User talk:Sack36

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Re: User talk:Dan Polansky/Wikisaurus[edit]

Hello Amina, I came accross this talk of yours just by accident. Please use User talk:Dan Polansky, otherwise I won't know that you are talking to me.

As regards User:Dan Polansky/Wikisaurus, on my user page, I have created it to find out how the tables would look like.

Linking from the image in {{ws header}}: I don't know how to add the link to Wiktionary:Wikisaurus to the image, so that's why I just proposed that idea. And I was just trying to make the header template actually useful, not to clean it up.

--Dan Polansky 12:09, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Redirect to archive[edit]

Hi Amina,

Your talk-page was left as a redirect to the archive; I'm assuming that was unintentional, and have now changed it, I hope you don't mind.

RuakhTALK 15:09, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Changes in Wikisaurus[edit]

Hello Amina, FYI, I have done some major changes in the appearance of {{ws header}}, as is easily seen in all the Wikisaurus entries.

I have been cleaning up great many Wikisaurus entries, closely although not perfectly following the layout that you have documented in {{ws shell}}. I have modified {{ws shell}} by adding the use of {{ws sense}} to it, removing {{tocright}} (that is handled in {{ws header}}), and added {{ws endlist}}.

I have reverted Wiktionary:Wikisaurus/format to its state before you came, and then added your consideration to it into its second half; I have updated the first part of Wiktionary:Wikisaurus/format to reflect the changes in the naming of templates. Also, I have moved those additional semantic relations such as hyponymy to the end of the page, so that the reader can focus on what is really relevant to creation of new pages.

Should you still think Wikisaurus is a worthy project, which I think it is, and should you be dissatisfied with some of the changes that I have made, please don't hesitate to talk to me on my talk page. To be sure, the public domain thesauri Roget 1911 and Moby Thesaurus II, each implementing different concept, present a fierce competition to Wikisaurus as a stand-alone project. I see the value of Wikisaurus as a part of Wiktionary, with each project being one click away from the other one, which, if I understand correctly, is also your view, expressed by you at some of the talk pages.

I think you have done a lot to get some of the important project discussions moving, and you have breath life into the project.

--Dan Polansky 11:56, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Formatting of entries in progress[edit]

I would very much appreciate if you would leave the Wikisaurus entries that you are working on at least partially formatted. You can achieve this by reviewing the edits that you make before you save them.

A case in point is [1], where there is for instance "{{ws|nuclear family}" or "----" that does not actually look like HR tag. I understand that you leave some lists of words unformatted, to be edited later, but the kinds of trivial mistakes that I am mentioning should IMHO not be there.

Thanks. --Dan Polansky 08:11, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I'll be happy to comply if you would try to do the same should you see something this trivial. That particular problem was because I had to shut down my computer quickly (thunder storm) and didn't catch it.

By the way, is there some reason why you don't include synonyms when you create these records? This file--class--was one you had accessed last and had not left a WIP marker on it. There were only about two senses and one or two synonyms per sense. Why leave it so useless to a user?Amina (sack36) 19:13, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I guess I don't understand what you are saying. I am always trying to leave any modifications that I make well formatted. Several times, I have seen malformatted entries that you left behind, which is why I have left the notice here. I would not bother if it would be only this single case.
Still, if some entry is malformatted, I do not see it as my duty to set all the malformatting straight myself. Sometimes, I just mark it using {{rfc}}.
I suppose you are talking about Wikisaurus:class. My last edit there is this [2], in which I do not see anything wrong. If you say that some of my edits are problematic, can you please link to such a specific edit?
I do not leave any WIP markers, on purpose. This is a wiki. Each of my edits is a completed unit of work, in the sense that anyone can start editing after me. I find the very idea of WIP markers going against the idea of wiki, in which there are no owners of entries and there cannot be any work in progress locked for weeks.
Re: "Is there some reason why you don't include synonyms when you create these records?" What do you mean? Do you ask whether there is a reason why I do not create complete entries from the very beginning, creating only one sense, as I did in Wikisaurus:class? If so, I am quite baffled. This is a wiki. Entries are supposed to grow as people add new parts. Entries are not supposed to be complete from the very beginning.
Re: "There were only about two senses and one or two synonyms per sense." This [3] is the Wikisaurus:class entry as I have created it. There is one sense, quite complete as far as I can tell, but then, I am a non-native. I find the entry that I have created quite useful, even if highly incomplete in that many senses are missing. I was interested in the sense that I have created, not in the other senses. If someone misses the other senses, they would need to put their resources into expanding that entry. Again, this is a collaborative project, whose parts grow as various users add to them.
--Dan Polansky 07:51, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

It was requested that I leave notification of WIP so that people would know that the odd blips and stacks of words is because I'm not done yet, not because I left it sitting in an error state. Hence the reason I was not overly concerned about some words not having the correct syntax yet. They are not there to establish ownership over a page.

Putting a word into wiktionary without at least trying to establish a well rounded work is anathema to what wiktionary and wikipedia are about and thus I extrapolated that it was what wikisaurus was about.

Your approach is what wikis are about when we're discussing people who are casually using the database. If you don't consider yourself as part of the project then you should not be establishing structure or guidelines for it. It's the casual user who gets to leave things incomplete and it's the volunteers who get to clean up after them. So which are you?

You have remarked about how we look to the outside world, using that as an excuse to alter my way of doing things. Having a single sense where there should be 9, and 7 words where there should be close to a hundred looks a whole lot worse than red letters. That you would have called putting that one sense in as complete baffles me. If you knew that little about the subject, you should have refrained from making a record at all, lest we get the reputation for being woefully uninformed. You could have just added it to our word request list.

—This unsigned comment was added by Sack36 (talkcontribs).

If you choose any random major Wikipedia article, you will see that it has grown in structure, content and completeness, from its humble beginnings. Just get the facts. --Dan Polansky 07:48, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
If you choose any random major Wikipedia article and look at the first iteration, you will find more than the title and one paragraph generally. When that does happen, a notation is put on it by the admins saying that it is a stub and needs to be worked on before it can be considered a valid part of Wikipedia. Amina (sack36) 14:47, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Nonsense. Stubs are a perfectly valid part of Wikipedia, and editors there are encouraged to create good ones; see [[w:Wikipedia:Stub#Ideal stub article]]. —RuakhTALK 15:36, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Personally, I think the general principle is that each version of a page should be better than the version before. Almost anything is better than nothing, as long as it's roughly accurate. Incompleteness is fine, as long as it's not the result of removing valid information; and broken formatting is fine in the initial versions of a page, but once we have a well-formatted page, later edits should not add malformed wikisyntax or severe structure problems, unless the editor really doesn't know how to fix it (in which case a work-in-progress tag shouldn't be included, since that implies the opposite and deters other editors from fixing it; rather, an {{rfc}} tag would be warranted). Remember that it's fine to work on an entry in your own userspace (e.g. at [[User:Sack36/Wikisaurus:class]]) and then copy the results over once they're in a usable state. —RuakhTALK 12:39, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, we've discovered that it can't be worked on in a user space. I tried that with unfortunate consequences.
Define usable state again. Incompleteness is fine only if we're talking dozens of words, not hundreds. IMHO. Incomplete is one thing, and if it were a casual user, I'd consider it to be a stub and fill it in. But we're not talking about casual users here and we're not talking about a single instance.
As for the broken formatting, I'm in the middle of fixing the page! If the page were a couple hours of work, fine. I would leave it pristine, but if the page is taking weeks, it's impossible to always have it in perfect order. The page stays functional, but not everything is pretty. It's the way it is, unless you want me to take the entire page out of commission for the length of time it takes to complete the work. Consider--I've been working on one of these pages for nearly 3 weeks. That's a lot of time to have a "coming soon" sign sitting on a page.Amina (sack36) 14:47, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
"Weeks"!!! Uh-oh. That seems like a red-flag condition. Perhaps there needs to be the equivalent of a Transwiki page for this kind of thing (imported from that free thesaurus, it looks like) so that it can be prepped "off-line" and imported or picked at for missing words in the WS entry. DCDuring TALK 15:24, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) If you'll demonstrate the "unfortunate consequences" you refer to, I'll help you fix them.
Incompleteness is always fine. If you'd like, we can create template messages for “more synonyms needed for this sense” and/or “synonyms needed for other senses” to make clear to users that a page is incomplete.
I don't see why you'd need to "take the entire page out of commission" or add a "coming soon" sign; and for that matter, I don't see why it's necessary to break a page, and leave it that way for days on end. You introduced these problems on 10 October, and they stayed there till Dan Polansky fixed them on 13 October. (If this was just an accident, that's fine; we all make mistakes, and G-d knows I've accidentally broken pages before; but you seem to be saying that you don't even think it's a problem to do so.)
RuakhTALK 15:36, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, weeks, DC. As I seem to be the only one seriously working on it, what gets done is what I do and looking up and formatting hundreds of words a page takes time. (I found ~150 for Class) I try to work on this every night, but there are times when circumstances (October 10 being the night my 18 year old cat died in my arms) when I just can't bring myself to do it. Dan didn't fix class. I did, that same day. Dan added back an unusually long sense that I had shortened to make readable; and he formatted one word.

