Hyarion and other Gatekeepers, I have composed a rough draft of an idea for a much-needed manual for the Gateway. It's incomplete, of course, but I was hoping here we could finish and fix it up into the way we want it. Here it is below.
This is the Guide to Tolkien Gateway editing. This is a manual for Gateway policy, and editing in general. Before editing this manual (except for minor spelling and grammar), please post an explanation on the talk page.
 Article Tense
Articles that are directly related to Eä should be written in the past tense. Articles on actual books or real-world objects may be written in the present if deemed appropriate.
 Capitalization and Spelling
Proper noun articles will always be capitalized. Articles such as Iron Crown have both words capitalized because it refers to a specific object. Articles such as Elven rope will not have the second world capitalized, because it is a more general term. The bolded repetition of the title in the first line of the article should conform to the same capitalization as the title, except in the case of words from Tolkien’s languages. Unless they are proper nouns, words from Quenya and Sindarin, for example, should be lowercase and italicized as well as bolded.
In article titles England-English (original) spellings should be used, such as Gandalf ("e" instead of "a"). In actual article content, save when referring to an actual object mentioned in Tolkien’s works with the English spelling, it doesn’t matter whether American or English spellings are used, and edits merely to change the spelling forms are generally discouraged.
Years will be expressed with preceding letters showing the Age, or, in some cases, Shire Reckoning. Dates will be given in the following format: "FA 510", "SA 1556", "TA 1636", and "FoA 21", which are First Age, Second Age, Third Age, and Fourth Age respectively. Shire Reckoning will be expressed as in "SR 1419", and will usually redirect to the corresponding Third Age dates. "Years of the Trees" and "Years of the Lamps" shall be expressed as in "YOTT 1500" and "YOTL 1490". However, because most dates in these time periods are approximate or guesswork, it is generally not recommended that these be linked to or created. When not in infoboxes, dates can be expressed without the age, such as [[FA 510|510]].
In general, one should check closely to make sure that there is not already another category by a different name referring to the same grouping. All images should be categorized not only by artist but also be content. All articles and images should be subcategorized as much as possible, to create “Category Chain”, enabling easy access and searching. Trouble with deciding a category title should be brought up on the article in question, and if no one responds/objects within the next three days, then it is permissible to use your best judgement in deciding a category title. It can always be changed if need be.
Edit it as you like, and discuss below. --Narfil Palùrfalas 12:55, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
The Dates section may need to be rewritten to reflect the current usage of the dating format. (First Age instead of FA, etc.) --fleela 14:06, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
Fine. I have no problem with the FA, SA, TA construct. But using FO instead of FoA would be consistent with the Tolkien Appendices after ROTK. I have seen though, I, II, III used instead of the above. It would be good if we could standardize our dates. --Theoden1 16:06, 19 October 2007 (EDT)
- Do you remember where in the Appendices you saw FO? For some reason I thought Tolkien used F.A. for Fourth Age. --Hyarion 16:47, 19 October 2007 (EDT)
- You know, I never thought of "I, II, III, IV", but it might work. It's simple, and used in Tolkien's works. We already have pretty much instigated spelling out the whole age, but it's something to think about. --Narfil Palùrfalas 23:00, 19 October 2007 (EDT)
- I thought about the roman numerals but personally concluded that since "I 100 " is less easy to understand than "First Age 100" or "F.A. 100" for that matter, plus Tolkien doesn't seem to use this standard. I believe somewehre F.O. is used for Fourth Age, so I'd recommend that. --Hyarion 23:27, 19 October 2007 (EDT)
- Could you show us where he uses FO? I have never seen that. —Tar-Telperien 23:31, 19 October 2007 (EDT)
- I stand somewhat corrected. I checked my library, and Tolkien doesn't use FO in his appendices-- he uses FA. To be fair, though, in the LOTR Appendices, he make few or no references to the First Age. FO is used extensively in "The Complete Guide to Middle Earth", by Robert Foster. Since its first edition was written when Tolkien was still alive (1971), I think it should be considered authoritative, even canonical. --Theoden1 16:15, 27 October 2007 (EDT)