If you want to upload logs yourself, please clean them up beforehand. That means:
- mIRC session formatting
- Stitch posts
- Copyedit: Spelling, punctuation, grammar
- Remove extraneous: OOC comments, nick changes, quit-rejoins
- Add warnings and notices
- UTC timestamps
- Know your display and ordering dates
If you can't upload logs but want to, ask pinkgothic to give you permission. If you don't have permission, you can still clean logs - it'll be appreciated! - but you'll have to DCC/eMail the file to someone who can.
If you don't want to clean logs, forget this document exists! It's quite a thorough document for those that do which is probably just going to upset those that don't. So, shoo, shoo. Nothing to see here.
This page is pretty exhaustive. Excepting the UTC timestamps, mIRC formatting and warnings and notices, everything else is fairly optional, though pinkgothic will love you forever if you adhere to this page properly.
mIRC session formatting
If you don't use mIRC, this template may be useful for you:
Session Start: Day Mon DD HH:MM:SS YYYY Session Ident: #channel [17:42] * Now talking in #channel [17:42] * Topic is 'topic' [17:42] * Set by Someone on Day Mon DD HH:MM:SS [17:43] * Someone (host@mask) has joined #channel [17:42] * Someone sets mode: +m SomeoneElse [17:48] <Someone> blah [17:48] * Someone blahed! Session Close: Day Mon DD HH:MM:SS YYYY
Or, as an example (though just as fictional):
Session Start: Fri Mar 13 17:42:44 2009 Session Ident: #dataclaw [17:42] * Now talking in #dataclaw [17:42] * Topic is '15,1[14,1[5,1:4,1: 0,1welcome to dataclaw @ 4,1wildcard5,1 // crimsonfeather v3.0 4,1:5,1:14,1]15,1] 14,1topic:15,1 #006: "Pretty short-lived game of hide and go seek you're trying to coax from me, there, boy, since last I checked you're trapped same as I am."' [17:42] * Set by Dread on Fri Mar 13 16:55:41 [17:43] * Foamy (Foamy@188.8.131.52298) has joined #dataclaw [17:42] * Dread sets mode: +v Foamy [17:48] <Foamy> Hiya [17:48] * Dread waves to Foamy. Session Close: Fri Mar 13 17:50:09 2009
Please don't bother bringing up that it's not the ideal session format. Most sessions are submitted to the site in this format and this is a question of consistency, not preference.
Note that if you do not know session closing and/or opening times, you're free to create approximations, or just use midnight (00:00:00) timestamps, but please include the lines (again, for consistency).
For ease of legibility and telling between OOC comments and RP at a glance, please place all roleplay in /me format, and all OOC in /say format, unless it's somehow not feasible due to lack of verbs to go by.
Posts that break up over several posts should be stitched together. Breaking up is if a post cuts out before completion of a sentence.
Consider the following snippet:
[18:57] * Dread - A meeting had been called for the developers and the tech support coordinators - a handful of people here in London, away from the central hub of Aeonis in Berlin, but still - hopefully - second to that. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, Teo pushed open the door to the small room containing a square arrangement of tables and a few disturbed seats and the people they seated. "...just saying, it's not something that'll treat us [18:58] * Dread - well if it goes public, whether it's actually our fault or-" Silence drops, a wide- eyed individual nervously tapping his pen abruptly ceasing the motion as he glances up. "I'm sorry, I was told this was an open meeting, I thought I'd partake." <c> [18:58] * Dread - Teo's gaze drifts apologetically through the room, trying to read emotions in the faces of those he'd so unwittingly disturbed. Five minutes? Surely he wasn't five minutes late, maybe three at most, probably two. Did they just start - or had he already missed a lot?
You'd want to stitch the first two posts, but leave the third alone. Not only do you have the <c> showing that it's an intentional break, but no sentence is broken apart.
