Utilisateur:Bradipus/Chat with Jimbo

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Les relations Fondation - Wikipédia * The Foundation - Wikipedia relationship[modifier | modifier le code]

"La Fondation gouverne et gère le projet."
"The Foundation does govern and manage the projects."
Voilà le genre de message qui a provoqué un questionnement de ma part: la fondation ne serait donc pas seulement une gentille organisation qui aide et supporte WP et lui prête ses serveurs? La Fondation serait l'organisation mère des projets qu'elle gère et gouverne ?

Ces déclarations sont pourtant difficilement compatibles avec la vision que la plupart des wikipédiens semblent avoir du mode de fonctionnement du projet, ainsi qu'avec la pratique journalière sur les projets.

Je devais donc trouver des réponses à mes questions. Ceci est donc l'histoire d'une quête, pas celle du graal, mais presque, si je considère les difficultés qu'il y a à obtenir des réponses compréhensibles à certaines questions simples ^_^

This is the kind of message that caused me an issue: is the Foundation not only an organisation supporting the projects, but is it governing Wikipedia?

This seemed incompatible with the view most wikipedians have of the project and also with the daily practice of Wikipedia.

So I had to find an answer to my questions. This is thus a quest, not for the holy grail, but almost, considering the difficulties I met to receive clear answers to simple questions.

Mes conclusions temporaires sont celles-ci - My temporary conclusions are as follows[modifier | modifier le code]

Que signifie le fait que la Fondation "gouverne et gère" WP, et quelle sont précisément les relations entre les deux

Le sens des mots "gouverner et gérer" sous la plume de Jimbo est vraisemblablement que la Fondation

  • gouverne Wikipédia en ce sens qu'elle est l'ultime juge de ce qui sera sur ses serveurs
  • gère Wikipédia en ce sens que au jour le jour, la Fondation travaille à offrir un support matériel (serveurs) et logiciel (Mediawiki) à Wikipédia et aux autres projets. Dans le cadre de ce support matériel, des décisions techniques peuvent être prises qui influencent les projets.

Par contre, si on prend le sens usuel de "gouverner et gérer", c'est-à-dire organiser et prendre des décisions au jour le jour, la Fondation ne gouverne pas Wikipédia, parce que la fondation en a décidé ainsi.

Pourtant, la Fondation, qui est propriétaire des noms de domaine, du nom et des serveurs que Wikipédia utilise, est techniquement la "propriétaire" de l'infrastructure (site web) qui représente Wikipédia pour l'instant. La Fondation est donc la seule personne qui ait la capacité légale d'organiser et gouverner le projet Wikipédia (dans les limites des statuts de la Fondation). La Fondation a cependant décidé de laisser Wikipédia (et les autres projets que la Fondation soutient) s'auto-gérer dans les limites données par les piliers.

Cette manière de travailler adoptée par la Fondation est donc une sorte de contrat social entre la fondation et les wikipédiens: aussi longtemps que ces derniers respectent les fondements donnés par les piliers, ils auront une très large autonomie dans le projet. Et aussi longtemps que la Fondation respecte cette autonomie, les wikipédiens resteront (puisqu'aussi bien, ils ont, eux, le droit de travailler pour un projet similaire ou d'en construire un nouveau).

Il y a des exceptions à cette règle auto-imposée oar la Fondation, puisqu'il est clair que la Fondation interviendra directement dans les cas suivants:

  • problèmes légaux intéressant directement la fondation (menaces possibles contre la Fondation tel qu'un problème de copyright),
  • les piliers de l'encyclopédie mis en danger (si, par exemple, une majorité de wikipédiens votaient pour une règle qui est la négation de WP:NPOV ou pour accepter du matériel protégé par le droit d'auteur).

Le contrat social entre la Fondation et les wikipédiens semble donc pouvoir être décrit de la manière suivante: la Fondation est en même temps la Constituante des projets qu'elle supporte ainsi que leur Cour Constitutionelle, mais laisse le pouvoir législatif et éxecutif général aux citoyens électroniques de ces projets, sachant que le pendant de cette anarchie est le fait que la Fondation peut intervenir directement pour remettre le projet sur ses rails. A ce titre, elle peut, le cas échéant par la voix de son président, intervenir sur un des projets pour assurer que les fondamentaux restent respectés.

La question de l'excès de pouvoir est délicate. Puisque la Fondation détient de facto le pouvoir d'intervenir quand elle le souhaite, elle est en fait seule juge des limites de son pouvoir d'intervention tant que les utilisateurs des projets accepteront ces interventions. La seule sanction possible à un dépassement de ces limites serait en effet la constatation, par les utilisateurs concernés, de la rupture du contrat social qui les liait à la Fondation.

