Invention Studio:Wiki style guide

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ISPIs: In order to keep the formatting of the wiki consistent, these are a few simple rules for editing. Refer to this page before making changes.

These guidelines follow technical formatting and diction. First:

  • When you add something new, update this page with its style so others can follow your example and keep the content consistent.


  • Make sure your style conforms to what's already written e.g., before adding a new "acceptable materials" section to Laser Cutters, check other pages to see how they present similar information.
    • Match capitalization style: consistently capitalize items in lists, section titles, etc.
  • In the "Summary" field, write a one-line description of your changes in present tense, no matter how small your changes were e.g., "Add summary style guideline."
  • Expand out acronyms the first time you use them in a page e.g., "...many of our machines are computer numerically controlled (CNC)..."
  • Avoid walls of text. Condense information in lists, images, and tables when possible.
  • Add a space after each asterisk in a bullet list or number sign in a numbered list.
    * Bullet item
    *Don't do this
  • Be brief.
  • The under construction template can be added to pages by placing {{InProgress}} at the top. This should be used for pages that have little to no currently useful content.
  • The proposed for deletion template can be added to a page by placing {{Delete|reason=Your Reason to delete the page}}. Please specify a reason and do not put the template on pages which could be useful to a user if improved.


  • No hypotheticals. Don't describe or document stuff that's planned, doesn't exist, or unfinished.
  • Keep this a simple reference for ISPIs to do their Studio jobs. Don't clutter up pages with information on projects or Makers Club activities/events (summer camp, AMMF, etc.).
  • DON'T MESS UP THE MAIN PAGE. Think twice—then thrice—before making any changes to the Main Page, because you will affect the ability of ISPIs to use the wiki effectively.



  • Don't discuss Invention Studio matters on this wiki. We have a forum, mailing list, and Facebook group for that. The wiki is publicly accessible.
  • Do discuss wiki-related stuff on the wiki, but only in the pages' talk pages. Each page has one; just click the "Discussion" tab above. This page's talk page is Invention Studio talk:Wiki style guide.
  • Don't put "meta" or placeholder content into pages e.g., don't write "THIS NEEDS TO BE REPLACED" in a page; note plans for the page in the talk page.
  • Sign your changes to talk pages with two hyphens and four tildes (-- ~~~~) after your message e.g., "I think this page rocks. -- ~~~~" which the wiki software translates to "I think this page rocks. Xo Wang (talk) 22:42, 11 April 2013 (EDT)"
  • Users can each have a user page (e.g., Xo Wang) and a user talk page (e.g., Xo Wang talk). See mediawikiwiki:Help:User_page on how to use them.

Canonical naming

To be consistent, let's agree to refer to our stuff by the following names:

  • Waterjet cutter(s) or waterjet(s), not "water jet cutter" or "wajet machine."
  • Laser cutter(s) or laser(s), not "laser machine" or "pewlazerz."
  • 2D printer(s) and 2D scanner(s) when referring to non-3D machines, because we live in the future.


  • Feel free to dive in and make changes, but if you want to totally overhaul a page, propose changes on its talk page and put up drafts in your user page, which is a personal playground for development (e.g., Xo Wang).
  • If someone deletes your work, he probably had a good reason. Look at the history page to see why he did it. Start a discussion in the talk page and contact the other ISPI. Don't start a back-and-forth edit war and avoid personal attacks.
  • Settle arguments quickly and move on to adding useful content. It's not that big of a deal.