One of his arguments is that these languages are often only mentioned in conference proceedings.
How you get to be a PhD student in computer science without realising that conference proceedings are the leading distribution mechanism for knowledge in the CS research world is a mystery.
I may only be a humble honours student, but the central importance of conferences over journals has been drummed into me over and over by my professors.
There's no way that he couldn't just do a google scholar search for "Alice ML functional programming".
I gave the following example in my Wikipedia talk page: the first paper on functional reactive programming is very famous. It describes a DSL called Fran. However, Fran could have not been given a name and the paper still would have been influential, because it wasn't the language itself that had the impact, it was the idea of functional reactive programming that had an impact.
(For the record, I got an A in PL! We used Coq. And proved a lot of theorems, mechanically.)
The peer-review system basically establishes (a) the reviewers believe the result is non-trivial and (b) the reviewers believe the result is correct.
However, I'd say that the very existence of documents such as third-party tutorials/introductions/discussions, etc., can be adduced as evidence of notability. Think of determining notability more as "sociology" than some academic judgement about the intrinsic worth or originality of the topic.
For instance, "article citations as notability" is patently absurd in the case of, say, celebrity or TV show articles (the existence of both of which seems accepted on Wikipedia) or even news topics, and only somewhat less so in the case of PLs, especially those developed outside of academia. (It's arguably a bad criteria anywhere where results aren't very expensive to reproduce, such as population surveys and lab results -- surely many important results in math and physics living only on the arXiv are more notable than some minor topic which generates higher citation counts through constant re-citing by the same group of devotees).
In contrast, the three languages mentioned on the front page were all ones I'd previously heard of.
I see there is a paragraph in the Wikipedia guidelines for notability regarding refereed paper citations, but in line with my above comments I'd suggest that this not be read too literally. Perhaps it's personal preference, but I find such "long tail" articles useful, even if that means WP contains millions of articles on topics I personally find irrelevant.
Perhaps the reason you've incited such anger is that people feel you're imposing what can be seen as elitist and subjective views about how notability is defined (certainly it's not true that everyone's pet/undergrad PL project should have a page, but the three languages mentioned certainly have received wide attention). From this perspective, the question here is not about any particular property of these PLs but what the WP criteria are or should be, so it would certainly be best to err on the side of non-deletion in all cases.
I hope you reconsider your views on this topic (disclaimer: I am not associated with any of the projects mentioned).
So do I. With an encyclopedia of universal scope, there are bound to be articles on things that any particular person doesn't care about. The important thing is that for each article, some people find the information useful.
Wiki is not paper.
PL researchers are most excited about the ideas in the language. It is not surprising at all that they do not go tooting their horn with gay abandon about a particular implementation (or coursework grades). The vehicle of that idea is no less important.The notion of an electron may be more important than the instrument used to discover it, but that does not mean that the instrument has no place.
I would argue that the deleted articles are more important than an articles on, say, Java which does not bring any new ideas and I hear about it all the time. I don't need Wikipedia for it. But I do need it for languages like Pure.
I think it is more important that articles about relatively obscure but influential languages like Alice are preserved. It lets a potential CS student get excited/interested in something and pursue it further. Not everyone will be digging up old PL folklore. Wikipedia is one of the few, largely spam free, venues where on could come in contact with them.
Wikipedia serves an important purpose of disseminating knowledge in an accessible form to all. If any purpose was at all served by the deletion, it is hardly much different from dilettante vandalism: destruction of potential value to a reader.
What about human languages. There could be a human language that has remained isolated for the most part and only few speak it, that in itself will be a fascinating thing to know about. Does it mean that Wikipedia will not have space for an article on it.
Peripherally: many if not most grad students would get an A in PL if they are taking that course, and will prove theorems if one works on theorem proving or verification. I don't see anything special about that.
you're a drain on wikipedia, a source of negative knowledge.
As far as I can tell, the only positive contribution that deletionism makes to the welfare of humanity is it makes individual deletionists happy when they destroy other people's work.
I wonder if anyone has done research into possible links between deletionism and mental disorders such as OCPD?
That's a whole separate issue from notability, though. On this and many other issues I think the notability bar is set too high. I'm much rather see a wikipedia page on an obscure language than not, and I have read a few in the past.
>"you're a drain on wikipedia, a source of negative knowledge."
Notability requirements are there for a reason. If you think it's notable then there are clear methods on Wikipedia to press your case and establish the notability without stooping to direct personal criticism.
I've not looked in detail but from the couple of posts here it seems the languages in question are esoteric and not especially notable in themselves. Wikipedia is not intended to be a dumping ground for every last bit of trivia.
Unless Alice, for example, has made some profound contribution to CS then it doesn't deserve it's own entry based on the limited number of papers available - even then it may not, the contribution could be listed elsewhere, perhaps on a general page about similar contribution or on the page for the language that has been most impacted.
Wikipedia isn't supposed to be a replacement for use of a search engine.
IMO adding millions of articles which are not going to get beyond stub status and not going to be maintained and take resources (editors) away from other articles is not a wise move.
If you genuinely believe that this is worth effort then there is nothing stopping you from taking the removed articles and starting/contributing to a programming language wiki. http://esoteric.voxelperfect.net/wiki/Language_list appears to be a good place to put this stuff. Or, as I said at the start demonstrating the notability and having the articles reinstated in Wikipedia.
One person's trivia is another person's useful information.
> Unless Alice, for example, has made some profound contribution to CS then it doesn't deserve it's own entry based on the limited number of papers available
If significant numbers of people are interested in the subject, then having an article about it promotes the public good. Deleting the article harms these people.
> even then it may not, the contribution could be listed elsewhere, perhaps on a general page about similar contribution or on the page for the language that has been most impacted.
If you have a phenomenon with its own name, it's better for a subject to have it's own article, rather than be a note in another article, because then it's easier to find.
> Or, as I said at the start demonstrating the notability and having the articles reinstated in Wikipedia.
Why should the onus be on hard-working Wikipedia editors to show their articles are worthwhile? Instead, it should be on the vandals who want to destroy work.
In a world without word indexing that "easier to find" matters a lot.
Your statement directly contradicts Wikipedia guidelines as linked in my previous entry.
