Policy Talk:Article Naming

This initital post was in response to a discussion started by BrokenMnemonic and ClanWolverine101, before being brought over here.


Character Naming[edit]

Okay, gentlemen: WP was not the source of guidance I had hoped for. While I'm still poking around the site, they have plenty of policies (and sub-policies) that deal with naming conventions, but nothing that has lept out at me as to when dealing with people sharing the same name and similar lineages. They do provide examples where multiple people share the same name but are known for different subject areas (ex: William Henry (gunsmith), William Henry (chemist), William Henry (congressman), William Henry (actor)). What we're specifically looking for is something that guides us when multiple people share the same name and possibly the same lineage. Bear with me as I work this thru:

  • Conceivably, we could deal with characters that officially carry a Roman numeral as part of their name (ex: John Steward I, John Steward II), but that convention doesn't necessarily remind me of anyone off the top of my head.
  • We could place the Roman numeral in parenthesis, especially in cases such as highlighted by BrokenMnemonic above, so it stands out as not an offical name numbering but one of chronological necessity (ex: Ian Davion (I), Ian Davion (II)).
  • We could also have the years of their lifespans indicated in the title (ex: Ian Davion (25xx-2599), Ian Davion (2980-3013)).

In any case, I believe the person who is most thought of by that name deserves to have the primary title article (ex: Ian Davion), with a redirect from whatever naming convention we choose. The exception would be in those rare cases where most readers would auto-ask, "Which one?". In that case a disambig page would be needed. In every case where multiple characters have the same name, each article should have the Otheruses tag employed, to bring the reader's attention to the existance of other similarly named characters.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 17:06, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

