Surprise, surprise, I'm arguing with the people in #wikipedia. This time, it's over something I mentioned before, but haven't had a chance to put to form until now, my This Article is Star Trek Fancruft and Needs to be Moved to Memory Alpha template. This was suggested to me last night by a wikipedian, so I thought at first that I'd be doing the right thing. Upon writing it, however, I realized that I would be bending a lot of people's communicators out of true, and stepping on a lot of tentacles, or whatever it is you do to a trekker to piss them off.
Let it be said that I have seen every fucking episode of Star Trek there is, save those prefaced by a song sung by Michael Bolton, and I know who Curzon Dax is. However, a page on the wikifuckingpedia for Curzon Dax is without merit. It doesn't belong there. It belongs in Memory Alpha. The article is great. Don't get me wrong. I am glad the article exists. But just look at Memory Alpha's article on Ezri Dax, and on Jadzia Dax, and on Curzon Dax, and you understand just why all this fancruft needs to be moved.
People have told me that this amounts to deletionism. Data that is moved out of the iKipedia and into Memory Alpha is gone forever. The sole reason for this being that "they won't be around as long as we will." Well, let me tell you something. I was around last week when the wikipedia took a giant shit and was offline for a day. I was there when they were recovering their data from their non-ACID-compliant database. I was there when I tried to explain that they needed Disaster Recovery Plans. The wikipedia is STILL a project being run by amateurs, awash in heavy politics:
Discussion of the problems, though, seemed limited to such things as how to apply NPOV to a news source; more down-to-earth issues were noticeably absent. I can't help but think that the Foundation has forgotten Wikipedia entirely in its haste to revolutionise the media. Every minute of time and every $ spent on Wikinews or the other projects is time and money lost to Wikipedia -- and let's face it, WP is by far the most important project at the moment. Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikinews and the other side projects are all very well, but if there could only be one, which would you choose?
We have a lot of problems in keeping up with the growth of Wikipedia, both in terms of limited funds and time spent on it. A news site is a very different thing than an encyclopedia -- the Wikinews people are already asking for things like RSS feeds, and time spent implementing that is going to be time lost to Wikipedia. The Foundation is talking about how they'll distribute Wikipedia to the third world, either as hardcopy or with cheap computers. Wikispecies appears to be a dead-end project, still with no-one sure about what its purpose will be and how it interacts with Wikipedia.
Isn't it time the Foundation stopped creating new projects by the dozen and proposing wonderful new expansion possibilities, and spent some quality time with the neglected Wikipedia?
Some asswrinkle today tried to explain to me that the wikipedia had more credence and needed to have these fancruft articles because people support it more than Memory Alpha. Well, fuck, if I could give $1,000 today to get all those star trek fancruft articles out of the wikipedia and into Memory Alpha, I'd do it. In fact, I'd make it a yearly donation. I'd start a fund. The "Keep the Klingon And Other Star Trek Shit Out Of the iKipedia" fund.
I don't understand why this is such a holy war. I think what we've got is a bunch of geeks editing a community project and they want to make sure that their favorite shit is in it. They're proud of it. They have lost sight of the fact that they have an obligation to a race of six billion people to provide something fucking useful. They are choosing to fail.
I kind of see this coming to a head. Either I'll leave the wikipedia (yeah, they care, right), or I'll just stick to some small corner (like [[Single Malt Scotches]]) (come on, asswipe, tell me that's fancruft and I'll give you eight reasons it isn't, first and foremost EZRI FUCKING DAX DOESNT'T EXIST AND TALISKER DISTILLERY DOES).
This seems to happen to me and all opensource projects. I had the same problem submitting patches to OpenBSD.
I'll close with a quote from my friend Cheryl Hackworth (and she's hot, so that lends immediate credibility, trust me, as well as being a wikipedia contributor):
I get the biggest kick out of that
it gives you an idea of the typical person who's sitting at home putting in entries
what they think is important
not what the general population does
did you read the latest article on it in wired / wired.com?
And I quote:
"Sure, the Leonard Nimoy entry is longer than the one on Toni Morrison. "
oops. And before I forget, ingvar,
- sear (v) To char, scorch, or burn the surface of with or as if with a hot instrument.
Again, I find myself wanting to utter a "fuck all y'all", but I'll refrain.
Lastly (didn't I just say that?), ORA, again, sucks. I'm saying it again, and I can't believe it. Will they publish ANYTHING? I'm writing a Ruby-on-Rails app, and I am STUNNED at the lack of adequate documentation and support available. It isn't even that it's all in japanese. It's that it simply isn't there. And that it all assumes you'd use MySQL. Because MySQL is the pinnacle of fucking databases, right? Like the Wikipedia is showing us this month, right?
<Sound of disgust />
Fuck all y'all. Except chalst.