I fear that this issue has become less about fixing broken Wikipedia policies that encourage people like Chris to delete articles, and more about "teaching him a lesson".
The amount of ad hominem attacks in the original story is much higher than anything I'd expect from HN. And, considering HN is self-policed in a lot of ways, I think the issue needs to be pointed out.
This sort of behavior is not acceptable on Wikipedia (at least, according to everyone who comments on ridiculous AfD stories). As for teaching him a lesson: he was caught live. The harshness of the lesson was proportional to the amount of rage such behavior induce.
Regardless, I misunderstood Wikipedia policy and I apologize to those I have offended. I honestly didn't think a couple of deletion discussions was so grave, and I ask that those who abhor me so try to imagine what it's like to make a mistake and have it go viral.
I'll allow that you might have been in the right on all of your AfD flags, under some interpretation of WP policies. But I think you were wrong to do what amounts to jabbing a stick into a hornet's nest, and then wonder why you're getting stung. You stuck a %!#@ng stick into a hornet's nest, that's why.
In the case of Alice ML, it was just you and SarekOfVulcan (the admin who closed the discussion and deleted the article). Every single vote in the discussion was to keep. I'm not going to attribute false motivations to your actions as I have no idea what your actual motivation was (care to fill us in with something other than "it is consistent with WP policy"?).
As an aside, I agree that deletion was appropriate for a number of the stub articles; they had been stubs for a long time and didn't contain anything beyond "this language exists". Such articles didn't add anything to Wikipedia. Articles on languages like Alice, Nemerle and Joy might need improvement, but probably shouldn't be summarily removed.
If I go and nominate "Ball-peen hammer" for deletion, I'm probably going to get [called] ignorant in the AfD discussion. That doesn't mean that "Ball-peen hammer" should then be deleted.
I'm very sorry, but this is what they call "Taking things too personally." You can say that "Faux," my JS framework, is not notable. How is this an insult to me? You can say that I'm not notable. Again, how is this an insult to me?
"Notable" is not a synonym for "worthwhile," it's related to the word "popular." Saying that a language doesn't meet Wikipedia's guidelines is not a statement about the language's fans, users, or authors. It's a statement about a particular test you apply by searching the world's existing information storehouse for mentions of the subject.
(Not to have the debate implied by my question here -- but that's the thought process, and I don't think it's unreasonable.)
The notability guidelines, as you can grasp from the name, speak to whether something has been noted, not whether it is useful. Example: My last bike used something called a Hammerschmidt crank. It was a two-speed planetary gear device that behaved like a two chainring front crank, but had all the mechanics inside a drum.
It is very useful, was featured on many OEM bicycles, and people love them. There is no Wikipedia page for it right now, just a mention on the Crankset page.
Is the Hammerchmidt notable? If we do a search, we find reviews, the manufacturer's page, and classified ads for them. It isn't notable yet by Wikipedia's rules. If you think it ought to be notable, your issue is with the rules, not with their application.
Now, I just discussed Hammerschmidt cranks and their notability or lack of same. Nothing I said says anything about their manufacturer, distributors, users, reviewers... The damn things are useful and I admire the people who make them and sell them. But once we grasp that useful != notable, we grasp that a statement about their notability != a statement about their users or inventors.
The presence of an ad hominem does not make the rest of a comment worthless.
Well, no, it isn't. Many things are notable that are not "popular", or even common. Leprosy, flesh-eating bacteria, progeria, Jeffrey Dahmer.
There's also a vicious cycle here: the existence of an article on Wikipedia may lead people to not post related articles elsewhere on the web, instead relying on the WP article. That may lead in turn to the article's subject being considered insufficiently notable.
And, well, ball-peen hammers are quite notable. They probably have quite a few more practicing users than many of the languages this guy nominated. The problem with someone saying, "ball peen hammers aren't notable," is not that the creator of ball peen hammers might feel insulted. The problem is that the statement is incorrect.
I disagree, that sort of behavior is absolutely par-for-the-course in almost every dealing I've seen with WP's self-selected editor class.
