Guild Wars Wiki talk:Sysop guide

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This is really useful![edit]

thanks a lot for this, very informative even if it is not finished yet. --Lemming64 23:36, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree, looks very well thought out and written. - BeX iawtc 03:57, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I might drop a note on our Sysop's user page about this guide, no point in having a sysop guide if they don't know about it! --Xasxas256 04:28, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

MediaWiki version[edit]

Well written article - should be very useful, especially for the newer sysops; although the section on page protection looks to have been copied from another source. It references "cascading protection" - I think that option is only available starting in MediaWiki v1.10.0 (this wiki is still on v1.9.2). I would love if this wiki were upgraded (also adds option to set automatic expiry dates on page protections, among other goodies) - but that's a different discussion. But overall, well done on the guide! --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 04:13, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

No comments? I'm pretty sure that the "cascading protection" option isn't available in the version used here, so I'm going to comment out that section. On GuildWiki, v1.10 is in use, and there's a check-box for this option - so it's something that we should get eventually, if/when this site upgrades it's MediaWiki installation. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 03:09, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Blocking durations[edit]

I've noticed MP using "x fortnights" and "fourth thursday" as a block duration. I made a note about it on his talk page and I don't think he's used it since. There's been no real discussion on it since then but I've noticed it's been written into this guide. I'm quite strongly against using those two even if the GNU date format supports them. The block duration format isn't designed to be "cool", in fact it's not even for the sysop themselves, they know how long the block is for; it's for the blocked user and other users. Seeing "2.75 fortnights" in Recent Changes is totally meaningless to the average user. I was wondering if there is any other opinions/consensus on this, I'd like to have a note in this guide not to use that format otherwise. --Xasxas256 04:28, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

I suppose you'd also object to "0.019178 years"? Not that I expect to ever be a sysop here, but I had a fantasy that if I was, that's how I would block the first person I had to block. You've crushed my dream, Xasxas. - Tanetris 05:04, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Crushing them is better than blocking them for 88 fortnights! ;) --Xasxas256 05:32, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Really? "cool" durations isn't really so cool? Darn it... I was about to try "0.14286 weeks"... :P -- sig 05:39, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Well you're not testing it out on me, I've fallen for that before! I think I hold the dubious distinction of being the only person who's both a sysop on both wikis and has been blocked on both wikis as well! --Xasxas256 05:51, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
If we expect that to be enforced, I think it should go into policy somewhere. If not, here is fine. --Rezyk 06:02, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Is that a "yes I agree" or a "this is so trivial and pointless I have virtually no opinion other than a bureaucratic desire to make sure things are done right!"? --Xasxas256 06:11, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
It's a "don't care, but this is a meta-document, not a policy" type response, unless I miss my guess.
And, come on - fortnights. Hee hee. MisterPepe talk 07:11, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I care a great deal actually; I'd even work it into a policy myself. Sorry Pepe, but it's only entertaining for the first few microcenturies... --Rezyk 07:54, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Sigh. Apparently, I'm just easily amused. I don't suppose there's any point in making the argument that a fortnight is a much more accurate measurement of time than a month (as months vary in length)?
Other than that, I've updated the article to have less of the APF (Amused Pepe Factor) in that particular section. MisterPepe talk 08:02, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd prefer if we use the standardized durations as far as possible, that way it's also easier for me to understand what other admins think of this particular kind of vandalism, etc. I'd be supporting it in a policy, if necessary. The block durations aren't just for our sake, as said. - anja talk 09:39, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
This is a no brainer. The block message should be as professional as possible. If you block a user for 0.7853 Fortnights, it implies you are joking. If that user was actually trying to discern what went wrong, he might feel slighted. In addition, remember that there are many non-native English users and expressions such as "Fortnights" may not be immediately obvious to them. We don't want them to go look for a dictionary to know how long they've been blocked. --Karlos 11:56, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The Rampaging Ntouka in the Room (the Admin-ANet mailing list)[edit]

This is probably my final attempt at brinbing awareness to this, and bringing the stuck up people in a state of denial out of their state of denial.

To all those who say admins hold no sway/power in this wiki and SHOULD hold no sway or power in this wiki and should never worry about such thing (glad my concerns are at least acknowledged in this document)... What do you say about the GWWiki admin mailing list which ANet uses to discuss certain issues off line from the wiki with the Sysops and Bureaucrats?

For those who are unaware, check Guild Wars Wiki:Mailing list topics

The number of topics is not that much, however, there have been ideas and counter ideas, and admins do stand up for what THEY believe is the best for the wiki and I have had a few admirable stand there myself (I admire all my stands, obviously). :P Propositions were made by ANet to help the wiki improve and were rejected by the admins.

Do people still wanna continue to live in La La land and pretend the list does not exist? I find it absolutely amazing that people like Gem can post in HERE saying "Oh, Admins should just be bots and hold no sway over what takes place in the wiki" while he is on that mailing list and has voiced opinions on certain subjects and lobbied for one view or another.

For those who wish to acknowledge it exists, you might wanna regulate what it CAN and CANNOT dicuss or what it can and cannot decide. Should the mailing list be allowed to continue? ANet proposed it, but did not "require" it. Should the mailing list be allowed to continue without Rezyk on it or should he be allowed to stay Bureaucrat while he's not on it? He took his name off the list. As Bureaucrats are supposed to be the "leadership" of the wiki, is it ok to not have all of them on the list?

For the rest of you who ARE on that mailing list and chose to pretend admins are just "Senior Janitors"... I say: Shame on you. --Karlos 11:28, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The real shame here is an admin who's so bitter at being rejected by the community that all he does is attack others. Someone whose only defense is trying to point fingers and say, "Look, I did something bad but that other guy did something worse!". Someone who, despite all these long discussions, still has the arrogance to say "I admire all my stands, obviously". Someone who has been the only contributor subjected to a failing RfA who tried to aggressively confront those who don't agree with this position as an admin, who believes it's ok to try to fix something wrong by doing something also wrong, who's bitter enough to drive other contributors (good ones) from the community, and etc. I think this proves my earlier statement - "It is clear to me that this user is not working for the community. He is not concerned about what the users think the Wiki should be – he’s concerned about what he, and only he, thinks the Wiki should be, and is willing to reach his ideals through policy breaches, intimidation and insults".
The mailing list shows how the discussions that began with Arena Net were expanded to include the community, as seen on the entries for March 30 and June 1-3. What I think is a priority now is to remove your status as an admin - you have already done more than enough to hurt the community as it is. The worst vandal is the one who thinks he's right. Erasculio 13:32, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I think your response and Aiiane's response have been skirting the issue a bit. I don't think he cares about what you think he's trying to achieve. In my opinion, this has definitely changed some things for me. The problem is that while people have been harping on about how sysops are all about being glorified janitors, there have already been discussions going on that involve the direction of this wiki by sysops and bureaucrats with Anet staff. The way I see it, yes, there's nothing wrong about that. There's absolutely no reason why they can't have private conversations. But doesn't this contradict the popular opinion about what sysops are supposed to be doing? Why are they involved in discussions on the direction the wiki is to take? Because Anet invited them I suppose. Anet deems them worthy enough to ask for their say on how the wiki should grow and their opinions on certain things; but the community is rejecting that. We're supposed to "grow" as a community, but now there's a select group of people involved in deciding that. Which reminds me of someone (not sure I should put in the name) on GuildWiki who stated that democracy or community on a wiki is really only an illusion. There will always be people providing the leadership. But since Karlos's issue, sysops have apparently been rejected for a leadership role. So... does GWW:ADMIN need some rethinking? -- sig 14:48, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm inclined to think it does. Guild Wars Wiki is caught between the admin policies of GWiki and Wikipedia, a volatile place. GuildWiki favored a more strict RfA process, which definitely favored thinking and leading as qualities of their admins (and thus, the average idiot would not have a chance with an RfA). Admins on the GuildWiki were the leaders of the community, as it were, and chose which direction it took.
The way we've been going about it here mirrors Wikipedia's "sysophood is No Big Deal" policy, handing it out to people whether they're idiots or not, placing all trust in the policy on paper and hoping the sysops we pick are at least smart enough to follow said policy. In this case, sysops are nothing more than janitors; thus, the ability to make decisions and lead the community are not required nor expected. GWW's direction will, evidently, be driven by ANet and this oligarchy on the mailing list.
Either policy is fine, but both policies at once are not. Since this wiki is already leaning towards the less-stringent No Big Deal stance on sysophood, I'd suggest taking that route fully. -Auron 15:07, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I think there is a clear line: Sysops and the others are technicians. They are not leaders, they do not speak for the other users (that, by the way, have fingers and are capable of expressing themselves), they do not decide the future of the wiki. As technicians, they have some very specific roles - taking care of basic wiki maintenance is the main one. Other than that, they are supposed to enforce policies on the most extreme cases, in which we need the action of technicians (such as when blocking an IP or banning an user), and so, as those who enforce the policy, they have to follow it with more rigor than common users. Lastly, I don't think admins are supposed to regularly solve conflicts between users - that's for the users to do themselves. Only in the extreme and rare circunstances in which the users cannot solve it themselves the admins should act to end the conflict, and even then that should be the exception, rather than the rule.
So if the admins are talking to Arena Net regarding technical issues (such as the bug mentioned between June 22 and 24 on the mailing list), do they have to report word by word of what they are saying? No, that's a technical issue that fits within their roles as technicians, nothing more. If they are discussing issues outside of that, or that require measures to be taken to change the wiki (such as the comments seen on the mailing list at June 1st to June 3rd), are they supposed to make a decision? No, they are expected to bring the issue to the community, so the community may decided (again, just as has been done regarding the security issues mentioned between 1-3 June).
In other words, I see absolutely nothing wrong on the mailing list, based on what is stated there. Most subjects have been brought to the community so they would be discussed, and that's how it should be. Erasculio 15:21, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I have only one complaint about that mailing list; anonymity. I could care less what specifically is said, but I'd at least like to know who is running Guild Wars Wiki. -Auron 15:27, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Actually that means you're saying that sysops have a greater say than normal users, because they, and only they, are privy to those discussions. The discussions weren't "brought to the community". From the wording, it was more like the issues were "brought to Anet". They also appear that each participant of the mailing list has a say and perhaps vote as to what is being decided. If you're saying that the mailing list is fine as long as the sysops "bring the issues to the community", then would you support a call for transcripts of the discussions to be released? Minus any legal or confidential issues that Anet cannot disclose of course. -- sig 15:29, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
But that's wrong. The mailing list doesn't include every sysop, and thus, we can't say that being a sysop grants you more say by default. -Auron 15:34, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Aberrant, I would support those transcripts. I don't mind the mailing list as long as it's based on: either subjects that have been discussed by the community and then are relied, as the community discussed them, to Arena Net; or subjects Arena Net decided to discuss with the community and are then relied by the admins to the community as Arena Net stated them. Technical issues like the bug, and confidential stuff that does not require changes on anything other than purely technical aspects would fall outside of this. Erasculio 15:38, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
When I was added to the mailing list, I was told that the list exists for matters which can't be discussed on the wiki, and given the example of a legal issue which needs to be discussed with admins but cannot be made public. Cool, I thought, sounds useful. But then I was added to the list, and I found the discussion of no open proxies boiling there again, I read a message from one admin saying that "as leaders" we had a duty to do what's best even if the community disagrees with it, and after Rezyk left the mailing list because of these transparency concerns and the mailing list being overused for general topics, a particular sysop calling for Rezyk's bureaucratship because he was "too anti-establishment for his taste" (the irony here is priceless!).
I think Karlos is painting a misleading picture though (not sure whether intentionally or not). So far I don't think it's a matter of who runs the wiki; the community still does that, from what I can tell. It's just an issue of more transparency being necessary, and that the "Old Guard" (as Karlos called them) still needs to get to grips with the role of sysops on the GWW. And maybe the ANet guys still need to do the same as well: the sysops and bcrats now aren't the same entities as those that you brought over from GuildWiki, whether you like it or not. The easiest first step towards both these problems is to add the new sysops to the mailing list ASAP, it'll help keep the "old guard" as well as ANet thinking straight. --Dirigible 16:27, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I would agree with you if the summary of mailing list topics presented on the wiki was accurate. Unfortunately, it's not -- Gaile requested that certain discussions (even ones unrelated to legal matters) not be acknowledged here.
As it is, I support Rezyk's decision to distance himself from the mailing list. I would do it as well, but he has already made the point that the list is inappropriate and I'd rather know what's being discussed than be clueless.
Tanaric 17:17, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Well for the first discussion, I sent you (Dirigible) the discussion about the content that was to be added to the wiki (not direct in-game content by the way) but unfortunatley I cannot even allude to what it was talking about to the rest of you.
The other discussion though, you were on and you even contributed to. To sit here and say I "misinformed" people when you posted (against or in favor is irrelevant) on a policy to decide whether or not to remove certain content from the wiki and even strike it off the history books entirely. How can you say I am "misinforming" people? We (the admins/bureaucrats) basically "decided" that there will be no such removal of content, didn't we? Can you POSSIBLY phrase it any other way? And we were not citing any policy written here on GWWiki, we just went with what we felt is right. Same thing for the discussion I sent you, we (the powerless admins) decided that adding such a feature is not good for the wiki. How can you possibly paint this as "misinformation"?
Sr. Janitor Tanaric has already told you that the presentation of the actual threads is not accurate and, in one case, the topic not even listed.
Keep in mind folks, I am not saying the admins made any evil poor decisions, I am in favor of the action taken each time. I am just highly amused at all those people STILL pretending Admins are senior Janitors with that mailing list's powers unknown and unchecked. This is like saying that the House of Representatives needs a majority to pass any bill EXCEPT if the bill was proposed by the president, in which case, only the approval of 5 representatives is enough.
I personally do NOT mind entrusting Admins with that power, however, choosing admins as Senior Janitors and THEN giving them that power is false advertisement to the voters. --Karlos 22:15, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the forwarded email. I'm not sure what to think at this point, anymore. While I personally may agree with the answer you guys gave, I don't think this sort of thing should be up to the admin team at all (GuildWiki made it clear that the admins/highly active members don't always speak for the majority of the community). Then there's the fact that it seems ANet really wants someone to talk to about these kinds of things in private, and that obviously it's not really a good idea for us to simply allow them to do whatever they think of next on the wiki. Sorta wish they'd just provide the hosting and let the community run this show by itself, as they promised in the FAQ. Daydreams, though. Bah. =\ --Dirigible 23:57, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

(Reset indent because I don't really know to whom I'm responding) I want to go for full disclosure. The email that people are talking about as "private" is one that I sent because I did not know whether I should ask about a potentially volatile issue (ongoing vandalism) in public, where it might cause the vandal to do more damage. No disrespect was intended in my using email; it was more "leaning over to ask someone at the next table a question" than some sort of super-secret thing. Question asked; question answered with the majority saying it's ok to discuss the vandalism in public and that contributors would react if the person involved decided to raise a ruckus. I did not at any time suggest we "strike from the history" any content; I do want to make that clear. And I'm sorry if anyone was offended, then or now, by the fact that I asked about it via email. I'm learning, and I wanted to learn without doing potential harm -- it's that simple.

I do think we do need to keep a few things off the general discussion pages. For example a legal matter, or a reported hack that would crash the GWW, might best be kept private. (No need to go public with a how-to of a security breach, I think?) If that's a concern, please let us know.

As to the May discussions, those noted as "classified," well, I blush to admit that that was another one of my emails. It was about a potential "reward system" that I wanted to start for the GWW. As CRM, I have access to miniature codes in limited quantities, and nothing would make me happier than to use them in some sort of "reward" or "thank you" program for participants here on the GWW. That is the sum total of that discussion. Concerns were raised, no decision was made, and therefore I did not make a page or take the discussion public.

Again, I'm very sorry if either of these uses of the email system has been inappropriate, or if either caused anyone concern or distress. Feel free to ema... *grin* post on my discussion page if you'd like to discuss! As always, I'm here to participate and I welcome your comments! --Gaile User gaile 2.png 01:28, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

"I have Shroud of Silence of me!"
"Gaile Gray is using Remove Hex!"
Yaaaay. Ok, now we've been released from our Vow of Silence with regards to the big secret porposal. Thanks for resolving that, Gaile. It allows for a fully transparent discussion of the issue of the mailing list. A few points to ponder:
  1. There seems to be agreement that a private mailign list to discuss critical issues is needed. Is this a settled issue?
  2. There seems to be consensus (against my view) that admins should NOT be answering questions like "Should we delete flame from history of articles and talk pages?" and "Should we entice contribution with rewards?" Is his a settled issue? If it is how do we stop from becoming legislation behind the community's back? i.e. Do we want to add a section in this guide or in GWW:ADMIN that acknowledges the mailing list exists and sets the limits of what can and cannot be decided there?
  3. How does Gaile ask questions like "Should we offer reward to contributors?" without falling into the mob crisis, where a ton of 0 contribution accounts show up and say "yes, please go ahead" when the veteran contributors know it's very bad for the wiki? Does she just keep a list of e-mails of peopel she finds to be experienced and just privately e-mail them and pick their brain? She obviously had good reason in both cases to want to start the discussion off wiki. Is this just left to her discretion? Does this become part of the job description of the Bureaucrats? The Sysops? A different elected body?
My view is pretty well documented. I think it would have been disasterous if Gaile had asked a few inexperienced admins about the "Contribution encouragement program" and was told it's a marvelous idea and then we had all sorts of bad faith edits, favoritism and flame wars over the worth of someone's contributions (I am sure there will be people who question that assumption even). I think that it's a wise thing for ANet to have this list of trusted/veteran/Wikians to contact and I personally do not care how that list is formed EXCEPT that if it's the list of Admins then the voters over there on GWW:RFA need to be told that leadership qualities and wiki experience is a big plus on the admin and lack of both is a minus. --Karlos 03:56, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Now, now, Karlos, make up your mind: is it a shroud or a vow? That aside, to go point by point:
1. Of course it makes sense for security-type issues that are sensitive be discussed with the admins off-wiki, and the mailing list seems as good a medium as any for it. Settled in my book.
2 & 3. I can certainly see there being times when Gaile and Anet in general would want to run something by someone with better wiki knowledge, but do so without every single wiki user chiming in. Even us normal users might face such a time, and I know I for one would go to one or more of the users whose opinions I've come to respect (many of whom have coincidentally been recently sysop'ed, but they weren't even nominated when I came to respect them, honest!). Why shouldn't Gaile do the same? And doesn't it make sense that the people she'd have the best idea of their knowledge and wisdom would be the admins she's been working with? So no, I have no problem with Gaile discussing such things with current and former sysops and bureaucrats, so long as it's kept in an unofficial capacity.
3.5. Personally I would have suggested going ahead and rewarding contributors, but not telling anyone (including the recipients) until you've already decided who each mini is going to. But that's me. I'm neither a wiki veteran nor generally entrusted by the wiki community (as far as I know. Mebbe I've developed a following and not noticed. Stranger things have happened.) - Tanetris 04:33, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

1. I think it's more a question of whether or not there should be a mailing list for ArenaNet to get private feedback. And for that, I say: we should only offer our advice on the matter, and leave the decision up to ArenaNet. Ethically and practically, it's not up to us to legislate/decide on their private communications. That said, my advice is: a mailing list is very useful but deceptively dangerous. Keep one up but be super wary about it inadvertently dividing the community or creating a cabal. We should try to hash out guidelines so that we're all generally on the same page about expectations there. Also, other private communication is generally okay; my concern is just about handling the dangerous mediums well.
2. Things like "Should we delete flame from history of articles and talk pages?" should just be discussed on-wiki. I think things like "Should we entice contribution with rewards?" is okay to be answered privately because it's not anybody's decision but the rewarder anyways. (Edit: and because it's not particularly faction-izing to discuss it)
3. I think the best way would be to not tie the group membership to admins/sysops (or any wiki legislation), and just call it a group of private advisors for ArenaNet, chosen and removed at ArenaNet's discretion, heard or ignored at ArenaNet's discretion. Decisions aren't made on the list -- it's just advice to ArenaNet in making their decisions. When something does result from that list, we treat it as ArenaNet making a unilateral decision. Members should not be treated as "representatives of the community" there. To be frank, this is how I've treated it since the beginning.
--Rezyk 05:08, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I severely oppose your stance on #2, Rezyk. Sure, stuff like "Should we delete flame from history of articles and talk pages?" should be kept on wiki, but so should "Should we entice contribution with rewards?" because of the huge (and detrimental) effect it could have. Keeping something like that private is a bad idea. -Auron 05:56, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I didn't mean that it should necessarily be kept private, but that I consider it okay to initially discuss it in private (and in some cases it's only then that the potentially huge and detrimental effect is apparent). --Rezyk 06:59, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

What steps can we take to sort this out then? As far as transparency goes I would like to see a published transcript. I think an ideal system would be one where each thread is considered separately. There may be some threads that are not sensitive and can be published immediately. Others may be time-sensitive and are able to be published a certain amount of time after they are discussed. Other threads might be highly sensitive and need censoring before publication.

Would this please all parties involved? And would it be possible from ANet's point of view? I don't know if the required administration of this system would be cost-effective; perhaps the bcrats could take on this role, since there are 3 of us and that should provide an effective check (I think we are all keen on publishing this list), however that may be considered a conflict of interest.

What do you think? LordBiro 07:14, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I am not comfortable with a published transcript. I don't think it's necessary, and in some cases I think it would have a detrimental effect. Security issues, for example, need not and should not be transcribed and presented on the GWW, even in retrospect, because their publication may contain inadvertent revelations that imperil the GWW in the future. Further, those who have used the email in the infrequent times that it has been used -- what is it, fewer than a dozen times in six months, the vast majority about technical matters? -- were not given advance warning that their comments were subject to being made public, and it seems both unfair and unkind to spring that on them now.
Mike O'Brien and I discussed this tonight, and we feel that ArenaNet needs a means to keep in touch, if only because we do not read everyone's personal pages and we do not have the bandwidth to track the many GWW administrative pages every day. In the case of an emergency, we feel that it would be beneficial to the GWW for a small number of people to have a means to contact us quickly and easily. In the reverse, we feel it's handy to have a way to contact the administrative team if, for example, we had to temporarily close the GWW for an emergency maintenance or something of that nature.
I propose we maintain a list, that whomever uses the email -- and I am positive that will remain very infrequent -- notes the date and the subject matter on that list, and that any questions that arise from the listing be addressed as is relevant and appropriate to the subject at hand. Looking at previous emails, I feel we have adequate transparency in that the subject of the conversations is known and any outcomes have become public knowledge. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 07:41, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I think that the biggest thing is to simply state as rule that no wiki policy can regulated on the mailing list. i.e. That admins will not enforce any "policy" derived on that mailing list unless and until it is moved to the public discussion forums and approved via normal methods. This allows them to carry out any "technical" edits needed (for maintenance, security), but disallows them from starting to do something like deleting flame history from articles. This does not forbid the suggestion of policy on the mailing list (there is Wisdom in allowing ANet to suggest policy from their side because they have a unique perspective from everyone else in the community), however, once the policy is agreed upon (between ANet leadership and wiki leadership) it is brought to the community through the usual GWW:POLICY channels.
I don't find being updated with those vague general one liners about threads useful or needed. If transcripts are published (and censored/redacted as needed) after threads are done, then so be it. But to me, I would trust that if the community would say (here or in GWW:Admin) that "The mailing list may be used to propose new policies, but not to dictate them" I would trust that the admins/bureaucrats/influential contributors on the mailing list would not let it be abused.
The general assumption is that admisn are sincere, not sinister. --Karlos 08:09, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Gaile, I disagree with your (and others') repeated statement that security issues should be kept private. The more contributors know about security issues, the more likely one of them can help us discover a solution. Security through obscurity is never valuable in a system like this.
I also dislike your implication that the sysops are more important than anyone else. If emergency maintenance comes up, the entire wiki should be notified, not merely sysops. As far as us contacting you goes, you've given several (perhaps all) of us on the list a variety of methods for contacting you, including email addresses, phone numbers, and instant messengers. I totally understand the need for one-off communications -- "help, the new javascript included in the last update is formatting my hard drive" -- but to discuss things in any official matter doesn't seem necessary or prudent.
That said, I appreciate the desire to consult with some of us to use our expertise in wiki management, and I have no opposition to this. I believe that, in general, the mailing list has been used in this manner so far. An official "statement of purpose" for the list would be helpful -- if it's merely for consultation, nobody can complain. I agree with the suggestion to interpret any action taken, even an action discussed by people on the list, to be treated as ArenaNet acting unilaterally.
If the list is being used to consult in this manner, participation on the list should be by invitation, voluntary, and unrelated to sysop status.
Tanaric 09:03, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Gaile that security issues should be kept on private, if anything because they show users possible holes on the wiki that could be used for attacks against its integrity. I also agree with Gaile that it's good to have a way for Arena Net to contact a group of "contributors" directly and quickly, without having to rely on individual user pages. But I also agree with Karlos that said contact should not be enforced as policy - either it would be used for consultation purposes only ("Do you think it would be a good idea to offer those rewards for contributors?" - then Arena Net would take its decision based on input, but it would still be Arena Net's decision) or to propose changes that would be eventually discussed with the full community (such as when proposing a policy change).
What I don't really agree, though, is with Tanaric's decision of making participation on the list to be voluntary and unrelated to admin status (I know, that's not exactly what he said, but there's a reason for me to say it this way). One idea would be the list to be composed by the bureaucrats and only the bureaucrats; this attribution would be then added at their description on GWW:ADMIN. This way, the community would know who belongs to the list (I don't know who's there, for example) and would have a way to control it. We would have a higher degree of transparency and of community's input on deciding who should or not be there.
The huge problem I see with that idea, though, is if Arena Net does not agree with the community on who to place in that position - I believe it is AN's prerogative to agree or not with who they are going to directly work with. If it ever happened that the bureaucrats chosen are not users Arena Net would like to work with, then we would have a very big problem. This is something I have no idea on how to solve.
(Incidentally, there is something I would like to point from the discussion above - I don't really agree that the rewards matter could not have been discussed with the entirety of the wiki. I'm sure we would have exactly what was described above - dozens of contributors with next to zero participation on the wiki saying it would be a very cool thing - but isn't decision making here supposed to be based on consensus, rather than the raw number of proposers behind an idea? It would have been a huge test to see if it's possible to use good arguments to rely against a majority with bad arguments, but, at least in theory, I think that kind of discussion should be held with everyone. As long, of course, as the wiki never decides anything of that kind through voting, something I hope will never happen.) Erasculio 15:14, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an email list. Just like every other human on this earth, Gaile does have a right to privately communicate to whomever about whatever she wants. There is only one big issue which should be made totally: Anything said on that email list is the senders private opinion, not any thing that carries more weight than any other users private opinion.'Therefore it is ok for Gaile to ask the admins whether perks for editors are a good idea, and it is ok for the participants to reply that they feel it is not. However, any attempt to paint that response as something that stands for wiki consensus would be dead wrong and ANet should not give more weight to those responses than they would give to emails send by other editors. --Xeeron 18:50, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I am confident that the mailing list will be used only for matters of discussion, never decision. It will be used infrequently, for I am sure that we all agree that on-GWW discussion is better. I cannot and will not restrict my communications to solely GWW-hosted discussion because the nature of my position is that I do and will communicate via the GWW, fan forums, correspondence, emails, the telephone, live events, and so forth. I would say discussions via those means is appropriate, and decisions that would have effect on the GWW should never took place and would never be a matter of attempt or question.
Those on the mailing list -- and the list is not updated and I will take care of that -- are not considered formal representatives of the GWW; they are elected SysOps and Bureaucrats, only, and speak for themselves, only, backed by, in some cases, extensive experience with wiki practices, processes, and protocols. No general consensus would be sought from this cross-section; no immutable direction would be accepted; no changes to the GWW would be allowed by decision of this body. I do not foresee and would not condone sub-rosa discussions, private agreements, back-room politics, furtive dealings, or secret handshakes.*
If there are continued concerns about this matter, please feel free to voice them now. If there is a need to formalize the uses of the mailing list, then please make a proposal. Thank you. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 01:54, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
*In the interests of full disclosure, I have to say a secret handshake would be pretty cool. ;) --Gaile User gaile 2.png 01:54, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I feel I may have been unclear before. I do not condone straightforward publishing of discussions that have taken place on the mailing list, and I did not mean to suggest that discussions that have already taken place should be published now. Rather I think it would be ideal if all future discussions were carried out with the understanding that they may be published. If censorship is necessary (i.e. if ArenaNet believe that we give too much information regarding a problem with the wiki) then we would censor the discussion before publication. Personally I think that this would alleviate any concerns users might have that admins make private decisions about the content of the wiki. LordBiro 08:19, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I suggest something like these as some informal guidelines to clarify expectations:
  • Membership, conduct, and management of the mailing list are the jurisdiction of ArenaNet, not the wiki community.
  • The mailing list is specifically for potentially sensitive matters that may involve ArenaNet's interaction with the wiki (which often includes issues that are sensitive for legal or security reasons). It is not, for example, a place to pre-discuss community matters or a specific user wiki matters that don't relate to ArenaNet acting or potentially acting unilaterally.
--Rezyk 22:24, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Rezyk, I'm sorry, I can't parse the last sentence, could you explain? By "community matters," I hope you mean GWW community matters? Can you give examples of "commmunity matters?" Would my asking early comments about the potential "miniature/recognition program" then be informally prohibited? If I wanted to know about, say, holding a picnic for GWW members, and wanted to ask a small number of people (thereby turning to the mailing list as individuals, not representatives) "How many do you think might turn out for such an event?" would that be inappropriate?
In the end, it occurs to me that for "community matters" -- and as CRM that word naturally catches my eye -- I could as easily have my own mailing list of trusted advisors who have nothing whatever to do with the GWW, or who are active on the GWW, but who are included for purposes outside the GWW. Not problems there. However, for matters of community that are connected to the GWW, I need to understand what you feel is the appropriate usage or non-usage. Thanks. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 22:43, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I believe (and Rezyk can correct me if I'm wrong) that "community matters" refers to anything that must ultimately be decided by the wiki community, such as policy and content. The miniature/recognition discussion wouldn't be prohibited, as when it comes down to it, that is an action that you can ultimately decide unilaterally to do or not do. Of course, if the phrase is confusing, I'd imagine we'll want something a little more clear for the guidelines? - Tanetris 23:47, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I've reworded it a bit -- hopefully for the better. The recognition program discussion would not be prohibited because it relates to ArenaNet potentially acting unilaterally (no matter what the community decides, it would necessarily require ArenaNet's agreement to go through with it). The picnic idea likewise involves ArenaNet's direct involvement, although it might not satisfy "potentially sensitive".
The gist of what I'm seeking to discourage is the mailing list becoming an important hub of wiki politics. "Hey list members, let's iron out a new deletion policy draft between ourselves, so that it kicks off with strong support when we propose it to the community." "Hey list members, I was thinking about proposing X to the community, but wanted to check it with you guys first." "Okay sysops, here's a united approach to dealing with user X." Even without complete decision-power, and without any concerted efforts to backroom-politicking, putting a bunch of influential people in a private room together tends to have the same effect. And even if it doesn't here, you want that clear and obvious to users who may suspect otherwise down the line.
It's not all inappropriate, and there's some unfortunate splash damage with my approach...but this is still my advice to make things smoother in the long run. Of course, I don't mind the wording being improved. =) --Rezyk 00:38, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Protecting image from re-creation[edit]

how would you go about doing that? like this image here Image:Example.jpg --Lemming64 01:53, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Added a section about that to the article. Does that make any sense or should I try to clarify it some more? --Dirigible 02:38, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Yep made sense to me, cheers dirigible. --Lemming64 09:24, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

/shameless self promotion[edit]

I would just like to mention that AVT can do one-click WHOIS, RBL, and TOR exit node checking.
That is all. MisterPepe talk 23:16, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Indefinite ban?[edit]

Should editors like these have an indefinite ban or not, what do you think? I think it would be good if we at least could have some discussion, even if we don't agree totally :) - anja talk 11:21, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes. They're spambots. -Auron 11:32, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Doesnt really matter, they wont come back in a year to spam again. --Xeeron 12:12, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
That one came back a week later after a 3-day ban. -Auron 12:20, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Permaban IMO, that account has been created for no other reason than to spam us. We're not putting anyone at a disadvantage by banning a bot, we just leave ourselves open to further attacks by not permanently banning that account. --Xasxas256 12:49, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
In cases where a registered account is clearly a bot I see no harm in a permanent ban. LordBiro 13:01, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
And what can tell me it's clearly a bot? - anja talk 13:06, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
[1] -Auron 13:09, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Link spam just clearly tells me that it's a bot? Just making sure, I'd hate make a infinite ban on a user. - anja talk 13:10, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
The username is "AzdL4j." The only two contributions are spam of hundreds upon hundreds of links. What more do you want, a note on his userpage saying "I am a spambot?" -Auron 13:13, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, please! ;) Was more thinking of other cases, where there's only one contribution, or the name could be a word. Would link spamming like that still tell me it's a bot.. :P - anja talk 13:16, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
It's never possible to say with absolute certainty that a user is bot, but I would say that if someone's first or only contribution(s) are link spam, and their name is an incoherent jumble of letters and numbers, then it's a reasonable assumption that that user is a bot and should be banned indefinitely. LordBiro 13:54, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Is there even the capacity to ban, or at least ban effectively? I'm interested in this because I think the ability to ban is a regrettable necessity with any site of this visibility. What does banning mean? What happens if the person who was banned simply makes another account and carries on? Grist for the discussion mill, I hope. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 19:09, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
A ban prevents editing, but still permits the user to view the site. Once banned, there are optional checks in the ban that are set by default that prevent anyone from the same IP from either creating a new account or posting from that IP address for a period of 24 hours. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 19:38, 22 July 2007 (UTC)


Since this guideline is rather long, rather than just tag a generic "rewrite", a clarification would be helpful. -- User Sig.png 15:03, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

There was some emotions and useless text. Edited, and removed. Dominator Matrix 07:55, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Heaven forbid sysops show emotion. :P Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 17:33, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
:P Well, "take that scammers :P". Is not needed...Dominator Matrix 17:36, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Dom, a little humor in a guideline is really not going to hurt anything. I think that was done purposly to "mellow" the mood. As long as it doesn't really mess with the core meaning and spirit of the guideline, then I don't think a bit of humor would be a problem. --ShadowphoenixPlease, talk to me; I'm so lonely ;-; 18:55, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Guide != Guideline, Shadowphoenix. poke | talk 19:02, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I apologize poke, I was going off of Abberrant's comment ("Since this guideline is rather long"). I realize it is not a true guideline, it was just a small mistake :) (though I don't see why it was pointed out lol). --ShadowphoenixPlease, talk to me; I'm so lonely ;-; 19:06, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, then ignore your name there :P poke | talk 19:19, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

(Reset indent) . A guideline doesn't need to be "mellow". As far as I'm conserned its extra text. Dominator Matrix 15:52, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

The point is, that not everything has to be so serious al the time. The "extra text" wasn't killing our server(s), I just don't understand why you tagged it with rewrite when nothing needed to be changed. I suppose it is just up to majority opinion on whether or not the "comic relief" needed to be removed; probably should have had a discussion first imho. --ShadowphoenixPlease, talk to me; I'm so lonely ;-; 01:46, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
The "comedy" doesn't add anything, nor does its removal take anything away. There's not much need to carry that discussion on. However, the page is in need of a rewrite as several updates have passed since its original writing. Some things might not be correct anymore, and it's likely missing other information. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 01:57, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Also, not every minor change needs to be discussed before it's done -- something we seem to be forgetting. Wikis are a "be bold" business, not a srs bsns. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 01:58, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) I agree that a few things do need to be changed a bit, but like you said the "comedy" didn't add anything, but it also didnt take anything away from the article (as I already pointed out). We should start discussing ways to improve the article. ADDED: imo, it wasn't a minor change, so it should have been discussed; but like I said the comedy removal is really a matter of opinion (which means, many people will have different stances on it) --ShadowphoenixPlease, talk to me; I'm so lonely ;-; 02:03, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Imo, as I believe all sysops do know what is described in this guide, it is redundant and doesn't even need a rewrite :P poke | talk 16:46, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
It's for newly appointed sysops, not current sysops. I found it mildly useful when I was promoted. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 16:48, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

My reversion of edits[edit]

An idea that should be stressed is that there's a difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Absolute adherence to the letter is not a healthy approach, and it has led to plenty of cases of wiki-lawyering conflicts in the past. The allowance for discretion on the part of all parties enables us to handle edge cases where the rule is an impediment to the community and the wiki. For example, we may wish for images to be of one style or format, but there are always going to be cases where a different approach is better.

The discretion to see or seek flexibility in rules is extended to all editors, not just sysops. By explicitly stating that some sysops are exempt from following the rules, we are implying that all other editors are not exempt, and therefore those editors must follow the letter of the law. That's untenable.

Finally, this page is designed to be a guide for sysops. The edits which I have removed offer no guidance. Greener (talk) 16:11, 29 May 2020 (UTC)