I'd be inclined to go with an internal reference scheme for naming conventions; ideally, I'd prefer to use the (ex: Ian Davion (25xx-2599)) format, but for a lot of minor characters, I don't think we have even that much information. I'd suggest we go with the second option, personally - but I'd be tempted to go with an alphabetic identifier, rather than a numeral, inside the brackets; it may be possible to confuse Ian Davion II with Ian Davion (II), but not Ian Davion I with Ian Davion (A) and Ian Davion (B). I think it's very unlikely we'd get more than 3 characters with the same name. Where there are only two, I can't think of a case where one of them isn't clearly more important to the timeline than the other, making the distinction over who gets to be simply "Ian Davion" much easier and the use of otheruses much simpler. Would it be ok for me to spin up Alexander's immediate offspring as examples? BrokenMnemonic 19:52, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd prefer one standard that fits all possible scenarios, that is both clean & easy to understand. We could go with generic century markers (ex: Ian Davion (26th c.), Ian Davion (30th-31st c.), with this title redirecting to Ian Davion) in order to avoid the 25xx issue. I'm not partial to alphabetic identifiers, as that seems like a somewhat foreign answer to a naming problem that should be answered already.
I agree with you there is very likely to be few (if any) characters where two are equal in notability.
And, yes, I think using articles as working examples is fine. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:37, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Interesting point was made by Deeppockets here: he posits that with the breadth of history covered in the BT universe, there may be characters not yet written about (or discovered) that also share that name, and we may confuse the naming conventions if we have (or fail) to change the Roman numerals when they become evident. That leads me to like the century identification more.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:53, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Just found this WP section: Ordinals. What catches me is the statement: "Use ordinals for disambiguation only when naming the ordinal explicitly is the commonest way to refer to the person".--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:27, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
That WP section is very handy. I think the current BattleTech writing team tend to avoid giving characters the same names in quick succession, from what I've seen in the more recent sourcebooks I've read. I think where this is likely to be an issue is with historical characters established during the FASA days and fleshed out retrospectively. I think that we're best off going with a reference by century rather than by period, though - I can see there being two Ian Davions in the Age of War, but I think it's unlikely there'd be two in the 26th Century unless they're antecedant and descendant. It might even be useful to make the categorisation numeric, as in "Ian Davion (2500s)" because that takes up less space than "Ian Davion (26th Century) - I've seen some weird formatting in the planets category page where some of the planet names have extended article names. BrokenMnemonic 07:45, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I'll start crafting a sub-section draft on Multiple Characters, Same Name. I do think though we should go with the century categorization (Yanks' spelling vice Queen's), but abbreviated, because of those times where a character crosses the century demarcations. For example, (2500s & 2600s) is longer than (26th-27th c.). What say you?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:24, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy to go with that, although I'd be tempted to truncate it a little further, and go for simply listing the century in which the character either lived longest or had the greatest significance, so that if we do end up with two characters with the same name a generation apart (uncle and nephew, for example) it's less likely we'll end up with two who still overlap. OK, lived longest is really poor English (Queen's or Colonial) but it's late and I'm tired ;) If a character lived from 2650-2750, I'd say 27th c. If they lived from 2650-2750, but were Coordinator of the Draconis Combine from 2710-2750, I'd say 28th c. Does that make sense?BrokenMnemonic 21:46, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
It does. I see that as a compromise from my suggestion, but actually better, as it does truncate it, as you indicated. I'll modifiy that sub-section I just wrote to say the 'primary' century should be the one the character was most notible within. Thanks for the great idea. Let me know if the draft sub-section works.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:52, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
I think it works. I've just started adding in entries for the children of Alexander Davion, which includes two using the new naming convention - Ian Davion (26th c.) and Roger Davion (26th c.). Looking at the categories under characters, it looks like they're listing well, don't disrupt the look of the category and are easy enough to use when creating links in the main article on Alexander. BrokenMnemonic 08:35, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I think another idea is when charaters have double names, i hope this is the right word! Take a look on the Raymond Karpov page, he is mentioned also as Raymond André Karpov, i think this can help to figure out the policy for characters.--Doneve 20:00, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
You've identified something that does have an answer, Doneve. (Yay!) The second name (or middle name in American English) is used as an article name only when that fuller name is more common than the shortened form. For example, the German priest Martin Luther is best known in his first-last combo, while the American civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. is best known for his first-middle-last-generational suffix. In the case of your example, I don't think anyone will be looking for Raymond André Karpov, and will recognize their target as Raymond Karpov immediately, so no redirect is necessary where a middle name is known but is uncommonly used. However, you've identified a part of the policy that may be addressed immediately. Thanks.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:37, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Ähm, you are right ;), sorry for raw writing but i help a little bit.--Doneve 20:41, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
No reason to be sorry at all, Doneve. You raised a question, which means writers with less BTW experience than yourself are sure to wonder. That was a very helpful question.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:54, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Once upon a time, Victor was ALWAYS called Victor Ian Steiner-Davion. Since then, he's gone by 10 different names. I have no problem naming him Victor Steiner-Davion; just putting it out there. ClanWolverine101 21:05, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
In your opinion, what is he best known as now?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:27, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Precentor Martial? Wink.gif BrokenMnemonic 21:47, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Really, i identify Precentor Martial at first with Anastasius Focht and later with Victor Steiner-Davion, oh i forgot Trent Arian, Cameron St. Jamais!--Doneve 21:55, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
In general most recent sources used Victor Steiner-Davion, the most common alt name versus titles (like Precentor Martial) is Victor Davion, intended to play up his Davion heritage (negatively by Lyrans and Capellans and positively by Davions)— The preceding unsigned comment was provided by Cyc (talkcontribs) 16:39, 6 December 2011.
That's my take, as well. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 02:24, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I was just making an example. The earlier publications ALWAYS included his middle name. They got away from that, obviously, and then Katherine's loyalists started calling him "Victor Davion". ClanWolverine101 16:43, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Image Files[edit]

