Requests for comment/Ramir on Russian Wikibooks

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The following request for comments is closed. The request was successfully resolved.


Introduction[edit]

b:ru:User:Ramir (User:Ramir) has always been the only sysop and bureaucrat on Russian Wikibooks since the start of the project.

While he did contribute a lot to the project, especially on early stages, many of his actions were very questionable, including:

  • being extremely rude to other wikibooks users, especially new ones
  • ignoring copyright problems
  • making unsightly changes to the project interface despite other users objections
  • using main namespace for project pages

We believe that Ramir's «ruling» is harmful for the project, that he does not understand basic principles of Wikimedia projects, and he is partially responsible for almost complete lack of ru.wikibooks community.

We ask the Meta community to consider the possibility to permanently remove sysop and bureaucrat flags from Ramir.

In addition to the statements below, there is also /Evidence subpage with some of Ramir's conversations on ru.wikibooks, translated to English.

  • AlexSm 16:53, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement from Alex Smotrov[edit]

Please note that I had to translate most quotes from Russian. I am also b:ru:User:Alex Smotrov, w:ru:User:Alex Smotrov, w:en:User:Alex SmotrovAlexSm 16:18, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Ramir's status[edit]

  • Ramir usually calls himself ru.wikibooks Manager, and obviously consider himself an absolute ruler. He never considers anyone else's opinions. Once he was called a dictator, and his response was:

We have a kind dictator, who beilives in a good will of good people and in the principles of meritocracy

  • Ramir being bureaucrat makes things even worse, since there is no way to elect other admins: Meta stewards usually prefer do not interfere with local bureaucrats, and I believe he never intends to give adminship to anyone else (since he would not be able to revoke it later). When a user asked him about adminship criteria, the answer was (words are emphasized by Ramir):
  • necessity
  • COMPLETE and ABSOLUTELY PROVED loyalty and trustiness, You need to prove:
    • That you're one separate human
    • That you want to serve Wikibooks ideas
    • That you're able to do it

As you see, criteria are much more strict than in Wikipedia. But so far I handle all admin functions, and fulfil all authors requests.

  • Ramir also looks at himself as an oversight: he deleted a user talk page with their conversation, see delete log:

02:22, 24 June 2007 Ramir deleted "User_talk:Afinogenoff" ‎ (content: «== Warning ==This was a second mischief. There is a tradition in Wikibooks: after...»)

and block log

02:27, 24 June 2007 Ramir blocked Afinogenoff with an expiry time of infinite (account creation disabled) (Threats, harrasment: warned 2 times, did not listen. Carry the patient out.)

Site interface[edit]

  • Ramir has rather unusual views on user interface, the result you can see at b:ru:Авторы. These changes were never supported by anyone else. In fact, several users asked him to revert. Additionally, he never checks these changes in IE, and several times users had to point out at very serious layout problems in IE.
  • Ramir likes old Russian words, and uses them in system messages, where they look very odd. Imagine if English Wikipedia interface was written in Shakespearian language.
  • Ramir made some weird changes to system messages. He refuses to even discuss the possibility to restore them. This includes:
    • b:ru:MediaWiki:Tagline: <> instead of something like "From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection"
    • b:ru:MediaWiki:Longpagewarning : - (minus) instead of simple notice of the page size. This minus you can see on the top of the preview (example)
    • Main page tabs are hidden with CSS, so there is no easy way to go to the Talk:Main page.
    • b:ru:MediaWiki:Disclaimers at the bottom of the page says "Warnings" instead of "Disclaimers". Also, until recently (when fixed by another user) the Disclaimer page had just the following text:

Wikibooks, its owners, visitors, users and everybody else will not be liable for anything and to anybody

Russian Wikipedia[edit]

Ramir was desysopped in Russian Wikipedia in June 2007 as a result of Arbcom decision because of misuse of sysop rights, self-ublocking, unsulting other users and vandalism.

As a result, instead of trying to promote Wikibooks in Wikipedia, maybe bring a few contributors, maybe save some articles that do not fit in Wikipedia, Ramir alienated himself from Russian Wikipedia community. It is possible that some Wikipedians are hesitant to try to contribute into Wikibooks, simply because they know Ramir rules there.

At this moment Ramir's Wikibooks user page says in the very beginning:

Some time ago I started Russian Wikipedia (I'm sorry), then started Wikibooks.

Foundation[edit]

Ramir is clearly dissatisfied with Wikimedia Foundation, probably because he feels that Foundation is not doing enough to help "his" project.

In January 2008 there was a discussion in Foundation-l mailing list whether Ramir can hide Wikimedia and Mediawiki icons at the bottom of every page, look for "[Foundation-l] Bunners at the bottom of every page" messages in January archives. After Ramir refused to restore the icons, Meta steward had to do it himself and then redo it after Ramir's revert.

Please note that this dispute was not "ru.wikibooks vs Foundation" (as some foundation-l subscribers were clearly feeling sorry they had to "intimidate" Ramir), but rather "Ramir vs everybody else". The discussion with Ramir, mostly in English, can be found at b:ru:User_talk:Ramir#copyright and powerdby, and then below in section "Monobook.css". Ramir was mocking steward's attempts to translate the message to Russian (never mind that Ramir's user page is missing any Babel userboxes), and then was usual rude himself.

Later, on Jan 16, 2008 he made the following comment in someone else's blog:

npopok.livejournal.com:

Recently some sodomites came to me and demanded to restore their banners:

http://ru.wikibooks.org/wiki/User_talk:Ramir

He then linked this blog entry from his wikibooks talk page.

Incivility[edit]

Ramir is extremely rude to anyone who happens to disagree with him.

He is especially intolerant to new and unregistered users. On January 11, 2008 one author took some time to answer critical reponse on the book talk page, and then Ramir gave him the following advice:

Artyom, your tendency to solve readers questions is noble. However, in case the "criticism" is not aimed at the article improvement and comes from a faceless anonymous user (and it doesn't have the links to authoritative sources) - do not feel oblige to answer it. The most easy thing is to answer with directives: "Introduce yourself." "Read the text more carefully." "Read 3rd course literature." "Use search engine.", "Drink some cod-liver oil." I even like to mock the anonymous users. "Please, explain in more detail." "Could you please provide a direct example?" "John, is that you? When am I gonna see my $5 back?"

Ramir's usual approach to new users is "write a book first, then I will see if you're worthy to talk to". At the same time Ramir admits that he never wrote a book himself, except for "Wiki in education": "How Wikimedia Foundation sites will help in edication". Note that this is not actually a wikibook although it's incorrectly placed in the main namespace (instead of project namespace) (just like a lot of other pages).

Neglecting the project[edit]

Despite his choice of being the only sysop, Ramir is neglecting his sysop reponsibilities.

  • He is simply ignoring community requests to improve the site interface.
  • In the recent discussion with stewards he expressed his concern that MediaWiki and WikiMedia icons are not translated into Russian. However:
    • He himself is not keeping MediaWiki namespace messages in sync with new features. As a result, Wikibooks visitors regularly see English or outdated Russian system messages for up to a month, until Russian language file is updated.
    • He is refusing to discuss a new site logo which would use Russian word "Викиучебник" instead of English "Wikibooks".
  • He claims that he is constantly fighting vandals. The reality is quite different: he comes once in several days to do some reverts. Sometimes it seems he deliberately removes some vandal-only pages while leaving others, created the same day.
  • Right now there is a number of gibberish pages in "New pages", 183 orphaned pages, etc.

Statement from VasilievVV[edit]

Ramir is a sysop which point of view is like the Citizendum's one: he wants to create a site with a community of well-educated authors. He calls metapedians/etc. "clowns" (see the evidence), attacks them. I was blocked on ruwikibooks because of move mar on the page containing the list of books from the mainspace to the Project namespace (I understand that warring is a bad thing, but I wasn't only user who tried to move this page to the mainspace). He block users because they doesn't have "useful" contributions.

