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From Noirin Plunkett <>
Subject Re: [Issue] External links @ the wiki, aka pagechange wars
Date Thu, 24 May 2007 20:04:43 GMT
On Thu, May 24, 2007 at 03:15:56PM -0500, Webmaster wrote:
> Hello,  
> After you read the article, how could you possibly say that it is spam?

I don't think it's spam - I think linking to it from the wiki is not

Firstly, I don't think it's well written. I know that many brilliant
technical people aren't great writers, and that's fine - I'm not an ace
coder. But at Apache, we work together. And that means allowing other
people to change your work.

> That is perhaps the most relevant article I've ever seen about Apache
> ErrorDocuments and more specifically, HTTP Status Codes.  Its the single,
> only place on the entire Internet where each of Apache's 57 Status Codes are
> listed.  Its the only place on the Net where you can find the headers of
> each Apache ErrorDocument.  Its the only article anywhere to have every
> single returned errordocument.  I know because I did the work, I filled in
> the blanks on the Common_HTTPStatusCodes, I wrote it, and I published my
> findings to support open-source and Apache, and for the benefit of the
> entire net community.

I have to disagree with you here. It's not the only place to have the
HTTP status codes - and if what we want is those, I think w3c is a much
better reference. AskApache may be well researched, stable, anything you
like, but w3c actually define the standards (roughly). Also, it doesn't
have every single returned ErrorDocument. I know, because I translated
all of them into Irish, and the Irish translations aren't there =) The
headers will be different depending on exactly what ErrorDocument is
returned - language negotiation, or custom ErrorDocuments will change
these things. Not by much, but it's still a change. You also don't
mention - again, just for example - that there are no required header
codes for 1xx status codes.

If you truly want to support Apache, put this information under an
Apache license, put it straight on to the wiki (not a link, because I
can't edit the content on your pages, for example), and we'll work

> I actually did research on the external linking of sources or references on
> the Apache wiki, asf, many other apache wikis, and the link to my article is
> 100% compliant with the policies, but besides that it is a really fantastic
> article with 100% relevancy. 

The httpd project isn't Derby, or Jakarta, or the ASF. It's the httpd
project, and while it's part of the ASF, it's also different to other
parts. The ASF works as a meritocracy. When you prove that you're a good
contributor, AND that you play well with others (even if you think
they're not playing well with you), you earn respect and a certain right
to be heard.

> 1. There is no copyright issue.

Great! Then put this content on the wiki, and let us tweak it. Not a
link, to somewhere we don't have edit access. The content, as it is.

> 2. Its 100% relevant to the wiki article.

Again, the content please.

> 3. Its the ONLY place on the NET with that information. It is the
> authoritative link because its the original source.

w3c is the authoritative source for information about HTTP status codes,
the Apache source code is the authoritative source for information about
ErrorDocuments that ship with Apache, a user's hard drive is the
authoritative source for the ErrorDocuments their version of Apache is
actually sending.

> 4. Its a not-for-profit site.

I don't really care. It's a not-for-sharing, not-community-editable

> 5. The source that I used to fill in the many blanks on the Status Code
> table was my article, and since the article is incredibly lengthy a link to
> the original source is 100% warranted.  

Bzzt, no. Firstly, the *original* source is the Apache httpd - that's
what served your requests, after all. More importantly, if I write up
stuff about mod_memcache - again, just for example, because this really
happened - for a paper that's to be presented, and then later, that same
stuff gets added to the actual Apache httpd docs, there isn't a link
anywhere to the original paper! And it's not warranted. Finally, the
wiki article looks good just as it is - thank you for the work you've
put in; but I really don't think a link will improve it. All that's
needed is already there.

> 6. is registered for another 7 years, so these links are
> stable.

I really don't care much about 'stable' - httpd 1.3 docs are 'stable',
it's not changing much these days. That doesn't mean they're always
right, or useful, or not in need of communal oversight and editing.

> 7. Have you even read the article?

