After weeks of hard work, I would like to introduce you to version 1.0 of the “OSNews Style Guide: Rules and Guidelines for Publishing and Participating on OSNews” [.pdf]. Read on for some small notes on what this actually means.The Style Guide was created because we noticed we rarely, if ever, received contributed articles in the proper format, let alone with the correct html code. We did have article guidelines, but apparantly, they were not clear enough, or not located easily enough.
This guide deprecates these article guidelines, and our commenting rules have been updated as well; they badly needed fixing as they have remained unchanged for more than five years. They did not take into account more recent developments such as our moderation system, the killing of the forum, and so on. The online version of our rules has been updated to reflect the changes.
Also in this guide are the rules of our moderation system, as in, when to vote a comment up, when to vote it down, that sort of thing. Also included is a section on recommendations: what do they mean? What consequence does a recommendation have? All these questions, and more, are answered in the Style Guide.
This guide covers both OSNews editors as well as news submitters and third party authors. If you adhere to the Style Guide while writing your article or while submitting your news, chanches are increased they are accepted without a hitch.
If you look at the bottom right of the front page of the style guide, you will notice it says “v1.0, January 2007, OSNv3 edition” – the Style Guide is the first step in a complete overhaul of OSNews, which goes far beyond just this guide. OSNews is in the process of a complete rewrite; something we call ‘OSNews v4’. Where v3 was a massive overhaul on the OSNews backend (moderation, reccomendations, registration, etc.), v4 will be a complete rewrite of the frontend, with lots of new features, detailed in Adam’s blog. The screenshot to the left shows a current snapshot of version 4 on the development site.
To enable other websites or publications to use this style guide as a base to write their own, the document is licensed under the Creative Commons ‘Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5‘ license. This means you are free to redistribute and/or alter this document, provided you credit the original author, and keep the original license in tact. Commercial use is allowed. If you want an editable copy of this document (.doc or .docx), please email me or the OSNews-crew list.
If you encounter any errors in the guide, such as spelling or grammar mistakes, feel free to post them in the comments section.