A namespace is the prefix of a page that is shown before the colon in a page title. We use these namespaces to divide and organize the content of our site. For example, if you look at the title of this page, you can see that it belongs to the UESPWiki namespace. Most other wikis only have one article namespace, the Main namespace, but the UESPWiki has multiple article namespaces, used to help organize the content (as explained in more detail at Help:Namespaces).
Different namespaces have different purposes, and therefore include different types of content and have different guidelines about how content is created and the style of that content. One of the main distinctions is between article namespaces and talk namespaces. The other big difference is between Lore and "gamespaces" (e.g. Oblivion).
Why do we have namespaces?
The UESPWiki uses namespaces to distinguish identical subjects in different games. For example, if we did not use namespaces we would have multiple pages named Argonian followed by (Arena), (Daggerfall), (Morrowind), (Shadowkey), (Oblivion), (Skyrim), or (Online). Then we have a Lore page for Argonians. This isn't good, as there would be a minimum of eight pages solely on Argonians, not to mention any future games. We can't add them to one page or split them between one Lore page and one game page because each game takes them in a slightly different direction, not to mention updated graphics and style choices in how they appear. Now think of how this would be impossible to do with generic weapons, which also change per game (e.g. weight, damage, value) - just one game's generic weapons page is already one of the longest in that gamespace. Another reason is that some articles wouldn't have a (Game) suffix, so you might be reading Arena content when you want to be reading Skyrim content, and end up spending hours searching for the city of Snowhawk, which only exists in Arena.
What qualifies for a namespace?
Any new game will receive a namespace, this can be done as soon as there is an official announcement naming a new game. Most people identify an Elder Scrolls game by its given name (e.g. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is referred to as Skyrim), which we use as the name of the namespace.
There is currently no need for any further site-side namespaces (e.g. General). If there is a need it will be discussed on the Community Portal to determine its usefulness and goals.
It may be desirable, in the best judgment of a community consensus, to have a separate namespace for some downloadable content (DLC). These are some guidelines to help make this determination, but these guidelines can be overridden by consensus. DLC may fail to meet one or even all of the guidelines but may still be granted a namespace due to consensus, and DLC that meets all the guidelines will not be guaranteed a namespace.
- Significant amount of data: This should translate into a large amount of items/NPCs/places in the game.
- Significant used landmass: Adding a small island or opening up a small portion of an additional area is not enough, significant in this sense is an area of large proportions where most of the new data is concentrated (quests, places, etc.).
- Separation: DLC that has a significant impact on existing data should not generally be separated. This is due to large amounts of overlapping data where one page will be redundant to the reader who has the DLC installed, thus confusing the reader and causing undue frustration.
* There can be no minimum amount to be "significant", but the term is fairly self-evident.
** Points 1 and 2 are guidelines as to why a plug-in should have a namespace, while point 3 is a guideline as to why a plug-in should not have a namespace.
What are the differences between namespaces?
Article namespaces contain the articles that are the primary content of the wiki, namely descriptions of the Elder Scrolls games. Most visitors to the site will only view pages in the article namespaces.
Articles are expected to be written in a professional, encyclopedic style that is geared towards readers of the site. The Style Guide spells out some of the guidelines that apply to articles. These pages are written collaboratively, i.e., content written by one editor may be revised by another editor. The content of articles is decided by community consensus.
Lorespace is an article namespace, but with a few differences. It is written as an historical account of events, written for a person living in the latest known date in lore. From this perspective, lore can only be written in third person, where "you" are replaced by the "hero" of the game. A sentence on a lore page should have a source, which makes lore the closest in style to Wikipedia's style. For more information, see the Lore guidelines.
Talk namespaces are where articles are discussed. Every article page on the site has a companion talk page, accessed using the "discussion" tab. Talk pages are "openly focused", where all editors can contribute their opinion about the content or style of the site. Discussing the subject matter of the content (i.e. "What does that NPC mean when he says that?") are more suited for the forums. Topics like this are not banned or removed on sight, though; each will be evaluated on merit, as sometimes these can lead to improved articles with clarification, fixing possibly misleading typos in the text, etc.
The different purpose of talk namespaces means that the standards and style are very different than for article namespaces. Several of the style guidelines should not be followed on talk pages:
- All contributions on talk pages should be signed and dated (which is easiest to do by typing ~~~~).
- First person is acceptable on talk pages, especially since discussions are often used to express personal opinions.
