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Re: [Libcdio-devel] Rock Ridge and libisofs/xorriso 'AL' extension

From: Pete Batard
Subject: Re: [Libcdio-devel] Rock Ridge and libisofs/xorriso 'AL' extension
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:51:44 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.2.1

Hi Natalia,

On 2017.07.25 12:49, Natalia Portillo wrote:

If you create an interesting tool and/or structure specification whatever, YOU 
CANNOT create the wikipedia page yourself,

Yes, I know about page creation. But we are talking about editing an existing page to add content about an item that is being used by many people and has existed for years. As with everything there needs to exist a balance with regards to how a rule should be interpreted, rather than a blind observance when the end result is stifling the spread of very legitimate, useful and non-biased information, which is the goal of Wikipedia.

I had my share of discussions with Wikipedia moderators, and from what I gather, the rule is mostly there to prevent attempts at profiteering from the data being published as well as trying to weed out obvious bias... elements that are hard to be accused of from pointing to technical Open Source specs, that have existed for many years and aren't part of a choice of competing proposals. From talking with them, I didn't really get the idea that the message that the moderators of Wikipedia were aiming to spread was that, if you are the main person involved in a technical topic, you can never ever be trusted to provide objective information on it. Instead, the rules are intended to avoid issues that stem from dealing with the more intangible aspects of a topic (like the perception of a famous person, a historical event, etc.), which are obviously hard to filter from bias and are better left for edition by unconnected third parties. Then again, I'm not a Wikipedia moderator (and am obviously also biased on my perception of what the actual scope of the Wikipedia rules is -- good thing we're not editing a Wikipedia page here), so that's just my current interpretation of how things are meant to be applied in practice.

For what is worth, the way this is supposed to work is: you cannot create a page for something that you are involved with. But you can place a request for it to be created. However, once the page is created, you are perfectly entitled to edit its content, as long as you make your affiliations with the topic clear enough, and also ensure that the elements you edit are unlikely to be interpretable as being subject to conflict of interest.

it is considered original research and will be queued for deletion per their 

If the research is recent, I would tend to agree. But if the proposal has existed for a few years, and is being used by a large number people, it's hard to still see it as original research. My point being that, regardless of how one chooses to interpret the Wikipedia rules, if original research has existed for years and is being commonly used, by all means, some aspects of it should exist on Wikipedia, and if nobody else but the people involved in that research appear to be willing to edit the content, then they need to be allowed to do so. As far as I'm concerned, the spread of useful knowledge trumps the blind interpretation of arbitrary rules.

I'm in the same situation having done DiscImageChef and the only known reverse 
engineering and documentation of the Lisa filesystem.

I would strongly suggest you engage with Wikipedia moderators on these topics. If Wikipedia cannot let you document what are obviously noncommercial technical elements, that one would be hard pressed of seeing as subject to potential bias or spin, without defaulting to pointing to a "conflict of interest" rule, then something is very wrong with Wikipedia...

Basically you need another person, that can't be related to you directly (not 
your friend) to write the article even if the references are to your website or 
source code.

If that rule was intended to be applied to the letter, then I am clearly in breach of Wikipedia with regards to the information I added to the Rufus page after it was created [1].

Yet, while the moderators did engage with me about potential conflict of interest at the time (since I was also new contributor), I would tend to think they saw that, despite being provided by the main contender, and therefore with possible bias, the data added was technical enough in nature to be meet the expected level of objectiveness and therefore acceptable for a Wikipedia entry. Either that, or I just got lucky with the Wikipedia moderators who reviewed my entries.

All, this to say that, as far as I'm concerned, I don't actually see much that should have prevented Thomas from adding a mention of 'AL' to the Wikipedia Rock Ridge page over the past few years, regardless of his involvement with AAIP (which is not to say that I can't see the many very logical reasons why he hasn't done so). Relatively obscure Wikipedia technical topics are notoriously hard to find motivated editors to update, so there needs to be some leeway with regards to allowing the people one might construe as being too close to the subject to provide the information.

Anyway, I guess this is a discussion that should better be held on a Wikipedia talk page, and with the presence of Wikipedia moderators, rather than on the libcdio mailing list.




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