Alpine Linux:Wiki etiquette

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Basic Principles

  • Assume good faith. Comply with etiquette ethics. Alpine Linux Wiki has worked remarkably well so far based on a policy of nearly complete freedom to edit. People come here to collaborate and write good articles.
  • Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you—even if they are new. We were all new once.
  • Be polite, please.
    • Keep in mind that raw text may be ambiguous and often seems ruder than the same words coming from a person standing in front of you. Irony is not always obvious when written—text comes without facial expressions, vocal inflection, or body language. Be careful in choosing the words you write: what you mean might not be what others understand. Be careful of how you interpret what you read: what you understand might not be what the writer means.
  • Sign and date your posts to talk pages (not articles!), unless you have some excellent reasons not to do so.
  • Work towards agreement.
  • Argue facts, not personalities.
  • Do not ignore questions.
    • If another disagrees with your edit, provide good reasons why you think that it is appropriate.
  • Concede a point when you have no response to it, or admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste.
  • Be civil.
    • Although it is understandably difficult in an intense argument, if other editors are not as civil as you would like them to be, be more civil than they are, not less. That way at least you are not moving towards open conflict and name-calling; by your own action you are actively doing something about it: take a hit and refrain from hitting back—everybody appreciates that (or at least they should).
    • However, do not hesitate to let the other person know that you are not comfortable with their tone in a neutral way—otherwise they might think that you are too dense to understand their "subtlety", and you will involuntarily encourage them (e.g., "I know that you have been sarcastic above, but I do not think that is helping us resolve the issue. However, I do not think that your argument stands because ...").
  • Be prepared to apologize. In animated discussions, we often say things we later wish we had not. Say so.
  • Forgive and forget.
  • Recognize your own biases, and keep them in check.
  • Give praise when due. Everybody likes to feel appreciated, especially in an environment that often requires compromise. Drop a friendly note on users' talk pages.
  • Remove or summarize resolved disputes that you initiated.
  • Help mediate disagreements between others.
  • If you are arguing, take a break. If you are mediating, recommend a break.
    • Take it slowly. If you are angry, spend time away from the wiki instead of posting or editing. Come back in a day or a week. You may find that someone else made the desired change or comment for you. If you think mediation is needed, enlist someone.
  • Avoid reverts whenever possible, and stay within the three-revert rule except in cases of clear vandalism. Explain reversions in the edit summary box.
    • Amend, edit, discuss.
  • Remind yourself that these are people with whom you are dealing. They have feelings, and probably have other people in the world who love them. Try to treat others with dignity. The world is a big place, with different cultures and conventions. Do not use jargon that others might not understand. Use acronyms carefully and clarify if there is the possibility of any doubt.
  • When reverting other people's edits, give a rationale for the revert (on the article's talk page, if necessary), and be prepared to enter into an extended discussion over the edits in question. Calmly explaining your thinking to others can often result in their agreeing with you.

Other words of advice

  • Be open and warmly welcoming, not insular,
  • Be focused single-mindedly on writing an encyclopedia, not on Usenet-style debate,
  • Recognize and praise the best work: work that is detailed, factual, well-informed, and well-referenced,
  • Work to understand what neutrality requires, and why it is so essential to and good for this project,
  • Treat your fellow productive, well-meaning members of Alpine Linux with respect and good will,
  • Attract and honor good people who know a lot and can write about it well, and
  • Show the door to trolls, vandals, and wiki-anarchists who, if permitted, would waste your time and create a poisonous atmosphere here.