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German Wikipedia Passes One Million Article Mark

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-now-they-use-euros dept.

Media 106

saibot834 writes "The German Wikipedia, the second largest language edition behind the English Wikipedia, just reached its 1,000,000 article milestone. Combined with 3.1M English articles and 240 other language editions, this adds up to a total of 14 million Wikipedia articles. Interestingly, there is a request for deletion on the millionth article. German Wikipedia has been criticized for its rules on notability, which are stricter than on the English Wikipedia. Quality though, is often considered to be higher on the German Wikipedia."

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106 comments

Citation Needed (5, Funny)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565630)

Quality though, is often considered to be higher on the German Wikipedia

Citation Needed

Re:Citation Needed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565658)

Who modded this man Funny?
Is this the famous slashdot meta-funny-humor?

Mod this man insightfull!!!!

It's the German Rule... (-1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565818)

Quality though, is often considered to be higher on the German Wikipedia.

The Germans like to perpetuate this myth that they are the masters of quality. So they always come at you with, "we're Germans, therefor, we have quality", which survives right up until you actually measure it, and find that even Mercedes in terms of break down rate isn't all that much different than a fricking Chevy.

Re:It's the German Rule... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565870)

Parent post only 9 minutes old and already has a -1 Flamebait.
I see some Germans have mod points today.
Good thing there is no Request for Deletion for Slashdot comments.

Re:It's the German Rule... (0, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566198)

Good thing there is no Request for Deletion for Slashdot comments.

Sure there is. Just file a DMCA takedown notice.

Re:It's the German Rule... (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568150)

I see some Germans have mod points today

Europeans take themselves way too seriously. Like, Americans will knock themselves 50/50, depending on what it is that's being talked about. But god forbid, you knock Europe... gets all foaming in the mouth nationalism and you'd think they were all a bunch of john waynes, except they never had any nationalists that cool. I mean, Heinrich Himmler had a pretty cool looking uniform but he was still a chinless chicken farmer...

Re:It's the German Rule... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565984)

Quality though, is often considered to be higher on the German Wikipedia.

The Germans like to perpetuate this myth that they are the masters of quality. So they always come at you with, "we're Germans, therefor, we have quality", which survives right up until you actually measure it, and find that even Mercedes in terms of break down rate isn't all that much different than a fricking Chevy.

Citation Needed

Re:It's the German Rule... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565990)

It is not the Germans that spread this myth. But we are not offended either. :)

Re:It's the German Rule... (0, Offtopic)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568182)

It is not the Germans that spread this myth. But we are not offended either. :

Oh, come on. I was watching a documentary the other day about Blom and Voss (sp?) and how to this day there is some piece of leftover steel from the Bizmarck sitting there that was just too big to move, and the guy is like - "look, this is quality german steel.." And I'm like, dude, if the Bizmarck was so well built, the thing wouldn't have sunk so easily. The fact of the matter is, the only reason Germany competes on quality is that they tend to devote a higher degree of floor space to fixing things after they are built... its like Mercedes is two ticks better in quality than Chevy, but its way more expensive. If anything, American quality blows Europe out of the water.

That's not to say America doesn't have its delusional myths. Every country does. We call ourselves the kings of banking and international finance, and since the 1980s our banks have been subject to numerous government bailouts, failed reforms, blown mergers ... really, American banking is just a colossal waste of the world's capital.... but, oh, Wall Street is great.

so really, the reality is this:

Americans actually make the best stuff, but world banking should be headquartered in Berlin.

Re:It's the German Rule... (1)

ecbpro (919207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569450)

Bismark was actually extremely unlucky. They got a torpedo stuck in their rudder. So all they could do is turn around in circles, easy target, no?

The Swiss make the best stuff of course :-)

Re:It's the German Rule... (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30570706)

If anything, American quality blows Europe out of the water.

Swiss ... watches
French ... cuisine
American ... Idol ?

Re:It's the German Rule... (0, Offtopic)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566346)

I never had a freaking Chevy. I did, however, have a Chevy Nova and the only German car I feel comfortable comparing it to is a Trabant.

Consider the German gun control laws (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30567140)

Some would argue that deaths due to firearms in Germany is lower than the US. But try averaging over the last 100 years.

Re:Consider the German gun control laws (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568194)

Some would argue that deaths due to firearms in Germany is lower than the US. But try averaging over the last 100 years.

I would think the right to keep and bear arms does not include Lancasters, B-17s and Red Army divisions.

Re:Consider the German gun control laws (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568472)

'cept when you screen out all the people who are less than half-euro and/or asian descent, the murder rate becomes comparable and the general crime rate goes quite a bit lower.

Re:Citation Needed (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565844)

It's not my anecdotal experience either, which admittedly isn't proper evidence, but at least somewhat more evidence than the bare assertion in the summary. I do a lot of translation of German Wikipedia articles to the English Wikipedia, and usually the articles aren't directly usable as-is under English-Wikipedia policy, mainly because of comparatively fewer citations (many articles on German historical figures or current politicians have no references at all).

Re:Citation Needed (4, Interesting)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567350)

In my experience that lack of "objective" checklist-quality (citations, NPOV, etc) in articles often helps.

