On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 4:06 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 11:28 AM, Andrea Zanni <zanni.andre...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Andreas, you apparently did not read the following sentence:
>> "Of course, the opposite is also true: it's a single point of openness,
>> correction, information. "
> Andrea,
> I understand and appreciate your point, but I would like you to consider
> that what you say may be less true of Wikidata than it is for other
> Wikimedia wikis, for several reasons:
> Wikipedia, Wiktionary etc. are functionally open and correctable because
> people by and large view their content on Wikipedia, Wiktionary etc. itself
> (or in places where the provenance is clearly indicated, thanks to CC
> BY-SA). The place where you read it is the same place where you can edit
> it. There is an "Edit" tab, and it really *is* easy to change the content.
> (It is certainly easy to correct a typo, which is how many of us started.)

You are used to the edit tab being there. Someone recently said on
Twitter this is the most displayed invisible link on the internet. All
a matter of perspective and what we are used to ;-)

> With Wikidata, this is different. Wikidata, as a semantic wiki, is designed
> to be read by machines. These machines don't edit, they *propagate*.
> Wikidata is not a site that end users--human beings--will browse and
> consult the way people consult Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Commons, etc.

Machines (with people behind them) _do_ edit Wikidata. Wikidata is
designed to be read and written my both humans and machines. And it is
used that way.

> Wikidata is, or will be, of interest mostly to re-users--search engines and
> other intermediaries who will use its machine-readable data as an input to
> build and design their own content. And when they use Wikidata as an input,
> they don't have to acknowledge the source.
> Allowing unattributed re-use may *seem* more open. But I contend that in
> practice it makes Wikidata *less* open as a wiki: because when people don't
> know where the information comes from, they are also unable to contribute
> at source. The underlying Wikimedia project effectively becomes invisible
> to them, a closed book.
> That is not good for a crowdsourced project from multiple points of view.
> Firstly, it impedes recruitment. Far fewer consumers of Wikidata
> information will become Wikidata editors, because they will typically find
> Wikidata content on other sites where Wikidata is not even mentioned.

That is why I am working with re-users of Wikidata's data on this.
They can link to Wikidata. They can build ways to let their users edit
in-place. inventaire and Histropedia are two projects that show the
start of this. As I wrote in my Signpost piece it needs work and
education that is ongoing.

> Secondly, it reduces transparency. Data provenance is important, as Mark
> Graham and Heather Ford have pointed out.
> Thirdly, it fails to encourage appropriate vigilance in the consumer. (The
> error propagation problems I've described in this thread all involved
> unattributed re-use of Wikimedia content.)
> There are other reasons why Wikidata is less open, besides CC0 and the lack
> of attribution.
> Wikidata is the least user-friendly Wikimedia wiki. The hurdle that
> newbies--even experienced Wikimedians--have to overcome to contribute is an
> order of magnitude higher than it is for other Wikimedia projects.

Granted Wikidata isn't the most userfriendly at this point - which is
why we are working on improvements in that area. Some of them have
gone live just the other week. More will go live in January.

> For a start, there is no Edit tab at the top of the page. When you go to
> Barack Obama's entry in Wikidata[1] for example, the word "Edit" is not to
> be found anywhere on the page. It does not look like a page you can edit
> (and indeed, members of the public can't edit it).

Now please go to any other page that is not protected. It has edit
links plastered all over it. Editing there is much much more obvious
than on Wikipedia.
I really encourage you to actually go and edit on Wikidata for longer
than 2 minutes.

> It took me a while to figure out that the item is protected (just like the
> Jerusalem item).

We have a lock icon in the top right corner to indicate protected
items like this.

> In other Wikimedia wikis that do have an "Edit" tab, that tab changes to
> "View source" if the page is protected, giving a visual indication of the
> page's status that people--Wikimedia insiders at least--can recognise.
> Unprotected Wikidata items do have "edit" and "add" links, but they are
> less prominent. (The "add" link for adding new properties is hidden away at
> the very bottom of the page.) And when you do click "edit" or "add", it is
> not obvious what you are supposed to do, the way it is in text-based wikis.

It is not a text-based wiki. So yes some things work differently. That
doesn't necessarily mean they are worse. I dispute your claim that the
edit links on Wikidata are less prominent than on Wikipedia.

> The learning curve involved in actually editing a Wikidata item is far
> steeper than it is in other Wikimedia wikis. There is no Wikidata
> equivalent of the "correcting a typo" edit in Wikipedia. You need to go
> away and learn the syntax before you can do anything at all in Wikidata.

There is the equivalent of fixing a typo. All edits on Wikidata are
much more similar to a typo fix on Wikipedia than not. Fixing the year
in the date of birth of a person for example is pretty quick and I'd
argue easy. And since it is editing in place it is arguably easier
than finding the date in a Wikipedia article's infobox template.
Please go and actually try it our without prejudice.

I am the first to admit that we still have a long way to go when it
comes to usability on Wikidata but the things you bring up are not it,


Lydia Pintscher - http://about.me/lydia.pintscher
Product Manager for Wikidata

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24
10963 Berlin

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.

Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg
unter der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das
Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.

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