intend doing anything more on this

steve_h 18:03, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Busted Axle Road Chapter Page Titles

Currently the links from Busted Axle Road PAge are of the form : Busted Axle Road April 1987 Chapter 1. I'd like to change this to : Busted Axle Road Chapter 1. Unlike Rocinante, where there ar three chapter 1's, in Busted Axle Road this would still be unique, and the time period would still be picked up, so there wouldn't be any confusion. Does anyone disagree with me?

steve_h 20:00, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

sounds good to me - kbm

Templates for Book Names

I'm wondering if we should create some templates for the book names, so that instead of writing Square One we could write {{SQ}} or {{subst:SQ}}. What do others think? --steve_h 15:38, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like a great idea! --Kilobytemangler 16:09, 12 February 2010 (UTC)