Electronic Apple Pie
This week, we returned to WikiProject Apple Inc. for a peek at their newest articles about the latest in gadgets and software. The last time we took a bite out of WikiProject Apple, they had just finished merging WikiProject Macintosh and WikiProject iPhone OS. Today, the project is hard at work rewriting their primary article, improving the subject's outline, and adding to the project's list of 25 Good Articles and 6 Featured Articles. We interviewed Zach Vega.
- What motivated you to join WikiProject Apple Inc.? Have you contributed to any of the project's Featured or Good Articles?
- I joined WikiProject Apple Inc. in 2011 to edit Apple-related articles, being under self-inflicted pressure at the time to join a WikiProject. I don't really participate in collaboration, as there haven't been that many, however the talk and resource pages are really handy when working on articles. In my opinion, the iOS and Mac task forces could be utilized much more effectively, considering the scope of topics is more focused. I've contributed to articles on the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, 3rd generation iPad, and 4th generation iPad, all of which reached GA status.
- With the recent release of the iPad Air, refreshed iPhones, and new versions of iOS and OS X, how is the project handling the influx of new information? What sections of these articles could use some help?
- The articles are handling the new information inconsistently. For example, the iPhone 5S article is more developed than the one on the 5C. The iPad Air and 2nd generation iPad Mini articles are in need of expansion, especially the design, hardware, and commercial reception sections. One article needing help is the OS X Mavericks article, which is basically Start class at this point, whereas the OS X Mountain Lion is in the process of a Good Article nomination.
- Does the project deal with Apple's fans gushing over Apple products or Apple's detractors bashing the latest gadgets in the project's articles? How often do new editors try to add rumors and speculation to articles prior to an expected release? What efforts does the project undertake to deal with sourcing and neutral point of view?
- We deal with this from time to time, but it hasn't made a major impact. The most major debate was a decision to capitalize the "S" in iPhone 5S, which was drawn out over an extended period of time. A more major problem is the addition of rumors. Before the release of the iPad Air, an entire article was created about the Apple A7X, which was expected to be used in the iPad Air. The tablet revealed to have an Apple A7 processor when released. Sourcing isn't a problem that often, only for underdeveloped articles; it's just that people sometimes add information too early.
- The project's members have been hard at work on the Outline of Apple Inc. article. What value do outlines provide to Wikipedia's readers and editors? Have outlines received less attention these days than they did in Wikipedia's early years?
- The outlines allow readers and editors to easily access articles related to a general topic. They make subjects faster to navigate than portals, which is where topics on subjects tend to be located. Outlines have somewhat been replaced with navigation boxes, however they are still preferred for large topics such as Apple.
- What are the project's most urgent needs? How can a new contributor help today?
- The project could certainly use help on the newer articles, such as the iPad Air and OS X Mavericks. The task forces, while a minor part of the project, could be more effective if they had more contributors. The WikiProject often collaborates with similar topics, such as WP Computing and WP Technology, however this is not deliberate.
Next week, we'll imbibe the finest fermented fruit. Until then, stomp grapes in the archive.
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