[18:57] * Dread - A meeting had been called for the developers and the tech support coordinators - a handful of people here in London, away from the central hub of Aeonis in Berlin, but still - hopefully - second to that. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, Teo pushed open the door to the small room containing a square arrangement of tables and a few disturbed seats and the people they seated. "...just saying, it's not something that'll treat us well if it goes public, whether it's actually our fault or-" Silence drops, a wide-eyed individual nervously tapping his pen abruptly ceasing the motion as he glances up. "I'm sorry, I was told this was an open meeting, I thought I'd partake." <c> [18:58] * Dread - Teo's gaze drifts apologetically through the room, trying to read emotions in the faces of those he'd so unwittingly disturbed. Five minutes? Surely he wasn't five minutes late, maybe three at most, probably two. Did they just start - or had he already missed a lot?
It's perfectly acceptable to stitch even clearly separated posts together, but keep in mind very long paragraphs can be hard to read.
Our weapon of choice is British English, but American spellings can stay. pinkgothic herself tries to 'fix' it if it stabs her in the eye - which is often - but they're okay, assuredly.
Not all typoes are terrible. Basically, if you try and pitch a decent attempt into fixing the spelling of words, then the log can go onto the site.
Please do not rely on spell-checkers. For one, they will get seizures if you have mixed AE/BE logs. For two, word typoes (typing a different word than you intended) will not be picked out. We'd rather you missed a typo here and there than used a spell checker, though you can fall back on one if you're done with the first go-through: Read-copyedit first, spellchecker-copyedit second, if at all.
Remove extraneous punctuation, such as constant bracketing of regular narration.
Significant pauses are handled quite stingily by pinkgothic. For consistency, please try to keep by this:
- Significant pauses are always followed by a space, unless they are at the start of a sentence (e.g. "...blah) or followed by other punctuation (e.g. blah...", blah...!, or blah...?).
- Words following significant pauses are always lowercase, even if they're technically leading up to a new sentence ("...blah).
- They're roughly equivalent with a comma, so remove commas immediately around them.
- If you're trailing off into nothing, start the new sentence properly or at least add a dash ("Well, have you ever... - I mean, did you consider this?").
- Significant pauses are always three dots, not more, not less. We will fucking break your fingers if you don't follow this when copyediting. And it will hurt.
With the restrictive stuff out of the way:
- "Blah blah blah." for speech.
- "<Blah blah blah.>" for speech in a language other than the one you're typing it in, e.g. German words, but you're typing English ("<Halt, who goes there?>", but "Anhalten! Wer sind Sie?!").
- 'Blah blah blah.' for thought.
- ~Blah blah blah.~ for telepathic speech.
Other bits and pieces:
Double spaces. Please don't use them. Yes, they increase legibility, but it's more effort adding them into what we have than removing them from the few people that bother with this. Also, they don't translate well to HTML - they'll be lost if someone quotes a section containing them on the site - but that's a minor additional gripe.
Please capitalise after colons.
Strip spaces from around text in brackets: (this is the way bracketing should work), ( not like this ).
Also, as the last note on punctuation, while British English is our poison of choice, American English dialog has come to be adopted, meaning that periods are converted to commas if the surrounding sentence refers to the speech:
- She laughed and said: "That's funny," while continuing to saunter away.
- "What do you mean?" she asked.
- "Yeah, that makes sense," the Puppet said.
- "I didn't think I'd ever say this." The person sat down.
Grammar and other copyediting fun
Grammar should mostly be left alone, simply because of the radical change it does to the structure of RPed sentences. However, gross violations where confusion in the reader is certainty (or almost so) should be fixed.
Also worth noting is that there are some things you shouldn't touch. There are many, many different ways to emphasise something: YOU CAN CAPITALISE IT, you can use mIRC's bold codes (preferred, but as I said, don't touch the others), /you can put slashes for 'faux-italic' around it/, *you can put asterisks aroud it*.
If you feel it's not too much of an infringement on the person's roleplay, please change anything in speech to reflect the actual sound of speech: Numbers should ideally be written out, acronyms that aren't pronouncable and are clearly being spelt out should clearly be spelt out in the log (be it as something like A-C-R-O-N-Y-M or the more onomatopoeic Aye-See-Are-Oh-En-Why-Em that pinkgothic loves so much).
