Diversity Is Smothered On Wiki

From WikiSuccessCanInhibitNewWriters:

Diversity of opinion is a good thing, provided it's accompanied by thoughtful discussion. Wiki seems to have avoided the flame wars, but diversity is somewhat smothered here.
[A large contribution and a very NegativeOne about Wiki was posted and later deleted here. What seemed like a reasonably new visitor explained that he was leaving Wiki fed up of the endless repetition and false consensus he found here! See the only remnant of his comments in WikiAsXpTrainingCourse.]
Something that has always puzzled me is the way that the readers of a daily newspaper (the Daily Thrombosis, say) tend to imagine that their preferred publication is without any form of bias; whereas all the opposing papers (say The Dominatrix, that rag!) is nothing but a farrago of prejudice and special pleading.

And, of course, the readers of the Dominatrix can't imagine how the poor dupes buying the Thromb can't see through all the patent nonsense it doles out.

The reader/writer ship of wiki is a self-selecting group in a similar way to the readership of a newspaper.

But because it's a writership as well as a readership, the "editorial policy" is more volatile over five years than that of the Daily Thrombosis. When BruceAnderson and RalphHodgson were both still posting, Wiki was different than in JimCoplien's heyday. Then there was that RonJeffries XP episode. Now I've heard people call it a UK takeover (and that was one of the polite emails!). -- rd

To whom could they be referring? I can't imagine. There is a noticeable time-zone effect on Wiki. Sometimes I go home about 1800 GMT, after a load of European postings, thinking, "I wonder what the Americans will make of that?" This damn planet will keep on revolving...
Wiki is not a peer-reviewed journal-of-record. Those of us that come here, and remain, doubtless do so, in part, because all the rest of the people on Wiki share many of our prejudices (about software development). It would be nice to think that we all come here to take deep breaths of the bracing gale of contention, but that's not realistic.

That said, it's a shame that anyone, having once been involved in Wiki, decides to leave in terms like the NegativeOne that was once on this page but whose contribution has now been deleted!

I was slightly embarrassed at the time this page was live, that my name appears on OfficialXpPersonnel (under "some guy"), since neither am I an originator of nor was I a standard bearer for that discipline; merely a software practitioner with an interest in some of the XP techniques and having used them on a project and promoted them as possibilities within my firm. I now am bearing a small-ish standard for XP, so my embarrassment has lessened. -- KeithBraithwaite

Don't worry, we've got your name anyway. -- TheCounterReformation?

I wasn't expecting TheSpanishInquisition! [See IronyWarning and MontyPython. (It'll do you good.) We really don't hate anybody. Just treat us as childish Brits fooling around. We go to bed soon.]

WhyDoPeopleHateXp so much? Just wondering.

I've just created the page for you but I have to say that I regard this question as pathetic in the face of trenchant criticism from one clearly intelligent and thoughtful person above. If this gives you a persecution complex, I seriously doubt that you can have lived in the same real world in which I've had to deliver software. It's just this kind of pettifoggery towards XP that put this person off in the first place.

It took terrific courage for KentBeck to create ExtremeProgramming on the fly going into a key meeting at Chrysler with a project and team in total crisis. Please don't let the side down now with this feeble stuff.

This turned out to be too fierce, in that I now know who posted the anonymous question and why. At the time, I didn't. See AnonymousVoiceOfWiki? for a quick reflection on this problem.
Diversity of opinion is probably best achieved not by telling others to shut up, but by adding your own opinion. I'd like to read about XP; and if you think XP is nonsense, I'd like to read that too, and why. -- FalkBruegmann
Note that I continue to come here and participate even though quite a few of my views on engineering in general and software development in particular are in stark contrast to the pervasive stance of C2 Wikizens. For instance, I can see how Extreme Programming can work, although I have yet to see it actually work. (Some clients have yapped about using XP but have not done the real work involved in creating an XP environment. Oh, well.) I take issue with many of the tenants of XP such as little or no need for documents, design, architecture, yada yada yada.

Nonetheless, I have been blessed by my time here on the C2. Quite a few of what I consider to be the mainstays of my engineering process have evolved out of things I learned here and things I found here to be diametrically opposed to my own experience and that of other consultants with whom I work regularly. Getting into an argument here has forced me to do more research and solidify my own understanding of the process of engineering and what to expect as a result of my labors. This has led to a series of white papers codifying what I have learned to be useful and true over the last 35 years of engineering practice.

I could not have accomplished this serious writing without the discourse that has taken place here on the C2. Many of my old biases were replaced by informed thinking when confronted with observations by my colleagues here. I can but hope that some of my arguments have found consensual validation by these same professionals. If I have opened somebody else's eyes, well, that's the least I can do for all the gain I have found on this board.

-- MartySchrader

This is just the kind of thing I like to hear! It validates my feelings about PositiveDialogue, where the interchange of ideas between participants tends to a larger and more complete understanding of issues involved. This wiki can be made to work like that. The problem of smothering is real, whether it be by purposeful agitiation, or by failure to honestly discuss differing views. This wiki, after all is said and done is what we make it, in our contributions and persistent seeking for answers to QuestionsWeAsk. -- DonaldNoyes.20110319
See: WikiConsensus, VoiceOfWiki, WikiAsXpTrainingCourse


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