On Aug 16, 2012, at 6:10 AM, Marc Galli <marc.galli35(a)orange.fr> wrote:
important to emphasize that what I was writing about wasn't something theoretical, but
something that has already been happening for years at Hebrew Wikisource. We have been
doing both critical editions and scholarly editing, have had much fruitful discussion and
collaboration, and never even once has there ever been an edit war. Work on projects like
these is indeed slower than the process of scanning and proofreading, but the final
product is often a much more valuable contribution to the public. (The public domain scan
was already available anyway. But where once a reliable edition was copyrighted and
unavailable, now an even better edition is available online under a free license!)
I would suggested learning from our experience, and looking at your own Wikisource with a
generous eye that values many different types of collaboration on texts towards building a
useful free library for the public. While you and others are proofreading, be appreciative
at the same time towards others who are editing in other ways.
Sound to me like a big mistake. Wikisource is a source, not an editor ; we have not to
decide what is more valuable for the public. And soon or later there will be wars edit.
The funny thing to me is the universality of the reaction "we don't do this in my
community, therefore it must be a big mistake." I don't at all think this is
intentional but your arguments here could be used to support an equal strength conclusion
about things fr.WS *does* do.
There is disagreement at en.WS over the level of annotation we would like to support, but
despite our experimentation the only WP type edit wars I can remember were a few over
stylistic issues and one translation1. Fr.WS has been supporting translations for years,
although other communities say what you say above and disallow them. The styling of texts
is something we are all struggling to decide how much is valuable to one degree or
another. We know Project Gutenberg was not enough styling, but beyond that and a strong
desire to display non-latin fonts correctly, wherever they might occur, there is really no
Most of all, I disagree with the idea we are not to decide what is more valuable for the
public. We are not commissioned by the public for this work. We do it because we love it.
We are empowered by the whole idea of the project to decide what, if any, efforts of our
own initiative and intellect we will share with the public. The public can take it or
leave it, but remember we are not apart from "the public". Maybe you are a
professor in meatspace and feel apart from the public at large. I don't know. But I
don't have a bachelor's degree. In a minute, I am driving to work and seeing if
the rivets samples are in, finalizing two air shipments from China to cover a spike, and
seeing what other orders I need to place to cover the coming weeks. I don't feel like
the public is not something I am a part of.
So if editors want to see something done, it is likely many others in the public want to
find the same thing. I think the public will see the same value that editors see in such
1 This was mostly sorted out once the true source was found and considering the text
concerned Macedonian nationalism, "mostly" is excellent!