[Haskell-cafe] Haskell WikiProject

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 19 14:54:34 EST 2009

Hash: SHA512

On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 1:46 PM, Robin Green  wrote:
> Is anyone else interested in forming a Haskell WikiProject on Wikipedia,
> to collaborate on improving and maintaining the coverage and quality of
> articles on Haskell-related software and topics (broadly defined)? Not
> just programming topics specific to Haskell, but also ones of interest
> to the Haskell community.
> Some of you might already be doing this from time to time, but forming
> an explicit WikiProject might help to:
> * Highlight things that could use some attention
> * Divide up tasks (based on expertise or interest)
> * Recruit more editors (sticking a banner on article Talk pages can let
>  editors know the WikiProject exists)
> * Eventually (something for the future, maybe!) work together on a
>  Wikipedia Haskell Portal
> * And of course, improve the visibility of Haskell on Wikipedia, which
>  should help our community
> Here's a good example to start with. The article on Eager evaluation
> could do with some improvement - and possibly should be merged into the
> Lazy evaluation article, I'm not sure:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eager_evaluation
> We could also probably create some more articles on projects written
> in Haskell, and add more references to Haskell research papers.
> Software projects don't have to be polished to be covered in Wikipedia -
> or even working! - they essentially just have to be "notable", as the
> Wikipedia guidelines define it.
> By the way (getting a bit offtopic here) an annoying limitation of the
> Wikipedia category system, that you couldn't run queries like "Give me
> all the articles in the Haskell category that are also in the
> Unreferenced category" has now been partially addressed by the
> experimental prototype of Category Intersection:
> http://toolserver.org/~dschwen/intersection/
> This is slightly better than Googling, because crucially, it searches
> *recursively* through categories. That means it will turn up articles
> that are in a subcategory of "Category:Haskell programming language" but
> don't explicitly mention Haskell. Don't know if there any such articles
> yet, but it's worth bearing in mind that you can do this. I think it
> will, in principle, make topic-specific maintenance a bit more
> convenient - and it's what I've been waiting for before getting
> involved in topic-specific maintenance.
> If you want to just express interest in signing up for such a
> WikiProject (no commitment required whatsoever!), please reply
> privately via email or publicly on my User Talk page (User talk:Greenrd)
> - to avoid clogging up this mailing list.

As a longtime Wikipedian (almost as long as you), I'm not too
enthusiastic about this. More than once I've seen some editor
enthusiastically going around, saying "Hey, you know what this
neglected area of Wikipedia needs? A Wikiproject! That'll solve all
our problems!" And then they go form the Star Wars wikiproject or the
Evangelion workgroup, and things go along as before. (Meet the new
project banner, same as the old banner...)

What would solve all that area's problem is a lot of hard work by a
lot of people over months and years. A wikiproject does little to help
out with this, and in fact, is liable to suck up the effort of the few
people who would otherwise be out actually improving articles.

- ---------------------------------------------------

To avoid sounding *too* bitter and curmudgeonly and burnt-out, I'd
like to make a counter-suggestion.

Instead of a Wikiproject, why don't you draw up a list of volunteers
and set up a weekly cleanup drive? It would work like this:

1) Every Sunday, you pick some neglected FP topic - preferably
manageable in scope like datastructures are eg. [[Rope (computer
science)]] or [[Finger tree]].
2) You track down all the academic and realworld references, download
all the PDFs, and plop them down on some website where everyone can
access them. You'll remove them after a few days of course.
3) Then you use one of the many notification-bot programs to contact
everyone on the list, saying 'Here is this week's article, here are
the references. Go to!'
4) For good measure, you'll email Haskell-cafe and post a link to the
- -cafe email on Reddit.

This is all perfectly doable on a weekly basis, and I can basically
guarantee you tgat this will do more to clean up FP articles than any
Project-space page of templates and banners would.

- --
Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list