I don't see why I should have to take the entire page out of commission either, but I'm none too fond of what happened when I just copied it to my sandbox and worked on it there. When I tried to move it back, it wouldn't go. Somebody had made changes while I was working on it and when I overlayed those were lost. When I remarked on it, I got jumped on. Those are the circumstances I'm talking about. If I can't notify people that I'm working on it, the only other way to handle it is to make it so they can't change it on me.

The "class" action was an accident. I don't just leave a page when I have to log off, I try to leave things in a way that will be more or less transparent to a user. Sometimes I miss--usually when I'm in a hurry. Oct. 10 was also the day of the thunderstorm.

About the Wikipedia Stubs--Did you read the article? "When you write a stub, bear in mind that it should contain enough information for other editors to expand upon it." Had Dan left it that way I would have said nothing. It was totally inadequate; worse than nothing at all if you ask me. At least with nothing people will think we haven't gotten to it instead of we are a poor resource.

What is it about you guys always jumping on me? I've also noted a serious lack of response when I post at the discussion rooms (which is why I don't frequent there anymore.) Dan has been more of a hindrance than a help yet I'm the one being taken to task. I was asked to take this on and I've been pretty darn consistent, considering your past experiences. Can we hold off on the Amina bashing for a while?Amina (sack36) 00:12, 17 October 2008 (UTC)


I'm sorry, I didn't intend to be bashing you, and I'm sorry if I was or if my words sounded like I was. As I said, I totally understand that accidents happen; it sounds like we agree that misformatting isn't ideal, but that nobody's perfect. I think you've been doing a great job with Wikisaurus, and didn't mean to imply otherwise. As for stubs, I did read the Wikipedia page, and I respectfully disagree with your interpretation — but as I said above, we can create "stub" templates, which I think should resolve your concerns, yes? —RuakhTALK 22:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Each to his own opinion. A "Stub" template would be fine. Now what would you suggest about the modification time problem. Having me go to a sandbox isn't adequate. The warning seemed the least intrusive to me but if you or anyone else can manage a cleaner solution, I'll adopt it. I suppose I could make it more arcane but then the casual user would not understand it. Or I could just do stubs for now and deal with the crossover problem later

Amina (sack36) 00:12, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

From what I can see, Amina, your style of work is not exactly compatible with wiki. Wikis are incremental. In wikis, people are able to take the risk and work on texts off-page if needed. Usually, the probability that major changes happen to a page that you have edited off-page is low, and even if changes occurred, you can still merge them to your version. If it is true that you are the sole major contributor to Wikisaurus, the chance of significant interference with other people should be minute. If I am in error, can you please link to such specific conflicts that happened in the past?

Each edit in a wiki should leave the page well formatted according to agreed formatting rules. Mistakes are okay, but the intention to work on an entry for weeks with the right to prevent anyone else editing the same entry, is completely against the idea of wiki. To verify what I am saing, please give a look to any other wiki to which you have made a major contribution, and please, share with us and source your findings about that wiki to which you have made a major contribution. --Dan Polansky 08:41, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Synonymy and accuracy[edit]

Amina, the formatting is one thing, but a more important thing is your conception of synonymy.

In Wikisaurus:class, you have entered, for instance, systematics, school, superclass, power, tabulate and hierarchy as synonyms of various senses of "class". I do not see how these qualify as synonyms of various senses of "class".

I for one disagree with this disregard for accuracy.

The entries that you are creating not only need a formatting cleanup but also heavy semantic pruning. --Dan Polansky 09:10, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, concerning your definitions in Wikisaurus:class, is it really true that, in one of its senses, "class is a word classification"? If not, why do I find "word classification" as one of the senses of the word class? --Dan Polansky 09:24, 17 October 2008 (UTC)


Had I been done with the process it would have been accurate. In case you didn't read everything I've been writing, let me say it again. I'm wasn't through with class when you and the others shut me down. You complained about my informing people that I'm working on a page and it has been suggested I find another way. Until I can find another way (for I have no intention of going through that nightmare with the sandbox) I've withdrawn from working on any page. You can't have it both ways. Since I was being jumped for working on class, I withdrew. You, yourself, said it matters more that the page looks pretty than the words are in the right place and since several people backed you up, I left the words where they were instead of continuing to work on the project. Have at it, Dan, Class is all yours.

