Forum:Italicizing player names and hiscore links
After seeing the changes made to the Squeal of Fortune/Controversies article today and people continuing to apply unnecessary user name italicizations, I figured it was time to make these proposals.
- Proposal 1: Stop italicizing player names and remove the associated guideline from Players don't deserve articles (PDDA).
It is very hard to find any website that italicizes user names; we're doing something that is very uncommon and no website recommends. This is the only guideline I can find on the web that suggests we italicize user names. No major style guide recommends we italicize user names, or stage names, or even nick names, and no other website I know of italicizes player names; it is common to just type user names out without italicizing them. Heck, even our user names on Wikia and our character names in-game are not italicized. We're making up our own spelling and grammar rules, and this might have an effect opposite to the intended one, as I'll explain below.
Another problem with the idea of italicizing user names is that if it's very rare for any website to italicize player names, people are going to expect them not to be italicized. For this reason, if a user name is introduced in a sentence without proper context, people might think you're not referring to a player, but something major style guides do recommend you italicize. Really, if it's difficult to determine from a sentence whether a word refers to a player, then that just indicates to me that the sentence lacks context and it needs to be fixed. There are many descriptors that can be used to describe a player, such as skill pure, player killer, Player Moderator, etc.
In summary: Italicizing player names is not recommended by any major style guide, and in certain circumstances may lead to confusion.
- Proposal 2: Remove the suggestion we link to a player's hiscores page from PDDA.
This suggestion seems a bit outdated ever since they removed non-members from the hiscores. Contrary to what PDDA says, you can no longer verify via the hiscores to see if someone was truly the first person to get 200 million experience in a skill. The hiscores also do not provide much useful information about someone's achievements. For example, if we are talking about how someone was the first to achieve 200M xp in a skill, then the hiscores will not provide any more information on that achievement; it won't talk about how they got it or anything like that. If the player becomes a non-member or changes their name, it won't even give any information about that player at all.
Another problem is that these links will become dead after a player changes their name, is banned, or becomes a non-member. We would have to constantly maintain links to pages that do not provide much useful information to begin with. It could also inconvenience many readers who decide to click on these links, only to find out they lead to a dead URL.
Comment - Let's italicize literally everything except usernames. I'm sort of neutral with the hiscores thing. If someone is willing to maintain the links, I have no problem with it; however, should this turn into the umpteenth thing that no one maintains, I see no reason to continue. You're right, it doesn't provide any new information whatsoever, but some people might think it's nice to click the link and see a hiscores page with 200,000,000 on it... assuming we do this. In addition, I think we should stop updating display names. Let's revert the 200m page links (or names) back to what they originally were and make note that the names mentioned are their names at time of achievement. MolMan 21:50, January 19, 2014 (UTC)
Neutral 1, support 2 - I dunno, it seems appropriate to italicise player names to signify that they're an out-of-universe thing. Besides, names of non-people are always italicised, so it isn't that strange (New York Times, The Globe theatre, SpongeBob SquarePants - The Movie etc.).12:55, January 20, 2014 (UTC)
- I said above that I think we should stick to their name at time of achievement. MolMan 14:29, January 20, 2014 (UTC)
Comment I'm leaning between neutral and support. Personally, I think player information is totally irrelevant. It might make a nice piece of trivia when the first player hit 99, 120, 200m, but I fail to see how important it might be for a wiki. The info itself can become easily outdated if the player changes their name, or in rare cases, becomes banned, or quits/becomes F2P. Plus the # of 99's is also an issue since F2P players are excluded, the true # of 99's is unknown. --Deltaslug (talk) 18:13, January 20, 2014 (UTC)
Oppose 1, neutral 2, comment - It seems to me that italicising players names is a good way to prevent them from blending into plain text, it makes no difference in various tables but improves the reading in paragraphs.
Highscore links are difficult to maintain so I'm slightly in favour of removing them, but we really should keep up with display name changes where it's possible. Perhaps a good way to do this would be to add the original name in parentheses, where applicable. 5-x Talk 19:23, January 20, 2014 (UTC)
- It's impossible unless they have a fixed position on the highscores (200m xp and the first to do so) and are a member forever. The alternative is for someone to clog up their friends list with these players to track name changes, but that relies on said person(s) being active enough to do so. The day they become inactive, the information becomes stale. It's really not worth the hassle. cqm 10:00, 21 Jan 2014 (UTC) (UTC)
Support 1 – You make a strong argument. Although I can see how italicizing usernames might, in some cases, create more clarity, it doesn't seem like it would often be a problem (it's pretty easy to recognize a username), and if it is a problem, changing the context shouldn't be difficult. We should treat usernames the same way we treat real names and not invent grammar rules for the sake of expediency. I guess I support the second proposal too, unless anyone can think of a workaround to the problem mentioned. C Teng talk 06:59, January 22, 2014 (UTC)
Closed - There seems to be no clear agreement over whether italicizing usernames is helpful or not. Therefore, the current practice of italicizing usernames will continue. The suggestion that highscores links be used will be removed due to the difficulty in maintaining updated links due to membership issues and name changes. --LiquidTalk 19:53, February 2, 2014 (UTC)