knowledge base

News styling criteria

For wiki articles, see: Article Styling Criteria

News articles exist on a slightly different system to the main osu! wiki, but follow similar principles. Writing them involves careful attention to a few key features and formats as outlined below.

As always, all news articles should aim to have proper spelling and grammar at a bare minimum, as well as having correct and up-to-date information.

Repository directory

The following standards apply only to articles written for the news, and saved in the news directory.

Locales

The news system does not support locales at this time. All articles must be in English (preferably British English), with a consistent register.

What this register entails depends on the focus and tone of your article, but it must be consistent. Articles that sound professional must always sound professional. Articles that are conversational must be always conversational.

Writing standards

All news articles must be written with a few key concepts in mind - conciseness, audience, and presentation.

Conciseness

News articles should be short and sweet, with appropriate information condensed as much as possible without being overly dense.

Provide links to in-depth resources instead of referencing them directly in-text. Use visual displays wherever possible to convey large amounts of information at a glance.

Audience

osu!'s chief audience is mainly teenagers and young adults, though we are an all-ages community. Consider the attention span of said demographic - conciseness ties in very closely to this.

Consider well what you write within your article and whether it would interest the community at large enough to warrant including it.

Presentation

News articles must aim to be as pleasingly neutral as possible in terms of presentation.

Pleasingly neutral, however vague, refers to an article that is both light and robust, saying what it needs to say without giant blocks of text. It must be consistent in formatting, style and register. Large quantities of information should be supported or supplanted with visual aids.

Formatting

Article filenames

News articles are markdown files (.md) are named under the following format:

yyyy-mm-dd-<article title>.md

Where yyyy is year as 4 digits, mm is month as 2 digits, and dd is the date as 2 digits.

Article title strings for file names are the title of the article itself with all spaces replaced with hyphens (-), and all additional characters such as periods (.), exclamation marks (!), question marks (?), commas (,), apostrophes ('), quotation marks ("), less than (<), more than (>), colons (:), forward slash (/), backwards slash (\), vertical slash (|), and asterisks (*) removed with no replacement.

File headers

All news article files must include a basic header which includes information about the article's title and published date. This must follow the format below:

---
layout: post
title: "Aspire 2017 Stage Two: osu!taiko Concludes"
date: 2017-08-17 03:00:00 +0000
---

layout must always be set to post.

title must represent the article's full title and name, complete with any appropriate formatting. Markdown formatting is disallowed in this string.

date must represent a combined string displaying a calendar date in ISO 8601 format (2017-08-17), followed by a 24 hour time string (03:00:00), followed by a time offset from UTC (+0000). This date is used to determine the "xx minutes/hours/days ago" display on the website when referring to the publish dates of visible news articles.

Markdown

The osu! wiki uses a partial implementation of GFM (GitHub Flavored Markdown) with the following exceptions:

Titles

News articles do not use traditional Markdown titles in any capacity whatsoever.

Headers

Header levels 1 (#), 2 (##), and 3 (###) can be used. Never use headers to style or format text.

Bold

Bolding is reserved for highlighting objects or phrases of importance, be them players, scoring, or whatever else is contextually considered a focus of the article in question.

Italics

Italics is used uncommonly to accent phrases or statements of interest within the conversational register. It may also be used to designate names of other creative works, such as the osu! Coffee Hour or the Aspire Beatmapping Contests.

Horizontal bar

Horizontal bars must be used sparingly and only in situations where content needs to be cleanly and definitively separated from the rest of the article.

Tables

Markdown tables can be used, but is not recommended for displaying data in news articles. Visualising the data using an image is likely to be more pleasing and more accessible to most users.

Images

All images linked to news articles must either be hosted on osu! servers (i.e. assets.ppy.sh) or placed within and referenced from the osu-wiki shared image repository.

News articles that use images have their own folder within /wiki/shared/news/ using the same naming format as their filename, with the exception of the .md suffix.

Example:

/wiki/shared/news/2017-08-17-news-article-standards/banner.jpg

Formats and quality

Images used in news articles must be in JPG format at quality 9 (90) to quality 10 (100). PNG use is acceptable in instances where the file size is small, or quality cannot afford to be compromised.

File size

Images must be under 2 megabytes or they will fail to load.

All images must be optimised as much as possible. Use jpeg-archive to compress JPEG images. For consistency, use the following command for jpeg-archive:

jpeg-recompress -am smallfry <input> <output>

Where <input> is the file name to be compressed and <output> is the compressed file name.

Captions

Images are not soft-captioned using Markdown except in stylistic circumstances. They may be hard-captioned where contextually appropriate.

Alt text

Alt text is not to be used in banners.

HTML and embedded content

Limited HTML use for the purposes of embedding off-site content such as YouTube videos, Twitch VODs or other applets designed to showcase osu! or osu! related content is allowed.

<center> tag use (or any equivalent styling such as <p align='center'>is disallowed due to the news system styling automatically centering non-text elements.

The width of all embedded content frames must be set to width: 100%. To be included in articles in general, embedded content must support display at full-width styling without breaking or looking awful.

All osu! related information should aim to use the new site wherever possible.

This includes forum threads (https://osu.ppy.sh/community/forums/13), user profiles (https://osu.ppy.sh/users/102335), beatmapsets (https://osu.ppy.sh/beatmapsets/611806#osu/1291369), and any other view which has a fully functioning implementation in osu-web.

If unsure, ask a reviewer.