Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Problem with the site? Got a suggestion? Got feedback? Post here and the staff will discuss it with you.
Post Reply

Should anonymous users be able to create pages or edit the wiki?

Poll ended at Tue May 04, 2021 9:01 pm

Create and edit pages
1
3%
Edit pages, but not create
11
31%
No (status quo; users will need an account to edit any page on the wiki)
24
67%
 
Total votes: 36

x010
Staff
Posts: 1221
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:46 pm
Location: Leaderboard
Contact:

Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by x010 »

I hope the admins don't mind this poll of mine; I'm just curious.

I've been thinking of this for some time - whether it would be better for the BA Wiki to open up - that is, allow anonymous IP users to edit (or create) the average wiki page. The benefits are simple: without (or even with) SSO, there are users who simply do not prefer creating an account, and I (as a sysop at WMF wikis) know that some users can contribute without creating an account. BetaWiki has done this and from my understanding, they've managed to do it successfully.

The drawback is obvious: potential spam/vandalism/nonsense. It is not common right now for BA Wiki to suffer much in the way of spam/nonsense, and part of this is the need for users to create an account to edit any page of the wiki. This can be combated to a great extent by using abuse filters and the like, though I still expect some challenges even then. We're a small wiki and there are not many users unlike BetaWiki I'd consider trusted enough to be able to get sysop on this wiki, and neither I or Andy/mrpijey can foresee the time required to do anti-vandalism stuff.

Thanks in advance. Feedback on the proposal is welcome.

Stannieman
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 295
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:12 pm

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by Stannieman »

IMO it would be ideal if anonymous edits are possible but are submitted as draft only. Then you or other mods can review the diff and publish/decline them.
That way we get max input but also protection against vandalism. It implies some review work but I also don't think we get tons of edits every week.
This would be a bit similar to the FTP where everyone can contribute but we have someone with experience to manually check each upload and thus guards the quality of the published content.

EDIT: I'd definitely not allow any edits without account unless an approval system is in place.
It should be in line with the FTP in the sense that:
The FTP may not contain all random pieces of software out there but you are sure that the things that ARE on there are of the best quality you can find anywhere in the world.
The wiki should also focus on quality over quantity. It may not contain every random rumor (unless clearly indicated it's speculation), but if it's on there it's reliable info.
If ur a pirate, say arrr!

Meow
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Earth

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by Meow »

Stannieman wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:46 pm
IMO it would be ideal if anonymous edits are possible but are submitted as draft only. Then you or other mods can review the diff and publish/decline them.
That’s basically what BetaWiki does to protect against vandalism. If I remember correctly it is provided by the Moderation extension or whatever the add ons are called in MediaWiki
Windows 10 should've been named Windows X

ToMi1
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed May 15, 2019 2:40 pm
Location: Czech Republic

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by ToMi1 »

Well, I don't think it is a big problem to create a new account for editing. Or, as Stannieman said, the draft submission would be great solution.

x010
Staff
Posts: 1221
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:46 pm
Location: Leaderboard
Contact:

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by x010 »

Stannieman wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:46 pm
IMO it would be ideal if anonymous edits are possible but are submitted as draft only. Then you or other mods can review the diff and publish/decline them.
FlaggedRevs is a potential alternative (its benefits include giving users the choice to see the (un)reviewed edits). The problem is easy to see - who's going to do the work? We do not gets tons of edits, that's true, but similarly there aren't many users that can review them either.

Kaden
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:44 pm
Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Universe, Existence

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by Kaden »

Giving people without an account access to wiki editing would be disastrous. It would get vandalized and defaced. So no, we shouldn't.

Lissie
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:01 pm

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by Lissie »

Kaden wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:07 am
Giving people without an account access to wiki editing would be disastrous. It would get vandalized and defaced. So no, we shouldn't.
I totally agree! Moreover, these changes could harm not only the quality of the Wiki, but the site as a whole.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8526
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by mrpijey »

I don't see a problem with it as long as all changes can be verified before it's published to the public. But it would mean increased workload for the wiki moderators.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

Darkstar
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 1:29 pm
Location: Southern Germany

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by Darkstar »

This sounds to me like a solution in search of a problem. Are there really that many people who want to contribute to the Wiki but don't want to go through the process of setting up an account?

