So, it seems (if I interpret Jimbo's mail on wikitech and the discussion
here correctly) that most of us would like *some kind* of category
scheme in wikipedia. I do, too! But, we seem to differ on the details
So far, I saw three concepts:
1. Simple categories like "Person", "Event", etc.; about a dozen total.
2. Categories and subcategories, like
"Science/Biology/Biochemistry/Proteomics", which can be "scaled down" to
#1 as well ("Humankind/Person" or something)
3. Complex object structures with machine-readable meta-knowledge
encoded into the articles, which would allow for quite complex
queries/summaries, like "biologists born after 1860".
1. Easy to edit (the wiki way!)
2. Still easy to edit, but making wikipedia browseable by category,
fine-tune Recent Changes, etc.
3. Strong improvement in search functions, meta-knowledge available for
1. Not much of a help...
2. We'd need to agree on a category scheme, and maintenance might get a
3. Quite complex to edit (e.g., "<category type='person'
occupation='biologist' birth_month='5' birth_day='24' birth_year='1874'
For a wikipedia I'd have to write myself, I'd choose #3, but with
respect to the wiki way, #2 seems more likely to achieve consensus (if
there is such a thing;-)
A user of the German Wikipedia, Ulrich Fuchs, has threatened to take legal
action against any third party who makes commercial use of their material
without following a very narrow interpretation of the FDL "five author"
requirement, which reads as follows:
"B. List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities
responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified Version,
together with at least five of the principal authors of the Document (all
of its principal authors, if it has fewer than five), unless they release
you from this requirement."
Our recommendation for third parties using Wikipedia material so far has
been that it is completely sufficient in the spirit of the FDL to point to
the original Wikipedia article on which the copy is based, because that
page contains the history and therefore the list of *all* authors. Ulrich
claims that this is not sufficient because it does not meet the conditions
of modification set forth in the FDL.
This is not just theoretical. There is a new commercial German project
called "Flexicon" which uses Wikipedia material. Currently they don't give
any credit whatsoever, but since Flexicon itself is a wiki, some
Wikipedians have added links to the original Wikipedia articles in order
to meet the conditions of the FDL. Ulrich now threatens anyone with legal
action who copies material to Flexicon from the German Wikipedia which he
has worked on without having the unworkable "list of five principal
authors" on the target page.
This would place an unacceptable burden on third parties as they would
have to carry along the complete history of every page thtey use (since
there is no automated way to determine who is a principal author), a
history which on the English Wikipedia is now so large that we can't even
store it in a single file anymore (over 2 gigabytes). Not to mention that
having such a list in articles is cumbersome and annoying.
In my opinion, legal threats like these are dangerous to this project and
to the very idea of open content. They also show once again that the FDL
is a fundamentally flawed, overly complex license with lots of loopholes
for pedants who want to get their way instead of working with the
There may be a solution to prevent this problem from escalating. We could
amend the edit notice on Wikipedia to require the author to release third
parties from the need to maintain a list of five "principal authors" per
page, since such a release is explicitly provided for in the FDL..
I'll be away from tomorrow morning early and returning Tuesday. I'll
be available by cellphone 24x7, so those of you who have that number
could reach me in an emergency. I will also have net access, although
I don't intend to be online much.
Remember when I had people volunteer for mediation and arbitration
committees? I haven't forgotten. Expect initial appointments to
those committees on December 2nd, when I get back.
If anyone still wants to volunteer, let me know.
Remember -- mediation in this context means "attempting to resolve a
problem without resort to bans or restrictions of any kind, by helping
two parties to a conflict find a mutually satisfactory solution", and
arbitration in this context means "more mediation, but this time with
ultimate resort to bans or restrictions if absolutely necessary".
The idea here is to start working towards a scalable governance
solution that preserves and extends our culture of helpfulness,
openness, and WikiLove.
>>Please, would you accept my apologies to have been
>>tough on you ?
>All is well. :) I accept your apology and hope you
will >accept mine.
I most certainly do Mav. I thank you for accepting
mine, and hope we can work constructively in the near
That is now.
I put a rough draft on meta, much inspired of Martin's
and others work, which I think is good, simplified as
meta does not requires so much detail, and beginning
to take into consideration the different policies that
begins to apply on our wikipedias. Waiting for your
input, especially as regards what is in the discussion
page. Will insist again that it should be exceptional.
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>Please, would you accept my apologies to have been tough on you ?
