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Co-Founder Forks Wikipedia

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the brand-new-old-ideas dept.

382

tmk writes "Larry Sanger, first editor-in-chief of Wikipedia, plans to fork the project. In Berlin he announced the start of Citizendium — the citizen's compendium. Main differences: no anonymous editing, and experts will rule the project. Members of Wikipedia were not amused."

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382 comments

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Hmm (3, Informative)

Demanche (587815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120310)

Too bad the second link is not english - I can hardly rtfa ;)

Re:Hmm (3, Funny)

SigILL (6475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120317)

Too bad the second link is not english - I can hardly rtfa ;)

You must be new here...

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120443)

What's up with the "you must be new here" remarks?
I see that sprayed around on every f'in discussion....

Re:Hmm (4, Funny)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120513)

You must be new here. ;)

Re:Hmm (3, Informative)

dr_turgeon (469852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120519)

You must be _really_ new here. [teehee]

Seriously, it's a form of self-deprecation. Slashdotters are chagrin about themselves often posting without reading the f'in article. The GP (grandparent post) is somewhat humorously stating "Few of us actually read the articles before sounding-off. So why would the article being in German (or some other wacky language) be a problem???"

--Bitte schön

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

Demanche (587815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120329)

Re:Hmm (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120364)

Oh well, *now* I understand it. Thanks!

Re:Hmm (2, Funny)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120339)

I used the Google translation tool [google.com] to read the last link. The translation is actually almost readable. Some funny quotes:

"The project is not much too much the Amateurhaftigkeit" (said by Sanger)

"Wikipedia is today one of the 20 to most called web pages in the Internet, over five million article in over 100 languages the unpaid Freiwilligen already gathered."

As for the last line in the summary, of course they aren't 'amused'. But, a fork is legal, and legitimate. We'll see how it turns out.

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

Lord Prox (521892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120437)

They can be "Not Amused" all they like... A second point of reference can only be a good thing. Especially for topics like nuclear power. I have noticed how everyone becomes an expert as soon as the topic of "melt downs" or "nuclear power" comes up. Their fields of instant expertise vary from nuclear physics to statistics to medicine to environmental engineering to genetics.

Having an Wikipedia alternative where a real (I hope) expert watches entries like this and provides good solid data and knuckle draggers are not allowed to correct the "expert" with pop culture bullsh1t can only be a good thing.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the Wiki... I just don't understand why the bad vibes.



$diety bless Wikipedia [i-bless.com]

once again "openness" fails (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120368)

yet another example of "open" failing....

Re:once again "openness" fails (5, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120404)

yet another example of "open" failing....

Completely the opposite. The openness allows someone with a "better idea", yet to be proven, to attempt to prove it better, without having to start from scratch.

Re:once again "openness" fails (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120425)

Um, no. Yet another example of "open" creating choice for us. One or the other may become the most popular choice for people looking for information, but that's their problem. For us users, it's all good.

Re:Hmm (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120370)

Im year 2001 helped to lift Larry Sanger the free on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia from the cradle. To the conference "Wizards OF OS" in Berlin he presented now a competition project: The "Citizendium" should be more reliable and more correct than the large model.

The free on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia is a success project: Straight ago times Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger drew up the web page, in which each InterNet user could take part - in illusory hope to five years that from the web page an encyclopedia would become. The illusion fulfilled itself to a large extent: Wikipedia is today one of the 20 to most called web pages in the InterNet, over five million article in over 100 languages the unpaid freiwilligen already gathered.

More to the topic

Web 2,0 - fear of the Dotcom blister
Wikiversity - Wiki starts virtual university

But Larry Sanger does not hand that. He sees the Wikipedia only as prototype to its that can be achieved. "I am still a large fan of the Wikipedia", insure Sanger, "however starting from a certain point must one the courage have a new project to start." Its criticism to the Wikipedia: The project is not much too much the Amateurhaftigkeit arrested, for expert a place. Sanger knows, about which he speaks: He was the first editor-in-chief of the Wikipedia, separated however in the controversy from the project.

Discussion around contents

The question of the quality of the Wikipedia articles is intensified discussed in the last months: The projectproject project cut last yearly off with a comparison of the science magazine "Nature" end only little more badly than the traditional Encyclopaedia Britannica. But in the past months Wikipedia head Jimmy Wales had deplored the quality of contents ever more frequently.

Reason were among other things several breakdowns. Thus a fun bird provided in the past year for a scandal, when it had angedichtet the outstanding US journalist John Seigenthaler an entangling into the murder John F. Kennedys - over months the lie stood undiscovered in the Wikipedia. And also in the US election campaign Wikipedia provides always times again for headlines: Thus for instance US politicians tried to blacken their opponents by Wikipedia articles - or the own Biografie to beautiful.

Race with the Wikipedia

Wales wants to against-steer. In the past months it recruits increased the participation of scientists in the free encyclopedia. But the efforts step on the place. Since of Wales to months announces the mechanism "more stably" article versions, which should be more reliable than normal articles. The conversion takes time however. First experiments are to begin end of the yearly in the German-language Wikipedia.

Sanger gives itself optimistically that he can achieve the goal rather as his former employer: "I point them, as one make", said Sanger to Berlin.

Expert instead of amateurs

Substantial difference to the Wikipedia: It will give no anonymous cooperation in the new project. Each participant is to announce itself with his material name - with the Wikipedia does not usually even have one to announce oneself, in order to along-attribute at the articles.

A further difference: Sanger wants to recruit more authority in its on-line encyclopedia intensified experts, them give. Qualified editors are to clarify questions obligatorily, while in the Wikipedia some discussions and disputes across months and years are led.

