Sunday, April 12, 2020
False friends and ListeriaBot - finding a way out of an impasse
The heart of a Listeria list is a query. In this query it is defined what data is retrieved from Wikidata, it includes the order of presentation and shows this information in a language depending on the availability of labels.
Listeria lists are defined only once and every day a job run by the ListeriaBot updates all lists with the latest data from Wikidata. In this way available information is provided even when articles are still to be written. When there is an article to read, the label is shown in the upright position, when there is not is shows in cursive.
The biggest difference between a Wikipedia list and a Listeria list? No false friends. When you seek a specific "Rebecca Cunnigham", it is really powerful to know that your Prof Cunningham will always be known as Q77527827 and is also authoritatively known by other identifiers. From a qualitative point of view, particularly in lists, red links even blue links such disambiguation is a big thing. At this time a typical Wikipedia list has an error rate because of disambiguation issues of around 4%. I frequently blogged about this, the Listeria list I often referred to is for the George Polk award.
Maintenance is another reason to choose for Listeria lists. This was documented by Magnus, a list was maintained up to a point in time as a Listeria list and for all the wrong reasons human qualities were to prevail. Magnus compared the results after some time and the human maintained list proved to be the poorly maintained list.
Categories are lists of a kind, for many categories it is defined what they contain. Consequently Wikidata is easily updated from Wikipedias and can serve as a source for updating categories as well.
I have been told that I do not assume good faith. When I see the extend people care to go to resolve this issue I am only amused. The objective of what we do is share in the sum of all knowledge and do this in a collaborative way.
English Wikipedia fails spectacularly by assuming that their perceived consensus is in the best interest of what we aim to achieve. There is no reflection on the quality brought by Listeria, there is no reflection on how its quality can substantially be improved. I fail to understand what they achieve except for feeling safe by insisting on dated practices and dated points of view.
I wish we could be one community that is known by a best of breed effort with one common goal; sharing the sum of all the knowledge that is available to us.