Talk:DMOZ/Archive 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Talk:Open Directory Project Talk:Open Directory Project/Archive 1 Talk:Open Directory Project/Archive 2

Mediation

This article is currently in mediation. Initially it was chiefly between NetEsq and Liftarn. More recently we have been helped by gestumblindi. Please avoid making dramatic changes without discussion. Martin 22:08, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

As discussion threads expand, the mediator will summarize the points made and remove the bulk of the text, which will remain availble in the history. When comments have been summarized, the poster's name will typically appear unlinked. If anyone feels something was missed (or misunderstood) by the mediator, restore that quote from the history.

Issues to be discussed

If there are other specific issues with the current version of this article, please add them here to the bulleted list below. They will be addressed after the existing issues are dealt with. Martin 20:05, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

  • Example issue with article
  • ...


Ownership

It is generally agreed that a comparison of ODP/Time Warner to Wikipedia/Bomis is not helpful.

Mention ownership in intro? Liftarn: ODP pretty much runs itself, so the ownership is irrelevant. If it was up to me, it would be removed from the intro, or cut out altogether.
NetEsq: the ownership of ODP is an issue for many of ODP's critics, and thus belongs in the introduction.
Invisible Friend: I wonder if it is actually important for this article who own the ODP as neither Netscape nor AOL has shown much interest in this project.
Stephen Gilbert: Many people consider questions of "who owns what" important, so we should cover it.

Who owns ODP? NetEsq: AOL owns ODP. This is an undisputed fact. Liftarn: I still think it should be "Netscape", but I guess "Time Warner" will be acceptable and at least not totally inaccurate (although it may have to change to T-Online soon).

Discussion of whether Netscape Communications Corporation still exists moved to talk:Netscape Communications Corporation.

Running

Notes:

  • The bottom end of http://dmoz.org/ states "Copyright © 1998-2003 Netscape". (but this is a copyright claim, not a statement about who runs ODP)
  • http://dmoz.org/help/geninfo.html#runs states "The ODP is hosted and administered by Netscape Communication Corporation." (this FAQ was last updated Oct 15, 2001)

Liftarn: ODP is currently run by Netscape

Liftarn: ODP pretty much runs itself

NetEsq: I do not claim that ODP is run by AOL.

NetEsq: ODP is not run by Netscape Communications Corporation, as that company no longer exists

NetEsq: all of ODP's paid staff, past and present, -- i.e., e.g., Richard Skrenta, Chris Tolles, Gwynn Bruns, Jan Iwasaki, Robert D. Keating, Kent Walker, Esq. -- is and has been on AOL Time Warner's payroll, and Netscape is simply a brand name used by AOL Time Warner. During the previous mediated discussion, it was admitted by my adversaries that whatever current role Netscape Communications Corporation might have in ODP's management was de minimis, and that a passing reference to ODP's acquisition by Netscape (and subsequent acquisition by AOL, which later merged with Time Warner) was the best way to represent that undisputed fact. The Netscape Communications Corporation was officially disbanded in July of 2003 (see the Wikipedia article).

NetEsq: When NewHoo was acquired by Netscape for the sum of one million dollars, NewHoo's assets became the property of Netscape, and NewHoo was renamed the Netscape Open Directory Project. (< http://wp.netscape.com/newsref/pr/newsrelease702.html >; < http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/944458/0001047469-99-002916.txt >.) Shortly thereafter, Netscape was acquired by AOL, and Netscape's assets (including ODP) became the property of AOL, at which time all of ODP's staff were placed on AOL's payroll; additional AOL staff were also assigned to ODP for a while, but were later reassigned. (< http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/883780/0000883780-98-000054.txt >.) Meanwhile, AOL continued to operate ODP under the brand name Netscape, no doubt hoping to cash in on the goodwill associated with that brand name. When AOL merged with Time Warner, the company formerly known as AOL ceased to exist as an independent entity, and ODP became the property of AOL Time Warner. Very recently, AOL Time Warner decided to change its name back to Time Warner. All of these facts are a matter of public record, are easily verifiable, and are accurately reflected in the current version of the article through to the time that AOL merged with Time Warner. -- NetEsq 22:55, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

OK, now we've roughly agreed that ODP is owned by Time Warner, and this can be mentioned in the intro, we move on to the next two questions:

  1. Who runs ODP? Netscape, AOL, Time Warner, ODP staff, ODP editors, ODP meta-editors, or someone else? Is this even a meaningful question with such a simple answer? Does a single entity essentially run ODP, or is it more complex than that?
  2. Should the running of ODP be mentioned in the intro? If so, at what length?

Answers on a postcard... Martin 22:08, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

<< Who runs ODP?>>
The day to day management of ODP is left to ODP's meta editors. However, policy is formulated by ODP Staff, who are on AOL's payroll. Powers specifically reserved by AOL include (1) the publication of official policies and editorial guidelines and (2) the removal of editors/deactivation of editor logins.
<< Is this even a meaningful question with such a simple answer? >>
ODP's hierarchical power structure is an enduring source of criticism, as what is publicized as the "republic of the Web" is nothing of the kind. However, such criticism is currently well-documented in the present version of the article. -- NetEsq 22:43, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
<< Should the running of ODP be mentioned in the intro? If so, at what length? >>
The current introduction is sympathetic to the POV claim that ODP is a benevolent organization that is managed and maintained by volunteers. While factually inaccurate, this claim is balanced by the facts and criticism set forth later in the article. -- NetEsq 22:43, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Allegations of abusive editing practices

Liftarn's version of this section reads: "There have long been allegations that volunteer ODP editors give favorable treatment to their own websites while concomitantly thwarting the good faith efforts of their competition, although little evidence of this has been shown." (Addition by Liftarn italicized.) By Liftarn's own admission, the italicized version is a POV assertion and (therefore) should be removed. Moreover, Liftarn's POV assertion adds nothing of value to the article. Both ODP's apologists and critics agree that some ODP editors give favorable treatment to their own websites while concomitantly thwarting the good faith efforts of their competition. What is disputed is whether ODP does an effective job of investigating these allegations or whether the fox is guarding the henhouse.

Liftarn's version of this section also reads: "Allegations of unfair competition at ODP and unethical quid pro quo also arose when ODP's paid staff gave the paid employees of professional content providers such as AOL and Rolling Stone magazine high level editing access at ODP in an effort to boost the number of links. Some volunteer editors perceived this to be a sellout of the grass roots principles on which ODP was based.

The mediated version correctly avoids the unverifiable claim "in an effor[sic] to boost the number of links." It also correctly points out that *MANY* volunteer editors perceived this to be a sellout of the grass roots principles on which ODP was *PURPORTEDLY* based. -- NetEsq 20:40, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

NetEsq - what is the basis for your desire to have the sentence "Many volunteer editors perceived this to be a sellout of the grass roots principles on which ODP was based"? Is this a seperate point from "unfair competition" in the first sentence? Could these points be trated in parallel to work around the some/many divide? Martin 22:02, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The biggest objection to PCP editors was the fact that they were given the key to the Emerald City by ODP Staff from day one, whereas volunteer editors, no matter how well-qualified, were required to work their way up through the ranks. This is indeed a separate concern from the ongoing allegations of abusive editing practices that ODP continues to field through to the present day. -- NetEsq 22:21, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Liftarn - One option might be to quote an ODP spokesperson saying why they allowed AOL and Rolling Stone magazine high level editing access. Would this be acceptable? Could you find such a quote for the article? Martin 21:59, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Assuming that an official ODP spokesperson were to say, "We gave PCPs high-level editing access at ODP in an effort to boost the link count," that would not be a fact, it would be a self-serving POV claim, and it would have no place in an objective treatment of the topic. In any event, Chris Tolles was the official spokesperson for ODP who made the announcement in the private ODP Editor Forums, and I remember no such claim being made. What I do remember was that he claimed that (in the opinion of ODP staff), PCPs would be an an asset to ODP. *MANY* well-respected ODP editors disagreed and said so in ODP's private editor forums. To wit, one well-respected meta editor stated, "I didn't join ODP to provide content filler for Rolling Stone's advertising glitz!" *MANY* well-respected volunteer editors were also "counseled" for their good faith efforts at correcting the questionable contributions of PCP editors, which also caused quite an uproar in the private editor forums. I myself was counseled for removing a link of dubious quality to an AOL Web page in the Legal Information category. -- NetEsq 22:21, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

An asset in that they would provide content (i.e. links). Btw, your repeated yelling of "*MANY*" doesn't make the statement more true. // Liftarn
I was not "yelling." I was simply emphasizing the differences between your version (arguably POV) and the mediated version. As for the claim that PCPs would be an asset to ODP in that they would "provide more links," that claim fails by virtue of the fact that unreviewed site submissions at ODP were already numbering in the tens of thousands when the PCP editors were given the key to the Emerald City. A much more accurate statement would be that PCPs were given the opportunity to expedite the indexing of their own Web sites at ODP in lieu of subjecting their site submissions to the scrutiny of ODP's volunteer editors. -- NetEsq 16:16, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Liftarn - your interpretation of what Chris Tolles meant is an interesting one, but I think Wikipedia should be in the business of reporting what Chris said, not giving our own opinions on what he meant. On the other hand, if you have statistics on the numbers of links added by PCPs, that would surely be of interest. Martin 22:12, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Ok, since ODP is a link catalog the idea that PCPs would be of any other use than to add links never even entered my mind. // Liftarn

In which case, surely no other idea will enter the mind of most readers either? Martin 18:34, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure whether to compliment Martin on his diplomacy or his cleverness, but -- contrary to Liftarn's flattering view of ODP's PCP editors -- the vast majority of ODP volunteers who have expressed an opinion on the topic have voiced concerns about giving out high-level editing access to PCP editors from day one while volunteers are forced to earn their stripes over a period of months or years. Of particular note was a query by ODP Editor arlarson, author of the article "Editor Removal Explained," asking whether someone who made his or her living as an independent search engine optimizer (SEO) would be given the same sort of opportunity to expedite his or her clients' site submissions. In point of fact, SEOs are not given such opportunities because of concerns that such individuals would abuse such privileges, which is why allegations of unethical quid pro quo still persist in re PCP editors at ODP. -- NetEsq 19:11, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Those PCP's dont play any role in the ODP nowadays. The whole thing was years ago, when the ODP was pretty new (in order to get quickly more links, that's also what I heard as an editor). So the paragraph should clearly indicate that it is a thing of the distant past. As it currently reads, it could have been yesterday. User:gestumblindi 23:47, 17 Nov 2003 (CET)
I agree that a reference to the time frame would be useful regarding the PCP controversy, but the claim that "PCP's don't play any role in the ODP nowadays" is not readily verifiable. In other words, the controversy may have died down, but the concerns about unethical quid pro quo still persist. -- NetEsq 15:53, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Do any of you know the date that ODP granted the PCPs access? Simply adding that date may help provide the time context that gestumblindi seeks, perhaps. Any publically available statistics on the numbers of links added by PCPs over time might help, as would stats on the number of PCPs over time. Are there still PCPs with editor access to ODP? If so, how many? Martin 19:07, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)~

Anyone with access to the private ODP Editor Forums can determine the exact date that PCPs were first given high level editing access at ODP by viewing the discussion thread at < http://dmoz.org/forum/threaddisplay.cgi?t=Forum1/HTML/001276.html >. -- NetEsq 23:21, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Your link is outdated, netesq ;-) . Well, it was in 1999, July. And it seems those PCPs don't have editor access nowadays; they added some links in 1999 and that was it. I think this is not a secret. But on the other hand, there are only internal sources for all of this. I'm not sure whether the paragraph should stay. User:gestumblindi 03:57, 20 Nov 2003 (CET)
As it stood before, the paragraph was a true and accurate report of undisputed facts that first came to light in a guest column by a cashiered ODP editor that is currently indexed in no less than two ODP categories and was favorably reviewed by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch:
"Far from a rant, Prenatt eloquently chronicles his ouster and illuminates aspects of the Open Directory with detachment. Prenatt describes a rather fearsome world where speaking up equals being attacked and highlights a backdoor allowing some large content providers like Rolling Stone and AOL easy edit control over their listings."

(< http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/article.php/2162721 >.) These concerns remain just as valid today as they were when they were first reported. -- NetEsq 07:15, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

And again you use yourself as a reference. The "cashiered ODP editor" you are refering to is yourself and I see no difference in what you state here versus what you said in the article. And "true and accurate report of undisputed facts" is clearly not the case here. // Liftarn

There is nothing wrong with using the article that I wrote as a reference. As I noted above, it has been indexed in no less than two ODP categories and favorably reviewed by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch. Whatever problems you, personally, may have with the accuracy of the facts set forth in my article, ODP clearly recognizes that article as noteworthy and ODP's official spokespersons have made no attempt whatsoever to dispute the facts set forth therein. -- NetEsq 15:12, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
ODP clearly recognizes that article as noteworthy - NPOV is not only very important to the Wikipedia, but also to the ODP; this means that the ODP is listing sites of all viewpoints. The fact that a site is listed in the ODP doesn't mean that "the ODP" or the editor who listed the site/article necessarily thinks it is "true and accurate". The ODP is listing pro-Christianity and anti-Christianity sites, pro-ODP and anti-ODP sites. User:gestumblindi 23:37, 20 Nov 2003 (CET)
You are sidestepping the crux of the matter. To wit, the article in question sets forth the factual claim that ODP granted PCP editors high-level editing access and that this action was a very controversial one. The fact that ODP indexed the article in question means that ODP considered it noteworthy, and the fact that there was no official response to the factual claims made therein makes said facts undisputed. -- NetEsq 23:47, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

ODPSS

Summary:

  • ODPSS is an acronym used on ODP (essentially as slang for uncivil behaviour).
  • OPDSS currently redirects here.
  • We link to an article on ODP jargon which includes an expansion of ODPSS, which is good.
  • We state "uncivil behaviour" as one reason given by ODP staff for the removal of editors.
  • Netesq feels that further mention of the ODPSS (beyond that link) in the article would not be useful.
  • Liftarn feels that ODPSS plays a part in the removal of editors.
  • Angela and Liftarn feel that having a redirect to an article where the term isn't defined is inappropriate, so the ODPSS redirect should be deleted or the article should include an expansion of the term.
  • Netesq feels that the redirect should be deleted.

Liftarn - you previously argued that "In the discussion of ex-editors ODPSS plays a part". My feeling is that by including a mention of "uncivil behaviour" as a cause of departure, we've gone some way to addressing this issue. Do you think we should add anything further regarding this issue? If so, what? Martin 19:16, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Disgruntled/persecuted ex-editors

Some disgruntled ex-editors may spend much time trying to discredit ODP on websites, mailing lists, on-line forums and wikis.