"a doctor title is not necessary, over with Citizendium as an expert to be recognized", says Sanger. In addition, the title alone is not sufficient, in order to get the privileged status as an expert. Who wants to apply as an expert in the Citizendium, must on its user side a personal record deposit. In addition, without special qualifications one is to be able to write articles.

Financing still unclearly

As exactly the project wants to finance itself, is still unclear. Sanger expects potent sponsors. It had already angeheuert years ago with the project "digitally university verses" of the US millionaire Joe Firmage. A Wikipedia competition is provided also there by experts. However the 200 authors did not gather so far only 1000 articles according to Sangers data - serious competition for the Wikipedia.

For its new project, the end of the monthly on-line to go is to access, wants Sanger now Wikipedia contents. Since all Wikipedia articles stand under a free license, everyone can use the work of the Wikipedianer free of charge in own projects. Only condition: The results must even again under the free license stand and the original authors to have to be called. This intends also Sanger.

Little enthusiasm with Wikipedia

Much approval Sanger might not encounter with the Wikipedianern. Thus Martin Haase, member of the board of the responsible association Wikimedia Germany showed up enthusiastically by the project suggestion Sangers a little. "if it means that Wikipedia does not function, can it it gladly try to make it better. I do not believe however that its project will function."

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120473)

Too bad the second link is not english - I can hardly rtfa ;)

Oh like you'd read it anyway!

Re:Hmm (5, Funny)

jalet (36114) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120496)

At least it's clear they are angry : they wrote all this in German !

Wizards of OS?? More translation fun! (1)

Slithe (894946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120668)

From Google Translate [google.com] :

In the year 2001 Larry Sanger helped to lift the free on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia from the cradle. To the conference "he presented now a competition project to Wizards OF OS "in Berlin: "The Citizendium "should be more reliable and more correct than the large model.
The free on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia is a success project: Straight ago times Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger drew up the web page, in which each Internet user could take part - in illusory hope to five years that from the web page an encyclopedia would become.

no anonymous editing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120313)

I hate Anonymous Cowards!

Re:no anonymous editing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120365)

This self-hatred bodes well for your career in mainstream media.
  • Do you feel excessive guilt over atrocities committed by your ancestors?
  • Do you insist on rooting for the "underdog", even if the underdog is a vile cretin?
  • Do you esteem endless gumflapping over action in foreign policy?
  • Do you place religious levels of faith in bureaucratic entities to wield the power of policy, process, and programs to make the world a safely padded place?
Our invertebrate media overlords welcome you.
RLYAH! IA! CTHULHU! F'TAGN!

Sprachen sie Deutsche? (5, Funny)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120314)

Wikipedia members were not amused... ... and neither were Slashdot readers who don't speak German!

Re:Sprachen sie Deutsche? (0)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120382)

Especially when it's "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?"

Unless you really meant "Sprachen Sie Deutsch?" - Did you speak german (at one time)?

Re:Sprachen sie Deutsche? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120517)

Or maybe "Sprachen sie Deutsch?" - Did *they* speak German (in the past)?

Re:Sprachen sie Deutsche? (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120619)

GrammatikNazi?

Sie mussen neu hier sein, oder?

That's not true.... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120398)

I'm a Wikipedia member, and I'm amused. I'm very amused. Have lots of fun over there, Larry-boy! Three cheers if you make it work, but, haha, we'll see if it goes the way of Nupedia, eh?

Re:That's not true.... (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120421)

Nupedia was the Newton.
Now that Wikipedia has put the PDA market in the palm of everyone's hand,
someone with clout can come along and try to make it a trio of products.

Nupedia (5, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120592)

haha, we'll see if it goes the way of Nupedia, eh?
I tried working on Nupedia for a while, and got fairly far through the process of writing an article before giving up on it. After that, I spent several years as a Wikipedia editor. This new project seems to fix some problems with Nupedia, while failing to fix others. It also seems to fix some problems with Wikipedia.

One problem with Nupedia was that articles were written by experts, but reviewed by non-experts. For example, I have a PhD in physics, and teach the subject for a living, but my article on physics was endlessly wrangled over by people who weren't physicists. Most of them were reasonable people, and made good comments; some weren't. The design of Citizendium seems to address this point by envisioning a community of experts on each topic, although it's not clear to me that they'll be able to attract the necessary number of people to have multiple experts per topic. It's also good that he states that everybody will be expected to give their real name, and a CV; in Nupedia, it was really annoying to have to deal with people who were set up as gate-keepers, but didn't give real names, and didn't seem to have any evident expertise.

A major problem with Nupedia was that the browser-based software didn't work, so everything was basically done via e-mail, and that was very clumsy and time-consuming. Sanger seems to be starting off Citizendium with exactly the same problem, and, as before, he seems to have no real plan as to how to solve the problem, except to hope that it will fix itself. It remains to be seen whether Citizendium will attract programmers with enough spare man-hours to volunteer to create the software; it doesn't seem like the kind of project that would be exciting to most OSS programmer types, but I could be wrong.

Citizendium's design does seem to address what I consider the main problems with Wikipedia: disorganized, low-quality edits by well-intentioned people. The design of Wikipedia basically wastes huge amounts of time. Most articles gradually rise to a certain level of quality, and then the pioneers lose interest in the topic because there's not much left to be done. After that, the article gradually decays in quality. You'll get hundreds of edits on an article, but the diff between the beginning and the ending version can be zero. The current system basically requires serious editors to have huge watch-lists, and check them vigilantly to keep entropy from having its way. That's no fun, and it's the reason why, after several years of heavy participation, I gave up on WP.

Re:Sprachen sie Deutsche? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120511)

aber für WikiGrammarNazis, Perfekt!

