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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [proposal] Doco
Date Sat, 25 Oct 2003 10:14:26 GMT

On Friday, Oct 24, 2003, at 15:57 Europe/Rome, Steven Noels wrote:

> Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>> In the entire history of the wiki, we had only a few cases of severe 
>> vandalism on our wiki.
> Please don't over-generalize, Stefano. We have weekly 'annoyances' on 
> the Cocoon Wiki ATM, but some people happen to clean them up sooner 
> rather than later. I know the Wiki appears to be running smoothly, but 
> it requires energy and handholding at times - these times even that 
> much that I'm still hunting for some free moment to move it to moof. 
> Ditto with moderation: I have at the very least 20 spam mails and 
> viruses awaiting me in my moderation inbox (from all Cocoon lists) on 
> a daily basis, some days more.

I'm sorry, I didn't make myself clear with the above:

my point was not that a document management system doesn't need work to 
operate (being a wiki or something more complex doesn't matter), but 
that since the "severe" vandalism (that vandalism that would be 
"embarassing" for us in front of our public and in front of the ASF 
board/members/infrastructure) frequency is very low, the "error 
prone"-ness of the system (as was implied) has to be normalized with 
that severity frequency.

I mean: if you get "look mom, I can modify an apache site" on because somebody wrongly hit reply instead of 
reply-to-all, then nobody does anything for 24 hours and the above gets 
published is not a big deal.

Different would be to have "f**k [insert your favorite public figure 
here]" or child pornography passing thru the system, but in order to 
happen, the chain of events that should happen are:

  1) somebody does that kind of vandalism (so far, happened only a few 
  2) a moderator sends "reply-to" instead of "reply-to-all" and *NO 
OTHER MODERATOR* does anything (the probability of this event is, IMO, 
already rare, redundancy of moderation should also reduce errors)
  3) the change is approved, approuval email is sent back to the 
moderators list and nobody goes to the backend of the system to revert 
the changes for 24 hours (again, pretty unlikely that I would receive 
an email that says "this change was accepted by "blah" see the diff 
inside" and I would just sit and watch... the 24 hour period should be 
enough to get at least one other moderator see it... keep in mind that 
moderators don't need to be necessarely committers)

It is not impossible that such a chain of events happen. But it is not 
so prone to errors as it might seem at first sight. [well, at least 
that's my impression, practice might prove me dead wrong]

> > That workflow is designed to prevent the vandalist acts but
> > without slowing down the creative process.
> We definitely need some form of oversight. The current 'mass push' to 
> a mailing list appears to be working quite well IMHO.

We need "pre-emptive oversight" if we want to have the slight chance of 
having the ASF infrastructure team allow us to use such a system in 


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