Help talk:Introduction

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Collect, organize, proofread, illustrate and annotate[edit]

The original wording "collect, organize, proofread, illustrate and annotate" is highly appropriate in this context, as it vividly emphasizes the full range of possibilities at Wikisource, and immediately encourages people to contribute in a wide variety of ways. In my opinion, erasing "illustrate and annotate" makes this opening to "Help" drier and less useful to us.

What do others think about how to phrase this? Dovi (talk) 05:15, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Since there was no reply I'm editing according to the above. Dovi (talk) 17:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
A strange form of consensus?! If your account had been active since your enthusiastic support for this, I would have put a simple question to you. Why not take this stuff to Wikibooks, a site that does have newly created content?
This was not a decision arrived at in minutes, but after considerable reflection on our scope. I am aware of previous discussions regarding this approach, having spent the last couple of years contemplating this I have arrived at a different view: translations, annotations and illustrations [not included in the text] are a recipe for disaster. It is simply beyond our scope to include original content, or synthesise a new work from existing content. Consider this with regard to translation of religious text. There are orthodox theological views that place a taboo on any form of translation, I can appreciate why that is given the often well intentioned though sometimes despicable translations of holy books. I would be surprised if this is news to many here. I am not suggesting that we exclude previously published attempts at this, they fit the scope of a library without tacitly endorsing them, rather that we deprecate pseudonymous attempts to do this, effectively making us publishers and hosts to documents that may be wrong, at best, or, at worst, malicious attempts to malign a people and their beliefs. Do I need to illuminate the worst case scenario with extant examples here, or famous historical ones?
I'm pretty sure my view is sound and offers a realistic, sustainable, and problem avoiding guideline, as my edit comment and posts elsewhere explain. Nevertheless, I'm holding a trump-card that I am loathe to play ... Cygnis insignis (talk) 06:31, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I refer you to Wikisource:What Wikisource includes, which has been accepted by the community as official Wikisource policy since the beginning of the project and remains so. Not even the talk page to that policy reflects any controversy. It is fine for you to have reasons to criticize a policy; I fully understand your reasons even though I disagree with them. But this is no reason a help page shouldn't reflect and encourage accepted policy despite your views.
You have made and again reverted edits without explanation. Now you have made a controversial revert yet again though there is no consensus on this talk page. You even talk of using your "trump-card" (which if I understand your hint correctly is your admin privileges) in order to enforce your view! That is not acceptable admin behavior; I am truly shocked that such behavior is threatened in the normally healthy and positive social environment of Wikisource, where I have never before witnessed abusive admin behavior.
I will refer this discussion to the Scriptorium where perhaps wider discussion both on the issue at hand and on polite behavior by admins will be more fruitful. Dovi (talk) 21:47, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm deeply concerned that this page should be changed like this. Whatever your view is, this is not the place for one person's view; it's the place for community consensus. The concept of a "trump-card" is universally repugnant on Wikimedia projects, and I'm very concerned about its claim here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:50, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Good advice, generally, what do you think the trump I am referring to is? Cygnis insignis (talk) 04:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't know; I don't care. It's not relevant to my point.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:42, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Its repugnant, but you don't know or care what it is? Cygnis insignis (talk) 12:11, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I know what it is; it's a claim that you should get your way because you have a "trump card". Whether it's pure bluff, a threat of admin powers, blackmail or what isn't relevant.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:36, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
As I explain below, it is not. Cygnis insignis (talk) 02:09, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The official Wikisource policy is not written in stone; it is decided by the community. Many Wikisources have decided to reject annotations of source texts, and I believe it makes sense; allowing users to annotate texts is the best way to deter serious and valuable contributors.
Concerning wiki-translations, I believe they should take place on wikibooks, not wikisource (if wikibooks are ok with it). This is because it is better for contributors to interact with a community that shares the same interest, and that does the same type of work. 99% of the work that is done at Wikisource is not about creation of original content, and most contributors here are not interested in content creation. Therefore, someone working on a translation at wikisource will not find a community willing to help him and correct his errors.
ThomasV (talk) 22:30, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Thomas, surely policies can be changed if the community so decides. But that is not at all the issue at hand here. The issue at hand is forcing personal views of how a policy should be changed on a help page, and then using admin privileges to enforce that to boot!