>Why should the onus be on hard-working Wikipedia editors to show their articles are worthwhile? Instead, it should be on the vandals who want to destroy work.
Save your spin and lets stick to the issue. The simple answer is "to maintain Wikipedia as an encyclopedic tome with a usable quality".
If you wish to create a quality work of notable articles then it's necessary, IMO, to require an argument for inclusion rather than demand an argument to exclude something.
AFAIK no one is here to destroy worthwhile information, I certainly haven't contributed to Wikipedia to that end, but for some types of information Wikipedia is not the right place to put it. You'll see I linked to a wiki for programming languages, the info fits there well, it can be linked to from a Wikipedia page on more general programming information; why is it essential to duplicate such information?
So to count for notability:
- An article can't be from a workshop?
- It must solely be about a topic?
- It must be peer reviewed?
At this point you must acknowledge that your own complicated rules for notability have diverged a long way from those stated anywhere else.
But the other criteria are silly.
Is Strachey's non-mainstream but very influential GPM notable? It has only one journal article about it, with a paltry 65 Google Scholar cites, and the other articles that mention it are all mostly concerned with something else.
I've also now reviewed the AfD comments. It seems that no reason was given for why Alice ML was notable beyond it's inclusion and reference in other articles. The proposer was clearly knowledgable about the subject and had reviewed the available literature. The deletion consideration seemed logical and well founded. The failure if there was one was there not being someone else who knew the subject matter and could provide a good reason for inclusion.
Instead, the authors describe the semantics as an extension of lambda calculus. This is both more compact and more useful to other researchers (who might not be working on an ML dialect).
That said I would be grateful to you or anyone with a backup who could restore the article. Looking at the google cache for this page, it was more than a stub and actually did link to a page with references...
Alice is still one of the first semester languages for CS students at Saarland university. I think it would be advantageous if you could find information about related languages and additional features on Wikipedia.
/* I would like to use a different word instead of nearsighted, but have to maintain decency. */
I was unbelievably pissed off when I searched for "Alice ML" and found a hit on wikipedia via google and come to see the page deleted.
I didn't say that. Someone else said it. I just heard it.
The fact is that Wikipedia is full of articles about people's own pet research projects which have no users and no impact.
Your arguments are solid and worth thinking about, but as you can see, nobody wants to address the wider problem of Wikipedia's poor notability guidelines directly, and have let this devolve into a flamewar.
But pitchforks and flamage are easier, I guess. It's embarrassing how similar this response is to what happens when some minor band's article gets proposed for deletion, and all the angry folks from the band's mailing list show up arguing that Wikipedia Fascists Are Damaging Knowledge.
One experiment that could be useful is for people to just follow the "Articles for deletion" page for a few days when it's not currently focused on something they're personally big fans of. Say, next Monday through Wednesday. Then everyone would be much better informed to explain what's wrong about the process and what to do about it. They'd also have a better understanding about the kind of crap that gets regularly deleted, i.e. why the rules exist in the first place, which is what any reform proposal would have to also account for.
But I think most people are just jumping in because someone said something bad about a thing they're a fan of, hence the mob style.
Wikipedia's policies piss everyone off in turn, but it is in turn. The fact that each new community isn't aware of wikipedia's ludicrous policies isn't their fault, since they've had no cause to wrestle with the problems or nuances.
The fact that wikipedians are tired of the debate doesn't mean that they're right, it means that they've done a bad job communicating the problem, dealing with the consequences, and are frankly out of touch with the majority of wikipedia's readers (who outside of a subset of wikipedians thinks deletionism is a good idea?).
The fact that people defending wikipedia on these issues always treat the aggrieved fans/community with such contempt really is part of the problem.
Figuring out how to write an encyclopedia isn't a particularly easy problem, and a lot of people have spent some effort trying to balance things like, on the one hand, wanting coverage of everything, and on the other hand, not wanting physics kooks spamming up Wikipedia with their fringe theories. Lots of people disagree on how to do it, but I think people should at least make some effort to understand things rather than seeing it through the narrow tunnel vision of "the thing I'm a fan of deserves special treatment and Wikipedians don't see that so they're idiots". As in open-source, it's to some extent a contrib-ocracy; if you don't help improve the encyclopedia at all, but only show up when some external fan community is aggrieved, that sort of "contribution" isn't appreciated any more than it would be at LKML (they get such influxes now and then too, e.g. from fans of a module that wasn't accepted for merging).
> who outside of a subset of wikipedians thinks deletionism is a good idea
I actually see the opposite criticism at least as often! Wikipedia's often attacked in academic literature, and some news stories, for being filled with "Star Wars and Pokemon cruft", and not paying enough attention to reliable sources or people with expertise in various fields. There are also periodic controversies about it including articles on borderline-notable people who object to their inclusion. Most forks, like Larry Sanger's "Citizendium", have been based on the Wikipedia-is-too-loose-with-its-standards criticism, rather than the opposite one. Not that I agree with it, but it does seem to be the most common criticism outside of fan communities.
Most of it isn't crap.
For example, I looked at the top 5 articles listed on 13th February -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion...
#1 is an internet marketing company. It has a website which verifiably exists. People considering doing business with them would find this useful. It should be kept.
#2 is an academic. That makes the article useful. OTOH, she's hasd death threats and wants the article down. I'm not sure what I'd do here.
#3 is a sportsman. Should be kept: even if he isn't well known, those who do know about him will likely find the article useful.
#4 is about Swiss people in Sri Lanka. If I was Swiss and was considering relocation to Sri Lanka, I might find this useful. Should be kept.
#5 is about "XMLmosaic", something I've never heard of, and has been speedily deleted.
A majority of these articles (at least 60%) are net-useful to humanity and should be kept. If I did a larger sample, I'm sure I'd get similar results.
About 100 articles a day are posted on AfD and most of these (75-80%) are deleted. What good is served by destroying tens of thousands of useful articles every year? None.
There is of course stuff on which internet users can collect useful information, where no current sources exist to cite, but there's no reason Wikipedia has to be the only wiki on the internet. For example, Know Your Meme is an excellent project to document current internet memes, including via original sleuthing by its editors, who try to track down the history of memes and reconstruct their paths. It's not really a tertiary source summarizing the existing literature though; it's a sociological/historical research project. And it's great that it exists. Why does it have to exist on wikipedia.org, a project that has different goals, which don't include doing original research? Of course, memes should also be covered on Wikipedia, but only when Wikipedia can cite some existing published source documenting the information (a news article, a sociology conference paper, anything really).
