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Newface

"'I went to a rejuvenation clinic and got an all-natural overhaul.
What do you think?"

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General questions

What is Futurepedia?

Futurepedia is a free content, freely editable online encyclopedia about everything regarding Back to the Future, including the BTTF universe, fandom and behind-the-scenes details.

Who owns Futurepedia?

Futurepedia is hosted by Wikia, a free wiki hosting service operated by Wikia, Inc., a for-profit organization founded by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley. Wikia receives all profit from the Google AdSense advertisements on Futurepedia. Wikia is responsible for technical issues with the site; it also sometimes provides legal advice and is our legal Designated Agent.
However, the Futurepedia content, licensed under the GFDL, is not "owned" by anyone in the traditional sense. Anyone can reuse it elsewhere or even download the database dump and make a mirror or "fork" (not that we would be very excited in the latter case, though).

When and why was Futurepedia created?

Futurepedia was started by Steven Greenwood in January 2007 as a project that would provide a more complete coverage of Back to the Future than Wikipedia was allowed to by its notability policies. For example, almost every character on Futurepedia has a separate article, while on Wikipedia, minor characters are grouped into long "List of minor characters" articles. A smaller wiki is also easier to manage, customize and verify (when it comes to factual accuracy and canonicity).
Our first articles were forked from the English Wikipedia, although most articles have since been completely rewritten to the point that almost no Wikipedia material remains as of now, and the material that does remain mostly constitutes imported policies and guidelines.

Who is responsible for the Futurepedia content?

You are! In fact, you can edit this very FAQ! However, note that since Futurepedia is an unofficial, community-driven project, edited by many people unfamiliar with each other, we cannot possibly guarantee (and explicitly disclaim) any degree of accuracy and validity, although we do strive for both accuracy and verifiability — this means that everyone should be able to verify the facts mentioned in every article. This is why all in-universe articles have lists of appearances and sources, and why all real-world articles are referenced.
You can find who contributed to a particular article by looking at its edit history.

What keeps Futurepedia from being destroyed?

Every Futurepedia article contains an edit history (accessible from the "history" tab by default), which records all edits to the article since it was created. In case someone makes a bad edit (intentionally or not) by vandalizing the article, anyone can revert (restore) the article to an earlier, better revision.

How can I contact the project?

The Cafe 80's is the general place to ask questions about Futurepedia or give feedback, although if it by its very nature only concerns the administrators, try the administrators' noticeboard instead. You can also try the Futurepedia IRC chat channel; for instructions on joining it, see Futurepedia:IRC (when applicable).

Legal questions

Is Futurepedia copyrighted?

Yes, all contributions are copyrighted by the people who made them. This means that if you edit an article, you hold copyright for the edits you made, but not for edits made by other people contributing to the same article.
The GNU Free Documentation License, which we use, leverages the legal institute of copyright to ensure that everyone will have the right to freely access, modify and redistribute licensed content, no matter what. Therefore, do not contribute if you do not want your edits to be in turn mercilessly edited by others.

Can I use Futurepedia content on my site/elsewhere?

Yes! However, this only applies to the text, licensed under the GFDL, and a select few free images. Most of our images are copyrighted by Universal, and used under the fair use clause for identification purposes, and using them for other purposes or in countries where fair use conditions do not apply may be illegal.
If you use Futurepedia articles elsewhere, all you are legally required to do (by the license) is to add a copyright notice saying that the article is copyrighted and licensed under the GFDL, and a link to the original Futurepedia article. You can freely modify and redistribute the material, provided that you license your modifications under the GFDL as well. You cannot license it on other conditions or put it in the public domain, nor can you claim copyright for content you did not write yourself (everyone only holds copyright to the contributions they themselves made).

Can I use Futurepedia content on another wiki?

Yes, if the said wiki is itself licensed under the GFDL. This includes all of Wikia (with the exception of Memory Alpha and Uncyclopedia, which are sister projects licensed under Creative Commons licenses) and most Wikimedia Foundation projects, including Wikipedia. In this case, the aforementioned copyright notice goes to the talk page of the said article; the restrictions still apply.

Can I use content from other sites on Futurepedia?

No. By default, every work is copyrighted and the author holds exclusive rights to it, unless they explicitly release all or some of them. You can insert GFDL or public domain text into articles verbatim, but not anything else. We care about copyright violations so much that we (should) have a special page dedicated to reporting and removing such violations, replacing them with original, non-violating content.

Technical questions

What wiki software does Futurepedia use?

Futurepedia (and the rest of Wikia) uses MediaWiki, the same software as Wikipedia and other Wikimedia Foundation projects. Wikia also uses some third-party extensions, which are available to all hosted wikis. The exact details can be found at Special:Version.

Where should I report technical issues?

If they are indeed technical (like the site being down, or weird error messages) and not something within the users control (like templates), you can report them to the Wikia support channel on IRC, #wikia (as opposed to #futurepedia, our channel). For instructions, see Futurepedia:IRC.

