Tkabber Wiki


This page is written for those who would like to take part in the Tkabber Wiki project as an author or a translator. The goal of the following text is to define a common style of Tkabber Wiki articles so that they would look more or less identical, were not too variegated with bold and italic styles and were clear for understanding.

If you have got some suggestions about the wiki's style, please contact bigote, or Kostix, or LKnight. All of them speak English.

There is a conference created for discussing our wiki work progress and its problems. It is invite-only, so if you would like to enter it, please contact us first.

Well, let's begin.


If you have no experience with wikis

About Tkabber Wiki style

First, please remember that the Wiki's structure may change (by you, too, of course) but it should be done with caution, discussing such changes previously with the project admiministrators (see links above). If an article you want to "move" along the wiki has other language versions, they also should be moved. So we would like to ask you notify us about desired changes beforehand.

For new article authors

Before you start writing a new article, look if there is no article that explains that topic more or less completely. If there is such an article, maybe you should just add some material. If there is no article about your desired topic, first decide at which section to place a link to your article and... place it :) Then you can begin writing. Don't think you are wasting time reading these rules of the wiki style. It will help you later, while writing and editing your texts so that they look nice and understandable. It could be helpful to read a source code of some existing wiki article that contains elements you would like to apply to yours. Of course, we are far away from cutting your way of expression, at last, the contents is more important that its form. The article's look is it's author business, just try not to forget about the readers: it's them who will have a head-ache if the author makes his or her text unclear. Do not forget that you can preview the article before saving it. And one more thing: try not to make mistakes ;)

Now about styles.

Indentation by a space

One of integrated wiki markup styles is indentation by a space, i.e. a line begins with a space. A piece of text marked this way is put in a nice mark with pink background. We use this style for:

Try to construct your phrase so that it were not cut by such box or at least looked decent.

Using HTML

Many markup styles are already in the wiki engine, so there is no much need of using HTML tags. What is more, too many tags make article source code more "dirty", make it more difficult translating and editing it. Nevertheless, using HTML tags in some cases is quite defensible. For example, a dash "—" which should be used instead of a hyphen "-" in some sentence places. Other examples: arrows → and ←, angle brackets < and >, the accent symbol &#769; that goes after a vocal we would like to accent (cyrillic only!).

If you would like to put a gap in source code, you might want to use a &middot; symbol: "·"

For example:

proc a b {
  puts ouch!

  · · · · ·

  puts text

When using links, exclude punctuation marks that touch the last word of a link. For example, In case of doubt do not forget of previewing and of the '''[[Sandbox]].''' → In case of doubt do not forget of previewing and of the Sandbox.

Using <tt> tag

Using bold

Bold text is used in this wiki for:

Using italic

Italic is used in our wiki for emphasizing quite long phrases or even paragraphs in a discourse (a sentence or a part of a complex sentence at least), i.e. in cases when bold text draws so much attention that it looks almost ugly. Punctuation marks are included into italic in this case. If you need to accent some word within italized text it is possible to use bold for it. In this case a punctuation mark that touches a bolded word should be also set in bold if it is a common word, and it is excluded from marking if it is a code line or a path: ~/.tkabber/config.tcl. (I understand that it is quite complicated but take a look at the code of this page and you will get it. Or just look at the final dot of the previous sentence — it is not bold :)) Try to avoid styles mixing or placing bold and italic text next to each other.

If you need to put an entire paragraph or several phrases in italic it is better to use <cite> tag.

Using smilies in the text

If you like smilies use it, but, as a friend of mine says, without frenzy ;) So, try to reduce their presence in your texts to the minimum. I has been reflecting for a long time upon final smilies and final punctuation marks, and it seems to me that a smilie could be used instead of final dots ;) It looks strange after a final punctuation mark. You should use smilies with caution in the middle of a sentence and it is always better to divide such a phrase into two more simple ones, like I have just done (...instead of final dots, because it looks strange...). But remember that a good joke should look well without any smilies :-)))))

Language particularities

Some languages have their own particularities about some of their letters. For instance, some languages have noun declension so it is quite logic to apply it to some terms like "Tkabber" itself (in case of cyrillic alphabet it is even possible to transcribe them into cyrillic, you only have to be sure that your reader will understand you). Of course, it is up to you to decide which terms (if any) should be declinable in your article, according to your language rules and taste.

Another example: Russian language has a letter "Ё" (yo) that provokes a lot of disputes about its using. Maybe there are similar cases in some other languages, so it is up to the authors or translators to maintain their language rules here in the wiki. The most important thing is not to quarrel about it and to choose some way of using such letters and then follow it.

Let's live in peace :)

Other appearance elements

Read more about them in an article about wiki markup.

If you need to accent a vocal in a Russian or other cyrillic word do not use accented vocals from wester-european alphabets — it is incorrect. There is a special symbol of accent in Unicode — U+0301. It is written in HTML as &#769; and is to be put after an "accented" vocal: Тка&#769;ббер → Тка́ббер. Its using is explained very well in an article of Russian part of Wikipedia (unfortunately, there is no English version of that article).

