how-to-play, community, tone (was Re: [uf-discuss] New wiki page summarily deleted)

Andy Mabbett andy at
Sat Dec 9 12:33:49 PST 2006

In message <C1A05283.82431%tantek at>, Tantek Çelik
<tantek at> writes

>On 12/9/06 11:04 AM, "Andy Mabbett" <andy at> wrote:
>> I spent some time today, creating a 'wiki' page about unAPI, documenting
>> the microformat proposed there <>,
>To be clear, it is not a microformat.

That rather depends on which of the many definitions you use. For
instance, if the admittedly woolly:

        Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are
        a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and
        widely adopted standards.

would arguably include it.

>  It is not based on real world
>publishing examples, it does not follow the process etc.

The "process" is addressed to people who "wanna (sic) develop a new
microformat". Since I was not intending to do any such thing, how is
that relevant to my actions? And what of all the other pages on the wiki
which do not meet the *suggested* course of actions on that page?

>It is a proposal for use of semantic class names.  Nothing more.

Aren't all microformats ("rel" excepted)?

>> Tantek has just deleted the new page, with no discussion or warning,
>> declaring it "not a microformat" and "offtopic" (sic).
>As it did not follow the process, it does not belong on the microformats

You clearly think not, I disagree. If, as you seem to feel, you
"outrank" "ordinary" participants such as me, then the manner in which
such precedence is decided needs to be made transparent (or at least

Nonetheless, instead of deleting the page within a few hours of its
creation (ion a weekend at that) you could, have discussed the matter
with the "community" first; edited thp ge (this is supposedly a wiki) to
indicate your views on its ineligibility, or moved tit to a page with a
different title.

>  See:

"Please only create pages directly relating to microformats on this
wiki" seems to be the only relevant clause on that page. I don't see how
it precludes my actions, which described a microformat proposal at the
external page cited.

>The community has been a bit lax on focusing on "real world" discussions,
>both in the mailing lists and on the wiki, and it is about time we refocus
>the discussion on real world examples which are likely to benefit the most
>real world publisher first.

I'm sure that the community would have benefited from having its
attention drawn to such an external proposal; from having the
opportunity to make up its individual and collective minds as to its
merits or otherwise, and from participating ion that process.

>> So much for "community".
>Andy, while I appreciate your frustration,

Are you sure that you do?

> I kindly request that you refrain
>from making snarky commentary such as that sentence on the list.

I stand by it, and refute your judgmental accusation. My dictionary
gives "snarky" (which is, I believe, an Americanism) as "irritable,
crotchety, impertinent, critical". It was only the latter, and
justifiably so. Your actions showed a clear disregard for the community
which it is claimed manages the "process". I challenge you to allow that
community to operate without such consultation-free intervention.

>I think in general we can self-regulate, but I am now open to removing
>people who are consistently abusive from the list if necessary.

Are you threatening me? Is that how you respond to criticism of your
apparently high- handed actions?

Andy Mabbett
            *  Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards:  <>
            *  Free Our Data:  <>
            *  Are you using Microformats, yet: <> ?

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