[linux-elitists] Fwd: RFC: Freecell Solver Licence "Change"

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Mar 19 19:40:22 PDT 2009


I wrote:

> There are thus quite a number of articles on Wikipedia that I've 
> always considered horribly wrong, but attempting to fix them isn't worth
> the likelihood of (1) getting slagged personally for my pains, and (2)
> getting into losing edit wars with deliberately nameless people who have
> no clue what they're talking about.

OK, right.  I made sure my lunch was well tamped down, first, and then 
headed over to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTFPL
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:WTFPL

Lunch attempted to stage a revolt, anyway, but I beat it back down. 
As a general observation, I find the contents of pages concerning
software licensing on Wikipedia to be pretty dismal, but this one is
even worse than, say:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djbdns
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_DNS_server_software

And yes, it's a fair cop to say I could wade in and help, but, as I
said, at this point I decline to switch to pseudonymity as a matter of
personal policy, and am lastingly wary of posting there the other way, 
get into the usual tarbaby wrestling match with some of the tireless
no-name Wikipedians who wrote them originally, and making no headway.  


Anyway, back to the two WTFPL pages:  Like many really lamentable
Wikipedia pages, the main page is a hodge-podge of stuff by people who
have done no thinking whatsoever about the subject.  It meets WP:NPOV
guidelines by citing only verifiable fact, which is good, but fails to
note the licence text's glaringly obvious defective construction --
which defect is difficult to miss if you actually _read_ the licence.

The discussion page is a chaotic pile of mostly very badly informed
opinion on legal issues, followed by a few hundred lines of
Wikipedia-internal politicking on notability, article namespace, 
and suggested deletion of the whole mess.

You could improve the main page's relevance and usefulness slightly by
inserting a link to one of the posts in this forum, pointing out that
the licence text ignominiously fails to convey rights to the _work_, but
rather only to the _licence_.  However, I'd bet that the change would be
reverted on WP:N (notability) grounds.


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