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User:Robert Brockway

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Professionally I'm a systems administrator and systems architect with a strong commitment to the ideals of open source software. I serve as a director of Software in the Public Interest.

My preferred OS for personal use is Linux and has been for nearly 20 years. Having said that, I dream of the day when many of today's theoretical concepts in OS design can be rolled out into production. The OSes we have available today are good, but we can do better. In 1995 I founded the Home Unix Machine - Brisbane User Group.

For a while I was in the Queensland Police Service as a sworn officer. My time in the police has left me with an interest in, and appreciation of, common law based legal systems and their subtleties.

I hold Australian and Canadian citizenship.

For fun I love playing board games, in particular german games. I used to do quite a bit of role-playing and play quite a few war games but not so much these days. I even LARP sometimes.

I've had a long interest in the Middle East. In the region I have visited Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Israel. While in Israel I spent time on kibbutz Kfar Blum.

I have a smart and beautiful daughter, Amelie.

No, I'm not this Robert Brockway.

Recent Changes[edit]

Recent Changes Patrolling

Unfulfilled Life Goals[edit]

I'm happy to say I've actually achieved most of the life goals I've set myself. Fortunately I keep adding to the list which keeps life interesting. Life goals that I am yet to fulfill include:

Recentism[edit]

My position on recentism is that Wikipedia is a living document. At any moment it should be relevant to the people who are reading it at that time. As a result I have no problem with including information without an historical perspective, even if it is later removed since it is no longer of interest. This occurs with Wikipedia articles anyway, which undergo constant revision even in cases when they could arguably be considered complete.

Problems with Wikipedia[edit]

I think Wikipedia is great. I caught the open source bug a long time go so as soon as I saw it I realised the value. Having said this I do feel there are problems:

1. Anonymous edits

Anonymous edits cause far more harm than good as far as I'm concerned. People who care about Wikipedia will create accounts so they can edit articles. Just like crime most vandalism on WP is opportunistic. A minimal physical barrier will prevent most crime and similarly a minimal barrier to editing (creating an account) will prevent most vandalism. From now on I will comment on the problems with anonymous editing in the edit summary whenever I revert anonymous vandalism.

Some liken anonymous editing to the open source philosophy of allowing anyone to modify source code but this turns out to be a false analogy. All but the smallest open source projects restrict "commit" privileges on the source tree to trusted coders - open source is very much a meritocracy. The ability for anyone to edit the source tree comes from the ability to create a code fork. Those that do not agree with the privileged coders for the project may make their own project. To maintain the same level of openness WP does not need to allow everyone to edit the encyclopedia but rather it need only allow others to create a fork of the encyclopedia if they wish.

This very page was anonymously vandalised recently. The vandal made a series of anti-semitic and hateful statements against me (see the page history for details). I'm not actually Jewish so the anti-semitic statements were a bit odd, while still being offensive.

2. Lack of Consensus

I fear there is a rise of some who do not seek consensus. I have recently seen a concerning instance of this:

A memorial to Steve Irwin (http://www.ripsteve.com) was repeatedly removed from the page despite a consensus that it should stay from among those discussing the matter on the talk page. As each argument to remove the page was shot down another would take its place. So much for consensus.

3. Votes for Deletion

It is far too easy to nominate an article for VfD IMHO. Too many articles are being nominated. My position is that deletion should only be used in extreme circumstances.

Maui Cluster Scheduler was actually nominated for deletion and the result was "no consensus". Many of the comments claimed the article was spam (for an open source project?) or made comments that since the software was not used on a home PC it did not warrant inclusion in WP. At the very least this is parochialism.

Maui is a specialised piece of software. It has as much right to an article as any specialised subject. Much of the encyclopedia is taken up by specialised articles.

Donkey vote was once nominated for Speedy deletion. People need to stop nominating articles for Speedy deletion just because they don't know anything about the topic.

Articles[edit]

I tend to edit all over the place. I have a wide range of interests. Outside of computing I'm not a specialist in any area although I am well read in many areas of science and the arts. I have a strong interest in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Articles I Started

Other Articles I've largely rewritten

Articles Saved from Speedy Deletion

Interesting Lists[edit]

Places I've been[edit]

Nations I've visited, in order of first arrival:

Flag of Australia.svg Flag of Singapore.svg Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Flag of Egypt.svg Flag of Jordan.svg Flag of Syria.svg Flag of Israel.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of Jamaica.svg Flag of Venezuela.svg Flag of Aruba.svg Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Flag of Malaysia.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg

External Links[edit]

Testing[edit]

[citation needed]

Boxes[edit]

Dad This user is a father and proud of it!
Flag of Australia.svg This user is an Australian.
Flag of Canada (leaf).svg This user is a citizen of Canada.
Queensland locator-MJC.png This user lives in Brisbane.
en This user is a native speaker of English.
... This user would like to be able to speak more languages.
Mozilla Firefox logo 2013.svg This user contributes using Firefox.
Linux This user contributes using Linux.
SAGE-AU this user is a member of SAGE-AU.
BSc This user has a Bachelor of Science degree.
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they This user considers singular they standard English usage.

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incl This user is an inclusionist.
Gnome-help-browser.svg This user rescues articles for the Article Rescue Squadron.
Gnome-help-browser.svg This user has rescued 2 articles by improving them in the face of pending deletion.
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Noia 64 apps karm.svg This user has been on Wikipedia for 11 years, 3 months and 17 days.
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