WikiIndex talk:What is a WikiIndex entry?

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Tone I've noticed that here the tone is sometimes more conversational than encyclopedic and I like that. I think we should encourage more discussion like this but make it clear that we don't exist to denigrate or promote any particular wiki. Does that make sense? Koavf (talk) 04:43, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

First of all, describing WikiIndex entries as "encyclopedic" is problematic. However, beyond that, an "entry" should be distinguished from discussion of an entry. The latter belongs on the attached Discussion page. On the other hand, Discussion pages are often considered to be only about working on the content of the Index page.
This is a clear conflict: informal discussion is not encyclopedic. Opinion is not encyclopedia unless attributed (typically to a notable person, but in a totally inclusive encyclopedia, opinion would still be attributed even if the person isn't notable). Encyclopedic information should be verifiable.
On Wikiversity, we handle the problem by creating subpages. Discussion pages *may* be used to discuss the topic, rather than simply improving the content of the Resource. We allow linking to discussion pages, sometimes calling them "seminars." We allow owned subpages, i.e., pages attributed as the opinion, point of view, original research, of a named user, who is then, defacto, given administrative power over the page. (Basically, such open ownership is accepted, and someone revert warring with such an "owner" is likely to be warned. But it almost never happens. In fact, I can't think of any recent example.)
So there is WikiIndex proper, mainspace, and it's primarily about wikis. However, then, "Wikipeople." Okay, we allow such entries. What are the standards? And if we are going to discuss people, we open the door to an area known to generate conflict. Conflict causes loss of participation. There are users who, when they see high conflict, will simply leave. Most women, by the way, are like that. (There are certainly exceptions!) But it's not just women, either. Wikis have often avoided addressing the issues, because it's difficult. So they continue to make ad hoc decisions, and some long-time wiki users are inured to conflict, they consider it part of what is attractive -- to them -- about wikis.
However, Wikiversity demonstrates that a wiki can be very active with very low conflict. What it has taken is defacto policies and practices that avoid setting up the conditions for conflict. I'm proud to have been a part of that. Conflict on Wikiversity is almost never about content, it's about people, about users and administrators. On Wikipedia, the same, except that there is a constant creation of conflict over content, coming out of how the wiki developed. Wiki labor is cheap, i.e., not valued. --Abd (talk) 15:47, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm personally not very sanguine on the idea discussion belongs on main pages, and even the discussion pages can turn into massive slapfights, but if we must do this, then putting it in it's own area seems like a fair compromise. Arcane (talk) 16:33, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
"Discussion" is probably the wrong word to use, since in the wikisphere that word has a particular meaning distinct from the kinds of commentary that would appear on mainspace pages. Leucosticte (talk) 17:46, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
The page is called, in MediaWiki, the Talk page, but then it's displayed, commonly, as Discussion. On Wikiversity, we do allow some level of discussion on mainspace pages, but it should be signed. Otherwise someone needs to fix it in some way. More often, in a resource that is developed, there is no signed material in the mainspace page, because none of it is apparent opinion. Now, it might actually be opinion, but this is what editors work out. So, more often, opinion shows up on the Talk page attached, and the tradition is to sign things there. It's attributed. If that becomes a problem, on Wikiversity, we create subpages. If people are having a flame war, as an admin, I'd separate them. Because subpages can be created with -- say in this case -- Abd's opinion about or experience with RationalWiki which could be RationalWiki/Abd, then that page is intrinsically my opinion. If that opinion is harmful to the wiki, or wrong, or whatever, that can be pointed out on Talk:RationalWiki/Abd. And I can, if I like, ignore that commentary and so can most users. But I would not allow users to change my opinion page without my consent. (The page would have a notice at the top that this is my essay.) There could be a whole family of these. I'm saying from experience that this does not create major flame wars, the opposite. Every position can be fully expressed, as long as it, itself, is not harmful to the wiki or illegal. Most people just say what they have to say and then stop. I.e., given a context where there is nothing to fight over, they stop fighting. Exceptions are rare and become quite obvious. A need for admin interference is rare.
