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;-)
I was describing to someone how Wikipedia works:
"anyone can edit" etc.
He answered with this argument:
"Wikipedia is the triumph of the average person!
of the man in the street!)"
(average meaning: not good, not bad, just OK)
I asked "why?"
"Great brilliant works are built by individuals.
Groups of people can only create average works.
If someone writes something good in the wiki,
other average persons will intervene with his/her
work and turn it into an average work. If someone
writes something bad in the wiki, the others will
again turn it into something of average value.
with your system (meaning: Wikipedia's system)
you can be sure that you will never create
something too bad but also never something too
good. You can create only average articles."
The idea behind his argument was that Wikipedia
will be a good resource as long as it attracts
good cotnributors. but it will soon become an
average site/encyclopaedia because it allows
anyone to join the project and edit, and most
people are just average persons and not brilliant
Do you think it's true? and how can we answer
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A newspaper article of Erik Möller about Wikipedia was printed today in the
"Süddeutsche Zeitung", one of the largest newspapers in Germany (circulation
about 450.000). In addition, we had a snow chaos last night and they link
prominently to our article on [[Schnee]]. So, please, if possible, don't do
anything which will bring down the servers from now on (it's 5:30 pm in
Germany right now, people come back from work now) until tomorrow, unless
it's really really necessary. There might be many people wanting to have a
look at us today.
You changed something. Thus far thus good. I guess it's simply a bug.
If you click on a description page like
the WP software displays the picture. It isn't that userfriendly
esp. if the image is large.
In the past I used to add links to thumbnail like pictures, thus the
user can decide on his own whether he wants to download the large
picture or not.
Displaying a thumbnail picture (300/200px) would be okay. Please
announce those change to this mailing list!
http://www.gnu.franken.de/ke/ | (*)/'(*)
Fred Bauder wrote:
> You're changing the subject. Which is that an excellent article
> written by a
>knowledgable person which CONFORMS TO THE ACCEPTED CANON OF KNOWLEDGE can be
>trashed back to the level of what the average users remember from their
There's an ACCEPTED CANON OF KNOWLEDGE? Wow, I had no idea! Where is it,
and how can I get my hands on it? Why hasn't anybody deleted everything
in Wikipedia yet and replaced it with this CANON? (sarcasm alert)
Seriously, Fred raises a valid concern that the survey material taught
to undergraduates is frequently incorrect or dated. But the idea of a
canon of knowledge veers dangerously to POV. And suggesting that more
advanced education is the cure is arrogant; Ph.D.s aren't required here
(caveat - Fred's statement doesn't mean he's arguing for this, I'm just
drawing one possible conclusion from it). Anyway, if such a canon is
possible, Wikipedia seems like the best way to get it accepted, but it
will take literally forever to reach that point.
Evan Prodromou wrote:
> MS> I would interpret this as saying that Wikipedia content should
> MS> be independent of, and normally not discuss, internal
> MS> Wikipedia/Wikimedia politics and management issues. The
> MS> primary forum for that discussion should be the mailing lists.
>Wha...? Not the Wikipedia: namespace or meta.w.o? I guess I need to
>read up some more.
Well, I was referring to whether regular Wikipedia articles should
discuss internal issues, not to the Wikipedia: namespace or the Meta
site. I could have included those with the mailing lists to be more
complete. But part of my point was that I don't believe that this
principle will always apply. If (when) Wikipedia reaches a certain
point, some internal issues may have to be discussed in the encyclopedia
portion because they're significant enough. Just the same way that the
New York Times had to report about itself in the Jayson Blair fiasco.
It's a tough judgment to make, and sometimes nearly impossible to do
NPOV, but you can't pretend it doesn't exist either.
Sorry for the massive crossposting, but this is big good news.
The new colocation facility (Neutelligent/Hostway, Tampa) just called
me and they are at this moment taking delivery of 9 new servers
belonging to the Wikimedia Foundation. :-)
I'm heading over there now with Michael and we will be spending as
long as it takes to install them.
It's more up to Brion and the other developers as to when we'll be
able to go live on these. I'm just going to get them up and running
and make sure that the latest (most secure) ssh is on them.
Since I'm on my way out the door and need a quick list of names
are taken from "Notable encyclopedists before 1700",
in the article:
Just making sure there's no confusion. The statement of principles in
Anthere's response to Ec is taken from the page of User:Jimbo Wales.
Presumably Anthere was using it to save Jimbo the work of responding to
Ec personally, since Ec's post can be seen as a bit of a challenge to
Jimbo's ideas about the project.
To clarify the point that apparently caused Chris some confusion--"The
topic of Wikipedia articles should always look outward not inward at the
Wikipedia itself."--I would interpret this as saying that Wikipedia
content should be independent of, and normally not discuss, internal
Wikipedia/Wikimedia politics and management issues. The primary forum
for that discussion should be the mailing lists.
Anyway, I suppose now is as good a time as any to haul those principles
out once again and debate them. On that particular point, I believe that
Wikimedia will eventually become "a large and famous organization" as
Jimbo recently put it (and perhaps more quickly than he suggests). And
as the depth and breadth of our content increases, some of the things
that seem internal now will warrant treatment in the encyclopedia that
Wikipedia aspires to be. After all, what happens when some journalist or
historian writes a book about the story of Wikipedia, whether the book
be a hatchet job or hagiography? You can't just ignore it (nor do we,
judging by how carefully we follow our press coverage).
Fortunately, the mailing lists and page histories are all, or almost
all, archived, for the benefit of whoever wants to tackle that task.