All is well. :) I accept your apology and hope you will accept mine. Once
again we were not communicating until after regretable things were said and
done on both sides.
Hmmm. As I understood it, a ban was just that, a ban. No wiggle room.
Doesn't that imply that any contributions from a banned individual
should be deleted on the spot, and not reinstated?
If people want to argue that a particular user should be unbanned,
that's another issue.
From: Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net>
>Tu me parles d'un temps, que les moins de 20 ans, ne
>peuvent pas connai-tre. tididadidadaaaa,
>>"Quand au hasard des jours
>>Je m'en vais faire un tour
>>A mon ancienne adresse
>>Je ne reconnais plus"
J'ai passe quelques mois a habiter a la Place
Blanche. (La Place
Blanche est assez proche a Montmartre.) Quand
plusieurs annees plus
tard j'ai visite le musee Van Gogh a Amsterdam j'ai
sur un de ses toiles. Quelques semaines plus tard
nous nous sommes
rendu a Paris et a la Place Blanche. Une fois la
sur le point
j'ai remarque que c'etait precisement la ou Van Gogh
aurait du se
pour peindre son toile, et qu'un immeuble a l'autre
bord de la Place
etait toujours le meme. Mais pour une personne qui
la , ce n'etait pas la.
Yes. It was not there. It was no more there.
And if Van Gogh had tried to put his easel in the
middle of the place, he would have been run over by a
Because the young ones living there do not walk any
more; they are different.
Even if some would pay millions for the painting, the
place can not welcome the painter any more.
>Ok, I usually forget that feature as well. I thought
>it was part of the initial package. When did you
>arrive Ec ?
In February 2002. Does it show that much?
I read my first article on Wikipedia that very month,
Our memories will be the museum in Amsterdam.
Andr� Engels will already be at the proper location
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> > Doesn't that imply that any contributions from a banned individual
> > should be deleted on the spot, and not reinstated?
> > If people want to argue that a particular user should be unbanned,
> > that's another issue.
> I would personally consider that at least disturbing, but more like
> appalling, if, say, there was a contributor that /contributed/ some nice
> articles, say, to things related to early quantum physics, Wolfgang
> Pauli etc. on the, say, Hungarian wikipedia, but for other
> ?contributions? that were inappropriate ? and the warnings about those
> being ignored ? they had got banned, then even the actually useful and
> worthwile articles would have to be deleted, just because the person is
> incapable of, say, keep themselves on the NPOV fence in regards of
> religion or something.
Maybe you misunderstood. I wasn't implything that past contributions
should be removed automatically, I was saying that once they are banned
they are *banned*, full stop.
>>As I said this morning, where is the sense of
>>editing these now "black" articles if what we
>>add, us, good and honest editors is reverted
>>without consideration ?
>No - you should not be reverted without consideration.
>However I seriously doubt you would have edited these
>articles /at all/ if 142.177 had not created them
I think this is incorrect. We are many contributors on wikipedia Mav. You can't know all of them. As things are, I know not really Metaweb. So, I would not have edited it, but I am doubly interested by the links and description.
I have been following Consumerium for quite a while now, 3 or 4 months. I think you would gracefully admit that the goal of this project fits quite well with some of the topics which interest me. Such as again all the GMO matters.
But also local food http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_food
or ecoregion http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecoregion
or perhaps biopiracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biopiracy
or ecotourism http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecotourism
or precautionary principle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle (would someone improve that low quality article ?)
All these, I believe, somehow related to that project. As for disinfopedia, I do not think I ever wrote anything in it (though I might have on a few iraki related topics), but I sure regularly read it and referenced to it many times on some french mailing lists or private discussions I had. I think it is valuable.
I think both consumerium and disinfopedia are very important to be mentionned in meta. Why not limit ourselves to the encyclopedia space ? Easy. These two projects have a pecularity that goes beyond what is encyclopedic. And this pecularity does not belong to the encyclopedic article.
They are both a justification and a "faire valoir" (my, what is the english word for this ?)
I mean :
1) they strongly rely on the existence of the encyclopedia, since they use it widely as a reference. Without Wikipedia, it is likely these projects would not be viable really. Or much tougher to build. They do not need to include everything themselves, they can use us as a source, and may focus on what is important to them => disinformation and consumerism. They are specialists sources. They directly benefit from Wikipedia growth.
