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.