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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection' 239

Posted by Soulskill
from the like-regular-protection,-but-super dept.
metasonix writes: As if the problems brought up during the recent 2014 Wikimania conference weren't enough, now Wikipedia is having an outright battle between its editor and administrator communities, especially on the German-language Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, currently flush with cash from its donors, keeps trying to force flawed new software systems onto the editor community, who has repeatedly responded by disabling the software. This time, however, Foundation Deputy Director Erik Moeller had the bright idea to create a new level of page protection to prevent the new software from being disabled. "Superprotection" has resulted in an outright revolt on the German Wikipedia. There has been subsequent coverage in the German press, and people have issued demands that Moeller, one of Wikipedia's oldest insiders, be removed from his job. One English Wikipedia insider started a change.org petition demanding the removal of superprotection."
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Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

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  • bigger is better and all that.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:49PM (#47724581)

      So I recently heard about a programming language called Nimrod [nimrod-lang.org]. It's relatively new, but it's very capable and even the venerable Dr. Dobb's Journal featured it recently.

      I wanted to get a broader overview of it, so I thought I'd check out Wikipedia's article about it. After all, it's a language I'd managed to hear about, and I don't keep up to date with developments in the field very much these days. It was even featured by a widely read publication. So that should make it notable enough to have a Wikipedia article, right? Nope.

      I quickly found out that the notability idiots over at Wikipedia have repeatedly chosen to target it for elimination [wikipedia.org].

      I tried reading some of their justification for deleting the article, but it made absolutely no sense. It's a perfectly good topic to cover, and clearly I and others want to read about it! Yet these totalitarian shitbags feel the need to censor, censor, censor and then censor some more.

      The harm these monsters do by getting rid of useful articles far, far outweighs any harm that could ever be done by having allegedly "non-notable" articles exist uncensored. I'd totally rather than the article about Nimrod stay, and anyone who doesn't like it can fuck off and visit some other web site.

      • I quickly found out that the notability idiots over at Wikipedia have repeatedly chosen to target it for elimination [wikipedia.org].

        They've been doing this for years, and long ago burned out my interest in contributing. I've seen 3 pages I helped create/curate get deleted. Happily 2 of the three eventually were re-created by others a year or two later, but a lot of work was destroyed. Let them have their "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" slogan - I'll continue to be a parasite reading without contributing unless they clean up their practices to prevent the destruction of good articles.

        • by chfriley (160627)

          You are right, the whole "notability" standard at Wikipedia has been f'd up for years. Someone notable today, may be much less notable than someone from 100 years ago, but the person from a century ago might not be as notable to people today. Instead of trying to build a repository of accurate knowledge and information, Wikipedia is more concerned about building up fiefdoms of power for the editors and managers, which is too bad.

          • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday August 22, 2014 @08:06AM (#47728385) Homepage Journal

            the person from a century ago might not be as notable to people today

            That's not how it works. Something becomes notable when unaffiliated reliable sources have covered it. This notability, if established, does not decrease over time. Such a decrease would require the existing reliable sources to stop existing. The reason Wikipedia has a notability requirement in the first place is that an article about a non-notable subject has no reliable sources that it can cite about anything.

            • Notability on Wikipedia requires a non-dedicated source to notice it. So Nemosine pens becoming quite popular among fountain pen enthusiasts (Nemosine is a disruptive company) is not notable, because nobody cares about fountain pens except for people who care about fountain pens. If Nemosine gets featured as a new leader in Fountain Pen Magazine, well... it's a fountain pen magazine; it's dedicated to the topic, thus not notable.
              • If it were really important, bear with me here, someone might write an article in, say, a business newspaper of repute.

                "Some specific subculture likes a thing" is a really poor criteria, because those subcultures tend to get their own ass with false information. Sorry to phrase it so coarsely, but what you're proposing is a natural avenue to publishing false information.

                A sufficient degree of falsity is enough to completely undermine an encyclopedia's credibility. Why is this brands' website insufficient

                • Why would a business magazine care about a fountain pen company? They're selling to a niche market.

                  Goulet nibs are known as the best nibs you can possibly get, and they don't have a Wikipedia article. Every time you get a fountain pen, get on any of the popular forums or on Reddit /r/fountainpens, and people are like, "Try putting a Goulet nib in it!" Everyone writes with Goulet nibs.

                  Well, everyone in a tiny hobbyist market that writes with fountain pens, anyway.