Cependant, même en laissant de côté la question d'un excès de pouvoir tout théorique, ce serait sans doute une bonne idée d'avoir un document qui décrive, fût-ce de manière vague, les limites de la liberté des projets et les cas dans lesquels la Fondation pourrait intervenir.

Enfin, il est possible qu'il soit plus prudent, pour la Fondation, de supprimer ces références à la direction et à la gestion de Wikipédia, afin d'assurer la solidité des arguments de la Fondation lorsqu'elle dit ne pas avoir le contrôle rédactionnel de WP.


What does exactly mean that the Foundation "governs and manages" WP, and what are exactly the relationships between them?

When Jimbo writes them, the words "govern and manage" probably mean that the Foundation

  • governs Wikipedia in the sense thatit is the ultimate judge of what will be on its servers
  • manages Wikipedia in the sense that on a daily basis, the Foundation provide a material (serveurs) and a software (Mediawiki) support to Wikipedia and the other projects, and that in that framework, the Foundation may take technical decisions that will influence the projects.

But if you take the usual meaning of "govern and manage", which is organising and taking decisions on a day-to-day basis, the foundation is not governing or managing Wikipedia, because the foundation decided so.

The starting point is that the Foundation, as owner of the domain names, the name of Wikipedia and the servers that Wikipedia is using, is technically the current "owner" of the general framework (website) that is currently representing Wikipedia. The Foundation is thus the only person that has the legal capacity to organise and govern the current Wikipedia project (within the boundaries of its by-laws). Yet, the Foundation has decided to let Wikipedia be self-managed in some kind of mild anarchy as long as it goes in the general direction that is given by the pillars.

That working method is essentially similar to a social contract between the Foundation and wikipedians: as long as they respects the basics and the pillars, they will have a very large autonomy within the project. And as long as the foundation respects that autonomy, the wikipedians will stay (as they have the legal capacity to decide to work for another similar project or build a new one).

There are exceptions to that rule that Foundation imposed to itself, and the Foundation will intervene directly in the following cases:

  • legal issues that are of direct interest to the foundation (possible threats towards the Foundation that need to be adressed such as copyright issue),
  • the pillars of the encyclopedia are not respected (if, for instance, a majority of wikipedians would vote for a policy that is a negation of NPOV or would vote for accepting copyrighted material).

The social contract between the Foundation and wikipedians can thus be described as follows: the Foundation is at the same time the Constitutional Convention of the projects it supports, and the Constitutional court of the projects, but it lets the general legislative and executive power to the electronic citizens of the projects, knowing that the other side of this mild anarchy is that the foundation can at any time intervene directly to put the project back on tracks. In that capacity, it will, as the case may be through its chairman and founder, intervene on a project to ensure that the fundamentals are respected.

The sensitive question here is "what if the Foundation exceeds its authority". As a matter of fact, the Fondation has, de facto, the capacity to do wathever it wants and is the sole judge of the limits of its authority, as long as the users of Wikipedia accept it. The only possible sanction would indeed be the users declaring that in their opinion the social contact has been broken by the Foundation.

That being said, even if we set aside the issue of of the Foundation exceeding its powers, it woukld probably be a good idea to have some kind of document that would, even in vague terms, expose the limits of the liberty of the projects and the cases where the Foundation may act directly.

Finally, it is possible that it would be safer for the Foundation to have public references to "governance and management" deleted, in order to ensure the solidity of the Fondation's arguments when it says it is not responsible for the content of WP.

The quest for the decent description of the Wikimedia-Wikipedia relationship[modifier | modifier le code]

Initialement interpelé par quelques phrases de ci de là sur la WP anglo-saxonne, je me suis donc lancé dans une entreprise d'éclaircissement. Les détails sont ci-dessous pour ceux qui veulent les lire et découvrir comment, par deux fois, Jimbo a confirmé que oui, la Fondation dirige et gouverne Wikipédia et les autres projets et comment j'ai fini par (presque) arrêter de m'en faire. Initialy puzzled by a couple of sentences found o the english WP, I tried to have things clarified. The details are hereblow for those who are interested in doscivering how Jimbo confirmed twice that the Foundation was governing and managing Wikipedia, and how I finally (almost) stopped worrying.

Message laissé sur la page de Jimbo * Message on Jimbo's page[modifier | modifier le code]

[traduction libre] Bonjour Jimbo,

Tu signales sur ta présentation que tu es "le fondateur et le président de Wikimedia Foundation, le groupe qui gouverne Wikipedia".

