Refactoring Without Bias

Original statement.

DeletionInWiki scares me. WikiRefactoring is starting to, also. If I've signed my work, I don't want anyone touching it (except to maybe fix spelling). Since Wiki is a writer's forum, as well as a reader's, I craft what I say (usually) with a fair amount of care... so don't go changing it, you! I said it with my own bias in my own style, not with yours thank you very much. Can anyone truly say that they can refactor a page and not put their own spin on it?

WikiRefactoring should be as minimal a process as possible. Fix spelling. Rearrange ThreadMode into ThereforeBut or ThesisAntithesisSynthesis. Add cross-references. Break large pages into several smaller ones. Take flame wars OffLine?, and post a summary on a new page. Just my suggestions.

I also don't keep track of what I write - I trust(ed) that it wouldn't be changed. See, it's a matter of trust. I want to trust that what I write will be unmolested. And I want to trust that what I read will be an accurate account of what happened, and will reflect the true intent and tone of the original author.

I used to have blind trust in Wiki... but that's becoming harder to maintain. The reasons that I'm worried is the recent proliferation of pages discussing refactoring Wiki pages. Several of them mention deleting content, and being bold and free about changing page content (RefactorFasterDeleteMore). This just makes me nervous. -- DavidHooker


Edited statement.

If I've signed my work, I don't want anyone touching it except to fix spelling. Since Wiki is a writers forum--as well as a readers--I craft what I say with care. I said it with my own bias in my own style, not with yours. Can anyone refactor a page and not put their own spin on it?

WikiRefactoring should be a minimal process. Fix spelling. Rearrange ThreadMode into ThereforeBut or ThesisAntithesisSynthesis. Add cross-references. Break large pages into several smaller ones. Take flame wars offline, and post a summary on a new page.

I don't keep track of what I write - I trust that it wouldn't be changed. I want to trust that what I write will be unmolested. And I want to trust that what I read will be an accurate account of what happened, and will reflect the true intent and tone of the original author. -- DavidHooker, paraphrased


Final statement.

Signed work should be carefully and minimally edited. People write with their own bias and style. Editing can change this, violating the readers' trust that the account on Wiki is accurate, and the writers' trust that their reputations will remain unsoiled.

Therefore, limit editing of signed work to fixing spelling, reorganizing a page, or adding cross-references. If you make a significant edit, you may want to mark the quotation as paraphrased, or make it anonymous altogether. Trust in PeerReview to save you, but not too much.


See WikiNewspaperAnalogy, WhoStuffedWordsInMyMouth for more.


CategoryWikiMaintenance CategoryWikiRefactoring

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