[Wikipedia-l] Re: MetaTree
tarquin at planetunreal.com
Fri Aug 9 10:33:08 UTC 2002
Daniel Mayer wrote:
>On Thursday 08 August 2002 08:20 pm, tarquin wrote:
>>The reasoning was fairly simple: Wikiprojects are organized in a
>>hierarchy. Naming conventions are increasingly hierarchic too.
>>When I create a page, I seek information about how to name it and how to
>>present it. It's stupid having to career halfway across the Wikipedia to
>>find those two pieces of information.
>Then just add links.
One word: spaghetti. Just because it's a web, it doesn't mean it can't
be a cleanly organized web.
I'm afraid I can't explain it any more simply than I have on
but I shall endeavour to try:
For each subject area, and for each "class" of page (eg chemical element
pages, people, ships etc), there are several different pieces of
meta-information. They are:
* what should be covered in this area? what are the priorities?
* what's the scheme for naming pages in this area, or in this class?
* conventions for presentation: is there, should there be, or what is
the agreed layout style?
* is there a group of Wikipedians who intend to flesh out this area?
* ... we may find the need to other things in the future
It merely seems good refactoring style to bring all those together.
>Also keep in mind that the only content policy we have is NPOV (everything
>else is just a 'rule to consider') -- I do not want to have WikiProject
>guidelines even to begin to appear as if they are a kind of content policy
I absolutely agree.
This is not about restricting new content.
We don't expect people to produce fully-fledged articles on their first
edit, or the grammar, spelling or typing to be perfect -- I'm not
questioning that at all, and in fact I agree with it.
However, there is a lot of cleaning up work going on, and part of that
involves harmonizing presentation. Articles about people are a good
example: I have seen half a dozen or so ways of presenting a person's
name, dates of birth & death and principal achievements. That doesn't
diminish the value of the content, and consistency in look & feel should
be very low on our priorities. But I am not the only one who takes
random walks through the Wikipedia & tidies up what (s)he finds -- while
I'm fixing typos or rewriting for clarity I might as well take care of
the formatting too -- *if* I knew what the agreed conventions were.
I hope I've not been misunderstood: I am *not* trying to impose or set
out new style rules in these pages on Meta. I'm trying to bring together
existing conventions, and set out a forum where debates about style can
>Also troubling is the term "Presentation Conventions" which is /far/ too
>similar to "naming conventions" and will cause confusion with newbies about
>the importance that naming conventions have in relation to any presentation
Agreed. The name "Presentation Conventions" is gone, as far as I'm concerned. It was a poor choice. I haven't got round to renaming the page on Meta, that's all.
>As a matter of fact, I do not want us to have /any/ content
>convention other than NPOV -- anything more will tend to stifle innovation
>(consistency is nice, and I do strive for that, but it should /not/ be in any
>way confused with policy).
*Being consistent* must not be policy, but *what* the consistency is, should one choose to be consistent -- there's got to be a consensus, otherwise it's not consistent!
I get the impression we're looking at this from opposite angles:
You (seem to) think these pages will say:
"here are the presentation rules! obey them!"
I want them to say:
"*if* you wish to be consistent in presentation (and naming, etc), here are the agreed guidelines *and* the place to debate them"
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