Editorial Guidelines

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Because DIYers depend on Wiki content to be not only informative but clear and correct, we have established a few guidelines for those who wish to edit or add content to the diychristmas.org Wiki. These guidelines are not intended to restrict contributors but rather to ensure that the quality of the content remains very high. Therefore, it is imperative that content be thoroughly proofread for the following:

  • Spelling: There is no excuse for spelling errors. Typographical errors may happen from time to time but spelling errors are usually blatantly obvious. Because the Wiki software does not include a spellchecker, it is suggested that you prepare your documents using a word processor that has a spellchecker before placing the corrected text in the Wiki. Copy/paste usually works quite well from a word processor screen into the Wiki editing screen. Remember that words such as "they're", "their", and "there" are all correct spellings of proper words, but they have entirely different meanings that a spellchecker likely won't catch. Be sure the words have the right context in your sentences.
  • Grammar: While we don't expect to see Shakespearean verse, it is our expectation that authors will use sound grammatical sentence structure when composing content for the Wiki. Make your writing clear as a bell; eliminate ambiguity and/or misleading references. Short sentences are generally much more clear than long, compound sentences. Don't dangle your modifiers, but if you modify a dongle, consider authoring a wiki document that explains it.
  • Photos: "Any old photo will do" is not a good way to approach adding photographs to documents. Make certain that the photos and graphics you insert are clear and focused. Consider cropping-out photographic content that could be confusing or misleading. Remember that not all pictures are worth a thousand words; only really good pictures are. And while you're at it, please try to keep your photos no larger than 800x600 pixels in size. This helps the Wiki software to convert and display them, making the reader's experience faster and more pleasant.
  • Layouts: The Wiki software doesn't provide for unlimited flexibility, but it does a good job at presenting information in an easy-to-read format. If you have assembly procedures for your project, consider using bullet points or numbering your procedure setups. This will not only help you formulate your thoughts and put the steps into a logical order, but will help the reader understand how to get from start to finish in recreating your project.
  • Accuracy: All other issues aside, if the content is not accurate, it has no value and should not be posted in the Wiki. "Closeness doesn't count except in horseshoes" is an appropriate adage in this case. Worse, inaccurate information could be dangerous -- remember, in many cases we're dealing with electricity in our hobby!
  • Attachments: We have enabled a rather broad list of file types that can be uploaded as attachments to Wiki documentation. Allowable types are: png, gif, jpg, jpeg, jp2, webp, ppt, pdf, psd, mp3, xls, xlsx, swf, doc, docx, odt, odc, odp, odg, mpp, zip, pro, vix, fseq and xseq.
  • Copyrights: Do not upload copyrighted text, photos or files. If you wish to add your own personal copyright to complete pages that you author you are free to do so; be sure to add your copyright statement to your text on a separate line. If you want to quote a paragraph or text that has been authored by someone else, be sure to give credit where credit is due by appropriately referencing the author and document in a footnote. If you don't know how to do that, please don't copy or quote the text.

How to become an author/contributor

If you are willing to meet these few editorial guidelines, we'd love to add your name to the list of wiki authors. To be added, send a personal message to dirknerkle in the diychristmas.org forum along with your email address and the topic that you'd like to either create or edit. Your email address is required so that your access password can be emailed to you. After logging into the Wiki, you'll be able to change that password to one that you prefer.