Re:Sprachen sie Deutsche? (5, Informative)

mindriot (96208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120599)

Here you go:

Wikipedia Founder plans Competing Project

In 2001, Larry Sanger helped creating the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Now, at the conference "Wizards of OS" in Berlin, he presented a competing project: The "Citizendium" is to be more reliable and correct than its great role model.

The free online encyclopedia Wikipedia is a success: Only five years ago, Jimmy Wales and Lartry Sanger set up the website that every Internet user could contribute to - in the illusory hope that the website would turn into an encyclopedia. This illusion has for the most part come true: Today, Wikipedia is among the 20 most visited websites on the Internet. More than five million articles in over a hundred languages have already been accumulated by unpaid volunteers.

But that isn't enough for Larry Sanger. He sees Wikipedia only as a prototype of what could be accomplished. "I am still a great fan of Wikipedia," Sanger ensures, "but at some point one has to have the courage to start a new project." He criticizes Wikipedia because in his eyes, the project is too focused on amateurism, leaving no room for experts. Sanger knows what he is talking about: He was the first editor-in-chief of Wikipedia but left the project after disputes.

Dispute Over Contents

In the recent months, the question of quality of the Wikipedia articles has come under discussion more and more: Indeed, the volunteer project was considered only marginally worse than the old Encyclopedia Britannica in a comparison in the science magazine "Nature" at the end of last year. But in the recent months, Wikipedia leader Jimmy Wales complained about the quality of its content more and more often.

Among the reasons were several mishaps. Last year, a jokester created a scandal when he implied the esteemed US journalist John Seigenthaler as being involved in the murder of John F. Kennedy - for several months, the lie could be read in Wikipedia, undiscovered. Similarly, Wikipedia made the headlines on several occasions during US election campaigns: US politicians tried to denigrate their opponents in their Wikipedia articles, or to make their own biographies look better.

A Race Against Wikipedia

Wales is trying to counteract these developments. In the past months he has been increasedly campaigning for the involvement of scientists in the encyclopedia. But these efforts have stagnated. For months, Wales has been announcing the creation of "stable" article versions which should be more reliable than normal articles. The implementation is still not there. At the end of this year, initial experiments are set to start in the German Wikipedia.

Sanger acts optimistic about reaching the goal earlier than his former employer: "I will show them how to do this," Sanger said in Berlin.

Experts Instead of Amateurs

The main difference to Wikipedia: There will be no anonymous contributions in the new project. Every participant is expected to sign up with their real name - in Wikipedia one usually does not even have to sign up to help writing articles.

Another difference: Sanger wants to spend more time campaigning for experts in his online encyclopedia and give them more authority. Qualified editors are to decide authoritatively on open questions while in Wikipedia, some discussions and disputes last for months or even years.

"You don't need a PhD to be accepted as an expert in Citizendium," Sanger says. On the other hand, the title alone does not suffice to attain the privileged Expert status. Whoever wants to apply for an Expert position in the Citizendium needs to present a resume on his user page. But people will be able to write articles even without special qualifications.

Funding Still Unclear

It is still unclear how exactly the project aims to obtain funding. Sanger is counting on potent sponsors. Years ago he had been hired for US millionaire Joe Firmage's "Digital Universe" project which also aims to compete against Wikipedia with an encyclopedia built by experts. But according to Sanger, the 200 authors there have accumulated only 1,000 articles - far from being serious competition for Wikipedia.

For his new project, expected to go online by the end of this month, Sanger wants to use Wikipedia content. Since all Wikipedia articles are under a free license, everyone can use the work in their own projects for free. The only condition: The results in turn have to be released under the same license, and the original authors have to be mentioned. Sanger plans to support this.

Little Enthusiasm at Wikipedia

Sanger can not expect too much approval from the Wikipedians. Martin Haase, board member of the association Wikimedia Germany, was not very enthusiastic about Sangers' project proposal. "If he thinks Wikipedia does not work he can try to do it better if he wants. But I don't think his project is going to work."

Re:Sprachen sie Deutsche? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120602)

pathetic, that slashdot readers don't know how to use translation tools!

Re:Sprachen sie Deutsche? (1)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120641)

So does this mean that slashdotters who don't speak german and didn't read the article were still amused?

Not a wiki? (5, Informative)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120316)

So, it's not really a fork of Wikipedia, because it's not really a wiki anymore. It's just...a controlled community database.

Re:Not a wiki? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120461)

So, it's not really a fork of Wikipedia, because it's not really a wiki anymore. It's just...a controlled community database.
Says who? Let's examine how Wikipedia defines 'wiki':

"A wiki (IPA: [w.ki] or [wi.ki] [1]) is a type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration."

Funny, but the option for registration of authors is clearly part of the defintion. Nowhere else in the article is it claimed that any crackpot who wants to register should be allowed to do so.

Re:Not a wiki? (1)

cerelib (903469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120637)

The key part of that definition that you are glossing over is the "visitors" part. Sure, you can have some restrictions on just anybody coming in and editing, but the Citizendium idea sounds like there is a clear separation between visitors and content creators. That is what, in my opinion, makes it not a wiki.

of course it's a wiki (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120667)

Unless you want to go all RMS on us and redefine "wiki" to mean "completely open and always editable by any user and IP address". But that's never been what it meant. But by that kind of standard even Wikipedia wouldn't be a wiki.

Perhaps you should instead use a new term for that model. Free and Unrestricted Content -Ki?

All I can say is... (0, Redundant)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120320)

Ich ain' lesend t alle jene Scheiße!

Re:All I can say is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120569)

I studied German at school for 5 years. Yet all I understand of that is the first and last word..

Nupedia? (1)

RobertF (892444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120321)

So then, they are recreating Nupedia?