On many topics the English entry is almost unintelligible because it's just one (correctly sourced) quote after the other. God forbid someone trying to turn it into a whole instead of a disjointed mess because that might be interpreted as original research.

Also many articles on scientific topics are used by scientists in the field for a virtual dick waving contest. So if you look up the article on the crackpointium effect (it's late and I don't have a good example handy. Sorry. I'll try to find one tomorrow) you'd expect something like

The crackpointium effect is (short definition). In layman's terms that means (car analogy).

  • In depth paragraph A
  • B
  • C

What you get is

It is possible to describe the crackpointium effect because of the groundbreaking paper on the crackpointium effect by B Lender at the UoB. A team at Asshole U discovered the connection between it and some topic you don't give a fuck about. One of the most important discoveries was discovered by A. Dickwad. Another really, really important discovery was by B. Retard.

Every single one of that sentences will be properly sourced (pimping their papers is the whole point after all) and any attempt to write a more useful article will be swiftly dealt with (because it would reduce the prominence of said papers) under the guise of some wiki policy or other.

That said the German wiki has more than its own share of problems. The notability nazis, the same turf wars as the English wiki, picturephobia (I think due to even stricter fair use constraints but I'm not sure) and a bunch of others I've forgotten.

Re:Citation Needed (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567606)

On many topics the English entry is almost unintelligible because it's just one (correctly sourced) quote after the other. God forbid someone trying to turn it into a whole instead of a disjointed mess because that might be interpreted as original research.

That's my main complaint as well, many wikipedia articles read as a disconnected stream of random footnoted facts.

However, I'm not sure if this because people are scared of original research, or just because editing is harder work than adding bits of information. The "more is better" mentality doesn't help either.

Godwin's law... (4, Informative)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567870)

notability nazis

Mike Godwin is actually and employee of the Wikimedia Foundation :)
Seriously though, notability has been an issue people complain about since the beginning of Wikipedia. There is simply no way of pleasing everyone, no matter where you draw the line. You always have people complaining about "notability nazis" and "we are not /dev/null".

picturephobia (I think due to even stricter fair use constraints but I'm not sure)

I don't think that there is a "picturephobia" in the German Wikipedia. What you are probably referring to is English Wikipedia's fair use rules. We don't have that on the German Wikipedia for two reasons:
a) Ideological reasons: "Fair use" images are proprietary. We want to build a free encyclopedia which everyone is allowed to copy, remix and redistribute. "Fair use" images are extremely limited in their use and cannot have a place in a free-as-in-freedom encyclopedia. I recommend reading the Veganism parable [wikipedia.org]. Interestingly, these strict rules have resulted in a positive effect on release of free images. For example, Ubisoft wanted images of their video games in Wikipedia articles, so they licensed [wikimedia.org] everyone to release screenshots of their games under a free license.
b) Legal reasons. "Fair use" is mainly an US thing, and while Wikimedia servers are located in the US, German Wikipedia generally aims not to break German law. German copyright law is completely different from US law, we don't have a rule equivalent to "fair use".

Re:Godwin's law... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30573096)

There is simply no way of pleasing everyone, no matter where you draw the line.

No, but you could draw the line somewhere else than the whim of some random guys.

For example, since MediaWiki already keeps track of page views, etc. one could replace the entire "notability" concept by a review of "seldom viewed articles". That would let the readers decide, in a way, what is notable and what isn't.

But of course, that would put the nerdy pet articles of the main Wikipedia admins into the spotlight as well. Can't have that, can we?

Contrary experiences (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567786)

That's interesting, my experience is completely contrary. I'm a very active Wikipedia contributor and read many English and German articles. My personal impression (and this view is shared by many fellow Wikipedians) is that the coverage of subjects (e.g. chances to find an article about a certain subject) is better on the English Wikipedia, while quality often is better on German Wikipedia.

Unfortunately there is no scientific study (I am aware of) which directly compares German to English Wikipedia in aspects of quality. However, comparisons with other German encyclopedias have been generally supportive of the German Wikipedia (in tests it "won" against Microsoft Encarta and the highly-reputable encyclopedia by Brockhaus). Also, the German Wikipedia was the first one to use Flagged Revisions [wikimedia.org], a software feature that makes sure every edit is reviewed by an experienced user. Beside that, the German Wikimedia chapter "Wikimedia Deutschland" has done much to facilitate quality improvements (e.g. the Zedler medal [yahoo.com] for outstandingly good articles; or Wikipedia Academy, an attempt to attract academics as Wikipedia contributors). Although there is no explicit prove, there are many indicators that the German Wikipedia often has articles of higher quality or at least tries to focus more on quality.

Re:Contrary experiences (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568950)

Thanks for pointing out the Flagged Revisions aspect of this story - this tool has done a lot to improve German Wikipedia - this I understand not only from its logic of conception, but because of a friend of mine working on some of the leading/most controversial German Wikipedia articles.

I really don't understand why English Wikipedia hasn't adopted this tool; perhaps it is because the weight of Status Quo (hesitancy to think about/try something new) seems to be much heavier there, and people there seem to be more concerned about their contributor role ('this is what I contributed, therefore what I contributed I am') than the quality of what they write. There also seems to be a rampant resistance to any rules that allow anyone 'more knowledgable' to judge contributions, and there is even resistance to define what 'more knowledgeable' is.

