1i5t5.duncan at cox
Nov 11, 2008, 9:08 AM
Post #16 of 40
Ben de Groot <yngwin [at] gentoo> posted 491988F5.9010206 [at] gentoo,
excerpted below, on Tue, 11 Nov 2008 14:30:29 +0100:
> Josh Saddler wrote:
>> Nope. The gentoo-wiki.com owner has already stated on the forums that
>> he doesn't see a need for it to be hosted on our infrastructure.
> Did he do that after the recent debacle? I think he would be more
> interested now. (Yes, people can change their mind...)
I'm wondering on that too. Events sometimes have a way of changing
someone's mind, and if that could happen, I'd think it would have at this.
The one remaining issue I could see him being concerned about would be
that "government by committee" would ruin its effectiveness, and that
content wars and the like would eventually turn it into a hopeless mess
as a result. I think it's worth noting who already has quite some
experience in the area -- he does -- and NOT taking it out of his hands
if we do decide to host it. Perhaps some adjustment, but he had a useful
thing going, why not let him continue with it. (More after the points
> I don't think it would be worthwhile to start a competing wiki and
> divide the userbase.
>>> I am of the opinion that we should see the wiki more or less as we do
>>> the forums. It is a place where users can contribute to the Gentoo
>>> community. I would expect most of our users are internet-savvy enough
>>> to understand the nature of a wiki as user-generated and user-editable
>>> content, and therefore not being as reliable as say our official
>> Unfortunately, they do *not* understand this. Just look around the
>> forums. Users are greatly surprised when wiki or forums tutorials break
>> their boxes[.] If users see a wiki on gentoo.org, it seems more like
>> it counts as "official, verified" information.
> Well, then it is a case of educating the ignorant, I'd say.
>> And really, I don't know that I trust the users, given what
>> gentoo-wiki.com has turned into.
>>> We could add a disclaimer to the footer along the lines of: this wiki
>>> is open and free for everyone to edit, therefore Gentoo cannot
>>> guarantee the accuracy of its content.
>> That's shooting ourself in the foot right there. Personally, I don't
>> see the point of a resource that cannot be verified nor vetted for
>> correctness. In my view, documentation simply must be accurate,
>> otherwise we are doing ourselves and our users a disservice.
> So in essence you are against an open wiki, that can be freely edited by
> users. In that case you're turning a wiki into just a different backend
> for the official documentation project.
Personally, I strongly support the open wiki idea in general and see no
reason why it couldn't be on an official Gentoo domain even as such, but
I believe there's more that can be done to mitigate possible problems.
* That "shooting ourself in the foot" comment was, I intuitively thought,
headed somewhere other than it went. What I would have suggested there
would be a HEADER, not a FOOTER (thus, the footer suggestion is shooting
ourselves in the "footer", was where I expected that to go :). Make it a
single paragraph at the top of every page, demarced similar to the way
IMPORTANT notes are demarced in the "official" docs, if necessary linking
to a longer disclaimer page.
* Something I've seen on both the xorg and wikipedia wikis is "locked
pages". If a particular topic appears vital enough yet continually gets
abuse that needs tended to, set it up as desired and lock it, with a
pointer to the "talk" page or etc for further suggestions. Similarly,
now dated info could be locked with an "outdated, here for historical
purposes, see <link>" disclaimer.
* Also quite effective on wikipedia are their various preformatted
"original research", "written like a commercial" etc disclaimers,
appropriately boxed and bolded so it's very difficult to miss them. The
preceding point already mentioned a couple of uses for such Gentooised
preformatted disclaimers, and there are surely others.
Of course, the guy who was running the unofficial wiki will certainly
have a lot of wisdom borne of hard experience in this area, and likely
already has reasonable solutions of his own. It'd be nice to fit the
preformatted elements into the existing Gentoo theme, but there may be
limits on fitting that into his style, both page and admin.
* The above confluence of interests does therefore suggest one possible
general solution. Basically, set it up with a Gentoo frame, including
that disclaimer header (or footer) I mentioned, on Gentoo hosting, but
otherwise give him (and the users) reasonably wide latitude, with the
agreement structured so Gentoo can do what's necessary to protect its
interests legally, of course (DMCA, copyright and libel takedown and the
like, for instance). Of course, cover dispute and termination as well.
The simplest way to do this may be to make him staff, much like the
global forum mods, but with both parties getting rights to the existing
wiki content should there be a split, so neither could hold the other
(Obligatory disclosure: I've very occasionally browsed the wiki as I
came across google links or etc in the past, but it hasn't been regular
by any means. However, I've certainly missed it lately as I recently got
an Acer Aspire One, and a lot of the Google links to info (accurate or
not) on Atom CFLAGS and the like are now dead, as they pointed to gentoo-
wiki. =:^( I've ended up having to be satisfied with the Arch-Linux
forum thread on it and the like, but even that points to gentoo-wiki!
But I really haven't had time to do much with it yet anyway, so it hasn't
been a big issue... yet. Still, it's a big hole in specifically Gentoo
friendly info I'd otherwise have, and I've become acutely aware of how
many non-Gentoo users depend on the "unofficial" gentoo-wiki, whatever
problems it may or may not have with accuracy. We really do need either
it or a replacement up with /reliable/ hosting.)
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman