[Wikipedia-l] Re: mail WikiSpecies

Anthere anthere9 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 15 14:59:32 UTC 2004

Andrew Lih a écrit:
> On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 15:40:25 +0200, Anthere <anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>I do not think it is a legal requirement that board meetings are help
>>publicly. And I do not think it would be a good idea that we are
>>required to discuss publicly only. As for the meeting in question, I for
>>one, did not keep a copy of the log, and if some one did, I request to
>>review it before it is possibly made public.
> I was under the impression the board would be responsible for macro
> issues that were incapable of being done by the "community", such as
> the legal, monetary and logistical needs of the Foundation.

It is possible that we do not have the same definition of macro and micro...

For me, micro is "local" issues, not "may be done by the community" and 
macro is "wikimedia wide issues" rather than "may not be done by the 

Actually, a new project has legal, monetary and logistical issues attached.

And that
> anything that could still be initiated and decided on by the community
> would be done in wiki space by Wikipedians. If this is an incorrect
> interpretation, then an explanation would be appreciated.

This project was initiated by a non wikipedian and rejoined by 
wikipedians as far as I understood.
Wiki space... I think little discussion occured on wikispace
It was mostly on this mailing list, on meta and on irc.

> So my response to your point would be either:
> 1) The decision should not be done by the board, but by Wikipedians
> with the usual due process of proposal, discussion, yet more
> discussion, too much discussion, then voting.
> or
> 2) The decision be made by the board but be open and solicit opinions
> from the community, with the proceedings made public.

Voting... in this case... seems to be a bad idea.
 From my memories, the discussions on the topic were fully open.

I am not sure what you mean by proceedings made public. What do you call 
proceedings ?

In this case, I'd say case 2 is best. For a simple and unique reason. A 
new project, to welcome as a wikimedia project, should fit a collection 
of requirements. If not, it should not be part of the wikimedia project.
Recently, a french project asked to be hosted by us, and it was 
supported by a few french people. But this project did not follow what 
we considered essential, which is a free content. Hence we refused it. I 
think in cases a project does not fit the legal requirements mentionned 
in the bylaws, even if the community supports it, it should not be 
accepted. Or we should change the bylaws. Which would probably not be okay.

> Clearly, the way you suggest (by the board, but closed) is very much
> against the open spirit the Wikipedia community is used to. To be
> clear, I'm largely in favor of the Wikispecies proposal, and don't
> think the board acted in bad faith. But we should also take this
> opportunity to make sure that we set the right precedent for future
> decisions.

I see not why you say that "I" suggest "by the board but closed".
I certainly did not suggest that.
As I already said, I was not the one who started the decision making 
discussion. Also, it is not because I take the time to answer people 
concerns that I am the one responsible of the current situation.

I am doubly unhappy at your suggestion I favour a closed board, that I 
took great care precisely NOT to do that in the past 3 months. I spend 
hours on a daily basis discussing and listening to people, to avoid 
taking decisions which may not be agreeable.

It seems clear to me, that this decision did not please some people; and 
we will consider this fact for the next decisions. I am quite surprised 
that you consider this a total precedent. There are more than one 
decision which was taken by Jimbo in the past, with none of you all 
complaining. You trusted that this was a good decision and that there 
some arguments for taking it. Usually, Jimbo listened to the community, 
till a consensus arise. Well, sorry, but we did nothing different. We 
read all the mails and all the arguments, there were some discussions 
going on with who proposed the project, and we just tried to summarize 
all this information to take the decision which seemed best to us. And 
this is the point 2 you suggest. Where we very likely failed is to talk 
with Maverick enough, so as to adress better his concerns. As for me, I 
recognise we did that mistake of not hearing one side better. I do not 
think the current issue is one of despotisme as so many of you seem to 
imply, but one of rather very busy and very tired people, who try to do 
many things at the same time to please the hightest number of people, 
and who fail because they did not pay attention enough to one side. I 
think that makes a huge difference. And failing to hear someone enough 
should not be ground imho to accuse us of overstepping our mandate.

We will try to do better in the future, to listen more and longer. But I 
must warn you of one point. Jimbo, Angela and I are all three already 
streching our time limits. If you all want us to listen better, you will 
have to help us by providing better insight, summaries and such... and 
mostly, do not expect us to start polls or votes all the time. Neither 
of us three are very happy with votes and I doubt we'll start organising 
votes one by one. In short, those who want to help us take some final 
decisions will have to wet their shirt, hang around and call people to 
participate to discussion, create summaries, emulate discussions and co.

I hope that clarifies the issue a bit.

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