This is a fact and it's easy to check it as well. However iven if it is a fact it may be POV to include it, but I feel it should be included to make the article complete. If somebody could suggest a better way to phrase it you are welcome. // Liftarn

This assertion is not factual; it an argumentative and POV claim, and any discussion of this argumentative and POV claim would require us to discuss the fact that ODP's critics are frequently slandered and persecuted. One need look no further than the talk pages associated with the present article for some innocuous examples of this slander and persecution. However, interested parties might also be interested in checking out this page and other related pages of a now defunct Web site (owned and operated by a former ODP meta editor under a pseudonym) that are still available at the Internet Archive. -- NetEsq 16:30, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Clearly we could have a section detailing the treatment of ex-editors by ODP, along side the treatment of ODP by ex-editors. If either of you feel that such a section would be a valuable addition to the article, you could post a draft on the topic, detailing with both sides of this coin. However, you both may feel it better to avoid discussing this topic, depending on how central you feel the role of ex ODP-editors is to the continuing function of ODP. Martin 22:21, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

As noted in the article, ODP is a frequent target of criticism, and former editors are not the only critics. As such, it would make much more sense to discuss the nature and merits of the criticism that has been leveled against ODP rather than giving ODP's apologists a platform for making ad hominem attacks against a particular group of critics. Accordingly, I say we delete the argumentative POV reference to purportedly "disgrunted[sic] former editors." -- NetEsq 23:10, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)
There are basicly two types of ODP critics, disgruntled former editors and submitters. I feel that this is an issue that should probably be covered in the article. Submitters may complain about slow processing of submitted sites, that the description and/or placement of their site is now what they want or that their site was rejected. Disgruntled ex-editors on the other hand try to find faults, no matter how insignificant. // Liftarn
Liftarn - is that your point of view? In general Wikipedia articles should avoid stating the point of view of Wikipedia contributors. However, if it is the point of view of ODP management, then of course we should include that view in the article, properly attributed. Martin 18:34, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)
<< There are basicly two types of ODP critics, disgruntled former editors and submitters. >>
Critics of ODP include: (1) Frustrated site submitters; (2) Frustrated editor applicants; (3) Former editors; (4) Frustrated licensees; (5) Competitors in the search engine/Web directory market sector; and (6) Independent commentators. One noteworthy critic of ODP is Jimbo Wales, who occasionally contributes to the Yahoo Group that Liftarn refers to as an "ODP hate group." Jimbo is not a "disgruntled" former editor, nor does he identify himself as a frustrated submitter. Rather, Jimbo states, "I'm not anti-ODP, except that I think it's time for a good competitor to emerge. What I mean is, I don't like their hierarchical structure, I don't like their non-free license, but I hold no hostility towards them." (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xodp/message/1911 .) Another noteworthy critic of ODP is independent commentator Andrew Goodman, Editor in Chief of Traffick.com. While I do not pretend to speak for Andrew, his criticisms of ODP seem to focus on problems with quality control and ODP's "Self-aggrandizing rhetoric." (http://www.traffick.com/article.asp?aID=62 .) -- NetEsq 20:27, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

What text exactly do you propose deleting? Martin 23:09, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, the content that I opposed has already been removed from the current version of the article. In fact, I have no objections to any content found in the current version of this article. There are areas that should be expanded, such as the section on the RDF dump, but I'm trying to take a more or less passive role in the article's development. -- NetEsq 23:37, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Some disgruntled ex-editors may spend much time trying to discredit ODP on websites, mailing lists, on-line forums and wikis. These ex-editors have sometimes been the target of criticism by ODP supporters. Some ex-editors have also claimed that they was treated poorly and that this is the cause of ODPSS, a term used for... // Liftarn
Liftarn - are you proposing to include that text in the article? Martin 18:34, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Something along those lines anyway. Perhaps it should be split in two sections. One about the disgruntled ex-editors and one about ODPSS. // Liftarn
The recitation set forth by Liftarn regarding the activities and motives of ODP's critics is slander per se, and the term "disgruntled" is argumentative and POV. I know of at least two lawsuits arising from such claims, and one of them resulted in a verdict of one million dollars plus attorneys fees; the other lawsuit is currently pending. Accordingly, if such claims are made on Wikipedia, they should be verified and attributed to official spokespersons for ODP. However, ODP's official spokespersons will probably have no comment if allegations about the activities and motives of ODP's critics are brought to their attention, so the best course of action would be to avoid giving ODP's unofficial apologists a platform for slandering ODP's critics. -- NetEsq 21:18, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Some disgruntled ex-editors who was removed may spend much time trying to discredit ODP on websites, mailing lists, on-line forums and wikis. These ex-editors have sometimes been the target of criticism by ODP supporters. Some ex-editors have also claimed that they was treated poorly and that this is the cause of ODPSS, a term used for... // Liftarn

Striking the word "disgruntled" does not address the concerns that I narrated above. The problem with Liftarn's recitation is that it makes slanderous assertions regarding the activities and motives of ODP's critics, and these assertions do not reflect the opinions or views of ODP's official spokespersons. Rather, they reflect Liftarn's personal beliefs, and they have no place in the article on ODP. As I noted above, there are many noteworthy critics of ODP, and singling out the criticism of former editors for disparate treatment is an attempt to construct a straw man argument by casting criticism of ODP in a false light. -- NetEsq 16:10, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Actually it's not "a false light", but rather putting the criticism into perspective. People may be critical of ODP for verious reasons and some people will try to blackpaint ODP no matter what and that is something that should be noted. That the statement is true is also easily verifiable. // Liftarn
<< . . . [S]ome people will try to blackpaint ODP no matter what and that is something that should be noted. >>
I wholeheartedly disagree. Wikipedia should not be used as a forum for pro-ODP propaganda, and an unattributed POV assertion that villanizes a particular group of ODP critics is pro-ODP propaganda. If such POV claims are made, they must be attributed to official spokespersons for ODP. To wit, "In his article _Editor Removal Explained_, ODP Meta Editor arlarson claims that a great deal of confusion about the removal of editors from ODP results from false or misleading statements by former editors." (http://dmoz.org/newsletter/2000Sep/removal.html .) It is worth noting that ODP Meta Editor arlarson is a Michigan attorney, and his carefully worded official statement is a far cry from the slanderous assertions made by Liftarn. -- NetEsq 15:26, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Liftarn - could you take the approach NetEsq suggests, in giving referenced quotes from official ODP speakers? That could be much more valuable than "some people say" type stuff, I believe. Martin 19:10, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

There are already a lot of unverified statements in the article, but something like In the article Editor Removal Explained, ODP Meta Editor arlarson explains that a great deal of confusion about the removal of editors from ODP results from false or misleading statements by former editors." (http://dmoz.org/newsletter/2000Sep/removal.html .) It should also be noted that some removed editors spend a much time trying to discredit ODP on websites, mailing lists, on-line forums and wikis. These ex-editors have sometimes been the target of criticism by ODP supporters. David "NetEsq" Prenatt has also claimed that soem junior editors have been treated poorly and that this is one of the causes of ODPSS, a term used for... may be an idea. // Liftarn
Phrasing arlarson's claims "ODP Meta Editor arlarson explains . . . " makes said claims POV assertions. As I set forth above, these assertions should be phrased "ODP Meta Editor arlarson claims . . . ." However, the unattributed POV assertion that "some removed editors spend a[sic] much time trying to discredit ODP on websites, mailing lists, on-line forums and wikis" is slander per se and has no place in a Wikipedia article. Absent an atribution to an official ODP spokesperson, this assertion is nothing more than Liftarn's personal views. Moreover, the claim that I asserted that "soem[sic] junior editors have been treated poorly and that this is one of the causes of ODPSS" is not an accurate statement, nor is it an assertion that should be attributed to me. However, as I noted above, the XODP Yahoo! eGroup contains many noteworthy claims regarding the persecution of junior editors by senior editors at ODP. ODP's only official response to these claims has been the above-noted article by ODP Meta Editor arlarson. -- NetEsq 15:28, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I have added the arlarson quote, roughly as written by NetEsq and accepted by Liftarn - this relates to the problem of criticism. Liftarn - I understand that you want to make some reference to the quantity of criticism as well. Again, you could do this by quoting an ODP Editor, or perhaps by commenting on the number of critical sites listed within ODP, etc. Just saying that "some editors spend much time" isn't very informative, in my opinion. Martin 00:29, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Also, don't miss [1] that contains usefull bits like "There have been instances over the years where webmasters and, IMHO, especially webmasters who are now ex-editors (fired for cause) didn't get their sites listed where/when/how they wanted - and they resorted, as a form of retaliation, to making unfounded accusations in forums (often anonymously) and/or sending hateful and/or threatening emails to various editors, sometimes with the return address spoofed and the IP showing to be from an anonymous proxy." . // Liftarn

No doubt ODP editors are the targets of all sorts of retaliation from frustrated submitters and former editors, but underlying these claims of retaliation are the issues of possible provocation and the total lack of transparency regarding ODP's policies and procedures, which makes all such claims argumentative, POV, and totally unverifiable. At the present time, we avoid this controversy by noting that ODP is the subject of criticism and controversy, describing the nature of such criticism and controversy, and leaving the "he said/she said" discourse to forums where such discourse is invited and welcome. To this end, the article provides links to both the XODP Yahoo! eGroup and the ODP Editor Resource Zone. -- NetEsq 20:57, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)
It should be noted who critizises ODP and there the disgruntled ex-editors play a major role. It can either be done in text (liek I suggested) or via quotes as Martin suggests. Denying this fact would make the article unbalanced. Btw, since XOPD is a "think tank and free speech forum for progressive ideas about how the Internet should be indexed" the link should perhaps not be included as it's not about ODP. // Liftarn

Number of editors

Take a look at < http://en2.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Open_Directory_Project&diff=1689269&oldid=1688670 >, which shows a side by side comparison of Liftarn's version and the version agreed upon during mediation. The former makes many minor changes and errors that make the article incoherent, and eliminates the undisputed fact that former editors sneaking back in to ODP is one of the key reasons "leading to even greater exagerration in the number of active editors." -- NetEsq 20:51, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Theorem: The claim "leading to even greater exagerration in the number of active editors" is not an undisputed fact. Proof: By his edit warring, Liftarn apparently disputes it. -- Cyan 16:19, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly disagree. As evidence by Liftarn's own statement below, he does *NOT* dispute the fact that former editors sneaking back into ODP leads "to even greater exagerration in the number of active editors" as much as he disputes the *relevance* of this fact. On this note, the wording and relevance of this undisputed fact was already discussed at length during the discussion mediated by Stephen Gilbert. In the final analysis, such ongoing sophistry is tantamount to recalcitrant denial in the face of overwhelming evidence disproving a hypothesis, not unlike the bizarre claim that the non-existent Netscape Communications Corporation somehow &quot;runs ODP." -- NetEsq 21:01, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Nobody believes that the number of bad editors sneaking in again makes any significant change to the total number of editors. // Liftarn
Theorem: At least one person believes that "the number of bad editors sneaking in again makes a significant change to the total number of editors." Proof: Judging by his statement, Netesq believes it. -- Cyan 16:19, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The point: superlative buzzwords like "undisputed" and "nobody" co-annihilate like matter and anti-matter, generating more heat than light. If there are public records of people stating that they believe the claim (or that they do not), cite them here. -- Cyan 16:18, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I'm confused by this section, because although it is titled Size of the directory and number of editors, the only thing currently discussed is the number of editors. Could someone enlighten me?

I also wonder if it would be possible to start that section simply as:

As of July 2003, ODP had 57,238 editor accounts, both active and inactive. This figure includes the logins of former editors who have had their editing privileges removed. The number of currently active editors is disputed.

Martin 18:18, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Fine by me. Altough it would probably be better with "This figure includes the logins of editors who's account timed out and editors who have had their editing privileges removed." since I suspect the vast majority of the inactive account are from people who just let their account time out. // Liftarn

OK. I've placed some temporary replacement text along those lines into the article. Does this resolve this issue for now? Alternatively, would either of you like to suggest improvements or replacements? Martin 22:01, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Looks OK. It's not perfect, but it does the job. // Liftarn
I'm not particularly keen on eliminating the information regarding the size of the directory, and (needless to say) I prefer the mediated version of this paragraph to Liftarn's version as Liftarn's version contains errors in both grammar and spelling. Moreover, as agreed upon during the mediation conducted by Stephen Gilbert -- and set forth in the section on "Directory Growth and Maturation -- it is an undisputed fact that the current number of active ODP editors hovers at about 9,000, giving rise to the undisputed fact that "the number of editors contributing to ODP is exagerrated by a ratio of at least 5 to 1." Also discussed during mediated discussion is the undisputed fact that there are a number of articles about ODP where Chris Tolles and Robert D. Keating are quoted as making clearly erroneous and increasingly exagerrated claims about the current number of ODP editors which conform to the current numbers displayed on the ODP Home Page. As such, I am of the opinion that the mediated version of this paragraph should be reinstated, and an additional paragraph should be added regarding the criticism and controversy arising from the exagerrated claims about the number of URLs indexed by virtue of ODP's Test and Bookmarks sections. -- NetEsq 22:07, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

NetEsq - would it make sense to focus first on the undisputed facts about the number of editors vs the number of editor logins, and then discuss the "erroneous and increasingly exagerrated claims" by Tolles and Keating? Martin 22:25, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The undisputed facts about the number of editors vs. the number of editor logins is presented in the earlier section on the growth and maturation of ODP. During mediated discussion, one of ODP's apologists (Alpdapedia, I think it was) did an excellent job of presenting controversial issues in a way that suited everyone involved in the discussion. Last I heard, he was planning a rewrite that (I believe) would have dealt with the issue of inflated numbers of editors, but he has apparently lost interest in the article.
In any event, the issue of inflated numbers is a very real issue because ODP's official spokespersons confirm these inflated claims whenever they are given the opportunity to set the record straight. This is not unlike a real estate agent who makes less then $5,000.00 U.S. in actual income annually yet claims to do "a million dollars worth of business every year" based on an inventory of overpriced listings that never sell. When the truth behind such puffery is revealed, most people would question the veracity and integrity of the people making such exagerrated claims. -- NetEsq 21:52, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

It should be noted that the total number of editors aren't "inflated" or "exagerrated". I haven't heard any claims that the number is incorrect. However, it's not the number of currently active editors even if ODP haters often use it to give the impression that ODP is dishonest. // Liftarn

It is an undisputed fact that there are fewer than 10,000 active ODP editor logins. However, the total number of editors claimed by ODP has always been inflated and exagerrated. To wit:
"In the interview, Chris [Tolles] disclosed some interesting information about the ODP editors. This is what I learned: Currently, the ODP has 33,000 editors."
< http://www.searchnewz.com/2001/0613.html >.
"Tolles notes the small, closed teams at competitors like Yahoo and LookSmart, then points to his 20,000 plus editors: "How open is the ODP? Roughly 220 times more open than anyone else.""
< http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/03/24/google_odp/index2.html >
" . . . "We have 23,000 editors in over 200 countries, working on content in over 200 countries, working on content in 50 languages. They vary in age from a 13-year-old editor of video game content all the way up to senior citizens who are nuclear physicists," says Tolles."
Over the years, the exagerrated claims have grown larger and larger; when Robert D. Keating became ODP's Editor in Chief, he picked up the ball and ran with it. -- NetEsq 22:45, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

"3.8 million listings organized into over 460,000 categories and claimed to be derived from the contributions of some 57,000 editors" Claimed? Why "claimed"? --Liftarn

This has been discussed at length previously: There is no way to verify how many actual editors are represented by the 57,000 editor logins claimed by ODP. -- NetEsq 15:35, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

ODP's main page has changed. It reads now: over 4 million sites - over 8,500 active editors (60,031 total) - over 590,000 categories. Therefore I have changed

As of July 2003, ODP claimed to have 57,238 editors. However, the number of editors contributing to ODP is exaggerated by a ratio of at least 5 to 1. This is due to the fact that ODP tracks the total number of editor logins ever created rather than the number of currently active editors.

to a simple

As of December 2003, the ODP front page states over 8,500 active editors (60,031 total). The "total" is indicating the number of editor logins ever created.

I have left the rest of the paragraph untouched, apart from adding an according to ODP's critics to the many former editors simply reapply part. User:gestumblindi 23:13, 4 Dec 2003 (CET)

The display of the number of active editors which was visible yesterday is gone. I have added this information to the paragraph. User:gestumblindi 20:01, 5 Dec 2003 (CET)
Given that the change regarding the number of editors displayed was an unverifiable flash in the pan, I propose that we restore the version that existed prior to Gestumblin's edits. -- NetEsq 20:20, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It was displayed for a short time, but it was displayed. I think this is interesting information. An inexact and also not easily verifiable statement like the former "exaggerated by a ratio of at least 5 to 1" would be inappropriate now. User:gestumblindi 19:30, 10 Dec 2003 (CET)
I gave several verifiable references where Chris Tolles and Robert D. Keating failed to correct exagerrated claims in re the current number of ODP editors. Rather than taking these opportunties as opportunities for correction, both of these official ODP spokesmen took these opportunities as opportunites to perpetuate these exagerrated claims. Accordingly, absent an unequivocal retraction by these official spokesmen for ODP, it is a factual assertion that "the number of active editors is exagerrated by a ratio of at least 5 to 1." -- NetEsq 22:16, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)
How about simply adding a sentence like "ODP staff has occassionally promoted the ODP by mentioning the total number of editors without revealing that it is not the number of currently active editors" to the current paragraph? User:gestumblindi 22:20, 12 Dec 2003 (CET)
How about restoring the previous version of the paragraph? Unlike your version, it was based on factually accurate and verifiable statements. We are obliged to tell both sides of the story, but unless ODP restores the factually accurate version of the login count, there is no reason to rewrite what is factually accurate criticism. Moreover, rephrasing and watering down factually accurate criticism so that it is no longer factually accurate is a clear and palpable violation of Wikipedia's NPOV policy. -- NetEsq 23:31, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I see it quite differently. IMHO the old version has a subtle accusatory, POV tone, and is anyway inaccurate in one aspect: "the number of editors contributing to ODP is exaggerated by a ratio of at least 5 to 1" is phrased wrongly... it should at least read currently contributing, because most timed-out or removed editors have contributed to the ODP, so it is not the "number of editors contributing to ODP" which is exaggerated. I have now added the information regarding staff statements, which I think you consider important, given how you stress it here, and in this form the paragraph is, in my opinion, as neutral and based on verifiable facts as it can get. Well, let's see what the mediator thinks... User:gestumblindi 02:40, 13 Dec 2003 (CET)
<< [T]he paragraph is, in my opinion, as neutral and based on verifiable facts as it can get. >>
In its present form, the paragraph is a rambling apology for the exagerrated claims regarding the current number of ODP editors. Said claims are well-documented, yet the current wording of the paragraph leaves an uninformed reader wondering what the controversy is all about. To wit, the exagerrated claims. Congratulations on a well-done job of obfuscation. -- NetEsq 04:27, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'm unclear why we should discuss at such length the front page of ODP for a single day. Gestumblindi - do you think this was an important event that marks some kind of sea change? More importantly, do other commentators think this?

