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BZFlagWiki:Sign your posts on talk pages

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Signing your posts on talk pages is a guideline for the use of user signatures on BZFlagWiki. For instructions on how to sign your posts, see below.

Signing your posts on talk pages and other Wiki-related discourse (but not on articles) is not only good etiquette, it also facilitates discussion by helping other users to identify the author of a particular comment, to navigate talk pages, and to address specific comments to the relevant user(s), among other things. Discussion is an important part of collaborative editing as it helps other users to understand the progress and evolution of a work.

Purpose of signatures

Signatures identify you as a user, and link your contributions to the BZFlag wiki. They encourage civility in discussions by identifying the author of a particular comment, and the date and time at which it was made.

When signatures should and should not be used

Any post made to user talk pages, article talk pages, or other discussion pages should be signed. Edits to articles should not be signed, as signatures on BZFlagWiki are not intended to indicate ownership or authorship of any article. Signatures should not be used in edit summaries as they do not translate from ~~~~. In other instances when posts should not be signed, specific instructions are provided to contributors.

How to "sign" your posts

There are two ways to sign your posts:

1. At the end of your comments, simply type four tildes (~), like this: ~~~~.

2. If you are using the edit toolbar option (which must be enabled under Special:Preferences), click the signature icon (File:Signature icon.png) to add the four tildes.

Your signature will appear after you have saved the changes.

The end result is the same in both cases. Typing four tildes will result in the following:

Wikimarkup Resulting code Resulting display
[[User:SampleUser|SampleUser]] 03:38, July 14 2024 (UTC) SampleUser 03:38, July 14 2024 (UTC)

Since typing four tildes adds the time and date to your resulting signature, this is the preferred option for signing your posts in discussions.

Typing three tildes results in the following:

Wikimarkup Resulting code Resulting display
[[User:SampleUser|SampleUser]] SampleUser

Since this does not date-stamp your signature, you may wish to sign this way when leaving general notices on your user page or user talk page. This is also a convenient shortcut (rather than typing out the full code) when you want to provide a link to your user page.

Typing five tildes will convert to a date stamp with the current date and time, without adding your signature, like this:

Wikimarkup Resulting code Resulting display
03:38, July 14 2024 (UTC) 03:38, July 14 2024 (UTC)

Note that if you choose to contribute to BZFlagWiki without logging in, you should still sign your posts. In this case, your IP address will take the place of your username.

Your IP address might look something like this: Some users prefer to use their IP address instead of a user name because they think that an IP provides them with more anonymity. In actual fact, a pseudonymous account (that is, a registered user name) actually provides you with more protection of your identity.

Note also that signing manually with a pseudonym or tag such as --anon does not give you more anonymity or privacy protection, since your IP address will still be stored in the page history. This also makes it more difficult for other users to communicate with you.

Customizing your signature

Registered users can customize their signature by going to Special:Preferences and changing the field "Nickname". By default, it will change the text used in your signature, but not the link; check the "Raw Signatures" checkbox to enable full wikicode entry in the nickname field.

When customizing your signature, please keep the following in mind: A distracting, confusing or otherwise unsuitable signature may adversely affect other users. Some editors find it disruptive to discourse on talk pages, or when working in the edit window. Very long signatures that contain a lot of code ("markup") make it difficult for some editors to read talk pages while editing.

In no circumstance should a signature be used to impersonate another user: in particular, a signature should not be identical to the actual username of an existing user. While not an absolute requirement, it is common practice for a signature to resemble to some degree the username it represents.

If asking another user to change their signature, remember to remain polite. If you are asked to change your signature, please avoid interpreting a polite request as an attack. As all wikis are based on working together in harmony, both parties should work together to find a mutually acceptable solution.

Appearance and color

Your signature should not blink, or otherwise inconvenience or be annoying to other editors.

  • Markup such as <big> tags (which produce big text), or line breaks (<br /> tags) are to be avoided, since they disrupt the way that surrounding text displays
  • Be sparing with superscript or subscript. In some cases, this type of script can also affect the way that surrounding text is displayed
  • Avoid making your signature so small that it is difficult to read
  • In consideration of users with vision problems, be sparing with color. If you must use different colors in your signature, please ensure that the result will be readable by people with color blindness.


Keep signatures short, both in display and markup.

Long signatures with a lot of HTML/wiki markup make page editing more difficult. A 200 character signature, for instance, is likely to be larger than many of the comments to which it is appended, making discussion more difficult:

  • signatures that take up more than two or three lines in the edit window clutter the page and make it harder to distinguish posts from signatures,
  • long signatures give undue prominence to a given user's contribution,
  • signatures which have excessively long HTML/wiki markup and contain no spaces can cause a later editor's edit box to show an unnecessary horizontal scrollbar

Internal links

It is common practice to include a link to your user page or user talk page (often both); the default signature links the user page. When you insert your signature on your talk or user page the talk or user link will appear black, bold and inactive as it is a self-reference, so test your signature elsewhere. Including additional internal links is generally acceptable when used to facilitate communication, or to provide general information, but undesirable if seen as spamming or canvassing for some purpose.

External links

Do not include links to external websites in your signature.

Mass posting of links to a particular website is strongly discouraged. Posting a link to an external website with each comment you make on a talk page could be taken as linkspamming, or an attempt to improve your website's ranking on search engines. Although this doesn't actually work, it's best not to do it. If you want to tell other BZFlag players about a good website with which you are associated, you can do so on your user page.

Transclusion of templates

Transclusions of templates and parser functions in signatures (like those which appear as {{User:Name/sig}}, for example) are forbidden. Signature templates are vandalism targets, and will be forever, even if the user leaves the project. Simple text signatures, which are stored along with the page content, use no more resources than the comments themselves and avoid these problems.

Dealing with unsigned comments

It is a good idea to notify users, especially new users, that they should sign their comments. You may use the template {{sign}} on the user's talk page.

More about talk pages

See Help:Talk page for accepted conventions and guidelines regarding the use of talk pages.

See also