Let's consider the logic of that statement by taking a different example. A young child is in a shop and is told by its parent it cannot have some candy. Young child "I want candy! I want candy!". The child becomes enraged, more and more enraged, by the behavior of the parent. Should the child now teach the parent a harsh lesson? Since the parent's behavior has induced a great deal of rage a very harsh lesson seems entirely appropriate.
I do not approve the harshness that we saw tonight, but it is easily understandable.
I can't imagine any rational person holding that viewpoint, and so in discussion with a rational person, I'd be very unlikely to argue against it without first verifying that they're actually making that claim.
Chris seems to be really decent. even if he had a lapse in judgement, he embraces pleasant discussion. i'm embarrassed by the juvenille response: the meanness most of all, but also the unwillingness to see someone else's perspective or view efforts as a collaboration rather than a fight.
if a teammate messes up, you help them, you don't shoot them down.
Lesson not learned. He's still seeking self-justification for removing knowledge from the public sphere. It's almost 1984-esque.
If a teammate (WP editor) deliberately sabotages the team (by deleting useful information instead of creating it), what do you do then?
When he said "fixing" I don't get the feeling _he_ thinks it's broken but rather is acknowledging other people's take (as evidence) and lead him to believe that there could be room for improvement.
To me this shows that he believes things are ok, but he would agree to any changes if the community thought changes were necessary. That's quite reasonable to me.
That's quite different from the allegation. (That he thought they were wrong but just followed the guidelines anyway. Or have I missed another quote where the allegation is true?
I think such people are indeed very necessary for the world to function (or we'd only have corruption and worse) and there's no reason to be annoyed about them.
Or to put it another way: Don't hate the player. Hate the game.
(But: Exceptions do apply.)
Football referees don't have the flexibility or responsibility to alter the rules of the game. They have one and only one duty: to make their calls in accordance with the rules of football as closely as they can.
Wikipedia does not operate under football rules. The fifth pillar of Wikipedia is "Wikipedia does not have firm rules." Editors should enforce the spirit of the rule, even if the letter says otherwise. This is the diametrical opposite approach of football. Someone with a "football referee" attitude is decidedly inappropriate for the role of Wikipedia editor.
1) Those who have the power to delete the articles perhaps weren't knowledgeable enough to make a judgement, or for some other reason gave too much weight to his decisions, and the AfD process didn't provide (enough time, a good environment) for reasonable discussion, and so he had more control over the process than he should have. Many seem to believe he was willfully taking advantage of that position.
2) His tone gave the impression that he wasn't taking the situation seriously. I really get the impression that people were upset about his attitude, maybe even more than his actions, but completely failed to articulate that, at least in a civilized and constructive way.
I'm not at all surprised that he was treated as if he was trolling, but I do agree that we should be better than that, and I have that much more respect for those who tried to mediate.
And the open discussion clearly showed a consensus not to delete the articles.
The process, even if followed, is broken. This debacle is a joke.
Chris should have edited the articles, or ignored them, instead he flagged them for deletion. He positively asserted that they did not belong in wikipedia. None of the respondents to the AfD agreed with him. Yet they were deleted. Semantically, flagging them as AfD was the same as deleting them since that was the outcome in every case.
I agree that he doesn't deserve the entirety of the blame, the horrendously broken editorial process of Wikipedia does. It's so bad that it's virtually impossible to become a new contributor to wikipedia in any meaningful way without become immediately embroiled in WP's editorial shenanigans.
"The best way to know you have a mind is to change it"!
Amen to that. Others have said it many times before and it is still true: Wikipedia's notability guidelines would benefit from being fixed. It's rather annoying to note that what this guy was doing was within the letter of the law but yet seemed so wrong. There is no way that the likes of Factor or Clean should be deleted from Wikipedia so the question becomes how can the guidelines be changed so that they don't allow it to happen.
i.e., if something seems to fit in with the "letter of the law" but has no real benefit and lots of reasons not to do it, don't do it!
Factor is an interesting case. I tried to improve that article at one point by adding references, but I was unable to find any. As far as I can tell, it's almost never actually mentioned in the programming language community: not mentioned in a single book, even books about Forth-like languages, has no articles about it (in workshops, conferences, or anything), and its website has been mentioned in passing in four papers according to Google Scholar (the papers provide no real info on it besides mentioning in passing that it exists). It appears to have some level of notability among PLs aficionados, but if you were trying to discern that by reading the PLs literature, you wouldn't know it.
