SmashWiki:Edit summaries

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FailedPolicy.png This proposed policy or guideline has failed to gain the approval of the community, and so has not been implemented. It remains for archival purposes.

Edit summaries are an important part of the Wiki, as they are useful to explain an edit that may be controversial or otherwise needs an extra notes. There are some occasions when making an edit summary is not important- however, other situations require a more detailed edit summary in order to avoid future conflict.

Edit summaries can be entered in the thin, white text box just below the text box where the main edits are made, under the word "Summary:" and above the checkboxes with "Watch this page" and "This is a minor edit". The summary box does, however, have a text limit, and it is suggested that if a summary becomes too lengthy, rather than shortening it and possibly leaving out important information, it should be moved to the talk page immediately following the edit, and include some form of summary stating that the reasoning will be posted on the talk page.

Always be sure to read an edit summary before acting on someone's edit. Edit summaries can be seen in Special:RecentChanges or the history of the page. This way, the full information of the edit is understood by all parties.

Occasions when an edit summary should always be used[edit]

  • When reverting someone's edit.
    • Sometimes, a misinformed but well-intending user may add something that is false, unnecessary, or otherwise something that needs to be removed. However, users whose edits are reverted are often left insulted. The insult can be alleviated with the addition of a simple edit summary explaining why the edit is unnecessary. This does not, however, include summaries with simple phrasing such as "bad edit". This is often more insulting than the revert itself, and will nearly always lead to an edit war or unnecessary discussion/arguing on the talk page.
    • Exception: In the case of a vandal, edit summaries are not necessary, but still recommended.
  • When removing a large part of a page.
    • Everyone works together on a page, and when a user sees that a piece of the page they may have worked hard on is removed, they deserve an explanation as to why. As before, simple phrasing such as "unnecessary" does not help. Explain why it's unnecessary. Is it covered on another page? Is it irrelevant to the Super Smash Bros. series? These are things that users deserve to know, and it can also prevent them from making the same mistake in the future.
  • When changing the wiki-status value.
    • This template is intended to show users what state the wiki is in, and should only be changed when there is a good reason for it to be lower or higher (as the case may be). If there is no proper reason provided as to why the change was made, it will likely be undone. Once again, a simple reason is not always preferable, and if the only reason that can be provided is one such as "we're busy", the edit may need to be rethought.
  • When removing content from a talk page.
    • Generally, it is considered unacceptable to remove content from a talk page. However, if content is being removed for a good reason (such as archiving, fixing formatting, removing personal information, etc.), please be sure to explain why it is a good reason. That way, all bystanders understand that no policies are being broken. (See SW:TALK for more information).
  • When removing a maintenance template.
    • Templates like this are added when a page needs cleaned up, or to trigger a conversation on the talk page. Generally, templates like {{Image}}, {{Cleanup}}, or {{Stub}} can be removed once the required edit is completed, while templates like {{Delete}}, {{Merge}}, or {{Move}} should only be removed if the discussion ends in failure. Whenever a template like this is removed, the user should state why they think the requirements have been fulfilled (such as listing the amount of supports vs. the amount of opposes) in an edit summary.

Occasions when an edit summary is recommended, but not completely necessary[edit]

  • When creating a new page.
    • Whenever a new page is created, the reason why the page is necessary should be included. This will provide all users with a reason as to why they should support its creation, and may help prevent unnecessary future discussion around whether or not to delete it.
    • Exception: Redirects, for the most part, do not require an edit summary, as the system adds one automatically. Edit summaries are still appreciated, however.
  • When adding a new section to a page.
    • This should be on a case-by-case basis. If a section is being added that is on all other pages of that type for consistency, an edit summary is not necessary (however, a short one such as "Adding for consistency" should be considered). However, if this is a large section which has never been added to a page previously, users deserve to know why it is thought to be necessary, and it limits the chances of the user in question having to defend themselves if such a discussion were to come up.
  • When adding a maintenance template.
    • Unless it's obvious why such a template is being added (like if the page has no images whatsoever, or is a spam page), explaining why in an edit summary should always be considered, to help other users fulfill the requirements properly.
    • Note: If the reason can quickly and easily be summed up, also consider just adding it to the template itself, by writing {{d|(insert reason here)}}.
  • When making a page for a Smasher or a tournament.
    • Whenever a page is made for a Smasher or a tournament, particularly if the user who creates the page is directly related to said Smasher or tournament, a reason should be provided as to why it is notable enough to be included on the wiki. Otherwise, its notability may be put into question.
  • When removing a piece of trivia.
    • As trivia sections are intended for otherwise pointless information that would not be mentioned anywhere else in the mainspace, removing a piece of trivia may cause arguments, as there is a very thin line between notable and not notable. Therefore, edit summaries explaining why it is believed to be unnecessary are always a good idea. See SW:TRIVIA for more information.
  • When making mass edits.
    • Mass edits are several edits of the same or a similar quality often performed when a new template is created, a section that is on several pages has been decided to be removed or added to, when a new category is created, or several other similar situations. Often when a user is completing such edits, they wish to get it done as quickly as possible and edit summaries become tedious to write as a result. In order to save time, it is suggested that a single edit summary is made with the first edit that explains what the edit is and adds that the next few edits are of a similar type. This allows other users to know what is going on, while allowing the editor to quickly finish the job.

Occasions when an edit summary is optional[edit]

  • When fixing grammar.
    • Grammar fixes are simple edits and do not need an explanation. They help keep the wiki looking professional, and users will rarely be questioned for making such an edit.
  • When making a forum post.
    • The forums are intended for discussion, and therefore users should not need to provide a reason as to why such a post is being created. If such a note seems necessary, it can simply be included in the post itself.
  • When posting on a talk page.
    • Similar to the forum posts, adding something to a talk page should not require an explanation. The reason why should be covered in the post itself.

While an edit summary is not necessary in these scenarios, edit summaries are always appreciated and should be included whenever possible.