                  It's like writing a Wikipedia artic

                  • Oh yeah, what "people are like" is definitely a good source of factual information. That's a brilliant plan.^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W

                    Okay, got the sarcastic energy out of my system. I have no need to be so hostile about this. Wikipedia requires some means to resolve content disputes. For any article, period.

                    If I went to your Goulet page, and editted to say that Goulet pens cause 30 infant deaths/year due to lack of safety testing, how is anyone going to objectively tell whether that's more

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          It's all part of the Wikipedia trolling that has driven away so many editors. The trolls target the most productive, helpful editors directly by finding ways to irritate them. For example, years ago all the articles about Japanese books, TV shows, films, games, manga and anime that got any kind of western release were changed to use the western names for everything. The articles, the characters, the places were all changed to use the western names. In many cases it was completely inappropriate because the w

      • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:22PM (#47725173)

        I quickly found out that the notability idiots over at Wikipedia have repeatedly chosen to target it for elimination.

        Yeah, this kind of stuff has been around a long time. I was somewhat active in the early days of Wikipedia, especially 2004-06 or so, and there would be these sorts of arguments all the time.

        Back then, you'd have editors asserting that entire major academic subdisciplines didn't exist and try to go on a deletion spree. Thankfully, someone would eventually come along and be like, "Uh, I can cite a couple dozen journals that publish hundreds of pages on this stuff every year."

        I've never understood the deletionist argument. It's one of many, many reasons I stopped trying to edit Wikipedia a long time ago. Somehow the world is a better place if we have a page on everyone's favorite episode of some obscure television show, but dare to include some other thing and it's "not notable." Notability is fundamentally broken on Wikipedia (as are a bunch of other things).

        But think about it -- Wikipedia is a self-selecting bureaucratic community. The only people who stick around long are people used to arguing about nonsense policies, and thus it becomes self-reinforcing. Things like X aren't "notable" because the policy says they aren't notable, and the policy is arbitrated and modified by people like us, so... well, why not just say, "We don't want X here."

        Of course, it's not that simple -- and I don't think most Wikipedia editors are actually trying to censor anything. But lots of important stuff can get caught in this weird feedback loop that "obviously it isn't notable" because, well nothing else like it is notable, because, well, our policies exclude those things, because, well, we designed the policies, because, well, people like us will always tend to write policies like that, but, well, we have to follow the policies.

        The thing I've never quite understood is why deleted pages aren't archived. That tells you right away that the deletionist folks are obviously up to no good. Everything else is always archived on Wikipedia, and there are talk page debates that go on and on and on (if you want nerdy flame-worthy entertainment for an entire afternoon, someday go and read the talk page archive for "centrifugal force").

        But for some reason we can't archive deleted pages. Why the heck not? Are we afraid that someone might come along again and argue that it shouldn't be deleted? Well, everybody else on Wikipedia argues continuously about sections of articles that have been reworded or links that were added or deleted or whatever -- and these arguments happen repeatedly. But for some reason, deletion is more-or-less final. There doesn't ever seem to be the idea that, "Hey, maybe we don't actually have enough qualified editors to FIND the notable stuff about this topic, and maybe we shouldn't permanently delete everything in case it turns out to have some good information, so people don't have to start over again and write the whole thing up again."

        It's all weird. It's a weird place. And deletion policies are probably the most ridiculous thing they have.

        • by Mantrid42 (972953) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:59PM (#47726397)
          I don't get notability deletions at all. What, are they going to run out of digital pages?
          • by GrahamCox (741991) on Friday August 22, 2014 @02:04AM (#47726729) Homepage
            Exactly. Originally Wikipedia had a statement that "wikipedia isn't paper", so anything and everything was fair game for inclusion. That was one of its great attractions. I have no idea if that still stands, but if so it seems at odds with the whole notability thing. What they *should* do, if notability is an issue, is to have a little +/- thing on each article that rates the article for notability. Over time that will end up indicating the relative 'notabilty score' of the article, without having to have it actually deleted. Brainless fucks the lot of 'em, it's been years since I've contributed to WP, the attitude was just not worth battling over.
            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              There are good reasons to have a notability test. For example, non-notable subjects are often very difficult to find any reliable references for. It also stops articles about random individuals who are not in the public eye, because people kept trying to add pages about themselves and their friends/enemies.

              As you say though, these days it is just abused to delete as much work as possible. Nothing is more soul destroying and likely to turn a good editor away from Wikipedia as having articles that are otherwi

        • by Tom (822)

          The thing I've never quite understood is why deleted pages aren't archived. That tells you right away that the deletionist folks are obviously up to no good. Everything else is always archived on Wikipedia,

          Bingo. Deleting pages is not only evil by itself, it also fundamentally breaks the "wiki" part of "Wikipedia".

          Deletion in the Wikimedia software is intended for vandalism and mistakes. But hey, you and me we are among a large crowd who have decided to not contribute to WP until the idiots in charge understand some of the basic concepts of their own system. This is just one of the most blatantly obvious.

          addendum: /. -

          It's been 3 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment

          WTF? It used to be 1 minute. Are we now pandering to people whose mental processes and typi

        • by Meneth (872868)
          Deleted pages are in fact archived, but so that only Administrators can read them.
      • I'd totally rather than the article about Nimrod stay, and anyone who doesn't like it can fuck off and visit some other web site.

        I can't tell if the people who modded you insightful were being sarcastic... :)
        Okay, joke aside... Statements like everybody else can just **** of because something you wanted to read about was marked for deletion. Is part of the problem.

        Wikipedia editors and can't get every decision right... If nimrod (which btw, think I've heard about before) continues it's growth, then I'm sure it'll eventually be featured on wikipedia.
        Note, I didn't say the current decision is right, but give them a break. But give

        • by Trogre (513942)

          Also drop the " censor, censor, censor" rhetoric... You are free to publish this anywhere else. Why don't you just make a site with rejected wikipedia articles, where people can work on them till wikipedia is ready to accept them.

          Using MediaWiki as a nice touch.

      • by linuxrocks123 (905424) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:09PM (#47725397) Homepage Journal

        Yes, deletionists are asshats.

        One thing you can do is use the Wayback Machine to get the text of deleted articles. I learned about that trick on Wikipedia itself. Why can't they just include the page history of deleted pages well that's a really good question.

        Deletionpedia is the protest response against deletionist asshats, but it's just getting started. It would be nice if an administrator leaked the text of all previously deleted articles to Deletionpedia. They actually KEEP THE DELETED ARTICLES ON WIKIPEDIA'S SERVERS and just DON'T LET ANYBODY LOOK AT THEM except the Anointed Ones. It's not even a disk space issue why they delete stuff. There's no justification at all; it's pure Vogonism.

        So, come on, inclusionist administrators: which one of you would like to be the Internet's Prometheus? It wouldn't even be copyright infringement because the creators of the content licensed it CC to put it in Wikipedia to begin with. WE ALL own those deleted articles, not the tyrant bureaucrats at the Wikimedia Foundation. You'd be like Edward Snowden except you'd just be perma-banned from Wikipedia instead of your home country. Have some balls. Get 15 minutes of fame. BRING LIGHT TO THE WORLD.

        If someone wants to kickstart a campaign to bribe an administrator into leaking all deleted articles to Deletionpedia, I'll put up $100. Maybe more. I'm not kidding. THIS IS THE GOOD FIGHT.

        ---linuxrocks123

      • Malamanteau [xkcd.com], and the edit war that ensued.

        Wiktionary is just as bad. They have a whole category devoted to words that exist but seemingly don't [wiktionary.org]. If you want to put the kangamangus on those dotnoses, ozay; head to urban dictionary instead.

      • Its pretty easy to figure out why the page was deleted:
        "Lacks reliable independent secondary sources to establish notability as required by WP:GNG. Every source is WP:PRIMARY. Every one of them. Googling turned up posts to online discussion forums but nothing useful. Additionally, I note that the decision to delete at the previous AfD was unanimous for the same reasons. Msnicki (talk) 22:37, 23 August 2013 (UTC)"

        Wikipedia is for documenting information found somewhere else authoritative... if the Wikipedia article *is* the authority, it gets deleted. Its very simple.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          The OP said he read about it in Dr. Dobbs. It's the third result on Google for "nimrod programming language". At best, they deleted it too soon. Since it can't be un-deleted now someone has to start again from scratch. The fact that there is no stub doesn't help get one written.

      • Notability is important for preventing a potentially slippery slope towards Wikipedia being expected to have an article on every shop, every street, every apartment complex, every popular teacher, and every creative work ever appreciated by more than 10 people.

        However, there is something frankly awful about the way it is handled.

        Deleting an article should be a grim and thankless task, carried out in the stoical way that a county bailiff would hang or brand a petty thief. Instead, it seems to be a matter of

        • by BradMajors (995624) on Friday August 22, 2014 @01:44AM (#47726681)

          Notability is important for preventing a potentially slippery slope towards Wikipedia being expected to have an article on every shop, every street, every apartment complex, every popular teacher, and every creative work ever appreciated by more than 10 people.

          What is wrong with that?

          • by Solandri (704621)
            The only thing wrong with it is that the self-anointed control-freak editors who consider Wikipedia their personal property can't possibly know or research information to that level of detail. They will have to (gasp!) rely on others to provide it. And they'll have to make objective editorial decisions to determine which articles are likely fake or likely true, instead of just flying by the seat of their pants and editing/deleting based on their personal opinion.

            I'm shopping for a house right now. If
          • by BetterThanCaesar (625636) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:10AM (#47727187)

            Notability is important for preventing a potentially slippery slope towards Wikipedia being expected to have an article on every shop, every street, every apartment complex, every popular teacher, and every creative work ever appreciated by more than 10 people.

            What is wrong with that?

            Sources. There are no secondary, independent sources about every shop, street, apartment complex, popular teacher, creative work, or the fact that there is a pencil lying on my desk right now. No matter how true it is, it is not verifiable in any reasonable sense of the word.

            This is what people don't understand when they complain that things are deleted from Wikipedia. If Wikipedia's ambition is to create a credible encyclopaedia of all human knowledge, then it cannot be filled with speculation and half-truths. Even primary sources are suspect. I could easily create a blog or web site that claims something, then create a Wikipedia article that uses my web page as the main source. THAT is the slippery slope that is so often talked about.

      • by Tom (822)

        I tried reading some of their justification for deleting the article, but it made absolutely no sense. It's a perfectly good topic to cover, and clearly I and others want to read about it! Yet these totalitarian shitbags feel the need to censor, censor, censor and then censor some more.

        Notability never made any sense whatsoever. The exact topics that are "not notable" are the ones that people are most likely to search desparately for. If I want to read something about Michael Jackson, or the city of Paris, there are 20 million pages on the Internet. Finding them is trivial.

        If I want to read about Nimrod or any other "not notable" topic, that's exactly where Wikipedia could shine. It could give me a short summary and some links to read more. It could, in other words, do exactly what an enc

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:30PM (#47724467) Journal

    > Superprotection mandate

    Call it Ex Cathedra and get it over with.

  • say it again (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:30PM (#47724469)
    It's almost like the idea of letting everyone edit something actually does in fact turn into a crooked, biased shitstorm and wikipedia was wrong and everyone else in the world was right.
    • Re:say it again (Score:5, Informative)

      by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:57PM (#47726385) Homepage Journal

      Actually if you read a lot of Wikipedia articles and history on them, the world was wrong and the system usually works.

      The rules are there for a reason, and contentious subjects have issues (cf. Abortion, Israel, Nazi, etc.) but for the most part articles grow and become better and more thoroughly fact-checked with time.

      Part of this is the much-hated reference requirement -- all facts in a Wikipedia page must have an external source to back them up. This rule alone causes a huge amount of strife among those who don't understand, but it also creates the most harmony by requiring reputable citations.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually if you read a lot of Wikipedia articles and history on them, the world was wrong and the system usually works.

        [Citation needed]

        The rules are there for a reason,

        [Citation needed]

        and contentious subjects have issues (cf. Abortion, Israel, Nazi, etc.) but for the most part articles grow and become better and more thoroughly fact-checked with time.

        [Citation needed]

        Part of this is the much-hated reference requirement -- all facts in a Wikipedia page must have an external source to back them up.

        [Citation needed]

        This rule alone causes a huge amount of strife among those who don't understand,

        [Citation needed]

        but it also creates the most harmony by requiring reputable citations.

        [Citation needed]

      • Part of this is the much-hated reference requirement -- all facts in a Wikipedia page must have an external source to back them up. This rule alone causes a huge amount of strife among those who don't understand

        It causes a huge amount of strife because it's yet another policy that's easily manipulated by people with no common sense.

        For a long time the article on Bitcoin stated outright that it was a ponzi scheme, despite that Wikipedia's own article on Ponzi schemes had a list of requirements which Bitcoin

      • The problem is to those not skilled in the art (whatever the "art" in question is) it's very hard to tell the reputable sources from the BS. Furtheremore the sources that are most likely to be reputable are often locked up behind paywalls.

        Wikipedia ends up with a set of rules that heavilly favour the mainstream media. Unfortunately the mainstream media is poor on the fact checking and heavilly biased towards certain subject areas.

  • by Verdatum (1257828) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:33PM (#47724483)
    A petition with 13 signatures is not worth mentioning. Any idiot can set one up.
    • A petition with 13 signatures is not worth mentioning. Any idiot can set one up.

      You mean any idiot with 12 idiot friends.

      • by Carewolf (581105) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:51PM (#47724607) Homepage

        A petition with 13 signatures is not worth mentioning. Any idiot can set one up.

        You mean any idiot with 12 idiot friends.

        You make it sound like the new testamant.

      • by thieh (3654731)

        A petition with 13 signatures is not worth mentioning. Any idiot can set one up.

        You mean any idiot with 12 idiot friends.

        I think he meant any idiot with access to 13 different IP addresses/proxies and 12 sock puppets

        • A petition with 13 signatures is not worth mentioning. Any idiot can set one up.

          You mean any idiot with 12 idiot friends.

          I think he meant any idiot with access to 13 different IP addresses/proxies and 12 sock puppets

          Or Tor and the refresh button.

  • This is what we need to stave off beta.

    Slashdot [Superprotection needed].

  • TLDR (Score:5, Informative)

    by Moses48 (1849872) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:34PM (#47724491)

    The summary doesn't describe the "flawed system" or what superprotection means. Here it is from the change petition

    The "superprotect" page status introduced to keep the Media Viewer enabled is even more extreme: for the first time, a software feature has been designed to take the ability to edit pages away from Wikimedia project communities, giving that ability exclusively to unelected Wikimedia staff members.

    • Media Viewer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr 44 (180750) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @06:22PM (#47724787)

      I really don't get the uproar. The crux of the issue seems to be that an update to the software running all the various instances of Wikipedia enabled a new slideshow viewer [wikipedia.org] by default, and removed the ability for site admins to disable it by default (but users still can individually choose their preference).

      Tempest in a teapot?

      • Re:Media Viewer (Score:4, Informative)

        by mysidia (191772) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:23PM (#47725177)

        by default, and removed the ability for site admins to disable it by default

        The problem is these "admins" are acting on behalf of the various Wikipedia communities as a whole. How WP is run, is supposed to be decided by the community.

        If these "admins" actually administered the underlying infrastructure as well, this would be a non-issue, as they could simply refuse the software upgrade, or patch it.

        The WMF is entrusted with this task, but the WMF is betraying the trust of the community. I think I might ask for my donations to be returned to me, since they are no longer acting according to their mission.

        • "How WP is run, is supposed to be decided by the community." citation please.

          I don't recall this ever being true. Wikipedia is about freely contributing to something with rules and an architecture that's not always subject to democracy. You're always free to mirror it elsewhere and do your own thing any time though.

  • This sounds familiar (Score:5, Interesting)

    by istartedi (132515) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:38PM (#47724515) Journal

    The Wikimedia Foundation, currently flush with cash from its donors, keeps trying to force flawed new software systems onto the editor community, who has repeatedly responded by disabling the software.

    Dice. Beta. Enough said.

  • Agile can fuck off. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by __Paul__ (1570) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @05:43PM (#47724547) Homepage

    FTFA: a little pain was just part of the “Agile” way of doing things

    Agile is now infecting the open-source world? Fuck it, I'm out. It's bad enough having to put up with all the "agile" bullshit at work, from their utterly pointless daily stand-up meetings to their fucking little cards on the wall everywhere (managers of the world: WE USE ELECTRONIC TRACKING SYSTEMS NOW). Add to that the unbearable Friday "retrospective" meetings (yeah, the last fucking thing I want to do on a Friday is sit in another pointless meeting talking about our problems) and then the Monday three hour meetings where we waste time voting on how long it should take other people to do their job instead of just fucking doing it.

    Agile has killed any enjoyment there was in the IT field. If people are trying to pollute the open-source world with it, they can fuck off.

    • At work, we have to use little cards on the wall AND an electronic tracking system.
    • Agile development is the fastest way to organically grow your shitstorm.

    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday August 21, 2014 @06:13PM (#47724723) Homepage Journal

      To be fair, Agile can be freaking awesome. I worked at a devotedly Agile shop and it was a developerocratic utopia. After the few meetings we had, all participants walked away with legitimate action items. You didn't just get called in to listen to something that didn't concern you - if you were invited, it's because you were specifically needed.

