[Wikipedia-l] List of contributors and GFDL

Evan Prodromou evan at wikitravel.org
Thu Apr 29 19:55:55 UTC 2004

>>>>> "A" == Anthere  <anthere9 at yahoo.com> writes:

    A> So, tel me if I understand well, to comply with the gfdl the
    A> best we can (and we already know it is problematic), what you
    A> suggest is to list first the real name contributors, followed
    A> by pseudonymes, then by ips.

OK, so, this feature is on its way with 1.3. I'm less concerned with
the GFDL than with the Creative Commons Attribution-style licenses, by
the way, which is what Wikitravel uses.

I'm not sure if this feature will be enabled on any of the Wikimedia
projects, or how. My main concern is to make it easy for people
redistributing Wikitravel content to conform to the attribution
requirements of our license.

My guess is that it won't be enabled for Wikimedia projects, as it
requires three extra database calls* per page view.

Note that IPs aren't specified per IP, just all balled up as
"Anonymous user(s)". So whether 1 or 1000 anonymous users edited a
page, there's just two words, "Anonymous user(s)".

    A> Of course, the number of names is limited. We can expect that
    A> on many articles, the number of names will be over 50 or more.

Brion suggested setting an upper limit on the names, which is in place
in CVS. So, depending on a configuration variable, just the last N
editors are listed on the page. 

The only reason that I group real names, user names, and anons
together is to make the text flow smoother. It's still the last N
editors, regardless of how their user login is set up.

My next step is, if there are more than N editors who've worked on a
page, to have an additional link to show _all_ the editors (without
the article text).

So the attribution would look like this:

    This article last edited 28 April 2004 by Wikipedia user Anthere.
    Based on work by Evan Prodromou and Brion Vibber, Wikipedia users
    Charlie and Diane, anonymous users of Wikipedia, and _others_.

Clicking on _others_ would give the full list of editors (but still
with all anons grouped together).

    A> I understood the gfdl "normal" requirement is to list the 5
    A> main contributors.

It is, in fact, quite difficult to figure out who the "main"
contributors are for a wiki page. Is it the ones who contributed the
most text, or the ones who provided the key points? What about those
who refactor and rearrange an article, but don't leave any text?

    A> This said, if we can't report reality, why would we report a
    A> group of contributors more than another ? If a pseudonyme wrote
    A> 95% of an article, and 5% officially real names corrected
    A> typos, is that really correct to indicate these 5 real names
    A> and not the pseudonyme ?

Of course not. The N contributors are listed in reverse chronological
order. The steps are:

       1. Get the last N contributors (where all anons count as one
       2. Print them out in order by real name, user name, then

    A> From a community view point, that is setting a case
    A> which I am not sure is really positive.  It think that it would
    A> be more correct to make random choice among pseudo or real
    A> names, or to choose among the last ones.

The last thing I want to do is discredit pseudonymous or anonymous
editors. The only reason they're separated out is to make the
attribution text more readable; otherwise, it'd look like:

    This article last edited 28 April 2004 by Wikipedia user Anthere.
    Based on work by Evan Prodromou, Wikipedia user Charlie, an
    anonymous user, Brion Vibber, Wikipedia user Diane, and _others_.

...which seems kinda wordy.

I'd be willing to work on this a bit to make GFDL conformance easier,
if it was desired.


* One to get the last editor's real name, one to get the list of N
  contributors, and one to get the count of all anonymous

Evan Prodromou <evan at wikitravel.org>
Wikitravel - http://www.wikitravel.org/
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