Judging from other wikis that implement only a captcha or no verification at all, I would strongly recommend against it. The amount of spam you'll be getting will be insane.
I upload stuff to archive.org from time to time. See here for everything that doesn't fit BA

Overdoze
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 1745
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:28 am
Location: Slovenia

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by Overdoze »

Well, BetaWiki has allowed anonymous edits since the beginning, and from my observations, the number of people who edit anonymously and aren't trying to vandalize something can be counted on one hand. So the target user base for this is very small, in my opinion.
All roads lead to Neptune™

KRNL386 - my site about retro computing | My site about Windows 1.0 | My blog | 86Box Manager | LeakDB - list of PC OS warez leaks

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8526
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by mrpijey »

So you're saying that very few people are NOT trying to vandalize their wiki? And the majority of anonymous editors are?
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

JonathonWyble
FTP Access
Posts: 186
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:07 am
Location: Buffalo, New York

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by JonathonWyble »

Honestly, sometimes I feel like we've sort of "pressured" Andy and the other mods to open the wiki up for anyone to edit. Just saying, because registrations were previously disabled for a good reason, but other than that it's all good.

I went with the suggestion where anyone can edit pages on the wiki but not create pages.

x010
Staff
Posts: 1221
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:46 pm
Location: Leaderboard
Contact:

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by x010 »

JonathonWyble wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:50 pm
Honestly, sometimes I feel like we've sort of "pressured" Andy and the other mods to open the wiki up for anyone to edit. Just saying, because registrations were previously disabled for a good reason, but other than that it's all good.

I went with the suggestion where anyone can edit pages on the wiki but not create pages.
There is no pressure for anyone to do anything - I'm simply seeking consensus and feedback from the community to a proposal. And right now, I'm seeing feedback that it's best to keep the status quo - which is absolutely fine by me.

But to your comment that "registrations were previously disabled for a good reason" - strongly disagree. No way was that a good decision - it was being lazy and ended up being highly detrimental to this wiki (effects which are being felt to this day).

JonathonWyble
FTP Access
Posts: 186
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:07 am
Location: Buffalo, New York

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by JonathonWyble »

x010 wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:23 pm
JonathonWyble wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:50 pm
Honestly, sometimes I feel like we've sort of "pressured" Andy and the other mods to open the wiki up for anyone to edit. Just saying, because registrations were previously disabled for a good reason, but other than that it's all good.

I went with the suggestion where anyone can edit pages on the wiki but not create pages.
There is no pressure for anyone to do anything - I'm simply seeking consensus and feedback from the community to a proposal. And right now, I'm seeing feedback that it's best to keep the status quo - which is absolutely fine by me.

But to your comment that "registrations were previously disabled for a good reason" - strongly disagree. No way was that a good decision - it was being lazy and ended up being highly detrimental to this wiki (effects which are being felt to this day).
Yeah, I guess now that I think about it, it kinda wasn't too good of a reason to have registrations disabled. After all, it apparently did attract criticism from others.

Lissie
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:01 pm

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by Lissie »

Perhaps this was not the best solution, but still better than just opening the Wiki for everyone without registration.
Last edited by Lissie on Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Looking for a payday loan? https://cashloansnearby.com/texas/lewisville/ helps residents of Lewisville, TX find loans with good conditions

Overdoze
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 1745
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:28 am
Location: Slovenia

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by Overdoze »

mrpijey wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:40 pm
So you're saying that very few people are NOT trying to vandalize their wiki? And the majority of anonymous editors are?
I'm saying that most of the anonymous edits on BetaWiki are low quality. There's maybe one or two regulars who actually make decent edits anonymously. The rest is either garbage or just plain vandalism, though the amount of that varies over time.
All roads lead to Neptune™

KRNL386 - my site about retro computing | My site about Windows 1.0 | My blog | 86Box Manager | LeakDB - list of PC OS warez leaks

jagotu
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:03 pm
Location: Czechia
Contact:

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by jagotu »

To help with the deciding process, I checked stats from BetaWiki so you can kinda have an idea what you could expect.

Out of the total 40949 edits in 2020, 1660 were made anonymously, which is about 4%. In 2019, it was 2045 out of 21531 edits (10%).
That obviously doesn't answer the quality concerns, but those require empirical statements like Overdoze provided, and are not something I can simply check using a DB query :)
Windows TEN - Totally Erroneous Numbering
Always watching you...

AlphaBeta
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 2212
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:33 pm
Location: Czechia

Re: Should wiki editing be open to those without an account?

Post by AlphaBeta »

Disabling anonymous edits would just lead to most people creating an account just to make the same low quality edits, so I don't think it really makes a difference.
AlphaBeta, stop brainwashing me immediately!

Image

Post Reply