He was also desysoped on ruwiki because of wheel warring and personal attacks. That's why he should be kept desysoped on Russian Wikibooks — VasilievV 2 16:31, 17 January 2008 (UTC)


Statement from uninvolved User:Drini[edit]

From what I've read, he thinks WMF is a hosting company that is granting him free space for the project he founded:

If truly required by the hosting company (Wikimedia or what ever other), I’ll put them back. But Wikimedia has already (and without approval of Russian Wikibooks’ authors) exercised its ability to put full-width ads at the top of every page of every Wikibook, in languages that the visitors of Russian Wikibooks may not understand. Okay, I suppose that was also imposed by the owner of the website. But as of the two little banners at the bottom of the page, they do not seem compulsory or important to me, since they only show in the standard Monobook skin. Hence I concluded that they are not required by the hosting company. Ramir 21:41, 6 января 2008 (UTC)

In addition, it has deeply pleased me that some considerate representative of our web hosting company has bothered to translate the advertisement (on “buying merchandise with The Foundation’s logotypes”) into our native Russian language. The Foundation surely is going to earn piles of money on T-shirts and coffee mugs! Our sincere thanks on behalf of the Russian Wikibooks. I may even consider coming back to do active work, and to invite non-anonymous, academically reputed authors back into the project. Ramir 02:37, 7 января 2008 (UTC)

Whatever you are, you surely are not hesitant in expressing your ill-informed opinions (specifically, how many people I, the founder and sole technical maintainer of the Russian Wikibooks, have kept away or drawn in.)

Now, Wikibooks IS a project run by the WMF, not by Ramir, so it's bound to comply the rules from the Foundation. As a Wikimedia project, it has a goal to further free content. Now, hiding the copyright notice causes a copyright violation which he doesn't seem to grasp. Again, it's "WMF hosting company imposing us ads".

I, myself, chose to hide the ads instead of translating them, because it seemed reasonable to assume that they are of more interest (monetary and promotional) to the Foundation, than to the Russian Wikibooks

So if he doesn't understand how the GFDL works (by hiding copyright notice and thus breaking it), I?m unsure of the way copyright of the content is handled.

Now, instead of furthering a sense of "belonging to the Wikimedia community", his attitudes further isolation of the russian wikibooks. He's the only sysop yet he neglects the fact Russian Wikibooks is only part of the Wikimedia family and not a 100% fully autonomous entity where WMF only acts as a space provider. Moreover, he's unnecessarily abbrasive and aggresive when talked about the issue of being part of a larger entity:

A mongrel mob of clueless, faceless, foreign-speaking door-to-door salesmen have knocked on Russian Wikibooks’ door and, without ceremony, are accusing the housekeeper of being “biased” against their T-shirt manufacturing company. Just you all get out of here, pests. Go do some wiki work: moving and deleting, putting templates, voting — you are much better at that than at marketing or any other form of socially constructive work.

I am not arguing with anyone; just fallen victim to a drove of intrusive sociopaths. I am busy flat out this week; still, my Skype ID is iliya_sheikin. I would very much like to “sort things out”. The most urgent matter is to clean out the Augean stables of the Wikimedia bureaucracy. Only thus can we save the falling reputation of Wikipedia &c. Ramir 11:40, 17 января 2008 (UTC)


So, given that

  • He seems to believe he's the ultimate authority on wikibooks, even on matters dealing with WMF
  • He is not willing to acknowledge that his notice hidings were causing copyright problems AND hurting wikibooks (fueling doubts about the copyright on the content)
  • He furthers separation of the Russian Wikibooks instead of integrating it to the WMF as sysops should be
  • He is quite uncivil (calling pests, sociopaths, etc) those who dare to comment on the way he rules the project.

I believe that Ramir is unsuitable to be a sysop, both for failing to understand the principles and philosophies of the WMF projects as well as his disdainful and aggressive attitude towards the rest of the Wikimedia community. drini [es:] [commons:] 16:41, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement from Anthere[edit]

If Ramir was basically the one who started the russian wikibooks, that means he got the status by default, for translation of the interface, without voting of the local community (there was none). I checked the archives of "requests for permission" and found no reference to Ramir asking for bureaucrat and admin status. It must be pretty ancient then. In the absence of a significant community, complains by 2-3 local editors seem largely sufficient to remove the status. Which Cary did. So, it seems that the case is closed. A question: did someone check if he was still an admin on other projects ? Anthere