In short, German Wikipedia is more mature than its English counterpart.

Re:Citation Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565896)

As an obsessive-compulsive reader of the German and English versions of Wikipedia I must say that according to my more than superficial experience, the German version is not better than the English one.

Re:Citation Needed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566054)

I'm bilingual and very strongly prefer en.wikipedia.org for most things. Longer and more detailed articles, more citations [citation needed]*, and more activity on talk pages. If it's an article about something related to Germany, the German wikipedia is usually better though.

*Anyone feel like making a script that counts the actual numbers?

Re:Citation Needed (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566062)

Quality though, is often considered to be higher on the German Wikipedia

Citation Needed

"you know the Germans always make good stuff"

Re:Citation Needed (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566288)

Quality though, is often considered to be higher on the German Wikipedia

Citation Needed

[Citation Needed]

P.S.: Would you believe any shit out there, as soon as someone finds someone else stating it to be true? Wikipedia does. And that’s why I will never ever trust Wikipedia for anything.

Re:Citation Needed (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568426)

I’d bet money, that the moderator of my comment was some Wikipedia admin, hating the fact that he can’t delete-rage me here, and therefore trying to censor me here.

My friend, it’s a straight out fact anyway. You can deny it. You can hide in your reality distortion bubble. But in the end, you still know that it’s true: A citation does not mean anything.
Only a chain of trust, from the physical fact, over the senses of the person, over all other people and machines in-between, can give you anything close to a warm feeling of reliability.
And even that is only as good, as the equality of trust in and reality of the links in that chain.

Wikipedia ignores basic human mechanics and physics, in favor of a fantasy. A dream of absolute truth, freedom from bias, and global facts. Things that in reality by physical definition can not exist. Even less so, in the mechanics of human society.

Which then creates two kinds of people:
1. Those who have the power to enforce their views (Admins, server owners, etc.)
2. Those who don’t, and will be oppressed. (Everybody who does not agree, even if he can prove it in scientifically proper and peer-reviewed experiments.)

The only solution is a kind of “P2Pedia”. Where everybody has full control over his own content, his choice of indexing server, caching server, and trust cascade.
Of course, this is the biggest enemy of group 1. So they will silence it and fight it tooth and nail.

Just wait and see.

Re:Citation Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30569380)

You get agitated and paranoid about a single mod on slashdot so I think I can guess how you act on Wikipedia...

Complaining without offering alternatives is fine: often it's easier to come up with the problem than the solution. But when you complain in such overarching terms ("Wikipedia ignores basic human mechanics and physics") then you should have a proper alternative. This, by the way, is not it: "everybody has full control over his own content, his choice of indexing server, caching server, and trust cascade". What the hell? You complain about reality distortion and your solution is just fantasy, ideas that have a long long way to go before we could even assess if they work as a encyclopaedia when put together.

Dogs bark, caravan moves on. Implement your "better" solution or at least describe it terms people an understand, maybe we can continue the discussion then.

Re:Citation Needed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566626)

Many of the lesser known technical articles are barely a good translation of the English version. I mostly prefer en.wikipedia even though I'm German.

Every article now with Jewish slave labour! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566672)

Every article now with Jewish slave labour!

Stricter Rules? (4, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565650)

So their rules are even stricter than the English version?

Does this mean the German editors are nicer and less bureaucratic than the possessive assholes who consider English wikipedia their personal creation, or should we expect to see German wikipedia go down in flames sooner than later?

Re:Stricter Rules? (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565688)

Knowing Germans, I suspect the reason for the higher quality is better craftsmanship.

Re:Stricter Rules? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567974)

The reason for higher "quality" is that the german Wikipedia deletes each and every article that isn't near perfect on day one of insertion. Which of course increases the average quality, but makes the thing close to useless, as you very often hit pages that where deleted. This of course also scares away new users, which in turn is used as an argument(!) for more deletions: "We have not enough personal to maintain so many articles...".

When it comes to video games for example there are pretty huge holes in the available articles, for example Katamari Damacy doesn't have an article, most of the time every title of a franchise is crammed into a single gigantic page and plenty of other stuff that is just plain bullshit.

Re:Stricter Rules? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565770)

Does this mean the German editors are nicer and less bureaucratic than the possessive assholes who consider English wikipedia their personal creation, or should we expect to see German wikipedia go down in flames sooner than later?

Do you mean that the German Wikipedia has less WikiNazis?

Re:Stricter Rules? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566344)

no, it has more. just read blog.fefe.de

Re:Stricter Rules? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566082)

Or "Jimmy Wales". I stopped adding to the English wiki due to his plastering of his face all over everyone's achievements. The man is a jackass (seriously, take half an hour to read about him).

Re:Stricter Rules? (0, Offtopic)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566084)

Does this mean the German editors are nicer and less bureaucratic

Haha. Insert German stereotype joke here.

Re:Stricter Rules? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30567844)

in fact: you're right. the wikinazis in germany are bigger than those in the english wikipedia.

Re:Stricter Rules? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566424)

... should we expect to see German wikipedia go down in flames sooner than later?