Clean is quite easy to find references for, though, so not sure how someone could've argued about that one in good faith.
It is something of a problem for things that are "known" in an area but don't have many references, because I do think Wikipedia's insistence on third-party sources is a good idea: an article based entirely on a few sources written by the subject and associates of the subject isn't great, like an article about a band that only cites the band's website, MySpace, and a few mentions on people's blogs. But how do you distinguish that case from the well-known-but-has-few-good-references case, and then how do you write an article about the latter? Here's a music example that might be analogous to some of these programming languages, a record label that's well-known in the postindustrial sphere, but has no good sources as far as I can find: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Europa_Cafe. How should one improve the article, and what should the information in it be referenced to?
The long-term solutions here are to improve the literature: someone needs to write a more recent book or survey article on emerging programming languages, and someone else needs to write a book on 1980s/90s independent postindustrial record labels. Then Wikipedia can just cite those books. Until then, since Wikipedia works best when it's a summary of the existing literature, it runs into trouble when the existing literature itself is deficient.
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.
I regret that I am unable to reply to each comment individually, HN's software stops me from making too many posts.
You are clearly disingenuous. You complained about: if only people had told you that you were doing wrong. People did, and you came up with snarks and smileys and gratuitously appointed yourself the position of a judge that decides which citations had impact and which did not. And when it went out of hand, you played the victim and you changed your excuse to 'if only _more_ people did, more reasonably etc. etc'.
``I only recommended a deletion, did not delete it myself``, is another exhibition of dis ingenuousness and irresponsibility. Same for the shuttling between, "I am sorry" and, ``I was right in every case``. (Things between `` `` aren't actual quotes)
I believe you are an adult, everybody expects adults to possess some degree of understanding of what is being told to them and act and apply rules with ownership and responsibility. What is specifically galling is that when push came to a shove you took up the excuse that notably rules are broken. But, earlier, had no problems argumentatively enforcing them blindly. No one had a gun to your head to do whatever you went about doing, you went about doing it anyway and then hid behind a straw-man.
Nobody has the time an energy to, as you indicate, to reason with someone at length. Especially when the other person is being unreasonably pedantic and obnoxious. Most people have a real job and more important things to do.
Edit: @runjake your point well taken and upped.
Edit: before down-arrowing me, you may want to examine the situation. It's pretty apparent this guy has an agenda.
I don't ever remember saying that the notability rules were broken. However, if others think that they are, I can respect their opinions. Likewise, I don't think I slithered out when push came to shove. Actually, when push came to shove, I continued what I was doing with the understanding that the naysayers were a special interest group with an agenda (wasn't this my previous post...?) However, I did say I would stop and spent a good deal of time apologizing here when it was clear that my understanding was false. How is this not taking responsibility for my actions?
Yes, people told me that I was wrong. But at the risk of repeating myself, they did not give me any reason to believe that they were aligned with the goals of Wikipedia, and others more experienced with Wikipedia assured me that they were not in fact aligned with said goals. I was willing to cooperate with anyone who took any effort to communicate with me: for instance, the first message I received on my talk page was asking why I put a notability tag on his article. He said it was notable, and provided a reference. I thanked him and removed the tag.
I don't know why you are so sure that I am acting in bad faith. If my intent was to troll Wikipedia, I wouldn't have used my real name.
There have been many criticisms being leveled at your actions, but most of them—some correct, some incorrect—aren't important. Nor do your responses so far reveal any deep reflection of all that has transpired. The important point that people have been trying to articulate is this: Even though you were faced with mixed signals, rather than proceed with caution and try to understand the situation more fully (e.g., by engaging in discussion and building rapport), instead you plowed ahead with your own little project that would alter a common, shared space.
Wisdom and being right are different. It is wise to tread lightly. We will all learn, or re-learn, these things, at some juncture. Meanwhile, best wishes and happy Valentine's.
