100 Cupboards Wiki

Hello, everyone!

It seems that right now I'm the only active member on this wiki. Considering the difficulties of writing an encyclopedia single-handedly as well as the important community aspect of wikis, I'm hoping that, in the near future, older contributors like Jo0229 will return here and also that new members will join this community.

But the main reason I'm writing this post is to give some advice/instruction on references for anyone who's interested in that. Since this is supposed to be a community, I'm also writing this post so that you will know what approach I'm taking for references and can communicate back to me any ideas you have for what approach should be taken. It's crucial, however, that we all follow the same approach. Otherwise, this is going to be a very sloppy wiki, full of inconsistency.

First of all, for those who don't know, a reference is essentially a footnote explaining where a fact comes from. For example, if I wrote in an article the fact that {{#NewWindowLink: Henry York Maccabee|Henry}} is a {{#NewWindowLink: Seventh Son|seventh son}}, the reference for that fact would explain which book and which page that fact comes from. It might also include a quotation from the book and page.

There are two main purposes for references:

  1. References demonstrate that articles have reliable information. Many people think that wikis don't contain reliable information because anybody can edit them. By inserting references, you can prove that the facts you're writing are true.
  2. References show people where your facts come from so that they can look them up for themselves. I think this second reason is especially important for a series as complicated as the 100 Cupboards trilogy. In the aftermath of reading it, there were many parts that I wanted to reread because I didn't understand everything. Problem was, I didn't know where to find what I was looking for. I think it would be ideal if somebody in such a predicament could come to this wiki, use the search bar to quickly find the information they were looking for, and have a reference at the end of the article explaining where to find it in the books.

Now, as for the approach for writing references

I like to start a reference by quoting the part of the book where the fact comes from. I follow this quote with an em-dash. If this quote comes from dialogue, I'll follow the em-dash with the name of the character who said this. I'll put a comma after the name and then write the page number(s) where the quote came from. After that, I'll insert a space and then write in italics the name of the book where the quote came from. All of this is followed by a period.

If that sounds like a complicated process, hopefully this example of a reference I made will make it easier and clearer:

"To many ones [it means] nothing. It means they were the seventh-begotten son, that when their father is put to grave-sleep, they shall receive the last heritage, the pauper's portion.... To others, to you, to me, it is potens. It is the twain sight, the second seeing."—Darius, p. 77 Dandelion Fire.

This reference seems pretty complete, huh? You have the quote, the character who said it, the page number, and the book. But it's missing something vitally importantwhether or not we're talking about the paperback edition or hardcover edition. The page number is useless without that.

Take a look at another reference I made:

"That was long ago, before the First World died."—Nudd, p. 381 The Chestnut King hardcover edition.

Notice that I wrote "hardcover edition" at the end of it, obviously explaining that the page number is taken from the hardcover edition. Unfortunately, The Chestnut King is the only book in this series that I own in the hardcover edition. Thus, I can only give hardcover page numbers for The Chestnut King and I can only give paperback pages numbers for the other two books.

The system I have been using until now to specify paperback or hardcover is that if only the book title is given (like in the first example reference), then the page number comes from the paperback. And, of course, if it says hardcover, it comes from hardcover. But, for now on, I'm changing that system. If it's paperback, then I'll say its paperback. If it's hardcover, I'll say it's hardcover. That way people who visit our wiki and don't read this very long blog post will still understand our system. This means that at some point I'll have to go back and change a lot of the references I've already written (unless one of you wants to help me out and do some of that for me).

In the end, I think we should end up giving page numbers from only one edition of the books—either hardcover for all of the references or paperback for all of the references, but not a mixture of both. And I nominate the hardcover edition to be the one we end up using. But right now, I'm incapable of following that system on my own, because my copies of 100 Cupboards and Dandelion Fire are both paperback.

(I'm aware that some wikis for book series don't use references at all (e.g. {{#NewWindowLink: http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page | Lord of the Rings}}), but as you can see, I'm think that they should be used in this wiki.)

Now, to end this very long blog post, I'm just going to explain how to insert a reference.

To do this, you must first click the edit button to begin editing an article. Then, click the "source" button (it's near the top of the screen) to switch to "source mode." When you come to a sentence that you want to insert a reference for, place the cursor at the end of the sentence and type "<ref>" without the quotation marks. Next, type the text that you want to appear in the reference (quote, character, page, book). After this, type "</ref>" without the quotation marks.

The final step is very important and very easy to forget. So don't forget it! At the very end of the article—at the place where you want all of the references to appear—type "<references/>" without the quotation marks.

If you want to see this in action, click this {{#NewWindowLink: FitzFaeren|link}}. That link will take you to the article "FitzFaren," which has the most references of any article on this wiki right now. Click edit and go into source mode if you want to see all the tags (meaning <ref>, </ref>, and <references/>) and where I placed them.

Well, that's all folks! I apologize for the lengthiness of this post, but I hope it helps. Please let me know if you have any other ideas for what approaches we should take in building this wiki. And let me know if you need any help writing articles or formatting them or using {{#NewWindowLink: http://community.wikia.com/wiki/Help:Wikitext | wikitext}}.

Thanks for being part of this community!

--Hanzillaa (talk) 23:29, March 17, 2013 (UTC)