      I've also worked in places where Agile was a stultifying cover story for "actually waterfall but that doesn't sound as cool so we'll never admit it". That might be the kind of /dev/hell you found yourself stuck in. But that's not Agile Done Right, and shops that Do Agile Right really do exist.

      • by Livius (318358)

        I've also worked in places where Agile was a stultifying cover story for "actually waterfall but that doesn't sound as cool so we'll never admit it".

        That's my environment. They've stopped trying to say 'Agile' with a straight face.

      • Fred Brooks correctly pointed out that if you have a small development team (something like 20 or less), then pretty near any development methodology can work, if the team is good. Waterfall? That can be done. Extreme? Sure. Everyone work from home and email each other when they need something? Yup.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        No, utopia is where I walk away from the meeting with no action items, legitimate or not. Agile is a way to force a steady load of work on people with no regards to those who are productive in cycles.

      • by Tom (822)

        To be fair, Agile can be freaking awesome. I worked at a devotedly Agile shop and it was a developerocratic utopia.

        Chances are this has nothing to do with Agile and everything to do with the people, company and culture.

        If your culture sucks, Agile won't save you, or magically improve it. Managers love this "magic bullet you can buy and it'll solve all your problems" which is largely why they constantly re-organize something, completely ignoring 10, 20 or sometimes 100 years of re-organization experience that prove that nothing whatsoever changed after any of them.

        Tackling the culture of a company or department is a lot

      • Project management method "X" methods work great, if you have a good technical project lead and a good team; otherwise it sucks.

        You can replace "X" with Agile/Scrum, or you can replace it with any other damned thing - it doesn't matter. A good team with a good project manager will get good results. A bad team, or a teach with a lousy PM, will not. The current love affair with Scrum is driven by PHBs looking for a magic way to get good results out of bad teams. It's really that simple.

    • by SimonInOz (579741)

      Oh yeah. Agile is institutionalised micromanagement.
      It's horrible. Nobody ever gets the opportunity to actually think, there is no global view, there are no innovations.
      But big piles (I use the word advisedly) of code get written - and tested.

      And "sprints" ... has any actual sprinter tried to keep doing "sprints"? Get a bit tired and inefficient, did they? Paint me surprised.

    • by GuB-42 (2483988)

      "Agile" is just a buzzword, like "synergy", it means absolutely nothing.
      Good management is good, bad management is bad, whether or not they use the "agile" tag is irrelevant.

    • Oh, really? ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Qbertino (265505) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:04AM (#47729457)

      ... so Agile can fuck off, yeah?

      It's bad enough having to put up with all the "agile" bullshit at work, from their utterly pointless daily stand-up meetings to their fucking little cards on the wall everywhere (managers of the world: WE USE ELECTRONIC TRACKING SYSTEMS NOW). Add to that the unbearable Friday "retrospective" meetings (yeah, the last fucking thing I want to do on a Friday is sit in another pointless meeting talking about our problems) and then the Monday three hour meetings where we waste time voting on how long it should take other people to do their job instead of just fucking doing it.

      I suppose you're talking about Scrum. As a Scrum Master, maybe I should give some hints.

      Let me fill you in on some details:

      1.) You're supposed to stand at dailies, so you are eager to finish them fast and so you're quick to move your cards on the board. That's why Scrums are timeboxed (with me it's 15mins max) and limitied to what you can discuss about. If the team doens't get through, no matter. Scrums over. Move your remaining cards and get coding. Be more brief tomorrow. It's that simple.

      2.) After trying various electronic tracking systems we moved to cards on a wall. The crew gets away from their PCs and are forced to communicate with each other. And even the secretary and the sales team can use a pinboard without futher explaination, and when they join a Scrum they don't feel like standing in a room full of antisocial douchebags just typing away at their desks. Plus, when you are using it, everyone is watching, which helps you stick to the method. That's why I advocate pinboards for scrum tasking ever since. For huge amount of tasks managed in backlog software, printing the cards might be an option - we did that once - but a Pinboard it should be. People get their coffee or water and meet at the pinboard, not at the watercooler or the kitchen. Does wonders to project awareness and awareness of what others are doing.

