GnuCash Draft Concept Guide, or, Whose WIki Is This, Anyway?

David T. sunfish62 at
Thu Nov 30 22:57:38 EST 2017


I am struggling right now to find the right way to bring up the issue of the Gnucash Draft Concept Guide, which still resides on the wiki.

As you know, I have proposed on numerous occasions (most recently, two and a half weeks ago) to have these pages removed from the wiki, since they are out of date, inaccurate, poorly written, superceded, and can turn up in search results, giving users incorrect information about Gnucash and its features and functions. 

In that recent thread, four people responded to my request to remove the Draft Concept Guide. Only you appeared to support retaining these pages, although your primary concern was with the mechanical aspects of Google’s search algorithm, upon which I have no expertise to comment. (I will note that fixing one search engine result set does not preclude some OTHER search engine now or in the future from finding and returning these pages despite your best intentions). 

You actually offered to move these pages to your own user area, but John noted that might not actually hide the results.

Two days ago, I went to the wiki to search for information about creating reconciliation reports in response to a question on the user list, and when I entered “reconciliation” into the wiki’s OWN search box, 4 of the first 5 hits were for the Draft Concept Guide.

Since there had been no support for your position to keep the pages, and since you had had two and a half weeks to take whatever action you had proposed to do (and not taken any), I felt it was time to address the Draft Concept Guide issue directly. 

I did not delete the pages outright (since I do not have the rights to do that), but I did what I considered to be the next best thing, which was to replace all the text in those pages with the latin nonsense that printers have used for hundreds of years to mock up page layouts (“Lorem ipsum”). I even made sure to retain the various structural elements in the pages, going so far as to replace headings and bullet points with latin phrases of similar length.

Since, as far as I understand, your only reason for retaining these pages is to serve as some sort of model for the Gnucash community to use for wiki pages, my technique allowed these model pages to be retained *without* their turning up in any search results, anywhere. So, that’s the best of both worlds, right?

Apparently not, as within hours, you had gone and reverted all my changes.

So, I have a few questions to ask of you, Frank, and of the community.

1) First, Frank: What exactly is so special to you about these pages? Why do you insist that they remain forever on the wiki? The only reason I have heard from you is this idea that the pages could provide wiki page template examples. But, my most recent changes preserved the template aspect without retaining the problematic language—and you still reverted the changes. So, there seems to be something *else* with these pages that makes you feel so protective. What is it? My recent changes seem to prove that there is something in the text itself that you are attached to. Can you explain clearly what that attachment is?

2) Frank, in the past, you have chastised me for reverting changes that you had made on wiki pages, and informed me that it is considered rude to do so. So, why are you so consistently rude to me? This is not the first time that you have reverted my changes.

3) To the community: Whose Wiki is this, anyway? I have presented to the community on separate occasions my reasons for wanting to remove these pages, and I have heard from most of the developer community that these pages could be removed. The only person opposed to this appears to be Frank. However, Frank’s wishes on this issue (and others regarding the Wiki) apparently take precedence over everyone else’s, such that if Frank doesn’t agree, then it won’t happen. That doesn’t sound much like a collaboration.

4) To the community: Again, I put the question to the group: what purpose and procedures are supposed to apply to the wiki? There appear to be numerous unwritten rules about how to engage with the process (see for example question 2), and apparently I have broken those rules in this and other cases. It is frustrating to be encouraged to contribute to the wiki only to have those contributions rejected summarily. Establishing clear procedures and guidelines for contribution and workflow management seem to be in order—certainly if you expect non-developers to contribute back to the GnuCash community. 

David T.

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