I guess it seems perfectly fine to me that there's more than one project on the internet dedicated to collecting knowledge, with different goals; I don't see why Wikipedia has to be the union of all possible wikis. If anything, I would prefer more projects with different goals and approaches to exist, rather than everything being so centralized. That way I can go to Wikipedia if I want the tertiary-source take on internet memes, and I can go to Know Your Meme if I want the primary-source take on internet memes. Same with a Wikipedia article on a location versus a Wikitravel article on a location: both useful, but I don't see why they have to be merged into one project (or why that would be helpful).
Anyhow, the measure of inclusion on WP is not "isn't crap" but "is it notable" and whilst that gives a huge range to argue over it's is still clearly different to the question of "is it crap".
Take your sportsman - do you think that WP should be exhaustive? What is it about them that's notable and can be confirmed from other references?
I browse WP a fair bit. I've never come across any such articles.
Even if they do exist, what's the harm? People not interested in the topic won't read them, people who are interested will find them useful.
My favorite part is how he admits the rules he's enforcing are inadequate, and yet continues to enforce them.
My favorite part is how he admits the rules he's enforcing are inadequate, and yet continues to enforce them.
- Had an article he wrote on a small programming language, possibly his own, deleted for not being notable enough.
- Feels that less notable languages than the one in question were not treated similarly.
- Perceives injustice.
- Takes action.
Hopefully nothing other than some quality encyclopedia writing and anti-deletionist attitude (space is very cheap) comes from this. I don't like how ugly this is already becoming.
None of the articles I nominated for deletion had any reliable sources to back them up. I didn't nominate them for deletion because of hard drive space. I nominated them because there was nothing to say about them barring a superficial overview of syntax.
I honestly didn't think that putting in a few AfDs would cause such a shitstorm, to the point where people are calling me a Nazi/asshole/whatnot on my user page. I also never thought my 15 minutes of fame would be for nominating Nemerle for deletion :) Maybe I should have a Wikipedia article...?
But seriously. Anyone could have commented on the AfD. Anyone could have provided reliable sources. The only thing anyone did was bitch and moan. I didn't delete the articles -- the Wikipedia administrators did. Thumbs down, internet.
Instead of improving the pages (which any self-respecting graduate student could do over a cup of tea and a scone) you just erased them. Unilaterally. Imagine if someone at your university decided to do that to one of your papers because they just didn't like it or because some government thought it wasn't "notable" enough. Hell, your department would have a fit if that happened. I also bet your department publishes just about everything a Ph.D. candidate puts out, no matter how idiotic it is.
Yet, here you are, censoring the work of others in your own profession because of some arbitrary rules of "notability" that only work for dipshits like Lindsay Lohan and not for programming languages like Nemerle and Factor.
So yes, you are behaving like an asshole. You are probably a nice guy in person (any grown man who's into Pokemon has got to be fun), but right now, you're being a gigantic Nazi asshole.
While it's quite incendary to call someone a Nazi, I think the cap fits in this case.
Making an editorial suggestion is not akin to burning books, not the least bit. If you are a journalist, you don’t get to call your editor a “Nazi” because she decides to not publish your story.
This comparison is stupid and offensive, it trivializes what the Nazis actually did for a cheap and inaccurate insult.
Don’t insult at all, if possible, but if you must pick something less stupid than “Nazi”. Call him “ass”, “narrow minded”, “censor”, “idiot” or whatever, I wouldn’t care at all.
Well, technically he and an admin deleted them unilaterally. Regardless, you're correct. The focus should be on building knowledge, not tearing it down.
If something is in the process of being deleted that I don't know about then I can't vote on whether or not I want it to be kept around. Wikipedia is great for jumping from link-to-link to find out new things and if the content is being deleted it's that much harder to learn. I didn't even know about the programming language Nemerle before and now the article is gone.
Knowledge shouldn't be voted on.
If they don't care about the "politics", they shouldn't complain if the direction chosen by the project does not suit them.
Correction: a professor is a profession devoted to advancing human knowledge and then locking that knowledge behind expensive paywalls so that only elites with institutional subscriptions can afford to read it. Academia couldn't care less about the knowledge available to the average internet user. You could burn all the books in the world and they wouldn't care as long as the copy in their affiliated-persons-only library stayed safe.
Use your newfound powers of exasperation wisely, my friend.
Also, are there really all that many university libraries left that aren't open to the public?
At my local university (University of Melbourne) some of the libraries are closed to the public eg the Melbourne Business School Library and the Physics library. In practice you can usually sneak into the physics library, but...
Also, a lot of the journals and even books (eg Ralph Vince's latest book on risk management) are only available online now and require a university logon. So in effect those publications are closed off.
At Melbourne Uni, members of the public cannot access publications in the short-term loans area (4 hour loans).
Except for just about every elite university, most of which make their courses available online for free.
So now we need two levels of notability. First you must be published and you must have "impact". How is this "impact" thing defined, by the way? Are you agitating for an agreed bibliometric standard for notability?
> I didn't nominate them for deletion because of hard drive space. I nominated them because there was nothing to say about them barring a superficial overview of syntax.
OK, so you thought they sucked.
1. Decide to improve them? Nah, not the wikipedia way.
2. Slap on one of the numerous tags saying "this article needs improvement"? Nah, not the wikipedia way.
3. Mark it for deletion because you thought the article was sucky and took no action to improve it? Ding ding ding!
> I didn't delete the articles -- the Wikipedia administrators did.
You action was a necessary cause of their deletion and therefore you are one of the directly culpable persons destroying the long tail of knowledge.
edit: slightly politified per tptacek's request.
Chris, I apologise. I let my anger get the best of me. I'll keep my ad homs to a minimum wherever possible.
I have met a few PhD students who weren't the most notable programming languages in the wiki if you get my drift...
I would submit that the aforementioned PhD student qualifies, whatever his I.Q. or programming chops.
