[Foundation-l] misleading advice on oversight on wikizine

Walter Vermeir walter at wikipedia.be
Sat Feb 23 00:17:47 UTC 2008



After reading these postings I have the following to say about that item 
of EN Wikizine 91 and this;

I acknowledge that the level of English used in that item is weak. 
Regarding that I refer to the disclaimer that can be found at the end of 
every edition of Wikizine;

"Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy, validity and especially 
but not limited to, correct grammar and spelling."

Nevertheless the missing word here and the incorrect plural form there 
the text presents correctly the intended message.

The (corrected) message is;

"Also a result of this is that the need for users who have "oversight" 
status becomes higher on the projects who have not yet those. This 
because you can not longer delete and restore selected editions if that 
page has more then that 5000 versions."

I establish that pages who have a history of more then 5000 revisions 
can not be deleted anymore.

That makes it impossible for users who have sysop status to remove a 
version of the history of such an page.

The only way that remains to remove a version out of the history of 
pages that have more then 5000 versions is by use of the usersight function.

Because of this the need to have users who have oversight rights has 


That is the long version of what I have written in Wikizine 91. I do not 
give any advice about how to use the oversight function. I only make the 
technical observation that the only way to do certain actions is by 
means of the oversight function as a result of a technical change in the 
configuration of the wiki.

And that is all I needed to say about it. It is outside the scope of the 
item to go in detail by explaining the differences between sysops and 
oversight and the rules that apply in using the oversight function.

=== Background ===

Until now was there no real need to have users who have oversight 
status. This because the need to remove versions out of the history are 
rare and it is already possible to do it by any sysop even if it is an 
impractical way of doing it.

And if you would use oversight then that action can practically speaking 
not be undone. It is safer to "oversight" as sysop then as oversight user.

Also if you use oversight then you need to organize again one more type 
of election/selection process; basically it is not worth the trouble. At 
least not on most projects.

It is best to stay away as long as possible from oversight on your project.

But because it is now not longer possible in certain situations (5000 
revisions) to do it without oversight that has changed. That is why 
projects who have not yet users with oversight status best consider 
appointing them. This so that the can take action (according oversight 
policy) when necessary on pages where the otherwise can not intervene.

At least not without requesting assistance from a steward. Stewards are 
there to help out also for wikis who need oversight help if the have not 
a local oversight user but it is a lot more easier for everyone if there 
is local user who can do it. Doing such a sensitive action in a language 
wiki you do not understand is a far from ideal situation.

To conclude;

I disagree with you that incorrect or misleading information is given in 
EN Wikizine 91 about this topic. I find that there is no need to come 
back on this topic in the next edition of EN Wikizine.

Regarding ES Wikizine 91;

I do not take nor accept the daily responsibility for language editions 
I do not understand. Dennis Tobar (Superzerocool) is in charge of the 
contents of the Spanish version of Wikizine. He can do what he wishes to 
do regarding this.

The German and Indonesian editions have not come out due to lack of 
people interested in making them (at present).

I have no problem in publishing corrections, but only when I find that 
there is something to correct.


Contact: walter AT wikizine DOT org
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