Here is the request: [1], best regards, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 18:14, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Your search engine is better than mine :-) Great. Anthere
Check for other userrights (please note that the toolserver is slow, so it still shows ru.books), best regards, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 18:16, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Clean Anthere
Long time no hear, Mrs. Devouard! I am not hoping for any thoughtful consideration this time (for I did not get it before, when the problem was much more serious), but merely calling the third parties’ attention to the character of those who issue libel and/or uninformed assumptions about me. For example, AlexSm only copied his pre-existing little book to ru.wikibooks. VasilieVV is, apparently, an adolescent under 16; with no contribution in the Russian Wikibooks. The English-speaking individuals who started complaining about me, were quite obviously summoned by AlexSm or suchlike; and are now feeling insulted by my response (frank, yet appropriate for foreign-speaking anonymous sociopaths). All of them (with the only noble exception of Kim Bruning, who wants to hear my side of the story, so to say) presumed that the semi-anonymous young man was earnest, and I (who alone has made ru.wikibooks as a website, and seriously improved every notable publication that came in,) am indeed the malicious evil dictator. This is just another vivid illustration of how Wikimedia bureaucrats resove social issues: break into a foreign community, accuse everyone who was libelled by anonymous non-contributors, laughably “punish” them by revoking their sysop rights (a blessing, not a punishment!), set up a kangaroo trial of interested voters, and “solve” the problem by suppressing whatever initiative there was. After all, even if I am indeed the evil dictator, what wrong is there? See the example of Wikipedia. “It works!” On a more serious note, you need help. Incidents like this one are portent of a time when the title of a “ex-steward at Wikimedia” will be a mark of Cain. “Ah, so you were one of the unpaid censorship workers for the American pornographer? Thanks for years of good work.” Ramir 22:10, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement from t-tok[edit]

  • Ramir broke rules of:
  • blocking: [2], [3]
  • blocking without the reasons: [4], [5], [6]

t-toktalk 03:30, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Note that this user turned out to be a (girl) sockpuppet of User:Afinogenoff (permanently banned in Russian Wikipedia for abusive sockpuppeteering). Looks like he was simply trying achive his own unrelated goals (developing a sockpuppet, making connections, etc.) ∴ AlexSm 05:36, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement from notafish[edit]

While I have no way to appraise the work of Ramir on Wikibooks, or on any other Wikimedia projects for that matter, I will just comment on his obvious bad faith at communicating with the people involved. First, Ramir made it unclear whether he was speaking any English when Spacebirdy first came up with her concerns about the logos being removed [7] and basically addressed everybody in Russian or other languages that he probably knew people did not understand. It turns out that Ramir speaks better English than most of the people who made the effort to translate their messages when they thought he had not understood them.

Second, Ramir basically claims that he does not have any clue about what the Wikimedia Foundation is all about, and yet he addresses Anthere with her real name, and has been around the Wikimedia Projects for longer than many of us, which hints at a much better knowledge of the entities and people involved than he has let through.

In short, Ramir's behaviour regarding the attempts made at communicating with him in this particular incident, seems to me to show an amazing amount of bad faith that sould be taken into consideration in this RfC. notafish }<';> 11:22, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement from Avruch[edit]

The fact that Ramir uses "foreign-speaking" as an epithet demonstrates that he feels as though he is at some remove from the international community of the Foundation. His comments make obvious that he has some past grievance against Wikimedia et al, but it appears as though he has failed to constructively make himself heard or otherwise attempt to address whatever his unstated problem is. We have no way to evaluate what the total effect of his attitude has been on the Russian Wikibooks. However - the absence of any commentary by another member of the "community" on Ramir's talkpage or this RfC during this ordeal is telling. It suggests that there may in fact be no active community on Russian Wikibooks.

If there is in fact no active community; and if only active sysop and bureaucrat of the community is to be removed (has been, in fact); and if we might otherwise ban Ramir for his actions but are practically speaking unable to enforce such a ban; and if in fact Ramir has been desysopped/banned on Russian Wikipedia: then we should consider moving the Russian Wikibooks back to the incubator. In short, it should be closed.

