No, of course I know that :( The problem was that the papers mentioned were either 1) not about the subject in question or 2) not cited enough to count. Hopefully your professors also drummed into you that anyone can write a paper and send it to a conference -- the kicker is if it actually makes an impact. Isn't that more-or-less the definition of notability?
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.
Well lets not do this in the abstract. I'd never heard of Nemerle until now, but a search on Google Scholar and on Google shows many papers, tutorials and general discussion on the language.
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.
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.
It reduces the overall usefulness and quality of Wikipedia to delete leaves that are referenced from other Wikipedia pages. Nemerle is an example: there are several references to it from other PL pages, that before your "improvement" could be resolved w/in Wikipedia, but now require going outside of Wikipedia to determine that "Nemerle is a high-level statically-typed programming language for the .NET platform."
This kind of "cleaning-up" seems detrimental to wikipedia and, frankly, a waste of your time.
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. In other words, the articles I am proposing for deletion are the lowest of the low hanging fruit. I honestly didn't think anyone would care, and to be honest, most don't -- the only reason anyone even took note of what I'm doing is because I proposed Nemerle for deletion.
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 :(
If I embarked on a "clean-up" project like this and found others' reactions weren't as I predicted, I'd consider that maybe I'm not representative of others; that others may use Wikipedia differently from myself. I would undo what others see as harm and find a less contentious way to improve a shared resource. Rather than trying to fit Wikipedia guidelines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability) to my own preference (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion...), I'd consider that maybe my interpretation of those guidelines needs to be re-examined.
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.
Does your browsing use-case typify how the average user is consuming the wikipedia? I find far often more than I'm hitting something because I searched for it directly (in which case, I find it notable to my own interests automatically since it is what I was explicitly searching for), or indirectly via a link on another page (and if such does not exist, then there is no distraction or loss).
It's interesting that, presumably in valiant defense of the ready availability of potentially relevant information, HN users have here voted the extremely relevant airing of a not wildly unreasonable argument, directly from the central figure in an internet-wide debate and the personal topic of this thread, down to -4.
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.
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.
Counterpoint, I have on occasion found category pages on wikipedia to be enormously useful. I'm not aware of any other way to see in one stroke a huge chunk of specialist vocabulary associated with a single topic. Real-world use case, I was looking for a good name for a project that focused on security. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Medieval_defences is a treasure trove of rather more obscure starting points in a way that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle is absolutely not. An alternative use case would be a choice of Java or .NET as a platform, a list of available languages is absolutely helpful in that case.
Category pages are useful as a supplement to good (not-deleted) primary pages.
I've found categories very useful; See Alsos and List ofs only go so far. (Most recently, I used them to close a number of predictions about 2010; for example, looking for whether there were any successful terrorist attacks in the US. Hard to google a negative, but looking at a small or empty category is much easier.)
I agree. In the case of wikipedia more information IS better, especially if it's accurate and well written. What kind of person in academia believes that less information, even in this context is a good thing?
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...?
This comment is totally uncalled for. You're participating in a discussion about someone's effort to remove "non-notable" articles from Wikipedia. That someone actually took the time to comment on HN, for the first time, for this one story. Attempting to chase that person off HN by saying "get over yourself" decreases the quality of HN for everyone. Please don't do that.
It's not that their work doesn't "count" in the more general sense of the word, it's that their work has not had enough impact at the moment to establish the notability of the topic. I'm sure the researchers in question did fine work, and in the future their work will be widely recognized.
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.
> One of the basic tenets of Wikipedia is "assume good faith"
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.
I'm as qualified as any other PL researcher (or Wikipedian) to determine the validity of a source.
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'd say that when someone 'earns the qualification' is much less important than whether they 'have what it takes'. It's a bit arbitrary to suggest someone only has what it takes after a bit of paperwork has been completed. Failing a dissertation defense is rare and after having published the first work of minor notability, you're as good as set. By that standard, he is probably right that he is qualified.
Has he published anything? I'm not saying he hasn't or that he won't, but I don't see his name on any of the Frenetic papers , he doesn't have anything listed on his site , and I couldn't find anything by him on Google Scholar. So, even by your definition of qualified, I don't think he is, yet.
> I'm as qualified as any other PL researcher (or Wikipedian) to determine the validity of a source.
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 don't know if I am accusing you of bad faith or not, by wikipedia standards. I just find that your approach (move to delete without, so far as I can tell, trying to directly improve the entries) to be destructive to wikipedia's purpose of expanding the availability and interconnectedness of knowledge.
Why was wikipedia, and the public at large, better served by deleting these entries?