2) at the same time, they augment the quality, the interest, the traffic and the growth of Wikipedia. They directly link to us (not pick up the information to use it freely) hence bringing us new readers and new contributors. As specialists projects, they increase the value of our work. They refer to us. Wikipedia directly benefits from their existence as well.
In ecology, that is called a symbiosis :-)
I do not have the proper words to explain this perhaps, but this is important. It is important to increase the visibility of such projects. And I cannot figure putting this in the encyclopedia article itself.
Now, if I put this, without even an introduction explaining what the project is, or without the external link to the projects (which is the currently banned content), it is just bullshit.
>>I noted with interest that in your reply
>>on my other mail, you said that * when you mentionned in the comment box
>>(upon my pressing request), that the
>>agronomy article was authored by me and
>>not by Robert or you, this is ok with
>>the GNU license Yes it is since I named the original author, you.
>>* but when I mention in the comment box
>>(upon no one request) that I am not the
>>author, but avoid mentionning the original
>>author (whose name is available in the
>>deletion history) for ***your*** sake,
>>this is illegal ?
>Huh? If the text is by 142.177 it should be credited to that IP. The deletion >history /cannot/ be read by anybody but Admins. Thus it is useless for author credit. >However, whether or not we should host that text is a different matter.
I did not mention the ip on purpose, to avoid giving authorship to a banned user.
This is a legal matter anyway (for the legal list). Either we need attributions, or we do not.
>>Netesq reverted these two edits back and
>>engaged in discussion with 142.
>>Discussion, much more than my poor line
>>asking that 142 be nicer with you.
>>But this is just further staking the deck
>>on *me* : I communicated (1 line !) with a
>>banned user. I am said involved, while
>>obviously no one else is.
>User talk pages brings up touchy issues. In those cases my rule of thumb is to revert >the edit but not to re-revert if the user resurrects the banned user's edit. I don't like it but >as I said user pages are a bit more of a special case.
Agreed. So let's apply the same principles about discussion to all of us.
>>Mav. I am not *aiding* him. It would
>>be nice that you stop placing people
>>in a black and white state : the ones
>>who pity you and inforce the banning,
>>versus the ones who don't care and
>>help the banned users.
>.... I don't need your pity or anyone's else's. Americans at least don't think that being >pitied is a good thing. It is in fact a bit insulting to say that you pity someone.
Ah ? Really ? I apology then.
I wonder if you read pity in the sense I used it (or rather if I used it in the sense you read it)
I looked in my dictionnary, and it seems it may have different meanings
either commiseration mixed with scorn
I meant pity/compassion. Compassion is not really an emotion, it is "suffering with". It is an attitude that make us tend to be sensible to another one suffering. It is different from identification, where we put ourselves in the other person shoes. I see you are suffering, but I have no idea how I would react to such comments made to me. It is also different from empathy, because empathy is when one is able to understand what the other one is feeling "from the inside". It is tough to understand what the other one is feeling inside. But you can also understand but not feel concerned.
I had a thought the other day. I was reflecting once again on how it could be acceptable that someone call another one a nazi without much reaction. Someone said to me, not a very long time ago, that for american people, though it was an insult, it is not a very bad insult. From this exchange, I concluded that it appear calling someone a nazi is a much ruder insult for a french than for an american.
If so, perhaps a french person should be able to measure the weight of the insult, depending on who said it; and perhaps the insult in the mouth of an american is more acceptable than in the mouth of a french then.
But also perhaps when a american call a french a nazi, should he be aware that the insult is much more offensive to the one receiving it than it would have been to the american person.
Consequently, not only do identical words do not carry the same meaning, but when they do, they do not even carry the same emotional weight.
I will drop the use of the word "pity". I feel compassion. Even if you do not need it.
>>Curiously, you chose to attack me, and
>>request my unsysoping because I was
>>following one of the alternative techniques,
>>that others are following as well.
>Again -- STOP PRETENDING THAT I REQUESTED TO DE-SYSOP YOU!!! I did no >such thing (stating that I was going to do so on your talk page is NOT a request for de->sysoping, but a warning that I planned to. I changed my mind for reasons already >stated, however).
A conversation where
person A : I am gonna request a de sysoping
:person B : you may do that
::person C : done
Sound like you did it. I appear to have misunderstood that. But I understand that you were upset, and reconsidered calmly. That is ok. Let's forgive and forget about that, would you ?
>>I precisely question the "disregard for policy".