I'd really appreciate some guidance from editors who do a lot more uploading (and naming) of image files than myself. My first view is that -due to the nature in which upload files are handled differently when it comes to re-naming them- I'm open to leaving them however they are loaded. But, I'm sure a few of you more experienced uploaders have a few naming conventions you'd like to see standardized.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:07, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Are you thinking of all pictures, or particular categories of pictures? I've used an internally consistent naming convention when uploading pictures to the project planets map gallery, for example. It's only really applicable to those maps, though. I think that there are only a small number of pictures that are likely to be used more than once or twice, which means a lot of them will be uploaded by someone planning on using them for a specific purpose - making a consistent naming convention less urgent, because others aren't likely to then go looking for them later. BrokenMnemonic 22:18, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm thinking specifically of images (not categories). I think you're right about how pictures are used here.
Would you mind taking a crack at writing some verbiage for uploading of maps? It doesn't have to be perfect, but I can wordsmith whatever you provide. It may fall into that same area as to how pictures are rarely utilized more than once, but it might also get me thinking otherwise.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:49, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I provide to name the image files by full name (example: Victor Steiner-Davion.jpg, if you have more images Victor Steiner-Davion 1.jpg, etc. 2, 3), when you search for images on sarna it's a little bit easyier to found them, another example for unit logos (example: 1st Sword of the Light is easier as search for 1SOL, or 1st SoL, ect.)--Doneve 22:58, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I had a think about this, and what I'd recommend for a map is that each map be named in a format like the following: [highest level state or region displayed completely]_[year_of_map] with the minimum being a planet name and a year. So, a map that's centered on Taurus in 3079, but which doesn't show the entire Concordat would be Taurus_3079, but a map that includes the entire Alcyone PDZ in 3050 would be Alcyone_PDZ_3050, and one that shows the entire of the Outworlds Alliance in 2750 would be Outworlds_Alliance_2750. Does that make sense? BrokenMnemonic 02:27, 19 December 2011 (PST)

I do agree in principle that we would badly have needed a unified naming scheme for image files a couple of years ago. If you try to implement such a policy now, it means you have to rename thousands of images already uploaded here, plus all links to them. Not possible anymore, imho.
What could (and still should) be implemented is a policy that says you need to give an image a clear, descriptive name. Frabby 09:31, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Sounds more than reasonable.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:26, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I'll update the Image policy page to include that.--Mbear(talk) 15:39, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Expanded the Uploading guide section, point #6 as follows:

6.Images must have a relevant and descriptive name.

1. Image names like mech.jpg, bookcover.jpg, or 1stsol.jpg are not useful. Image names like CloudCobra-StarCommanderInsignia.png, TRO3075-Cover.jpg, 1stSwordOfLightInsignia-3025.jpg are useful to editors and preferred.
2. If you upload an image that shares the same name as an image already in the wiki, the new image will replace the older one.
I'm not sure if this is the best wording and it doesn't cover PDFs, etc. but it's a start.--Mbear(talk) 15:45, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree full with you, it's a start.--Doneve 15:50, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Mbear. I'll steal that language (or the intent) for this policy, as well, so that they match.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:53, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Military unit Naming[edit]

I am asking more out of interest that an actual need as we seem to have things pretty sorted but I will ask anyway. Are the guidelines set out by BattleTechWiki:Project Military Commands for naming military units going to become policy? --Dmon 01:14, 22 January 2012 (PST)

  • To be honest, Dmon, I (myself) only write policies on things I'm personally concerned or following. I have no problem with the guidelines from a project becoming policy or remaining guidelines. Feel free to start a policy discussion and getting a consensus. You don't have to be an admin to get a policy written or passed; you just need consensus. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 05:20, 22 January 2012 (PST)
  • Following up, however, I see the relevance in your question to this policy. I'll look into it accordingly.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 03:59, 29 January 2012 (PST)
Hi, sorry I have taken a while to get back to you on this. To be honest I think it should become policy simply so we have it there if we ever need it but as I stated in my original post it probably doesnt matter if it doesn't because most of the regular contributors already follow the guidelines and I tend to pounce on anything that doesn't --Dmon 23:50, 29 January 2012 (PST)


Okay, I've written most of the draft policy, starting early last month (December 2011). I'm now asking for Yes/No votes as to whether it should be adopted.