In regards to "mentioning the total number of editors without revealing that it is not the number of currently active editors"... I wonder if we should add that these mentions appear (to some?) to imply that the total number is the number of active editors? Or maybe we should state that ODP staff have compared the total number of editors with the number of active editors in competing directories? Martin 15:39, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

<< I'm unclear why we should discuss at such length the front page of ODP for a single day. >>
Such a discussion is particularly out of place as the introduction to the section of an article that is devoted to *criticism* of ODP. Lost in the noise is the well-documented history of exagerrated claims in re the number of ODP editors. And this is not a matter of subtle implication. ODP's spokespeople traffic in these exagerrated claims: They seldom miss an opportunity to make them, and they have never made any attempt to correct them. The fact that a correction appeared on ODP's Home Page for one day -- and promptly disappeared -- only adds fuel to the fire.
I am reminded of a first mate who was reprimanded by his ship's captain for entering in the ship's logs the fact that the captain was drunk every day. The first mate promptly stopped reporting this fact, but two years later reported another noteworthy fact in the ship's logs. To wit, "The captain was sober today." -- NetEsq 18:38, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)
"Gestumblindi - do you think this was an important event that marks some kind of sea change?" - I think it is important, because we have now concrete numbers instead of the vague "ratio of at least 5 to 1" (well, as over 8,500 active editors (60,031 total) shows, it's more than 6 to 1 in reality, ODP critic netesq should be satisfied that it's even "worse" than claimed by him ;-) ), it was publicly available for one day, it is an interesting number.
The old version doesn't mention a source for the "ratio of at least 5 to 1", the reader is left to wonder where it comes from. User:gestumblindi 20:56, 13 Dec 2003 (CET)

The number of active ODP editors is easily determined at particular points in time by an analysis of a particular ODP RDF dump, whereas the ever-growing number of active editors claimed by ODP's official spokespersons is determined by various reports to independent third parties who quote said spokespersons, as well as by viewing the purported number of editors displayed on ODP's Home Page. Based on ODP's recent and unprecedented day of sobriety, we can now conclude that the actual number of ODP editors currently contributing to ODP (i.e., 8,500) is exagerrated by a ratio of at least 7 to 1, as noted by ODP apologist gestumblindi; absent ODP's enrollment in a twelve step program, we can reasonably expect this ratio to continue to grow at a snail's pace until it reaches 8 to 1. -- NetEsq 21:15, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Then, if we were really going to change the paragraph back to its old form, the base of the "7 to 1" statement explained by you (RDF dump) should be noted. I tried to find a compromise:
As of Sunday, December 13th, 2003, the ODP front page stated 60,112 editors. However, this is not the number of editors currently contributing to the ODP, due to the fact that ODP tracks the total number of editor logins ever created rather than the number of currently active editors. Based on editor numbers gathered from the publicly available RDF dump, the ratio of total versus active editors is roughly 7 to 1. After an inactive period of four months, many of these logins time out. Other logins that are included in the overall tally represent the logins of former editors who have had their editing privileges removed, either for abusive editing practices or by consensus of ODP's staff and meta editors. Moreover, according to ODP's critics, when ODP editor logins are intentionally deactivated, many former editors simply reapply under an assumed identity, leading to even greater exagerration in the number of active ODP editors. ODP staff has occassionally promoted the ODP by mentioning the total number of editors without revealing that it is not the number of currently active editors.
User:gestumblindi 23:45, 13 Dec 2003 (CET)

Kudos. I'm sure that the new version could be further improved in terms of style, but the content regarding the exagerrated numbers is no longer a point of contention for me. -- NetEsq 06:37, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Fine :-) User:gestumblindi 18:33, 14 Dec 2003 (CET)

Size of the directory

<< I'm confused by this section, because although it is titled Size of the directory and number of editors , the only thing currently discussed is the number of editors. Could someone enlighten me? >>

The original intention was to discuss the fact that the number of URLs ODP claims to index is greater than the number of URLs displayed to the public and included in the RDF dump by virtue of the fact that the Test categories (which are hidden from public view) and the editor bookmarks are not included in the ODP RDF dump. I'm not sure what happened to this content, but a review of the previous mediated discussion would probably be productive in this regard. -- NetEsq 21:08, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

If either of you would like to draft a section on that topic, I've added a new blank section for it. Martin 22:01, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)
the fact that the number of URLs ODP claims to index is greater than the number of URLs displayed to the public ... - In fact, it's currently the other way round. http://dmoz.org/ is stating over 3.8 million sites - there are currently nearly 4 million URLs displayed to the public; if you would include the Test categories, the count would be around 4.7 million. What you are saying, netesq, was true when the fixed over 3.8 million sites was first put on the front page, but since then the ODP has grown substantially. If you don't believe me, use a script to count the public URLs. User:gestumblindi 23:59, 17 Nov 2003 (CET)
I don't doubt your claims. It's been quite a while since the public side of the directory has updated. I assumed that it would eventually change, but if it's a fixed display, then the issue of whether the number of sites is truly inflated is totally moot. -- NetEsq 01:09, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)


It used to be dynamic, including everything, but the counting didn't work well, so it got replaced with the fixed over 3.8 million sites. I assume it will be changed to over 4 million sites someday, or even get dynamic again. User:gestumblindi 02:26, 18 Nov 2003 (CET)

The use of "inflated" is POV. When the number was dynamic it gave (when it worked correctly) the actual number of sites listed at ODP. That some test categories aren't included in the RDF dump is another issue. // Liftarn

It sounds to me that criticism over the actual vs claimed size of the directory should be couched in terms of past discrepancies and past criticism - would that be correct? Martin 19:12, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Actually, criticism about inflated numbers of site listings has never been an issue. The real controversy has always centered on the fact that there are hidden Test categories included in the total displayed on the front page; what is in these hidden categories has always been the primary crux of the issue. (I..e, e.g., blacklistings of sites and editors.) When ODP decided to eliminate editor bookmarks from the ODP RDF dump, that was also a source of controversy, even though said bookmarks are publicly viewable. -- NetEsq 23:10, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Is there anybody except Netesq that considers that there is any form of controversy at all on the subject? // Liftarn
The controversy on this subject is well documented at the XODP Yahoo! eGroup, and it frequently resurfaces in various other online forums such as WebMasterWorld where it is quickly moderated out of existence. -- NetEsq 15:31, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Open Source

Under the "Software" heading the reason ODP software isn't Open Source should be stated, i.e. that it's mixed with propietary softare from third parties. I added "That ODP's software isn't open sourced is because it relies on third party software that isn't open source.". Come to think of it it should perhaps be noted that some part of ODPs softare indeed has been open sourced. // Liftarn

I would like to query one sentence:

That ODP's software isn't open sourced is because it relies on third party software that isn't open source.

This is incorrect. I have on my PC right now a piece of open source software, Sindarella (sp), based on a third party library that is not open source. Indeed, the entire section reads as debate rather than fact - it would be better to say simply:

The ODP software (name it) relies on a third party library (name it) and is not open source. This has led to criticism from the GNU project and other free software advocates. Some competing web directories are based on open source, such as (name one).

I also note that the comment:

ODP's content license restricts the freedom of licensees unnecessarily

Is off-topic in a section marked "software". Martin 18:55, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The reason ODP's software isn't open sourced is that it's based on propietary software and the modifications is done at the source level (i'ts just not that ODP is using a propietary library). For instance the ODP forum is based on BBB (I think it's called) and then branched from that. The underlying database is as far as I know also propietary. The ODP search function is standalone and that has also been released as open souce. // Liftarn

The ODP Editor Forums were added long after ODP went live, and they use a proprietary bulletin board system that is separate and distinct from the software that is used to maintain the ODP database. The latter was designed by Richard Skrenta, or so he claimed in the original GnuHoo BooBoo discussion at Slashdot, and (as set forth by Richard Skrenta in the same Slashdot discussion) it was purportedly kept proprietary to avoid the possibility of project forking. In point of fact, the fact that ODP's editing software is proprietary has effectively prevented traditional open source project forking, which is the biggest bone of contention for the many editors who have been expelled from ODP. Similar to the ODP Editor Forum software, the ODP search facility is not particularly noteworthy, and therefore not really a bone of contention except with true zealots of the free/open source software movement. -- NetEsq 12:02, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)
It has been stated several times that the reason the main ODP software isn't open sourced is that it relies on/is built on propietary software. // Liftarn

Liftarn - is the term you're looking for "derivative work"? Also, could you provide a reference for an ODP spokesperson stating the reasons that the main ODP software is closed source?

Both NetEsq and Liftarn - perhaps we could make progress by constructing a list of the different pieces of software in ODP, along with their status? Martin 17:49, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

  • Main ODP software - main bone of contention. Proprietary (called what?), a derived work from the third party application (called what? by who?).
  • ODP Editor Forums - proprietary, third party, bulletin board system (called what?)
  • ODP search facility - open source
  • ...?
The forums are based on Ultimate Bulletin Board (UBB). I haven't been able to find out what database software is used. // Liftarn
The source code for ODPSearch can be found at < http://dmoz.org/ODPSearch/ >. It is a derivative version of Isearch that is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (Version 1.1). Basically, it's a flat file search with an extremely large buffer. -- NetEsq 16:55, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The only information that is publicly available in re the ODP database/editing software is found in the <A href="http://web.archive.org/web/20000816191446/http://slashdot.org/articles/older/9806230849239.shtml"> Wayback Archive of Slashdot's GnuHoo BooBoo article</A> from June 1998, where Richard Skrenta writes:
"I'm still undecided about GPL'ing the software -- if for no other reason that it's 2 weeks old and hardly in a state to be given out."
Needless to say, the decision was made to keep ODP's software proprietary. <A href="http://web.archive.org/web/19990822002043/http://slashdot.org/articles/98/11/18/0819250.shtml">Elsewhere on Slashdot</A>, Skrenta is quoted as saying:
"We don't want editor wars to result in multiple NewHoo's, since fragmentation of the effort to build the biggest web directory would work against the goal."
This goal of building the biggest Web directory is all well and good, but there are many former ODP editors who would really like to be able to take a fork.-- NetEsq 17:33, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Liftarn - unless you can provide a reference for the ODP software being a derivative work, then I don't believe we can include that statement in the article, as it is not verifiable. Martin 22:35, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Fair enough. I'll try to see if I can find any more info on the subject, but I beleive that discussion was in the internal forums and are thus not accessable. // Liftarn
If so, the article should simply state the publically available information. Information based on internal forums is sadly not verifiable. Martin 18:34, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

According to [2] the database used is Berkeley DB. // Liftarn

The relevant comment is from totalXSive - "AFAIK we do use a relational SQL database for our internal forums but the directory itself uses Berkeley DB, I believe". Martin 23:55, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)

RDF Dumps

We agreed that:

  • We need an entirely new section on the issue of the RDF dumps
  • It should cover "corruption", the draft standard and standard compliance.

Some links: [3], [4]

Liftarn: I don't think "corrupted" is the right word to use. I would suggest using "not compliant with the current standard".

I have a conflict of interest in this regard, as I have past and present clients for whom I have provided confidential consultations regarding the ODP RDF dump, and I have signed non-disclosure agreements regarding the matters discussed. As such, I will be happy to defer to Liftarn's version for the section on the RDF dump. Meanwhile, I will try to find whatever public resource information I can regarding the RDF dump that is not covered by my non-disclosure agreements. -- NetEsq 21:26, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I hope that Liftarn or another contributor will be able to fill this gap in due course. Martin 22:32, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Here we go: ODP data is made available for open content distribution as an RDF dump under the terms of the Open Directory License. However, some "Test" categories, and private editor bookmarks are not included. Furthermore, the RDF dumps have gained a reputation in some circles for not being compliant with the current standard. This is because they are based on the draft standard, but work on making it standard compliant is ongoing although carefully so it doesn't break current software. // Liftarn

I believe you could improve on this by including information from the two external links above. In addition, "This is because..." needs to be attributed to, for example, an ODP coder. Martin 18:23, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Further, not being compliant with RDF is only one of the issues: at [5] this is listed as "RDF formatting is invalid". However, there are other bugs as well. Perhaps you could expand your proposed text to deal with these other bugs? Martin 19:02, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Hi, I'm the ODP editor who maintains the data dump ToDo list referenced above. I'd suggest that the most accurate way to refer to the data dumps is to note that while ODP calls the data dumps "RDF dumps" for historical reasons, they simply aren't in RDF format. They could be described as "RDF-like XML files". They can be parsed by any standard XML parser but by no standard RDF parser that I'm aware of. I think it's unlikely that the data dumps will ever be in RDF format, so I've been pushing for the use of the more general term "data dumps" internally. Also, I maintain a publicly available list of errors found in the most recent data dump here: [6] 15:34, 20 Nov 2004 24.0.218.89

Thanks for this first-hands clarification of this issue. Would you be so kind to add this important fact into the relevant article section? --Pjacobi 18:18, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

ODP license

"not all data is included in this license" et.c. This has do do with the RDF dumps, not the licence. --Liftarn

Actually, it has to do with both. The content found in the ODP Test and Bookmarks categories is arguably included in the ODP license, but licensees must fend for themselves when it comes to the Bookmarks and have no way of accessing the Test categories. Moreover, ODP does not include content from its private forum discussions in the ODP license. -- NetEsq 15:38, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I've removed the italicised comment. When the section on the RDF dumps is written, this should solve the problem. Alternatively, you can discuss the question of what is covered by the license at [[[Talk:Open Directory License]]. Martin 00:10, 22 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I propose that the criticism section currently entitled "Size of the directory" be renamed "Content not included in the RDF dump," and that a discussion of the criticism and controversy arising from the Bookmarks and Test categories be placed in that section, which would flow quite naturally into a discussion of the private editor forums, which are also not included in the ODP RDF dump. This controversy is separate and distinct from the controversy arising from the nature of the ODP license itself:
As of Sunday November 9th, 2003, ODP's Home Page included a claim that their directory contained over 3.8 million site listings in over 460,000 categories. This count has not been updated for quite some time, but it used to be based upon an actual count of all sites indexed at ODP, including listing in areas of the ODP that are not publicly viewable and/or not included in the ODP RDF dump. Specifically, the content found in ODP's "Test" and "Bookmarks" categories might arguably be included in the ODP License, but licensees must fend for themselves when it comes to retrieving content from Bookmarks categories and have no way of accessing the Test categories, which are password protected. Moreover, ODP does not include content from its private forum discussions in the ODP RDF dump, claiming copyright to said content.
-- NetEsq 21:23, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Verifiability and questionmarks

After a comment by User:MyRedDice I checked if the statements in the article are verifiable and found a few things. --Liftarn

ODP popularity

"At the height of ODP's popularity" - POV, should be removed.

