[arch-general] What is the current wiki-poliicy for re-writing contributions?

chaos Feng chaofeng111 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 14:16:05 UTC 2016

On Monday 21 March 2016 12:22:30 David C. Rankin wrote:
> Archdevs,
>   What is the current policy for having wiki-contributions re-written? I
> have been a wiki-contributor for years, I've more than 28 years Unix/Linux
> experience, I am an attorney, a registered professional engineer, and I
> have spent years doing technical writing for NASA MOD and Space Flight
> Operations -- I know technical writing. Over the past year or so it seems
> like every wiki contribution made is re-written to the point that the
> immediacy of the needed information is lost, is replaced by a link, or the
> contribution is reworded in a bewildering manner.
>   Under what criteria does this take place? It has gotten to the point where
> you just get tired of helping -- why bother?
>   Under the current system, the pages are slowly becoming less-useful rather
> than more useful as more and more information is chopped out of pages or
> replaced by links to 3rd-party pages that may (or may not) be there
> tomorrow.
>   When I first began using Arch in '09, the pages were written such that you
> could fully-complete whatever task the page addressed without bouncing
> around from page-to-page hunting for all the pieces of the puzzle. That is
> no longer the case.
>   Don't get me wrong, the Arch-wiki pages are still by far the most useful
> of any distribution, but understanding the criteria under which this is
> taking place will help those willing to contribute determine whether to
> make a contribution or not. The goal being to keep the Arch-wiki, the very
> best that it can be. Thanks.


First, sorry to make you feel your work is undermined. 

There are two principles in my mind when doing Arch wiki admin work: 
"Remove duplication" & "Upstream first"

1. Remove duplication
Duplication in wiki is just as bad as duplication in code. It is hard to 
maintain. When things change, usually only one location is updated and other 
places are left there out of date. When user see two sections document the 
same thing with different content, they will confuse.

So some sections in "Beginner's Guide" is moved into their own pages.
You could refer the talk page[1] to get the reson behind changes.

2. Upstream first

Arch wiki emphasize upstream just as Arch package emphasize upstream.

It is great that Arch Wiki could be the document for every Linux topic. But it 
is even greater if Arch wiki could be the gateway of upstream document. 

If the document is not Arch specific, we hope it is contributed to upstream 
first and link back in Arch wiki. This way, it is not only benifical to Arch, 
but also to Linux/Free software as a whole. Thus we specify below policy:

* If the upstream documentation for the subject of your article is well-
written and maintained, prefer just writing Arch-specific adaptations and 
linking to the official documentation for general information. [2]

The best thing I like Arch: "Arch is a distribution that acts like just a 
distributor". Arch distribute packages which stay as close as upstream. 
We also hope Arch wiki could distribute our upstreams document to Arch user, 
not just duplicate the content here.

It seems some contributors are disappoint about recent changes and I hope 
above explaination could make the change more logical. And for every change 
you do not like, please raise your concern in the Talk page[3]. Changes will 
be reverted if it is resonable.

[1] https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Talk:Beginners'_guide
[2] https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Help:Style#Hypertext_metaphor
[3] https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Help:Discussion


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