I am no expert here, but does one person tagging something for deletion make such an impact? He must have convinced the administrators by only good arguments (like lawyer arguments, which are not necessarily moral or anything, just good enough to win the case).
If we can trust the administrators for putting up something, we should trust them for taking something down.
By that same token, it's easier to not feel responsible for deleting a page if it's a team effort. I would imagine that the admin who deleted them would probably say "I was just responding to complaints."
Still, Wikipedia's deletionism is arrant nonsense up with which we should not put.
Everyone's a deletionist about something.
It's an extremely small amount of hard drive space (and becomes less of a burden as they replace drives with increasingly larger ones over the years). At worst, the article sits there unnoticed and unlinked until someone finds a use for it.
Sure anyone can submit, but not anyone can get a paper accepted. Conferences in CS are much more selective than journals.
As a Ph.D. student in CS, you should know this.
> the kicker is if it actually makes an impact. Isn't that more-or-less the definition of notability?
No, notability != impact.
My dictionary defines notability as "worthy of attention or notice."
And, how do you measure impact anyway?
By citations? By peer-reviewed papers? By venue prestige? Seasoned academics cringe when these are used as measures of "impact."
You're a Ph.D. student in programming languages. Obscure languages with a handful of users are the norm.
When you're doing a literature search on one of these languages, it's helpful when it pops up on Wikipedia.
You're doing a disservice to the programming languages research community (of which I am a member) by nominating these articles for deletion.
You may be obeying the letter of Wikipedia's policies.
Yet, at the same time, you're being disrespectful to your peers.
If you want to help the community, instead of nominating these pages for deletion, go to conferences like POPL, ICFP or PLDI and ask folks, "So, what's notable about language X?"
They will tell you.
Capture that knowledge and then add it to Wikipedia.
I would think an overview of syntax is an excellent level of detail for an encyclopedia to cover a less common programming language. I certainly see no reason to dismiss that in itself.
Proposing that a timely defense to an AfD nomination is a good test of notability in itself is completely absurd. By itself you'd have to consider it a less reliable indicator of notability than someone writing the article in the first place.
If you're doing a PhD in a topic and you decide to take on a section of wikipedia you have at least be willing to take responsibility for your actions.
For example, here's what the developer needs to do to add the LINQ syntax (introduced in C# 3.0): http://nemerle.googlecode.com/svn/nemerle/trunk/Linq/
It definitely belongs to Wikipedia simply because it's an interesting language, that doesn't have an easy replacement. It's of special interest to language designers looking for ideas or for students learning about programming languages.
Also, comparing the Nemerle page to your would-be biography on Wikipedia is pretty lame, as people would actually learn something when reading about Nemerle.
This kind of "cleaning-up" seems detrimental to wikipedia and, frankly, a waste of your time.
I disagree that the clean up is detrimental to Wikipedia. I like to browse Wikipedia for new programming languages, and it is very difficult for me to do so when the "good stuff" is buried in WP's lists and categories. More information is not necessarily better :(
Do you assume that everyone uses it for the same purpose?
What makes you think that is a valid reason for "cleaning" up the articles?
In the case of Nemerle, a cursory search of academic and practitioner sites demonstrates it deserves a Wikipedia page. Put it back and go hack on that better wikipedia UI you mentioned.
I remember, before Wikipedia, there was a big debate on the original C2 Wiki about the usefulness of category pages. There is a fairly widespread opinion that categories are a waste of time, because no ontology can usefully classify the body of information that's out there. While it's natural to want to categorize things, people inevitably use very different systems of categorization (as seen by the dozen or so tags that many Wikipedia pages get), and so they'll never be useful to more than a small subset of people. See also Shirky - "Ontology is Overrated":
At the time I left the C2 community, the debate was still raging, but there were still a number of vocal anti-category people. Evidently Wikipedia went the opposite way, but I'd argue that whether it's policy or not, categories are still useless. I always enter Wikipedia via Google; I browse around within it by hyperlinks. The value of Wikipedia is as a store of content, and not as a form of organization.
Category pages are useful as a supplement to good (not-deleted) primary pages.
I usually dislike and cringe at whinging about downvotes, but I think whatever pattern of thought is at work in such a decision is genuinely relevant to the topic at hand.
Category too crowded? Sure let's just delete a few.
May I suggest you just add a new category for "notable programing languages"?
I look forward to your explanation, to other academics, of why their work doesn't "count" because it isn't "cited enough".
I also look forward to you explaining to us why you're qualified to determine whether a paper that you didn't write "counts".
> I honestly didn't think that putting in a few AfDs would cause such a shitstorm, to the point where people are calling me a Nazi/asshole/whatnot on my user page. I also never thought my 15 minutes of fame would be for nominating Nemerle for deletion :) Maybe I should have a Wikipedia article...?
Infamy is not the kind of fame that you want.
I'm as qualified as any other PL researcher (or Wikipedian) to determine the validity of a source. I didn't delete the articles based on my own opinion :( The purpose of the AfD process is to get the opinions of others so that a consensus can be established! I'm sorry -- I really am -- that the Alice ML and Nemerle communities were offended by my AfD. My nomination of a language for deletion does not speak for my opinion of the language itself. I figured if I was doing the wrong thing, that the AfD would result in a keep, and at the very least, sources that I had not found would be found by others to improve the article. One of the basic tenets of Wikipedia is "assume good faith", and very few have done so so far. I am completely open to civil discussion about any aspect of my work, and I would love to develop more concrete/relevant criteria for assessing notability of a programming language.
Stylistic note: try not to assume that people you're dealing with outside of Wikipedia aren't intimately familiar with Wikipedia. It comes off a bit condescending.
I'm aware of WP:AGF, and I'm also aware of WP:IGNORE. You're selectively choosing which tenets to subscribe to: deletionism benefits nobody, because the opinions of the participants in the AfD (yes, opinions) are influencing the availability of information to everyone. Your actions are not benefiting Wikipedia, whether you want to lay claim to them or blame the Internet as you did in this thread. Rather than try to improve what was presented to you, you are pursuing an idealistic utopia of programming languages on Wikipedia, where only programming languages with a wide audience that you can observe get blessed with a mention on the site.
I don't have any stock invested in any of the languages you've nominated, but I do see the benefit of a resource describing them for people to find via Google. Some of the languages you've nominated are very new, and are finding a community - you've basically just issued a big "you don't count" to every single person that uses those languages. It has happened to companies I work for, too. I work for a very large contender in a specific market, which has had several "of impact" (to steal your term) media mentions including Dr. Dobb's Journal. They've been deleted from Wikipedia on more than one occasion due to not proving notability to the editor of the week that feels like nominating the article. It's a joke.
I find it really hard to digest that you subscribe so hard to the notion of notability (a very subjective concept, might I add), admit that your criteria for evaluating notability need improvement, then nominate languages and successfully get them deleted anyway.
Why was wikipedia, and the public at large, better served by deleting these entries?
Anything I am not 95% sure about I add a notability tag to or simply leave alone. There are a number of articles that I did in fact find interesting citations for while trying to decide notability. Napier88 is a good example of such a language -- the papers on it received hundreds of citations, yet I had never heard of the language. I've been working on an entire rewrite of Napier88 in my spare time, which has understandably become even more "spare" recently :)
OK, so some of them might not even pass my standard of notability (which would be almost embarrassingly lax).
But it strikes me that you're using notability to solve a user interface issue -- that you find it difficult to navigate the programming language section.
More generally, it strikes me as horribly inefficient to rely on what one might call "outrage-driven notability" to correct for what were, you may now realise, erroneous selections for deletion.
Maybe I'm a dolt for blaming you; you're acting rationally within a broken system.
What's useless about that?
I don't see many pet projects here...
Surely a simpler solution to that is to make a list that you feel describes the languages you consider important. Maybe "List of programming languages notable in academia" (which would include things like FeatherweightJava but probably not regular Java). People who want to find languages that meet that criteria can find them all in one place.
Meanwhile, people like me who are interested in new languages, or languages that experiment with syntax but don't push the academic envelope, don't have that knowledge outright taken away from them by you.
Meh, as a researcher and grad student myself I wouldn't say that. You earn the qualification to judge notability of scholarly works after defending your dissertation and publishing significant work for the community. That's kind of how the system works.
I request you to discontinue your actions, despite whatever high opinion you may have of yourself. Maybe you can create a separate page called "Relevant Progamming Languages" to which you add only languages that you think are relevant.
I'm not questioning your actions, although I think deletionism is a prima facie bad thing; I just doubt most people who would comment on such things are knowledgeable about them.
Obviously no one can say for sure, but I am sure an un-notable language could possibly gain even more popularity with a Wikipedia entry as it helps people learn more about a small obscure language that might grow in to something bigger - even if it takes years to do so.
While it might be argued that a page with little to no information should be deleted, I don't think that pages with adequate information to get someone the general idea about some new (possibly just new to the reader) programming language should go anywhere. It's a valuable resource and losing that kind of information from Wikipedia is a shame.
Please keep that line of thought in your AfD's - and think about the "notability" that Frenetic may get in the future.
I'm sure. And that's why deleting the pages of languages with peer-reviewed literature is a vital and useful way to prevent marketers from abusing Wikipedia.
Consider a person P who doesn't know about X but would benefit from X if he/she did know about it.
I hypothesize that for each P there is on average more than one X. This suggests to me that making things more notable can aid overall welfare, and therefore ought to be a goal of a universal encyclopedia project.
Worthy of attention != getting attention.
Ruby was notable, just not noticed.
Hmm, not entirely. The problem is that certain publications are destined to be cited over and over again. Actually, entry into the elite publications at all can be a signal of significance. Anything published in Nature or SIGCOMM is pretty much notable. On a whim I checked the publication in front of me ("Inside the Bird’s Nest: Measurements of Large-Scale Live VoD from the 2008 Olympics") and it only has one citation but is clearly an important paper.
I won't speak about the people whining or the Wikipedia deletion policy (which I fundamentally disagree with) but clearly citation count is not how notability is derived. Even a quick search of Google Scholar shows ~7 citations for the Nemerle language. How many citations is enough for you?
> None of the articles I nominated for deletion had any reliable sources to back them up
For instance, the Alice ML homepage lists an entire page of papers. http://www.ps.uni-saarland.de/alice/papers.html - including nine thesises at various levels, something that wouldn't happen to something non-notable.
For Nemerle, Google Scholar has 81 results, http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=nemerle&hl=en&bt...
None of the articles I nominated for deletion had any reliable sources to back them up.
The best you could do is add those citations to the article, instead of the chosen course of (in)action.
Really? The following discussion page says you're a liar. It's sad that despite the majority being for keeping the article, you actually won in the end even though you didn't reply to any questions asking you what exactly you personally consider to be notable. Same goes for the replies that linked to computer magazine articles about the programming language in question, you've completely ignored those. If you think what you're doing is good, then you're delusional.
Impact is not a measure of whether a source is reliable, peer review is. One can argue that journals with higher impact factors are likely to have more rigorous peer review, but the AfD's have not talked about journal impact factor.
Note that TOPLAS, a source for the Nemerle article, had an impact factor of 1.92 in 2010, the highest PL journal, and among the higher CS journals overall.
Also note that the high-impact CS conferences are peer reviewed. This fact, and the general importance of conference publications in CS, appeared to have escaped the participants in the AfDs I looked at.
The article was deleted for lack of reliable sources: what does the number of citations that this or that article has have to do with that?
Nazi/asshole/whatnot - These people are pathetic. Don't be put off by them.
Besides, the word "nazi" has regrettably come to be used loosely to describe someone who is too strict with respect to an agenda ("grammar nazi" etc), which I would say is quite applicable here. Still a bad choice of a word, in my opinion; at least a veneer of decency should be maintained.
(I am not that your actions are justified, but I am just pointing out that a lot of people are acting before they have considered both sides of the story)
From wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greys_Law)
"Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."
fixed link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greys_Law
(I am only half kidding in fact, I remember something like this happening a while ago but don't remember what the precise article was about)
If someone calls you a Nazi, they're probably a bad person. But if lots of people call you a Nazi, that should suggest to you that your behaviour may be at fault.
Which is making him a little handful of money daily: http://w3spy.net/site/smogon.com
Chris, I suggest you pay GoDaddy the extra $10/year and hide your address.
Although, that's not a policy page; it's a guideline, but I realize you weren't using a strict definition of the term wrt to Wikipedia.
I can't find anything in citeseer, though.
If anyone here has connections to Princeton or Dave Walker, I really encourage you to bring this to his attention, as he is hopefully someone Christopher respects enough to listen to advice from. Given that Dave's CV includes designing several esoteric programming languages, I suspect he would have a personal stake in this issue.
The importance of conference proceedings in distributing CS research doesn't seem particularly relevant.
So, because computer science does things differently from other fields, it is at fault?
There is a (hotly debated, etc, etc) wikipedia policy that article topics have to be 'notable'. If a topic is only covered in academic literature, one can make a perfectly sensible argument that it's obscure and not 'notable' enough for a general encyclopedia.
You don't have to agree with the policy (I, personally, am totally indifferent to the whole topic) but you write as if the very idea that something that's only mentioned in conference proceedings is obscure (CS or not, doesn't seem all that relevant either) is somehow irrational and worthy of great indignation.
As for the broader issue of whether academic entries are notable, surely the massive body of mathematics entries on wikipedia indicates that material which is never mentioned in the newspaper is notable.
The whole deletionism fiasco at Wikipedia is ultimately a software and UI failure. Misguided people who in most cases could never write a good article (or even improve an existing one) themselves are running amok because the system is re-enforcing the belief that their only talent, destroying information, is also a valid form of contribution. It is no statistical accident that rampant wiki deletionism is even more intense in ..."strict" countries such as Germany.
At the same time it is important to note that a lot of articles have serious shortcomings and are in need of improvement. While deleting them is in my opinion unforgivable as long as they contain useful information, I believe Wikipedia could profit from a more modern approach to article rating and validation. If substandard articles were allowed to continue existing albeit with low ratings and missing validation tags, Wikipedia as a process could focus more on improvement as opposed to gleeful pruning. If they concentrated on more constructive measures and included better ways of gathering user feedback for quality control, they could also provide former deletionist users with a UI option that simply prevents them from ever having to see an article that is below a certain quality threshold. Everybody would win.
As it stands today, Wikipedia increasingly fails at its stated mission of being a repository for the world's knowledge. Sadly, I don't believe it is possible to change Wikipedia in any way, ever. Someday, someone will have to come along and fork it.
This is the problem. Most of us just assume that Wikipedia's mission is being the repository for all human knowledge. But it's not. The last time rampant deleting happened (and I lost a page related to one of my projects) they clearly made the argument that being an endless repository was not their goal. Their goal is simply to be an encyclopedia. And even I had to admit that the page on my project is useful information but it would never belong in an encyclopedia.
If anyone wants to start a project that contains all human knowledge, on all subjects, without any constraint -- I think that would be a very interesting idea -- but that project is not Wikipedia.
I would have said that's (one of) the role(s) of the internet.
Ah, you know what, you can google the rest... Ich glaube auch es ist schlecht möglich, dass man als Deutscher noch nie etwas vom Löschwahn gehört hat, ehrlich gesagt.
The Notability guidelines often both me really, as they are a somewhat silly set of 'rules' in many ways and not everything fits into a nice and tidy system. For example, Christopher M seems to feel that his understanding of the requirements if that all languages must be cited in well published and cited academic papers and there is no other way around it. That's just silly. There could be new and growing languages that are of importance, or older ones that were important at the time, but that there weren't papers for and aren't being actively used. Do they each have a purpose and for the people who is researching things via the Wikipedia important? Yes. They are.
I feel that there is more to be lost by most deletionist activity than there is to be gained. The risk evaluation here almost always (except in cases of spam and self edits, which are frequent) should lean on the side of having more information available, not less.
Software just isn't cited generally in the New York Times and the kinds of sources that they want... that doesn't mean it isn't notable, it just means that it's "noted" a different way. Notability in our world is based on blog posts, mailing list posts, github commit logs, etc.
Now how to get Wikipedia's policies amended to reflect that? Good question... I know it's been tried before and failed, but maybe it's time somebody built a coalition to make a serious, coordinated effort to get something done (no, I'm not volunteering, unfortunately.)
Edit: My memory is failing, it was the Yegge article I had that big battle over, not Zed. But the point remains the same.
> All that donation money, and they still can't afford enough hard drive space to avoid deletionism.
The guy allegedly doing the flagging has responded on his user page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Christopher_Monsanto
Edit: The quoted comment was in jest, and too many missed this, so I'll reinforce that by adding 'and not serious'.
The problem is, without a notability policy that's decidable, the policy is useless and contradicts the above link.
edit: meta: the broken-down score on this post is something like +27-20, what an emotional topic!
Nobody would rightfully assume that storage is the problem. I know how much storage costs. The commenter I'm quoting wrote that tongue-in-cheek, and I thought I had given enough of a hint there that I was repeating it in jest as well.
Let's assume it's Enterprise Grade Storage and quintuple the price. Now it costs them a breath-taking five one thousandths of a cent to store.
You guys win. I will stop nominating pages for deletion.
I wasn't doing this to troll or to slam any language community. I was just trying to help -- I read the WP guidelines for inclusion, and whenever I came across a language that didn't seem to meet said criteria, I nominated it for AfD. I think, with respect to Wikipedia's established notability guidelines, my arguments for deletion were airtight, which is probably why the articles were eventually deleted. I'm not sure my actions warranted the kind of internet-hatred I received as a result. If anyone thought what I was doing was wrong, they could have just sent me a friendly message and I would have politely discussed the issue. Few took this route, and I am sorry that due to time constraints and an overwhelming amount of invective I could not reply sensibly to everyone.
Since the internet seems to care more about keeping these articles than I care about deleting them, I'll stop. I personally think a lot of the articles should have been deleted. I think that ALL articles I nominated for deletion fail to meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. Here's a challenge, then, for the internet: instead of spamming my Wikipedia talk page (which I don't really care about), why don't you work on fixing WP's notability guideline for programming languages? Otherwise, some other naive editor will eventually try to delete them. Perhaps they won't have as much experience dealing with trolls and flamebait as I have had, and will become very hurt and confused. Nobody wants that :(
This was fun. Now back to real work, I guess...
The project codename is 'Infinithree' ('∞³'), and I'm discussing it pre-launch at http://infinithree.org and (Twitter/Identica) @infinithree.
The latter is something my theory friends complain about. According to two of them who have tried, attempting to expand or correct any of the fringe topics in algorithms and graph theory is futile because of the instant-reverters who will simply revert any change they make.
Of course, what's most disturbing to me about this is... dear gods, man, you're at Princeton! If you don't understand what the contributions of Alice ML are to the field, walk down the hall and talk to Andrew Appel! Or David Walker, if Andrew is too hard to track down. I would hope that by this point this student has learned that there is a lack of fidelity in the search engines for anything published in the 90s and earlier, as the scanned PS converted to PDF is neither as well-indexed nor as comprehensively available (e.g. Springer-Verlag work from that time is frequently not indexed in scholar/citeseer due to a lack of non-subscription links, particularly if published by someone who is no longer in academia).
Fortunately, most of the work in PL was done in the lifetime of people still working. If you're too busy to do a thorough search of relevant work, you can sit down and talk with the people who were there when concurrency was first being introduced and formally modeled to understand Alice's place and contributions (or lack thereof, if that's the conclusion you come to).
I played with this language a few years back and thought it had great promise(when C# was much less capable). I have read the exact Wikipedia page you deleted, and it got me to write some code in Nemerle.
* Btw, this might get some publicity for Nemerle (and the other languages).
The narrator of Foucault's Pendulum, when he decides to be freelance researcher, says that his main principle will be that all information is equal, nothing is more precious than the other.
all information is equal,
nothing is more precious than the other
Not all information is equal. But all information deserves to exist.
>Raj Reddy (dr. is so unnecessary)
>Randy Pausch (dr is unnecessary)
>Benjamin C. Pierce (Don't need dr.)
and so on
This is a lot less useful way of doing things but it flies almost completely outside the deletionist radar. There is little cultural dance pertaining to the the concept of notability for mentioning something in a list, and no bureaucratic pseudo-procedure for a deletionist to wield against such practice.
But seriously, merging into a list can be a very bad idea when you're dealing with a deletionist. Because 'notability isn't inherited', the list is no more notable than any of its items. Theoretically, you can also claim notability if RSs discuss the list (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability#Notability... ), but I've never seen this successfully done - what source will discuss 'List of animals in The Simpsons'? How do you show they are discussing your list without engaging in OR? It's basically impossible.
So a list just makes life much easier for the deletionist - one easy target to AfD rather than 20 or 30. (This happened to me recently with [[Neon Genesis Evangelion glossary]]. The nominator would have taken months or years to chew through each entry if they hadn't been merged, with any luck burned out before the end, and I might have been able to save individual articles.)
Otherwise, Mr. Monsanto has every right to push his agenda on Wikipedia insofar as it is within the bounds of legal play on the site. Attacking his character gets nobody anywhere, and probably adds credence to whatever he's doing. If you're really concerned about deletions of your favorite PL articles, sit on them. If a request for removal/deletion (I don't know the wiki-jargon) pops up, just dump all over it. Even better, improve the articles. He can't get something deleted that's not mediocre. Agents like Mr. Monsanto will actually improve the quality of your average article one way or the other. I'm impressed that somebody would bother reading so many articles and post meta-data about them....especially on a topic that so few people engage in.
It's curious that pages that don't meet Mr. Monsanto's criterion of having been cited in a 'top-tier' publication. There are so many articles on Wikipedia that do not have ties to anything real. Is it really fair to hold PL topics to academic-level standards? What if somebody considers PL an art, or something other than semantics and formalisms? This does happen, and people who create new languages from languages that aren't considered much in the PL community might actually fall into these categories.
I think Mr. Monsanto would do well to spell out his criteria for what isn't desirable in precise and formal terms.
Not anyone can invent a programming language, it's not comparable to your pet rock band. Chris, you clearly displayed that you are not capable of handling this subject satisfactory and you've displayed arrogance in response to peoples distress.
Simply put - marking the articles for deletion was rash, and in the larger sense unjustified.
His response was to go complain about how "ironic" that was on some other well-known deletionist's page, and whine about how he's "martyring" himself for Wikipedia.
In other words: there's basically no reasoning with the guy who's behind this.
At which point (check his history if you care), he wandered over to another user's page to recruit help, saying:
One commenter even suggested I search for references to improve the articles in question, as opposed to nominating them for deletion (the sheer irony).
So, yeah, apparently asking him to channel his energies into something that's one of Wikipedia's main goals is "ironic" as well as "senseless"?
Sticking with my original conclusion that this is not someone who responds well to reason.
Take Factor for example. It has been hosted at several conferences, has an active community of users, and has an academic paper published in ACM.
Perhaps what you meant to say is that no citations exist that meet your own apparently arbitrary standards of approval?
It appears that it was another individual who recommended wiki/Factor for deletion. I apologize for my inaccurate accusation, but in my opinion that still does not excuse recommending the removal of Nemerle.
> It takes me but a few minutes to figure out whether I am going to nominate an article for deletion. A single hit that looks like it might possibly be a reliable source and I'm outta there.
Reassuring description of the process, there...
I don't understand what the cost is. Why don't you make a list of "notable" programming languages so that people who want to browse around can skip the less influential / new ones like Nemerle. But to delete hundreds of languages (and if you apply these rules, you need to delete hundreds of languages, you've missed lots of them) is a travesty.
The easy reaction would be to focus on the flamers, harden your heart and drive ahead. The wise man, here, stops and thinks for a bit.
You will never see an admission of wrongdoing.
We just need to deal with deletionism.
Cuil becomes big news and then she was removed with the note that she wasn't really of note. Then the details about her were removed from Cuil's page. Quite odd.
I was even expanding on the page, and it even had a few other contributions from other people.
The Anna Patterson one is absolutely a case of where the proposed solution achieves the desired effect (in my opinion). redthrowaway hasn't mentioned whether he or she agrees about the Patterson situation, but that's fine, because it's neither here nor there.
What happens on Wikipedia is that people drive by and will literally create an aritcle like "Shitfuck" and will literally write something like "a shitfuck is a guy named jason form cedar springs". seconds later the page content is changed by them again to something like: "a shitfuck is a guy named jason from cedar springs he really likes to shit but he never gets to fuck".