  • If you vote "yes", but wish to see more added to it, please indicate so.
  • If you vote "no", please indicate why you feel the policy is not ready for release.

I'll close out votes in seven days (05Feb2012). Thanks. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:17, 29 January 2012 (PST)

Rev - Dumb question - Where is the policy written out? ClanWolverine101 16:54, 29 January 2012 (PST)
I so don't mean this, but it reminds me of the phrase, "There's no such thing as dumb questions...just dumb people." Wink.gif
The answer is up at the top. You're currently on the Discussion page; click on the Policy tab. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 17:10, 29 January 2012 (PST)

Yes votes[edit]

  • Yes: obviously because I wrote a majority of it, but primarily because I think it does centralize a solution to a common issue (not a problem) and solidify the philosophy that there are naming standards expected from articles. I'm certain there are more article types to be addressed, but see no reason to wait until they are all identified and written.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:17, 29 January 2012 (PST)
  • Yes: I was surprised that we didn't have a proper policy in place, though admittedly had never actually checked it out (simply assuming it would be there). There is no reason why those parts that are already written now should not become proper policy asap. Frabby 13:46, 29 January 2012 (PST)
  • Yes Simply on the basis that it is a good idea --Dmon 23:50, 29 January 2012 (PST)
  • Yes Everything was said.--Doneve 23:56, 29 January 2012 (PST)
  • Yes: Makes sense to me. BrokenMnemonic 00:05, 30 January 2012 (PST)
  • Yes, I see no issues with any part of the policy. --Dirk Bastion 02:15, 30 January 2012 (PST)
  • Yes. I don't see any issues with the policy.--Mbear(talk) 09:20, 1 February 2012 (PST)

No votes[edit]



I've been struggling a bit to understand current policy on article naming for ships. It seems like the relevant policy discussion took place on the Project Spacecraft talk page. Based on that discussion, and what I've observed from a bunch of User:Frabby's updates, I've drafted what seems to be the current policy on article naming for ships. I'm seeking consensus and confirmation that this accurately captures current practice. Tosta Dojen (talk) 12:29, 3 August 2020 (EDT)

By and large this is good, except for the very last part. We don't usually use parentesis in article names unless it is required for disambiguation purposes - which happens to be the case for all examples you cited. It's not used or needed wherever the name is unique in a BattleTech context, e.g. Monolith, Union, Kwaidan. Frabby (talk) 13:53, 3 August 2020 (EDT)
Looks good to me, the only exception is the best-known name bit, I have always felt that ships and military units should use the newest name and have previous names in the infobox.
If we are revisiting the naming policy I would actually like to propose a few fairly minor changes to character naming as well. Specifically dropping the best-known name and favouring birth/maiden names in order to make family trees make a touch more sense.--Dmon (talk) 16:17, 3 August 2020 (EDT)
It's funny; my first draft called for the latest name and then I changed it to align with the current policy on character names. I think using the latest name of a ship makes a lot of sense. The only downside I see is that future name changes will require moving the article, which is a very slight increase in the update workload. I'm on board. Tosta Dojen (talk) 17:26, 3 August 2020 (EDT)
Dmon, I'd be interested to hear you elaborate on your proposed changes to character naming. Tosta Dojen (talk) 15:13, 18 September 2020 (EDT)
I'm glad I asked; my reading of that other discussion was exactly the opposite. So ship classes use a parenthetical only when disambiguation is required, and individual ships take a parenthetical in all cases, quiaff? Tosta Dojen (talk) 17:26, 3 August 2020 (EDT)
I've adjusted the text below to reflect the emerging consensus. Tosta Dojen (talk) 08:58, 4 August 2020 (EDT)
I've incorporated the consensus on article names of ships into the policy document. Tosta Dojen (talk) 08:39, 10 August 2020 (EDT)
From the latest revision, it seems I got this part exactly backwards as well. I had the impression from entries like Niflheim (Individual Leopard-class DropShip) and Salvation (Individual Dante-class WarShip) that the parenthetical is applied to individual ships in all cases, but it seems these entries are in error, and the actual practice is to use the name alone whenever possible. Do I have that right this time? Tosta Dojen (talk) 10:44, 12 August 2020 (EDT)
Not sure if "right" is the correct word ;) but the text reflects the current consensus here as I understand it. Parenthesis and piped links should be avoided wherever possible, they're a chore to use in links. Frabby (talk) 11:14, 12 August 2020 (EDT)
That makes a lot of sense. I'll clean up the changes I made under the opposite understanding, in favor of using a short name where possible. Tosta Dojen (talk) 14:40, 13 August 2020 (EDT)
It turns out that there's at least one instance where two different ships have the same name and the same class: Ranger is a Lola III'-class WarShip in the service of ComStar, while Ranger (Individual Lola III-class WarShip) is in service to Clan Nova Cat. (See Talk:Ranger for relevant discussion.) Extrapolating from the policy on characters, we might distinguish them with something like "Ranger (Individual Lola III-class WarShip, ComStar)". How does that sound? Tosta Dojen (talk) 11:09, 12 August 2020 (EDT)
If this definitely not the same ship then your proposal looks sound. Frabby (talk) 11:14, 12 August 2020 (EDT)