A fellow grad student at Princeton
P.S. So, is it awesome working for an advisor who is a fan of Civ?
At least you're getting voted up, which should help. It's an anti-spam measure... also, try clicking on the 'link' of something you want to reply to. If there's too much back and forth in a thread, it'll hide the 'reply' button in an attempt to slow down conversation, but obviously this is a bit of a special case.
[only partially tongue-in-cheek here...]
It would be interesting to look at administrators' self-reported reasons for burning out, and it is definitely interesting to look at competing models for building online encyclopedias, but you may be right that an explicitly more inclusionist policy (which allows even more content that cannot be reliably sourced and that may be simply made up by fanboys) would hasten the decline of active Wikipedia administrators and editors in general. On the whole, I have an inclusionist orientation, and still do, but after seeing many more Wikipedia articles from the inside (as a wikipedian) than I once had, I can't say that I disagree with the majority of article deletion decisions that are actually made by current Wikipedia community processes.
Not edited or improved, deleted.
(I agree with you, assuming those articles were sourced, that it is appalling to delete sourced content. But that has happened to me. Point-of-view pushing is a huge problem on Wikipedia. Coming with sources, in my observation, saves articles from being deleted entirely, but having good sources doesn't save a paragraph from being deleted entirely in an article devoted to pushing a point of view.)
Jazz bands don't get a terrible amount of coverage in main stream media, they don't become top-40 acts, they don't get academic papers written about them in the ACM, etc. But they may be hugely influential, have tens of thousands of listeners, and may have other qualifications for why they should have a page. But if they don't meet <arbitrary person>'s requirement for notability they may flag it AfD and then it ends up working it's way through Wikipedia's impressively broken editing process where it'll probably end up deleted despite any discussion to the contrary.
Importantly, my hypothetical jazz band may only be well known in Jazz circles, having never pierced more mainstream circles. But just like a singular academic paper that no lay person has heard about, but been cited hundreds of times, this band may have influenced hundreds of other, highly visible bands.
I'm picking Jazz here, but it could be any other fairly insular sub-culture, say Blue Grass, or Model Train collectors. It's not up to me, as somebody not interested in their sub-culture to decide if it's notable. That only tests whether or not something has percolated up to "common knowledge". If that's the test for inclusion, then we don't really need Wikipedia anyway do we? Everybody already knows what's in it!
They'd have more help if they didn't go around deleting things.
PS: There are already plenty of other wiki's with different focus. There is little need for ex: naruto.wikia.com content on en.wikipedia.com.
And if nobody cares about the article, why does it matter if it's been defaced? And why not delete it once it's been defaced, rather than pre-emptively?
PS: A different option might be to build a custom AI to validate things, but for now balancing Notable around the size of the community seems reasonable.
A walled off wiki simply doesn't allow this type of holistic discovery. And in many cases, the boundaries between subjects can seem rather arbitrary and fuzzy. Where does Naruto end and Feudal Japan start?
I'd far prefer in the case that an article is not well maintained that it be flagged for deletion in X months due to absence of proper care. If there is a strong community presence the article can be resurrected and recovered and Wikipedia ultimately improved and only otherwise the article deleted.
I've seen deletionism creep into articles that were very well written, very well cited and overall a great source of information. I hope you are either generalizing or I'm misunderstanding your point as otherwise this does anything but justify deletionism.
These characteristics are not the measure used for inclusion. Which is absolutely right IMO - one could create a well written article, well cited and be the best source on what hair products some actor uses but it wouldn't make that information more notable.
I think that maintaining as high a quality as possible is important for Wikipedia. Like someone said, making Wikipedia a mirror of the web is not beneficial.
Someone here could probably do all right by making a mirror of all pages being deleted though¹.
¹ all ready done it seems http://deletionpedia.dbatley.com/w/index.php?title=Main_Page.
I'd like you to let us know what specific examples you have seen, if you would please.
I think Factor deserves to have a Wikipedia page (it still does), but I don't know by what general criteria I'm including it. It has a complete, robust implementation and is still actively developed, which is more than could be said of 90% of PLs out there. But how do we codify that into a notability test?
