Oh No Robot Transcription Rules
This page provides some general guidelines for submitting Oh No Robot transcriptions for GPF. Oh No Robot is a service of the webcomics community to allow artists to transcribe their comic images into text, which is easier for search engines to index and for assistance technologies such as screen readers to process. By helping us transcribe the archives, you help make GPF accessible to many more people who either haven't found the comic yet or may have difficulty enjoying the comic in its original form.
Many of these guidelines have existed in other forms and have been posted to various places both on and off the GPF site. At a reader's suggestion, we've attempted to collect these notes into the Wiki to provide a central repository and make them more accessible. Please note that Jeff personally approves or disapproves every transcription, so submissions that don't meet these guidelines will likely be pushed back for further revision or, in a few rare cases, outright rejected. Jeff doesn't have the time to manually go back and correct every little typo or mistake or to do this massive work himself (trust us, he's tried), so any bit of help you can offer will be greatly appreciated.
- Capitalization: Although the text in the comics are in all caps, please use mixed case when transcribing the dialog. This of course introduces an interesting corollary: please be careful with capitalization. Proper names (people, places, etc.) should be capitalized, as should certain company and product names (Microsoft, Java). Note that fictional proper nouns are still proper nouns. If you're really in doubt about how something should be capitalized, a quick Google search should probably answer it. Acronyms (such as MUTEX or C.R.U.D.E.) should be in all caps unless it naturally uses mixed case. Use of periods in acronyms should follow whatever conventions the comic uses (i.e. MUTEX (no-periods) vs. C.R.U.D.E. (periods)).
- Follow the directions on the Oh No Robot transcription help page for adding scene descriptions, sound effects, and other non-dialog text. While transcribing just the dialog is more help than none, there's a lot of visual information that gets missed without this extra data. Make sure to include who says what, and be concise but thorough with your scene descriptions. Corollary: Don't speculate too much when writing this extra text. Keep in mind that some aspects of the strip are intentionally left open to interpretation, so while you should be thorough while describing scenes, don't add more to it than what's there. Mysterious unnamed voices are still mysterious unnamed voices until the speaker's identity has been revealed. Commentary and speculation belong in the forum, not the Wiki.
- Please check your spelling. While Jeff can edit transcriptions before they go "live," he's had to spend a lot of extra time fixing typos and spelling mistakes. Make sure to proofread your transcription before you submit it. Corollary: Note that throughout the archive there are a number of intentional "typos," so when in doubt, you can always ask.
- Related to the above, GPF uses American English. While "proper" English spellings (such as "colour" or "favourite") might be "correct" in certain parts of the world, the comic is written with American English spellings ("color", "favorite"), so please transcribe them as written. Don't "correct" these "mistakes," because they aren't. We've run upon this several times now, and while we've mostly been correcting them as we go, we usually resort to rejecting them to save time.
- Do NOT use HTML mark-up for emphasis. HTML gets stripped when it is imported into the GPF transcription database, so it will be useless. Instead, use things like asterisks (*bold*), underscores (_underlines_), etc. Better yet, leave emphasis mark-up out completely, as it sometimes interferes with searching.
- Keep a balloon of character dialog on a single line. Put separate balloons on separate lines. If a character has several balloons chained together without interruption, it's OK to combine those into a single line. Leave a blank line to indicate a break in panels. In panels with no dialog, make sure to include descriptive text to indicate what's going on in that panel (i.e. don't just leave another blank line).
- To keep from repeating a lot of answers, post questions to the GPF Forum. That way, someone who has a similar question to yours may get an answer quickly. (It will also keep Jeff from cluttering up the News with constant updates to the rules.)
Here are some important links that you might find helpful: