When has it been okay to experiment on the main page
of a live site
without so much as an explanation to the regular contributors to that
To quote Jimbo Wales, when he joined the site in November 2004: "I'm
drastically changing a lot of pages to illustrate to people that this is
a wiki." He then proceeded to alter key policy pages without prior
discussion. The nature of wikis is to be bold, experiment, and see
whether people agree with you. This is especially true for a site that
is still in beta. My change to the developing stories box was, compared
to the DPL changes that preceded it, minor, and hailed as an
improvement. Even you now acknowledge the usefulness of the extension:
I'm not opposed to the inputbox extension in and
of itself; it's a
slick piece of code which answers a need often expressed. I do not
think it is appropriate to use a complex nested template as it is
currently implemented, but that could be resolved by the community.
Nobody reverted the change, and had anyone done so, I would not have
reverted back. In fact, you initially debated the change calmly
(including comments like "<shrug>"), and only got angry over time, to
the point that you left the project in a huff. I'm sorry if I made you
angry in the discussion, but I have found that this tends to happen with
you whenever I do *anything* on the site at all. But I won't go there.
You have removed the accusations against "bureaucrat Eloquence" from
your proposal. I welcome that you are trying to depersonalize the
debate. It is my belief, reflected also by various pages on Wikipedia et
al., that bold changes are OK if
- you make a judgment call as to whether the change is controversial,
- you are prepared to accept a revert and face discussion.
This is part of my understanding of how wikis should work, but I am and
have always been willing to discuss that. The problem seems to be that
any bold change, especially by me, is controversial to you, not because
of the nature of the change, but because of the boldness itself.
There are currently 5 people supporting the creation
of an Open
English edition of Wikinews, which is obviously not entirely due to
the recent differences regarding the DPL. Like any community at
en.wikinews there are different opinions as to what the goals of the
project may be, and some members of the community feel it is not going
someplace they wish to continue to support.
People leave the English Wikipedia all the time. We don't set up an
"Open English Wikipedia" because of that. I will not enumerate the many,
many reasons why doing so in the case of Wikinews would be a bad idea.
My suggestion is this: If you do not want to work with the existing
Wikinews community, then please do set up your Open Newswiki as a
separate site. I provide wiki hosting at reasonable rates, if you are
interested ;-). So does Gabriel Wicke.
I would regret such a fork, of course. My alternative suggestion is to
join the Wikinews Future Talk, and to help us find ways to improve the
recent changes made to the site, as well as agree on general principles
Of course, you are also free to continue to pursue an English language
fork within Wikimedia. I for one will not participate in these
discussions unless there is any indication from the Board level that
such a thing would be supported.