Yes. Repeatedly. I found the English passable at best, and I'm a
linguistics student. I'm happy to work *with* you - but as long as this
stuff is outside the editorial purview of the ASF or the httpd project,
I can't do that. And even if you were to give me personally access,
there's still Rich, and Kess, and Bill, and Nick, and Paul, and all the
other people who work on our docs, as a team.

> I once again find myself in a wiki battle of reverts, but I just don't have
> the patience or the time to be harassed every time I contribute to the wiki.
> Its supposed to be a place where new ideas and drafts can flourish, shutting
> people down who want to contribute is not cool.  Calling me a spammer and
> calling my policy-compliant link "spam" is disingenuous and that rudeness
> and immaturity is NOT following the guidelines and policies of apache and
> asf.  

Drafts, great. Ideas, great. Links, not so useful. CONTENT, please.

> I have probably spent over 30 hours trying to contribute to the wiki, which
> I understood to be the trial area for working out new documentation.  A
> "work-in-progress" where the point was shared collaboration.  Unfortunately
> pctony and megaspaz have refused to let me post anything on the wiki.. It
> seems that every tip and suggestion I contribute immediately gets shot down
> as either being plagiarised, misleading and incorrect, or they just don't
> give me an excuse.  I have literally spent hours writing a new wiki article
> in the ScratchPad area, and a few minutes after I posted it was immediately
> deleted. 

I haven't followed most of your stuff, and I don't think your
ErrorDocuments page is awfully misleading. I think it's slightly
misleading, but adding a link to it rather than just the content smells
a lot of self-promotion and unwillingness to play nice with others. That
said, Rich has - very literally - written the book(s) on Apache, and if
he says the stuff you're suggesting is less-than-best-practise, you'd do
well to listen to him, and revise YOUR site - not get into an edit war
on the wiki.

> My stuff isn't discussed or improved upon or checked out, its just
> completely deleted.  My email address is on my username page on the wiki,
> and I have emailed both pctony and megaspaz several times to try and get
> them to understand we are on the same team and the wiki isn't their personal
> feifdom.  Look at my site,  Its almost entirely dedicated to
> Apache httpd tips, tricks, etc..  I challenge pctony and megaspaz to stop
> deleting all my posts and instead show me how its wrong.  Anyone who knows
> anything about Apache will immediately recognize my posts for being
> original, creative, and incredible resources for the whole web to enjoy for
> free.  My billing is currently $125/hr, I am NOT trying to make any kind of
> profit from, and to suggest my articles are spam is complete
> ludicrous.  Anyone can shout slogans,  I put the code up on the NET for
> everyone to discuss and improve.   

This project is a meritocracy. We listen to and respect people who've
proven themselves, by consistent effort, AND by willingness to play
nice with others. If you want to play with us, throw your ball into the
ring, and we'll play. Don't stand at the side, waving your ball, and
yelling "Nyah-nyah! You can look, but you can't touch! My ball!"

"Show me what I'm doing wrong" also doesn't fly here, unless you're
terribly polite about it. One of my very first commits was reverted
because I made a small boo-boo, and rather than whining about it, I
looked at their change, went over what I had done again, figured out
where I'd gone wrong, and sent a mail to say "Doh! Sorry, my bad."
Things like that earn you respect - and the next time I fluffed up, I
got an email saying "Did you mean to do that?", and got to fix my own

I don't disagree that some of your tips and tricks work; but the guys
here are as smart as they come, when it comes to Apache. And if they say
"that's really not best practise", you should learn from them. Hang out
on #apache, see how we work, what's regarded as cheap and hackish, and
what the latest-greatest ways of doing things are. There have been a lot
of changes over the lifetime of the Apache httpd server, and (almost!)
all of them have been for good reasons. Learn what's changed and why,
and you'll benefit your users and ours.

> We are all like-minded here when it comes to Apache, so I hope we can rise
> above the emotional aspects of this issue and instead focus on making the
> wiki a more productive and friendly place for everyone who has ideas and is
> willing to donate their time and effort.

I do hope you'll rise above the emotions too, and look forward to
playing ball with you in the future!



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