But... (4, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120326)

... what will teh Interweb do?
Until now, Wikipedia was the first and last linke of research, and dismissed because it wasn't done by experts.

How will people now dismis this Citizendium?

Won't anyone think of the flamers?

Seriously, it can't be bad.
Another source is always a good thing.

Re:But... (2, Interesting)

MuNansen (833037) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120360)

"Another source is always a good thing." Agreed. We've got the traditional encyclopedias on one end, and wikipedia on the other. Now we can go a bit in the middle and see what comes of it. I like the idea. Admittedly, though, I am a bit of a technocrat.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120607)

Another source is always a good thing.

Except it's not just a source, but a sink: how many potential Wikipedians will go be Citizendiums(?) instead, and give up on Wikipedia?

Re:But... (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120626)

If they're truly admitting only experts, not too many.

Strange logic (5, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120333)

Looking at the concept (starting with a 1:1 mirror of wikipedia, adding all new articles from wikipedia, mirroring wikipedia changes in imported articles that havent been changed locally) it makes no sense.

if the current base is really so bad and unreliable as he makes it look, this will result in taking over everything bad but shutting out the broad mass of eyes that could spot a error and correct it.

Even worse, seeing the much lower editor/article ratio, i cannot see how he thinks to ever archive some kind of quality census. A random article browsed there will be with a very high likelyhood just a copy of the wiki article. So trying to get people to think its more reliable (and thus view it with less suspicion/ less "thinking") is a bit like cheating the user.

Re:Strange logic (4, Interesting)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120380)

I agree that a mirror is a bad idea. Start over and appeal to experts from the start. While the amount of content would be dramatically less, the quality should be much higher.

I don't contribute to Wikipedia as an expert simply because I don't want my edits to compete with wanna-be experts. Why should some bored 17-year-old be able to, without evidence, revert one of my changes? The edit process on Wikipedia seems to revolve around number of edits, too, and general popularity. If someone has edited 1,000 articles that doesn't make them more qualified to edit an article that is covered by my field of expertise just because it is my account's first edit.

I hope this new resource will keep editors and contributors separate. Let the experts contribute as much as they can and let the editors sort out how to present it.

Scholarpedia (5, Informative)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120403)

Maybe you could call it Scholarpedia [scholarpedia.org] ?

Re:Scholarpedia (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120633)

The information on Scholarpedia is not free in the GNU sense. Since this sort of free content was from the beginning the main goal of Wikipedia (and of Nupedia before), and I guess is also a goal of the new Citizendium, Scholarpedia, as interesting as it is, cannot be a replacement.
Note that freedom in the GNU sense is orthogonal to the "Wiki freedom" of anyone being able to edit in-place. Free Software projects are usually handled in a very "unwiki" way. OTOH, "true" Wikis can have a very restrictive license.

Also, split it into categories. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120447)

Someone who edits 1,000 articles about comic book characters may be an "expert" in that category.

But that same person may have only limited "knowledge" of world history or any of the hard sciences.

The problem is how to identify the "experts" as opposed to some bored school kid.

Re:Strange logic (2, Interesting)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120527)

I don't contribute to Wikipedia as an expert simply because I don't want my edits to compete with wanna-be experts. Why should some bored 17-year-old be able to, without evidence, revert one of my changes? The edit process on Wikipedia seems to revolve around number of edits, too, and general popularity.

If you back your edits with references, I'm sure you can beat anyone else. Being myself a Ph.D. student and a Wikipedia contributor, I can affirm that there's noise from "wanna-be" experts, sure, but good edits usually make their way,sooner or later, expecially if you're backed up by sources (something quite harder for a "wanna-be").

Let the users see both and choose. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120572)

It seems like both the Wiki-approach and the "scholar"-based approach have their merits. However it's tough or impossible to combine the two approaches in one project. As you point out, it would be frustrating to spend your time writing an article you know to be true, and have some 'idiot' revert it; however it would also be frustrating to have an article which represents a wide body of consensus opinion thrown away because one self-described "expert" disagreed.

These things need to be done separately. What I think would be optimal is a open-to-the-public Wikipedia, and a more selective Expertpedia; the latter would require articles to be written with real names or at least authenticated psuedonyms attached, and would check credentials, etc.

Then I think I would leave it for the market to develop resources which combine the two things. Although I don't like the site because of its hideous number of advertisements, a frontend like Answers.com is an example of how a site could take content from both places and combine it. If you searched for "nuclear power," you'd see both articles; the one from Wikipedia representing a sort of hive-mind concensus on the issue, and then various articles written by experts, each of which might have a distinct flavor and opinion.

Trying to incorporate experts into Wikipedia is a mistake -- having that sort of hierarchy destroys its purpose and community spirit; alternately, allowing public editing of articles written by true subject-matter experts would be obnoxious. Both types of information have their place, and assuming they're shared freely, others can provide the front-ends which allow an end user to pick which approach they'd like to use in a particular situation.

Sometimes you want the Wiki viewpoint, other times you might want more opinionated, authoritative sources; it all depends. The user should be presented with options and allowed to choose.

Re:Strange logic (4, Insightful)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120407)

"""
Looking at the concept (starting with a 1:1 mirror of wikipedia, adding all new articles from wikipedia, mirroring wikipedia changes in imported articles that havent been changed locally) it makes no sense.
"""

This is true, IF this is the way that they first launch it. If they are smart, they'll snag and fix (a lot of it if not all), then launch.

"""
but shutting out the broad mass of eyes that could spot a error and correct it.
"""

I think you're missing the point. That being that it _is_ the broad mass of eyes that have produced that peice of crap in the first place. I cannot tell you how many articles I've found on wikipedia that are completely full of crap. And since I don't have the time to sit around and watch for when someone comes along and changes it back or to something equally false, the few that actually know something can't make things right.