The proposed solution is to retain all deleted articles. redthrowaway points out this isn't a realistic approach in light of these types of new articles. Opposition to redthrowaway here seems to be in the case where multiple someones somewhere care do care about the information in the Anna Patterson article. Is the Anna Patterson article at all similar to the shitfuck incident? Is someone somewhere going to come along and constructively improve that one?
In case you're wondering, "yeah, but how often does that kind of thing really happen?" It happens. A lot.
So fucking what?
Bits are so cheap they're damn near free, and we have pretty good search technology these days. Who gives a shit if there is some crusty data that nobody cares about lying around?
Who precisely is hurt by this?
Something like Nemerle is obviously an interesting article and a failure of the AfD process. I've never done a DRV (Deletion Review) before, so I might look through Christopher Monsanto's deletions.
But there ARE good reasons to delete content. I new page patrol on English Wikipedia and see thousands of articles created which are nothing more than:
"asdfasdfasdf tim in year 6 of somesuch high school is teh GAY!!1"
and they should rightly be deleted. Usually they are CSDed within minutes and usually deleted very quickly thereafter.
The CSD process works for this kind of thing. And occasionally things slip past the CSD process and need PROD/PROD BLP/AfD. But I do think the Nemerle deletion was definitely an example of the fallacy of deletionism.
Are you seriously advocating that if someone comes and posts an article in main-space which is nothing but an advert for a crappy little garage band or some kid creating an article about how his friends are gay or whatever shouldn't be deleted?
You can see this by going to, e.g., the Japanese article (http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemerle) and looking at the language links at bottom of the left sidebar.
So if you are a speaker of one of those languages, you're still in luck :-P
a) Terminology is English and looks very unnatural in Russian. Terminology translation is even worse - when I read in Russian I need to make double translation to understand.
b) Most Russian wiki articles - is just translations from English wiki.
Like the California math professor who was recently arrested for repeatedly peeing on his colleague's office door.
The article had been up for less than a month when someone requested speedy deletion, despite the article having ample evidence of the subject's notability. Deletionists are out of control on Wikipedia, and need to be stopped. I've thought about writing articles and though "no, why bother, some deletionist will just delete it." and I'm sure many others have been similarly dissuaded.
To this end I'm building an inclusionist fork of Wikipedia. The main difference it will have is there will be no notability guidelines, only verifiability ones.
Now Google and Wikipedia are failing at the same time. Bad.
Nemerle appears to have been frozen and deleted
Alice has gone down 3 or 4 times, but it's now up for the last 10 minutes.
They're down again, looks like semi-permanently.
If someone thinks the language is not notable, there is a discussion page attached to the main article where such things can be expressed. The obscurity of the language can also be communicated in the article itself. While lots of us can be pretty sure Nemerle will have no lasting impact in the field, they can be wrong.
None, articles can be restored. Disk space is actually consumed by deletion overhead.
One criteria that can be used for Speedy Deletion is:
No indication of importance (individuals, animals, organizations, web content)
It's a very subjective measure, yet it encourages over-zealous Wikipedians to expunge content.
The spam problem is very real for any user generated web site. I think it would be more ideal if Wikipedia didn't delete anything - but rather marked pages as being of low quality, or not meeting their standards, and perhaps removing those pages from their search index.
Here's what I wrote about this problem in 2007:
I'm also offended that the value of a project seems to be based on how well someone can market it. If your project hasn't made a name for itself, then it's worthless, right? Personally, I'm content to hack away on things that no one has heard of because I enjoy what I'm doing. If someone else happens to find it useful, that's awesome. However, deleting things from the Mecca of knowledge-seekers in an attempt to purify it in this manner is nothing short of crapping on the ideals that Wikipedia was built on.
1) The languages exist, are supported, and are used by many users
2) There are other bad articles on wikipedia
Both of these are, unfortunately, terrible arguments.
In response to the first argument:
Wikipedia's rules state that for an article to exist, it must be proven notable by certain types of accepted references. That does not include tutorials, blog posts, software's official website, or questions on support websites/forums. These rules are unfortunate, and have been sources of much arguing, but they still stand.
We, as programmers, get upset when information that is useful to us is removed. The rules exist for a reason, though; one place where they are often enforced is the addition of video game articles. There are hundreds of thousands of video games with significant user bases. Wikipedia has made it a point that it does not intend to be a catalog of software that exists, and for that reason video game articles are deleted often. In order for software to legitimately qualify for an article, it must be significantly, demonstrably important. Existence and popularity is not enough.
In response to the second type of argument: existence of violations does not justify other violations. If don't think the blue slime from Dragon Warrior deserves its own wikipedia page, mark it for deletion and argue your point, but don't reference it as why your bad article with weak references should remain.
Wikipedia has a LOT of articles that are against its rules. We have become used to these, and depend on them, so we get upset when the rules are enforced. Have a look at the actual rules and I'll bet you can identify plenty of articles you have read that are in violation:
BTW, Why the hostility? and the mob mentality. I thought he articulated his arguments clearly and quite well without malice.
Seriously, person who did this? I thought wasting time browsing news sites like HN and reddit was bad enough but this... this proves that the internet is a very serious business indeed.
I think exposing that kind of metadata would be really, really useful.
In other words, this demonstrates that the burden of proof, why an article must be included in AfD cases, is on the people who wish for it to be included. If you aren't personally monitoring thousands of articles that you may or may not be interested in at that moment, you may never even have a chance to participate in an AfD discussion! And if you don't participate, the article gets deleted (or even if you do participate, like in this case, the article gets deleted). The default outcome of the process is to delete, it's fundamentally a knowledge removal operation without any clear method for ensuring continued inclusion! Talk about a process that doesn't make any sense.
So in this particular case, a single individual, unable to recall these languages off the top of his head, flagged these articles for AfD, the discussion voted all to keep, he cited WP:N and BAM! they're all gone.
If this "process" as it were were applied across all of wikipedia (suppose every article in WP were flagged AfD) then we'd be left with only the most famous proper nouns that most people could be reasonably expected to know already as common knowledge! What's the point of WP then?
AfD is "Article for Deletion".
WP:N are the notability guidelines Wikipedians are supposed to use when deciding if something is notable enough to be included and to keep out one-off topics.