I can't believe you're complaining about me doing too much work! Wikis are for contributing to, in case you hadn't noticed. I'm contributing. <anchor>Your way</anchor> is not the only valid way. I'm really tired of your harassment, Dan. Stop me from working on the page, fine! But you don't get to complain about my "disregard for accuracy" and need for "formatting cleanup ...[and] heavy semantic pruning" unless I actually finish. Amina (sack36) 09:52, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

"You complained about my informing people that I'm working on a page". Not at all. Please cite. It is you who has been complaning that I have not put some marker on the page. I have reacted by explaining why I see such a practice not a good idea, without saying anything about what you should be doing in that regard.
"You, yourself, said it matters more that the page looks pretty than the words are in the right place." Not at all. Please cite. When you are editing an entry, you should leave it in a state that is (a) well formatted, (b) accurate, (c) possibly incomplete.
"Since I was being jumped for working on class, I withdrew." No. I have left a notice that I would appreciate if you would leave your edits well formatted. That means that I want you to (a) not stop working on the class but rather (b) go, and fix the entry. These are vastly different things. That is also why I had not fixed the class entry myself, waiting for you to fix what you have left there instead.
Putting content to a page that does not belong there is not doing too much work; that is bad work. Possibly, you are manually implementing the plan of taking over the inaccurate lists of "synonyms" from Moby Thesaurus II.
In general, please stop the inaccuracies, both in the Wikisaurus and in your talk page.
I don't care about the class entry per se. I do care about your overall lack of regard for quality and accuracy, though. The class entry is a good illustration and documentation of what I am saying. --Dan Polansky 10:19, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Also, if you are so confident that you know the right wiki way, I am still waiting to hear about the common practice in the wiki to which you made a major contribution. --Dan Polansky 10:47, 17 October 2008 (UTC)


I said my way was not wrong. I also said it wasn't the only way. I am not about to give you access to my good name on other sites so that you can defame my character there as well.
Grabbing content from a site and sorting through their mistakes is not doing bad work it's doing volume work. No, It isn't coming from Moby, though their only mistake is calling them all synonyms when clearly the very real, valid relationships are not all synonymous relationships. The defamatory character and gross inaccuracy of "overall lack of regard for quality and accuracy" has been explained over and over to you. If you can't grasp the concept that it is not a lack of regard, just stop saying it.
"Since I was being jumped for working on class, I withdrew." You weren't the only one doing the jumping; leaving inaccuracies is what I was being chastised for when it was unintentional, yet you [[#why|'intentionally' left inaccuracies because you wanted to ...what? Teach me a lesson? Amina (sack36) 00:51, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Marking pages in progress[edit]

I think that the idea of marking pages in progress is actually okay. But it has to be implemented in a reasonable fashion. The Czech Wikipedia has a template and policy that makes it possible to soft lock a page for, I think, 3 days, by placing a marker template in there. The marker contains text that encourages editors, after the three days are gone, to remove the marker and edit the page as they see fit. However, three days is not three weeks, emphatically. --Dan Polansky 10:46, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

At this point in time I don't really give a crap load what your ideas are. That you can even write that last paragraph shows a self serving, overweening, blockhead that is beyond my capacity to work with. I've tried to plow on despite the roadblocks you've put forward and it has taken it's toll on my health. The "free hand" that was promised to me when I resurrected this project was as ephemeral as the "paint with broad strokes" encouragement. Do enjoy your new job, Polansky. Wikisaurus is all yours. Admin can delete my profile.

Sorry to see you go..[edit]

Hi Amina, it's a shame that things have gone wrong for you. It was great to have someone with some determination around, you have really made a difference to the Wikisaurus - even if it has felt like an uphill struggle all the way. I hate to think that it will resume the stagnated, garbage-filled state in which you found it; but I feel that all too likely with no-one to fight on its behalf. Thank you again for your great work, and I hope against hope that you will be able to return to Wiktionary at some point in the future. Conrad.Irwin 01:15, 18 October 2008 (UTC)