La façon dont j'ai compris les choses jusqu'à présent est la suivante: la fondation détient le nom "Wikipedia" et les serveurs mis à la disposition du projet, mais elle ne "gouverne" pas Wikipedia puisqu'elle n'est ni propriétaire ni responsable du contenu de Wikipedia.

Est-ce que ton texte de présentation ne devrait pas être modifié en "le groupe qui supporte Wikipedia.", ou quelque chose de similaire? Ou bien ai-je loupé quelque chose? Je pense que je ne serais pas la seule personne intéressée par une clarification à ce sujet.

Hello Jimbo,

Your presentation says that you are "the founder and the chairman of the Wikimedia Foudation, the groups that governs Wikipedia".

The way I understand the situation is that although the foundation owns the name "Wikipedia" and the servers that Wikipedia is using, it does not "govern" Wikipedia as it is neither the owner nor the editor of the content of Wikipedia.

Shouldn't your presentation text be modified into "the founder and the chairman of the Wikimedia Foudation, the groups that supports Wikipedia." or something similar? Or did I miss anything? I think I would not be the sole person that would be interested by a clarification on the subject.


Première réponse de Jimbo * First answer from Jimbo[modifier | modifier le code]

[traduction libre]

"Bien sûr que la Fondation gouverne et gère le projet"

Answer is here:

"Of course the foundation governs and manages the projects."--Jimbo Wales 07:54, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Discussion sur le Village Pump * Discussion on the Village Pump[modifier | modifier le code]

Un peu refroidi, et puis la réponse étant tellement brève, je décide de porter la discussion sur le Village Pump. Cette partie n'est pas traduite en français. Lire la discussion So I tried on the Village Pump. The discussion can be found here

Wikimedia vs Wikipedia

(Lire la discussion )

I asked a question on Jimbo's talk page but it seems difficult to get feedback from him (what I can understand).

Anyway, here it is, hoping that somebody will be able to bring clarity. And my apologies if the question was already raised and solved.

Here are the facts that puzzle me:

  • Jimbo's presentation says that he is "the founder and the chairman of the Wikimedia Foudation, the groups that governs Wikipedia";

Is Wikipedia governed and managed by Wikimedia?

The way I understand the situation is that the foundation owns the name "Wikipedia", the domain names and the servers that Wikipedia is using, but that it does not "govern" or "manage" Wikipedia as it is neither the owner nor the editor of the content of Wikipedia. If "govern" and "manage" mean "organises, determines the content" and if Wikipedia means the encyclopedia, I certainly do not agree with that concept.

Some clarity is thus desired. To use the words of somebody who asked the same question on Jimbo's talk page, "I don't consider I work for anybody in particular but for a project and I consider this project owes nobody but everybody. Am I wrong ?"

I could find no real help in the Foundation's By-laws that are repeated in this page:

"The goal of the Wikimedia foundation is to develop and maintain open content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge."

Cool! "develop", "maintain", "provide",...it does connect nicely with the view that the Foundation "supports" the encyclopedia.

But if we read a little further:

"In addition to the multilingual general encyclopedia Wikipedia, the Foundation manages a multi-language dictionary and thesaurus (...)"

And here comes "manages" again.

Thinking about it, I was wondering to what extent the issue might originate in a confusion between:

  • Wikipedia, the name;
  • Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that is currently using that name.

Does this section of en:Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines contain a hint, when it says that "Jimmy Wales (and) the Board (may create a policy) for copyright (or) legal issues"?

Considering what the Foundation owns and controls, I understand it does have a certain amount of control related to two orders of issue:

  • legal issues that are of direct interest to the foundation (possible threats towards the Foundation that need to be adressed),
  • the pillars of the encyclopedia are not respected (if, for instance, a majority of wikipedians would vote for a policy that is a negation of NPOV),

but I have difficulty in accepting a general statement that the Foundation governs or manages Wikipedia. Bradipus 15:30, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