Not POV at all. Rather, an accurate representation of the undisputed facts regarding ODP's waning popularity among licensees. -- NetEsq 15:40, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Any source of your claims of "waning popularity"? According to http://dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/Searching/Directories/Open_Directory_Project/Sites_Using_ODP_Data/ there are currently at least 343 sites using ODP data (not counting sites in other languages than English). Let's see if I can get som facts.
Jun 12, 2001 - 190
Aug 01, 2001 - 194
Nov 04, 2001 - 207
Nov 10, 2001 - 212
Nov 13, 2001 - 214
Dec 01, 2001 - 213
Dec 08, 2001 - 211
Jan 24, 2002 - 212
Sep 16, 2002 - 263
Feb 08, 2003 - 357
Apr 02, 2003 - 353
Nov 21, 2003 - 343

There, now we just have to put it in a nice graph. // Liftarn

The list of sites in the above-referenced ODP category is a list of all Web sites that have ever used ODP data, which is somewhat misleading. The real questions are: How many of these Web sites are major web portals? And how often do they update their data? According to Richard Skrenta, "[D]irectories no longer scale to the Web." "Everyone uses Google," which is ODP's primary claim to ongoing relevancy. (< http://www.inetdevgrp.org/20030121/ >.) The current version of the article puts all of these facts into perspective. To wit, "most of these search engines have stopped updating their ODP data, and some smaller sites stopped using RDF dumps, as they grew increasingly large, choosing to query live data directly from the ODP website. Moreover, many noteworthy Web portals that once embraced ODP's free data co-branding have since abandoned ODP's free data model for the revenue sharing model of ODP's major competitor LookSmart." -- NetEsq 15:33, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
That list should be of sites that are currently using ODP data. There are probably more than are listed and some may have stopped using ODP data, but it gives an estimate and they are as far as I know the only figures available. I still think we should remove the POV claim. // Liftarn
The list of sites in the above-referenced ODP category is a list of all Web sites that have ever used ODP data - As liftarn says, all sites in the category should currently be using ODP data. Sites no longer using ODP data get removed. But they aren't checked on a regular basis, so the ODP's editors would certainly be grateful if you report sites that are no longer using ODP data (e.g. using the "Update URL" link). User:gestumblindi 19:24, 21 Nov 2003 (CET)
<< As liftarn says, all sites in the category should currently be using ODP data. Sites no longer using ODP data get removed. >>
Be that as it may, "most of these search engines have stopped updating their ODP data, and some smaller sites stopped using RDF dumps, as they grew increasingly large, choosing to query live data directly from the ODP website. Moreover, many noteworthy Web portals that once embraced ODP's free data co-branding have since abandoned ODP's free data model for the revenue sharing model of ODP's major competitor LookSmart."
In other words, "currently using ODP data" is not the same thing as "using current ODP data," and the current version of the section narrating the history of such use is a fair and balanced presentation of the relevant facts. -- NetEsq 19:22, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
<< . . . ODP's editors would certainly be grateful if you report sites that are no longer using ODP data (e.g. using the "Update URL" link). >>
And if ODP's editors would like to come over to my house and weed my lawn, I would certainly be grateful. Heck, I'd even give them free lemonade and laundry bags. -- NetEsq
<< I still think we should remove the POV claim. >>
As I explained above, it is not a POV claim; it is an accurate statement of fact that puts ODP's waning popularity into perspective. By Richard Skrenta's own admission, ODP is no longer as important or relevant as it once was. To eliminate this perspective would be to convert a statement of fact into a POV claim. -- NetEsq 16:17, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Actually what puts ODP's "waning" into perspective is this:

Odpusage.png

If you have any sources to your claim now would be a good time to come forward with them. If not I suggest we strike Netesq's POV claim. // Liftarn

Liftarn - What's being measured on the Y axis of that graph? Martin 19:04, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

X is time (dates) and Y is number of English sites using ODP data according to [7] // Liftarn

Well, I think liftarn has clearly shown that the ODP's popularity isn't exactly "waning". See also http://www.bruceclay.com/searchenginerelationshipchart.htm . So I have changed the paragraph to:

ODP data is powering the core directory services for many of the Web's largest search engines and portals, including Netscape Search, AOL Search, Google, Lycos, HotBot, and DirectHit. However, most of these search engines are seldom updating their ODP data, and some smaller sites stopped using RDF dumps, as they grew increasingly large, choosing to query live data directly from the ODP website. Moreover, many noteworthy Web portals that once embraced ODP's free data co-branding have since abandoned ODP's free data model for the revenue sharing model of ODP's major competitor LookSmart.

Note that, apart from removing the "at the height of ODP's popularity" thing, I have changed "most of these search engines have stopped updating their ODP data" to "most of these search engines are seldom updating their ODP data" because from most of them I can't remember frequent updates (with the exception of Google, it seems to be common to update ODP data in intervals of many months; search engines with a year old ODP data are, alas, not a new phenomenon). But feel free to change back this part to the "stopped" phrasing if you don't like it. User:gestumblindi 03:15, 15 Dec 2003 (CET)

Looks good. Feel free to use the graph as well to illustrate the development over time. // Liftarn
<< Well, I think liftarn has clearly shown that the ODP's popularity isn't exactly "waning". >>
Well, I don't agree with your assessment, and since you and I are in the middle of a mediated discussion that also involves Liftarn, the call isn't yours to make. Accordingly, I would appreciate it if you would stop making changes to the article to make the content of the article correspond to your viewpoint.
Citing every Web site that has ever used ODP data as a current user of ODP data is yet another way of exagerrating the importance of ODP as a data resource. ODP's popularity as a data resource is, in fact, waning, as is the popularity of Web directories in general as a facility for connecting the purveyors of Web-based content with their potential audiences. Most people who are looking for Web-based content typically search the Web using Google. The fact that hundreds of Web sites once used ODP data as the seed data for their Web directories is historically interesting, perhaps, but hardly relevant to current events. -- NetEsq 02:55, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
For all practical purposes the graph shows how many sites are currently using ODP data. Liftarn
<< For all practical purposes the graph shows how many sites are currently using ODP data. >>
For all practical purposes, what the graph does is misrepresent the current popularity of ODP. What would be much more relevant would be a graph showing how many Web sites use *current* ODP data as opposed to stale ODP data from one, two, or three years ago.
The reach of ODP data at the height of ODP's popularity is [historically interesting, but] not relevant to the number of *current* users of ODP data. -- NetEsq 16:54, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
"... since you and I are in the middle of a mediated discussion that also involves Liftarn, the call isn't yours to make. Accordingly, I would appreciate it if you would stop making changes to the article to make the content of the article correspond to your viewpoint""
I apologize if I was too hasty. Since nobody did respond to the factual graph presented by liftarn for more than two weeks, I considered it undisputed and the "at the height of ODP's popularity" phrasing as proven deceptive. I didn't make the content of the paragraph corresponding to my or to any viewpoint, but simply reduced it to the verifiable facts. May I also point again to http://www.bruceclay.com/searchenginerelationshipchart.htm ?
"Citing every Web site that has ever used ODP data as a current user of ODP data ..." - as said above, they should be current users, though the data is not necessarily current, but that is a different thing and covered by the "seldom updating their ODP data" sentence. User:gestumblindi 21:26, 15 Dec 2003 (CET)
<< I apologize if I was too hasty. Since nobody did respond to the factual graph presented by liftarn for more than two weeks, I considered it undisputed and the "at the height of ODP's popularity" phrasing as proven deceptive. >>
It's not a matter of haste. As I stated above, you, Liftarn, and I are in the middle of a mediated discussion. As such, the final call should have been left to the mediator. Moreover, this is not the first time that you have made a controversial call that is not your call to make. In any event, as I set forth above, the phrasing regarding ODP's waning popularity has not been "proven deceptive." The graph proves nothing; it is simply a graphic depiction of an oft-repeated claim that Liftarn has made many times before, to which I responded with the same rebuttal that I have offered many times before, leaving the final call to Martin. Had you responded *without* editing the article, I would have responded to your erroneous conclusion.
<< I didn't make the content of the paragraph corresponding to my or to any viewpoint, but simply reduced it to the verifiable facts. >>
I disagree. More important, this was *NOT* your call to make.
<< May I also point again to http://www.bruceclay.com/searchenginerelationshipchart.htm ? >>
What relevance does this chart have to the matter currently under discussion? It references a total of 7 search engines that purportedly use ODP data, and only 3 of them actually do. Yet another example of the exagerrated claims regarding ODP and the use of its data. Perhaps we should take this opportunity to set the record straight rather than perpetuating said exagerrated claims.
Liftarn's graph proves nothing. Bruce Clay's chart makes erroneous claims regarding the relationship of ODP to past users of ODP data who no longer use ODP data. -- NetEsq 21:26, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC) (paraphrased)
The final call is still left to the mediator. If he doesn't agree with the change of wording (I don't consider it a "dramatic change"), he may change it again and I will accept it. But it seems that he didn't have much time lately; how many weeks shall we wait for him deciding who is right? I think we should try to find as much common ground as is possible without his help (we managed it in the "Number of editors" part - added: wait, we had his help there, I forgot, sorry).
"What relevance does this chart have to the matter currently under discussion? It references a total of 7 search engines that purportedly use ODP data, and only 3 of them actually do."
Do you really need to lie? Yes, it references 7 fairly popular search engines as ODP data users, and 6 of them undoubtedly use ODP data, only HotBot is a borderline case.
See...
Lycos: http://dir.lycos.com/
AOL Search: http://www.aolsearch.com/aolcom/browse.jsp
Google: http://directory.google.com/
Netscape Search: http://channels.netscape.com/ns/search/default.jsp
iWon: http://search.iwon.com/commerce/goodir.jsp - using the ODP through Google.
AltaVista: http://www.altavista.com/dir/default
HotBot itself isn't using the ODP, but it's an integrated part of the Lycos network, and as shown above, Lycos is using ODP data. A borderline case, okay.
User:gestumblindi 23:58, 15 Dec 2003 (CET)
<< The final call is still left to the mediator. >>
Actually, it isn't. Rather, by making controversial changes, you force the mediator to take sides and consider whether your changes should be reverted. This form of offensive gamesmanship does nothing to help us find common ground.
<< Do you really need to lie? >>
Actually, upon further investigation, I discovered that Google and Lycos are the only two of these seven engines that are using ODP data, and Lycos last updated its ODP data July 5, 2002.
- AOL Search - Powered by Google.
- Netscape Search - Powered by Google.
- iWon.com - Powered by Google.
- Altavista - Redirects to Overture.
- Hotbot - Powered by Inktomi.
Only in the most attenuated sense is ODP data used by any of these search engines, as the ODP data found in the Google Directory represents less than one percent of the total number of sites indexed by Google. -- NetEsq 04:43, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I have to concede that I am surprised by AltaVista redirecting to Overture from its Directory page which still looks like an ODP copy on the front page, with proper attribution, linking to ODP at the bottom... So, well, granted, AltaVista isn't using ODP data anymore, if you don't count the directory front page ;-). Hotbot: see above, part of the Lycos network, which is using ODP. The other five all offer a copy of the ODP's directory - whether received directly or through Google is irrelevant.
But, btw, where is the "powered by Google" at http://www.aolsearch.com/aolcom/browse.jsp ? Enlighten me. It very much looks like their own ODP copy. The entries in the categories are sorted alphabetically, like the original ODP does, not in Google's Page Rank order (which Google's ODP copy does).
The mentioned "through-Google" ODP data users aren't simply containing ODP entries in their Google results (in regard to your "total number" statement), they present the data as a separate *directory*, the value of which isn't just measured in site numbers.
"Rather, by making controversial changes ..." - My intention was to remove the controversial part of the paragraph. You can't deny that the "at the height of ODP's popularity" wording is controversial; by simply removing it, we neither make a statement that is not anymore at the "height of its popularity" nor the opposite - we "neutralize" the paragraph. It seems there are fundamentally differing points of view in regard what constitutes "height of popularity" - is it needed to discuss it all in the article? I would, however, agree with changing the "many" in "powering the core directory services for many of the Web's largest search engines" to "some".
User:gestumblindi 14:21, 16 Dec 2003 (CET)
<< Hotbot: see above, part of the Lycos network, which is using ODP. The other five all offer a copy of the ODP's directory - whether received directly or through Google is irrelevant. >>
I wholeheartedly disagree. The most relevant queries are: How many Web directories are licensees of ODP data? And of these licensees, how many use data from the RDF dump that is less than one year old? In the final analysis, the only ODP licensee that is still worthy of note is Google. However, ODP data constitutes less than one percent of the listings indexed by Google, and the listings found in the ODP directory are and would be indexed by Google with or without the RDF dump, not unlike the listings found at Zeal and GoGuides. The crux of the issue when it comes to ODP's popularity is the success of its open content licensing.
"At the height of ODP's popularity," data from the ODP RDF dump "powered the core directory services for many of the Web's largest search engines and portals. . . ." That is no longer the case, and claims to the contrary are simply ODP propaganda.
<< btw, where is the "powered by Google" at http://www.aolsearch.com/aolcom/browse.jsp ? >>
See < http://www.aolsearch.com/aolcom/about.jsp#ms >. "Matching sites . . . are . . . listings administered, sorted and maintained by Google, AOL's search partner." Results from the Google directory can be viewed by PageRank or, alternatively, in alphabetical order, as is done with AOLSearch. Moreover, AOLSearch occasionally switches from Google search results to Inktomi search results.
<< You can't deny that the "at the height of ODP's popularity" wording is controversial . . . >>
And you can't deny that it's factually accurate. Well, actually, you can deny that, but you'd still be wrong. In the final analysis, it is not our job to "neutralize" the facts. Rather, it is our job to accurately report the facts, and to attribute factual claims that can be reasonably disputed.
<< It seems there are fundamentally differing points of view in regard what constitutes "height of popularity" - is it needed to discuss it all in the article? >>
I don't see these "fundamentally differing points of view." Rather, what I see are attempts to remove accurate facts from the article. If you believe that these facts can be disputed, then, clearly, we do need to discuss what is meant by the "height of popularity." To wit, once upon a time, most of the major Web directories were ODP licensees, using relatively current versions of the ODP RDF dump. That is no longer the case because now, to quote Richard Skrenta, "Everyone uses Google." -- NetEsq 16:25, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Let's first consider the figures from the ODP category, as provided by Liftarn. As Netesq (and potentially others) considers these statistics to be misleading, presumably we should attribute them to their source. So, we might add some text something roughly like:

According to ODP statistics, the number of sites using ODP data (including those using old data) has varied as shown in the graph to the right. These statistics are based on the number of sites in the "Sites Using ODP Data" ODP category and may erroneously include some sites not using ODP data. Critics argue that these statistics are a poor indication of ODP's popularity, as they give insufficient emphasis to larger players, such as Google.