Avruch 23:39, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

I testify that there has never been a “community” at ru.wikibooks; not in the Wikimedia kind of sense. Instead, we had one technical worker (me), and a handful of contributing academics, university lecturers, and lesser men of science [8], with whom I have established a friendly personal contact, and whom I have helped to the limit of my ability (from administrative routines to copy-editing and addition of content). The key word is “contributing”; for I tried my best at repelling anonymous disruptive non-conributors. I bore neither legal nor ethical restrictions to do that with whatever means I found most amusing. In time, non-contributors originating from the Russian Wikipedia (a despicable clique of anonymous time wasters) became jealous; I find no other explanation for what we have seen here. Ramir 23:50, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I support the decision to close the Russian Wikibooks; yet, the mob that has been quick to gather there since my departure [9] will, I am sure, vote zealously against it. Simply because we, the true contributors of Wikibooks, have collected a valuable body of educational literature under a free licence. The maggots will want to make it seem as if they are creditable for all the content. Ramir 23:50, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I double this. Wassily Steik 18:19, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Quick statement from Kim Bruning[edit]

For what it's still worth, I'm still waiting to have a skype conversation with Ramir. I haven't seen him online the past few days though. --Kim Bruning 02:21, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I repeat, I am extremely busy this month, and since 2007 had no chance to be online for hours. Perhaps we had better confer in the Wiki environment? I understand that you may wish to avoid public dialogue, since you could be seen by our Party Leaders as “helping” me to berate the Wikimedia bureaucracy and others. In that case, we will need to schedule a Skype session, no earlier than the 22nd. Ramir 00:00, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I would like to use skype because voice communication leads to less misunderstandings. The 22nd is fine. What time (UTC)? Feel free to use wikibooks email to send me your skype details. --Kim Bruning 00:44, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I had a chance to talk with Ramir on skype. As usual for skype conversations you get very different information than on-wiki. I'll try to talk with stewards in steward channel first now, I think --Kim Bruning 17:28, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement from Wassily Steik[edit]

I'd like to support Ramir in this case. It was noted that [ (1) he's rude to other wikibooks users, especially new ones, 2) he ignores copyright problems, 3) he changes interface despite other users objections, 4) uses main namespace for project pages despite other users objections. ] All these points are related to some "users". However, those users involved in cases listed in evidences did no valuable contributions to Russian Wikibooks. They just register and go to all forum, discussion pages, provoking conflicts. For example, on interfaces change: ru.wikibooks contributors had a consensus that these changes are normal. Well, how can interface changes harm those who don't work for the project goals? If it's good for contributors and bad for those who just came to make minor edits in two or three templates, then Ramir was completely right ignoring the request of newcomers.

Problems with licences are much more serious. However, there're no evidences that Ramir wanted to make Wikibooks free from copyright-based restrictions, using his sysop powers to ensure that. A newuser with no contributions came and threated to delete all images. There's nothing strange that Ramir ignored it, because, as Jimbo said, "the best way to deal with troll is to delete their comments and ignore them". He hasn't rejected reviewing the request because he disagreed with it, but because the form of it was inappropriate. Surely by the request of real contributor Ramir would study the problem and do what's needed (delete images without license, perhaps placing copyright tags somewhere etc.). Not by the request of user registered only to vote, provoke legitimate users and coming with the tips to those who know better what's going on in the project, it's goals.

As I see, it's not right that Ramir wasn't unable to communicate with legitimate users, but rather that some users were registered in Wikibooks having in their mind to provoke a conflict and state that Ramir is a bad sysop after that. This situation is untolerable, so I think that returning administration rights to Ramir as soon as possible and blocking trolls indefinitely is the best solution.

