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- (1) Rules (recommendations, conventions, constitutions, expectations, institutions) are inventions by people. Although some people take rules as given from authorities within their worldviews, for all practical purposes rules should be treated as constructions.
- (2) Rules define a community that contains those who accept the rules and also those who are affected by the rules. There is no way to separate a rule from a community. There must be no way to exclude someone from a community who is affected by its rules.
- (3) Communities must be autonomous to question and change their rules. Rules are to serve the community. Only the community is affected and therefore in a legitimized position to decide upon its rules.
- (4) Rules must be as fair as possible. Rules are invented to help collaboration within the community. Fairness is the desirable basis for collaboration. Fairness - judged by the community - is above the rules. Any individual must be have ways to appeal to the community.
- (5) Transparency is necessary for stable systems of communities, rules and fairness. Fairness can't be judged without information, so the necessary information must always be available to any interested individual of the community.
- (6) Paradoxical situations must be resolved by the community. There is no way to make rules complete and consistent, there is no way to rely on rules entirely without reflection. The judgement of the community in individual cases must always supersede the rules.
- (7) Only neccessary rules
- I think this is "good advice" but not an axiom. Given from the outside it violates the autonomy (3) of a community to decide upon its rules only based on their own needs. People may feel to need more rules or less rules. It is up to them.
Good. Sounds pretty basic. Let's deduce some things out of it. I would deduce the necessity of a perfect history including deleted pages of point (5). Things get deleted in a fury in a conflict, this information misses afterwards for a reasonable evaluation of what has happened. When a troll receintly reappeared on CW, the history of the former communication with this person - which, no problem, had been deleted did not exist anymore and I couldn't inform myself in order to treat this person fair. CW's deleted pages expire after two weeks. There are cases though when things should be deletable from the history, these are if someone wants to see personal insults against himself removed, or when someone get's in legal or physical danger by a part of text. The process of deletion should be decided on openly by the local ting of the wiki. <br>
While writing this I thought: this is CW interna to be discussed on CW. - So what? Maybe it even knitts the two communities which have been one once a bit together? "Maybe put things where they belong" apart from being useful to keep a workshop tidy as a well-meant recommendation is not always to be applied. Maybe here in this special case it could be a useful disturbance giving a precious impule to leave them here - in the obviously wrong place? In case this proofs true, there would be an additional aspect to rules and to the effectivity of obeying to them to be formulated. Let's see.
Edit conflict while Helmut puts (6). Yes something like that. http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/community/2004-07-14 -- MattisManzel