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> The Nixon Diaries, or how to inflate your contributions
EricBarbour
post Sat 9th July 2011, 8:25pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Sat 9th July 2011, 4:07am) *
Google ranks Wikimedia sites higher than Archives or Presidential Library sites

Which is one of the best condemnations of Google imaginable.
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Milton Roe
post Sat 9th July 2011, 9:27pm
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 1:07am) *

(And I'm not touching Clinton's diaries.)

Not before going over them with a UV light, anyway.... dry.gif
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It's the blimp, Frank
post Sun 10th July 2011, 2:50am
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QUOTE(carbuncle @ Fri 8th July 2011, 2:34pm) *

You are right - we should not expect amateurs to behave like professionals. And we should accept that Wikipedia is an amateur encyclopedia.
I'm not so sure about the "encyclopedia" part.
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MZMcBride
post Sun 10th July 2011, 3:42pm
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This thread is a bit mind-boggling. If nothing else, what's the problem with redundancy? These are historical documents and surely nobody wants to see carelessness or ineptitude on the part of a library archive destroy these files (or a hurricane, a fire, a virus, a hacking, etc.).

Commons serves every Wikimedia wiki. I doubt these will add much, if any, value to Wikipedia, but there are other projects such as Wikisource where these documents are... essential.

Having skimmed this thread and some of its arguments, color me confused.
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Milton Roe
post Sun 10th July 2011, 7:48pm
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QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Sun 10th July 2011, 8:42am) *

This thread is a bit mind-boggling. If nothing else, what's the problem with redundancy? These are historical documents and surely nobody wants to see carelessness or ineptitude on the part of a library archive destroy these files (or a hurricane, a fire, a virus, a hacking, etc.).

Do you really think any modern library keeps its digital archive on some single server machine in the building basement? Maybe in a closet where some little old librarian dusts it once a week, after she finishes with the nearby bookstacks?
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MZMcBride
post Sun 10th July 2011, 11:05pm
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Sun 10th July 2011, 3:48pm) *
QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Sun 10th July 2011, 8:42am) *
This thread is a bit mind-boggling. If nothing else, what's the problem with redundancy? These are historical documents and surely nobody wants to see carelessness or ineptitude on the part of a library archive destroy these files (or a hurricane, a fire, a virus, a hacking, etc.).
Do you really think any modern library keeps its digital archive on some single server machine in the building basement? Maybe in a closet where some little old librarian dusts it once a week, after she finishes with the nearby bookstacks?
Err, yes, I do. I'm sure some modern libraries have sophisticated servers and backup systems in place, but I imagine a good number of libraries, particularly private libraries, don't. Now that the Nixon library is being run by NARA, I imagine they've seen their systems upgraded, but this is largely irrelevant. You didn't answer the quoted question: if nothing else, what's the problem with redundancy?

This thread tries to create some sort of problem, particularly The Joy's comments, as I read them. "Why would he be doing that when these documents are available already?!" I don't follow this argument at all. If there's a particular problem that's created by uploading these documents to Commons, please feel free to point it out. Otherwise, this whole thread seems idiotic and mean-spirited.
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Zoloft
post Sun 10th July 2011, 11:46pm
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QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Sun 10th July 2011, 4:05pm) *

QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Sun 10th July 2011, 3:48pm) *
QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Sun 10th July 2011, 8:42am) *
This thread is a bit mind-boggling. If nothing else, what's the problem with redundancy? These are historical documents and surely nobody wants to see carelessness or ineptitude on the part of a library archive destroy these files (or a hurricane, a fire, a virus, a hacking, etc.).
Do you really think any modern library keeps its digital archive on some single server machine in the building basement? Maybe in a closet where some little old librarian dusts it once a week, after she finishes with the nearby bookstacks?
Err, yes, I do. I'm sure some modern libraries have sophisticated servers and backup systems in place, but I imagine a good number of libraries, particularly private libraries, don't. Now that the Nixon library is being run by NARA, I imagine they've seen their systems upgraded, but this is largely irrelevant. You didn't answer the quoted question: if nothing else, what's the problem with redundancy?

This thread tries to create some sort of problem, particularly The Joy's comments, as I read them. "Why would he be doing that when these documents are available already?!" I don't follow this argument at all. If there's a particular problem that's created by uploading these documents to Commons, please feel free to point it out. Otherwise, this whole thread seems idiotic and mean-spirited.

Hyperlinks.

Remember the principle the World Wide Web (T-H-L-K-D) was established on?

No longer would you have to create 700 copies of a document for 700 universities. And, if updates or corrections are made, you don't have to update your local copy.

Don't make Tim Berners-Lee (T-H-L-K-D) cry.

Image
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Michaeldsuarez
post Sun 10th July 2011, 11:57pm
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QUOTE(Zoloft @ Sun 10th July 2011, 7:46pm) *

Hyperlinks.

Remember the principle the World Wide Web (T-H-L-K-D) was established on?

No longer would you have to create 700 copies of a document for 700 universities. And, if updates or corrections are made, you don't have to update your local copy.

Don't make Tim Berners-Lee (T-H-L-K-D) cry.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm...Berners-Lee.jpg


Mirrors are important in case the original becomes unavailable or inaccessible (eg. blocked in China). Extra copies are good, not bad. Of course, Commons shouldn't be treated as a hosting site for content irrelevant to its encyclopedic mission.
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The Joy
post Mon 11th July 2011, 12:37am
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QUOTE(Michaeldsuarez @ Sun 10th July 2011, 7:57pm) *

QUOTE(Zoloft @ Sun 10th July 2011, 7:46pm) *

Hyperlinks.

Remember the principle the World Wide Web (T-H-L-K-D) was established on?

No longer would you have to create 700 copies of a document for 700 universities. And, if updates or corrections are made, you don't have to update your local copy.

Don't make Tim Berners-Lee (T-H-L-K-D) cry.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm...Berners-Lee.jpg


Mirrors are important in case the original becomes unavailable or inaccessible (eg. blocked in China). Extra copies are good, not bad. Of course, Commons shouldn't be treated as a hosting site for content irrelevant to its encyclopedic mission.


Wouldn't it be better if the Wikimedia Foundation just worked out a deal with government institutions to host mirrors of government information and keep copies of their documents on the WMF servers? The government gets a back-up site and Google juice to their material, WMF gets high praise for saving precious government documents to benefit mankind (and get more Google juice), researchers and the public have a place to search for gov't information, and Jimbo gets high praise and a tax break. Everyone would win, right?

Mirrors though may mean loss of control of the material by the donating organization. What if NARA and the WMF have a dispute over what information to include or not include? What about updating and keeping the mirror sites current? What if the WMF refuses to remove or add certain information? What if its suspected that the WMF has altered the information or the data format is wonky? What if the Federal Government asks that NARA and its mirror sites remove certain information? Will the WMF comply? One of the major problems digital archivists have is the degradation of digital information and having to continue to upgrade to the newest data format. How will the WMF deal with that? I can't imagine PDF lasting forever.
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MZMcBride
post Mon 11th July 2011, 5:31am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Sun 10th July 2011, 8:37pm) *
QUOTE(Michaeldsuarez @ Sun 10th July 2011, 7:57pm) *
QUOTE(Zoloft @ Sun 10th July 2011, 7:46pm) *
Hyperlinks.

Remember the principle the World Wide Web (T-H-L-K-D) was established on?

No longer would you have to create 700 copies of a document for 700 universities. And, if updates or corrections are made, you don't have to update your local copy.

Don't make Tim Berners-Lee (T-H-L-K-D) cry.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm...Berners-Lee.jpg
Mirrors are important in case the original becomes unavailable or inaccessible (eg. blocked in China). Extra copies are good, not bad. Of course, Commons shouldn't be treated as a hosting site for content irrelevant to its encyclopedic mission.
Wouldn't it be better if the Wikimedia Foundation just worked out a deal with government institutions to host mirrors of government information and keep copies of their documents on the WMF servers? The government gets a back-up site and Google juice to their material, WMF gets high praise for saving precious government documents to benefit mankind (and get more Google juice), researchers and the public have a place to search for gov't information, and Jimbo gets high praise and a tax break. Everyone would win, right?

Mirrors though may mean loss of control of the material by the donating organization. What if NARA and the WMF have a dispute over what information to include or not include? What about updating and keeping the mirror sites current? What if the WMF refuses to remove or add certain information? What if its suspected that the WMF has altered the information or the data format is wonky? What if the Federal Government asks that NARA and its mirror sites remove certain information? Will the WMF comply? One of the major problems digital archivists have is the degradation of digital information and having to continue to upgrade to the newest data format. How will the WMF deal with that? I can't imagine PDF lasting forever.
(Forgive me for not better inlining this. It's late.)

Yes, more readily available access to this information is always a good thing, I think. Mirrors would be great. Even setting up a mirror repository (so that anyone, not just Wikimedia could use their content) would be awesome.

They're slowly moving toward this, I think. I've started to see some APIs and such. NARA did some kind of dump recently, though they made every record its own file in its own directory branch. Imagine millions of records within folders on your hard drive. Not great. But I think this was the first iteration. Perhaps the second or third will be smarter. One can hope.

Yes, with mirrors, you always run the risk of losing control. You give up the control for the redundancy (and the awesome tools that people can create when given access to free data). I'm not sure how Wikimedia or anyone would deal with it. On an individual basis, I suppose. Though assuming it goes from NARA to Wikimedia, the next step is for it to spread all over the Web (via mirrors of Wikimedia's content). Presumably with a staff of people and processes in place, NARA wouldn't be releasing anything worth taking back.

I don't know why these particular documents are being uploaded right now. There's probably a reason, though it's admittedly probably not a very grand one. I agree that it's silly to upload in this manner. You're not going to drain an ocean one cup at a time. You could argue that it's futile and a waste of time, I suppose. Even then, I don't really understand most of this thread. As I said, it seems mostly mean-spirited. Which is fine and cathartic to some, I guess, but not particularly constructive.

PDF is an open format; it was formalized in an RFC somewhat recently, I think. I'm not sure what format would necessarily be better. Obviously a database (with database dumps) would be neat in addition to records dumps of other kinds.

One area where Wikimedia largely beats out other parts of the Internet is in providing access to data on a large scale (with the exception of digital media such as images or audio files, currently). If you want every revision of a wiki or a list of every page in the database, it's available in high volume, in XML dumps or in SQL dumps. Plus there's the Toolserver. And having this open data has lead to a lot of creativity and some neat tools.

(Incidentally, I deal with PDFs quite a bit at work, though they put a layer of OCR on top, so they're searchable. It's pretty nice. Not perfect, obviously, but for typed documents that are scanned in, it works well.)
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EricBarbour
post Mon 11th July 2011, 9:32am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Sun 10th July 2011, 5:37pm) *
Wouldn't it be better if the Wikimedia Foundation just worked out a deal with government institutions to host mirrors of government information and keep copies of their documents on the WMF servers?

That's not such a bad idea. And how would you propose it to the WMF and the "community"?
Very few of them care a bit about arcane government records.
But they damn well seem to care far more about football stats.
And List of My Little Pony characters (T-H-L-K-D). yak.gif
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Zoloft
post Mon 11th July 2011, 11:15am
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Mon 11th July 2011, 2:32am) *

<snippo>
But they damn well seem to care far more about football stats.
And List of My Little Pony characters (T-H-L-K-D). yak.gif

Yeah, they should move all that stuff to the Ponyverse.
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Kelly Martin
post Mon 11th July 2011, 8:23pm
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QUOTE(Encyclopedist @ Wed 6th July 2011, 8:04pm) *
I'm not going to take the position that everybody here, such as Greg Kohs, Kelly Martin, Moulton, and others, who have been kicked off Wikipedia, that they are necessarily wrong; I prefer to say that WP isn't for them.
I don't know what universe you inhabit, but I was never kicked off Wikipedia. I'm still an "editor in good standing", not blocked anywhere (as far as I know). Simply put, I wasn't kicked out. I left. It's possible that if I had stayed I would have been kicked out, but I fairly well doubt it.
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jayvdb
post Mon 11th July 2011, 11:06pm
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QUOTE(CharlotteWebb @ Fri 8th July 2011, 3:08pm) *

QUOTE(The Joy @ Fri 8th July 2011, 7:11am) *

Now what a cotton-pickin' minute! The diary Dominic is posting on Commons is already free at the Nixon Library. Look! hrmph.gif

To be fair, I have seen hosters of public domain content become pay-walled without notice.

Really, he should have put the diary text on some page on wikisource. As far as I know MediaWiki makes no attempt to search the content of PDF uploads, making them relatively useless. Moreover it wouldn't surprise me to learn that duplicate diarystuffs have been posted previously, under different file-names.

The djvu and pdf files are usually uploaded to Wikimedia Commons before the text is "transcribed" onto Wikisource. In this case, the diary PDF files appear to be perfect text already, and the Nixon Library is providing adequate indexing. If someone is motivated enough, a Wikisource project could add a lot of value to these sources, however I doubt that anyone is going to invest the time required to create a better resource than the one already provided by the Nixon Library.
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mbz1
post Sun 28th August 2011, 1:52am
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QUOTE(Encyclopedist @ Thu 7th July 2011, 1:04am) *


Phil Nash/User:Rodhullandemu, and if it matters to anyone, I have nothing to hide, nor care about any more. I used to believe in Wikipedia, but obviously I can no longer sustain that faith I perhaps naively subscribed to almost four years ago. Now looking from outside, I know WP's failures, but then I was quick to do so, and assumed that my small efforts could make a difference. Quite clearly, they could, in a micro-sense, but that is what I could do when able.