The German Wikipedia will last for a thousand years!

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566532)

actually there is a big discussion going on, about whether their criteria if somethig should be a lemma or not, are to high/wrong/to old/etc or not.

no that sounds wrong.

let's say lot's of people think that their criteria need to be changed.

wikipedia does not.

Re:Stricter Rules? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30572900)

It's already busy going down in flames.

There was a conference in Berlin not too long ago where the german Wikipedia admins pretty much blew what was left of their credibility out the window. Starting from insisting on providing their own live video streaming, which was totally unusable and crap, even though the CCC with 10 or so years of experience in doing that kind of stuff had offered to do it for them, for free. Then there was apparently a Wikipedia admin who "moderated" the discussion from outside the camera view, and not by accident. Some journalists they didn't like were not let in. And don't even get me started on the actual content of the discussion, I've not read one positive article on that (but several very, very critical ones).

In short, Wikipedia Germany has alienated itself from pretty much everyone else in Germany who is someone in the online world.

awesome (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565652)

The good news: the system works. The bad news: the system lets a known muslim extremists board a plane with a bomb strapped to his leg but no passport and no luggage.

No doubt you'll have to remove your shoes and your pants next time you board a plane.

Milestones and barriers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565698)

reached its 1,000,000 article milestone

Thanks for saying it reached the milestone, rather than broke a barrier! Correct differentiations between milestones and barriers are rare, and I'd like you to know that it's appreciated!

Re:Milestones and barriers (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565834)

Given that people already want to delete #1000000, it definitely feels like a barrier to me.

Ob. Godwin (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565722)

If Hitler were alive, he would have contibuted to the German wikipedia

get de,wikipedia.org (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565924)

HEIL JIMBO!!!

All caps is considered 'shouting', by the way.

Re:get de,wikipedia.org (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566426)

All caps is considered 'shouting', by the way.

Or emphasis. It obviously loses its purpose if a whole post is in caps, but the OCCASIONAL capitalization for emphasis is a perfectly valid practice, especially in plain text where bold and italics are not available. That's not the case in slashdot, but is in many internet forums.

Re:get de,wikipedia.org (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569986)

Or emphasis. It obviously loses its purpose if a whole post is in caps, but the OCCASIONAL capitalization for emphasis is a perfectly valid practice, especially in plain text where bold and italics are not available. That's not the case in slashdot, but is in many internet forums.

You could also enclose the phrase in asterisks instead of using caps, as people used to do so in email correspondence. I still remember holding discussions on BBS systems by exchanging QWK archives of posts, and my QWK reader automatically boldfaced text inside asterisks and italicized text between slashes, providing formatting not available on a terminal screen.

Fuck the Wikifuerers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30565986)

This is to D, Entlinkt, S1, Horzo, Eynre and other german Wikibastards. Also fuck the English admins J.delanoy, Nawlinwiki, Pmdrive1061, Petersymonds, MaterialScientist (Sockpuppet of Essjay), Ryulong and all the other wiki bastards.

German wikipedia passes 1,955,830 euro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566050)

There fixed it for you

Die Deutschen haben schon genug gelitten (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566060)

Da muesste irgendwo ein Artikel sein ueber die Tatsache, dass Deutschland nicht mehr die einzige Hitlernation in der Geschichte ist, sonder auch Amerika ist eine Hitlernation geworden, denn die Amerikaner haben Iraq genauso gewalttaetig ueberfallen, wie damals Hitler die Polen im Jahre 1939 ueberfiel. Da muesste auch ein Artikel ueber die kuenstliche Intelligenz sein, mit der Angabe, dass Mentifex [virtualentity.com] das wesentliche Problem geloest hat.

shouldn't that be one million article Euro? (1, Funny)

sir_eccles (1235902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566104)

They got rid of the Mark ages ago.

Re:shouldn't that be one million article Euro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30571544)

1,955,830 euro is 1,000,000 Mark

Back to 999,999 (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566142)

The most recent addition was quickly nominated for deletion.

Re:Back to 999,999 (1)

FunPika (1551249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566618)

But they already have another 802 articles to replace it. We can just give the title to 1,000,001 instead if need be. :) And if that's deleted than 1,000,002 and so on until one that they consider notable is reached.

Quality and the crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566192)

Quality was also considered to be higher in Nupedia [wikipedia.org]. It'll be Wikipedia's death, the day it starts to chase some definition of quality invented by an arbitrary group. Defining "quality" should be left to the wisdom of the crowd, as should everything else in Wikipedia.

More bullcrap subterfuge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566420)

I'm sure there are plenty of William Connolleys as contributors - the problem with Wikipedia is the lack of experts to contribute to topics, its the nobility system mixed with a bullet proof bureaucracy.

NOT Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30566236)

-site:wikipedia.org

stricter ? (1)

Moondye (1658967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566400)

I'm a German and I disagree often the German articles are less focused on the topic e.g [Spin (physics)] Very often I have to hear (especially in school) that everything is so much qualitatively better in Germany, but in my opinion it isn't.

the English one is bad enough (5, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30566790)

When I go to Wikipedia, I'm going there because I want some info that **I** happen to care about. I don't give a flying fuck if it meets some notability guideline. Wikipedia isn't printed on physical paper and sold as a 220-pound (100-kg) pile of books. Bits are cheap to store; there is no reason to be destroying people's hard work other than some asshole power trip. I'm pissed when I go to an article page seeing info and find it deleted; this happens often if you go directly to the obvious article name instead of just relying on Google and not questioning why there isn't an article for you to read.

