Saturday, October 13, 2007
  Wikipedia politics
Wikipedia was/is already the subject of some controversy and debate here at the NiXPS office. Kristof is a big believer in the community spirit of the project, I'm a bit more skeptical - in the sense that I am a big supporter (and user) of the project, but I hold the opinion that the project will perish under its openness -- if it doesn't start taking measures to protect itself from vandalism, too opinionated/biased editing, advertising, etc... It's a philosophical discussion, which I would really like to postpone for a later date/post.

This post is about the wikipedia entry for the 'XML Paper Specification'.

The article is there for over almost 2 years - in the beginning of this year I added a link to the NiXPS website in the wikipedia article. Take this literally: just a link - no add, no big blurb on how fantastic NiXPS is, no pricing, just the link. The idea being that 3rd party support is relevant for the format, and as not many 3rd party software is available for XPS, it made sense (at least it did for me).

A few weeks later this link was removed. Even worse: all links to commercial companies were removed - only a link to an open source project survived.
Also all traces to Global Graphics - a company that stood at the cradle of the format, was erased. Somebody 'purified' the article: no commercial companies - only open source links. And by doing so removed a lot of usefull information (sorry, Global Graphics -- being a commercial entity makes you too suspect to be part of the article; sorry NiXPS - you too, open source or be gone).

The changes of this person were reverted by someone from the wikipedia staff -- commercial companies were allowed back in (*whew*) - great, please note that it was not the community that made the system work.

Fast forward to this week;

Martin Bailey of Global Graphics contacts me: the XPS article on wikipedia received a 'this article is written like an advertisement' banner. Apparently some wording in the article was written too much like an endorsement.
I check the article - and guess what: a whole blurb about NiXPS being so great, and costing $300, and so on...

Huh? I didn't add this. But it sure has an impact on NiXPS.

I agree with Martin Bailey that the banner is unfortunate, so I edit the article to get rid of the overly promotional material.

In the mean time it has been rewritten a bit again, but as it stand it seems ok now: gives a good first intro of the format and the players, without being an advertisement for anyone.

Wikipedia is a great system, but the model needs work.

p.s. You can follow this also by looking at the history of the article.
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