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Re: Wikipedia extolled as an aide for getting history correct

From: Lars Noodén
Subject: Re: Wikipedia extolled as an aide for getting history correct
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 10:12:55 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.10.0

On 6/17/22 00:46, Akira Urushibata wrote:
Has anybody been monitoring the Wikipedia article on the "Linux"
operating system?  As stated above I notice that it is constantly
evolving.  I see the need to examine the article and the "GNU/Linux"
naming ordeal from an objective perspective.

Back in the day, I and others at the now defunct OpenDocument Fellowship
did try to follow the various Wikipedia articles on Open Standards and
in particular the OpenDocument Format¹ and even related, non-standard
formats like OOXML².

I haven't looked at those particular pages for very many years but when
I last did there was still an ongoing fight between those trying to keep
the articles concise and filled with accurate information and those
working to delete them or obfuscate the information.  I presume the
latter were paid at least indirectly by Microsoft since they were so
active and persistent.

The tactics they used consistently at that time were:

1. saturate the open standards articles with excessive verbiage
2. diffuse the concepts and reword concepts as vaguely as possible
3. split the then long article into multiple pages
4. remove key concepts and information from the original article
5. confuse the material in the subarticles
6. shrink the subarticles to almost nothing for "precision"
7. call for deletion of the subsequently short subarticles

In that way they were able to remove, delete, or obfuscate a lot of key
information about the format and about open standards in general.

Remember, if open file formats³ are so well supported that programs can
be used interchangeably, then that aspect of vendor lock-in would
completely go away, along with most non-political barriers to FOSS
applications and operating systems on the desktop.

tldr; I would expect that these days you would have to look out for the
abuse of similar tactics, but perhaps more refined and subtle, in
regards to the relevant Wikipedia articles on software and operating


¹ Standardized as ISO/IEC 26300

² Which, to this day, no programs actually use.  None.

³ One that is:
        1. maintained by an independent non-profit
        2. published and available free-of-charge
        3. usable royalty-free
        4. has no constraints on re-use

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