Monday, June 02, 2014

#Wikidata - Rejoicing for new rollback functionality

When Wikidata is to be relevant as a source for info-boxes, it has to include substantially more information. For humans it starts with really basic information.. human, gender, date of birth/death, nationality, spouse, child, occupation, office held.

It may sound odd, but once you have data, you can manipulate it. Without data you are stuck. Take for instance the Olympics, originally all the athletes were amateurs and the current practice is to make all of them professionals at their game.

You can imagine that to get much LOTS of data in, things go wrong occasionally. Consider for instance the directory "Brazilian people by occupation" or "American politicians" with a name like that you expect all the humans mentioned in those categories to be Brazilians or politicians.. They are not.

I am really happy that Autolist2 allows for rollback; it took care of expatriate footballers in Brazil. I am really happy with friends like Amir he took care of the problem with all those card carrying Americans. He even promised to make it a pywikibot program once he finished his exams.

Those expatriate footballers live or lived as residents in Brazil, those Americans may be Republican or Democrat. That is another opportunity for data inclusion. However, when you enter data wholesale, chances for lots of problematic edits are a reality. Statistically maybe not that much but enough for them to be noticed and, that is a good thing.

Rollback functionality is essential to maintain the quality we all seek. It allows us to make mistakes and make amends.

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