"""
Even worse, seeing the much lower editor/article ratio, i cannot see how he thinks to ever archive some kind of quality census.
"""

1) The editing ratio is moot if things are correct.

2) Experts of a field can output quality much more readily than non-experts. So, who cares if fewer people are looking at it? The people that _are_ looking at it actually know something.

"""
So trying to get people to think its more reliable (and thus view it with less suspicion/ less "thinking") is a bit like cheating the user.
"""

1) It is/will be more reliable b/c experts will be going through and fixing the errors.

2) People (in general) do NOT go through the wikipedia with suspicion but take it as absolute fact. Furthermore, wikipedia is do little if anything to change this perception. So, it isn't really this guy who is/will be cheating the user, but wikipedia. It is this guy that's making moves to _fix the problem_.

Re:Strange logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120483)

Looking at the concept (starting with a 1:1 mirror of wikipedia, adding all new articles from wikipedia, mirroring wikipedia changes in imported articles that havent been changed locally) it makes no sense.

Off course it does.

It's an attempt at a STABLE branch. Any article that's been edited/vetted will not be overwritten by new Wikipedia data. All other articles will continously be updated from their original source, i.e. will contain the latest information once an editor starts his work.

The only weird thing is that it's a branch by a third party, it could (and imnsho should) have been done by Wikipedia itself.

Re:Strange logic (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120524)

I believe you have chosen to ignore the benefits, due to some bias toward Wikipedia.

Starting with the articles that people have put effort into viewing and correcting in the past, you have overcome the main hurdle of a resource intelligencia - practicality. Why not start with the subjects that you know people want to know about (and care about) rather than trying to guess what human knowledge is important to chronicle, first? Because you rather defend the mess that is Wikipedia, I guess.

Re:Strange logic (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120526)

It makes sense if you want to improve over something instead of starting from zero.

Re:Strange logic (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120536)

if the current [Wikipedia article] base is really so bad and unreliable as he makes it look, this will result in taking over everything bad but shutting out the broad mass of eyes that could spot a error and correct it.

You are missing the point - which is that, despite the broad mass of eyes, errors aren't being fixed in the Wikipedia.
 
 
So trying to get people to think its more reliable (and thus view it with less suspicion/ less "thinking") is a bit like cheating the user.

And the Wikipedia's two faced attitude isn't cheating the user?
  • Face #1 - We are building a repository of human knowledge to replace traditional encyclopedias.
  • Face #2 - (which replaces Face #1 whenever Wikipedia is criticized) - We shouldn't actually be trusted, after all we aren't actually an encyclopedia.

A note on Face #1 - Even the Wikipedia itself realizes the level of crap they've engendered. They have a specialized team filtering through the Wikipedia to locate and select articles suitable for 'public release'.

Re: Strange logic (1)

klenwell (960296) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120651)

I think this is a fascinating idea and a great experiment. It will be interesting to look back in a year or so and compare the differences between the two projects.

I expect the two sites will invite a lot of analysis comparing them to each other. How long before comparipedia.org? Scholars and educators can pick a basket full of major articles of general interest and compare and comment on the two. And it will certainly put James Surowiecki's Wisdom of Crowds thesis to the test.

Personally, I predict in two years, if citizendium hasn't already withered on the vine, I'll still be using wikipedia as my online wiki encyclopedia of choice. Not because of any great loyalty to it (though I have made couple contributions) but because it will be the more useful of the two. And it seems pretty obvious that most of all the most informed contributions to citizendium will be incorporated back into the wikipedia.

Finally! (2, Insightful)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120334)

There's no problem in having two free encyclopedias on the web and I want the option of having a moderated, somewhat accountable one. Wikipedia is just not reliable enough for certain topics.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120381)

Absolutely agree. The No Point of View and Consensus voting, as practiced at Wikipedia, in fact means that controversial subjects are not adequately covered and dumbs-down the article to the level required to achieve consensus (Groupthink).

To me, it's more important to have expert authors' with their Points of View explicitly available. In fact the biggest contribution would be a way of aggregating info about the authors to understand their POV. Perhaps this is where consensus voting has a place, as one attribute describing the author.

Re:Finally! (1)

dr_turgeon (469852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120669)

Those are some mighty bold ideas:
Accountability, Reputation, Expert Authors....

I like it.
Thank you, Anonymous Coward!

So? (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120336)

Other than the usual "intellectual property" considerations of making a copy of the some of the images/other data currently in Wikipedia, what's the big deal with someone forking it for any reason?

The guy isn't using the information to crush opposing opinions, he's just offering a different filter, without destroying the original. That's creative, additive, not destructive. There are a lot of definitions of freedom - some of them involve having the capability to make informed decisions. It looks at the offset that having this new Wikipedia fork will increase at least that kind of freedom, rather than subtract anyone's freedoms.

Ryan Fenton

why should anyone care? that's the internet! (1)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120338)

That's the whole spirit of the internet. Do what you want and if people find it of value, they will contribute. Otherwise it will lie by the wayside. Let him do it. Why should wikipedia or anyone else "not be amused"? It's exactly like Linux, if you don't like a particular distribution, then fork it and make your own. The Internet is Darwinism at its finest, if wikipedia is all that it thinks it is, it will survive, and it won't need union or monopoly mentality to do it... people will just congregate to it naturally because it is "selected for".

Re:why should anyone care? that's the internet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120439)

Darwinism only works on documents covered by the GNU General Public License, GNU Free Documentation License, or other Free/Open Source licenses. Not the Internet in general.

