Something's been bugging me with the School's Wikipedia for a while
now: why have all of the references been removed? From my point of
view (currently-working-on-being-an-academic), references are
fundamental; without them the School's Wikipedia needs a huge
To be more specific, my concern revolves around students thinking
that writing things without referencing them is OK, which is a big
problem at university level, as well as on Wikipedia itself. It also
makes it a lot harder to spot which parts of the School's Wikipedia
that may not be entirely correct.
BTW: I think you and everyone else involved with the School's
Wikipedia have done a great job; I'm just curious as to why you made
On 24 Oct 2008, at 16:23, Andrew Cates wrote:
Lets just stop there and think about is shall we?
When we started this project in 2006 we were rated as "easily highly
compliant" by mirrors and forks group (and we do have a local copy of
the license, which is still above "medium"). Would you like all the
diffs on WP? That first version was online up on fixedreference.org/
Subsequent to that we were asked to add image pages and did, partly
because Anthere is a sweetie and partly because we could see the
argument logically. Creative Commons was explicit about local copies
of names, it was unclear whether people you upload a file hitting a
"GDFL" submit button can impose additional conditions like CC but fair
enough. It is only 34500 additional pages to check for vandalism,
swear words and clean up and include as disk space versus 5500 pages
for the actual content.
So we are an "improved on an easily highly compliant position" basis
original standard. The license hasn't changed since then.
So what has happened? People have just added their own ideas of what
they'd like to the "interpretation", without reference to the license,
including loads of stuff the license doesn't say. Can they do that
legally? Of course not. And should we respect as a community standard
all the additional "nice-to-haves" added on? Well, we are nice guys
and we're trying to and we'd like to but I kind of think a little more
apology for moving all the goalposts around and putting barriers to
accessibility in would be in order. Insistence on the image pages is a
series pain in the back-side to offline copies already.
We are comfortable we comply legally and the vast number of comments
we have had over the years have been supportive of our interpretation
of the licenses, and desirous to improve access to Wikipedia. This may
be different to the intepretation of some people who lately edit the
copyright pages but they haven't even produced a rationale for how the
content relates to the licenses.
Currently we are more compliant at least in respect of image pages
than the other offline "official" community projects (the Wikipedia
Release Version series). And as far as we can see we comply completely
with the actual text of the license. If you want more than that I am
happy talking about what we can do but only on a basis which is
reflective of the situation.
On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 3:16 PM, Bryan Derksen
Andrew Cates wrote:
I have left a fairly full reply to this on the WMF blog awaiting
approval from Jay and also it is discussed on the project pages on
Wikipedia, over several years. There is a gap between the wording of
licenses and urban myths circulating about what they say.
I realize that the GFDL is a sucky licence and is poorly defined
legally, but regardless of one's various personal interpretations
schools-wikipedia still fails to be compliant by the standards that
Wikipedia's community has settled on (see
schools-wikipedia fits the "medium compliance" definition to a T).
this project has received a WikiMedia seal of approval IMO it really
should meet our own standards when it comes to GFDL compliance. What
will all those other medium-compliance mirrors think if we let this
particular one slide?
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