BTW, the other big problem we have is positive spin. Articles about any given subject are guarded by editors who have a vested interest in the subject. You're lucky if they only do 1-sided enforcement of no-original-research and citation-please rules to abuse people who tone down the glorification. It's easy to see and quite frustrating for the subjects where I am an expert and could be an editor. On the subjects where I am only a reader seeing to understand, it's frightening to know that these special-interest editors are warping my learning.

You could pretty much say that the not-notable, no-original-research, and citation-needed excuses are Wikipedia's way to do a (Score:-1, Unpolitical) moderation. Not that people wouldn't delete stuff that makes them uncomfortable anyway, but those excuses sure encourage them by providing righteous justification.

Re:the English one is bad enough (1, Informative)

dapyx (665882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567230)

The notability is put in there so that Wikipedia wouldn't get filled with crap made up by bored teenagers during the school break. The notability bar is not that that even high. Basically, there must be some third-party publication ("reliable reference", so preferably a professional, a journalist or something) to talk about that subject. Every claim should, theoretically, be supported by a third-party. Most people who complain about the impossibly high notability are spammers or people who created articles about themselves or their own activities. I agree there are instances when relatively notable articles get deleted, but that happens because the creator of the article doesn't care enough to bring sources.

Re:the English one is bad enough (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567750)

Basically, there must be some third-party publication ("reliable reference", so preferably a professional, a journalist or something) to talk about that subject. Every claim should, theoretically, be supported by a third-party.

Those have been going out of business, in part because of wikipedia.

They are also worthless, because anybody with an ax to grind can set up his own web site to look like a credible source.

Most people who complain about the impossibly high notability are spammers or people who created articles about themselves or their own activities.

True spammers are automated bots and they don't complain.

If somebody writes about the 6-person start-up company in his garage, great! (and no, I have not done anything like that myself)

I agree there are instances when relatively notable articles get deleted, but that happens because the creator of the article doesn't care enough to bring sources.

Unless you have a conflicting source, I don't see a problem with an unsourced article. Marking up articles with sources is not easy.

First of all, it's a whole distinct kind of wiki markup to learn, and thus quite a barrier to newbies. Subject experts are normally wiki newbies; the wiki experts are the editors abusing wiki rules to bludgeon the newcomers.

Second of all, where are you going to find the source you happen to remember from XXX years ago? You clearly remember it, but maybe it was something physical that you neglected to purchase at a yard sale.

Third of all, what are you going to do for stuff that is damn obvious? Is every sentence going to have multiple references? The wiki text becomes an unreadable and bloated mess, all to defend against abusive idiots who will use any excuse to delete stuff.

Re:the English one is bad enough (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568012)

The notability is put in there so that Wikipedia wouldn't get filled with crap made up by bored teenagers during the school break.

That is what they should be for, but that is not what they are used for. The rules, especially in the German Wikipedia, are far stronger and far more arbitrary. In fact even after month of reading the public discussion of the topic of notability (which has made it into major newspapers and such), I have not *once* heard an understandable argument what the friggen goal of the current rules is.

The whole notability guidelines seem to be a case of the Standford prison experiment [wikipedia.org], you have a page with rules, so people all end up playing asshole and will it with as much strict rules as they can, for no other reason then being able to play badguy.

The notability bar is not that that even high.

In the German Wikipedia almost every new article is greated with a deletion request due to lack of notability.

The opposite risk (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567254)

Well that's pretty much understandable that people like you are afraid that Wikipedia could get destroyed by idiotic editors with an agenda.

On the other hand, some rules are still needed to avoid wikipedia being filled with extremely detailed articles written by über-nerds and containing complete commentary on every 5minute slice of every Star-Trek episode. Or completely fabricated articles written by maniac zealot trying to push their vision of reality/science/conspiracy theories. Or politically motivated article by people trying to bend and rewrite the "truth" in their own advantage.

We have to find a middle ground between the tendency of editor-dictatorship and complete mess/chaos.

no, I want that (4, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567448)

On the other hand, some rules are still needed to avoid wikipedia being filled with extremely detailed articles written by über-nerds and containing complete commentary on every 5minute slice of every Star-Trek episode.

The chances are pretty slim that I'd ever want Star-Trek trivia, but it's not hurting anybody. That slim chance isn't zero. In case I ever do happen to need such info, where else could I rely on finding it?

Furthermore, somebody clearly thought it was important. If one person thought this, then the chances are pretty decent that at least a few other people would agree.

I am thus deprived of a just barely better wikipedia when you go delete the less important stuff. If I only wanted the important stuff, I could just buy a dead-tree encyclopedia. The unimportant stuff is actually important when you consider the whole.

You're also needlessly pissing off contributers. Maybe that Star-Trek weirdo could also improve an article on something I care more about, but he decides that Wikipedia isn't worth his time because people needlessly destroy the stuff that he most likes to write about. So I miss out on his contributions even if I never would have noticed the Star-Trek stuff.

