Wikibooks:Policies and guidelines/Vote/Be Bold

Please review the policy under discussion before voting.


This is largely a copy of the general philosophy that has been expressed on Wikipedia, but this is an attempt to put it into context here on Wikibooks.

Key PointsEdit

  • If something needs to be fixed, do it! Sitting around in committee and discussing how something should be done often means that nothing actually gets done. Somebody needs to step up and try some things, even if others may not agree. Most actions on Wikibooks are reversible as well, so if it doesn't quite work out, it can be undone by others.
  • Don't be reckless. You can go overboard and start making so many changes that serious objections are raised.


  • Only registered users with at least 20 edits can vote.
  • Vote ends at April 20th, 2007 00:01 GMT
  • Add votes in the format #~~~~

Support, as a guidelineEdit

  1. Rob Horning 20:14, 24 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. --Panic 20:26, 24 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Mattb112885 (talk) 21:36, 24 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. xixtas talk 00:22, 25 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Webaware talk 22:32, 25 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Xania  talk 23:53, 25 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. --Mcld 16:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Comment - I agree with you in that voting is not required but it is what is stated on the decision making process (so we must use it or state a valid objection to break it), a call for objections is all it is really needed in most cases, I'm 100% behind you on that, see if you can express that in the draft of the WB:DMP to be approved... (btw take a look into User:Panic2k4/Decision_making_and_Community_consensus_on_Wikibooks it is still under work Xixtas raised some valid points that still needs to be addressed.) --Panic 02:22, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do see a benefit of a "forced vote" like this so far as when a policy seems to have achieved a certain level of concensus, a vote like this is often a way to bring it to the attention of a larger group of individuals and perform the final last minute tweaks to the proposal or to voice objections that otherwise wouldn't have been raised. The vote about Wikiversity on Meta is an excellent example of this, and certainly forced the hand of the WMF to at least acknowledge that there was significant support for the idea. It is rare for a vote to actually gain concensus, and I would have to agree that if there is significant disagreement, that any voting ought to be closed and the proposal reworked. This does give legitimacy to policy decisions to show that a proposal or policy does have the support of much more than one or two administrators. --Rob Horning 07:51, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Humm what about a making it a call for review (where a minimum number of users signed as being informed), this would remove the negatives aspects for a poll and address the important concerns you raised, no ? --Panic 16:33, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Panic; a discussions is much more meaningful. A vote creates a dichotomy ("yea" or "nay") where there simply is none. A policy or guideline is a subtle document; a person may disagree with one clause or one word and be forced to choose between "yea" or "nay" in a vote, whereas he or she could discuss with other people his or her concerns if a discussion were held. At the end of the discussion, if the majority felt it were necessary to vote, I would vote, but I feel there has been little contemporary discussion at least concerning this document and thus I abstain pending further discussion. --Iamunknown 16:48, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The question here is how do you "ratify" or "make official" some sort of policy document? In the case of this document (and others here on Wikibooks) the editing and discussion went on for some time, has been cited in numerous other discussions, and has achieved a sort of ex-officio status. Other significant policies that have gone through this exact process have been the Deletion Policy and Naming Policy. Both were hotly debated, and achieved a level of concensus within the group of users that was developing the policies, but for many months (a great many) these policies were cited in VfD discussions and in the Staff Lounge. Yet the "proposed policy" statement was listed during this whole time. In the case of the Naming Policy, it was strongly felt that we needed to establish some sort of formal policy that had achieved a level of acceptance before some significant reorganization of Wikibooks took place. The lack of authoritative policy on these matters significantly tied the hands of admins who wanted to enforce these concepts.
The opposite to this process of voting is instead something is simply "declared" as enforced policy, with only the insular group who wrote the policy in the first place being the ratifying authority. I see that this has occured with Wikibooks:Administrators, where I have raised some significant objections to some of the passages after the fact. Indeed, with this policy I don't even know what the "ratifying" authority on it really was. I see that four users agreed with the idea, and barring nobody else monitoring the talk page it was moved to enforced policy. In my opinion, such an "enforced" policy doesn't carry nearly so much "official" weight as the deletion policy and naming policy. It is precisely this sort of behind the scene ratification process that I want to very much avoid. Making new policies needs to be out in the open and as transparent as possible.
BTW, the reason I set the date for closing this vote (which was prematurely closed by Darklama) as being a couple of weeks out was to make sure that the whole Wikibooks community had a chance to see this policy before some sort of "official" action occurred. As can be seen from my efforts and objections on the Administrators' policy, objections after a policy becomes "official" tend to be ignored or rationalized, instead of compromises to the policy worked into the text. --Rob Horning 17:40, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Another point that must be kept in mind is that this is a dynamic process we aren't voting on a static text but the closing of decission, to be fair, must address a fixed text or proposal, a limit on editing prior to closing a discussion should be implemented in the future.
I have no problem by the bold action of Darklama taking into consideration this guideline and as it was pretty static on the content, but more time must be given some people may not be present or have the possibility to participate in the discussion otherwise a week without any objections should be enough.
All this is something to consider stating on the decission making process draft. --Panic 21:21, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with Panic on both points. --xixtas talk 21:49, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This guideline is pretty stable and fundamental as someone said before (on the talk page), I'm surprised it wasn't already official since it gets cited all the time. Mattb112885 (talk) 21:37, 24 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikibooks talk:Be bold

Good idea that this is put into policy. So when do we get to vote for assume good faith? Webaware talk 22:34, 25 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have done some editing to it (since you have mentioned it) it seems to be yet to verbose (and restate things that are on other approved or to be approved texts), it can even have some of it removed and substituted by references to BeBold. --Panic 02:24, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I went ahead and made it a guideline, since its been defacto guideline here a very long time and there have been no opposed votes. --dark lama 15:47, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That seems to be a bit hasty, but I'm not going to seriously object here. Of course, that is also being bold by doing that sort of action :) --Rob Horning 15:55, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: Voting. I agree in the sense that voting shouldn't be the only step in the process. I would like to suggest that in the future we first have a discussion opened as a precursor to any formal poll. Perhaps under a heading of "Questions and Concerns" and give everyone a week or more to discuss the finer points of the proposal. I think voting is a necessary part of the process online of decision-making online. --xixtas talk 22:03, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I could support this. By using such a simply policy to illustrate to the current generation of Wikibooks users how this process has occurred in the past, this really was more of a demonstration to get things moving. When the unstable version of WB:WIW comes up for discussion, we had better be able to agree upon a process for validating that policy or we will completely split apart this community. I hope this can be useful in helping form such a process. Besides, this page also accomplished rather quickly the task of trying to move a proposed policy to some sort of enforced state. I'm not trying to stir up a hornet's nest here. --Rob Horning 23:10, 26 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also think it's a good idea to implement something for discussion, though I think that we should use something else as a guinea pig for the new process besides WIW since as Rob said it's likely to cause lots of rumblings if we don't have any organized manner we can agree on for discussion. Maybe the Fair Use Policy would be a good place to start? However, maybe we should just say we're doing discussions on the talk page, and then reserve these pages just for voting-related things, after all that's what the talk pages are for. Unless we'd use that for less formal discussion and these pages for more formal discussions? Would it be useful to have two discussion pages for the same policy? Mattb112885 (talk) 03:32, 28 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]