I am not associated in any way with the Foundation, however my understanding is the Foundation owns the domain name and funds the servers, and thus "owns" the website, its copyright terms, and all rules and policies that are in force. The Foundation chooses to allow anyone to contribute to the content and, although each contributor owns their own text (in an authorship sense), by clicking "submit" each contributor agrees to the licensing terms established by the foundation. The Foundation chooses to license the content under the GFDL which ensures the content can be freely forked and mirrored. The Foundation similarly chooses to manage this website by letting it run nearly autonomously, through its own consensus-driven rules and policies. The Foundation has made it fairly clear they expect to continue operation of this site in essentially its current form essentially permanently, but it could (extremely hypothetically) choose to "close the doors" tomorrow and not let anyone edit or view the content ever again. Note that doing this would not affect any existing forks or mirrors, and cannot affect the license of current content. So, yes, in an absolute sense the Foundation governs and manages Wikipedia. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:57, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
It's their servers, their name, and they're in charge, at least on paper. Of course, most of the smaller, day-to-day decisions are made by contributors. If you don't like it, you're more than welcome to start your own wiki encyclopedia, and Wikimedia even provides a complete database dump free of charge. Fagstein 18:10, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
The people at the Wikimedia Foundation are in general lead or former contributors and administrators; it does not consist of external shareholders or something. Their goals are aligned with the purpose of a free encyclopedia. If this were ever to change or there were some other failure of the Wikimedia Foundation, the license of Wikipedia content is such that anyone can start up another such project with a duplicate. Policies are generated and revised every day by regular contributors, you can see this on their discussion pages, while there is in some areas a level of a rather passive benevolent dictatorship. It would be better to be more specific if you have further questions. —Centrx?talk • 18:51, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Let me clarify something: I do not question anything specific that the Foundation would have done or the goals of the board members.
In any case, the by-laws of the foundation state that its goal is "to develop and maintain open content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge.", so at the end of the day, the foundation does share that with most wikipedians.
But it is not because I share this with most wikipedians that I would automatically give a small group of wikipedians power to govern the encyclopedia.
So it is really the "govern" and "manage" stuff that annoys me.
Again, as I said, I also understand that the foundation can be there as some kind of watchdog chacking that en:WP:IAR does not go as far as ignoring the pillars of WP.
But is that the limit of Wikimedia' governance?
I mean, between "the Wikimedia Foudation governs Wikipedia" and en:WP:IAR, where the heck are we exactly? Bradipus 20:16, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Where we are is doing what is necessary to create an encyclopedia. The Wikimedia Foundation does not govern Wikipedia in the way you may be thinking, but it wouldn't make sense to think of it that way anyway, it is all individuals in the end. The persons involved with Wikimedia and Meta are, in general, highly respected people, long-time contributors, who are also part of the Wikipedia community. Their ideas command respect because of this, but they are not demanding things, people agree with them. Some things that someone might point to that are influenced by "Wikimedia" are the tightening of en:Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons after the Siegenthaler controversy or the central position of NPOV, and there are discussions about it on the mailing lists too in addition the Wikipedia talk pages, but the fact remains that they are good ideas, people agree with it, and everyone who wants to be is involved with making the policy. —Centrx?talk • 20:38, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Another example could be from Jimbo's recent speech at Wikimania, saying that the English Wikipedia should focus more on quality rather than quantity, as we already have so many pages, but many are mediocre. A lot of people agree with that because it is a reasonable idea, they think Jimbo is an intelligent person, and if there is a leader of Wikipedia, he would be it. So, some people will focus more on quality than quantity, but of course anyone can still do what they want. —Centrx?talk • 20:44, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd put it slightly differently. The Foundation owns, runs, governs, manages, <whatever words you want> Wikipedia. They set it up with the "foundational" rules of en:WP:NPOV, en:WP:V, and en:WP:NOR and are currently choosing (and show no indication of ever doing otherwise) to let it basically run itself by whatever other rules the users decide upon. If the users decide something stupid (like, say, to allow copyrighted images to be included), the Foundation will pretty clearly intervene. We (the users) are guests in their house, but it is ultimately their house. -- Rick Block (talk) 20:47, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the fact remains that they can legally do whatever they want, but currently they haven't done anything that is against the spirit of Wikipedia, and a significant portion of major contributors support the actions they have made. If they were to take any seriously bad action, they would find that "Wikipedia" is nothing but its content and contributors. That content, which is free, can and would be hosted elsewhere and encyclopedia contributors can and would migrate to a new host. Welcome to the future; this is what technology enables. —Centrx?talk • 23:16, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, Rick Block, this is exactly what I meant when I said that I would understand the foundation would intervene if the pillars of the encyclopedia are not respected, and I gave the example of wikipedians voting for a policy that is a negation of NPOV.
