I'm stunned on how far we can forget the primary goals when we get immersed into a good project. I've done this several times myself, caught myself going too far into a way because it sounds and look right, but I'm just forgetting what I was supposed to do in that project at first.
I feel like all wikimedia foundation projects are going that way today, specially when considering how difficult it might be to realize that deleting an article is just totally against any of the primary goals. And it happens for obvious reasons: there's no space for every single little thing.
Is that ture ?
The way wikipedia is done comes to avoid ambiguity in a very logical and simple way: there's a limit of characters, so all that's needed to do to keep it within the limits is calculating how much hardware space is needed to a certain number of total characters for any article. That will bring the theoretically infinite number to a real amount that we can deal with.
The vote for deletion attacks me so deeply in what I believe it's better for this community that I get even disturbed, so I might say things I don't want to, but the idea is just proposing to change the way articles get deleted. There are several things that could be done.
I may be wrong, but I believe this is the main and goal that should come before all others, quoting (again) the Wikimedia Foundation goals:
- The goal of the Wikimedia foundation is to develop and maintain open content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge.
For that to be accomplished, mediawiki software would need to work with garbage collection (yes, "ambiguous" link on purpose), a concept being used both in Java and .NET, just to mention the popular ones. It's just the same thing we do every day when we throw our garbage away. Instead of throwing every paper that we don't understand into the garbage, we make first a pile with them. Eventually we run out of space and, if there's enough time, we try to filter it out. Then throw it to a garbage can. Eventually, if it's separated, we might even realize we threw something wrong away, and might be able to recover it. That's one reason there is that step. At home, every street has its time to collect the garbage from street. How many people never regarded to have thrown something wrong in the garbage? If there was a better policy we might be able to recover it easier, but just the fact of existing the garbage collection it is already a stack, a backup of "spam" (do you really know what spam means?) which usually do have something good on it that we overlook. It is at least a second chance.
The space to store text isn't the big problem on a website like wikipedia. The biggest problem is the bandwidth it can consume. So, just by making the search more relevant, using garbage where nothing will be searched, and throwing articles for deletion in the garbage instead of deleting, would already reduce that problem, a lot.
It's amazing how there's no simple way to do backups. At all. Just a simple backup of any article, specially userpage, could potentially reduce storage on the server without harming anyone's feeling too much. At least no content will be lost. Maybe that's already in the todo list of mediawiki, but since it's part of this whole suggestion, couldn't help on at least mentioning this.
Of course there is a cost to increase capacity be it storage or bandwidth. And donations have proven to not always be enough to keep up the growth potential wikipedia has. Hell, it could be as big as google today if it had a better way to gather financial resources. Ideas are everywhere, but since it's based on a foundation, free and most of all, old opensource ideas, we are mostly afraid of trying anything new.
I'm hoping this little idea I'm trying to write about can be an attempt to fix that, and could fortunately work, or not work without any harm done. I'm calling it wikimark.
I'm only asking to read carefully, give it a chance to understand all the reason behind this suggestion. This is the third time I'm trying to make the same suggestion and I keep getting deleted. I'm improving on how to use words for it, and also getting more and more complicated. It is a simple idea, it's not my idea, it's there and it could be for the best. I just know that, while it has a step by step procedure, and is applied slowly and carefully, it could be no harm. It could work over a year or over a month, it all depends on how fast the steps can be done, how fast people can understand them, and also if it is actually valid. But missing a step can be dangerous.
Why not give it a shot ?
--Cacumer 01:30, 8 March 2006 (UTC)