Summary of Summary Guidelines:
Keep the ChangeSummary page useful (mostly by keeping it consistent).
Remember that Wiki pages and summaries are written by people.
Summary Format Guidelines:
The page layout is similar to RecentChanges, but with the most recent items at the top of the list.
Each summary is formatted as a definition list, with the page name as the term and the summary as the definition.
To add a summary, add a line like [TAB] PageName:[TAB]Summary Text. Note the ':' after the PageName.
Summaries are separated into Wiki days, which are defined by the Wiki server (currently Pacific time).
If multiple changes are made to a single page, the summary should be moved to reflect the most recent change.
Unlike RecentChanges, summaries from previous days should not be deleted when changes are made on future dates.
Volunteer summarizers will remove or reformat anything that is not consistent with the current format.
Summary Content Guidelines:
Keep summaries short. (A reasonable guide is one line of summary per page of new text. Try deleting useless words like "comment about". Complete sentences not required.)
Each summary should describe the most interesting changes that occurred on the page within the current Wiki day.
Minor changes (like spelling corrections) should not be listed, *unless* they are the only changes to a page.
Use the "..." convention at the end of a summary unless the summary *completely* describes the change (and most users would not want to reread the page).
Do not give away punch lines or surprises in the summaries.
If a summary is wrong, rewrite it. Try to live with minor differences of opinion.
Do not attempt to rate or review contributions within the summary. Comments on size/length of change are good.
If changes are added in an unusual place (like the [TOP] or [MID]dle of a page), make a note at the beginning of the summary.
Authors of new content are encouraged to write summaries for their changes. Other users may wish to wait a few minutes before summarizing new content, in order to allow the author time to summarize.
Reload the summary page immediately before editing it (to minimize editing/saving conflicts). Long edits should probably be done in an external editor.
Do not try to summarize other people's personal information (family, personal hobbies, etc) on a "personal" home page. Simply note that personal information was added or updated.
Contributors: Summary Originator, ...
Please discuss the guidelines here. Other summary-related discussion may be more appropriate in
The definition list format was chosen over a bulleted list because it is much easier to read when summaries are longer than one screen line (consider a 640x480 screen).
Most-recent-on-top appears to be a popular request from frequent visitors. See LazyRecentChangesJunkie.
The "..." convention is similar to the "etc." of GeneralSemantics, but it is not as visually intrusive. It is a useful shortcut that says there is more content on the page than in the summary. (If deleted, it often indicates the summarizer does not believe visiting the summarized page is required to gain the benefits of the change.)
On personal information, there can be a conflict between "personal" and "public" spaces. Visiting a "personal" page is similar to visiting a home where the host can control presentation, while a "public" space is more like a publication without control. Some people will not contribute personal information if it is made relatively public. Different people will have different thresholds of "personal" content.
View edit of June 29, 2002
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