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Solar Cooking manual of style

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The introduction to the Wikipedia manual of style says "This Manual of Style has the simple purpose of making the encyclopedia easy to read by following a consistent format — it is a style guide. The following rules do not claim to be the last word on Wikipedia style. One way is often as good as any other, but if everyone does it the same way, Wikipedia will be easier to read and use, not to mention easier to write and edit."

With that background, naming_conventions says "If the definite or indefinite article would be capitalized in running text, then include it at the beginning of the page name. This would be the case for the title of a work such as a novel. Otherwise, do not include it at the beginning of the page name." The CooKit and The Minimum Solar Box Cooker are two examples where this seems to apply. Is it ok to move them to CooKit and Minimum Solar Box Cooker?

This brings to mind the broader issue of the manual of style for Solar Cooking. No doubt, it is selfish on my part, but it would make my life much easier if we were to make the Wikipedia manual of style the default here, and simply amend it as required and as problems are recognized. This has the practical advantage of not having to write one ourselves when we are busy simply trying to add content and organization to the wiki. Walter Siegmund 17:51, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

IMO, all of the article names that begin with "The" are candidates for renaming except perhaps The Gambia (which should be capitalized under G but keep its The). --Beth Ogilvie 16:00, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I have very mixed feelings about adopting the Wikipedia manual of style. On the plus side, I admire elegant looking, consistently formatted pages. Wikipedia articles generally look gorgeous. Having a standard is good, and there's no sense inventing our own. On the minus side, I don't want us focusing on style at the expense of content, or discouraging prospective contributors. I've felt a bit discouraged myself lately, as apparently I've been "doing it wrong" in many different ways. (Use "subst" more with templates, don't use "click here", don't use subpages, etc., etc.) All valid points - all tactfully made - and I'm glad to have had the tips; it's just had the effect of making me think there is a mountain of stuff to learn - and is that really where we want to focus our efforts? I've been writing software for 35 years. What must this feel like for someone who just knows about solar cookers? I think we're more likely to get contributions from ordinary people - people who aren't programmers and maybe don't speak English very well - if the pages don't all look perfect, and if we don't swoop in immediately and "fix" what they've done. It's fine to fix things like paragraphs that are indented with spaces, but let's not fix most of the things in the WP style manual. It's 25-30 pages long, and has many items like "don't put a space before a colon."
The wikia-1 mailing list has had a very animated discussion recently about what a small percentage of users actually contribute edits on most wikis. I'm now wondering if the perfection of the pages has a lot to do with that. It could be that ugly pages attract more contributions. We might have to choose between perfect pages and participation.
Here's a proposal that might be controversial: let's adopt the WP style manual as our own, but then not pay a lot of attention to it. It's worth having a standard for people who care and to help resolve disputes that might arise in the future. But the most important thing is to encourage people to participate. --Beth Ogilvie 16:00, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your perspective and insights and for making your points in such a clear manner. I fear that I am not as empathetic as perhaps I should be. Your comments reminded me that, when we were discussing copyright tags, Tom made much the same point about barriers to participation when he said, " I know those sort of messages sent me away from Wikipedia for a long time since it seemed that everything I did caused problems."[1]
I suspect that it is in my nature to fret about such things, but please remind me when I do so to excess. I won't take it amiss. To conclude, I think the proposal in your last paragraph is fine. Best wishes, Walter Siegmund 17:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

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