>>No policy was ever written on the matter on meta
>However you seem to be talking about techniques and I am talking about the ban itself. >I think we have not been communicating. In fact I am open to discussions on hard ban >techniques. This is the first time I recall you talking about techniques though.
When I look backward, I have the feeling I have done basically nothing but considering blocking and banning options in the past weeks.
If you look at the comments on the ban and block page on en, I have wrote quite a good bunch of comments there in the past 2 months or so. Since then, I dropped participation in en meta matters, as it is too heavy for me to follow conventions that appear to change too often; conventions that you are expected to know and respect to the latest point. At one point, I was really willing to participate in that policy, but it was eating too much time, and it is frustrating because I do not edit policies myself as these require to be crystal clear. After a while, discussing things, and seeing that it has little, if no impact gets bothersome.
On fr, I think I am the main contributor of all the pages dealing with vandalism. I have begun setting a ban and block page some time ago, but I feel the topic has to cool down first before we can seriously work on it.
I have spent the past two months, as many contributors on fr, trying to figure out what to do with Papotages, first in my case initially trying to integrate him, second to have him soft ban rather than hard banned.
Mercifully for the community sake, Papotages finally switched to full gear vandalism, allowing all contributors to agree a hard ban was a must (though we disagreed on the means to inforce that ban for a little while). I have personnaly spent a lot of time bugging Tim Starling, to have technical support in inforcing the ban.
Before I switched to full inforcing activity (I perhaps blocked 50 Papotages ip adresses and deleted or reverted perhaps a hundred of pages in two weeks), I tried to pick up all information I could around. Even going to MeatBall to try to gain some understanding, interpretation on what was going on and what we could do.
I also invite you to check french mailing list history to see whether I have been discussing banning and blocking options, and how they could be inforced in august, september, october, november, and in particular what I felt of displaying real names of vandals in public, what I felt of contacting isp as a technical way to block a vandal (as Tim said, I finally gave my blessing to this, poor me). I also tried to see how Jimbo could be involved in the whole hard banning process on our pedia, as an ultimate resort, a neutral third party insurring some standards are respected.
In truth, what else than spending hours on block and bans matters have I been doing recently ?
Far too much is the big truth. I am here to improve the amount of knowledge made available, and to improve access to the information. Not here to block and ban people all the time. Not here to delete other people work. Not here to spent all my time fighting with the ones I disagree with on minor topics. Not here to see the articles that I have not the time to write myself, be deleted just because of their author.
When it comes to the point we spent most of our available time doing this, then something is badly wrong.
>So you can understand my frustration at seeing you re-create the exact article I >deleted. It looked to me like you were thumbing your nose to the ban.
Please, receive my apologies
>>... >However, even if meta is basically currently
>>following en policy (which is perhaps fine
>>for the moment), I repeat that some en users
>>are also restoring some articles, just as I
>>did, so why should I be attacked on doing
>>what other people also think is proper ?
>Sorry, but I do have a life outside of Wikipedia so I can't argue with everybody who does >things I don't like. You just happened to be the person to set me off when I had some >time to respond. This seems to happen more with you than with other people -- sorry >about that. That just reflects the fact that our personalities clash.
You noticed as well ? :-)
We might reflect on that both of us.
>I like you and greatly respect you but sometimes you really irritate me - moreso than >your actions probably justify sometimes.
Nod. I feel the same.
>>It appears that the attack on RK made all
>>the sourness of your case go up again. And
>>that because of the attack on another person,
>>you are all angry and shaken again on your
>>own case. Why did not you call the police
>>then, when you were attacked, rather than now ?
>Slow boiling. It took reading all his threats together to prompt me to do so. I am also a >very forgiving person and didn't want to make trouble for him hoping that he would just >go away. Well he hasn't gone away and is still doing the same things which got him >banned in the first place. There is only so much a person can take.
>>What about, if one finds an article ok
>>(**only** in this case of course), to
>>blank it, perhaps even to orphan it, to
>>put it aside for a while, perhaps to
>>move it in a user space, and perhaps to
>>recreate it by any means you might think
>>acceptable later, with modifications ?
>Yes, we can discuss this since it deals with hard ban techniques and not whether or >not the ban applies to meta (which of course it does). Let's do so on the RfD talk page. >-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
That suits me. I thank you. I am sure we will find a satisfying agreement. I will see that later in the week on meta. Lots of work planned for the next two days for me.
Please, would you accept my apologies to have been tough on you ?
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