[WikiEN-l] Wikipedia:No factions of belief

Philip Welch wikipedia at philwelch.net
Wed May 17 17:03:42 UTC 2006

On May 17, 2006, at 12:00 AM, maru dubshinki wrote:

> Pretty much. There are still edge cases. For example, is it a shared
> ideal and principle of the Wikipedia community that we should only use
> free software and despise proprietary non-free software? (Ie. would it
> be legitimate to have a userbox stating that "this user hates nonfree
> software and works towards its demise", or must that be stated as
> "this user like free software"?) Or is our conception of freedom
> limited to the products of our labor like Mediawiki and the articles
> themselves?

Wikipedians may, on average, be more in favor of free software than  
non-Wikipedians, but I'm loath to call it a shared ideal and  
principle. Most Wikipedians use non-free software on a daily basis,  
and for many Wikipedians, free software and free content is, in  
Wikipedia's case, a means to an end.

Wikipedia must be free, and I help write Wikipedia. MediaWiki should  
be free, and while I don't help write MediaWiki, there are other  
members of the community who do. But I write other things too, and  
those other things aren't free, they're mine, and closely guarded as  
such. I'm sure some MediaWiki developers write non-free software as  

Philip L. Welch

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