On Wed, 5 Mar 2008 01:06:07 +0800, Eugene Oh wrote:

> On 05/03/2008, Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >
> > True.  What we need is a stronger culture of discussion and assistance
> >  among users of the various conlang-related wikis.  The way it is,
> >  little use is made of the opportunities the wiki technology offers.
> >
> >
> >  > Second, people could help categorize and standardize each others'
> >  > content simply to make it, again, more accessible. Suppose you want to
> >  > look up a (say) naturalistic artlang that has clicks and translation
> >  > of the Babel text. Doing so now is difficult; you have to rely on
> >  > someone knowing someone who's done it. If it were categorized well, it
> >  > wouldn't be.
> >
> >
> > Yes.
> >
> The problem is probably pithily summarised in a word: fear. Not
> outright I'm-afraid-he'll-kill-me-if-I-touch-his-page kind of way, but
> in a am-I-getting-it-right or maybe a what-if-it-isn't-what-he-meant
> way, which pretty much overrides any possibilities wikitech gives us.
> I've faced the problem myself, having edited so many Pedia articles
> that the first time I came across Frath I had an urge to edit (or at
> least copyedit) many of the articles therein, but kept hesitating. For
> the above reason.

Right.  After all, with most conlangs and conworlds, the author is
the only "expert" on the project in question, and others fear that by
editing the page, they would cause more harm than good, at least when
it comes to content (as opposed to obvious spelling or formating errors
where one can easily guess what the author intended).  On Wikipedia,
there are usually many people who know about the subject in question
and can clarify unclear statements or correct factual errors.  On
FrathWiki, things are different because the only one who definitely
knows the "facts" is the author of the project.  What a reader *can*
do in such a situation is to leave a note on the discussion page,
though, which, alas, doesn't happen frequently.

> I think even if there were an explicit purpose, it wouldn't help much
> with encouraging edits. Who's to evaluate fulfilment of said purposes?

While there may be instances where an objective evaluation may be
possible, in most cases it is not.  We are talking about *art* here,
and art is free - there is no "right" or "wrong" - and changing
someone else's work amounts more or less to vandalism.  What you
called "fear" I would rather call "respect" - respect of other
people's works.  You may voice your opinion on someone else's
conlang (and you could do that, on FrathWiki, via the discussion
page), you may suggest improvements to the author, but you may not
change it, at least not with the author's consent.

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