On one hand, we have an extremely useful and experienced contributor who made really hard work for development of WikiMedia projects, on the other hand, we have a band of schoolboys under 13, who simply don't know what to do in internet except for poking people with their unneeded tips and expelling those who don't want to "dance in tone with their music" from projects where those editors contributed for ages. It's a priciple choice for WikiMedia foundation: contributors or trolls. Yes, trolls know rules better and are more organized then people who came to write articles for the glory of Humanity, but it's not a reason to support trolls. Just ignore them and let contributors do what projects' goals say to do. Regards, Wassily Steik 18:15, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. I have none to add or amend to this. Yet, I do not see the conflict as a “choice between contributors or trolls”. The choice (and Wikimedia has long made it spontaneously, I am afraid) is between hardworking, socially adequate community builders (like Kim Bruning, as a profound example) and blunt, responsibility-fearing toadies (like the various “Space Birds”, “Babel Fish”, “Avruchs” and “Bastiques” at my user discussion page.) When I have more time and motivation, I will write an extensive description of this incident, and a proposal for further action, to provoke further conflict. Without conflict (and that’s where Kim and I diverge), the self-supporting parasitical structures like Communist parties, crime networks and “charity foundations” cannot be improved or remedied. After all, couldn’t the Foundation (under a new leadership) hire about 12 full-time, contract-based workers to do the administrative work? If those workers were hired from relatively poor English-speaking areas (like India), that would be entirely plausible. And if one of those hired were to turn out a blithering sociopath (like “Avruch” or “Bastique”), they would be fired and replaced within 24 hours. Ramir 22:50, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement from Mike.lifeguard (uninvolved)[edit]

I am not involved in this, nor have I looked at any of the background here. Nevertheless, there is no excuse for the repeated and ongoing personal attacks I see here. Calling anyone a "blithering sociopath" (to choose only the most recent example about 4 lines up) is beyond totally unacceptable, and needs to stop immediately.  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 23:14, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

What if the supposedly unacceptable behaviour does not stop? Will I be blocked? I need to know how to conduct correspondence regarding the issue: in Wikimedia-hosted web space (hoping for the censorship to relent), or in an external publication. Ramir 05:15, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Just stop the childish name-calling. Asking for that is not asking for censorship.  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 14:59, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Responses by Alex Smotrov[edit]

Response to Ramir[edit]

(mostly to this answer)

I have no idea what was the "much more serious problem" mentioned by Ramir above. And I don't have much hope that I would ever know. Which only shows how much Ramir cares for the project.

I'm not arguing that bringing publications from "Potential" magazibe was a good thing, but it simply doesn't seem to work anymore: most of them were added to the project in 2006, then a couple more in Januaray 2007, and then none after that. The background behind this (why this collaboration seemingly stopped) was never disclosed by Ramir either.

Since somehow we started to talk about my contributions, I can mention that I wrote the following wikibooks: b:ru:TCP/IP, b:ru:Порт (6 pages), b:ru:BitTorrent/Порт, b:ru:DHT, b:ru:μTorrent, b:ru:Event 4226. None of them were "simply copied from my site": 4 indeed had their versions on my site, but were changed a lot before I put them in Wikibooks. 2 last ones were written just for Wikibooks.

I also have to point out how often Ramir is applying double standarts:

  • he was anonymous pretty much all the time, then revealed his name and surname on his user page on January 8, 2008. At that point anonymity suddenly became evil for all other users.
  • When "men of science" copy their books (already published elsewhere) to wikibooks - it's a good thing. When I (presumably) "copied pre-existing little book" to wikibooks - it's ... well, not so good.
  • "Real contributors" should write a book, or so Ramir says. At the same time, Ramir's "hard work" (his own words) is mostly metapedic: he doesn't have a wikibook on his own. However, somehow, new users who also wish to do metapedic work, according to Ramir are completely useless for the project.

Final note: in summer 2007 Ramir responded to his Russian Wikipedia Arbcom case exactly the same way: he refused to comment on the charges but instead started personal attacks against users who made the case and the Arbitrators ∴ AlexSm 05:36, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Response to Wassily[edit]

To me it seems like you simply put a bunch of unfounded labels on some users. Even if some of them were true, this would not make Ramir a good sysop. Also, it looks like your reasoning is like this: 1) there's a conflict, that means one side is definitely trolling, 2) Ramir simply ignores other users, so he can't be a troll, 3) this means the other side is trolls.

> "However, those users involved in cases listed in evidences did no valuable contributions to Russian Wikibooks"

Well, that's exactly the point: if one comes to the project and immediately sees a dictator who does not listen to anybody except himself, it might seem like a good idea to simply leave and not waste one's time at all. A couple of users did exactly that. I myself stopped coming to ru.books for a while after text-align:justify was "implemented" by Ramir in summer 2007.

