SmashWiki:Sign your comments

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Policy.png This page documents an official SmashWiki policy, a widely accepted standard that all users should follow. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. If in doubt, consider discussing changes on the talk page.
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SW:SIG

When signing posts on SmashWiki talk pages, use a reasonable signature. This policy defines guidelines for determining the reasonableness of a used signature. The policy should be interpreted as defining when and how signatures should be used.

Signing your posts on talk pages and other SmashWiki discourse (but not on articles) is not only good etiquette; it also facilitates discussion by helping other users to identify the author of a particular comment, to navigate talk pages, and to address specific comments to the relevant user(s), among other things. Discussion is an important part of collaborative editing as it helps other users to understand the progress and evolution of a work.

The purpose of signatures on SmashWiki

Signatures on SmashWiki:

  • Identify you as a user, and your contributions to SmashWiki.
  • Enable other editors to recognise the user name (or IP address) of the person who made a given statement, and the date and time at which it was made
  • Encourage civility in discussions by identifying the author of a particular comment

When signatures should be used

Any post made to:

  • User talk pages
  • Article talk pages
  • Other discussion pages

should be signed.

On the other hand, signatures on SmashWiki are not intended to indicate ownership or authorship of any SmashWiki article. Edits to articles or to the Main Page should not be signed. There are certain other instances when posts should not be signed; in these cases, specific instructions are provided to contributors.

Signing without an account

If you choose to contribute SmashWiki without logging in, you are still to sign your posts. In this case, your IP address will take the place of your username.

Your IP address might look something like 96.31.66.82. Some users prefer to use their IP address instead of a user name because they think that an IP provides them with more anonymity. In fact, a pseudonymous account (that is, a registered user name) actually provides you with more protection of your identity.

Note also that signing manually with a pseudonym or tag such as --anon does not give you more anonymity or privacy protection, since your IP address will still be stored in the page history. This also makes it more difficult for other users to communicate with you and is in violation of this policy.

How to "sign" your posts

There are two ways to sign your posts:

  1. At the end of your comments, simply type four tildes (~), like this: ~~~~.
    (Note: Don't add your name, date or anything else after the four tildes. As unusual as it may seem, the four tildes will automatically generate your signature.)
  2. If you are using the edit toolbar option (which must be enabled under Special:Preferences), click the signature icon Button sig.png, which adds the four tildes automatically.

The end result is the same in both cases. Typing four tildes will result in the following:

Wikimarkup Resulting code Resulting display
~~~~ [[User:Example|Example]] 13:47, November 1 2014 (UTC) Example 13:47, November 1 2014 (UTC)

All signatures on SmashWiki must be typed with four tiles. Using three or five will only produce half of a valid signature:

Wikimarkup Resulting code Resulting display
~~~ [[User:Example|Example]] Example
~~~~~ 13:47, November 1 2014 (UTC) 13:47, November 1 2014 (UTC)

It is okay to use three tildes if you are leaving a general message on your userpage or talk page, but in general all signatures must have both the signature itself and the timestamp.

Customizing your signature

Registered users can customize their signature by going to Special:Preferences and changing the field "Custom signature". A substituted signature should resemble to some degree the username it represents. Signatures that obscure an account name to the casual reader may be seen as disruptive.

If you want to use a more complex signature (for instance, including your own Wiki markup and HTML markup), you can choose the "Raw signatures (without automatic link)" checkbox in your Preferences. Just fill the "Your nickname" field with your desired signature (or a subpage from your user space), exactly as you want it to be substituted for the tildes. Be aware that even the raw signatures option treats markup very strictly, and some markup which works in normal pages will not work in signatures.

For help on designing a signature, you may wish to read Help:Editing to understand how to create some basic wiki formatting.

Wikimarkup Resulting code Resulting display
~~~ [[User:Example|<span style="color: blue;">'''Lead By Example'''</span>]] [[User talk:Example|''<span style="color: blue;">talk</span>'']] Lead By Example talk
~~~~ [[User:Example|<span style="color: blue;">'''Lead By Example'''</span>]] [[User talk:Example|''<span style="color: blue;">talk</span>'']] 13:47, November 1 2014 (UTC) Lead By Example talk 13:47, November 1 2014 (UTC)

Important considerations

A distracting, confusing or otherwise unsuitable signature adversely affects other users. It can be disruptive to discourse on talk pages, or when working in the edit window. In particular, signatures that contain a lot of code ("markup") are often very long, making it difficult to read talk pages while editing (see below).

When customizing your signature, please keep the following in mind:

Appearance and color

Your signature should clearly identify the user, and not be disruptive to the talk pages.

  • User signatures must have a link to their user page or their user talk page (preferably both).
  • A signature must contain the user's username, or by other means make clear the user name.
  • Advertising and inappropriate content in signatures is not allowed.
  • Certain types of formatting and spacing, such as <big>, <br> and <div>, are not allowed, as they disrupt the normal spacing between rows of text. Font sizes of more than 2 (the default) are therefore not allowed.
  • Do not make your signature so small that it is difficult to read.
  • Do not use <blink> or other text animations as it causes visual disruption of the text page.
  • Be aware that not all users have the same fonts you do. Using an unusual font may result in your signature looking different on various computers. Also note that some fonts are larger than others, which may require you to reduce their size to remain no taller than regular text.
  • Similarly to the above, you may want to avoid esoteric or otherwise unusual characters in your signature, as some users' computers may be unable to display them.

Images

Images should be used sparingly and not be large enough to disrupt normal text spacing.

Images should meet the following guidelines:

  • The user's signature may include one small icon. The icon should not be larger than 50 pixels wide x 19 pixels tall.
  • The icon's image file must be in the user images category. As a result, it may not be any image that appears in a mainspace article. It is recommended you name the image something like Example's signature image.png, though this is not required.
    • You may upload a duplicate of a mainspace image for your signature.
  • No animated images are permitted due to the visual disruption they cause within text pages.
  • External images are not allowed.

Length

Keep signatures short, both in display and markup.

Long signatures with a lot of HTML/wiki markup make page editing more difficult. A 200 character signature, for instance, is likely to be larger than many of the comments to which it is appended, making discussion more difficult.

  • Signatures that have more code than will fit in the signature box in Special:Preferences (255 characters) clutter the page and make it harder to distinguish posts from signatures, and thus aren't allowed.
  • Long signatures give undue prominence to a given user's contribution.

Frequency

Do not change your signature often.

Your signature is used to help identify your comments. If you make significant changes to your signature, other users will have to re-learn what it looks like, decreasing familiarity and increasing noise if both versions are on one page. Even small changes can become confusing if the changes are frequent. In this vein, one should try to keep a consistent signature for a length of time.

  • Change your signature infrequently, and in minor ways.
  • Major signature changes are allowed, but avoid doing so regularly.

Transclusion/template

Do not use transclusion, templates or parser functions in signatures.

Transclusions and parser functions in signatures are avoidable drains on server resources. Transcluded signatures require extra processing. Whenever you change your signature source, all talk pages you have posted on must be re-cached. Simple text signatures, which are stored along with the page content, use no more resources than the comments themselves and avoid these problems.

  • If a separate page is used to store the signature, the page should not be used as a signature by including it, but by substituting.

Internal links

Use internal links sparingly.

  • All signatures must include at least one link to the user's userpage or talk page. It is common for a signature to have both, as well as possibly a link to the user's contributions.
  • Do not include links to characters, stages, items, etc. in your signature. This interferes with knowledge of where a page is linked from.

External links

Do not include links to external websites in your signature.

Signatures must not include external links. Posting a link to an external website with each comment you make on a talk page is usually viewed as linkspamming. If you want to tell other users about a good website that you are associated with, you may do so on your user page.

Unsigned Comment

If any comment on a talk page or similar is signed incorrectly or not at all, the unsigned template is used to add a signature replacement.

If you find an unsigned comment, and if you are able to find out who put the unsigned comment, please put {{subst:Unsigned|(Username/IP address|Time of Edit)}}. For example, {{subst:Unsigned|Example|23:32, October 1, 2009 (UTC)}} will come out as —Preceding unsigned comment added by Example (talkcontribs) 23:32, October 1, 2009 (UTC) .