Ideally, we'd like to instead include data from a source that both parties agree is fair and accurate, rather than this ODP data, which is disputed. Can anyone here think of such a source? Martin 19:00, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I am not aware of any such data source. For the most part, most data sources simply parrot ODP's statistics. It is only after independent investigation that informed observers come to the conclusion that ODP routinely engages in puffery regarding the current number of ODP editors, the number of sites indexed in ODP, and the number of ODP licensees.
The puffery regarding the number of ODP licensees is one of the reasons why so many site submitters are outraged by the average six month wait that they must endure after submitting their sites to ODP. If the truth about the current number of ODP licensees using current data were better known, fewer people would care about getting their sites indexed on ODP. To wit, one would be hard-pressed to name a single ODP licensee, other than Google, which has updated its ODP data in the last year, and there are much easier ways to get indexed by Google than through ODP. -- NetEsq 20:23, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think that the text proposed by Martin is quite fair and acceptable. After These statistics are based on the number of sites in the "Sites Using ODP Data" ODP category and may erroneously include some sites not using ODP data. I would add something like:
They only contain English-language sites. The ODP does list data users in other languages in separate categories, e.g. http://dmoz.org/World/Italiano/Computer/Internet/Ricerca/Directory/Open_Directory_Project/Siti_Che_Utilizzano_ODP/ for Italian. User:gestumblindi 23:56, 16 Dec 2003 (CET)
I would suggest These statistics are based on the number of sites in the "Sites Using ODP Data" ODP category and may erroneously include some sites not using ODP data. instead. The category is far from complete, for instance I run four sites that use ODP data and neither of them is listed there so the inaccuracy swings both ways. also not included is sites that use ODP data in violation of the licence. I could see if I find time to make a graph that also include other languages. // Liftarn
I have to add some corrections to our discussion above. The Bruce Clay chart is in fact not referencing 7 popular search engines as ODP data users, but 8 - we forgot Teoma. It is not obviously using ODP data nowadays, but was founded based on ODP data and seems to contain still some site descriptions from the ODP. Teoma is the former DirectHit. We should probably remove the mentioning of this engine and Hotbot from the "Users" paragraph, if it is going to stay as covering *current* users. User:gestumblindi 00:31, 17 Dec 2003 (CET)
<< The category is far from complete, for instance I run four sites that use ODP data and neither of them is listed there so the inaccuracy swings both ways. >>
Being as generous as possible to ODP's apologists, a presentation of the number of sites that have ever used ODP data as the current number of ODP data users is extremely misleading. Moreover, as evidenced by the fact that they are not listed in the appropriate ODP category, the four sites that Liftarn runs are not particularly significant in the grand scheme of things; with the notable exception of Google, the signficance of ODP data users is similar to the significance of the late great DOS operating system -- i.e., of historical interest only. Claims to the contrary are not unlike the claims that ODP currently has some 60,000 editors. -- NetEsq 15:37, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Yes, giving the total number of ODP users wouldn't be very usfull, but what the graph shows is the number of sites currently using ODP data at a given time. And that is quite interesting. As I've said many times before, repeating a lie doesn't make it more true. // Liftarn
<< What the graph shows is the number of sites currently using ODP data at a given time. >>
Not exactly. What the graph shows is a claim to the total number of sites that once used current ODP data and now use stale ODP data; what the graph ignores is the fact that there is only one significant user of current ODP data -- i.e., Google.
<< As I've said many times before, repeating a lie doesn't make it more true.>>
No one here is "repeating a lie," but your oft-repeated claims regarding the current number of ODP data users are inaccurate, incomplete, and extremely misleading. If you wish to include such inaccurate, incomplete, and misleading claims in the article, they must be attributed to a noteworthy spokesperson and balanced by a presentation of the true facts regarding (1) the relative obscurity of most sites that use ODP data and (2) the relative staleness of ODP data on most sites that once used current ODP data. In the final analysis, the only noteworthy user of ODP data is Google, but even the significance of Google as an ODP data user is diminished by the fact that ODP data obtained from the ODP RDF dump is (1) redundant with the data obtained by Google's own spidering of the Web and (2) constitutes less than 1% of the sites indexed by Google. -- NetEsq 16:45, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Yes, you are repeting a lie. You obviously stated that the graph represents all sites that has ever used ODP data and that is false.
I agree that the data the graph is based on is inaccurate and incomplete, but the inaccuracy swings both ways and it is incomplete since it covers only some of the many sites using ODP data. I can understand why you wish to hide the fact that som many sites are using ODP data, but I'm afraid I think it's more important to present the facts. Comparing web directories and search engines is futile and outside the scope of this article. // Liftarn
<< Yes, you are repeting a lie. >>
No, I am not "repeting[sic] a lie." I am repeating the truth. To wit, the graph is inaccurate and incomplete, a claim that you have candidly confirmed.
<< I agree that the data the graph is based on is inaccurate and incomplete, but the inaccuracy swings both ways and it is incomplete since it covers only some of the many sites using ODP data. >>
Inaccurate data does not become more accurate simply because "the inaccuracy swings both ways." It becomes totally useless.
<< I can understand why you wish to hide the fact that som many sites are using ODP data, but I'm afraid I think it's more important to present the facts. >>
I have no desire to "hide the facts," and (once again) personal attacks such as these are a clear violation of Wikiquette that do nothing to improve the quality of this article, nor do they compensate for the uselessness of the inaccurate data that you have left swinging both ways in the wind.
<< Comparing web directories and search engines is futile and outside the scope of this article. >>
I wholeheartedly disagree, and so does ODP's founder Richard Skrenta, as set forth in the presentation of Skrenta's that I cited earlier. To wit, according to Skrenta, ODP is no longer as relevant as it once was, nor are Web directories, because now "everyone uses Google." -- NetEsq 23:00, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
"What the graph shows is a claim to the total number of sites that once used current ODP data and now use stale ODP data"
The question of how many sites are currently using ODP data is separate from the question of how many of them use current ODP data. As I said above, stale ODP data is not a new phenomenon, and on the other hand, limited to RDF users only; the data of the many small sites that query live data directly from the ODP website is necessarily entirely current. How about a paragraph that first mentions how many sites according to the ODP category are using ODP data, then mentions the staleness issue, then... well, something like this (based on Martin's proposal and the current paragraph):
According to ODP statistics, the number of sites currently using ODP data has varied as shown in the graph to the right. These statistics are based on the number of sites in the "Sites Using ODP Data" ODP categories and may erroneously include some sites not using ODP data anymore, as well as lack some users.
Of the RDF users, most are seldom updating their ODP data (it is more than a year old in some cases), with the notable exception of the popular search engine Google, which has incorporated modified ODP data as their "Google Directory". Many sites offer a copy of the ODP directory in Google's modified form. Smaller sites often query live data directly from the ODP website instead of using the RDF dump.
Many noteworthy Web portals that once embraced ODP's free data co-branding have since abandoned ODP's free data model for the revenue sharing model of ODP's major competitor LookSmart.
Critics argue that these statistics are a poor indication of ODP's popularity, as they give insufficient emphasis to the fact that most of the data users aren't very popular sites.
(I wrote "categories" instead of "category", anticipating a new graph by liftarn including the non-English categories as well).
I hope that this proposal does sufficiently incorporate netesq's criticism.
Btw, it seems that you are confusing web directories and search engines, netesq. Google's data obtained from the ODP RDF dump is not "redundant with the data obtained by Google's own spidering of the Web", because Google's web spidering doesn't describe and categorize the sites. The ODP's 535,665 categories form a well-developed taxonomy not outclassed even by the best automated "categorizing" features of some search engines. It does indeed constitute less than 1% of the sites indexed by Google, but it is the one percent that is manually selected, classified and described. I am surprised that I have to explain Web directories to you. They never can list as many sites as a spider, but for certain topics they are of more help nevertheless. You alredy confused things above: the paragraph "Matching Sites" on http://www.aolsearch.com/aolcom/about.jsp#ms is explaining the source of AOL's web search function, not where the browsable directory comes from. But anyway, this is not very important. User:gestumblindi 21:07, 17 Dec 2003 (CET)
<< [T]he data of the many small sites that query live data directly from the ODP website is necessarily entirely current. >>
Such data users are of very little consequence; they are essentially ODP mirrors, or what some people refer to as "ODP spam."
<< Btw, it seems that you are confusing web directories and search engines, netesq. >>
I am not confusing Web directories and search engines; I am comparing and contrasting them, and offering the logical and reasonable conclusion that Web directories have been completely overshadowed by effectiveness of search engines such as Google, a point that has not been lost on the likes of ODP's founder Richard Skrenta.
<< Google's data obtained from the ODP RDF dump is not "redundant with the data obtained by Google's own spidering of the Web", because Google's web spidering doesn't describe and categorize the sites. >>
Google's data obtained from the ODP RDF dump is, in fact, redundant with the data obtained by Google's own spidering of the Web, in more ways than one. Even without the RDF dump, Google would be spidering ODP's categories, and the links contained therein. I also note that Google's algorithm *eliminates* references to the Web directories of ODP licensees that more or less serve the function of ODP mirrors, thereby reducing the significance of an ODP listing.
<< Google's web spidering doesn't describe and categorize the sites. The ODP's 535,665 categories form a well-developed taxonomy not outclassed even by the best automated "categorizing" features of some search engines. It does indeed constitute less than 1% of the sites indexed by Google, but it is the one percent that is manually selected, classified and described. >>
The significance of ODP's "well-developed taxonomy" has no relevance whatsoever to ODP's popularity among ODP licensees, or lack thereof. I am surprised that I need to explain this to you. In the realm of "well-developed" taxonomies," ODP is noteworthy and remarkable, but it is also frequently criticized for its lack of quality and flexibility. Indeed, infighting over these "well-developed taxonomies" is one of the primary reasons for the removal of junior editors who get on the wrong side of the powers that be.
<< [T]he paragraph "Matching Sites" on http://www.aolsearch.com/aolcom/about.jsp#ms is explaining the source of AOL's web search function, not where the browsable directory comes from. >>
Nothing could be further from the truth. Google provides AOLSearch with a search facility as well as a branded version of the Google Web directory. -- NetEsq 23:26, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
This discussion is getting sidetracked. Here we are not talking about "the significance of an ODP listing" but essentially about how many ODP data users exist and in which way they use ODP data. I note that you didn't comment on my proposed new "Users of ODP content" paragraph. Could you live with it? User:gestumblindi 02:57, 18 Dec 2003 (CET)

Hierarchical editing model

NetEsq and gestumblindi agree with ODP's editing model is a hierarchical one."

Liftarn: The catmods complicate it a bit. But OK.

As a side note, it would be interesting if someone made a graphic to demonstrate the different types of editor and which permissions they have.

Site submissions

"the average processing time for a site properly submitted to ODP approximately six months" Source?

Commentary by ODP meta editors on various online forums, most notably WebWasterWorld. -- NetEsq 15:56, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Source? // Liftarn

"editors are discouraged from communicating with site submitters" Not really true.

Once again, totally and completely true, and totally and completely verifiable. Just take a look at ODP's official guidelines. -- NetEsq 15:44, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I had a look at http://dmoz.org/guidelines/communication.html#submitters and it says nothing like that. // Liftarn
Yes, it does. Specifically, after putting ODP editors on notice that they are waiving any claims against ODP for such contacts, editors are informed that "[t]he Open Directory Project does not support such contacts." Moreover, a quick review of WebMasterWorld discussions reveals that "[r]eplying to submitters is discouraged by more experienced editors, who have first hand experience of e-mail spam attacks etc. from disgruntled submitters. Don't take it personally that you didn't get a reply - it's standard practice and for very good reasons." (< http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum17/1518.htm >.) -- NetEsq 16:22, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
You are refering to "The Open Directory Project does not support such contacts"? // Liftarn

Allegations that ODP editors are removed for criticizing ODP's policies

"volunteer editors who openly dissent often find their editing privileges removed" POV and without any source.

Not POV, and supported by subsequent references to articles on Traffick.com and Slashdot. -- NetEsq 15:50, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Liftarn - is your criticism here the word "often"? Martin 00:32, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
What I'm critical about is the unfounded claim that dissenters are removed from ODP. Such a claim is both incorrect and POV. // Liftarn
No, the issue is that editors aren't "removed for criticizing ODP's policies" at all. They can hoverver be removed for "uncivil behaviour" so if they are removed it's not for criticizing but for doing so in in incuvil manner. // Liftarn

"who was banned from the ODP soon after submitting an article to Slashdot" Any source to this claim?

This claim was added by the Cunctator, but the claim is totally verifiable by looking at an archived version of the article that the Cunctator submitted to Slashdot. -- NetEsq 15:50, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Ok, why not use that? i.e. "Ex-editor Cunctator claimed in an article at Slashdot (reference?) that he was removed for...". // Liftarn
That's basically what the article already says, complete with a reference to the Slashdot article. But it's not a "claim." TheCunctator was in fact removed from ODP shortly after submitting the article to Slashdot. -- NetEsq 16:26, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
As it's written it gives the missleading impression that the two events are somehow related. It should be rewritten for clarity. // Liftarn


Is anything much still disputed here? Netesq? Liftarn? I've gotta say, I'm pretty impressed with what you guys have done. I'd like to remove the accuracy dispute header, provided that this ([[8]) is cleaned up. Heck, with that resolved, and with a bit of a copyedit, I wouldn't mind nominating this for Featured Articles. Ambivalenthysteria 09:34, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • The ODP isn't really important enough to be on featured articles- surely we're here to provide information, not to plug a pretty bad search engine that calls itself 'open' but is not, at least in the way wikipedians would understand it (only a small minority of those who apply are accepted as editors) --Cynical 21:38, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Featured articles just have to be good articles - they don't have to be about important topics. Also, the ODP is a directory, not a search engine, so calling it a bad search engine is missing the point about what it aims to be. Angela. 20:51, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

Volunteer editors are assumed to know when they are violating ODP guidelines

The above statement contradict the reference given the paragraph that follows it: The article Editor Removal Explained by ODP Meta Editor Arlarson. In this artuicle the section titled Warnings starts with a simple statement: Whenever possible, we try to warn editors that their conduct puts them at risk of losing their editing privileges. The current text in wikipedia, The rationale that is publicly asserted for this policy is that volunteer editors are assumed to know when they are violating ODP guidelines, seems to imply a very different practice. Ynh 13:22, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

At < http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xodp/message/1179 >, ODP Meta Editor kctipton candidly admits that editors are *NOT* given any notice of their removal, or given any reason as to why they are removed, a policy from which he attempts to disocciate himself. Not exactly on point, but I am sure that if one were to take the time to read through all of the 2,000 or so ODP-related posts at the XODP Yahoo! eGroup one could find an exact quote along these lines from one of the ODP Meta editors who has posted there. Indeed, I should expect no less of a scrupulous advocate who seeks to censor anti-ODP sentiments than that he or she would review said archives and truthfully recapitulate the statements that have been attributed to the official spokespersons of ODP. As for ODP Meta Editor arlarson and his article, he has been uncharacteristically quiet lately (at least at ODP), and his article (of which I have a copy) has been removed from public view by the powers that be. // NetEsq 02:25, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the practice is. The metas typically say one thing; many booted editors say another. Not having been in either group, I can't say which is correct. Ambi 02:47, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The difference is a semantic one, but the question is whether Arlarson's claim regarding warnings is a truthful one that can be independently validated, and it cannot. Indeed, Arlarson's claim is unabashedly equivocal. To wit, what does he mean by "whenever possible"? And under what circumstances does it become "imposssible" to warn people that "their conduct puts them at risk"? In the final analysis, the way that someone usually finds out that his or her ODP login has been deactivated is when one tries to log in and can't. I know of only two instances where this was not the case.
Consider the way that Wikipedia deals with problem editors, and the inherent flaws of ODP's inquisitorial system are put into proper perspective. To wit, when someone is "at risk" of being booted from Wikipedia, the norm is to warn, then to escalate, slowly, to increasingly harsher sanctions. As a result, I can count on one hand the number of Wikipedians who feel that they have not had a full and fair opportunity to air their grievances, and it is quite clear that those who have been sanctioned by Jimbo Wales have tempted fate time and time again. // NetEsq 14:41, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Status Reports

IMHO it would be good to add some information about the newish status reports - http://research.dmoz.org/publish/chris2001/odp_reports/index.htm . Doing that, it would make sense to add this link as well. I am not very fond of my abilities to write that in english, so: Anybody here who whould like to do that addition? -- Windharp 13:54, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I'll see if I can give it a go. —Wrathchild (talk) 14:23, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

XODP

I've removed the link to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XODP that was previously removed by an anon with the edit summary "XODP is no longer about the ODP and is not germain". I agree with this. The group has had a total of nine posts all year, none of which were about the ODP. How is such a link relevant or helpful to people reading this article? Angela. 05:23, Jul 26, 2004 (UTC)

It's there because it began as a group of ex-ODP editors, and its founder/operator is User:Netesq. Thus, if you're going to remove it, regardless of its current state, unfortunately, I suspect you'll end up in a revert war with him. Ambivalenthysteria 06:21, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Actually, the reason that XODP is indexed in this article is because it contains close to 2,000 posts related to ODP that remain highly relevant to the content of this article. Indeed, the primary reason that discussion about ODP has ceased at the XODP Yahoo! eGroup is because so many people find the XODP commentary there to be so precisely on target. Meanwhile, over the last year I have been contacted by no less than two attorneys who found me through the XODP Yahoo! eGroup and sought me out because of unresolved grievances that there clients have against ODP, and there remains a very real possibility that I will be called as an expert witness regarding these matters at some time in the near future.
As for the possibility of a revert war, I am more than willing to defer to the opinion of a disinterested third party regarding the content of this article, as I have done no less than two times before, and I have no objection to removing the NPOV notice from the article. Meanwhile, the link to the XODP Yahoo! eGroup should remain where it is unless and until the 2,000 or so ODP-related posts are deleted from that venue. // NetEsq 18:10, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)
How about some of sort notice to the link saying the group is no longer active then? It is misleading to suggest XODP still exists when it is basically no longer used. Angela. 01:13, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)
I was going to suggest something similar. The group truly is inactive. KC 01:27, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
As I stated previously, the 2,000 or so ODP-related posts make the XODP Yahoo! eGroup relevant to any discussion of ODP, as do the various link sections on XODP that were pointed out to Jimbo Wales in one of his posts to XODP.
But if you demand proof of the ongoing relevancy of XODP to ODP, then you will get proof. Rest assured of that. // NetEsq 09:30, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Is the dispute resolved?

Not much discussion can be seen in 2004 here and the last question whether all is resolved is weeks old and got no answer.

If there are unresolved points please state here within the next four weeks.

Thank you. Pjacobi 09:44, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't think we're quite there yet, unfortunately.