> "A newuser with no contributions came and threated to delete all images"

Please provide a diff link. The only license-related discussion that I remember is included on the subpage: 2007.12: images

> "there're no evidences that Ramir wanted to make Wikibooks free from copyright-based restrictions, using his sysop powers to ensure that"

While I can understand his reluctance to tag 700 existing images, the refusal even to add a drop-down list of licenses to "Special:Upload" is exactly that: using sysop powers to ensure that no image ever has a license.

I see no confirmation that you are also b:ru:user:Медиа (with exactly the same account name), but there is a reason to mention that user's contributions anyway: 4 edits and 26 deleted edits, most of which are in templates namespace and were were deleted by Ramir in October 2007 without any explanation or discussion, and 5 of 10 deleted templates were specifically designed for images licenses, such as translated versions of w:Template:Information and w:Template:Non-free use rationale

AlexSm 05:36, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Futher comments for W.St. -> A.Sm. thread[edit]

I'm not making reasoning in such way you described above. I see that you have been harassing Ramir since June 2007, when he was desysoped in Russian Wikipedia after going to conflict with the group you (and VasilievVV, Putnik, Kalan, Medved' - all those who as I think provoked that situation in ru.wikibooks) are closely affiliated with. That was obviously long before the actual conflict appeared.

> "Well, that's exactly the point: if one comes to the project and immediately sees a dictator who does not listen to anybody except himself"

If one comes to any project, e.g. Russian or English Wikipedia, and instead of working for the project goals goes to "find something to change which would likely won't be good for existing editors, stalk administator with this and when get warned", they always say that this administator is a dictator, however that's of course not true. That's not a reason to immediately desysop an administator and especially making you a new administator.

> "I myself stopped coming to ru.books for a while after text-align:justify was "implemented" by Ramir in summer 2007."

Don't you have your own monobook.css? Copy the default style into it and you'll see no changes. Well, some random user may not know it, but you was elected as an administator in Russian Wikipedia saying that "you'll help the project, especially in technical issues"[10], having 182 edits in articles namespace. Surely you, making a lot of personal js-scripts for Russian Wikipedia users, should know about it.

> "Please provide a diff link. The only license-related discussion that I remember is included on the subpage"

Your first message in that discussion is exactly what I'm talking about. Once more on copyright problems: Ramir ignored your request not because he was against it, but just because he ignores requests from editors with all contributions consist only of giving tips to those who create content, and copypasting handbooks from external sources, because they're trolls. If some contributor asked the same thing, he'd surely do what was needed. Ramir isn't an expert in copyrights, all those problems were because of his unawareness. Instead of askin' some trusted contributor to describe situation to Ramir, you've provoked a conflict here on Meta.

The following lines are a bit offtopic, don't know why AlexSm started talking about my contributions, however I feel important to state that Ramir didn't do anything bad here, so I'm revealing the situation with my contributions above.

Don't know why you appeal to my contributions in Wikibooks. I've wrote my statement here as uninvolved user, not as a Wikibooks user or maybe Ramir's friend (I have right to comment on what's happening in one of WikiMedia projects because I've contributed to WikiMedia projects a lot, having ~ 2700 edits and being author of one featured article in Russian Wikipedia). I don't have any valuable contributions in Wikibooks, however I'm not coming to Wikibooks trying to enforce my own policies or demanding to make me administator basing of votes of meatpuppets as you do. And if you're trying to make a point that Ramir violated anything deleting some pages I created, know that he did it by my request via email. I've started creating gaming solutions handbook about StarCraft, but later I've read some more descriptions of Wikibooks concept and decided my work not to fit WikiBooks format, and I've started ru.solutions wiki on Wikia. I've asked Ramir to delete what I've created. That templates really were copyright tags, however I've created them only to ensure that my screenshots won't be deleted (I know WikiMedia policies about fair use and I worked a lot with such images in Russian Wikipedia, helping authors to protect strictly required fairuse-only pictures, using which no harm may be done to author or rights owner). As I left Wikibooks to work on Wikia, there was nobody to write fairuse rationales anyway. And even now there's no need in these templates, because you (new "legitimate administators of ru.wikibooks", huh) are not interested in saving images, but you are preparing to delete them all unless unactive authors who uploaded them reply, what's almost impossible, even when copyright tag is clear (software screenshots, trivial pictures etc.). In fact, I don't know why you tries to use reference to my contributions as something against Ramir, but Ramir did nothing worse with images then what you're doing now.

