Miscellaneous ephemera…

Wikipedia Discriminates Against FOSS

There is currently an interesting debate on Wikipedia about deleting the article on dwm.

According to the Wikipedia notability guidelines, only

significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject

constitutes notability.

So 300 words by the likes of Randall Kennedy counts for more in terms of “notability” than the hundreds of thousands of lines of code contributed to dwm and its forks (awesome and echinus) and clones (xmonad, musca, scrotwm et al)?

The notion that, in the free/libre and open source software world, a project’s notability is measured in terms of the prose that appears in journals, books etc is myopic and—in terms of Wikipedia’s status as a FOSS project—quite disappointing. The real measure of notability of projects like this is the code they generate.

Wikipedia’s criteria actively discriminates against free and open source projects where the measure of notability is not the column inches in trade magazines sponsored by advertising and advertorial, but by the passion and commitment of large communities of contributors who believe in the project enough to devote their code, time and money.

Wikipedians need to review their criteria to reflect this reality; otherwise the “free encyclopedia” will continue to exclude exactly those free/libre projects…