>Just so that the discussion gains more interlingual dimension..
Just so that the discussion gains more dimension as well :-)
I have recently faced the issue of decisions being taken by poll versus by vote.
This is really confusing to me.
Some editors think that the difference between a poll and a vote is that the second is binding, while the first rather lead to a guideline, a recommandation. Usually, the first one does not have a deadline, and rather reflect the general opinion of the community at a given point. The second one has a starting date and an ending date, and once it is binding, infringing it may drive you in problems.
While this is true most of the time, the distinction between vote and poll as binding and non binding is not always true.
Another interpretation is that the vote is something where those voting are the ones deciding (the result of the vote generate the decision). This is more of a direct democracy.
While in the case of a poll, the results of the poll are just a general indication of a community opinion, helping another smaller group to decide instead of the community. The decision might go against the community opinion, though this is unfrequent. This is more an indirect democracy. A recent example might be the wikinews poll.
I increasingly observe confusion between these two words, poll and vote. Difficulty to define what is supposed to be a binding policy and what is a guideline. And agressivity when an action is done after a poll, which some interpret as being not as valuable and acceptable as a vote.
More and more people are not accepting simple polls to evaluate community opinion as acceptable method for decision making. And complaints or accusation of power abuse which occur over and over and over finally result in making good old heavy and boring voting sessions for every single tiny decisions.
This is ridiculous.
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I am really concerned that the number and extent of policies on en
Wikipedia is getting seriously out of hand. It's true that some policy
needs are necessary, but I feel like it's getting to the point where
you must have memorized hundreds of pages, spanning hundreds of
kilobytes of text, just to be able to edit within the "rules". Unless
you're spending most of your waking moments on Wikipedia, and keeping
up with all the new rules and decisions, you're unlikely to keep up
with all this. This is especially hard on admins who are the targets
of disruptive users. I am not saying that there shouldn't be
accountability, but all these rules is making the whole editing
process a whole lot less fun than it used to be. I am already feeling
like I should stop being an admin, and if the policy explosion extends
much further into the normal editing, I'd probably stop editing
altogether. Common sense seems to be going out the window.
It used to be that we had mostly guidelines, but at some point
guidelines seems to have moved into policy, and users are using these
to clobber each other left and right. I think this is a looming threat
to Wikipedia. The bureacracy level is increasing every day. I don't
think that the benefits of the increased bureacracy outweigh the added
complexity. Obviously Wikipedia is a lot bigger than it used to be,
but I think the medicine might turn into a new disease.
A generic (eg non country-specific) top level domain that is short (on
the order of 2 - 3) letters would be ideal. sourceforge.net has sf.net
The two most ideal domains are wp.net and wp.org
whois says that wp.org is owned by telepathy.com, a us based internet
focused group that does not seem to be greedy.
A well placed email by a wikipedia official asking for release would
be a good thing.
Please keep the list aprised of your activity regarding short domain name search
Hello, fellow Wikimedians!
Since this is my first post to this mailing list, please let me
introduce myself. My name is Jonathan Fors and I am chairman for the
Västerås LUG, located 100 km west of Stockholm, Sweden. I am a full-time
Linux user and an occasional Wikipedia contributor, and I am a big fan
of Wikis in general.
In our LUG, which has existed for little less than a year, we have
started an ambitious Wiki project using Mediawiki. Its purpose is not
only to collect information about, but also to be a complete Swedish
Free Software documentation resource. We have and are translating
HOWTOs, manpages, tips and write documentation about all files and
directories of the *NIX system. Basically, it aims to be a complete
guide to GNU/Linux, *BSD and Free Software.
Now, the last week, some of our contributors have told us that they feel
like duplicating the Wikipedia project, something that I cannot fully
agree to. Wikipedia is encyclopedic and documentation isn't, meaning
that it not really fits there. I know about Wikibooks, but the whole
concept of a "single place for GNU/Linux and Free Software
documentation" would be a little far off. But not to cooperate with the
Wikimedia foundation would be to waste a big resource of knowledge and
knowledgeable people. So therefore, I have an idea.