Re:no, I want that (2, Informative)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567560)

The chances are pretty slim that I'd ever want Star-Trek trivia, but it's not hurting anybody. That slim chance isn't zero. In case I ever do happen to need such info, where else could I rely on finding it?

There are like 8 different Trekkie wikis with different editorial rules. IIRC Memory Alpha is the main one.

Star Trek Wikipedia articles are a good example, because they used to be just of terrible quality, full "some fans believe..." crap and many of them written as if the show was real and not fiction. Since the other wikis have started up, most of the "Star Trek really happened" kooks moved on, and the Wikipedia articles are of much better quality.

There's no real problem with the "trivial" popular culture stuff as long as it meets the standards for every other Wikipedia article. But the point of Wikipedia is not to be the repository for anything that any crazy retard wants to type on the Internet about their favorite TV show. That's what Geocities was for.

Re:no, I want that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30568534)

There's no real problem with the "trivial" popular culture stuff as long as it meets the standards for every other Wikipedia article. But the point of Wikipedia is not to be the repository for anything that any crazy retard wants to type on the Internet about their favorite TV show. That's what Geocities was for.

That's funny, because I consider wikipedia the perfect spot for trivial pop culture stuff. I don't use Wikipedia for actual history, science, and other types of articles. I have books for those. Wikipedia is, in my opinion, best suited as a one-stop shop for popular culture articles. Basically, if I want to know about the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I'll go on Wikipedia. If I want to know about the real pirates of the caribbean, I'll read a book.

Re:no, I want that (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568634)

There are like 8 different Trekkie wikis

And thats your problem right there. The high inclusion barrier in Wikipedia leads to numerous specialized Wikis, which leads to fragmentation of the namespace and needless duplication of work. It also means that there is no sharing of infrastructure, so as a user you need to have new accounts in every Wiki. And of course you have no guarantee that the infrastructure running the special-topic Wiki is as solid as Wikipedia. Its could have a harddisk crash tomorrow and all work could be lost and less well known or small topics won't get their special Wiki to begin with.

Hypertext (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569268)

And thats your problem right there. The high inclusion barrier in Wikipedia leads to numerous specialized Wikis, which leads to fragmentation of the namespace

Fragmentation : huh ? Sorry ? Ever heard of the concept of hypertext ? and hyperlinks ? which are supposed to be the very basis of the Internet ?

Even more so as wikipedia attempts to have tools to make it easy to link to external source for more information. See any cinema related article : You're bound to have a link pointing to Imdb for anyone wanting more details of a movie.

Lots of the wikis are hosted on wikia which provides nice ways to cross-link everything.

and needless duplication of work.

Huh, no. No duplication of work. The point of having specialised wikis, is to have separate different separate contents : a global introduction to the series on Wikipedia and micro-details about everything happening in expanded universe/fannon/what fans think is happening inside their favourite character's head/whatever else

so as a user you need to have new accounts in every Wiki.

Not every wiki. Only a couple of them : for wikipedia, and only for those among the specialised wikis (memory-alpha, wookipedia, l-space, etc.) which pertain a domain you are interested in and want to edit.

In fact, the same criticism could be held against the languages in wikipedia, because each different language is as separate wiki with separate log-in. whereas most people only contribute to a couple of them (out of all the languages, I contribute to english and french and read perhaps 2-3 others).

Unless you are some weird type of geek who is somewhat simultaneously specialised in every type of sub-culture know to humanity, you won't need log-in on every single other wiki.

And of course you have no guarantee that the infrastructure running the special-topic Wiki is as solid as Wikipedia. Its could have a harddisk crash tomorrow and all work could be lost and less well known or small topics won't get their special Wiki to begin with.

What you need here is infrastructure. Like wikia, which incidently *is* founded by Wales, and *does* host a lot of specialised wikis (including the above-mentioned Memory Alpha)

Just don't confuse content (articles in wikipedia) with infrastructure (which provides the failure resilience you're looking for).

Re:Hypertext (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569374)

Fragmentation : huh ? Sorry ? Ever heard of the concept of hypertext ? and hyperlinks ? which are supposed to be the very basis of the Internet ?

Yep, and Wikipedia does not allow them in the core of article, but only as references. Also user accounts, article history, preferences and all that stuff does not transfer over hyperlinks. Also many custom Wikis are for example littered with advertisment, why should I accept that when Wikipedia has more then enough money to host all the custom Wikis around?

No duplication of work.

A lot of articles get duplicated in custom wikis, thus you get lots of duplicated work.

In fact, the same criticism could be held against the languages in wikipedia, because each different language is as separate wiki with separate log-in.

Yes, thats a perfect valid criticism. One that I think was addressed a few month ago (not perfectly, as it didn't provide a good way to resolve name conflicts I think).

Unless you are some weird type of geek who is somewhat simultaneously specialised in every type of sub-culture know to humanity, you won't need log-in on every single other wiki.

You see it from the wrong point of view. The issue is that because I am not a specialist everywhere, that I will not bother to create and account on another Wiki and in turn I might not bother to contribute to that Wiki.

