I don't want to start a bug argument or anything, but their point is a fair one.
It's impossible to expect that everyone should be subscribed to the
mailing list, which means that not everyone can participate in debate
here. While a "... considered harmful" essay is a bit over the top,
it's only fair that the main discussion of a specific issue should be
carried out at the appropriate page, so everyone can be a part of it.
The mailing list is only for a very few dedicated users (or users like
me, who really have no life and needs something to fill his inbox
As I understand it (and there's a good chance I got this all wrong, if
I did, please forgive me) this whole thing started with some
discussion of [[Gazeebow Unit]] at WP:ANI, and Tony said "This issue
has been discussed on wikien-I". Some people then said (I'm
paraphrasing here) "Well, we weren't a part of that discussion, could
we please bring it up in a forum which everyone is happy with". The
response (again, paraphrasing) "Hey, if you don't want to subscribe
that's your problem", and that got the snowball rolling.
Another thing, when asked for a link to the relevant post (which is
really quite reasonable, everyone always produces diffs in a second),
David Gerard said "It's a long-running discussion. Check the January
archive and start middle-clicking". That is something really tactless
to say. It might take a wikien subscriber a couple of minutes at most
to find a link to a post in the archive (especially since Gmail has
that wonderful little search engine), but for someone who never reads
the list, it might take a ½ hour or more.
The link, by the way is
which to me less than a minute to find.
I'm not saying that policy discussion shouldn't occur at the
mailinglist. Policy discussion can occur here, at #wikipedia, at your
local pub for all I care. I'm just saying that when people has
díscussed something at a different location than the main wiki, it's
not so insane that people feel a little left out (oh, god that sounded
corny, you get my point). In my opinion, all of this could have been
avoided if everyone paid a little more attention to [[WP:CIVIL]],
PS. You know, I hear all the time on this list people saying that the
AfD is some sort of inbred group that don't let any outside opinions
in. Well, they probably think that the mailinglist is a bunch of
people that all agree with eachother that discusses issues in a
semi-closed enviroment, and don't want to let anyone in. I'm just
saying, maybe we are a little bit guilty of what we accuse them of. A
little self-reflection never hurt anyone (with the obvious exception
On 2/2/06, David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Andrew Gray wrote:
Clearly you didn't get the memo.
[[Wikipedia:Off-Wiki policy discussion considered harmful]]
(Next up: someone to argue speeding laws don't count because they were
passed by people who were stationary at the time.)
"Because "considered harmful" essays are, by their nature, so
incendiary, they are counter-productive both in terms of encouraging
open and intelligent debate, and in gathering support for the view
they promote. In other words, "considered harmful" essays cause more
harm than they do good."
"Typically, "considered harmful" essays gets written because someone
has an axe to grind, and they feel like making that grinding process
both public and dogmatic. This is a form of grandstanding, of course,
but it is done with a purpose beyond simple publicity seeking. Usually
such "considered harmful" essays are intended to draw attention to a
little-known subject about which the author is passionate, or to
highlight what the author feels to be a poor decision by someone else.
In addition, there are those "considered harmful" essays that are
written as part of a long-running argument that has gradually
(and yes, I put that on the wiki too)
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