      3.) Backlog assembly meeting (BAM) - apparently your Monday 3 hour thing (makes me sleepy just thinking of it) - should be done by those who need to do it you don't need the entire team for BAM, especially if 300 tasks need to be judged. You do need the team for assigning complexitiy points, but that can be done if there's something the BAM team has no clue of. BAM task-complexity is temporary anyway, as is the setup of the team. If there's only editing and no programming to be done for the next 4 weeks, it's beyond pointless having a progger do BAM - unless you've got nobody else to do it and the programmer has some spare time. And only in Sprint Planning is complexity set in stone. And Sprint Planning / Sprint Assembly is a different meeting, also timeboxed (1 hour with me, Fridays (I've got weekly sprints)).

      Complexity assignment should be done with planning poker, and shouldn't cover microtasking. It should only cover sellable features and one tasklayer below that. Also, BAMs should take place when you need them, not on a fixed date. That's a recipe for timewasting. That aside, planning poker is fun and lets you walk through droves of tasks in no time. You get to judge effort and requirements and *everybody* on the team has an impression of what's coming up in the next few weeks. That is *very* important. ... This should happen in sprint planning the latest. Very often people of a certain field notice things that have been forgotten by management, long before the task is even due. Also very helpful and a big plus of a formalised method such as scrum.

      4.) Yes, Scrum has an overhead, just like any other method. Quit whining. The job of Scrum is to keep the overhead to an *absolute* minimum while keeping everything else tightly organised and flexible on a sprint to sprint basis at the same time. If that doesn't happen, you or your Scrum Master is doing it wrong.

      5.) Scrum gives your Scrum Master the power to tell you boss "Leave my guy alone, we're full up with tasks, unless you want me to bust this sprint and push every

  • I know all of those words but still have no idea WTF the summary is talking about. Does this boil down to "Wikipedia teens with infinite free time are trying to build fiefdoms", which is the usual explanation for Wikidrama?

    • by tepples (727027)

      No, it's more like "Buck Feta".

      MediaWiki has a tool called "common.js" to let an admin edit the sitewide JavaScript. Wikimedia Foundation staff are trying to push unpopular user interface changes onto Wikipedia. The admins are using common.js to override the changes and restore the previous behavior for anonymous visitors. So WMF staff have superprotected [wikipedia.org] the pages to keep even local admins from editing them.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        No, Dice and Beta was about putting changes on the end users. This is about a squabble between the high up elite and the higher up elite. The actual users of wikipedia will probably lose no matter who wins.

        • by tepples (727027)
          The high up elite (administrators) want to implement the consensus that the end users have reached. The higher up elite (WMF staff) are the ones boisting feta on readers.
    • It used to be that you clicked on an image and were taken to the image description page with lots of information about the image, access to full resoloution versions etc.

      Now when you click on an image some javascript media viewer pops up with very little information on the image, if the javascript is working correctly then this adds an extra click to the route to the image description page. The first time you see this it's not entirely obvious how to get to the image description page. I'm sure i've also see

  • WikiWand (Score:2, Interesting)

    What's become clear here [wikimedia.org] (see also following section) is that the Wikimedia Foundation is afraid it will lose readers to sites like WikiWand [wikiwand.com] that offer Wikipedia content as a pure consumable with a much more aesthetically pleasing interface. The moment Wikipedia page views go down, the Alexa rank will go down and donations will go down, as fewer people will see the fundraising banners. The problem is that the Foundation's own efforts to create a more pleasing interface have been unsuccessful; they have the
    • You also have multiple competing power structures none of which seem very democratic to me.

      You have the "community driven" processes on the individual wikis which afaict are largely driven by who is prepared to put the most time into them and who is already a wiki admin or at least has friends among them.

      Then you have the wikimedia foundation which is led by a board of trustees. There is some voting involved but less than half the board is directly elected. Below them you have various staff which are even

  • There are too many people here not understanding what is happening here.

    What is happening, is that a large community has done a lot of great work creating Wikipedia. The project has needed and attracted a lot of money, which caused an administrative office to be created. This office is now trying to make itself more important, and tries to lead the project into a 'grand future'.

    The truth is, they may be well-intentioned, but they are terribly misguided, and incompetent. There are no capable leaders, and.or

  • the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. As long as they kiss the ring and swear fealty to WikiMedia.

    Honestly, is anyone surprised? I guess the only wrinkle I can see is the division in the ranks of the fascist editor cabal.

    Next up, a wikipedia Night of the Long Knives, where dissident editors are "defensively removed" to prevent their "planned putsch."

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