Re:no, I want that (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568700)

The problem with these articles is that it's probably very difficult to verify their authenticity or bring them to any standard of quality (since so few people care about them).

The problem with having a lot of low quality possibly inaccurate articles is that then the whole encyclopedia is considered of questionable quality by readers. After all the average reader doesn't know just how accurate they can expect given article to be so they can only assume it's low quality. As a result in the end no one will even bother reading the encyclopedia because it may all very well be rubbish.

Re:The opposite risk (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567486)

On the other hand, some rules are still needed to avoid wikipedia being filled with extremely detailed articles written by über-nerds and containing complete commentary on every 5minute slice of every Star-Trek episode. Or completely fabricated articles written by maniac zealot trying to push their vision of reality/science/conspiracy theories. Or politically motivated article by people trying to bend and rewrite the "truth" in their own advantage.

Why shouldn't it have that stuff?

We have to find a middle ground between the tendency of editor-dictatorship and complete mess/chaos.

There are tons of good potential middle grounds, but God knows Wikipedia hasn't done shit to implement any of them. It hasn't changed at all, in fact, in years and years-- leading me to believe they don't care about improving the project at all.

"could"? no, "is" (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567610)

Well that's pretty much understandable that people like you are afraid that Wikipedia could get destroyed by idiotic editors with an agenda.

It seems you haven't been paying attention, or you aren't an expert on anything.

Take any subject with fanatical supporters. Except for a few high-profile subjects with fanatical opposition (like Adolph Hitler for example) you will see a positive spin. For example, consider any article about a religeon or any article of the form "XXXXXX rights". The supporters come out in force. It could be that 99.99% of the world disagrees with the article, but they don't have the energy to fight 24x7 over an article that they mostly don't give a damn about.

An example that is thankfully more-or-less resolved is "feral cat". A couple years ago, it was pure positive spin on the idea of having people support large colonies of semi-wild cats. The crazy cat ladies were out in force. Since I last looked at the article it appears to have gotten a bit of attention from ecologists.

Re:"could"? no, "is" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30567748)

This was such a problem on the pedophilia articles that Wales essentially made the executive decision to ban a bunch of the NAMBLA types. There's really no procedural way to handle the lack of neutrality on Wikipedia.

Re:The opposite risk (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568658)

On the other hand, some rules are still needed

That argument misses the issue with the current rules. Most people *do* agree that some rules are needed, thats not what the argument is about. The issue is that the current rules are *far* to strict, even well sourced and well written articles get destroyed due to some arbitary notability criteria.

The rules should be there to keep the junk and vandalism out, the current rules on the other side also keep the good articles out (along with their authors who get pissed off and never contribute again).

Re:the English one is bad enough (4, Insightful)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567542)

I agree with you about notability, for the most part. The original intention of the rule was to get rid of completely pointless articles written by college students about the guys across the hall, and that sort of nonsense. And that's all well and good. But sometimes it's applied too strictly. Breadth of coverage is Wikipedia's greatest strength. Excessively strict notability rules harm that.

The "citation needed" rule has also been applied far too pervasively. Citations *are* needed, but a typical article should have ten or twenty of them, not fifty or a hundred, and there is absolutely no reason to have citations on basic information that anyone educated in the relevant field would be expected to know. When the article says "rap is a style of music that arose in the second half of the twentieth century", there is no need for a citation on that.

However, I feel the opposite way about the original research rule. That one needs to be enforced more consistently. There are entire articles that are nothing more than the random musings of a couple of editors, with no meaningful citations at all. Occasionally such articles have even been featured on the front page (e.g., the Terraforming of Mars article). Such articles ought to be deleted so that a proper article on the topic can be created without bumping into namespace collisions.

Re:the English one is bad enough (2, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568200)

When the article says "rap is a style of music that arose in the second half of the twentieth century", there is no need for a citation on that.

Since some people may not believe that this is a real example, let me cite it for you: --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rap#cite_note-21 [wikipedia.org]

No need to thank me. I'm the citation fairy. I aim to please. Please go on.

Re:the English one is bad enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30569168)

You're assuming here that rap actually did start in the second half of the twentieth century. This is non-obvious
to me (how do I know it didn't start in the 30s?) and therefore a citation is justified. I'll agree that 'rap is a style of
music' can probably go without one, but it's not clear-cut where to draw the line in what is 'obvious'.

Re:the English one is bad enough (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569408)

(Can you bump into a collision?)

Citations are provided as footnotes, and as such are completely unobtrusive. I don't agree that you raise the quality of something by adding loads of pointless articles about non-entities. Wikipedia isn't designed to be a receptacle for every last fact. Personally I believe that once a certain number of articles of given quality exist there the bar should be raised much higher in terms of addition and change, to maintain quality. It's always going to be more damaging to have mistakes and vandalism then to omit articles about non-entities.

Re:the English one is bad enough (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569578)

quite I few years ago i tried to create an article about a smallish youth organisation 18 Plus (similar to rotoract the youth arm of rotary)i was a member of in the 70/80's as a life member and the organiser of one of the 3 national events i have a lot of knowledge about. But some little tossers (none of whom wheer frm the UK) kept deleting it as not not worthy or no suporting information , like its likly that the records of the carnige foundation (the founders of 18 Plus) from the late 30's are online.

