Forums:Better referencing

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Tolkien Gateway > Council > Better referencing

So I've been thinking lately: TolkienGateway has a lot of content, more than any of the other Tolkien wikis AFAIK. But moving beyond simple coverage I think what really sets the best wikis apart (the English Wikipedia, Wookiepedia, Memory Alpha) is the "polish" - consistency, categories, good templates, referencing, etc. Referencing is an area in particular I think we could work on here because it's all to easy for assumptions and fanon to creep into articles without being noted. I'm probably not the only one who finds the <ref></ref> system a pain though. So I propose something similar to Memory Alpha's system. They have use templates to quickly and easily reference specific episodes in parantheses. For example

Thanks to some assistance from a man named Mallory, he was accepted into the Starfleet Academy in San Francisco. (TOS: "The Apple")

'TOS' is the series (The Original Series) and "The Apple" is the episode, and both are link to the appropriate article. We could do a similar thing because just as there's only a limited amount of Star Trek series there's only a limited amount of canon publications for "in-universe" articles on Middle Earth. We could easily develop templates for quickly referencing specific books and sections/chapters within them (I thought about page references too but with all the different editions it's probably not practical). For example, {{Hobbit|1}} might render as (The Hobbit: "An Unexpected Party") or {{HoMEV|2}} as (The Lost Road and Other Writings: "The Fall of NĂºmenor"). Alternatively, there's no reason why the templates couldn't render as footnotes if we feel they break the flow of the text too much.

Do you think this is a good idea? Any thoughts on implementation? --Aule the Smith 19:04, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I, myself, am a fan of <ref>. I've made template:HM a while back, but I agree that chapter numbers need to be worked in; having a seperate template for all books is definately an option. However, there are several instances of apocryphical information, mentioned in Vinyar Tengwar, the Letters or elsewhere, for which your referencing system does not work. I think one of the most important elements of any source has to be whether Tolkien wrote it, or not.
I'm actually working on a Letters template, in with which simply writing {{L|214}} would display all the information. It's going to be a long one though, with over 350 options. -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 21:02, 4 June 2009 (UTC)