Talk pages are a special type of namespace pages, used to discuss changes on the corresponding "main" article or page. All Wikiquote articles, personal user pages, policy pages, templates, etc. have an associated talk page (linked on the English Wikiquote as "discussion" in the top menu).
- Article talk pages are used to discuss changes to the particular article.
- User talk pages are used to leave messages for particular users. A message box stating "You have new messages" is automatically displayed to a user at the top of any Wikiquote page, until they view their user talk page.
- Wikiquote talk pages are used to discuss existing and developing policies and guidelines, and proposals. The Wikiquote namespace was orignially considered a "meta namespace," for any Wikiquote-related discussion, while in current usage it is most limited to active and updated information regarding the process of editing articles. (See Wikimedia Meta-Wiki for more open Wikimedia related discussion).
The "discussion" link references a page in the same namespace as the article, userpage, or template with an additional "talk" before the colon separator, for example: Talk:Foo, User talk:Foo, or Template talk:Foo (where foo is a placeholder).
Basic rules for all talk pages
- Sign your comments - You can use three or four tildes (like this ~~~ and ~~~~), which are automatically converted to your username or IP.
- Log in. (Read why here.)
- Use coherent formatting.
- Copy formatting from others.
- Indent with colons (:), not with tabs.
- Break up very large paragraphs.
- Be civil at all times.
- Don't make personal attacks
- Don't SHOUT
On Wikiquote, the purpose of a talk page is to help to improve the contents of the main page, from a neutral point of view. Questions, challenges, excised text (due to truly egregious confusion or bias, for example), arguments relevant to changing the text, and commentary on the main page are all fair play.
Wikiquotians generally oppose the use of talk pages just for the purpose of partisan talk about the main subject. Wikiquote is not a soapbox. In other words, talk about the article, not about the subject. It's only the habits we encourage that keep Wikiquote from turning into another h2g2 or Everything2. See also: Wikiquette
It's entirely natural that partisan disputes take place on talk pages. It is the purpose of talk pages that such disputes be resolved on the talk page rather than in the article itself.
User talk pages
Each user page also has a corresponding talk page. New additions to your own talk page will alert you with a "You have new messages" banner at the top of any Wikiquote page.
To leave a message for another user on their talk page, click the discussion link on the top of the page when you view the user page. On the list of recent changes and on your watchlist, you can directly access a user's talk page by following the (Talk) link behind the user's name or IP address. Many users have a link to their talk page built directly into their signature, as well.
Can I do whatever I want to my own user talk page?
Most users treat their user talk pages like regular talk pages, and archive the contents periodically to a personal subpage. Others delete comments after they have responded to them.
Actively erasing personal messages without replying (if a reply would be appropriate or polite) will probably be interpreted as hostile. In the past, this kind of behavior has been viewed as uncivil. Redirecting your user talk page to another page (whether meant as a joke or intended to be offensive or to send a "go away" message), except in the case of redirecting from one account to another when both are yours, can also be considered a hostile act. However, reverting such removals or redirects is not proper and may result in a block for edit warring. If someone removes your comments without answering consider moving on. This is especially true for vandalism warnings - removing them from one's talk page is also considered vandalism.
If you feel that your user talk page is getting too large and is taking a long time to load, you may archive it. You may then remove comments from your talk page, but please make sure that those comments are readily accessible on another page.
Feel free to decorate your personal pages as you see fit, but keep in mind that your user talk page has the important function of allowing other editors to communicate with you. People will get upset if they cannot use it for that purpose.
How to keep a two-way conversation readable
If you are writing messages back and forth between user talk pages, the resulting text can be hard to follow. Here are two systems for making what would otherwise be disjointed comments easier to follow:
- Copy the text you are replying to from your user talk page to the other person's user talk page. Put your reply right underneath it, but indent the reply section so it stands out. (Just like a regular talk page.)
- Or: Put a notice on your user talk page that you will reply there unless they ask otherwise. Do this for conversations that other people start.
- Watchlist the other person's user talk page and tell them they can reply there. Do this for conversations you start.