  • this sentence - An ODP editor has catalogued a number of bugs that are/were encountered when implementing the ODP RDF dump, including UTF-8 encoding errors (fixed since August 2004) is now irrelevant
  • this sentence - Moreover, many noteworthy Web portals that once embraced ODP's free data co-branding have since abandoned ODP's free data model for the revenue sharing model of ODP's major competitor LookSmart. is simply false - I don't know of any sites that dumped DMOZ for LookSmart, let alone any noteworthy ones. While DMOZ is having its problems, LookSmart is in yet more trouble.
  • Professional Content Providers are mentioned, but the fact that they were discontinued long ago is not
  • in the allegations section, some of the language (The first noteworthy expose) is pretentious
  • this sentence - Another noteworthy example was the volunteer editor known by the alias The Cunctator, who was banned from the ODP soon after submitting an article to Slashdot on October 24, 2000, which criticized changes in ODP's copyright policies.[9] is poorly worded, but new wording probably needs to be briefly discussed here first
  • the statement cannot be viewed by non-editors and are reputed to include sites that have been blacklisted. is untrue, as I can honestly state that there is no blacklist. Ambi 10:17, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Isn't the XODP issue a thing of the past? I've looked at the number of postings:

2001: 891 postings
2002: 312 postings
2003: 327 postings
2004:  18 postings

So, right or wrong, this seems to imply a past tense formulation in the article.

More on numbers: Does anybody has a traffic stats on dmoz over the years?

Pjacobi 19:14, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Traffic stats on dmoz.org itself (even if they existed, which I'd be surprised) are probably irrelevant, as most people to use dmoz have always used its mirrors, such as the Google and AOL Directories. Ambi 09:02, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< *this sentence - An ODP editor has catalogued a number of bugs that are/were encountered when implementing the ODP RDF dump, including UTF-8 encoding errors (fixed since August 2004) is now irrelevant >>

The ODP RDF dump remains very buggy. [10] However, the vast majority of people whom I know that work with the ODP RDF dump are commercial interests that use workarounds, and they are not particularly eager to share their hard-won knowledge. // NetEsq 17:01, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< I don't know of any sites that dumped DMOZ for LookSmart, let alone any noteworthy ones. While DMOZ is having its problems, LookSmart is in yet more trouble. >>

This was big news when it happened. [11] However, as set forth in the current revision of this article, the use of all Web directories has declined by virtue of the total market dominance of search engines like Google and Overture. // NetEsq 17:01, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< in the allegations section, some of the language (The first noteworthy expose) is pretentious >>

Hardly. The expose in question was indexed on ODP and favorably reviewed by none other than Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch. [12] Andrew Goodman's article Why the Open Directory isn't Open [13] is the first noteworthy criticism of ODP, and perhaps it should also be noted in this Wikipedia article, but Life After the Open Directory Project [14] was the first critique written by a former high-level ODP editor, and the first criticism of ODP to gain any real traction. Indeed, to this day, I continue to see referrals to xodp.org from ODP's internal editor forums at http://forums.dmoz.org/forum/viewtopic.php. // NetEsq 17:01, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

    • clarification of my edit note, in response to symphonygirl's question: I deleted the brackets around Traffick.com because there is no Wikipedia article by that name to point to (and AFAICT, never was). The text of the Open Directory Project article had a link to the item on Traffick.com that it refers to. --orlady 12:49, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
      Orlady and I, as senior ODP editors, and as Wikipedia editors, attempt to maintain the different rules as apply to these sites. I've been very careful to remove only that criticism of ODP which does not have plausible sources, considering that removing those which don't have reliable sources might be considered a violation of WP:COI. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 15:22, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
      Arthur Rubin tells the truth. My change to the Traffick.com item in the associated article (which symphonygirl commented on in her edit summary for this page, but not on this page, leaving me perplexed as to where and how to respond to her comment -- there are too many layers of "Talk" here!) was purely a housekeeping edit. I have been careful not to alter the statements of POV in the article. --orlady 17:03, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
<< the statement cannot be viewed by non-editors and are reputed to include sites that have been blacklisted. is untrue, as I can honestly state that there is no blacklist. >>

Correction: You can honestly state that you are not *aware* of any ODP blacklist. However, by virtue of the fact that ODP is a gated community, with layers upon layers of secrecy, there is no way to verify the existence or non-existence of covert activities by members of one of ODP's many reputed cabals. Need we go any further than the Wayback machine's records of the now defunct Netesqsucks.com Web site for proof of such covert activities? [15] // NetEsq 17:01, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< Isn't the XODP issue a thing of the past? >>

If we have learned anything from history, it is that we have learned nothing from history. To wit, it is ODP itself that has diminished in importance, and it is XODP's criticism of ODP that brought ODP's shortcomings to the attention of thousands of XODP editors and frustrated ODP submitters. Such criticism does not become less important or less relevant by virtue of the passage of time. // NetEsq 17:01, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)


By all means, can, by those who know enough of it, the article be edited to a point, where:

  • It states what ODP is, and not concentrate on (but of course mention) a dispute long time ago
  • It is somewhat shorter and more comprehensive and containing less than 100 weblinks
  • The NPOV warning can be removed

Pjacobi 18:07, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< [C]an the article be edited to a point, where . . .[i]t states what ODP is, and not concentrate on (but of course mention) a dispute long time ago? >>

IMHO, the article has been structured to introduce the topic sympathetically, provide an appropriate amount of historical perspective, and include criticism that remains both timely and relevant. To be sure, ODP is of primarily historical interest, as very few people actually use ODP to "get noticed" or find Web sites; those who do take contemporary notice of ODP focus on its shortcomings, which makes ongoing criticism of ODP both timely and relevant. (See Editors Getting Offered or Expecting Compensation? and ODP on Verge of Collapse (both discussions started by WebMasterWorld owner Brett Tabke, once a loyal ODP supporter).) // NetEsq 18:29, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< [C]an . . . the article be edited to a point, where . . .* It is somewhat shorter and more comprehensive and containing less than 100 weblinks? >>

I'm confused: Do you want the article to be shorter or more comprehensive? These seem to be contradictory premises. Moreover, as it stands right now, the article contains a total of 27 Web links -- 17 footnotes and 10 "External Links" -- which is about 1/4th of the 100 Web links to which you allude. Of the present links, the only one that I see as being unnecessary is the Seotie link, which is little more than an advertisment; I doubt that anyone other than the owners of Seotie will object if it is removed. // NetEsq 18:29, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< [C]an . . . [t]he NPOV warning can be removed?>>

Long overdue. But if the NPOV warning is removed, there is a really good chance that Liftarn (who first inserted it) will reinsert it, as he has done every time someone has attempted to remove it. // NetEsq 18:29, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

---

Sorry for my confusing and previous posting. I'll try to rephrase:

I'm using dmoz directory links in some articles to avoid giving a long list of external links. Now when someone is curious and follows the dmoz link to learn more about, he encounters:

  • a cleanup warning (-1)
  • a neutrality warning (-1)
  • a short intro sentence (+1)
  • a page-long TOC (-1)
  • a historical introduction (-.5)
  • more about the workings of dmoz, but rather convoluted, and not targetted at users (+.5)

But perhaps that's only my perception.

On the NPOV label: Re-inserting the label without discussion or without valid arguments in discussion will bring the user to RFC, mediation or arbitration.

Pjacobi 18:46, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< I'm using dmoz directory links in some articles to avoid giving a long list of external links. >>

Well intentioned, but not a particularly good idea. ODP has been the subject of controversy for quite some time, and one of the primary concerns has been a lack of quality control. (I.e., e.g., self-serving sock puppet wielders capturing positions of authority and eliminating their competitors; extremely slow submission time, averaging from six months to well over a year, with unreviewed submissions numbering in the millions and concomitant dead and rotting links everywhere.) // NetEsq 20:11, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< Now when someone is curious and follows the dmoz link to learn more about, he encounters: a cleanup warning (-1) [and] a neutrality warning (-1) . . . >>

Irony of ironies: I removed the NPOV label, and it was replaced with the cleanup warning *AND* the NPOV label. *ROTFLMAO* // NetEsq 20:11, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

<< But perhaps that's only my perception. >>

Actually, it's a valid concern. Ideally, Wikipedia would have a sister project fashioned after ODP, as once suggested by noted Wikipedian Lee Daniel Crocker (largely inactive since July 2003). // NetEsq 20:11, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, there is Wikia, not quite a sister project, but it aims to run along the same principles of Wikipedia. Angela. 20:51, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

You wrote Well intentioned, but not a particularly good idea. ODP has been the subject of controversy for quite some time, but I'd claim thet dmoz is still a valuable resource. And better than putting absurdly long lists into Wikipedia. Our different perceptions may just stem from different corners of dmoz we look at. Not everything will be subject to POV and bad quality control. In fact I assume most categories, the "boring" ones, no nerd stuff, no politics, are rather OK.

On re-insertung NPOV. I asked Anthony for clarification {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Anthony_DiPierro#Open_Directory_Project] and as you may guess, I'm all for his intended changes. Does it really matter who, on which website, did in 2000 the critic?

Pjacobi 20:50, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)


<< dmoz is still a valuable resource. And better than putting absurdly long lists into Wikipedia. >>

What makes ODP any more valuable than, say, Yahoo!? And why should Wikipedia defer to the inferior quality of ODP when it comes to annotated link lists? What you really seem to be saying is that "it sure would be nice if ODP didn't have all this controversy surrounding it, and if it really was the canonical and comprehensive Web directory that it pretends to be and didn't suffer from serious long-term problems with quality control." Yeah, it would be nice, but ODP is not a canonical and comprehensive Web directory, and it does suffer from serious long-term problems with quality control.

<< Does it really matter who, on which website, did in 2000 the critic? >>

It's quite obvious that I think such details are important, and that the only reason that Anthony DiPierro is now advocating the removal of such details is because he was thwarted in his attempts to create a Wikipedia article about me. I receive e-mail every month from people who have recently found my guest column for Traffick, and many of them find it hard to believe that it is over 4 years old. I also find frequent references to it at various online forums and e-zines. (See, e.g., October 5, 2003, July 26th, 2003, and May 14, 2003.) // NetEsq 21:50, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It seems, the dispute is resolved

No content changes have been seen for over four weeks, nor are suggestions made on the talk page.

Therefor I assume, everybody is happy with the current version. I'll remove both {{cleanup}} and {{npov}} after some additional waiting time.

Pjacobi 08:27, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No, you assume wrong, as you assumed wrong three months ago. I posted numerous grievances with this version, and I'm not the only one who holds them. Please stop trying to call the dispute closed when it's patently obvious that it is not. If you remove, I'll re-add. Simple as that. Ambi 10:31, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If you think the article does need work, why don't you do the changes? I don't think it is correct procedure to list as {{cleanup}} and {{npov}} but abstain from editing the article. For an example, why do you state:
  • the statement cannot be viewed by non-editors and are reputed to include sites that have been blacklisted. is untrue, as I can honestly state that there is no blacklist. Ambi 10:17, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
But don't remove the offensive sentence from article?
Pjacobi 11:27, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
You clearly haven't read the past year of discussion or looked at the edit history at all. When you come in and don't try to familiarise yourself with the dispute at hand, don't be surprised when the parties get annoyed. Mediation did help somewhat, because Netesq would actually give ground then. I've got nothing against Netesq personally, but I've not seen him be prepared to give any ground whatsoever unless it was as part of a proposal by Stephen Gilbert. In these circumstances, I have better things to do, both on Wikipedia and off, than argue endlessly over this article - and be endlessly reverted. That's why I don't remove the factually wrong material. But that doesn't change the fact that this article still has lingering nasty issues of both POV and factual accuracy. Ambi 11:38, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I also edit at ODP. I can confirm that the line - This has been a source of controversy as some of the data alluded to on ODP's Home Page includes hidden ODP "Test" categories that cannot be viewed by non-editors and are reputed to include sites that have been blacklisted. is inaccurate. There is nothing to prevent a current editor from adding any sites to the directory (including those belonging to removed ex-editors) provided the sites comply with the guidelines. Hardly a blacklist. Deathowl 15:17, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
OK heroes, I removed the sentence myself. By your theories lightning will struck me now, eh? --Pjacobi 15:40, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I doubt that you'll be struck by lightning, but until such time as the ODP Editor Forums, Editor Notes, and Test categories can be viewed by John Q. Public, the assertions of a current ODP editor cannot be verified, nor can the allegations and beliefs of ODP's critics be removed from the present article. // NetEsq 20:56, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Poll

So what about a little poll:

The statement: This has been a source of controversy as some of the data alluded to on ODP's Home Page includes hidden ODP "Test" categories that cannot be viewed by non-editors and are reputed to include sites that have been blacklisted is

True

  1. (assumed, please declare yourself): NetEsq

False

  1. (assumed, please declare yourself): Ambi
  2. (assumed, please declare yourself): Deathowl
  3. (assumed, please declare yourself): Kctipton

Comments

Poll started by Pjacobi 21:53, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

New Poll

Polls cannot be used to mediate a good faith difference of opinion and should not be used to force agreement on issues that remain, in point of fact, controversial. Netesq

If these are only opinions, and no facts can be checked, they should be completely removed from the article. --Pjacobi 23:24, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is a classic example of the logical fallacy of equivocation. The only opinions being expressed here are those regarding what the facts actually are. In other words, the facts are disputed. And when the facts are disputed, it does not give us license to do a hatchet job to remove the dispute. Rather, we are obliged to report what the factual claims are and the nature of the dispute about said facts, which is exactly what the current version of the article does. -- NetEsq 23:39, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

And why then, is your preferred version of the article labelled {{cleanup}} and {{npov}}? --Pjacobi 01:00, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Netesq's point is valid - what are the exact facts that are disputed? I'll see if I can provide some current information to help with the dispute. ODP does have ways of dealing with non-compliant site submissions - but as editors we are not at liberty to discuss them on public forums. This has been discussed many times on resource-zone.com, and the reason is that if we gave out information on the controls used either to prevent and/or detect the addition of non-compliant sites to the directory we would be handing spammers tools to circumvent those controls. However my big problem with the disputed wording is it implied that ODP has implemented measures that ban the sites of removed ex-editors - which is simply not true. Such sites are permitted to be added to the directory provided they comply with the guidelines. In fact I can think of several sites belonging to removed editors that are listed in the directory. It is also true to say that some sites belonging to removed editors will not be listed in the directory for the simple reason that they do not comply with the guidelines - maybe because they are mirrors of listed sites or affiliate farms or contain illegal content or because they use ODP data without the correct attribution or simply (and most likely) because they don't contain any useful content. Deathowl 00:33, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"Secret knowledge", if the secret is kept good enough, is also not an encyclopedic topic. Anyway, isn't the endless "X said Y in Z on MMM DD YYYY" style a bit out of propertion in the "Controversy and criticism" chapter? --Pjacobi 00:58, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
<< [M]y big problem with the disputed wording is it implied that ODP has implemented measures that ban the sites of removed ex-editors - which is simply not true. >>
The nature of ODP's purported blacklist is not a question of truthfulness or falsity, but of public perception and the reasonable interpretation of purported quality control measures that ODP editors take behind the scenes. To wit, it is our obligation as Wikipedians to report the fact that a substantial number of people have a good faith belief that ODP does, in fact, blacklist former editors, a belief that cannot be disproven by dismissing it. Moreover, an *official* blacklist is just as real as a de facto blacklist to these people. -- NetEsq 22:18, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

True

  1. NetEsq 23:10, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Logic

If you take a step back and have a cool thought, I assume it to be self-evident, that an article is not simultanously

  • correct as a mediation result
  • NPOV disputed

So what's wrong here? If this is a fine universally agreed result of mediation, the NPOV dispute tagging must go. If the NPOV tagging is accurate, some editing is required. Which way around folks? --Pjacobi 21:53, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Dull axe

Also when asked at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive A#How_to_handle_stale_NPOV_disputes I've got the (semi-seriou, I assume) advice, to use the "use a dull axe on any parts that seem POV and maybe also on the parts adjacent to those just to be sure" strategy. I'd gladly volunteer to do so. --Pjacobi 21:53, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

@Netesq: Viewpoints

A "viewpoint" in itself is never encyclopedic content. If you don't have new substantive material, all this blacklisting talk will have to go.

Also, please apply the laws of logic: As I have seen the other editor's standpoint re "blacklisting", I'm ready to remove the NPOV dispute tag in the state without mentioning the "blacklisting". If you hold that the state with "blacklisting" is NPOV, you have to remove the tag in that state.