Re:the English one is bad enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30569874)

However, I feel the opposite way about the original research rule. That one needs to be enforced more consistently. There are entire articles that are nothing more than the random musings of a couple of editors, with no meaningful citations at all. Occasionally such articles have even been featured on the front page (e.g., the Terraforming of Mars article). Such articles ought to be deleted so that a proper article on the topic can be created without bumping into namespace collisions.

I really agree with the rest of what you wrote, but this isn't correct.

Don't delete them, improve them.

In fact, featuring them in "Did you know" is a good way of drawing in more eyeballs and making sure they WILL be improved.

Re:the English one is bad enough (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30570792)

Who told you rap was "music". It's just a bunch of figetty niggers who can't sing, so they talk their way through the lyrics while waving their hands around and pointing at things.

Re:the English one is bad enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30573090)

What's wrong with pointless articles written by college students about the guys across the hall? They do no harm, and one day the guy might be famous, so there is potential future interest.

Request for deletion (2, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567168)

Interestingly, there is a request for deletion on the millionth article.

And by interestingly, you mean unsurprisingly.

Another 662k articles (5, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567248)

They could add another 662k articles if they would simple annex pl.wikipedia.org

Re:Another 662k articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30568492)

Hats off to you, sir. You made my day!

by the way, quality... (2, Informative)

itedo (845220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567958)

I'm not contributing to Wikipedia, I'm just an user, so I cannot judge their deletion policies.

Though, I would like to criticize the statement

"Quality though, is often considered to be higher on the German Wikipedia."

Quality is not measurable directly. It's just a subjective thing. If you find quickly the right information for you - the quality is good. If you don't find it - you try somewhere else. In this case, your personal quality standards haven't been satisfied.

This is where the deletion policies come into. Now if they tell "We take quality over quantity" - it's OK. But this isn't the case. Most articles are poorly translated from english to german; if you browse for some biographies (let's say Jimmy Page for example), there isn't even a terminology (missing the eye-catching information).
Or even browsing the periodical table of the chemical elements - you get some information, but it isn't presented well. I'd rather like 750k high-quality written articles than >2M poor transcriptions from en.wikipedia.org or somewhere else from the www. That's where de.wikipedia.org is right now. They cannot meet they own quality standards, whatever that means. One day, they will understand...

Even if they don't have that much contributors like en.wikipedia.org - they are doing a good job (ok, at least they are trying).

As a student of physics, I prefer a thing called "book" or "paper" to be my primary source of solid knowledge (OK, not always but mostly). Considering Wikipedia in a scientific work, it is just fine if you need "quick and unimportant" information to verify something, because you cannot always attach validity to such a dynamic source.

nope (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569560)

Most articles are poorly translated from english to german

WTF? Do you have any idea what you are talking about? I'm a sysop and oversight in the German Wikipedia and I'm telling you that only a tiny percentage of all articles are translated from English to German. Just look at the import log [wikipedia.org] (which tracks imports for translation from _all_ languages) and keep in mind that every day hundreds of articles are written. The vast majority of them are written from scratch, perhaps some authors look at other Wikipedia articles for reference, but in general, translations are the exception.

Re:nope (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569894)

I'm telling you that only a tiny percentage of all articles are translated from English to German. Just look at the import log (which tracks imports for translation from _all_ languages)

If I were to sit down and translate an article using the vocabulary in my head and a dictionary, how the hell would that appear in your precious log? Is it fucking magic or something?

The fact that a twat like you can be a grand level 20 poo-bah or whatever is the problem with shittypedia.

Re:by the way, quality... (1)

hicksw (716194) | more than 4 years ago | (#30571724)

Quality is not measurable directly. It's just a subjective thing

Higher MTBF, lower MTTR. Do the numbers. Objectively, the German version is better.

"Better quality" is a cheat! (5, Insightful)

SlothDead (1251206) | more than 4 years ago | (#30568740)

Yes, the German Wikipedia has a better quality on average, but that comes to no surprise, given that every not perfect arcticle and all articles about things the admins haven't heard of (video games, minor Star Wars characters etc.) are deleted almost instantly.
And I guess that the English Wikipedia has as much, if not more, high quality articles than the German Wikipedia. The fact that the English Wikipedia allows medium quality articles to stay should not be considered a bad thing, I mean, who cares about the average quality? A medium quality article is still better than none at all (IMHO).

I'm German, but I usually check the English Wikipedia first because I got tired of the procedure "Check German Wikipedia -> Be disappointed to find that the article has been deleted -> Read the English article instead"

(Because of the "delete everything you don't find interesting" policy, some people have created "Wikibay", the encyclopedia where everything is considered relevant, as long as it's sourced etc. click here for German Wikibay [wikibay.org])

the different wikipedias (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30570434)

every wikipedia can have somewhat different rules, seems, and the german one is taken over by the deletionism party and the anti-stubs party. If you create new articles in the German wikipedia, odds are that these articles will be removed prior to then to grow enough to have enough citations, notability, etc.. IMHO, the people that drive this style don't "GET" the idea of a wiki. But maybe is me, sure... is me.

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