What I understand from your answers is that the foundation has the legal capacity to govern and manage Wikipedia, but that as long as the self-management or mild anarchy inside the project goes in the general direction that is given by the pillars, the foundation will just do nothing with that legal capacity.
That I can understand, and as Centrx noted, the limit to that power is the fact that wikipedians also have the legal capacity to decide to work for another project starting with a dump of Wikipedia, but as long as they are satisfied with the way the foundation exercises its powers, they will stay within the project.
There is by the way a limit to the powers of the foundation, which is its by-laws. It can't do anything that is contrary to its by-laws. What kind of limit this means practically, I do not know, but lots of people gave money to the foundation, and when they did so, they were supporting certain concepts. Should these concepts be "betrayed", I guess even some kind of legal action woud be possible (don't ask me what exactly, I got my law degree 20 years ago, and I am not used to the concept of foundation that is of very little use in European financial law).
Anyway, to get back to the initial question, the answer, is, as I understand it, that the foundation, as owner of the domain names, the name of Wikipedia and the servers that Wikipedia is using, is technically the current "owner" of the general framework (website) that is currently representing Wikipedia, and that although the content of Wikipedia is free, the foundation is the only person that has the legal capacity to organise and govern the current Wikipedia project (within the boundaries of its by-laws) but that the foundation has decided to let the users run the project as long as they remain within the boundaries of the pillars and do not cause any legal threat for the foundation.
In other words, if you take the usual meaning of "govern and manage", which is organising and taking decisions on a day-to-day basis, the foundation is not governing or managing Wikipedia because the foundation decided so (I do not consider as "management" the fact that a lot of people work on ensuring the material support necessary to Wikipedia and eventually take decisions to ensure that).
Do you agree with this view?
To take a step further, I think the best way to describe the foundation may be the following: the Foundation is at the same time the Constitutional Convention of the projects it supports, and the Constitutional court of the projects, but it lets the general legislative and executive powers to the electronic citizens of the projects, knowing that the other side of this mild anarchy is that the foundation can at any time intervene as constituant power or as constitutional court to put the project back on tracks.
What do you think of this conclusion? And while I am typing this, wouldn't it be a good idea to materialise this parallel with politics and write a constitution for the projects?
Thank you for the people who took the time to read me and gave me interesting information that helped me, I hope, to form a clearer view. Bradipus 11:49, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
I mostly agree, although I believe members of the board are a little more in touch with the running of at least en.wikipedia (I can't speak at all for the others) than your "constitutional court" analogy would imply. In particular, Jimbo occasionally makes binding proclamations (anonymous users not being allowed to create articles, en:WP:CSD#I4, and en:category:living people are some fairly recent ones) which I think suggests his role includes (and he occasionally exercises) executive privilege. And, as Centrx points out, the philosophical goals of the Foundation are understood and shared by at least most of the "major contributors". Nearly all of this is already described at en:Wikipedia:Who writes Wikipedia. Is there something missing that a constitution would cover? -- Rick Block (talk) 15:52, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
I think these two examples are well within the boundaries of the cases where I did envisage a direct action of the foundation without going through the whole normal process: when dealing with legal issues that are of direct interest to the foundation (possible threats towards the Foundation that need to be adressed), and when the pillars of the encyclopedia are not respected. In the examples you give, it all goes around stressing the importance of respecting the pillars when the foundation is at risk :who knows what would happened if somebody would sue the foundation for something defamatory in a biography? And who wants to court-test the concept that only the author is accountable for what is on an article? Noone I think.
Advantage of a constitution? Maybe a bit more clarity. If I asked the question, it is because there is a certain lack of clarity, hu? ;-) Bradipus 16:31, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Seconde intervention sur la page de Jimbo * Second message on Jimbo's page[modifier | modifier le code]

