[uf-discuss] Discussion of public domain declaration template usage

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Wed Jul 25 12:40:15 PDT 2007

On 7/25/07 2:29 AM, "Andy Mabbett" <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:

> I made this edit in the light of Manu's well- intentioned, but misguided,
> request that changes be made to the template:
> <http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2007-July/010238.ht
> ml>

To be clear, such changes are NOT going to be made to the template.

Here's why:

The text of the template was taken from Wikipedia, deliberately, as-is in
order to be clearly consistent with the Public Domain Declaration there.
That's the safest thing to do for a number of reasons (consistency, not
introducing unintended changes etc.).

We are essentially saying we believe that Wikipedia has done the right thing
with respect to their public domain declaration and are joining that in that

Anybody wanting to change that should take it up upstream as it were, take
the debate to the Wikipedia's public domain declaration.  We don't want the
debate about public domain wording here.  Any further issue with that can be
taken up with Rohit per the instructions on his user page.

> I would STRONGLY advise anyone thinking of placing their contributions
> into the public domain to "subst" the template (or use their own wording),

This is NOT the method of inclusion of the template used by Wikipedia, and
thus it is NOT recommended on that basis.

This is also a REALLY BAD IDEA due to the fact that if any subtle changes of
wording of public domain declaration occur across people's user pages, then
it becomes much harder to determine if they are consistent or not to place
pages which people have jointly edited into the public domain.

It is best for the community for everyone to use *one* public domain
declaration, period.  And if that declaration needs to be corrected due to a
typo etc., it is better that *everyone* get those fixes and stay consistent.

Frankly Andy, due to your use of the {{subst}} method, you have now added
additional time cost to determining if any page *you* edit in particular is
consistently in the public domain or not with respect to all other public
domain contributors.

I'd like you to please reconsider and use the direct template inclusion form
on your user page for the good of community.

> rather than calling template which may be changed in future, to a form of
> wording with which they do not agree;

See the above.  Such changes, of *any form* from what the text said in
Wikipedia is undesirable for any reason, whether everyone agrees or not.

In addition, you can bet that if anyone *does* change it, there will be
sufficient people watching to raise red flags and point that out.

The *only* type of wording changes I can see occurring are if Wikipedia
changes *their* public domain declaration wording, it is likely that we may
and will follow suit, to stay in sync and consistent as it were.

> Tantek's justification for the edit was that he was reverting to the form
> of wording used by Wikipedia. As has become clear, Wikipedia and this
> 'wiki' are run on very different lines, with the former having far more
> openness and accountability. Wikipedia uses "subst"  on other templates;
> and anyone who chooses may "subst" thir PD template.

Wikipedia uses the direct template inclusion on the Public Domain
Declaration {{ }} and thus we will recommend that as well.  We're not using
other templates from Wikipedia at this point so what they do on other
templates is irrelevant.


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