Translation to English (0, Redundant)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120343)

Not a fair comment in the summary. (5, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120351)

Germans are never amused.

Re:Not a fair comment in the summary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120501)

Actually they think the french are quite humorous.

Re:Not a fair comment in the summary. (1)

amper (33785) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120558)

Oh, really? Then explain this [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:Not a fair comment in the summary. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120654)

Look, my wife was born in Germany. And we she saw that I was sitting on a Saturday morning commenting on slashdot, she was not amused. Especially when she realized I was cracking on Germans. QED, or close to it. I believe she said something along the lines of, "If you're trying to make a humorous point, how about I just put one your head with that iron pot. You know, the one I use for Hasenpfeffer. Idiot." Or something similarly nuanced, and softened by years of süsse, leichte Verbindung.

This will be oddly amusing (2, Interesting)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120354)

Edit wars are going to take on a whole new meaning.

Wikipedia has gained a reputation for being a somewhat less than reputable source of information, due to edit wars, vandalism, and outright inaccuracies. But the intent is unquestionably been good, and while not a perfect source of information, for all non research uses, its usually good enough. And the way that the information is not controled by any one interest is seen as being good in that it prevents censorship.

Forking the project will cause alot of noise and debate, but in the end, I think the final result wont have any great signifigance. Forked or not, Wikipedia is probably not going to disappear.

END COMMUNICATION

Who decides who is an expert? (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120373)

If it's a reputation or moderation system, it might not be bad.

However, experts have also known to be wrong. In the sciences, there are great debates. Einstein turned the world upside down afterall, and none of the previous experts would have had it right. In history, there are debates, and theories that are hotly contested - such as the thought that Egypt didn't have iron tools to make the pyramids, even though iron has been found in the great pyramid insitu (in place).

And different experts have different biases.

How will different viewpoints get across? In the wiki, at least, as an informed user, I can look up the discussions and history of pages. I don't have to depend that the latest page is 100% correct nor do I expect it to me.

It seems to me that any furhter chase for perfection is like chasing a rainbow for that pot of gold.

Re:Who decides who is an expert? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120469)

Einstein turned the world upside down
A bigger debate than even that was phlogiston versus oxygen.
Egypt didn't have iron tools to make the pyramids
The pyramids were built by Jaffa with naqadah, duh.

Re:Who decides who is an expert? (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120530)

People on wikipedia will erase the original and place their views - I would expect an expert to respect another experts view and add his own view after the original

Re:Who decides who is an expert? (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120663)

People on wikipedia will erase the original and place their views - I would expect an expert to respect another experts view and add his own view after the original

Wha..? You've never actually worked in academia, have you?

Re:Who decides who is an expert? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120557)

However, experts have also known to be wrong.

Wikipedia is not meant to present "true" information. It's meant to present sourced information. To seek to portray something in a way contrary to published scholarship is considered original research, see the Wikipedia page at [[WP:NOR]]. Experts, however, at least know something of the bibliography of their subject. Preparing a doctoral thesis consists in discovering thousands of publications that can be used to support an assertion. Experts are also aware that contemporary peer-reviewed, formally published research is an appropriate citation, while on Wikipedia just to give one recent example Hindu nationalists have been trying to use the mythical Mahabharata (something like the Indian Iliad) to back up historical assertions on Sanskrit-related articles.

Re:Who decides who is an expert? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120597)

How will different viewpoints get across? In the wiki, at least, as an informed user, I can look up the discussions and history of pages. I don't have to depend that the latest page is 100% correct nor do I expect it to me.

The widespread belief that you can judge the accuracy and completness of a Wikipedia article by edits or discussion is nonsense.
 
Reviewing the discussion page assumes that the folks taking part in the discussions themselves have a real clue about the topic under discussion. I know of at least one page, on a topic where I am an expert, where the discussion page is huge (covering many topics), yet the page is utter bilge - filled with errors from top to bottom. Yes, I've tried to fix it - but eventually got tired of trying to maintain it in the face of a flood of 'experts'.
 
The same goes for the history page - all that tells you is that the page has been edited and by whom at which time. I know of completely correct pages with just a handful of edits (over a year ago) by a single individual, and completely incorrect pages with hundreds of edits by dozens of people.
 
As a saying I came across recently has it: On the Wikipedia, the output of a dozen idiots is indistinguishable from that of a dozen idiots plus one expert. Unless you are already knowledgeable about the topic - there is no objective way of verifying the correctness of any given article.

Re:Who decides who is an expert? (1)

Barromind (783894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120652)

It all boils down to that, the same you consider an expert on that article's field, probably the other "morons" consider also themselves experts. A solution is to add citations for sources. That way you back your claim of expertise. More and more, articles I check have lots of citations.

Re:Who decides who is an expert? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120640)

Another thing that makes wikipedia successful is exactly because people don't have to be experts. To give just one relevant example for /., do you really want a potential date looking up your edits on Scholarpedia and finding out you are an expert on 1970s era comic books? There's some edit histories that should only be found out after you make a first impression =P

Members of Wikipedia were not amused. (2, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120376)

I don't think so... they didn't even bother to vandalize the guy's wikipedia page!

Re:Members of Wikipedia were not amused. (4, Funny)

LiquidFire_HK (952632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120601)

Maybe not, but they vandalized the Citizendium article:
The new project will stop uninformed people (such as myself) from randomly editing articals (like this) and filling them with crap.
(now removed)

reliability? (4, Insightful)

mabu (178417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120379)

Considering it's probably virtually impossible to find any media or reference source upon which someone may not challenge its reliability, I've always wondered what the basis of the often ambiguous claims that are spewed around the net and other media on Wiki's supposed inaccuracies?

