Tx! I should probably also say that I don't expect (at the 2003/12/30 moment anyway) that I'll become an extremely frequent MeatballWikier; more an OccasionalContributor. I hope it's acceptable to be coming in with that expectation. I've been fascinated by Wikis for a long time, but my fascination is rather episodic...
Hey, that's cool. We're always open. Except on February 30 when we close for maintenance. -- SunirShah of "metaball"
As seen on da scene: Everyone is fascinated to here my thoughts on all subjects.
I'm interested to here [sic] your thoughts on all subjects. ;) -- SunirShah
Yeah, isn't everyone? *8) Right now I'm getting sleepy, though. -- DavidChess
This is why it should be possible to edit edit summaries... --MartinHarper
Hi! I know you! *8) Small world. -- DavidChess
"Must refrain from (taboos) / risking the stability of the community / act towards a split or fork"
This presumably applies only to communities where the RightToFork is absent or limited (i.e. considered an act of war, say). In some communities, the response to acting towards a fork would be "more power to you, good luck".
I think it's entirely conceivable that some Wiki (or other OnlineCommunity) would be founded and populated by people sufficiently (what?) laissez-faire rad-capitalist that they'd react to forking of any kind by saying "let the best effort win", and that moves toward forking might therefore not be considered taboo. I'm not saying that that's necessarily a great idea or anything; I'm just pointing out that if this page is intended to be about members of communities in general, it shouldn't make statements that are only true about a particular subset of communities. That's all... -- DavidChess
SpanishWikipedia is one example of a community that got split without generating significant ill-will. I'd agree with David that this does vary in extent between communities - some communities are very split-averse, others are more friendly towards splits, and may even encourage them in some cases. This applies in the real world too: divorces, etc.
I tweaked the text above to emphasise that the problem is not forking per se, but rather forks that threaten to damage the community. Better? --MartinHarper
I think it's an improvement. In full generality, I think this is really something vague like "refrain from breaking the rules, written or unwritten", but in actual practice "damaging the community" is almost always against the rules, and forking is (as you note) often considered damaging. (In fact I can easily imagine communities designed explicitly for self-immolation, where there would in fact be no taboo against damaging the community. But I have an overactive imagination!) -- DavidChess
I'm not sure whether this might want to be reworked into RightToFork or some such, but I think it looks fairly resolved for the purpose of CommunityMember. Amazing how many issues forking touches on - I guess we all have some topic that will come out no matter what we're supposed to be discussing! :) --MartinHarper
I changed "most audiences" to "most members of most audiences" in the second sentence; since the audience is defined as all those who make use of the output, then it includes even the noisiest and most prolific people, and it seems odd to call the entire audience "passive and quiet". If you meant TheAudience to include only the passive and quiet people, feel free to alter the wording that way. --DavidChess
As defined above ("all those who make use of [the community's] output"), TheAudience is presumably a superset of the community (I assume that all of us writing here are also appreciative readers!). That is, the community is part of TheAudience. It might make sense to define TheAudience as those who make use of, but don't produce, the output (or to have some other term for that group). -- DavidChess
The audience as a whole is typically passive and quiet. Even if you include active contributors in the audience, they only make up a small fraction of the audience, so you can generalise. David's point about definitions is well-made, and I've no preference either way.
[later] I've specified just the silent part for now, but left an [ed:] note that we might want to think of a different term or terms, as you suggest. --MartinHarper