Suite à la première réponse, et suite à la discussion sur le Village Pump, je repose la question à Jimbo, en essayant d'être complet et en lui tendant pas mal de perches pour avoir une réponse nuancée.

J'explique d'abord que sa réponse précédante n'est pas terrible, que ça perturbe certains utilisateurs, et qu'il y a peut-être un malentendu. Je lui signale que suite à une discussion sur le Village Pump, je pense avoir une possible réponse que je lui soumet. Ce texte, qui décrit les rapports Fondation-Wikipédia, est fondamentalement le texte mis au-dessus de cette page. Et mon message se terminait pas une une demande de commentaire.

...et devinez quelle réponse j'ai reçu?

Then I tried again on Jimbo's page, this time trying to put together what I thought I had collected as interesting information on the Village Pump. You can find that message here.

In a nutshell, I explain that the answer he made to the first question is an issue, but that further to the Village Pump discussion, I think I can submit him a description of the Wikimedia-Wikipedia relationships. That text is fundamentally the same as the one you can find above this page. And I asked him for comments.

...and guess what answer I received?

Seconde réponse de Jimbo * Jimbo's answer, take two[modifier | modifier le code]

Jimbo n'a pas répondu sur sa page, mais directement sur la mienne:

[Traduction libre]
"Je pense que tu donnes trop de sens à une phrase (note: je suppose qu'il parle ici de la phrase de sa présentation). La Fondation clairement gouverne et gère le projet. Je ne suis pas sûr de ce que tu peux trouver d'alarmant ou de nouveau ou de surprenant à ce propos, et c'est pour ça que je crois que tu donnes trop de sens à cette phrase".

Comprenne qui pourra. Un peu plus tard, j'aurais l'occasion de méditer sur "Je pense que tu donnes trop de sens à une phrase", mais à ce moment là, ce qui me frappe est la répétition du fait que la Fondation gouverne et gère WP.

Jimbo a-t-il lu le texte mis sur sa page? J'ai d'abord pensé que oui, sinon il ne m'aurait pas répondu. Mais comment expliquer alors cette impression de dialogue de sourd, avec Jimbo qui répète, comme une mantra, que la Fondation gouverne et dirige Wikipédia? J'ai depuis eu des raisons de penser que Jimbo n'avait pas lu mon texte.

Toujours est-il qu'à ce moment là, ne sachant pas comment poursuivre le dialogue, je donne l'état de mes conclusions sur le Bistro, dans un fil consacré aux élections au Board et je lance le sujet sur la mailing list [Wikifr-l] (voir tout le thread ici.

The answer comes on my talk page and completely surprises me:

"I think you are reading far too much into the phrase. The Foundation clearly does govern and manage the projects. I am not sure what you might find alarming or new or surprising about that, and so this is why I think you are reading too much into the phrase.--Jimbo Wales 09:11, 30 August 2006 (UTC)"

Later in the process (see herbelow) I would have a chance to get a better view at what exactly Jimbo meant with "I think you are reading far too much into the phrase", but at that moment, the only thing I can see is that while I had put a lot of efforts into the attempt to understand what he meant and to expose this on his talk page, he seemed to be just repeating, like a mantra, that he/the Foundation governs and manages the whole stuff.

Did Jimbo read my text on his page? In retrospection, I doubt it. Anyway, at that moment I was a bit discouraged and went to give my unsatisfactory information to the community (i.e. on the fr:Bistro (Village Pump)) and in the french speaking general mailing list. Like me, most interested contributors were a bit surprised by the unclear information but were hoping that there was a benign explanation.

Anthere et [Foundation-l][modifier | modifier le code]

Là-dessus, Anthere croit le moment opportun et lance la discussion sur la liste de la Fondation (voir tout le thread).

Dans ce thread, où Jimbo a participé mais sans vraiment apporter de lumières nouvelles, j'ai relevé quelques contributions extrêmement intéressantes.

Tout d'abord, Anthere, bien sûr:

en tant que membre du conseil d'administration, je considère que la Fondation est là pour "supporter" les projets. Pas du tout pour les gouverner.
Par support, j'entend "procurer une infrastructure", "procurer un environnement juridique", aider à mettre en place des collaborations pour collecter/créer du contenu, aider à la disctribution du contenu créé. Pas gouverner. Pas gérer.
Certains utilisateurs tentent de nous pousser dans la direction "gouverner le projet", et je ne leur en fait pas le reproche. Quand les décisions sont difficiles à prendre collectivement, il est plus facile de s'adresser à un petit groupe de personne de prendre la responsabilité de décider. Mais selon moi, ceci ne devrait pas être le travail d'une fondation.
Le problème est que un des membres du Conseil (Jimbo) est aussi le fondateur du projet et, le leader/visionnaire en tout cas de la WP anglo-saxonne. Très naturellement, Jimbo a donc une énorme influence sur la façon dont les choses s'organisent et sur le règles. Cette influence est beaucoup plus limitée sur les WP non anglophones. La WP anglo-saxonne est gouvernée par Jimbo parce que c'est ce que cette WP accepte. Mais elle n'est pas gouvernée par le conseil de la Fondation.

A quoi Elisabeth Bauer ajoute:

A mon avis, la Fondation a aussi le devoir d'intervenir comme une siorte de gouvernement provisoire si le gouvernement d'un projet ne fonctionne pas. Mais ceci serait toujours une mesure temporaire et restrainte à quelques actions ponctuelles. (...) Si la communauté d'un Wiki agit à l'encontre des principes de base de Wikipédia, par exemple en violant la neutralité, il faut une intervention externe pour rétablir les choses.
Et dans quelques rares cas, la fondation devrait s'occuper de problèmes tels que:
* Au secours! TOus les sysops de notre Wikipédia quittent, et nous avons cette guerre interne au sujet d'un ban!!!
* Pourquoi devrions nous ennuyer nos lecteurs avec une notice au sujet des élections du conseil de la fondation? Mettons les résutats de foot à la place
* Nous voulons savoir plus au sujet de nos lecteurs. Faisons un log de toutes les consultations de page...
* ...