Personally, I think 99% of the claims are bullshit. You have political people out there who claim Wiki is bogus because the articles don't match up with their agenda. I think the majority of the claims probably have to do with subjective, delusional interpretations of that nature.

That notwithstanding, I've still never really found Wiki information to be significantly inaccurate. Maybe I am not looking in the right places, but even when an entry is defaced, it's pretty obvious and often it's quickly corrected. I still don't think there is any encyclopedic source anywhere that is as dynamic and comprehensive (and probably willing to be updated based on consensus discussion among a wide variety of participants).

So is this notion of Wiki being a questionable information source warranted? Or is this some ambiguous claim that seems to be passed on and on without much substance behind it?

Re:reliability? (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120554)

My guess is that the claims of inaccuracies are based as you say around either political viewpoints on items subject to a political analysis, or nitpicking by experts over details that are meaingful to other experts but likely lost on non-experts in that particular field. The general information, which is what 99% of the people walk away with, is accurate enough to make the average person feel well informed even if some of technical details or claims might be wrong.

There may be variations on this theme where enough details are wrong to call the article into question, but it seems like an article would have to be really, really wrong for it to fail in the encyclopedia's mission -- to provide a general background on a wide variety of subjects.

Grammar and writing quality is a bigger problem, IMHO, and that really can't be solved without an army of copy editors.

Abandon Ship? (5, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120384)

I'm an outsider to the Wikipedia community. I read the site avidly - looking up everything from gas-turbines to the history of afghanistan - but I only rarely post to articles and when I do I'm generally just fixing typos. I do have an account on wikipedia, but I've never started my own entry or contributed significantly to one that already existed. Nor do I go to conferences, or know any of the serious wikipedia contributors.

It does seem to me, however, that this is an overreaction to some of the bad press that Wikipedia has gotten over the last year or so. If you listen to the news media, wikipedia is an untrustworthy haven for trolls, flamers, liers, Colbert-elephant vandals, and so on. While it is true that Wikipedia isn't perfect and no one should base a research paper on it, in my experience the quality of information has actually been quite good. So I don't think there's really a huge problem to be addressed. Which means there's not much to gain by forking it. (I assume by "fork" they mean "we're going to steal all the hard work that's been denoted so far so that our new product doesn't have to start from scratch.")

On the other hand, what do we have to lose with the new version of wikipedia? To my mind, the most important aspect of Wikipedia was transparency in contradistinction to authority. Instead of being based on authority (e.g. if it's in Britannica, it's in true because it's Britannica and presented with a set of polished, edited, and reviewed "facts", when you look up something on Wikipedia you get the whole process. You see the front page, the article itself, but also have access to the discussions that go into that page. If something is controversial you see the controversy. This affords a kind of meta-information every article that opened up a whole new kind of information from enyclopedias. No longer just a static repository for authoritative information, it became a dynamic view into the process of cataloging information.

The new citipendium or whatever (clumsy name) threatens to reverse all of that. What made wikipedia revolutionary was it's rejection of "experts" (e.g. authority) in favor of democracy. Clearly the initial anarchy had to be toned down. Instituting onymity may be a great advancement. But closing it to "experts" is a huge step back.

It seems like a repudiation of the very heart of the open philosophy. Isn't this move akin to someone taking Linux and "forking" it into closed source OS? No matter how good the resulting OS could be, haven't you torpedoed the philosophical basis of Linux by doing so?

If you only care about a good OS (or, by analogy, a good encyclopedia) then I guess there's no reason to be worried. But if you care about the open source movement, then this is cause for grave concern indeed.

-stormin

Re:Abandon Ship? (1)

xiang shui (762964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120476)

> It seems like a repudiation of the very heart of the open philosophy. Isn't this move akin to someone taking Linux and
> forking" it into closed source OS? No matter how good the resulting OS could be, haven't you torpedoed the philosophical
> basis of Linux by doing so?

No, no. Because you can still take any of the content on Citizendium (?) and start your own encyclopedia.

Re:Abandon Ship? (2, Insightful)

xiang shui (762964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120497)

As a matter of fact, Citizendium would be more like the Linux kernel in your analogy, because I don't think the Linux kernel dev team accepts patches from just any asshole, and then sticks em straight in a live release... some expert or another has to approve it. Otherwise, it'd be chaos. It would always be broken.

Re:Abandon Ship? (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120567)

I think it depends on how you define "expert". With the linux kernel being an expert is mostly value-neutral. They don't care what your opinion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is. Can you code? If yes, you're an expert.

The trouble is that in academia there are a lot of sacred cows that change like slow-motion fashion. Want to start a class on Islam these days? You'll have full support. Want to start a class on Mormonism? It's a joke. This is just an off-the-cuff example.

So the choice of "experts" for working on the linux kernel isn't really based on authority. It's based on quantitative measures. E.g. "how many bugs does your code have?" But the decision on who is or is not an "expert" for academic topics in general will be much more arbitrary. And based on authority.

They may look the same, but they couldn't be more different.

-stormin

There are already several Wikipedia forks (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120417)

Wikipedia itself has several language versions. They're not translations; they're separate systems, run by different people. The German version already runs under somewhat stricter rules than the English version. Often, articles are translated from one language fork to another, but that's for new article creation. An update to one won't be translated and propagated to the others. So they're forks.

Then there's Wikinfo [wikinfo.org] , a true Wikipedia fork branched off in 2003. It's not very popular.

And, of course, there are all the copies of Wikipedia that add advertising, like answers.com [answers.com] . But they aren't really forks.

Re:There are already several Wikipedia forks (1)

Gregory Cox (997625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120630)

Versions of Wikipedia in other languages are not forks.