That such opinion pages exist about a wiki can be shown on the index page. On Wikiversity, we neutrally link them from mainspace resources. "There is discussion of this wiki on /subpage name." If there is more than one such subpage, we may create an essay subpage to link to all of them. Like all WMF wikis, Wikiversity has a neutrality policy, only we handle it through inclusion and organization rather than through the Wikipedian attempt to exclude what is not Neutral Point of View. It is that encyclopedic goal which leads to endless conflict. --Abd (talk) 20:01, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Defaming or promoting[edit]

"Entries in WikiIndex shouldn't exist for the sole purpose of defaming or promoting a site, though: this is neither free hosting space for other wiki communities nor is it a message board for gripes and sniping about problems with other wikis." What is the solution when one encounters a listing that solely defames or promotes a site? Deletion so that the page can be rewritten from scratch, or editing to add balancing information so that other points of view have due weight? Leucosticte (talk) 04:54, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Deletion I'd imagine that we should rewrite before delete because if nothing else maybe an infobox would be correct. I would play fast and loose with tone--this isn't an academic encyclopedia or a newspaper, so we don't have to have professional writing. Koavf (talk) 04:56, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
The biggest problem with deletion is that it hides the material from users. Revision deletion is avoided on Wikipedia because it can create suspicion of censorship. However, page deletion does the same. Traditionally, on Wikipedia, anyone can get deleted page content by request to an administrator, if the administrator is willing to serve in this way. However, L. was a proponent of WP:PWD, pure wiki deletion, which is blanking with a note. (And possibly protection.) It was a great idea that Wikipedia ignored. If there is a wiki page here, with problematic content, normally it would seem that it could be blanked as an immediate action. It could be replaced with a speedy deletion tag. A simple infobox might be substituted.
One of the problems is lack of rapid attention to speedy deletion tags. Wikis work well when there are administrators who regularly watch for such. They work well when there are process pages to handle specific kinds of requests. (And admins can have those pages watchlisted and receive email notifications.) An admin, seeing a speedy deletion tag, should ideally make a decision: remove the tag, delete, or refer the topic for discussion. Generally, any user may remove a speedy deletion tag -- not necessarily anonymous users --, but there is then, on Wikiversity, and other wikis, a "proposed deletion" tag, and those tags are not to be removed by a page creator. There are various ways of handling the situation, but *efficiency is important.* On Wikiversity, we have many alternatives to deletion. As an example that might apply here, if I see an inappropriate wiki listing, I *could* move it to user space. That leaves it visible. It turns out that people don't get nearly as upset by a page move like that as they do about deletion!
If I see what I consider inappropriate discussion of a wiki or wikiperson, I could move it to the Talk page, or create a subpage with attribution to the author. The real issue, though, is how much detail we want to encourage on WikiIndex.
I don't know if WikiIndex has RevHide available. It should. Some content should not remain visible to the public. Outing is an example. Libel can be one. RevHide provides an alternative to page deletion.
Rewrite is the classic solution (WP:SOFIXIT). However, it can be a lot of work. It's quick to blank a page and it leaves the content available. Then there can be discussion and possible compromise. --Abd (talk) 16:02, 6 January 2015‎
I have to concur with Abd on this one. Arcane (talk) 16:31, 6 January 2015 (UTC)


If there's not going to be commentary about wikis, then basically we're not much different from WikiApiary, except that we cover other wikis besides MediaWiki installations, and we don't have bots to keep the data automatically updated. Leucosticte (talk) 00:04, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

  • There has been no clear decision made on the topic.
  • Leucosticte's procedure seems to have been to use WikiIndex for extreme discussions, and to list the most extremely controversial wikis, then to argue endlessly against reactions that were predictable, and then, when he runs into warnings about his style of "collaboration," also predictable, to complain that no discussion of wikis is allowed.