The solution to a wiki page being marked AfD is to improve the article with useful citations or discuss why the current citations are enough to verify the article.
It's not to stalk both online and offline the person who suggested a discussion should be had on the notability of a topic.
I might just be seeing a cached version, though.
edit: grr, I cannot reply to you, but yes, that was my point exactly: he could request a deletion review.
What exactly do you want from him then?
A sincere apology would involve 1) apologizing/admitting wrong-doing and 2) undoing the damage. I could certainly settle for only the second.
Honestly this sounds like 2 things -
A cry of help from Wikipedia stating they need concerted outside help/force to fix something they can see is broken/can be improved
A lawyer saying that its not his fault the rules are what they are.
He then blames 'the internet' for calling him out. That is the problem with the internet: this newbie comes into the scene and has no idea why his actions are annoying and detrimental. He says he's looking for 'policies' but he's just a newbie.
Hopefully in 5-10 years these dramas will end when we all collectively grow up a bit and stop with the ignorant drama queen games.
Good to see that some aren't letting him rest until he acknowledges that he was deleting articles he had no business deleting. Ignorant editor is no excuse.
In what manner is the content hidden? Will it show up in search engine results? Will an anonymous user like myself see the content?
> A page with this title has previously been deleted.
If you are creating a new page with different content, please continue. If you are recreating a page similar to the previously deleted page, or are unsure, please first contact the deleting administrator using the information provided below.
That's how these things work Chris.
"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." -John Gilmore 1993
Everyone is responsible for their own action. You should not follow rules that are bad, you should ignore them or try to change them yourself. "Just doing my job" is not a legitimate excuse and if I had the power I would punish that defense more severely than any other because it's the most dangerous.
Having nominations be anonymous until a consensus is reached stops this kind of issue arising. Sometimes complete transparency isn't the best policy.
When I saw a bunch of these posts at the top of HN, I was actually expecting a better discussion, but it seems PLs fans are pretty similar to music fans when it comes to someone touching the stuff they like!
And in the other direction, you get much better discussions when there isn't a fandom involved. Most deletion debates of science and math articles end up pretty civil, with a reasonable debate about whether to merge the information somewhere, whether better sources can be found to improve the article instead of deleting it, etc. At worst, you get the one guy who wrote a vanity article about his research lab posting under multiple accounts to try to save it, but usually no mobs.
If you enquire about the bank in wikipedia you'll get something like
"Awesome Band is a neo-dark-fusion-hip-hop jazz Slovenian band formed in 2002. They have produced one album called and are currently active."
Answers the question "what is Awesome Band?" which is the role of wikipedia, isn't it?
No, it's not. Wikipedia is a knowledge repository not _the_ knowledge repository. It's not there to hold every little bit of trivia, if you want to find "what is Awesome Band" then use a search engine. Wikipedia is there to house notable instances and information that has wider application than mere trivia.
Unless Awesome Band started a new genre, influenced well known bands, is a well known band (eg number 1 tracks, headlining particularly large events, etc.) or is known for something else then it's probably enough to mention them as a footnote as a band that played at Event X or possibly as a notable example of a genre or whatever.
Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing. - Jimmy Wales
One can either contest that this is simply a soundbite for the press or look at the definition of "knowledge" being used if one cares to square the apparent contradictions.
Why would Wikipedia even attempt to record all information about everything, who wants to know what I had for breakfast or what image is on my son's pyjamas; I contend that everyone that really needs that information already has it.
Who knows? I needed information on Alice ML today, but alas that was not to be. You are not the personal arbitrator of what I need to know any more than Chris Monsanto is of what languages are notable!
For at least the first half of it's life, wikipedia grew at an astonishing rate precisely because it wasn't being moderated by pedantic self-appointed editors. The rise of the editor class in wikipedia may have irreperably broken it as a compendium of knowledge. Imagine, people who know nothing about a subject telling you weather that subject is important to you!
Ridiculous? That's the current state of affairs. One could argue there is even a growing movement of people, like minded with yourself, that it should simply be reduced until it contains no more information than any other run-of-the-mill encyclopedia.
I have news for you, we have plenty of free, scope-limited, hand curated encyclopedias.