Pjacobi 23:40, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Please respect the mediated version of this article and desist from your attempts to censor controversy rather than resolve it. // NetEsq 23:44, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
At each point in the time, an article can be re-evaluated for compliance with Wikipedia's principles. Especially when there are big {{cleanup}} and {{npov}} tags at the top.
If you have other plans how to evolve the article, speak out freely, but only coming to the scene for reverting to a mediocre status quo stigmatized by {{cleanup}} and {{npov}} isn't helpful.
Heavens, the Wikipedia has an Abortion article without {{cleanup}} and {{npov}} (most of the time). Why is it that difficult to achieve the same state here?
Pjacobi 00:00, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If you take the time to review the extended mediated discussions on this topic, you will see that all of your concerns have been addressed. In particular, your illusory NPOV concerns are an obvious pretext for whitewashing a controversial topic. It is worth noting that I have *NOT* reverted the recent contributions of other Wikipedians to this article.
In any event, the stigma of an NPOV notice on the present article is not my doing. I have witnessed a large number of Wikipedia NPOV disputes, and the the same old tired arguments are always made in favor of censorship. However, "[i]n a neutral representation, the differing points of view are presented as such, not as facts." (See What is NPOV?) // NetEsq 05:55, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Rather than placing the paragraph about blacklisting where it is currently - couldn't we refocus the wording of that section to deal with the subject it purports to cover. e.g. the accuracy of the site statistics on the front page.

I think it's fair to say that the accuracy of ODP's site statistics is primarily an issue of historical significance. As for the purported blacklist, that's more a matter of perception and interpretation in re ODP's policies and procedures than a question of fact. // NetEsq 06:02, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Hi Netesq, contributors, watchers! Let me first clarify again, that I have no personal POV on the entire ODP question, I'm just trying to help the copyediting into better encyclopedic content. You may want to check my contributions list if there are any doubts about this.
Let us please enumerate the remaining issues:
(A) The size issue
AFAIK nobody has strong enough feelings to neutrality-tag the article for this one, and it's kinfo of historical significance only, as you state yourself. So Deathowl's change below can be agreed upon, given that the blacklisting topic be handled elsewhere.
(B) The blacklisting issue
If I got this right, User:Ambi has strong concerns against citing blacklisting as factual statement and will disagree with removing the neutrality-tag without a change. But I also assume a consensus, reformulating it (a) as allegations of blacklisting and (b) stating that it's not a clear cut issue, differentiating malicious blacklisting and legitimate quality control.
(C) The who-did-say-what-on-which website issue
Of course I agree to the general principle of [i]n a neutral representation, the differing points of view are presented as such, not as facts., but does that cover giving this detailed chronology of events and online papers? And sorry to say it, do ypu think that yourself must be referenced in the article? But perhaps we should postpone this as last point. AFAIK again, the only one who very strongly opposed to your version is Anthony. But as said above I also consider it unencylcopedic.
Comments? --Pjacobi 18:37, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

And then, debate a potential new section for the blacklisting issue (which I sense is where the controversy lies - which it seems to me is something separate entirely.

e.g. Instead of:

OLD TEXT

As at December 8, 2003, the Open Directory Project homepage claimed that their directory contained 4,008,147 websites and 533,951 categories, but it is not entirely clear how much of this data is made available to non-editors and/or ODP licensees by virtue of the ODP RDF dump. This has been a source of controversy as some of the data alluded to on ODP's Home Page includes hidden ODP "Test" categories that cannot be viewed by non-editors and are reputed to include sites that have been blacklisted. Moreover, sites listed under ODP Editor Bookmarks are not included in the ODP RDF dump.

Have:

NEW TEXT

As at December 8, 2003, the Open Directory Project homepage claimed that their directory contained 4,008,147 websites and 533,951 categories, but it was not entirely clear how much of this data was made available to non-editors and/or ODP licensees by virtue of the ODP RDF dump. In particular, it is not known whether the data at that time included site and category totals for ODP Editor Bookmarks and the hidden ODP "Test" categories that cannot be viewed by non-editors, neither of which are included in the RDF dump. The current front page totals do exclude these categories (and sites in them) however. Deathowl 01:19, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Comments

(NB: It is true that the totals displayed on the front page were inaccurate at some point in the past and did include test/bookmark counts. But since I do not know the exact date this was recognised and corrected, I cannot say whether at 08 Dec 2003 the figures were accurate or not. They are correct now however - although ODP chooses to display more rounded site figures.) Deathowl 09:47, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

OK:
  1. let's change to the "NEW text", or even better, refer to the new rounded numbers at dmoz.org "over 4 million sites - 65,623 editors - over 590,000 categories"
  2. add a sentence, re-wording "blacklisting" to "allegations of blacklisting"
  3. further slim down criticism section, avoiding the appearance of trivia and kindergarten quarrels.
To further illustrate, compare:
(a) "ODP is funded by satanists"
(b) "John Doe claimed November 14th 1999 on his Blog [16] that ODP is funded by satanists"
Whereas (a) would be hard to verify, it would be encyclopedic if true. OTOH (b) would be easy to verify, but it's totally unencyclopedic. Who cares about John Doe's Blog?
So the "carefully crafted mediation result" only resulted in a monstrous wart of unencyclopedic information.
Pjacobi 15:35, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I support the revision of the text portion to refer to the current figures. The paragraph should still refer to the fact that in the past the front page figure was inaccurate though, in order to stay neutral. But other than that I reckon it could be moved out of controversy and into the "ODP content" section of the article. It doesn't seem controversial to me that an organisation identified an error in a calculation and corrected that error.
Re: blacklisting - I don't think its a sentence that needs adding - but a section. I'd rather develop a section on control mechanisms than add yet another negatively worded section though. I honestly don't think our policies are that controversial - unless you have non-compliant websites.
I've done some digging and it turns out that our meta guidelines are publically available and do actually mention the blocking features at their disposal. See: [17]
I'd just add, I had a quick look and - netesq's own homepage is listed twice in ODP. Which seems to me to be a bit odd if we are supposed to have blacklisted ex-editors. Deathowl 17:48, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The classic strawman fallacy . . . When did I ever imply that ODP had been anything but fair in indexing any of the several dozen URLs and Web sites of mine that are currently indexed on ODP? If anything, ODP has given me and my Web sites better and more fair treatment than most, up to and including one or two listings each for my guest column at Traffick and the XODP Yahoo! eGroup. Moreover, when did I ever imply that an ODP blacklist, that may or may not actually exist, had to be comprehensive in its exclusion of former editors? But most important, when did the way that ODP treats me become a litmus test for how ODP treats former editors? The bottom line is that ODP's critics are not a discrete and insular group, and there is no standard party line for ODP's critics. // NetEsq 22:35, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Ok. Ignoring the example of your sites then. Could you please elaborate on what you think the article should say on blacklisting and if possible cite some sources (other ODP critic websites etc) to support what you say? I don't mean you have to provide hard evidence of blacklisting (given that this would be impossible because the editor side of ODP is not accessible by the public)- but you should at least be able to cite evidence that a group of people that includes more people than just yourself believe that ODP is blacklisting sites, and you should be able to define what scope this presumed blacklist has? Unless you name any former editors whose sites are allegedly blacklisted and name any sites allegedly affected - then I fail to see the grounds for a reference to blacklisting of former editor sites. I'd accept your comments that ODP's critics are diverse and thus its hard to get a standard party line - although to be honest from reading resource-zone regularly, it seems to me that the largest chunk of them are disgruntled SEOs/webmasters who can't get their sites listed because they don't comply with guidelines. (I realise that you don't fall into this category.) Deathowl 17:28, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<< I have no personal POV on the entire ODP question, I'm just trying to help the copyediting into better encyclopedic content. >>

Contrary to popular belief, I do not have a strong POV about ODP, but I do have a strong POV about NPOV, and (generally speaking) Wikipedians with strong POVs are seldom a problem for me. The problems occur when someone attempts to remove content from an article based on a purported lack of "proof" about the "facts." NPOV is not about citing objective facts and removing allegations that have little or no proof; it is about presenting all noteworthy viewpoints along with noteworthy responses and rebuttals. // NetEsq 18:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<< You may want to check my contributions list if there are any doubts about this. >>

And you may want to review the extensive discussion that has preceded your contributions to this article. Most of the content that you are challenging is the product of mediated discussion. The only reason that a POV warning remains in this article is because there are those who want to see all criticism of ODP censored. // NetEsq 18:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<< Rather than placing the paragraph about blacklisting where it is currently - couldn't we refocus the wording of that section to deal with the subject it purports to cover. e.g. the accuracy of the site statistics on the front page. >>

While of primarily historical interest, the dubious accuracy of ODP's site statistics is a logical segway into what is or is not included in those site statistics, and blacklisted sites indexed in the Test category were included in those statistics at one time. (I.e., "Sites Already Listed Appropriately," formerly "Spam sites.")

A logical segway it is not. Saying that the contents of hidden categories were included in the count is relevant information. An aside about the nature of those contents is not relevant. Blacklisting is a separate issue. Deathowl 00:48, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As a general rule, I believe that most sites that have been blacklisted by ODP have been blacklisted for a good reason, but this article is not supposed to be about what I believe, it is supposed to be an article about ODP that includes an NPOV treatment of controversy and criticism surrouding ODP, and there are a significant number of frustrated site submitters who believe that ODP editors blacklist sites without good cause. Indeed, I recently got wind of yet another potential lawsuit against ODP -- this would be at least the fourth that I have seen filed -- that is being contemplated for just this reason. (I am frequently contacted as a potential expert witness on such matters at the pre-filing stage.) // NetEsq 18:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<< Of course I agree to the general principle of [i]n a neutral representation, the differing points of view are presented as such, not as facts., but does that cover giving this detailed chronology of events and online papers? And sorry to say it, do ypu think that yourself must be referenced in the article? >>

Why in the world would anyone want to remove a detailed narrative from an encyclopedic article? And yes I do believe that referencing me in the ODP article is important -- not for vanity's sake, but because the guest column published at Traffick under my byline and the XODP Yahoo! eGroup has attracted the attention of the founders of ODP, the group of rogue meta editors who published the now defunct "Netesqsucks.com" Web site, hundreds (if not thousands) of past and present ODP editors, hundreds (if not thousands) of frustrated ODP site submitters, renowned search industry commentator Danny Sullivan, and several attorneys who have contacted me as a potential expert witness in lawsuits that have been filed against ODP. // NetEsq 18:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<< further slim down criticism section, avoiding the appearance of trivia and kindergarten quarrels. >>

This suggestion is pregnant with POV and anathema to Wikipedia's NPOV policy. // NetEsq 18:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<< So the "carefully crafted mediation result" only resulted in a monstrous wart of unencyclopedic information. >>

I wholeheartedly disagree. By the way, have you taken the time to read through the mediated discussion? Or is it your opinion that anything that you don't agree with should simply be ignored, censored, and/or marginalized? // NetEsq 18:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<< It doesn't seem controversial to me that an organisation identified an error in a calculation and corrected that error. >>

That is not what happened. As set forth in the extensive mediated discussion that led up to the current version of this article, ODP's spokespersons steadfastly stood by inflated figures for the number of sites indexed and the number of active editors and never took advantage of the numerous opportunities that they had to clarify the facts. // NetEsq 18:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<< I honestly don't think our policies are that controversial - unless you have non-compliant websites. >>

This article is not supposed to be about what you think or what I think; it's supposed to be an NPOV presentation of all noteworthy viewpoints, and there is a significant and growing number of frustrated site submitters who *DO* consider ODP's policies controversial.

<< Could you please elaborate on what you think the article should say on blacklisting and if possible cite some sources (other ODP critic websites etc) to support what you say? >>

I typed in "ODP blacklist" to Google, and http://forums.seochat.com/archive/t-152 came up as the tenth search result:

"Ettore R. Peyrot, an 'unpaid' ODP Meta Editor/SEO consultant censored the comments. He deleted the message. I dont blame him. That is the way ODP editors react to criticism. His behavior is totally consistent with other ODP editors. If he knew my sites, he would probably blacklist the sites."

Similar sentiments are published on a large number of forums where webmasters congregate, and they are typically removed when ODP editors complain. In many instances, these people make their way to the XODP Yahoo! eGroup when their voices are silenced elsewhere, so if you are serious about providing a fair and balanced NPOV narrative of the controversy and criticism surrounding ODP, your research should begin with a review of the over 2,000 messages posted to XODP. // NetEsq 18:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Ugh. That was a long response. Wouldn't it habe been a better use of bytes, to just write the needed new "blacklisting" paragraph for the article? --Pjacobi 19:18, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Agree on the verbosity!
On blacklisting I am beginning to suspect netesq and I are not talking about the same thing anyway - I thought from the original wording and its context that he was trying to infer that lists of ex-editors sites are used as a blacklist. This is untrue. As several editors, including myself, have indicated in the poll above.
Blacklisting of non compliant sites is a different issue. Depending on your definition of blacklisting it is either true or false to say non-compliant sites can be blacklisted. I can't be any more specific for reasons that have been given many times on resource-zone Deathowl 00:48, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Why in the world would anyone want to remove a detailed narrative from an encyclopedic article? Because an encyclopedia is not supposed to give detailed narrative. --Pjacobi 19:28, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Paragraph on allegations of blacklisting

O.K., it's beyond my insight, why those who know far better than myself, won't write it, so I've added the paragraph myself and changed the "size" paragrapg to the above "NEW" version without the blacklisting.

Can please "both sides" comment?

Pjacobi 19:26, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Am fine with your wording really - maybe slight change to:

"Critics claim that sites are unjustly blacklisted whereas ODP editors claim that only legitimate defense against spam is employed."

Since it is only individual editors that have claimed anything, I don't know of any official ODP statement. Deathowl 01:08, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Another idea: To put things into relation, shouldn't the paragraph mention which sort of sites won't ever be listed in ODP, so that they may be considered blacklisted. As I've said my actual knowledge of ODP is very limited, but a quick Google search gives the hint, that sites used for Multi-level marketing are strictly excluded: [18]. --Pjacobi 09:21, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The guidelines on the types of sites that are not permitted to be listed are public. See: [19]. Summarised we generally don't list mirrors of listed sites, affiliate farms, individual member sites in MLM schemes (we list the scheme's parent site only), redirects (we list the site they redirect to not the redirect) and illegal sites (this includes sites using ODP data that don't include the required attributions). Such sites are effectively blacklisted - because an editor following the guidelines would never add them. Although of course we are all human and some of the tricks used to hide the fact that sites are mirrors etc do occasionally get past us. Deathowl 10:09, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Is the dispute resolved? - 3rd attempt

So, it has been quiet for some time, let me sumarize:

The "black list" issue
Has got different treatment and nobody spoke against this new formulation
Size of the directory
Minor cleanup of this point, nobody spoke against it
RDF conformance
Thanks to an additional clarification by 24.0.218.89 it is now clear, that the export format doesn't conform to the RDF spec, doesn't claim so (in fine print only, unfortunately, it's still called "RDF dump"), and should better have never claim it. It is however (today) well-formed XML without UTF-8 issues (I've not actually checked, but nobody spoke against it)
This is also reflected in the article, but some elaboration would be worthwhile
Too much trivia, vanity, unencyclopedic narrative
This seems to be only remaining point. But as Anthony who complained about this, doesn't contribute to the discussion, and I myself wouldn't judge the issue important enough for a {{cleanup}} or {{npov}} tagging, we can just ignore it for now.

So I'm again, and with more confidence, suggesting to remove the {{cleanup}} or {{npov}} tags.

Any objections, as specific as possible, should be made now and here.

