On 08/15/11 10:00 AM, WereSpielChequers wrote:
A successful fork needs more than just the content,
software and sufficient
hardware, it also needs a community.
Indeed, but the right to fork also includes the right to fail. If I
chose to start a fork I'm sure that I would have enough technical
incompetence to bring about failure. If one or more persons choose to
exercise their right to fork they will be in charge of administrative
and editorial decisions regarding the new site. They will decide on the
nature of the community, including the decision to be a community of
one. If such decisions are disastrous to their own intent that's their
If we are serious about having a right to fork we need
to make it easy for
editors to keep their account, and possibly even userrights in both forks,
otherwise whichever fork you have to create a new account for is at a huge
disadvantage. But for privacy/security reasons I don't think that WMF should
give the fork a copy of the databases that includes the userids and their
logins. Perhaps this could be finessed by having the WMF create a bridge to
allow wikimedians to activate their existing account at the forked wiki, and
the forked wiki would presumably not allow editors to otherwise create
accounts using names that had edits imported from Wikimedia.
I think you make it more complicated than it should be. A fork would
presumably exist on some other server where users could use whatever
name they choose, including ones identical to their current names in
Wikimedia. It would be an autonomous entity. There is no question in my
mind of exporting private data. Beyond the potential mischief for small
segments of that data, I suspect that most new administrators would find
most of it unmanageable.
If a new fork imports selected Wikipedia articles, that carries certain
CC obligations and rights. Notably it has an obligation to credit its
source linking back to the chosen Wikipedia version, and it has the
right to edit that article to take it in a chosen direction, which, for
example, could include more relaxed rules on reliable sources or NPOV.
BTW I'm not advocating a fork at this juncture.
The only scenario I can see
in the short term that might lead to a fork is the clash between the
Foundation's policy on openness and the contrary decisions taken by certain
parts of the community, - for example EN wiki deciding to restrict new
article creation to Autoconfirmed users. Presumably the Foundation will get
the devs to code the change requested by EN wiki even if it does make us
less open. But it could quite legitimately say "That clashes with our core
values so we won't do that here, but if some of you want to create a more
deletionist wiki you do of course have the right to fork."
I don't even presume to read the minds of these forkers.
Managing a pure deletionist wiki should be trivial. ;-)