There are, as far as I can see, a few subprojects under the Wikimedia
umbrella. Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikibooks are a few examples. They
contain different types of, often non-encyclopedic information that
don't fall under the same category as Wikipedia. The project most
similar to our Wiki is probably Wikibooks, which contains, guess what,
books! Well, not only books, but manuals in general. This is although
not ideal for the users that our Wiki aims to serve with information.
So here is the idea, feel free to flame or comment about it. I propose a
new subproject, perhaps called "Wikidoc", that documents 1. GNU/Linux
(including all distributions) 2. The various flavours of Free operating
systems 3. Free software in general (including those running on Windows,
web-based CM systems and so on).
Information (the sort you could find in an encyclopedia) goes to
Wikipedia and is linked from Wikidoc. Longer, in-depth books are linked
from Wikibooks, and source code and historical Usenet announcements
could be linked from wikisource. Wikimedia has IMHO a good opportunity
to create a Wiki for Free software, and much of the infrastructure is
Okay, I bet you have some things to crack down onto this on.
First, why do this under Wikimedia when there is wiki.linuxquestions.org
and the BerliOS Wiki that does the "same thing"?
Well, this thing would not be able to use the Wikimedia projects very
well. The great resources would effectively not be usable and also, the
user base is much smaller than Wikipedia's.
What has this got to do with Wikimedia at all?
In my opinion, the Free Software documentation would be something that
would attract a lot of new users, in a lot of languages. The reason we
started our Swedish project was that we felt that there was very little
high-quality documentation for GNU/Linux written in Swedish, and the
little that was was very scattered across the Internet. This was the
situation for the Swedish GNU/Linux movement back then, something that
now has changed with the advent of a few GNU/Linux-oriented Wikis.
I hope to receive feedback on this idea, and in the meantime you can
visit the Wiki at http://vlug.linux.se/wiki (Swedish)
Chairman, Västerås Linux User Group
now that we're about to move demo.wikinews.org to en.wikinews.org, we have
to think about a procedure for setting up other language domains. If any
decision on this matter has already been made by the Board, please let me
It should be noted that on two of the language voting pages, no majority
was reached on starting the project. These are French and Chinese. Others
had very small participation.
In the original proposal, I suggested that Wikinews can be set up in any
accepted Wikimedia project language where there is at least one interested
participant, and that 4 more regulars are required for the language to be
recognized as "official", and for the firsts sysops to be created.
I would like to ask the Board if this procedure is acceptable.
If it is not, one possible alternative would be to immediately set up
language domains for any language where there are more than 10 votes on
the respective voting page on Meta, and more than 50% in favor. This would
currently mean Japanese and German. The vote could be re-opened, and kept
In any case, I would ask for the immediate authorization of
de.wikinews.org, as there was overwhelming support on the German voting
page for starting the project, there has been some German press coverage
on it, and there is already much interest on the German mailing list.
During the brainstorming phase of the project, we ran a small straw poll
on what the preferred license for Wikinews content would be:
The content that is currently on the Demo wiki is in the public domain in
order to facilitate the migration to any other license. In the straw poll,
there is currently a small lead in favor of using dual licensing, but the
opinions on what licenses to use differ: Some think we should dual-license
as copyleft, others believe that we should allow non-copyleft uses for the
sake of simplicity. The straw poll as such is not very conclusive.
If there are no objections, I will go ahead and hold a real vote on the
issue as soon as demo.wikinews.org is moved to en.wikinews.org. However,
please note that this is a rather far-reaching decision, so Board input
would be appreciated.
With Board approval, I have asked Tim Starling to move the project out of
the demo stage and to en.wikinews.org. As per the earlier suggestion, I've
added a big red "Beta" notice on the logo (make sure your cache is empty).
I've also revised the proposed review process. It is now clearly optional
and more like an accelerated Featured Article Candidate procedure.