Individual ships[edit]

Where an individual ship is known by multiple names, use the best-known latest name of the ship. Previous names can be listed in the article's InfoBoxIndividualVessel. Omit naval prefixes from article names.

Use a parenthetical to indicate the article is about an individual ship, identifying the class.


If the class is unknown, omit the class but use the general type of ship.


Ship classes[edit]

Ship class articles should use a parenthetical to indicate the article is about a class, identifying the general type of ship.

Ship class articles should use only the name of the class, if possible.


When the name of the class has other meanings, use a parenthetical to indicate the article is about a ship class, identifying the general type of ship.


Naming of Operations[edit]

I just changed "Operation SOVEREIGN JUSTICE" to "Operation Sovereign Justice" a bit too quickly, as it just screamed at my eyes and seemed in serious contrast to how I recall other similarly named articles. I'll reserve my rationale for defending this policy, because I imagine I may be missing important perspectives from others on this.

The policy question is: should articles named after military operations and having the proword "Operation" have the proper portion of the name be fully capitalized? Please state your opinion and the reason(s) why you believe so. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 09:37, 23 May 2021 (EDT)

As the person who went ahead and implemented the current system where the operational code name is capitalised. I was working on Category:Military Operations trying to get some semblance of order and realised that our policy did not cover operation code names (pre-admin days) and we had numerous different stylistic veriations and TPTB do not help the situation as they do not seem to use one style either, I felt that the wiki needed one style for the sake of uniformity. Never having been in the military I am not entierly sure how it is done in the real world so I went with the style that screamed itself at me in what I felt was a very 80s action movie/video game type of way.--Dmon (talk) 10:59, 23 May 2021 (EDT)
As for should the policy be official for it to be done that way, My arguement is going to be simple. The work has already been done to set it one way, Official BT products do not have a "canon" way of doing it so why re-do work that has already been done?--Dmon (talk) 11:03, 23 May 2021 (EDT)
To re-state it, the Sarna policy (as it is followed now) is that all operations are fully-capitalized. Correct? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 11:27, 23 May 2021 (EDT)
Yes that is correct.--Dmon (talk) 11:40, 23 May 2021 (EDT)
Roger that. I'll make it policy and will fix my error. Thank you.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:01, 23 May 2021 (EDT)
No error was made Rev. I was not an Admin at the time I made the change so it has never been official policy. This is simply one of a number of stylistic choices that have become common on the wiki by dint of the fact that between 2017 - 2019 I had a day job that was pretty boring and I managed to rack up something like 20,000 edits in 2 years.--Dmon (talk) 12:17, 23 May 2021 (EDT)
I respectfully disagree. I should have checked my presumptions prior to acting. Thank you, anyhow.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:22, 23 May 2021 (EDT)