People pinging out and then rejoining: It's not interesting, snip it out. Exception: If the person RPed before and after their absence and substantial RP went on in their absence.
People changing their nicks to denote AFK/Busy/otherwise-not-roleplay, then coming back to the RP later. Also to be snipped, excepting the clause as stated with pinging-out-and-rejoining.
Snip any OOC comments pertaining to: (1) typoes that were corrected in copyedit, (2) nick changes that were snipped, (3) quit-rejoins that were snipped, (4) posts cutting, and people subsequently thanking for the notice, (5) anything else that isn't on this list but makes an OOC comment seem bizarre and/or out of place after copyediting.
Reposts, obviously, also go.
Warnings and notices
If the log deserves a warning or notice, prefix/suffix it with one. Warnings and notices should all be on lines with "# " preceding, which increases their prominence at the start/end of the log without being too disruptive.
The text is up to you, but this should be the general format:
# NOTICE/WARNING: # # Something is really special about this log, so it gets # a warning/notice! See how unelegantly we handle the # problem of wordwrap! Anyway. # # Kind regards, # <your name here>
You can leave the "Kind regards," line away in suffixes.
Stuff that needs noting:
- Warnings. Sexual content or content with extremely graphic violence, the type that gets a flag on this site, must get a WARNING prefix in the respective log; keep in mind someone might just download the zip file, there'd be nothing denoting the content in the file otherwise!
- Unexpected continuations. NOTICE-prefix the log that's the continuation with a reference to the log it continues from (title as it is in the archive), and preferably mention the IC date of the previous log. NOTICE-suffix the log the reference is to - that means that almost without a doubt you will have to download the file that's on the site and then reupload it with the change.
- Back- and forward-dating. Should be fairly self-explanatory! Add a NOTICE prefix.
- Diverging. This is tricky. Sometimes, sessions end up splitting into several, or converge from several. This should be a rare occurance. There's no set way to do this, other than to say that NOTICEs are involved - sometimes mid-log. If you put a NOTICE mid-log, have empty lines before and after it to better highlight the logical break you're making note of.
- Retconning and non-canon. We're putting them up on the site - former will be set into the numbering flow of logs and thus must have a NOTICE prefix in the log, latter will be named differently, but should still have a NOTICE prefix for clarity.
The site as a whole is kept in UTC. UTC, not EST, because outside of America, the world is just not America-centric, kthxbai.
In mIRC format, in 99 our of a 100 cases, it is a simple question of replacing [HH: with a [HH: that reflects UTC, e.g. if your session goes from [00: to [05: UTC+1, you'll want to replace [00: with [23:, then [01: with [00:, then [02: with [01: and so forth. In the 1 of a 100 cases (like in the example), remember to adjust dates in the 'Session Start' and/or 'Session Close' datestamps.
(By the way, pinkgothic is in UTC+1/+2. She might move to UTC eventually, but even the UK observes daylight savings time, so this isn't easy for anyone. No whining.)
Display and ordering dates
A session's date/time normally follows the guidelines described on the realtime page, with one caveat: The year does not need adjusted as per that page (mostly so you can be lazy).
When you back- or forward-date a session, however, the difference between 'display date' and 'ordering date' becomes relevant.
'Ordering date' is in that case best understood as a sort of OOC time and determines what order the session is shown in when you view the edit submissions page. In other words, this is going to follow the rules on the 'realtime' page mentioned above.
'Display date' is the timestamp the session's been dated to (again without a year adjustment).
For example, if you have a session that was finished on the 2nd of January 2013 with a starting timestamp of [14:16] UTC, and you'd like it to be dated to the 6th of December 2055 (the IC 2012 equivalent) around ten in the morning, then you'd fill in the fields as follows:
Display date: 2012-12-06 10:16:##
Ordering date: 2013-01-02 14:16:##
(Seconds are irrelevant and just there to look fancy.)