If you need to "sign" some text, for example your patch you publish on our wiki, enter anywhere you need it the following:

Do not limit yourself to the only ways of text formatting we have shown here. There is a lot of other styles displayed at Wikipedia markup page, and if you think something could serve your needs please use it without asking a permission ;) However, we would like to ask you to follow the rule of the golden mean and use styles and markup only when it is really necessary.


Welcome to the Sandbox if you need to check some style or HTML tag behaviour.

For translators

How to begin making a new language version

  1. If your language is not present in the languages list please contact LKnight or, if it is impossible to locate him, you can send your request to Bigote. Also you will need to help the project administrators in editing the new wiki's navigation menu and in adding a link to it to the main index page ;)
  2. Well, a subdomain is ready. Now create an account at the new wiki version and also at all the rest version (if not, you will not get access to the source code of other articles, and besides, you will have to add links to the articles translated by you to all the rest of versions).
  3. We would recommend that this page is translated first if possible, as it provides users with information on this wiki's style guidelines.
  4. Put in your browser and you will see the main page of the new wiki version (empty, of course). On the left, under the logo is the navigation menu. Click the "Help" link and open it for editing. You will need to obtain the text to translate by opening the Help page of another language in a new browser window or tab for editing, copy all the text, then cancel editing of that language. Paste the text into the edit frame in the new language and save it. Click "edit" again and you are now ready to begin translating the text.
  5. Do not forget you have to provide cross-linking between the page you are working on and other its language versions. To do that include somewhere in the text (better at the beginning of the article) a line that looks like [[en:Help:Contents]] where "en" is the language code and "Help:Contents" is the article's name in that language. There should be no spaces between the language code, the colon following it, and the first word of the article's name. When you save the page you will see a new section at the bottom of the left menu: links to other languages versions of this page. You will need to add as many links as there are other versions of your page. Do not forget to add a link pointing to your page to all other versions of it.
  6. We hope that after this page is translated, consider translating Main Page and Tkabber FAQ — a collection of answers to the most popular questions regarding Tkabber. We would also recommend translating the articles that Tkabber FAQ references too, and so on. You are also free to translate any other page, especially those of interest to you. Note that there is a special page All pages where you can find the articles that are left to translate.
  7. A couple of advices about how to translate things like [[Member:bigote]], Special:Recentchanges, etc.
    • You are already done with the "Help" page, so now go to the page of recent changes (it will have other name in your language) where you could see a link to the page you have just translated and your nick next to it. Click it and in your personal info edit page (which, by the way, we'd recommend to fill up, at least put your JID) you will see its name. It will look like "Editando Usuario:Bigote" (this example is in Spanish but of course it would be different in other language). So if you need to put a link to a user's personal page that has an account at your language version, use a pattern [[Usuario:bigote|Bigote]]. If this user does not have a personal page in your language but he or she has one in other language, you might want to give an interwiki link like this: [[:ru:Участник:bigote|Bigote]]. It will look like a local link but it will lead to a personal page of that user in other language. Of course, the language code and the name space will be different, depending on the language version you link to.
    • Use this approach to know the names of the rest of special pages. (You could just hover the mouse pointer over a link and in the status bar of your browser you will see the fill link to the pointed article, so you only have to "extract" the article's name and to put it in your text.)

Translation into mother tongue

This part is dediacted to the languages other than English. We are trying to explain the problem giving Russian terms as an example but our recommendations could be helpful for other languages too, especially if they differ from English very much, like other slavic languages, Japanese, etc.

When you translate into your own language, some problems with using specific IT terms could appear. On the one hand, in Russian IT slang there is a lot of transliterated English words like "файл" (file), "биндинг" (binding) and adapted words like "винт" (winchester, HDD), "аська" (ICQ). On the other hand, it has sense to translate some words, for example "список контактов" (a list of contacts, or just "contacts") instead of transliterated "ростер" (roster). It is up to you to decide which variant is the best, but the main recommendation is: try to avoid extremes. There is an article on our wiki named Terminology where you can look for some difficult terms and also enlarge it if you think it is necessary.

Another problem that grows when translating between languages of different language groups is loan translation, or calque. Try to avoid literal translation. If you do not understand some phrase, literal translation will not save its sense, on the contrary, it will break it. In most cases of such difficulties, it is still possible to achieve a good translation simplifying the sense of the phrase or splitting a long sentence into two or more simple ones. The last remedy: leave the source phrase next to your translation enclosed in parentheses. Somebody else will translate it later; wiki is perfect in this sense. By the way, if you read some article and see an obvious calque that spoils the discourse, do not be lazy: take a look at the source article and correct the translation. If you do not know the source language but nevertheless some place in the translation irritates you, use Discussion of that article (a link to each page's Discussion can be found at the top service menu).

Translation into a foreign language

All of us know that to do a good translation it is very important to speak fluently the destination language. In most cases, we translate into our native languages but sometimes it is necessary to translate into a foreign one. What can we advise for such cases with reference to our wiki?

Menu translation

Only project administrators are able to edit the navigation menu of our wiki, so please contact Bigote or LKnight.

Tkabber localization

There is an article (in English) at the official Tkabber site that could be very helpful for any person who would like to make a new Tkabber localization or maintain an existent one. Please consult it if you'd like to participate.