  • Above, I write about how discussion might be allowed. I did the same with Leucosticte on Wikiversity, where he could actually build content, and if willing to participate in the creation of ethical standards, even content in the areas where he has been the most provocative. That was ignored. If it isn't easy for him, it's not "wiki." He's not blocked on Wikiversity, in spite of some major and disruptive complaints. He will not be allowed to poke those who complain, but he will be allowed to build content under ethical guidelines. He complains that the guidelines don't exist, and he's mostly correct. However, we have no drive, on Wikiversity, to include whatever anyone wants to include, without restraint. I am not personally interested at this point, to set up guidelines for, say, content about or around pedophilia or age-of-consent activism. Wikiversity defacto policy is a practical necessity: any WMF user can immediately come to Wikiversity and participate in process and vote in decisions. Wikiversity *also* has strong traditions of academic freedom. At some point I may decide to demonstrate what, in my opinion, can be done, but I have other fish to fry. It's not terribly difficult however. How do brick-and-mortar universities, dependent upon public support, handle the issues?
  • There is, in this situation, an exposure of the basic wiki problem. "Not easy" afflicts all the wikis. On Wikipedia, if understanding a subject requires study, and wherever controversy exists, Wikipedia can be radically dysfunctional, like a mob.
  • To allow discussion without damaging the function of the wiki, structure is needed, and, as well, users and administrators who understand how to *organize* and *regulate* discussion, so that it does not become damaging. If that is not done, a wiki becomes highly inefficient and burns out users. --Abd (talk) 16:39, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

'I did the same with Leucosticte on Wikiversity, where he could actually build content, and if willing to participate in the creation of ethical standards, even content in the areas where he has been the most provocative. That was ignored. If it isn't easy for him, it's not "wiki."' That's actually not what happened. On Wikiversity, I wrote up some ethical standards at wikiversity:Wikiversity:Ethics for pages concerning illegal or physically dangerous activities, and was viewed with suspicion as a possible troublemaker. So basically, whether you edit boldly or attempt to draft policy first, you get accused of disruption. It's happening here too. The bottom line is, both wikis want to ban the content from the road altogether, rather than establishing rules of the road for allowing the content to safely travel. Leucosticte (talk) 18:11, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Leucosticte proposed an inappropriate policy, clueless, and disagreed with the user and sysop who discussed it with him. He did not take steps to engage a larger community. He was not warned for disruption from what he did. He was challenged to actually do something other than demand that others pave the road for him. His complaint above is that Someone might accuse him of Stuff. He's right. Heat, kitchen. He wants someone else to do the hard work so that he can write Whatever He Wants. I've risked wikipolitical capital to protect Leucosticte where there is the possibility of productive work (for Wikiversity, educational materials). His response has been to crawl off in a corner and whine loudly about How Unfair People Are. He's not actually interested in the topics he raises, they are excuses to get people yelling at him. --Abd (talk) 02:46, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Is there a difference between "crawling off in a corner" and disengaging when ordered to, under penalty of being blocked; or giving up when it's evident that the community isn't interested in discussing the matter further? Even you say that you're not really all that interested in helping draft a policy that will make it possible to add the resource in question. I don't know what failure to engage a larger community you're talking about; the Wikiversity policy was advertised at the Colloquium. Here, the wiki is small enough that everyone can check Recent Changes once a day and know everything that is going on.
"He wants someone else to do the hard work so that he can write Whatever He Wants." The only reason it's hard work is that you guys make it harder than it needs to be. You over-complicate stuff that could be very simple. For example, it should be obvious, to anyone who accepts the idea of self-ownership, that everyone has a right to kill themselves. If that basic principle of the right to off oneself had been accepted, then collaboration on the resource could have proceeded, but people got in the way.
