The first is about the recent crisis on wikinews.
The second is a comment about the new features.
For the first point Erik, it seems some people are not happy with the way decision making
happens on wikinews.
It seems that this time, the trigger of the conflict is the way a new feature was put into
even though there was no clear agreement whithin the community to use it. I'd say, it
is fair to complain about
software changes, when software changes are not agreed upon. It is good that you propose
now a discussion over
whether this new feature should be used or not, but the discussion should occur *before*
the feature is used, or
even better *before* the feature is developped.
I suppose you will answer that it was discussed, it was agreed, that it is the best
solution so should be used...
this may be. But you can not at the same time claim this... and ignore the fact regular
editors are so mad that it
appears to them their *only* options are to suggest another wikinews (fork) or obey you
(not so benevolent dictatorship).
How do you suggest to improve this in the future ?
For Kyle, I do not think there was any abuse of Erik in his blocking NGerda.
I am more dubious of whether the same standards apply to everyone, but this is another
story. NGerda apparently disrespect a rule all
wikinewsies should follow, so it is fair he is given a time out. I trust NGerda has a
tough skin :-)
As for Erik, being under different pseudos or his own name is generally known and I do not
think there is any abuse either on the matter
(there is only one wikinews account). He is Eloquence on wiki, Zirzon on irc and Erik as a
I will add that he is indeed an officer of Wikimedia Foundation, but this has nothing to
with him being an editor on wikinews and should not mean he should be treated differently
than others. He should be entirely and only
judged by his activity on wikinews as an editor, not by any official position he has in
the organisation. In short, if he does good,
congratulate, thank him and support him to do more good. If he does wrong, complain and
discuss. If he does really wrong, block him.
As a simple participant, I would like to comment on the new feature which I think is
called "inputbox extension" (or is it "DynamicPageList extension" ?).
Anyway, if any of you goes to wikinews and intends to start a new page, here is what he
will get : http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Writing_an_article
I invite you to enter the name of a new article and to edit it.
When you will get the edit box, you will notice two things :
First, the box does not start empty, it is already prefilled with a whole bunch of
preformatted content. It indicates where to put the article. It has a table with
pre-filled fields for citation of sources. It has a bunch of categories into place. And it
has the "development" tag by default. If the editor wants the story to be
visible to the reader, he must replace the development tag by a publish tag (this is quite
clearly explained on top of the edit window).
On the positive side, I feel that the benefits of this are
* a more "similar" appearance to all articles
* a strong reminder to the editor that he should list his sources
* a system allowing to "publish" the article quite freely, without relying on an
The drawbacks of this is
* if you are a new editor, chances is you will be very perplex in front of all this
* if you are a new editor, chances is you will not understand for a while the publish tag
system, so your story will not be visible
As long as wikinews is small, there can be hope some oldbie will see and check the article
and push it published... but when wikinews grows, it might be that the system does not
scale so well and that articles are not quickly published. Still, we can hope some editors
frequently check the list of articles with a "development" tag, so I am not sure
it is really a problem.
The main problem I saw with this is not the publication system, but only the fact it will
appear awfully complex to a new editor. The basic of wiki is
* it is simple synthax
* create an article, edit, save and this is it !
A more similar appareance and a reminder to cite sources is good, but I do not think the
benefit balance the drawbacks of loss of easiness to edit.
I think these two issues should be community enforced and taught by model (looking at what
Last, I have been wondering how much difference there was with wikipedia. Indeed the
publication system might be necessary, as the goal is to get on the main page and to get
it *quickly*. So, the current semi-automatic tagging solution might not be bad.
However, Wikipedia just as well might propose pre-filled articles, with pre-formatted
titles, subtitles, see alsos, external links, categories and international links. And IT
DOES NOT. Why is it felt necessary on wikinews when it is not felt necessary on other
I have been caressing the idea of writing to Ward Cunningham and ask him to create a
wikinews article... and tell us about his experience afterwards ;-)
Dear Wikinews community,dear interested individuals,I would like to invite you to
participate in an open, unmoderated discussion about the future of the project,
specifically the English edition. Members of other editions who want to learn about recent
changes to the English version, and who want to debate whether these changes could be
useful for their project, are also invited to join. Please sign up for a time that is
convenient for you at:http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikinews/Future_TalkThe
this IRC meeting is to discuss issues such as* Should the DynamicPageList extension be
used?* Should the inputbox extension be used?* How should decisions about issues like this
be made in the future?* How local can Wikinews stories be?* How can we make Wikinews more
accessible for newcomers?Please feel free to add topics of discussion to the agenda.Note
that we should not be trying to make decisions at this meeting - those should be openly
documented on the wiki - but to reach a
basic consensus about how to proceed.Best,Erik
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