Help: Be bold

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This page is an official policy on DCCWiki. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. Feel free to update the page as needed, but make sure that changes you make to this policy really do reflect consensus, before you make them.

Be bold can be explained in three words: "Go for it." The DCCWiki community encourages users to be bold when updating the wiki. Wikis like ours develop faster when everybody helps to fix problems, correct grammar, add facts, create content, make sure wording is accurate, etc. We would like everyone to be bold and help make DCCWiki a better DCC go-to resource. How many times have you read something and thought—Why doesn't this page have correct spelling, proper grammar, or a better layout? DCCWiki not only lets you add and edit articles: it wants you to do it. This does require politeness, but it works. You'll see. Of course, others here will edit what you write. Do not take it personally! They, like all of us, just wish to make DCCWiki as good of a DCC reference as it can possibly be. Also, when you see a conflict in a talk page, do not be just a "mute spectator"; be bold and drop your opinion there!

Fix it yourself instead of just talking about it. If you notice an unambiguous error or problem that any reasonable person would recommend fixing, the best course of action may be to be bold and fix it yourself rather than bringing it to someone's attention in the form of a comment or complaint. In the time it takes to write about the problem, you could instead improve the encyclopedia.

Do not be upset if your bold edits get reverted. Francis Bacon, an early advocate of trial and error followed by observation to gain knowledge, once said: "Great boldness is seldom without some absurdity." ref Instead of getting upset, read Help:Assume good faith and Help:Civility. After the reversion of your bold edit, you might want to be bold in an edit on the talk pages so as to not start an edit war. On some of the less-prominent articles on Wikipedia that have a lower editing rate, your bold edit might not be responded to immediately. Think about it this way: if you don't find one of your edits being reverted now and then, perhaps you're not being bold enough.

Be careful

Be bold in updating pages

Though the boldness of contributors like you is one of DCCWiki's greatest assets, it is important that you take care of the common good and not edit disruptively or recklessly. Of course, any changes you make that turn out badly can be reverted easily, usually painlessly, and it is important not to feel insulted if your changes are reverted or edited further. But some significant changes can be long-lasting and harder to fix. If you're unsure of anything, just ask for advice.

Also, changes to articles on complex, controversial subjects with long histories or active sanctions, or to Featured Articles and Good Articles, should be done with extra care. In many cases, the text as you find it has come into being after long and arduous negotiations between DCCWikipedians of diverse backgrounds and points of view. A careless edit to such an article might stir up a latent conflict, and other users who are involved in the page may become defensive. If you would like to make a significant edit—not just a simple copyedit—to an article on a controversial subject, it is a useful idea to first read the article in its entirety and skim the comments on the talk page. On controversial articles, the safest course is to be cautious and find consensus before making changes, but there are situations when bold edits can safely be made to contentious articles. Always use your very best editorial judgment in these cases and be sure to read the talk page.

Being bold is not an excuse to, even temporarily, violate any policies or standards of DCCWiki. Often it is easier to see that something is not right rather than to know exactly what would be right. We do not require anyone to be bold; after all, commenting that something is incorrect can be the first step to getting it fixed. It is true, though, that problems are more certain to be fixed, and will probably be fixed faster, if you are bold and do it yourself.

Non-article namespaces

Although editors are encouraged to be bold in updating pages, more caution is sometimes required when editing pages in non-article namespaces. Such pages are identified by a namespace (eg: 'Template:') prefix. For example, this page, Help:Be bold, has the "Help:" prefix; if it were called simply Be bold (with no prefix) it would be a DCCWiki content page.

Problems may arise for a variety of reasons in different contexts in non-article namespaces. These problems should be taken into account in deciding whether to be bold, and how bold to be.

Template namespace

One must be especially careful when being bold with templates: updating them can have far reaching consequences because one change can affect lots of pages at once. Moreover, some templates are part of a wide-ranging, uniform system of templates across DCCWiki, e.g. infoboxes. Remember, all source code is easily broken by untested changes (but always quite fixable).

Because of these concerns, many heavily used templates indefinitely protected from editing. Before editing templates, consider proposing any changes on the associated talk pages.

Category namespace

Creating new categories or reorganizing the category structure may come to affect many pages. If what you're doing might be considered controversial, think twice.

File namespace

Main article: Helps:File names

Be bold in adding information to the description of an existing image. However, new images should be uploaded with new names rather than overwriting old ones. Doing otherwise risks having the old image confused with the new one. Therefore, you must always be careful.

User namespace

Main article: Help:User page

It is generally recommended that you do not edit another DCCWikipedian's user page or comments left on talk pages (other than your own, and even then do not be reckless). Fixing vandalism is nearly always welcome, even on user pages. Specific users will let you know if they find your changes inappropriate or if you have given incorrect information.

See also