It looks like more corrections--of both facts and opinions--are necessary.
"(1) This is now false. [..] But Jimbo Wales, president and CEO of Bomis (a very small company), has made it clear repeatedly in recent months, and especially in the last few weeks, that he intends to transfer management of Wikipedia and Nupedia to a nonprofit organization."
OK, while we're registering our lack of interest, I don't particularly care about whether you care about intentions. But, interest or lack thereof aside, let's make sure all the relevant facts are on the table. Jimbo's stated this intention publicly to an audience filled with people who are not exactly sympathetic to for-profit businesses; he would be instantly forked into oblivion if he went back on his word. And he knows this--he's not stupid. Give him a little credit and a little sympathy. He deserves both. He poured a few hundred thousand dollars, the boon of the Internet bubble days, into the project, and now expects no return. He's said as much, too.
(Emphasis mine.) Sorry, Larry, I don't care about intents.
For the time being, Wikipedia is commercial --
Repeating this isn't going to make it true.
...nor does it matter whether you believe that a free content encyclopedia can legitimately be described as commercial...
Your suggestion here was that the content development project is properly described as "commercial." That would be like calling Linux "commercial" because there are versions of Linux for sale by for-profit businesses; yes, the businesses are commercial, but the project ain't. It is true that the company that has started the project, that hosts it, and that has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on it remains for profit. It's also true, as I said and as you find uninteresting, that the head of this company has publicly stated on several occasions that--when the time and pro bono help to do so can be found (for reasons I won't go into, Jimbo's time has been very limited lately)--said company plans to give the domain names, the "Nupedia" and "Wikipedia" names, and whatever else there is to give that's associated with the projects, to a nonprofit Nupedia Foundation.
If, knowing all this, you continue to insist that Wikipedia is a "commercial project," that's your prerogative. At least, I hope, the readers understand exactly what little you mean by this. It would have been better reportage to include all of the relevant facts, in any case.
This "correction" is really more PR than anything else. Please stick to the facts.
I am just sticking to the facts; I'm simply adding a few that you, puzzlingly, left out.
(3) Well, that's just your opinion. yooden, TheCunctator and others would probably disagree, ...
Well of course they would disagree. Yooden left in a huff after one incident that primarily consisted of a misunderstanding, and The Cunctator is, well, The Cunctator.
...but I'll let your own words in this comment alone ("ludicrous", "discouraged bullshit", "borders on libelous" etc.) speak for themselves as to whether or not your style of communication is aggressive.
You missed my point, or rather, you're changing yours. You said: "his frequent engagement in disputes was criticized by many other 'Wikipedians' as too aggressive." I denied this; to my knowledge, it was not criticized for being too aggressive by many Wikipedians. I never denied that I aggressively replied to criticism such as yours right now. Because, after all, very many of the (indeed, silly) disputes I found myself engaged in regarded my involvement in the project. So this aggressiveness was very often, as it is now, in self-defense, often self-defense against relative newcomers such as yourself, Yooden, and others. (Most people, once they've finally grokked what Wikipedia was all about, were very happy to have me around.) I was all too keenly aware that my ability to lead a volunteer project depended directly on the amount of respect I had among my fellow contributors; if I did not directly and forcefully reply to unwarranted, false, misleading, etc., attacks on myself and the project, my ability to lead would be undermined. I think that's reasonable, although I admit I could be wrong (!).
I also do not deny that occasionally I was harsh--"aggressive" isn't a word I'd use, but we needn't quibble about that--in response to what I regarded as abuse or misuse of the system I was managing. I would continue to do this, if I could. In doing this, I think I had the broad support of most Wikipedians.
Ironically, I personally agree with you in most cases, but your social skills are in desperate need for improvement.
Oh, the irony.
(5) Well, in the first weeks after the transition, loading individual pages could take from 5 to 30 seconds, with my personal average being around 10 (sometimes they came up quicker, probably when they were cached). This slowdown had deterred any but the most loyal followers and in spite of hardware upgrades, the slowdown still was quite noticable for a while. But I agree that the problems are now solved, that's why I wrote "temporarily". Had they not been, Wikipedia surely would have died.
Read again what you wrote: "The transition to a new PHP-based Wiki engine has put the project temporarily in peril, with massive slowdowns for common operations." This is ambiguous: are the "temporary" massive slowdowns continuing or not? If the project has been put in peril, it sounds like the slowdowns are continuing; otherwise, why say the project was in peril? (If they're over, the project wasn't in peril, in fact.) So, I think for most English readers, the natural way of understanding your sentence is that the "massive slowdowns" are continuing into the present. That's how I understood your sentence. Anyway, it's nice to know you aren't trying to claim otherwise, now.
I also agree that the new software has great features and that its developers have been doing a great job.
This would have been a good thing to trumpet that loudly and happily in the original post. Or do you make a habit of pointing out only the bad news in the worst possible light?
But you seem to want to deny all criticism of the transition process, no matter how accurate.
No. I don't see the point it "criticizing the transition process." If you support the project, you might (in the mere interests of reportage) simply state that we had a few rough weeks but that we've come out the other side very nicely and things are looking up, as far as the software and hosting are concerned. We've been surprised that a whole bunch of good programmers have jumped on board and are hard at work on the free software that runs the project. This is a new side of the Wikipedia project that up until now we've only hoped for. It's great.
(6) This is not a correction but a personal opinion as reply to my own (explicitly labeled as commentary).
I suppose that's right: I was explaining why I think your opinion is wrong. Putting "some corrections" at the top of my list of replies might indeed lead some to think that I intended to be giving only factual corrections.
Larry, again, your tone confirms me in my view that the project will probably thrive without you, in spite of your otherwise great contributions.
That's very curious, "Eloquence." You seem to think that my mere tone, in response to hostile criticisms of me , is somehow indicative of the chances of the success or failure of the project. That doesn't follow. It is, at best, only one very small element in the whole explanation of why Wikipedia is working as well as it is.
To the disinterested readers following this charming exchange, I'd just like to say this: golly, I sure am sorry you had to read this. I have had to deal with this sort of attack more often than I care to remember, for the past, say, nine months. So I've gotten into a certain defensive mode in dealing with the likes of Eloquence. But Wikipedia generally isn't like this. Eloquence definitely isn't a representative Wikipedian, and for that matter, neither am I. Most people who contribute to Wikipedia are unquestionably polite most of the time, and they have a lot of fun working together on encyclopedia articles. I really do hope you'll join them and make sure high standards of quality and neutrality are maintained.
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