Friday, 23 May 2008

Commons is not mellow

Some people say they love Commons. I have slowly started to hate it. I have found the community to be unfriendly and hostile. Most of my activity there recently is voting on RfAs, where the ridiculous strictness from enwiki has been gradually seeping through. There was a recent poll where the community were essentially planning to ban any new editor from voting on RfAs because they didn't have the necessary edit count. How friendly and welcoming from this supposedly "mellow" community. As well as this, some were trying to prevent people running because they didn't have 500 edits - editcountitis, editcountitis, editcountitis. There's so much more to experience than edits. Not according to Herbythyme, whose joke of an RfB is passing as a popularity contest. Those supporting cannot have looked at the way he hypocritically opposes people who had more experience than he did, people who have more experience than some of his candidates, and of course his friends. It's just really unfair. Frequent opposes on RfA for such poor reasoning makes me ill frankly. It is people like Herbythyme and Marcus Cyron (another frequent opposer, whose opposes are normally in all caps and with several exclamation marks) who put me off editing Commons more, and probably put off good potential admins with their "must... oppose... not got x edits..." attitude. They seriously need to chill out a bit on these requests, lighten up a little and remember it's just a website. And it is not a big deal, especially if the editor is an admin on another project. You can go and promote the "mellow" essay all you like - Commons' most regular editors are the least mellow people I've ever encountered.

Board election candidates

So the submission time for candidates for the Board is up. I thought I'd give my opinions on the candidates running. I'm aware the voting system isn't a support/oppose one, but I've put whether I'd support or not to give some idea of how I'd vote:

Ad Huikeshoven (Dedalus) - who? I haven't heard of this guy, though he apparently is part of the Audit Committee. His credentials seem good, and he has good experience on the project. Depending on answers, I'd probably support.

Alex Bakharev - I only recognise the name from English Wikipedia. While his statement isn't bad, I don't think it's particularly good either. It seems to be concentrated solely on English Wikipedia - while it is by far our biggest project, it is not the only one and I think that point is missed somewhere. Unless the answers are substantially better, I'd have to say no.

Craig Spurrier (Cspurrier) - someone I recognise. He has a lot of jobs on the projects - particularly on Wikinews, as an ArbCom member, bureaucrat and checkuser. I wonder if he'll find the time for this. He was recently desysopped on Meta for lack of activity. I agree Wikipedia is considered by many as "the only" or "most important" project, and the others can be overlooked. I also agree the foundation has issues with PR. I would hope that should he be elected, he'd ensure to make board work a priority over anything like Wikinews arbcom. Depending on answers, I'd probably support.

Dan Rosenthal (Swatjester) - another I know. He has good experience and I like his statement - a lot. There are some recent issues though, on English Wikipedia that I'd like to see addressed though. If these aren't brought up in questions, I probably will bring them up. If the answers are good, I'll definitely support.

Gregory Kohs (Thekohser) - a pretty controversial candidate really. I believe his intentions are good, but again, I feel his issues are with English Wikipedia and not the project as a whole. I agree that the foundation has seen some pretty embarrassing events recently, but it's improving all the time, and a lot of the stuff is exaggerated and fabricated in any case. Unless he answers the questions really well, I'd have to say no.

Harel Cain (Harel) - who? He's a bureaucrat/checkuser on Hebrew Wikipedia, and that seems to be about it. Apart from helping found the Israel chapter, I see a lack in activity anywhere else. His statement is good however, I'm agreeing with most of his points. Depending on answers, I'd probably support.

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen (Cimon Avaro) - I know him from *cough* IRC mostly. His statement is pretty much based on the technical side of things - not really what I'm looking for I'm afraid. Unless answers are better, I'll have to say no.

Kurt M. Weber (Kmweber) - just no. Need I say more?

Matthew Bisanz (MBisanz) - know from English Wikipedia/IRC (again). He doesn't have the right experience for me, I don't think. Again, a concentration on English Wikipedia, and not much in the way of what he'll actually do. Unless answers are better, I'll have to say no.

Paul Williams (Skenmy) - know from IRC. Though he's mostly active on Wikinews, there's that English Wikipedia feeling again here. However, he does refer to the "sister projects" which is something. I also agree with the other comments in his statement. I'll also note he's the youngest candidate (younger than myself, so pretty young), but having spoken to him I'm confident he'll do a good job. Depending on the answers, I'll probably support.

Ray Saintonge (Eclecticology) - most familiar with his posts on Foundation-l. He has a wealth of experience and is clearly dedicated and familiar with many aspects of the foundation. His statement is good as well. Depending on answers, I'll probably support.

Ryan Postlethwaite - probably most familiar with this candidate, and the only one I've ever met in person. His statement is sadly a little rushed, however it's a good one, and I agree with the points he makes. He has good experience in a lot of areas, though perhaps a little limited to English Wikipedia. Despite this, depending on answers I'll probably support.

Samuel Klein (Sj) - seen around, mostly on Meta. He's very experienced - editor for four years, having various jobs such as steward and organiser of Wikimania 2006. His statement reads well too. Depending on answers, I'll probably support.

Steve Smith (Sarcasticidealist) - not too familiar with him. He's also fairly new, having only joined in February 2007. He appears to have a lot of real world experience. He's starting law school in September - I wonder if that will affect his time that he can concentrate on the board. I agree with all of his points except #4. He has already answered one of the questions, and I am unsatisfied with his answer, where he agrees with the board appointing people instead of the community. I'd probably say no based just on that, but we'll see.

Ting Chen (Wing) - unfamiliar with him. He's an admin and bureaucrat on zh.wp, but I'm not sure his experience is enough. His statement isn't really bad, but it's not that good either and doesn't stand out. Unless his answers are good, I'll probably have to say no.

Thursday, 1 May 2008


Apologies for the unoriginal title... not much to say, except I am giving my admin account a break, and am using Al tally (my IRC nick) for editing at the moment. Writing stuff is a lot more relaxing than arguing about the wording on the RfA template, or watching people cause drama with people like Kurt Weber, who opposes every self-nom RfA. Otherwise, I'm still engaged on Simple English Wikipedia and Meta (with the occasional Commons edit). I've also become surprisingly active on Wikipedia Review, what with the Newyorkbrad business. I'm wondering if I really want to know who will replace him - obviously, no one can fill such a gaping hole (no, I'm not referring to size here) as adequately. Rebecca would normally be the next choice, but since she's on the Ombudsman commission, I doubt she will be able to. Next in line is Raul654. But knowing Jimbo, it could be anyone - and likely to be a highly unsuitable untrustworthy person as well.