Do I have to register?

While registration is optional, it is strongly recommended. You can view and edit pages as an anonymous user, but registration hides your IP address and gives you the ability to upload files, move (rename) pages, and edit so-called semi-protected pages (after a few days).
Most importantly, registration gives you an identity and makes you a full-fledged member of the Futurepedia community. After you register and make your first edit, another user will usually greet you on your talk page and give links to some useful information pages. Registration is the first step in earning reputation and respect, and who knows, maybe one day you will be nominated for a Time traveler of the Month or an administrator!

What are namespaces?

Namespaces are large "storages" that group pages according to their function. Placing a page in a namespace causes the MediaWiki software to treat it in a special way. For example, this page is in the Futurepedia namespace, according to its prefix (Futurepedia:FAQ). Every namespace except Special (whose pages are generated by scripts on the fly, rather than being stored in the database) has an appropriate talk namespace, unless it is itself a talk namespace. For example, the talk page for the article named Back to the Future (located in the default namespace, without any prefix) resides at Talk:Back to the Future.
Namespace Talk namespace Function
(default; no prefix) Talk: Articles: what we produce, and what a casual reader expects from an encyclopedia
Special: (N/A) Special pages: pages whose content is controlled by scripts, like statistics generated on the fly and control panels allowing users to perform certain actions like moving pages and editing preferences
User: User talk: User pages, where users can post their personal information if they so desire
Futurepedia: Futurepedia talk: Project pages: policies, guidelines and processes
Image: Image talk: Files (mostly images, but occasionally audio and video files) used on other pages
MediaWiki: MediaWiki talk: Messages and scripts providing customizable look and feel, only editable by administrators
Template: Template talk: Templates: short, parameterized messages that can be included (transcluded) on other pages to avoid repetition (see Futurepedia:Template messages)
Help: Help talk: Pages providing help for new users
Category: Category talk: Categories: groups of articles, images, templates or project pages by their content
Forum: Forum talk: Forum pages, controlled by the forum extension (this includes the Cafe 80's, the Consensus track and the Administrators' noticeboard)

Only the Wikia staff can add or remove namespaces or special pages. Neither regular users nor administrators can do that. The forum namespace is the only custom namespace so far.

Editing questions

See also Futurepedia:Editing FAQ

What is the difference between red, blue and light blue links?

Blue links point to existing pages (like Main Page), red links point to nonexistent pages (like MediaWiki:Nonexistent), and light blue links are either external or interwiki links: in short, links that are supposed to point outside Futurepedia.

Where can I discuss pages?

Each page has a built-in discussion (talk) page, which can be accessed via the "discussion" tab. While discussing articles, please limit your posts to the article content, not the article subject. For example, the Talk:Marty McFly page should not be used to find out who thinks that Marty McFly was a loser, but discussions whether (and how) it should be expanded, whether a certain image should be replaced or a section reworded are perfectly acceptable. For discussions about the BTTF universe, refer to discussion boards, like the BTTF.com.

Somebody reverted my edits, what should I do?

Generally, not revert to your version in turn. This can start a revert war (also known as edit war), which is seen as disruptive because it prevents other contributors from improving the same article. Instead, question yourself whether the revert was justified, look at the edit history for the reason given, and try to settle the case on the talk page.

What is a minor edit?

A minor edit is an edit that it is so non-noteworthy that users monitoring the article can usually skip it. Examples are spelling and grammar corrections, corrections of formatting and template usage. Addition and omission of content, as well as factual corrections, are not minor edits and should not be marked as such.
If you accidentally marked a non-minor edit as a minor one, make a dummy edit (an edit that affects the source wikitext but not the output, like changing one space to two or vice versa), mark it as non-minor, and explain the problem.

What is a semi-protected page?

Semi-protected pages are pages that can only be edited by registered users that have been registered for 4 days or longer. It is done to prevent pages from being vandalized by anonymous or very new users. Like full protection, it is only used in extreme cases. If full protection is a last resort measure, semi-protection can be thought of a "penultimate resort".

Community/political questions

Can I become an administrator?

Administrators hold much power, but also have much responsibility. There are a number of prerequisites for becoming an administrator, and whether or not a nomination succeeds largely depends on what other users think of you. Read FP:RFA for details.

Who defines the policies?

The policies are determined by consensus: proposed new policies and changes are not approved until a decision that suits everyone or almost everyone is found. The role of a "policy forge" is largely assumed by Futurepedia:Consensus track. A discussion may start as a simple vote or even a simple suggestion or question, but usually, the end result is neither of the originally proposed options (in case of a vote), but rather some kind of fusion of different ideas. The process is often painful, but necessary.

How can I contact an administrator?

Just as you would contact any other user: by leaving a message on their talk page. If you have no preference for a specific administrator, you can use the Administrators' noticeboard. Alternatively, you can join IRC (once established); at least one administrator is usually present there at any given time. IRC is best used for reporting action that must be stopped immediately, such as mass blanking or mass move vandalism.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.