I don't get it. In the case of suicide, the person who is directly affected is in a position to make the decision. The resource actually promoted safety by encouraging methods such as pentobarbital that were safer to would-be rescuers than, say, carbon monoxide poisoning. Leucosticte (talk) 03:21, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
"I don't get it." Yes. And when L. doesn't get it, the world is wrong, and he will tell them at great length and with high persistence. He was not ordered to "disengage" on Wikiversity, he was not threatened with a block. If he was, he'd see it on his User talk page. I'm giving up trying to explain to him, it goes nowhere. Our topic here is "WikiIndex entries." There are some proposals, that might be turned into guidelines or policy. --Abd (talk) 14:53, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Argumentation it should be obvious, to anyone who accepts the ideas of inalienable rights and a right to life, that no one has a right to kill themselves. I don't think you understand that not every page is an excuse for argumentation. I've pointed this out before but it fell on deaf ears then, so I'm going to be explicit about it now: WikiIndex isn't your platform for discussing having sex with children or killing yourself. Koavf (talk) 17:30, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Why do you get to use it as a platform for arguing the other side, that there's no right to suicide? Seems like a double standard. Leucosticte (talk) 18:01, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Pointless argumentation I wrote it as a snide aside to poke fun at how you are wasting valuable Internet space. If arguments about suicide were so "easy" and "obvious" then they wouldn't exist, would they? If you want to make your case, this is not the place to make it. This is my point. So I'll say it again: if you want to make your case, this is not the place to do it. Koavf (talk) 18:25, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Commentary For what it's worth, I agree completely that WikiIndex shouldn't just be empirical--we give a better impression of the WikiSphere by discussing things more colloquially (in addition to hard numbers). Koavf (talk) 18:14, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes. That is, we are not *only* a directory, with basic wiki information. However, the question is how to handle this "colloquial" discussion -- by which I think Koavf means "informal." My suggestion is this: mainspace pages are places to hold information about a wiki. What is placed on such pages should not be mere opinion or judgment, generally. I can think of exceptions, but they all fall into something that, if push comes to shove, is a collective assessment, made for protective purpose. Such as "covers ideas that are offensive to many," "NSFW," etc. In line with this is our practice of not signing comments on mainspace pages. They are not supposed to be "personal comments," but rather text added in service of the community purpose, anticipating consensus. I am not suggesting requiring the full panalopy of verifiability standards used by Wikipedia, though their guidelines can sometimes be useful.
We do not have a notability standard for wikis. If it's a wiki, so far, it's been listable.
However, there can be an issue of excessive detail.
So, first idea: opinion and commentary on wikis goes on the Talk page. If it becomes extensive, subpages can be created, there are many tools that can be used to organize what can otherwise been excessive discussion.
Then there is the matter of "non-notable detail." Suppose the founder of a wiki wants to document, on WikiIndex, the issues that he or she faced in setting up and operating the wiki. This could be placed in a mainspace subpage, I think they are allowed in the installation (if not, that can be fixed). Where there is a personal history that really depends on a single witness, it's not otherwise verifiable, I recommend that it be explicitly attributed. This, then, avoids the impression that *WikiIndex" considers all this notable and important. Leucosticte's experience, in some cases, presents valuable lessons. It can also avoid edit warring.
Another issue raised is "other articles in mainspace." There are articles on "Wikipeople." In general, essays should not be in mainspace. That is, if articles are created, they should be neutral, and what is not verifiable, if controversial, can be removed by any user. "Other articles" -- not listings -- should be on notable topics, relevant to wikis. A question I would ask is why these are being placed on WikiIndex rather than, say, Wikipedia, Wikiversity, Wikibooks, Wiktionary or other wikis better suited for that purpose? The answer I see is where an article is about a concept commonly used in describing wikis.
"Wikipeople," however, opens up cans of worms. To avoid harm, I would suggest that no biographical article be allowed if the subject objects, and no on-the-face attack article should be allowed unless explicitly permitted by the subject. Where a person is notable from activity on many wikis, I can see an argument for a mainspace article. Otherwise I would make such pages be subpages of the relevant wiki article.
So, suppose I have some bug about the WMF meta wiki. I do, in fact. I might create an essay page Wikimedia Meta-Wiki/Essays/Abd and say whatever I like, restricted only by general civility or similar policy. If someone wants to comment on that, they can do so on the attached talk page (or could edit on that page with my consent, I'm responsible for it if it has my name on it) Someone else could write their own essay. Other subpages could be developed to cover details about meta, these should be NPOV. --Abd (talk) 00:17, 12 January 2015 (UTC)