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Commons: FAQ


These questions are not so much frequently asked as... asked. Feel free to add to the list.


  • Q: Why is it when I search on "jsrrts" or "woozle" the User pages are not listed?
    • A: You can set which namespaces to search in your user preferences ("preferences" link in the group at top-left). By default, I've excluded the user pages (and some other namespaces), but I'm open to reasoned suggestions for change.
  • Q: I prefer the indented response talk style I've edited Talk:Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid to, what do you think?
    • A: First: I do appreciate work in this direction; development of useful standards and guidelines for online debate is part of my goal for Issuepedia. Second: It looks fine as one possible style. When a conversation is mostly linear back-and-forth as was ours, the indented style tends to lead to increasingly cramped text as the conversation continues. When a conversation involves responses to individual points, and counter-responses to those responses, etc., then indentation becomes much more necessary... though eventually I'd like to see one or more templates for this, to give more visual cueing as to the content of each statement: is it the original poster, or a reply? Is it agreeing, commenting, or rebutting? At some point, though, it may be that tracking the interconnections will stretch the wiki format beyond its effective limits and we will need something more like HonestArgument or TruthMapping or the other ideas discussed in Issuepedia:Dispute Resolution Technology. (PS: The way you reformatted the page is fine.)
  • Q: I was wondering what is gained by articles such as Mormonism, aren't these factually better served through Wikipedia? Are you trying to do something different here from Wikipedia?
    • A: Yes, Issuepedia has a substantially different approach from Wikipedia. Some of this is covered in Issuepedia:About#Site Role (although it probably needs to be covered better; questions like this one help me to identify areas which could use further explanation). Some specifics on how Issuepedia differs from Wikipedia:
      • Original writing and criticism is acceptable on Issuepedia; some guidelines will probably be needed at some point (see Issuepedia:Topics for some brief guidelines on appropriate subject material – more is needed, but I'm content to wait until it becomes clear that a restriction is needed before imposing such)
      • Issuepedia is not strictly NPOV, although opinion should be marked as such. There's a fuzzy line, however, between "opinion" and "drawing a reasonable but controversial conclusion"; I haven't quite worked out how to handle that yet, except to make a loose ground rule that it's okay to state reasonably sound opinion as fact, with the understanding that there may be disagreement and those statements might have to be re-qualified as opinion... which ultimately leads to the question of how we, as a community, can ultimately and fairly decide what is reasonable without settling for "agreeing to disagree".
      • Personal statements of reasonably sound opinion are encouraged. See my position statement for a standalone example; many other articles in the main namespace contain such opinions as well.
      • Issuepedia is intended to be conducive to discussion. I'm investigating options for more traditional "forum-style" discussion areas, as many people may be more comfortable with that style of discussion than with wiki editing; when useful points are made in the forum, they can be added to appropriate pages in the wiki. (Hopefully the forum discussions would also be informed by documentation of existing points so we won't end up with the same point being raised over and over again, as often happens in traditional forums.)
      • Issuepedia can be a soapbox, but such advocacy needs to be kept separate from the regular discussions. Single-POV writings should probably be kept within userspace (as in the Position Statement example above). Unlike traditional soapboxes, of course, stated opinions will be subject to ruthless scrutiny and rebuttals...
      • Collections of links are acceptable on Issuepedia; I think of Issuepedia as being a cross between a news-file and a library, with merely a dash of encyclopedia thrown in. (Better link management is another technological goal for Issuepedia – so we can categorize links, have a single point for corrections and updates, and to make them searchable by URL, author, subject, etc.) If a link seems useful but you aren't sure where it should go (or don't have time to create or find the page), it can go in Snippets – but try to say something about why the link seems useful and what topics it relates to. (This is useful not only for the process of formally filing links, but also for searches – someone may later be searching for information which can be found in a link you have saved; try to make it findable!)
      • There are probably other areas of dissimilarity, but that should give you a good idea to start with.
      • With regard to Mormonism specifically (or Islam): On Issuepedia, you can say things like "Official church doctrine holds that you must either believe all of the Book of Mormon, or else reject it entirely as untrue. This is a false dilemma." In other words, part of Issuepedia's function is to allow the mental faculty of judgment to be employed, even if it is sometimes wrong. If it is wrong, others will surely point this out before long, debate will ensue... and then we get back to figuring out how we decide what is reasonable. This process is the basic idea behind Issuepedia's policy of Reinforcement by Contradiction.
  • Q: I couldn't save this page without getting it blocked by the spam filter on the site "The following text is what triggered our spam filter:". I had to remove the reference to that site in order to save the page.
    • A: Oops! That was due to a temporary blacklist of the .info TLD. I've removed the blacklist and replaced the link. I got spam three days in a row from .info domains, so I took a shortcut; this may happen occasionally. If any other legit links get blacklisted, please feel free to alert me to the problem.


  • Questions (so far) by Jsrrts 00:13, 9 January 2007 (EST)
  • Answers (so far) by Woozle