Pjacobi 11:54, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I don't object to the removal of the cleanup tag, which is only for truly bad articles. While major and significant improvements have occurred, I still have some complaints.
Firstly, the "Allegations that ODP editors are removed for criticizing ODP's policies" section is still vanity. It reads more like an editorial for the XODP group than a paragraph covering a (not entirely unreasonable) criticism.
Secondly, the blacklisting paragraph still runs in with a blatantly untrue allegation, before posting an irrelevant denial. Netesq has produced absolutely no evidence to support his allegation of blacklisting, and until that day, the allegation remains unfounded and does not belong in this article.
Thirdly, though this is a comparatively minor quibble, there's no need to be advertising donotgo.com. A newbie editor gets booted. There's a thread discussing it. Someone leaks it. Said booted editor posts the thread on his site. This then receives a link in this article, plus the sentence - Even so, some of these private forum discussions have been published outside of ODP after being forwarded to ODP's critics by anonymous ODP insiders.. How is this noteworthy, apart from to act as PageRank spam for donotgo.com?
But on the whole, this is vastly improved. Enough to remove the cleanup header, certainly - but not the NPOV - yet. Ambi 13:24, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Hi Ambi, thanks for you opinion and 50% agreement. As you can see from the above discussion, you know that I'm with you on further removal of unimportant trivia, but I'll attack this as second step. On the "blacklisting" issue. Do you have a suggestion for NPOVed paragraph about it? Even without any evidence one would be sure that there are blacklisting allegations against ODP, as the spamming search engine optimization industry will be naturally at odds with ODP policies. --Pjacobi 18:20, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This is where an NPOV dispute becomes a factual accuracy dispute. There are accusations of blacklisting from those who've never edited, or haven't edited in several years. I will categorically state (as a somewhat disgruntled editor who now very rarely edits because of many of the issues outlined in this article) that there is no blacklist. In response, Netesq has argued that there's some higher level conspiracy (i.e. that there was a blacklist that only editall or meta editors could access), but I believe the onus is on him to provide any proof at all, for I have never seen any, and indeed have never heard the allegation of a meta-only blacklist apart from when he raised it on this page. Ambi 01:35, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
OK, the problems still to be resolved are noted and I now change {{cleanup}}{{npov}} to simple {{npov}}. --Pjacobi 22:59, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

>>(quote from Ambi 13:24, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC))>> Thirdly, though this is a comparatively minor quibble, there's no need to be advertising donotgo.com. A newbie editor gets booted. There's a thread discussing it. Someone leaks it. Said booted editor posts the thread on his site. This then receives a link in this article, plus the sentence - Even so, some of these private forum discussions have been published outside of ODP after being forwarded to ODP's critics by anonymous ODP insiders.. How is this noteworthy, apart from to act as PageRank spam for donotgo.com? <<(end quote)<< William13 Since there are no objections I will go ahead with this suggestion and remove the url and note link which said 19 though the note was actually 17.

I do object. If you wish to correct the numbering, go ahead. But the characterization of the "leaked" material as being in "apparent violation of copyright laws" is POV, and Ambi's characterization of the leaked material as being limited to the removal of a newbie editor is incorrect. On more than one occasion, purportedly "private" ODP Editor Forum material (available to thousands of alias-wielding volunteers, some of whom are current clients of mine) has been "leaked" to Donotgo.com. I, too, receive "leaked" ODP Editor Forum material from time to time, but I have made a decision not to publish such "leaked" material under my own byline by virtue of the fact that I may be deposed as an expert witness in cases involving ODP, and I might be compelled to name the source of such "leaked" material; I am not willing to go to jail on a contempt charge to protect said sources, so I destroy said "leaked" material after reading it. // NetEsq 17:16, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I won't debate the copyright issue so I will leave that off. I do object to giving a url link disguised as a note to any website, specifically in this case donotgo.com. I will remove note 17 and the url link disguised as notelink 19 because at this time it is two votes against your one to remove it as it is an inappropriate use of the Wikipedia and it had been over a month so you had time to discuss it earlier.

If only it were that simple. The content of this article was the result of mediation. It cannot be overruled by a simple vote of two to one, and it cannot be overruled by a doctrine of laches. I also disagree with your characterization of the material as being inappropriate for Wikipedia. // NetEsq 16:41, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I disagree strongly on issues of process and content:

Process
Mediation doesn't turn the article into read-only mode. it just tries to solves one dispute between specific editors. It doesn't set precedence for future actions of others editors and other edits.
Content
A forum posting isn't an encyclopedic reference. That's the short version, why your insistence on this link appears to be rather silly. (Note: appears to be and your insistence, not you). The long version has beend discussed backed and forth above.

Pjacobi 17:26, 2005 Feb 9 (UTC)

If only it were as simple as your strawman argument pretends. Nobody said that mediation turns an article into read only mode. However, there is a strong presumption in favor of a mediated article when a Johnny-come-lately presumes to change the content of a mediated article over the objections of a participant who has spent the time and energy to reach a carefully formed consensus.
As for the claim that "[a] forum posting isn't an encyclopedic reference," I wholeheartedly disagree, and such a controversial claim should not be the basis for invoking a revert war. Perhaps Wikipedia would be better served by seeking a consensus on a policy that supports that very controversial claim. // NetEsq 18:17, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Can you name anyone supporting your POV? --Pjacobi 19:57, 2005 Feb 10 (UTC)

ODP vs. Commercial Directories

Recent modifications to the "Site Submissions" section reflect a POV that needs attribution and balance:

"'The pay-for-inclusion model favours those able and willing to pay, so commercial sites tend to predominate in directories using it. Whereas a directory manned by volunteers will reflect the aims and interests of those volunteers. The ODP lists a high proportion of informational and non-profit sites.'"

Not everyone would agree with this viewpoint. An argument could easily be made that search results at Google, Yahoo!, and MSN are too commercial, but this is a result of search engine optimizers gaming search engine algorithms. When it comes to Web directories, I am of the opinion that the Yahoo! Directory's site submission policy gives informational and non-profit sites a much better chance of getting listed for free than ODP does, and in a much more timely manner. (See generally < http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html >, "Yahoo! Standard: - Submit your non commercial site for review and inclusion in the Yahoo! Directory.") Meanwhile, LookSmart has addressed this situation by allowing volunteers to contribute to its search engine database via the Zeal Directory. // NetEsq 16:37, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

The statement that the pay-for-inclusion model favours those able and willing to pay is scarcely controversial. It is logical and I have seen no evidence to disprove it. Acceptable proof would be a scientific, objective study conducted by an independant body showing that Yahoo is listing more informational and non-profit sites than commercial sites. As far as I am aware, the listing of free submissions at Yahoo! slowed to a trickle after the implementation of the pay-for-fast-review system. Genie. 14.59, 26 May 2005.

NetEsq, I must respectfully disagree with you. As Genie says, unless there is conclusive data about this, I'm more inclined to go with the current text in the article. I also think you're picking on the wrong thing - the current article text refers to a high proportion - "A part considered in relation to the whole" - and says nothing about the speed with which nonprofit sites are listed or their chance of getting listed. Here's an example: For every 100 sites in Yahoo, 10 of them are nonprofit/informational and 90 of them are commercial. For every 100 sites in ODP, 50 of them are nonprofit/informational and 50 of them are commercial. That's what the statement about "high proportion" refers to. Commentary on speed of review or "chance" of being listed is irrelevant to the current article text. -Etoile 14:38, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

[Genie:]

<< The statement that the pay-for-inclusion model favours those able and willing to pay is scarcely controversial. It is logical and I have seen no evidence to disprove it. >>

In other words, "Why can't everyone just be reasonable and see things *MY* way?"

What is "logical" to you or me and what is "logical" to someone else are two completely different things, and my educational and professional background in both the hard sciences (i.e., chemistry and physics) as well as my educational and professional background in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences (i.e., cultural and physical anthropology) makes me recoil whenever anyone claims that some purportedly "scientific" and "logical" claim are beyond reproach. Just take a look at any of the Wikipedia articles on topics like Creationism, the Aquatic ape hypothesis or the Duesberg hypothesis. In any event, Wikipedia's NPOV policy is pretty clear about how to handle such disagreements: All noteworthy viewpoints need to be presented dispassionately, and both viewpoints need some sort of attribution. To wit, "Some [or insert the name of (a) particularly noteworthy spokesperson(s)] claim(s) that . . . ; others [or insert the name of (a) particularly noteworthy spokesperson(s)] disagree(s), stating. . . . " // NetEsq 17:58, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

[Etoile:]

<< I . . . think you're picking on the wrong thing - the current article text refers to a high proportion - "A part considered in relation to the whole" - and says nothing about the speed with which nonprofit sites are listed or their chance of getting listed. >>

The bottom line is that it is relatively easy for someone to claim, "When I look at Yahoo!, I see just as many, if not more, non-profit and informational sites than I do in ODP." In fact, that's just what I -- as an end user -- do on a regular basis. In some instances, ODP does better; in other's Yahoo! does better. As such, I am inclined to dismiss Genie's assertion about the nature of ODP's content as oft-repeated ODP propoganda, just as I am inclined to dismiss her claims that she is being "logical" and "scientific" as pointless sophistry. To wit, the Yahoo! Web Directyory provides a vehicle for non-profit and informational web sites to be submitted; ceteris paribus, it is just as easy for non-profit and informational sites to make it into Yahoo! as it is for them to make it into ODP, and there are no definitive empirical studies to prove that the end result is as Genie claims it to be. As such, Genie's claim needs attribution, whether or not you or I think she's right or wrong. // NetEsq 17:58, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Very well. A reference to one example has been added, from an impeccable source. Genie 13:36, 28 May 2005 (GMT).

Your purportedly "impeccable reference" is totally irrelevant to Wikipedia's NPOV policy, which informs any and all contributions to any and all Wikipedia articles, and your contribution of unabashedly pro-ODP content to the ODP article. To wit, if you contribute content to a Wikipedia article that is sympathetic to a particular viewpoint, you are obliged to write for the enemy as well, as set forth above:
'"Some [or insert the name of (a) particularly noteworthy spokesperson(s)] claim(s) that . . . ; others [or insert the name of (a) particularly noteworthy spokesperson(s)] disagree(s), stating. . . . "
Once again, I call upon you to do the right thing and provide a more balanced presentation of the content that you are contributing to this Wikipedia article in conformance with Wikipedia's NPOV policy rather than using the article as a vehicle for perpetuating oft-repeated pro-ODP propaganda. Moreover, if you are going to add and remove references to the article, impeccable or otherwise, please edit the References section so that the numbered references correspond to the numbered footnotes. // NetEsq 02:12, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

The statement that "The pay-for-inclusion model favours those able and willing to pay" is not a POV, but a logical deduction. It is almost a tautology. However you asked for attribution, so I supplied an example - someone senior within Looksmart explaining the damaging effect of pay-for-inclusion, which he has been trying to remedy by a cull of over-represented commercial sites.

The policy of free submission also has negative consequences, which are explained. The ODP is swamped with submissions, which delays review. So we have a section on submissions policy which is balanced in approach. The previous version similarly mentioned that free submission was an advantage and discussed delays in review, but was written more from the perspective of the submitter than the current version. I don't think that we should be writing here for any specific audience. Wikipedia is aimed at the general public. Genie 12:51, 31 May 2005 [GMT]

NPOV tag

The NPOV tag is still on this article, but I can see no discussion on the subject and no material changes to the article for more than seven weeks. The NPOV tag is intended only as a temporary notice while POV problems are being addressed. Someone needs to explain why they think the article is NPOV, and make some moves toward remediating matters, or I'm going to remove the NPOV tag. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:10, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

I suspect that most people interested in making improvements to the article gave up months ago after constantly having their edits reverted with a note reading that this is the "mediated version". -- EurekaLott 00:13, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm with you with removing the tag any day. But after three attempts of mine failed, I did need some pause on this article. The funny fact about this tag is, (IMHO) that the normal reader don't even get it whether the article is too much pro or contra. --Pjacobi 11:29, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
I've removed the tag. I've no objection if someone wants to add it again, as long as there are ongoing attempts to fix any perceived POV issues. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:37, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the perpetual reverts were unthinking/mindless and disheartening. How do you persuade a reverter that the "mediated version" isn't the best one? --kctipton 23:15, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
I'll take the lack of response to mean that nobody has a good solution to the problem as of yet. I'm putting the tag back on the article. It may not be the long-term answer, but until the issues are resolved to everyone's satisfaction, I think it needs to be there. - EurekaLott 22:08, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps you should just fix the POV problems you perceive in the article. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:31, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
Why should I devote time to improving an article when somebody else is certain to revert all the changes? - EurekaLott 14:19, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Why then don't you discuss what you see as NPOV problems? The NPOV problem you perceive isn't going to get magically fixed by itself. I don't understand what it is that you want to happen; you want the article improved, but you won't do it yourself. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 14:27, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
The article now seems much improved to me. As long as it does not get reverted, perhaps the tag could now be removed? Genie 10.29 August 15, 2005 (GMT)

Wiki Directory Project?

Does anybody know if there is a "wiki directory project" in progress which could potentially be much quicker and more comprehensive than dmoz? Peter S. 21:00, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales, founder of Wikipedia, started 3apes.com, a wiki-driven Web directory, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere as of yet. -- NetEsq 02:43, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Interesting, thanks. Where was it announced? I've never heard from it before. Is there a central place where the idea of creating a "wiki directory project" or "dmoz-alternative" are discussed? Cause I'd really like to get involved in that. Peter S. 09:05, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

I first heard about 3apes.com (and Wikipedia for that matter) when Jimbo Wales posted an announcement about 3apes.com to the XODP Yahoo! eGroup. On that note, the original purpose of the XODP Yahoo! eGroup was to discuss alternatives to ODP/dMoz as well as discussing the future of the open content movement. // NetEsq 16:19, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
Interesting. Thanks! Peter S. 11:09, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
See AboutUs. Eugrus 23:38, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Major cuts by 67.165.75.41

I don't understand these removals. I want to restore them, but I thought there was an easy way to revert to a previous version. I don't see it. Do I have to restore content by hand?

See Wikipedia:Revert for instructions. - EurekaLott 18:35, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand these removals, too. I read that instructions. -- [20] 217.93.213.73 (talk) 15:22, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Open Directory License

I've updated the article to comply with the terms of the Open Directory license. This requirement appears to conflict with existing Wikipedia policy and practice, so those particpating here are invited to discuss how to resolve the conflict between the license required by the ODP for links to the ODP, the desirability or otherwise of links to it in the article and the existing Wikipedia policy and practice. I bow out here - just started the discussion by complying initially. I doubt that my edit will be the way the article eventually ends up... :)

Specifically:

  1. the license at [21] says that a link to DMOZ must contain the "attribution":
    "Attribution Requirement. As a material condition of this Open Directory License, you must provide the below applicable attribution statements on ... any program/web page from which you directly link to/access any information contained within the Open Directory"
  2. the "attribution" is as given at [22]

I'll leave it to the discussion to sort out which of the links are to the Open Directory, though the link to the main page of it seems pretty hard to consider as anything but such a link. Jamesday 03:06, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

The license text you elided in #1 above says that the attribution requirement applies to copies of the directory and to related derivative works. It does not pertain to every site linking to the directory. I'm removing the attribution. - EurekaLott 04:01, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
The text with pieces I removed as unnecessary, emphasised strongly for significant portions, is:
Attribution Requirement. As a material condition of this Open Directory License, you must provide the below applicable attribution statements on (1) all copies of the Open Directory, in whole or in part, and derivative works thereof which are either distributed (internally or otherwise) or published (made available on the Internet and/or internally over any internal network/intranet or otherwise), whether distributed or published electronically, on hard copy media or by any other means, and (2) on any program/web page from which you directly link to/access any information contained within the Open Directory, in whole or in part, or any derivative work thereof:
If the Open Directory in whole or in part, or any derivative work thereof, is made available via the Internet or internal network/intranet and/or information contained therein is directly accessed or linked via the Internet or internal network/intranet then you must provide the appropriate Netscape attribution statement as described in the page(s) at the URL(s): http://dmoz.org/become_an_editor.
(2) seems to cover linking from a web site and isn't conditional on (1) being present, though we do also use text from the site, so that clause requiring it may also be tripped. In addition, the following paragraph is also explicit that it's desired if information is linked via the internet. Jamesday 05:35, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
The directory's pages offering instructions for linking to the directory make no mention of the license. The attribution requirement is intended for sites making use of ODP data, not for every page that discusses it. Honest, there's no need for it here. - EurekaLott 12:20, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Scraper sites

A couple of Wikipedians who happen to be ODP editors have reverted some POV material under Controversy and criticism. It has been getting a little better, but I think there is something that could be said. The latest version was:

Allegations of questionable use of ODP data

Some argue that the ODP has lost its significance over the years due to the number of "scraper" sites using ODP listings and categories. These "scraper" sites usually have many spam filled pages derived from ODP listings while adding in their own paid text or graphical advertisiments. Those who believe the ODP has become insignificant attribute this to the open nature of the ODP and questionable websites who use ODP data.

It seems to me that, if specific sources could be quoted, this my be recoverable.

(OOPS, forgot to sign.) Arthur Rubin 02:05, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Apple Open Directory

Apple's Mac OS X Server includes an LDAP-compatible directory service called "Open Directory". However, "Open Directory" redirects here. Can someone make a disambiguation page?

Created one. Open Directory (disambiguation) You can call me Al 20:43, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Agree with the addition of a disambiguation page. SR - RE 19:46, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Linking error

Overture link in ODP User section is leading to the music article on Overture. Someone please edit the landing page for the term. Priyatu 09:14, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Errr...I'm not sure what you mean. Can you be a bit more specific? I fixed it. —Wrathchild (talk) 13:19, 24 January 2006 (UTC)