Here's what I came up with in 30 seconds. Go entertain yourself with these if you think having articles on obscure, but important topics is simply too much for you to handle.
The point of Wikipedia is to go far beyond these approaches by crowdsourcing the content. So that people can add what they personally know about obscure subjects. If I happen to be an expert in Korean clam harvesting operations, should I be able to write an article on that? Who the hell cares if you don't personally take an interest in it.
You're right if your response is "well we don't want to just copy what's on the web!" An encyclopedia is supposed to provided a summary of a subject, a launching off point, a confirmation of a subject's existence. It should provide exhaustive breadth. In wikipedia's case, it was even able to provide a bit of depth through external citations, and through hyperlinking to other parts of itself. But the number of subjects should be virtually unlimited. Wikipedia should provide the long-tail. As a pedagogic device, limiting what I'm allowed to look up limits what I can learn about.
To your example, it might be of fantastic importance to me to know what are popular breakfast foods in your country or what kinds of logos kids are wearing these days. A page about Breakfast practices or marketing to children then would be fantastically important to me, but maybe not to you.
This is simply factually not true. If anything, Wikipedia is considerably looser on inclusion standards now than it was a few years ago. Most of the people with more traditional views of inclusion standards left around the time that Larry Sanger forked to form Citizendium, plus a few waves after that. It's also gotten much more permissive than it used to be when it comes to things like covering famous internet memes (which used to be deleted on sight).
Are you seriously telling me you sat down with an internet browser and couldn't find any information about that specific programming language? It's far less notable than I assumed in which case (it took <30s to find http://scidok.sulb.uni-saarland.de/volltexte/2007/1262/ which suggests to me you're lying).
>Imagine, people who know nothing about a subject telling you weather that subject is important to you!
That's not what is happening - Wikipedia uses a democratic process to determine if something is considered notable by the community. We/They say nothing about whether something is important to you. If something is considered not to be sufficiently notable for Wikipedia that doesn't mean you can't write about it, blog about it, even create your own wiki about it.
>If I happen to be an expert in Korean clam harvesting operations, should I be able to write an article on that? Who the hell cares if you don't personally take an interest in it.
Of course, I'd be interested in that, I'm also interested in obscure programming languages too.
However, if Korean clam harvesting is no different to Japanese clam harvesting, which is more-or-less the same as Chinese clam harvesting, then they should be noted on a general article about clam harvesting you don't need a separate article for each country (given the imaginary constraints I've set) nor do you need a different article on each company that does clam harvesting, each location, each person working in each location, ...
>To your example, it might be of fantastic importance to me to know what are popular breakfast foods in your country or what kinds of logos kids are wearing these days. A page about Breakfast practices or marketing to children then would be fantastically important to me, but maybe not to you.
And there you have it, AFAICT you just argued for my point-of-view.
The point is that it is largely irrelevant what I had for breakfast, what the design on my son's pyjamas are but a general page about breakfast is apposite, a general page about use of cartoons in merchandising is apposite.
Similarly it's not important to list every programming language and variant ever. If it's important to you then you'll find the information in a relevant place that gives fine esoteric information about this specific field.
good, then let's just get rid of Wikipedia altogether. Since I can just get whatever information I need by googling there's really not a point to the site anyways. Is that your argument? At this point I'm 50% thinking that you're just trolling.
That is exactly what happened in this case. One person flagged, one person deleted. The community voted consistently against the deletion. Check the AfD discussions yourself if you don't believe me. There was not a single vote agreeing the the AfD flag. You can carry on all you want about how WP has various procedures and policies and what not, but that is not what happens de facto with shocking regularity.
But I should be able to create a page if any of those things are interesting or notable enough, if there's enough information on it. Korean clam harvesting may be special and unique in the world. It may have hundreds of thousands of adherents, it may have it's own culture, equipment, techniques etc. It may appear prominently in Korean culture, movies, newspapers or other media. In fact, there could be an entire musical genre of clam harvester music.
