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User talk:David Gerard

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Hi. In Santa Claus, you are not following the conventional markup style for this wiki. If there is an argument in favor of changing the conventions, let's have it on meta level instead. --Vladimir Nesov 21:07, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Tell you what, I'll make useful pages that sort unindexed posts and you can worry about formatting. This sort of natural division of labour works quite well on Wikipedia. I figure, based on quite extensive experience, that this wiki is rather more sorely in need of content than a primary focus on formatting, but whatever gets you motivated - David Gerard 21:10, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
To be more direct: greeting someone for the first time with a formatting flame is the style of wiki bureaucracy that killed Citizendium in its tracks: where people doing things not the way the admin does them is reacted to as if it is a threat. You need something to bureaucratise in the first place, and it isn't there yet. I strongly urge you to reconsider your approach - David Gerard 21:15, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
(I'm not meeting you for the first time, we've known each other for some time now from the main site.) I'm not complaining to any significant extent, just pointing out that you are making a technical error for no good reason. If there is no other difference, it's simply better to not make an error than to make it. Similarly, there seems to be no good reason to oppose this suggestion, other than following the adversarial adaptations that don't seem to apply to this situation. I would certainly prefer if you make good contributions with (say) bad grammar than if you don't make contributions, but this is a false dilemma, and so I suggest the obvious third alternative. --Vladimir Nesov 21:28, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Handy hint: supplying a link to the style guide being appealed to is de rigeur in formatting messages - David Gerard 21:40, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Looking at a couple of random pages already on the wiki should do (and you undoubtedly already have), no point in reading the manual (Help:User Guide talks about the kind of content that belongs to this wiki, which is different and worth taking into account). It's stark unlike-other-pages-ness that surprised me, as if you were making some point, and hence the question about a meta-level discussion in the original comment I left. Like developing existing code in programming, isn't it? (Still, this exchange calls for some effort on Welcoming Skills on my part.) --Vladimir Nesov 09:37, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
"It's stark unlike-other-pages-ness that surprised me, as if you were making some point"- see, this is the sort of assumption of bad faith that kills a barely-active wiki early. I really wasn't trying to make a point, I was trying to write a useful page about a concept. Is the page more useful than its absence? I think so.
The trouble with wikis is that they are master-level working with others and being forced into a situation where you have to get ridiculously good at a particular style of interaction or it breaks, and this can be fatal when trying to get a barely-active wiki like this moving. There are heuristics but you have to know them. It's a tricky one at all levels. I'm certainly not expert at it in practice myself.
I must also apologise for snapping at you - it felt like snapping back, but you didn't intend your comment as a snap - David Gerard 10:10, 7 April 2011 (UTC)