They may be run by different people, but they serve an obviously different and complementary purpose - catering for speakers of different languages. Of course not all the articles will contain the same material, but since they are interlinked, good material is likely to be shared among them.

Where is the evidence for the assertion that translation is "for article creation only"? One of the typical reasons given for requesting a translation is "to add material not in the English version".

Sounds like Bush's United States (-1, Troll)

PingXao (153057) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120431)

Where denocracy was once an open society where people could speak anonymously and informed citizens made their own choices. Bush has forked America and now the experts rule because only they can be trusted to make the right decisions based on alleged evidence and intelligence nobody else has a right to see.

I hope they fail miserably.

Re:Sounds like Bush's United States (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120585)

Where denocracy was once an open society where people could speak anonymously and informed citizens made their own choices. Bush has forked America and now the experts rule because only they can be trusted to make the right decisions based on alleged evidence and intelligence nobody else has a right to see.

Nonsense. This new endeavour is, in a way, going to be more transparent than Wikipedia. People with actual qualifications in a field understand the importance of citing all their assertions against previous research. Instead of Joe Average's folk explanation that could just be pulled out of his ass, which one finds in a lot of Wikipedia articles, you'll actually know where the material on the new encyclopedia is derived from.

Forkipedia... (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120435)

In the land of the edited, the anonymous coward is king.

wisdom of crowds (1)

BlackShirt (690851) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120457)

I would add the following questions to the list

have you visited the site? []
have you been a regular user? []
have you used this service? [] ... and ditch it to the slashdotting crowd

Fascinating (5, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120484)

The tone of the comments so far are quite amusing - for quite some time, people have been saying "the beauty of GPL is that you can fork - if you don't like the Wikipedia, fork it!". Now that someone is doing so - all the comments revolve around why it's a bad idea to do so.

Re:Fascinating (1)

Raindance (680694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120639)

Interesting comment.

I do think this fork is a mixed bag. On one hand, it's another editing model, and that's great. The more the merrier, because it allows us to see what works. Any a priori theory of what results a new editing model we have is probably going to be flawed: just look at what people were predicting for wikipedia back a few years. And if this project draws new experts into the online encyclopedia fold- people who wouldn't be involved save for this project- that's great too.

On the other, this is going to confuse a lot of people, and might take manpower away from Wikipedia. Wikipedia works so well because the community is so large- anything that draws people, especially experts and those who care about accuracy, away from the project could be pretty rough.

I find myself wondering how this Citizendium will deal with identifying experts and handling contributions- if it draws readers away from Wikipedia, and prevents most of them from contributing because they're not "experts", that's bad.

"just showing why it is needed" (2, Informative)

esperanza2 (1003224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120493)

This edit [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia's Citizendium page demonstrates what citizendium's all about:

The new project will stop uninformed people (such as myself) from randomly editing articals (like this) and filling them with crap.

Waa! Waa! Waa! (3, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120499)

Wikipedia doesn't work like a regular encyclopedia. Stephen Colbert is making fun of us. The modern media hates us because we're not Encyclopedia Britanica.

Wikipedia is a wonderful thing. On top of being an incredible source for information, it's an excercise in damage control and chaos theory. Wikipedia works, not despite page defacers and fact monglers, but *because* of them. Without the constant controversy surrounding things like politicians changing their own wiki entries, innacurate or false information would tend to sit in the pool and stagnate.

Wikipedia is not a traditional encyclopedia. It's not meant to be one. It's not meant to work like one. Trying to treat it like one is foolish. Trying to base a traditional encyclopedia off of Wikipedia is foolish.

Re:Waa! Waa! Waa! (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120594)

Stephen Colbert is making fun of us.
Yes, you are right! The strength of wikipedia is in its anarchy. Stephen was not simply making fun, he was warning that moderators choose to become thus because they have an axe to grind, and because there are factions in society that seek to control information, and that both things are dangerous; much more so together.

Anarchy and lack of moderation is the way to ensure that ultimately the truth can win. It also ensures that visitors have to continue to think, and not blindly trust. We need MUCH MUCH more of that in society.

And I must also say that when launching a closed, controlled site where only an elite can edit information, Berlin is NOT a good place to do that from for obvious historical reasons, and for obvious contemporary neo-nazi ones.

I for one, do NOT welcome a new world order of information.

Google search for Citizendium (1, Offtopic)

esperanza2 (1003224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120518)

Unrelated to the topic, but note that searching for "Citizendium" on Google as of the time of this comment yields zero (0) results. Yahoo, on the other hands lists 983, and Windows Live Search lists -- I kid you not -- 6,273.

Re:Google search for Citizendium (1)

Laogeodritt (985572) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120617)

Hmm. Unless the number of websites indexed by Google with said keyword suddenly increased by 264k in the span of about twenty minutes ... I'd say you typo' "Citizendium" in Google.

A space saving idea for Larry.... (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120570)

After copying Wikipedia, delete all stubs, fancruft, lists of pr0n stars, album descriptions and metal waffle (the articles on obscure metal bands of the 80s in Scandianavia, for example).

That should reduce the database by 90%

Next, put ratings on all articles. Those which are rated crap, get deleted and new submissions requested.

That should halve the database again.

Now add.

Nahhh (1)

rspress (623984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120574)

I still prefer my hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

"Members of Wikipedia were not amused." (1)

cunina (986893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120624)

Wow, they're speaking German - they must be really pissed.

Actually (1)

teslatug (543527) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120646)

Many members of wikipedia are very much amused. This fork was needed just so we could shut up the critics when this project fails. It's not that I wish it to fail, it's just that there is no other way. It's been tried from the start with Nupedia, and without the openess it won't work. Not to mention that Wikipedia has a lot of momentum now and it's not going to be easy to turn that into another project.
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