Policy change should be debated in a policy discussion. Allowing or disallowing are not the only options, by the way (so that useful material being developed doesn't remain forever in a threatened limbo). I highly recommend the use of namespaces for annotations, as we have done in Hebrew with great success. But this should be discussed elsewhere. Dovi (talk) 22:51, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Full marks for spin doctoring. I generally consider it dangerous to challenge people's beliefs, especially when they seem to have so much resting upon them, nevertheless: "which if I understand your hint correctly is your admin privileges" seems to have transmogrified into an incontrovertible fact. You don't, Dovi, it is not, I would never even consider undertaking such a reprehensible action. Your inclusion of a view, of which you were and are a vehement proponent, was removed and rather than discuss the matter or address the concerns, your approach was to start edit-warring, cry foul, and seize upon what you imagine is leverage - taking it and making it personal. I consider this exceptionally impolite, but I'm happy to ignore that and return to the issues. If Dovi wishes to discuss decorum, politeness and my actions up to this point, I am happy to address that in a separate venue so as to avoid clouding this issue with an unproductive thread. I restored my indents above, the first line is a response to Dovi with a direct question, the second is yet another version of my position on scope and inclusion for this sister. The third line indicates that I think I am solid ground with regard to this issue, that my rationale is a 'winning hand' based on current practice and views, and the ability to forestall disruption or become a host to unpublished POV. Despite this reasoning, reflection and support it occurs to me that I hold a 'trump' and, as I said, I am loathe to play it because it is not a practice I support. This relates to high-level concerns above and beyond the interests of any individual users, including the account Dovi and myself. That is why it remains unsaid, but it bears repeating that I would not use the tools in this situation and I fail to see how anyone would think that could be a trump card for advancing a view on general and best practice. Only the first line is directed is Dovi, and I invite the user to answer the question it contains, the rest regards a larger issue. I am not particularly surprised to hear the he.wikisource has translations to Hebrew, I hope that is not founded on the belief that it is citing a "policy" and acceptance at en.ws, but I would be surprised if the notion of pseudonymously translating religious texts from Hebrew remained unchallenged. Consider it as strongly challenged now, because I consider the view that they should not be translated (ever) to be a legitimate one; this does not preclude those texts which have been properly published and are attributable to an author. Wikisource is not an author, or a publisher. Cygnis insignis (talk) 04:05, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
You bothered yourself with no explanation in your first two edits/reversions, and I had absolutely no idea why you changed the text. I asked for an explanation at the talk page and changed the text back when there was no response. You then finally explained your strongly-held belief that policy should be changed here at the talk page, and enforced your view in the text yet again. As far as I'm concerned, the discussion about the "Help" text here is over, as I have nothing to add. I'll participate in policy discussion at the Scriptorium or the relevant policy pages after the weekend. Dovi (talk) 04:49, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Pots and kettles at best, at worst it was an example of someone pursuing a change, unilaterally deciding it was policy, including it in the "introduction" without an edit summary, overriding a BRD process, and subjecting the objector to a series of ad hominem attacks based on things they never said. Take the time to consider how you might answer the questions I put. "You then finally explained your strongly-held belief that policy should be changed here at the talk page"?!? No, I said nothing like that, that is your unfounded belief and you requested others put their view here. My view is clear, it is controversial and clearly that is true, I reverted with a diff that shows where you silently inserted the terms. I can find nothing in your comments that counters the very real, high level concerns I have raised. Wikisource:Annotations is not policy, it remains as a proposal, and inviting new users to attempt this risks realising the problems that have already emerged from this practice. I disagree, get over that and stick to the issues. Cygnis insignis (talk) 06:16, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Re "illustrate" We have regularly illustrated works by adding artwork from Commons that was inspired by the piece to our page of the text. Two examples I particularly recall are The Lady of Shalott (1842) and The Giaour. I am sure that there are more such examples. This is an existing practice and removing the word here won't change that.--BirgitteSB 00:51, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Translation of religious text[edit]

I see no problem whatsoever with translating religious text in the public domain. It's just religion. That we should respect religious taboos, I find as quite an absurd notion. Law texts and court cases, however, I think we shouldn't translate. P. S. Burton (talk) 11:53, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

The taboo is not the basis of the oppose, it is indicative of what problems could emerge. Why should it not be applied to legal texts? Cygnis insignis (talk) 12:16, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Translation is what the long-term success of this project will ride upon. It is what no one else is doing to any real degree of breadth. We are positioned to do it as well as anyone can with the breadth of assets Wikimedia brings in. Once some tools are developed make the process as collaborative as proofreading is, I think it should begin to take off. The problems that can emerge from translation of religious texts are frankly much less than the problems of writing a encyclopedia article on the religion.--BirgitteSB 01:02, 31 January 2010 (UTC)