User:Tothwolf/rescued essays/Open Source notability

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Issues have been raised about notability standards for articles on Open Source projects. This page will become a report, on Abd's responsibility, on the issues raised, relevant history, and both agreement and disagreement discovered and settled through discussion on the attached Talk page. Any editor may, at the outset, edit this page with objective, NPOV history of the issue and facts can conclusions expected to enjoy consensus, as well as editorial opinions attributed and accurately reported. Hence contributions to this page should not be signed; rather, discussion should take place on the attached Talk page. Any editor may edit this page, at the outset, but edits here should only be made in expectation that they will encounter no reasonable opposition from those participating.

About this page, why in user space?[edit]

Editors are free to discuss this issue in Wikipedia space or with relevant articles, but sometimes debate continues without resolution or conclusion, and with many red herring arguments and diversion. This page is intended to address that. I am, here, like the chair of a meeting. I'm not attached to any outcome, except that I favor consensus. I will, as I can, facilitate the discussion here, which binds no one. I may refactor comments here in order to keep discussion clear, I may archive what I consider off-topic, etc; I have relative freedom to do this in my user space, as long as it isn't abusive. I may not notice all edits to these pages, I'm in the process of simplifying my fat watchlist, so if assistance is needed here, request it on my Talk page. I will, at some point, hopefully, close discussion here; that would be a point where either consensus has been found, preferably complete consensus but not necessarily, or the arguments have become clear on all sides; the user page to which this Talk page is attached will then become a report on the subject, to be presented to notability guideline pages for wider decision. For the purposes here, canvassing may be permitted, as far as I'm concered numbers don't count here, beyond numbers like none and one and maybe two. However, don't generally spam notice of this! Informing users you have good reason to believe will be interested, especially on WikiProject pages, or in some relevant discussion, would be fine. --Abd (talk) 00:16, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


We have a vibrant community of technical enthusiasts on Wikipedia. Why do we have to defer the issue of notability to prominent bloggers and journalists? Except for the largest projects most open source projects would fail to meet this criteria. I propose that as an alternative we try to seek consensus amongst editors who have domain knowledge as to the notability of an open source Wikipedia entry.

For some topics (events and people) reliable sources is a good criteria for notability, but for many other subjects (e.g., open source projects) I think demanding so called "reliable sources" (AKA major media coverage) dramatically limits what we can cover to the point where we hurt Wikipedia much more than we help it.

In my mind, notability doesn't mean important. It means you would want to make note of it if you are researching a field (e.g., a type of software application). While their may be a good correlation between the notability of events and people to major media coverage I think the same can not be said for more esoteric but useful fields of study such as open source software.

Furthermore, in the field of open source software it is possible for anyone to freely download, use, inspect a project and form an opinion regarding it's notability for themselves. The source code itself IS a reliable source.

So in conclusion I propose the notability of open source software be decided by consensus of interested Wikipedians that have examined the project materials (e.g,. documentation, software, source code) and reached an opinion regarding it's notability. LirazSiri (talk) 14:03, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Random ideas on contributing factors to the notability of open source projects[edit]

Here are various ideas on how we might reach consensus whether a project is notable or not. Add to this list if you have good ideas on how we can separate the wheat from the chaff.

  • How long has the project existed?
  • Has the project released working software?
  • What is the quality of the released software?
  • Is the project a substantial original work? A minor fork of an existing project?
  • An estimation on the amount of labor that went into developing the project. (trivial projects usually don't motivate people to work on them very hard for very long)
  • Is there an active community around the project?
  • How many users does the project have? (e.g., a popular software application is more notable than an obscure software application)

-- LirazSiri (talk) 03:06, 20 March 2009 (UTC)


Open source related articles are a frequent target for deletions. Most of these deletions are probably justified but it just goes to show this topic deserves more debate:

  • 11,433 hits when searching for "articles for deletion open source" in the Wikipedia talk namespace

A better statistic would be the amount of articles describing open source projects which get deleted, but I don't know how to go about searching for those, so I'm limited to searching articles with open source in their title. -- LirazSiri (talk) 03:06, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Issue first raised[edit]

Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_61#Notability criteria for entries on free software projects? 08:57, 21 February 2009 (UTC)