So many people create pet programming languages and add them to Wikipedia that the PL lists and categories are essentially useless. Most of the languages I propose for deletion have almost no information available about them, and therefore, one can't write a useful Wikipedia article about them. More information isn't necessarily better.
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 :)
> So many people create pet programming languages and add them to Wikipedia that the PL lists and categories are essentially useless.
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.
I'm a deletionist and I support the spirit of what you're doing, but un-cluttering lists is a bad justification, because it is perfectly fine and even desirable for lists to contain information about languages (even just the name and an external link) that don't otherwise merit an article. Really, the best solution here would be to convert these articles to redirects to a list. Excessive list size can be solved by subdividing lists into multiple articles.
Ruby was released in 1995, and there was no documentation available in English until 1997. Ruby's popularity outside of Japan didn't even gain any kind of momentum until 2000 and on.
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.
What that means is that Ruby simply wasn't very notable until 2000. Trying to make obscure things more notable is not a legitimate use of Wikipedia. It's already struggling against a tide of marketing abuse. And there can't possibly be any objective measure today of what independent sources in the future may be writing about.
> Trying to make obscure things more notable is not a legitimate use of 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.
Ruby lacked verifiable evidence of notability from independent secondary sources. Wikipedia strenuously avoids making subjective judgment calls about whether anything is notable despite somehow failing to have been noticed.
Hopefully your professors also drummed into you that anyone can write a paper and send it to a conference -- the kicker is if it actually makes an impact. Isn't that more-or-less the definition of notability?
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?
My problem with you is you're going to be a professor, a profession devoted to the advancement of human knowledge and educating laymen in this knowledge, and you just erased one of the main mechanisms for disseminating computer science to the general public. You just made it harder to get people interested in programming. Amazing.
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.
Anyone can vote on whether or not an article should be deleted but how many people actually do? I wouldn't be surprised if the vast majority of Wikipedia users don't know, and don't care, about Wikipedia politics.
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.
I should make a tool that periodically scans the articles for deletion and always votes NO. I could allow anyone else to use this tool as well. Then I think the real voice of the Internet would show that we don't support deletionism!
>"...you're going to be a professor, a profession devoted to the advancement of human knowledge and educating laymen in this knowledge"
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.
...and this is why almost all academics put their papers as PDFs for free on their web sites. Have you even looked? It is times like this when I wish there was an appropriate emoticon to express an eye roll.
Academics for the most point don't care about paywalls as long as they are on the right side of any paywalls. University libraries and their institutional subscriptions exist to abstract away the concept of paywalls, so that researchers only need to ask for the article and never need to worry about whether they need to pay for it.
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).
>None of the articles I nominated for deletion had any reliable sources to back them up.
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.
That was just an example, the Russian magazine isn't the only source talking about the language in question. I mentioned it because he complained about that source and then just started ignoring it when people translated the thing.
Of course. Being written in another language doesn't affect notability; it just means in practice, foreign sources aren't as desirable as native ones. (They are harder to find, harder to understand, harder for other editors to verify, etc., and naturally you will see less of them at any time.)
> Hopefully your professors also drummed into you that anyone can write a paper and send it to a conference -- the kicker is if it actually makes an impact. Isn't that more-or-less the definition of notability?
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.
I've seen several deletionists try to wipe their hands clean of responsibility in saying "I didn't delete it, I just nominated it!", which always strikes me as really insincere as they (as you pointed out) definitely played a part.
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.
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.
You ever notice how executions always have 10 people doing something that can be done by one person? It's so that individual people don't feel responsible for the execution.
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."
I could be wrong, but the Wikipedia admins aren't responsible for creating pages or accepting pages. That's an "editor", e.g., a standard user. Admins can make pages, but I guarantee it was an interested editor/user who created the Alice ML page, not an admin acting as an admin.
Still, Wikipedia's deletionism is arrant nonsense up with which we should not put.
I'm generally in favor of keeping any article that's not spam or blatant promotion.
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.
None of the articles I nominated for deletion had any reliable sources to back them up.
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.
There's a big debate to be had about the utility of journals in 2011, but when a Wikipedia editor writes about TOPLAS that "I'm not sure about this journal [TOPLAS], more research would be necessary, it may have a low impact factor as it does not have a wikipedia page, which indicates that the journal itself is not notable." then you know you're in trouble. I'm only sorry that my articles which referenced Nemerle wern't enough to save its Wikipedia page - I hope it's reinstated. I don't know whether all of the articles deleted were worthy or not, but Nemerle, in my opinion, has justified its place in the world.
I don't think they are pathetic. I think they are at a loss for words.
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.
From the tone of his posts I can already tell he's a smug little b. A cynic would think that he's doing all this deletionism so that when his own pet project FRENETIC is done, it'll be easier to distinguish from other languages.