Split permissions have been a perennial issue for en.wikipedia for a while.
It's proposed every couple months, has vocal support and a handful of even
more vocal opponents, and fillibustered into oblivion to resurface a few
months later. Rinse, lather, repeat. The only partial success was with
rollback, which actually got broken into it's own permission, but it hasn't
Same cycle any time you try to reform a particularly contentious area on a
large WMF project. You get cries of "it's not broken" "That's
drown out any attempt to analyse the issue or progress meaningfully towards
On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 7:32 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert(a)gmail.com>wrote;wrote:
On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 4:02 PM, Stephanie Daugherty
On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 5:48 PM, masti
why should tht be decided on foundation level? Do
you think communities
are so broken that they cannot make their own decisions?
This would be the only reason to start discussing enforcement of such
I personally am not convinced here that we at at the point yet where we
this level of community brokenness, but we are
getting very close if we
aren't there already. The consensus process used at the individual
level oftentimes breaks down entirely on very
contentious issues with as
little as a dozen participants in a discussion. Governance by consensus
an important part of our heritage and future, but
it holds us a prisoner of our own inertia in some
This is a major threat to the future of several large WMF projects, and
that has been getting some media attention,
particularly by naysayers. I
honestly don't think these issues alone can cause us to fail, but I do
believe that if ignored long enough, they will create a set of conditions
that will allow it to happen. Once conditions become intolerable to the
dedicated members of a community, the possibility
of a "mainstream" fork
fork that takes the bulk of the community with it
- begins to become a
The fallout, obviously, would be enormous. There are a few readily
ways that I see that we can reach such a point.
- The projects become ungovernable, and the resulting chaos results in
political (in a wikipolitics sense) fork in
order to establish a more
structure. (Likely, and to some degree in
- The foundation itself goes rogue, and tries to impose conditions
unacceptable to it's member communities. (Unlikely, but not
- The foundation proves too unresponsive for
the technical needs of the
communities it serves. (Likely, already happening to some degree.)
- The foundation becomes insolvent. (Possible at some point if
fundraising efforts fail.)
Our communities and the foundation itself need to look at these as
"threats from within" to our mission,
and decide accordingly how we will
deal with them. If we ignore them, and keep our head in the sand, one or
more of them may eventually happen, and the outcome won't be pretty.
When was the last time something like this was proposed on
en.wikipedia, or on wikien-l?
I agree that there are some things which have been very difficult to
get or move consensus on, but I don't know that there would
necessarily be enough opposition to prevent successful implementation
of a split permissions level approach on en.wp right now.
I don't recall a prior proposal but I don't pretend to be able to
follow all the policy threads going on across the many sites and lists
and umpteen pages successfully.
If one was floated and failed, a pointer is fine, and we can go from there.
If one hasn't been floated - why not take this opportunity and do so,
and see what happens?
-george william herbert
foundation-l mailing list
Faith is about what you really truly believe in, not about what you are
taught to believe.