On 03/05/06, Philip Welch <wikipedia(a)philwelch.net> wrote:
The only connotation "cruft" has is that we
take a dismissive view
towards material that's not suitable for inclusion due to limited
interest. But this dismissive attitude is already present because
we're vouching for the deletion of this material in the first place.
If you're taking a dismissive view, then perhaps you haven't given the
article the due consideration that it deserves. Before nominating an
article, we should really try and rationalise its place in the
encyclopaedia, and only if it really has no place, nominate it. Saying
"sorry, but we just can't make this topic work in Wikipedia" is not
the same as being dismissive. At all.
According to Wikipedia, "In hacker jargon, cruft
refers to extraneous
or low-quality things in general, or software code in particular."
Most of the content labeled "cruft" in AFD disputes is indeed
extraneous and low-quality. I don't see how calling something
"extraneous and low-quality" is in any way less insulting than
calling it "cruft". In fact, "extraneous and low-quality" is even
more devastating to a newbie than a technical term they may not fully
understand and only pick up the meaning via context.
I'm not a fan of inflicting hacker jargon on newbies. Why not just
tell them in plain English that we have plenty of Pokemon articles,
and we don't need any more random lists, but we'd love them to
categorise some of the hundreds of articles in need of it.
"Cruft may also refer to useless junk or excess
obsolete computer hardware) that build up over time and have no
value." Cruft is also used in this sense, when we talk about cleaning
cruft out of an article. Things like trivia sections and external
links certainly display this property as well.
And if it's genuinely used in this sense, that's one thing. But not on
a newly written article. And again, not dismissively.
Is it offensive to call it "cruft"? No
[more] offensive than vouching for
its deletion. I guess we should abolish deletion for the same reason
saying "cruft" should be a thoughtcrime.
Yes, it's offensive. The term does matter, as a term carries
connotations that a simple act does not. And even the act can be done
in a way without causing harm. You can ask someone to leave your
house, or you can physically push him out the door. Or even better,
use some tact.