Ca vous rappelle quelque chose? Ben oui, c'est ce que j'écrivais sur la page de discussion de Jimbo.

Et Ray Saintonge ajoute

Les principes de base sont d'un importance primordiale. Il est des moments où le conseil de la Fondation devrait intervenir et règle claire devrait établir quand le consei doit intervenir et quand il ne le peut pas. Une discussion au sein d'un projet au sujet de la NPOV ne signifie pas que ce projet a l'intention de violer la NPOV.

Ah ben ça aussi, lorsque je suggérais la rédaction d'une Constitution, en fait, la mise au clair des règes du jeu.

Jimbo apporte quand même une petit brique à l'édifice de cette discussion:

Je pense que les gens donnent trop de sens à "gouverner" et "gérer". (...) Est ce que cela signifie que la Fondation est impliquée dans toute décision? Bien sur que non, mais ce n'est pas ce que signifient "gouverner" et "gérer".

Et je laisserai à Anthere le dernier mot:

Un des meilleurs arguments que nous utilisons pour défendre la Fondation en justice est que "la Fondation n'est pas l'auteur. La fondation ne dirige pas les projets. La fondation n'est pas responsable. La fondation ne fixe ni règles ni ligne éditoriale. La fondation est seulement l'oganisation qui héberge le projet".
Pauvre argument si dans le même temps, nous affirmons que nous dirigeons et gérons le projet.
En résumé, des déclarations publiques que nous dirigeons et gérons le projet ne sont pas seulement inexactes, elles sont aussi dangereuses pour la fondation.
Then it gets really interesting, as Anthere launches the discussion on the Foundation public list, a list I did not know about. (see the whole thread).

Jimbo took part in that thread, although his input was not extremely enlightening, but I noted some very interesting posts.

First Anthere of course:

(as a board member), I consider the Foundation to be there to "support" the projects. Absolutely not to govern them.
By support, I mean "provide infrastructure", "provide legal frame", help set up collaborations to collect/create content, help distribution of the content created. Not govern. Not manage.
Some editors try to push us in "governing the project", and I can not blame them. When decisions are tough to take collectively, it is quite easy to ask a small group of people to take the responsability of making a decision. But imho, pretty often, this should not be the job of the Foundation.
The problem with this is that one of the board members (Jimbo) not only is on the board, but also the foundator and for the english wikipedia the visionary/leader guy. Quite naturally, Jimbo has a lot of influence on how things are organised and on policies. This influence is much more limited in non english languages. The enwikipedia is governed by Jimbo because it accepts to be governed. But it is not governed by the board.

Elisabeth Bauer adds:

IMO the foundation has also the duty to step in as an emergency government in case the self government of a projects doesn't work. But this should always be a temporary measure and restricted to single actions. (...) If the community in a wiki acts against the core principles of Wikimedia, for example violates the neutrality, it needs someone external to set it right. (...)
And in rare cases, it should be [the foundation] which takes care of cases like
* HELP, all sysops of our Wikipedia are quitting and there is a big fight over the ban of an editor!!!
* Why disturb readers of our Wiki with a sitenotice about some irrelevant board elections? Let's rather display the football results there
* We want to know more about our readers - let's just record every page view on an external logfile via the global javascript...
* ...

Does that ring a bell? Yes, it is exactly what I had said on Jimbo's talk page !!

and Ray Saintonge adds

The core principles are paramount. There are times when the Board should intervene, and a clear policy needs to be established to show when the Board will intervene and when not. A discussion on how NPOV will apply to a specific project does not imply that the project intends to violate the principle.

Well, I was proposing writing a Constitution, in other words, a document that would set the rules.

Jimbo brings a small of information:

I think that people are reading far too much into "governs" and "manages". I think that, read properly, there is absolutely no question that the foundation governs and manages the projects: as always, and this includes Anthere, and everything that she has supported over the years.
Does it mean that the foundation is involved in every little decision? Of course not, but that is not what "governs" and "manages" means.