But you think "woah, wait a minute, I can't handle all this information" and so it gets shoved into a sidenote on a two page summary of "clam digging", and none of that information ends up compiled and summarized in an article like it deserves to be because some overzealous ignoramus decided to flag it as an AfD and the community who could discuss its importance generally doesn't speak English and even if they did and could vote to keep the article, would probably just get ignored by the editors anyways -- just like in this case.
I personally think that listing top-40 pop stars is esoteric information about a specific field I could care less about. But since lots of people seem to like it, we end up with countless pages to that dreck. These languages actually are important to computer science in the same way Fra Angelico is important to Renaissance art. Is Fra Angelico considered a notable master of painting in the same way well known artists are. No. But it's important to have his information summarized and presented, with notes regarding his influence and hist works.
Similarly, Alice ML is the Fra Angelico of the functional programming world. To remove a page about Alice ML is exactly the same as marking Fra Angelico's page AfD because you don't personally know about his notability and then a similarly ignorant editor agrees and BAM! it's gone for all time.
Absolutely not, and you clearly know it. That's like me saying your argument is that we should get rid of the rest of the internet because one can post lolcats to Wikipedia as notable examples of, er, lolcats.
>But you think "woah, wait a minute, I can't handle all this information" and so it gets shoved into a sidenote on a two page summary of "clam digging"
No I don't. But you're getting sidetracked by the fabricated analogy and forgetting that the removed articles don't have the [fictional] notability of the subject of your story and would have been very unlikely to have been removed if they had and would have certainly been reinstated.
>To remove a page about Alice ML is exactly the same as marking Fra Angelico's page AfD because you don't personally know about his notability
Let's try this as a first approximation on notability. The internet is probably the main repository of CS info - 120 Google Scholar articles mention "'Alice ML'" (appear to be some false positives). Arguably art history is better represented in works that are yet to be fully integrated online - 17000 Google Scholar articles mention "Fra Angelico".
How about books as a further approximation. 33 book results for "'Alice ML' programming" (18 are obvious false positives too). "'fra angelico' ~painting" (I don't think it's ambiguous without the addition of "~painting" but for equivalence ...) gives 133000 book results.
Popularity and plurality don't dictate notability of course. Notability in this case is a function of the appearance of notability to the authors and editors too, hence pop-stars, etc..
On the subject of the AfD (articles for deletion). I've looked now at the one for Alice ML, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion...
The oppositions are clearly poor. Most of them are based on the false assumption that Alice (software) is what is at question. A couple mention notability based on being in a book and the proposer convincingly counters these IMO. Vorov2 is the only dissenting voice that appears to know what they are talking about and gives a reasonable argument. Again, it seems clear that the proposer was most knowledgable about the subject, knew the relevant reference works (so had researched) and knew the WP policy well. SarekOfVulcan makes the deletion.
So in summary, one flagged, another gave good opposition, yet another deleted.
In many ways the fact that there was no other decent opposition to this deletion leads me to believe that it was the correct course of action. Note that Alice ML is still present in Wikipedia in a priori relevant places (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:WhatLinksH...).
The opposition is strong, they cite references to the language (a few cite references to the software, true), but all are summarily ignored because, just like you, Monsanto decided they don't fit into whatever arbitrary set of requirements you woke up and decided to use today.
And, as of today, it turns out you were wrong anyways since the page has been reinstated.
If you read what I wrote you'll note that I argued that if a sufficient argument for notability was pressed that this would be a reason for inclusion.
So, by your account that I am wrong I'd have to assume that the article was reinstated without presentation of evidence of notability or logical argument for such?
I'd have to try to look at archives to be sure, but I think fringe-physics is actually one of the reasons some of the science-related policies are written as they are. The answer to, "how do we keep this crap off Wikipedia?" was to have some sort of policy about the existence of peer-reviewed sources. (The peer-reviewed part is necessary, because a lot of fringe physics has papers up on arXiv.)
This wasn't really a valuable comment, but I couldn't help it.
Problem with wikipedia is that it does not have a target audience defined clearly enough to answer these questions easily. And as with many sites, except for the specific use case it was designrped for, it's not useful. For eacmple could a student learn any calculus from the calculus page?
We should stop trying force wikipedia to be the ideal resource for everything, as it's clearly impossible. There are better mediums for that.