Most popular alternatives to Wikipedia, commercial and non-commercial, work with ownership of articles, or a stricter editorial policy.  This includes Scholarpedia, Citizendium, Conservapedia. It comes at the cost of volume and recency. In a sense, Wikipedia deals with all the advantages and disadvantages of modern, free democracy.
An aspect that the article seems to miss is the different demographics of Wikipedia and GitHub. (There are a lot fewer high-schoolers vandalizing GitHub repositories out of boredom.) The drawback of GitHub is not just that pull-requests must be accepted by authorized users, but also the bureaucracy of learning version control. Compared to Wikipedia, anyone with domain knowledge can hit "Edit" and add their bit.
I would rather like to see a synthesis of StackOverflow's point system, so the quality of your contributions grants you privileges for certain sections of the site, applied to wiki articles.
Another difference for comparison between GitHub/StackOverflow and Wikipedia is that you have ownership of your contributions. I occasionally go back and revise the most popular StackOverflow answers I've made for posterity. It's been years since I last made a change to one of my Wikipedia contributions. The last I remember was that someone had restructured a part of an article I'd written from scratch and added wrong information.
I would say the ease of editing needs to be much better than GitHub or current Wikipedia. A decent, WYSIWYG editor (with a Markdown mode, don't panic) with tools to make adding citations etc. possible for mortal users.
The two warnings are most certainly meant to discourage casual editors because of the risk of vandalism or subjective contributions. It is ambivalent to first encourage editing and then scare a number of people off afterwards.
> the ease of editing needs to be much better
I completely agree. And, as the article points out, with a heavy focus on revising the reward mechanism. And, if you ask me, with a focus on ownership. Perhaps categories of articles can be owned by groups/tags in which one can earn access and ownership. Just as when you earn enough points answering questions on StackOverflow with a certain tag, you can become a moderator for that tag.
Also, it is not the lack of a visual editor that turned Wikipedia editors away. It was the projects anal notability policies. The number of wikipedia editors peaked in 2007-2008, long before the visual editor existed.
They've had visual editing for years: https://imgur.com/a/mnePe
I guess this just proves OP's point: Wikipedia has been struggling to introduce visual editing because the current editing userbase rejected it.
My guess is that regular contributors hardly use it, and its purpose is mostly symbolic rather than practical.
Editing from the site is incredibly simple.
Browse to a file, click `edit` and make your changes. Then at the bottom of the page, give a commit message and click "Propose file change".
Pull Requests and Branching remained confusing issues for them though.
I'm currently doing an inclusionist fork of Wikipedia -- http://www.wikifork.org/mw/index.php/Main_Page . Wikifork (when I get it up and running) will have much looser policies on notability than Wikipedia has.
GitHub can be a source of bitter disappointment and annoyance just like Wikipedia.
>(and typically white male) that is an unnecessary comment. Sex or gender,
>even if they are the majority, has very little to do with the way wiki works.
>Even the minority groups will act the same way.
I would go further and say that it probably depends on what article you are editing as to what gender/ethnicity causes "disappointment and annoyance". I have no idea why it is suddenly popular (and not disputed) to make remarks like this in otherwise good articles.
That said, I think some of the ideas in this blog are not correct. One of Wikipedia's benefits is that it is consolidated into one effort, rather than many forks and a major distributed effort. Also as a number of comments have suggested, PR's can sit for a while before being rejected depending on how active a repository is. Other than having to use wiki markup (which in my opinion is confusing and terrible), there's a reasonably low entry barrier for contributers to jump over. Expecting people to use a form of Git (even with a UI) could end up being a lot of hassle.
Of course, seeing the direction the world is going, this may happen.
Also, while seeing the benefit of single Wikipedia, I also think it could benefit from larger number of pages about less important topics, not being that strict on what can and can't be a page topic. Extended Wikipedia of sorts.
Bear in mind that Wikipedia isn't the only website out there! But you make an interesting point about how authoritative it is perceived.
> I also think it could benefit from larger number of pages about less important topics, not being that strict on what can and can't be a page topic. Extended Wikipedia of sorts.
I agree, that's why I'm doing WikiFork.
I spent one day in my weekend upgrading a couple of Rubygems to be compatible with Ruby 2.5 after some things were deprecated. One of the authors just closed my PR, left no comments, and committed his own changes to master. His solution was a little bit different than my own, but he was able to commit to my branch.
A "Thank you", or a "Hey! I did not know that it was deprecated in 2.5, thanks!" would have been appreciated, and I felt a bit miffed even though it is not a big thing.
Also, only a programmer could think git is a friendlier interface than a wiki.
There are things that are wrong in the wiki comunity, none of which would be solved by using github instead.
Not to point out that the forking model would lead to fragmentation and GitHub is actually a privately owned for-profit platform, of course.
I don't personally know anyone who actually trusts Wikipedia. Everyone uses it for sheer laziness, as they admit.
How are skin color and gender relevant to the article or the point being made?
This is covered by the following site guideline: Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize.
The author claims that there are social constructs in place at wikipedia that lead to a bad working environment for contributors. There is not evidence provided to support this, but there is this offhand sexist and racist comment that gives insight into the way in which this author processes information around him/her. I find this a relevant bit of information for evaluating the merit of the article.
What if you have an article with the title "SpaceX doomed to fail" "SpaceX could never succeed, their goals are unrealistic and they haven't done enough research.... The earth (which is flat by the way)..."
Attacking the author on his flat earth believes would be a no go according to that policy, but it does provide information about the value of the author as a credible source.
IMO there's a simple rule of thumb. If you can't replace 'white male' with some other group without the statement becoming incredibly offensive to you, you probably shouldn't say it. E.g., I sincerely doubt the author would be okay with saying "(and typically female)" or "(and typically black)" in nearly any context, so I fail to see why he/she feels this is okay.
Is the author implying that white males are to blame for draconic / legalistic Wikipedia?
Has the author proven that draconic wikipedia editting is a bad thing?
Does the author show, in a mere three words) that they're both racist and sexist? (answer: yes).
I like how the author negates the entire point of their article just by casually mentioning thier unproven, unfounded bias. This person's thoughts are not worth anybody's time.
More here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16185156
White isn't relevant -- it's mainly just because most native English speakers are white. I would imagine that for the Japanese Wikipedia, most editors are Japanese.