I'm not going to take the position that everybody here, such as Greg Kohs, Kelly Martin, Moulton, and others, who have been kicked off Wikipedia, that they are necessarily wrong; I prefer to say that WP isn't for them. However, I now realise that it isn't for me.

I've had death threats and TOV on Wikipedia as an Admin, and have tried to work beyond them; in real-life, they are usually meaningless. But, it does sour the pill somewhat that you make and improve articles, and see vandalism as the most obvious and defensible threat to WP, and deal with it appropriately, and are still kicked into touch by ArbCom without appropriate discussion or appreciation. I'm aware that some here don't like me; tough: I don't like you either, perhaps. But what I would prefer is either WP:AGF or [[Due process]]. My ArbCom, and Jimbo's failure to see through the smoke and mirrors, show that neither seems to apply to me.

TBH, I don't care. The problem is that you should not expect amateurs to behave like professionals, and conversely, you should value your professionals if their professionalism (and that is not predicated upon being paid; it's a value-system, not a money thing) is overall directed to improving the project.

I'll just say this: I don't expect any respect here, because of my previous commitment to Wikipedia: but having said that, I heard about a week ago that an old friend of mine, a guitarist with whom I was in a band in the early 1970s, had died in his sleep of a heart attack. A sad loss, but to be honest, that's how I would choose to go., and if it happens to me, I won't complain; my contributions to WP and Commons remain as some sort of memorial yo my abilities.

That's all.


This is a sad story, but now looking back do you believe you were a fair admin?
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Encyclopedist
post Mon 30th January 2012, 3:16am
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Sun 28th August 2011, 1:52am) *

QUOTE(Encyclopedist @ Thu 7th July 2011, 1:04am) *


Phil Nash/User:Rodhullandemu, and if it matters to anyone, I have nothing to hide, nor care about any more. I used to believe in Wikipedia, but obviously I can no longer sustain that faith I perhaps naively subscribed to almost four years ago. Now looking from outside, I know WP's failures, but then I was quick to do so, and assumed that my small efforts could make a difference. Quite clearly, they could, in a micro-sense, but that is what I could do when able.

I'm not going to take the position that everybody here, such as Greg Kohs, Kelly Martin, Moulton, and others, who have been kicked off Wikipedia, that they are necessarily wrong; I prefer to say that WP isn't for them. However, I now realise that it isn't for me.

I've had death threats and TOV on Wikipedia as an Admin, and have tried to work beyond them; in real-life, they are usually meaningless. But, it does sour the pill somewhat that you make and improve articles, and see vandalism as the most obvious and defensible threat to WP, and deal with it appropriately, and are still kicked into touch by ArbCom without appropriate discussion or appreciation. I'm aware that some here don't like me; tough: I don't like you either, perhaps. But what I would prefer is either WP:AGF or [[Due process]]. My ArbCom, and Jimbo's failure to see through the smoke and mirrors, show that neither seems to apply to me.

TBH, I don't care. The problem is that you should not expect amateurs to behave like professionals, and conversely, you should value your professionals if their professionalism (and that is not predicated upon being paid; it's a value-system, not a money thing) is overall directed to improving the project.

I'll just say this: I don't expect any respect here, because of my previous commitment to Wikipedia: but having said that, I heard about a week ago that an old friend of mine, a guitarist with whom I was in a band in the early 1970s, had died in his sleep of a heart attack. A sad loss, but to be honest, that's how I would choose to go., and if it happens to me, I won't complain; my contributions to WP and Commons remain as some sort of memorial yo my abilities.

That's all.


This is a sad story, but now looking back do you believe you were a fair admin?


Of course; I would not have gone for RFA if I thought otherwise. My background in law told me that I should only act in blocking/protecting if there was no reasonable alternative. But I'm also fully aware that legal processes are sometimes subverted from outside; as regards Wikipedia, all we have to go on is an editor's edits. On the face of it, admins have to make value judgements on those, and those alone. But it's also open to a blocked editor to set the record straight. Make no mistake, I may have issued 10,000 blocks, but of those, only a handful were appealed, and only a mite successfully- and perhaps to my credit, some by myself given the blockee's response. I went through all the warning levels in most cases unless it was patently obvious from edit 1 that the editor wasn't going to contribute effectively. I tried hard to assume good faith. However, I'd be glad to hear of anything that you have that controverts this. Message me here or at wikimail@blueyonder.co.uk. Cheers.
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