From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

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BaconShelf
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Hey all. With the imminent release of Halo: Shadows of Reach, Halo Infinite and whatever else ends up being announced soon, we're going to soon have a myriad of new info to add to the site. In this light, now seems like a good time to formally introduce the new sourcing system we've been working on (and by we, I mainly mean Dab1001, who is responsible for all of the implementation of the following).

The new system we're working with is designed to do several things to improve on the standard <ref> tags you're no-doubt familiar with as standard on most wikis. In no particular order, this system is designed to be easier, quicker, more consistent and futureproof. For a detailed explanation, see below.

Overview

If you're familiar with using infobox templates already, the new sourcing system should come naturally to you. For a general jist, referencing works now by using a template to handle all layout, formatting and so forth of references - the only information you need to input is a link, a page name, chapter number or level. All bold and italic text, hyperlinking and placement of information is handled for you. As such, instead of having to write out;

<ref name="H5MeridianStation">''[[Halo 5: Guardians]]'', campaign level [[Meridian Station]]</ref>

To render[1], you simply have to write;

{{Ref/Level|Id=H5MeridianStation|H5G|Meridian Station}}

To render this.[2] Both methods produce the same outcome to the end reader, but the second option ensures that all citations use the exact same formatting and placement order for text and information, as a result making our pages look cleaner and more organised. For example, compare this page's reference section versus the one seen on this revision of the UNSC page. With multiple editors employing slightly different styles for how references are formatted, things look messy - something this new system avoids entirely! Additionally, by using a lot of automation, we can ensure that reference formatting styles can be easily updated across the site in the future by updating the source template alone or using bots - something that massively helps with making the site as a whole adaptable for the future.

If the stuff I've just written seems confusing or intimidating, that's fine. Below is written a deep-dive into some different referencing scenarios and what you'd do, but it doesn't cover anything. If you get stuck with anything, feel free to message me here, on the Discord server or in this thread and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.


The crunch

As explained prior, referencing is handled now via a template, the root of which can be found at Template:Ref. You may notice I said root, that's because I lied. It's not a template, it's a system of several templates. Due to how many types of references we may want to do, we can't fit everything into one template, so it's broken into several specialist ones - luckily, they're all listed in the link I just provided. Additionally, typing {{Ref/ in your wikitext editor will bring up a list of them in a little drop down menu, so you don't need to remember them all.

Some of the most common scenarios are listed below.

Referencing webpages

Referencing media

This section covers the most common referencing you'll likely do; books, novels, comics, games and such. In general, referencing of these media forms all follows the same basic idea, with some slight changes depending on what exactly you're doing. For example, take this reference;[3]

Here's now this reference is broken down, with accompanying notes in brackets to explain what's what.

{{Ref/Novel          - (The specific reference template we want to use to cite this media)
 |Id=HO15                     - (This parameter is the name we want to store in case we want to reuse this reference - see the Reusing Citations section below)
 |Oblv                        - (This is an Acronym that allows us to call this media title easily. See the Acronyms section below)
 |Chapter=15                  - (Should be self-explanatory - place your chapter number here)
 |Page=123-124                - (Should be self-explanatory - place your page number(s) here. In general for novels, we prefer chapter numbers over page ones though.)
 }}

Depending on circumstance, you'll need a different referencing template. For referencing novels, you'd use Ref/Novel. For reference books (IE Warfleet or the EVGs) you'd use Ref/Book, for comics Ref/Comic and so forth - you get the idea. Notably, we have several for games including campaign levels, Multiplayer maps, gamemodes and a generic Ref/Game for misc. info. Below, I'll cover some scenarios so you can get an idea of how to use these templates.


Acronyms

As mentioned above, Acronyms are a system developed to make referencing media quicker than easier. As seen in the example used in the Overview section, this system essentially allows you to be lazy-efficient. Instead of having to write out particularly long source names such as Halo 5: Guardians or Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, this system simply allows you to type in the acronym of the appropriate media and the automation handles the rest. For example, typing out H5G will automatically translate to the reference displaying Halo 5: Guardians.

Pretty simple right? For a full list of all (and I do mean all) supported acronyms, see Halopedia:Acronyms. It's a very comprehensive list.

Reusing citations

Often times, you'll want to use the same citation to reference multiple pieces of information because you're a civilised person and understand the benefit of calling the same variable several times. As touched on above, this is handled easily in the new templates system. As a recap, how you're used to reusing citations right now is by typing out something like <ref name="HO15">.

In the new system, all reference templates have a field called Id=. This works exactly the same way as our name=, except you type the name without quotation marks. To go back to our Halo: Oblivion citation[3], what we've got here in our field is this field; |Id=HO15

If we want to call the Halo: Oblivion citation later, all we need to use is following; {{Ref/Reuse|HO15}}. I'm not sure if there's much that needs explaining here - you simply add the tag of the reference you wish to call in the field.

Notes

Citation lists

To add a list of sources, you're likely used to typing out <references/> at the bottom of articles. This one is a pretty simple chance, as where you would type <references/> you now simply use the {{Ref/Sources}} tag. This is done so that we can customise reference list stylings consistently, should we need to. Typing {{Ref/Sources}} still gives you the below list;

  1. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Meridian Station
  2. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Meridian Station
  3. ^ a b Halo: Oblivion, chapter 15, page 123-124