This policy defines how and when signatures are to be used, in addition to outlining rules regarding what is an acceptable signature.
The purpose of signatures
Signatures are a way to easily uniquely identify the author of text written on the wiki (mainly on talk pages).
It is important to understand that signatures on LCARS do not indicate ownership or copyright of any part of an article to that user and are not to be used in that way. Signatures are useful tools for identification and attribution, and thus frequent changes to your signature's appearance will reduce its effectiveness.
Discussions are an important part of any collaborative editing effort, as they help explain the progress and evolution of a literary work. Signing comments is not just good etiquette. Signatures facilitate discussion by making it easier to follow a discussion between several people, as the standard signature includes both the name of the user and a timestamp for the comment. They also make it easier to navigate talk pages, to address comments to specific users, and to encourage civility by attribution and identification.
Rules for signatures
A signature must:
- uniquely identify the person signing.
- include a link to the user page or the user talk page of the person signing.
- not include a link to a user page or a user talk page of a user that is not identical with the person signing.
- not hinder the readability of talk pages (e.g. by being huge in size or overly distracting).
If you sign with an abbreviation of your user name you should register that name too and redirect it to your full name. This'll stop your short user name from being taken which will force you to change back to your full name. It'll also stop other wiki users from getting confused. Generally, we'd prefer you short name be related to your actual user name.
If you use an image to include your user name, use an alt tag with your user name in it. For example,
[[Image:User <user name> sig.png|<user name>]].
Appearance and color
Generally you want to keep a customised signature within the line height of the default wiki style sheet to it doesn't mess with surrounding lines. This means that any image or text you have in your signature should be around 19px high.
You will be required to change your signature if you have:
- Flashing or moving components.
- Line breaks.
- Text which is too big.
- Text which is difficult to read; either by being too small or use of obscuring fonts.
- Colors which are difficult to read especially for color blind users.
- Very long html code for the signature.
- Very long visual appearance.
You may also be requested to change your signature if it uses:
- A background color as well as an image, or an image with a background.
- A background or image which draws excess attention to your signature.
- Too many colors, especially in a rainbow effect.
- Subscript or superscript text.
If tastefully done any of the visual effects in the above section can be used in a signature, but what is finally allowed is determined by sysops.
User signatures are not to be stored on a separate page, ie your custom signature must be wholly in the "Nickname" text box in your preferences, due to the reasons below.
- Transcluded signatures require extra processing and are an unnecessary server drain. Whenever you change the source of a transclusion, all pages transcluding the source must be re-cached.
- Signature templates are good vandalism targets, allowing others to modify your signature without you noticing it at all.
Users that are warned about their signatures by admins are expected to change their signature. Repeated disregard of admin warnings might lead to a discussion among the Staff of UCIP.