- Unknown information is acceptable on talk pages; this is where facts that are uncertain should be discussed with other members of the community.
All editors are free to add their opinions to talk pages; the content of talk pages is not decided by consensus. Rather, the talk pages are where the discussions occur that determine the community's consensus.
In general, editors should not modify or delete talk page contributions made by other editors. Some exceptions are:
- Archiving of old discussions is acceptable, when done in accordance with the Archiving Guideline.
- Minor corrections of other editors' contributions are acceptable, for example indenting a comment or fixing a link if a page is moved. These types of corrections should never change the contribution's substance or intent. This includes not correcting grammar or typos unless doing so was clearly the original poster's intent and the error would not be obvious to most readers. If in doubt, note your changes within the body of the discussion.
- Deletion of all or part of another editor's contribution is only acceptable when the contribution:
For more information on editing talk namespaces, see this page.
Userspace has some additional guidelines. A user page is the general preserve of that user. Another user may edit it only with permission, to remove breaches of etiquette or copyright, or to update links from moved pages. A user talk page generally follows the same rules as any other talk page, except that the user may delete any message on their talk page, with the exception of official warnings, without having to archive it. Archiving is preferred, but not required.
This is a list of the current namespaces we use to separate the content within the site. In addition to the listed namespaces, there is a discussion or talk namespace associated with each of these, created by adding "_talk" to the end of the namespace (e.g. UESPWiki_talk or Oblivion_talk).
Most namespaces also have an abbreviation (listed in the abbreviation column) that can be used in place of the full namespace name (e.g. DF signifies Daggerfall). These abbreviations are also used to identify images in the File namespace.
|Main||All pages that do not have namespaces are considered to be in the main namespace. With the exception of the Main Page, all pages in this group are actually shortcuts that redirect to popular pages.|
|ESO / Online||ESO / ON||Gamespaces:
The term "gamespace" is a portmanteau of the words "game" and "namespace". It covers all the namespaces that contain information about their respective games. Any article about a specific Elder Scrolls game should go into the appropriate gamespace. In addition, some of these gamespaces have an associated "mod" namespace (or modspace) (see below).
|Lore||LO||This namespace contains historical information about the universe where The Elder Scrolls takes place.|
|Books||BK||This namespace documents all printed books about The Elder Scrolls series.|
Contains information on how to mod and certain unofficial mods (e.g. Bethesda employees' personal mods).
|General||Anything else that does not belong in any of the above namespaces should go here (also check the UESPWiki namespace).|
|The content in these namespaces is used to augment the article namespaces. All editors can edit these namespaces.|
|File||This namespace is where the images of the site are located.|
|Template||Templates made for the purpose of transclusion into other articles can be found at this namespace.|
|These namespaces are meant to assist the UESPWiki's community of editors. All editors can edit these namespaces.|
|User||This is where user pages are located. Each editor can create a user page to introduce themselves to the community or keep track of their work on the UESP. The content and style of a user page is determined by the editor who owns the page. In general, editors should avoid editing user pages owned by other editors.
The User_talk namespace is where individual editors can be contacted (a new message notice will appear when that user next loads a page).
|UESPWiki||Also known as the project namespace, this namespace covers general UESP operations. Policies and Guidelines, for example, are all in the UESPWiki namespace. General community discussion pages, such as Community Portal are also located in UESPWiki.|
|Help||Help files to introduce editors to UESP navigation and editing are located here (due to the use of namespaces, the UESPWiki has some unique quirks that are documented here as well).|
|For the most part, the pages in these namespaces can not be edited.|
|MediaWiki||This namespace allows the site interface to be customized. These pages can only be edited by those with patroller rights.|
|Category||Automated categories that organize the content of UESP are located here. Only the first section of a category page can be edited.|
|Special||This is a special namespace that contains any automatically generated page (except for category pages), such as Special:RecentChanges. The available special pages are listed at Special:SpecialPages.|
Some namespaces have had to be changed for different reasons.
- Image: Renamed to File. "Image" and "File" can still be used interchangeably in links, but "File" is preferred.
- Tamriel: The old name for Lorespace. This was changed as lore expanded beyond the continent of Tamriel to include others such as Akavir.
- Tamold: A namespace used in the transition from Tamriel to Lore, as detailed above.
- Review: A namespace project that was not popular. Intended to hold reviews by users, but only Wrye had significant edits there. Incorporated into userspace subpages.
- Dapel: A personal namespace for some of Daveh's work. Moved off-site and deleted.