But I will leave the last word to Anthere, who very cleverly says:

One of the best arguments we use to defend the Foundation in court is "the Foundation is NOT the author. The Foundation is not governing the projects. The Foundation is not in charge. The Foundation does not set the rules and the editorial policy. The Foundation is ONLY hosting the projects".
Poor argument to defend ourselves if the Foundation at the same time publicly claims to be managing and governing the projects.
In short, public statement that we are governing and managing the projects, not only is incorrect in certain definitions of the words "managing" and "governing", but on top, it is dangerous.


Hello directly from Jimbo[modifier | modifier le code]

Là-dessus, Jimbo semble s'alarmer et me laisse ce message personnel:

Je suis soucieux au sujet de cette discussion, parce que je crain qu'il y ait un malentendu culturel ou un problème de langue. Dire en anglais que la Fondation dirige et gère les projets est une déclaration absolument non controversée, rien de nouveau là-dedans, et cela signifie exactement ce que tu espères que cela signifie: que nous continuons à faire ce que nous acvons toujours fait. Je suis personnellement fermement opposé à toute persone qui penserait que la Fondation devrait faire autre chose que aider à l'accomplissement des buts des projets. SI quelqu'un craint que cela puisse signifier que je pense que la Fondation doit être plus impliquée dans la gestion journalière des projets, ce n'est pas le cas et ce n'est pas ce que j'ai voulu dire.

Je ne sais pas lire le français, et je ne sais donc pas si queklqu'un est fâché ici. Mais je voulais vous dire que je suis votre humble serviteur, pas plus, et que toute cette qestion me semble assez peu importante.

Auquel je répond:
Jim, tu ne devrais pas t'en faire, personne n'est fâché, pas moi en tout cas. Et je n'ai pas émis des menaces juridiques ni aucune autre menace, ni été grossier avec quiconque.
Merci d'être passé. Le problème peut effectivement être culturel, comme tu le notes.
D'un autre côté, j'ai mis sur ta page deux messages, le second après avoir discuté sur le Bistro, et tes réponses étaient quelque peu cryptiques.
Ce second message était une tentaive de formaliser les relations Wikimedia/Wikipedia comme je les comprenais.
J'ai découvert, grace à Anthere, qu'il y avait une mailing list de la Fondation (foundation-l) et j'ai découvert que Elisabeth Bauer, Anthere et Delirium disent finalement la même chose que moi..
TOi et moi semblons donc avoir eu un problème de communication spécifique, puisque tu sembles tenir pour acquis des choses que je necomprend pas.
Il aurait été plus simple si tu avais pu dire, après avoir lu mon texte ou Elisabeth, Anthere ou Delirium quelque chose comme "Eh bien oui, c'est ça que je voulais dire" ou éventuellement "Oui, c'est ça, sauf que...".
En définitive, tu n'as pas dit exactement ça, mais je pense que c'est façon dont je vais interpréter le message ci-dessus ^_^
I am worried about this discussion, because I fear that there is a cultural misunderstanding or language barrier. In English to say that the foundation governs and manages the projects is entirely uncontroversial, nothing new at all, and exactly what you hope that it means: that we continue to do things as we always have. I am very strongly opposed to anyone who thinks that the Foundation should do anything other than serve the goals of the projects, as always. If someone is fearful that this means I think the Foundation should get more involved in day to day matters, etc., then please, no, I do not mean anything of the sort.

I can not read French, so I am unsure if anyone is angry here. But I wanted to say that I am merely your humble servant, nothing more, and this whole question seems to me to be not very important. --Jimbo Wales 3 septembre 2006 à 13:46 (CEST)

Jim, you should not worry, nobody is angry here, not me in any case. And I never made a legal threat or any other kind of threat and never was rude to anyone.
Thank you for stopping by. The issue may well be one of cultural misunderstanding, as you note.
On the other hand, I did put on your talk page 2 messages, the second one after having a discussion at the Village Pump on the subject, and your answers were a bit, say, cryptic to me.
This second message (reproduced hererabove) was an attempt to formalise the Wikimedia/Wikipedia relationship as I sensed it.
I have discovered, thanks to Anthere, that there is a Foundation mailing list (foundation-l) to which it is apparently possible to subscribe and take part in the discussions.
And I have discovered that Elisabeth Bauer, Anthere and Delirium are really saying the same as I do.
You and I seem to have met a specific issue: apparently, you take for granted things I just do not get.
I would have found more helpful if you could have said, after reading my text or Elisabeth's, Anthere's or Delirium's something like "Oh, yeah, that is what I meant" or "Well, it's like what you said except that...".
At the end of the day, you did not exactly say that, but I think this is the way I am going to interpret your message hereabove ^_^ Bradipus Bla 5 septembre 2006 à 14:20 (CEST)