Regards, Wassily Steik 19:26, 28 January 2008 (UTC)


Re (2) from AlexSm[edit]

>"don't know why AlexSm started talking about my contributions"

Actually, the reason was written right there, in the same paragraph, in bold: Ramir deleted licenses templates. Even if it was done by your off-wiki request, this still shows: 1) that Ramir did not feel that anybody would ever need those templates; 2) how little he cared about other users to spare any explanation to what was happening (erasing 90% of a newcomer's contribs is not something that would encourage other users).


As for images: personally, I do not work with them and my knowledge in this area is limited. I'm aware that other new administrators plan to delete a lot of images, but my understanding is that we don't have much choice here. As far as I know, our admins try to tag and keep the images whenever possible. It is unfortunately true that most uploaders are no longer active in the project. I think I'm going to suggest to postpone the deletion of untagged images until Foundation actually enforce it (I have no idea how and in what form this is going to happen). If you have any suggestions, please share with us.


>Ramir ignored your request ... just because he ignores requests from ...

Did I get that right, you're claiming that Ramir continued to ignore the issue to spite me? I have to admit this is quite an unusual argument in his defense.


>Ramir isn't an expert in copyrights, all those problems were because of his unawareness.

I think we both know this is not true. Until some point in 2007, Ramir had been active enough in Wikimedia projects to know about this wikimedia:Resolution:Licensing policy. He was also notified at least once (with something like en:Template:Di-no source-notice) in ru.wp about problems with the image that he uploaded, and his response was "You all are wierd and ludicrous"


>...and copypasting handbooks from external sources...

They way you're phrasing that clearly suggests that you're trying to confuse other users in this discussion. I will repeat again: the books were written by me, they underwent major changes before I put them in Wikibooks, and then I wrote two more wikibooks. If it wasn't for Ramir's attitude, I would write even more by this day.
I also have to point out the my editcount could be misleading. Comparing to the editing style of most users, it has to be multiplied by a number between 2 and 5, because I always try to minimize a number of edits that I make. I had to develop a special tool en:User:Alex_Smotrov/ExtEdit to help me write books without any intermediate revisions.


>Copy the default style into it and you'll see no changes

I beilive it was obvious enough that wasn't talking about me, but rather about other visitors, especially readers who are not registered. Let me also remind you that Ramir did not put any notice on how to disable this: neither on the Help page, nor on a Village Pump. This change also made the existing option "justify paragraphs" in preferences quite confusing.


>I see that you have been harassing Ramir since June 2007

I never had any contacts or discussions with Ramir in Russian Wikipedia. My contributions page in ru.books shows that I made a single edit in June 2007 answering a technical question in on a Village Pump, then reverted one vandalism on December 1st, and then finally asked Ramir several questions on Village Pump on Decemner 11-12, one of them being about image licenses. Yet another false statement from you.


>If one comes to any project.... and instead of working for the project goals goes to "find something to change which would likely won't be good for existing editors, stalk administator with this and when get warned...

Besides my main namespace contributions, I made dozens of suggestions to Common.js and Common.css, most of which Ramir did implement. At the same time, he simply ignored some other js/css suggestions without any explanation, and every time I was silent about it, because I do not like pointless conflicts.


Now, I spent a lot of time answering your accusations, most of which turned out to be false. May I suggest it would be a good time for you to finally provide some actual diffs?

I'm also still waiting for an exact diff where "A newuser with no contributions came and threated to delete all images." (underscored by me). Either that, or show me some really really serious errors in my translation of that discussion (2007.12: images)

AlexSm 00:26, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement from User:Spacebirdy[edit]

I followed the thread on the foundation-l mailinglist "Bunners [sic!] at the bottom of every page". Brion Vibber said it should be undone, someone doubted that asking him would work, therefore I just tried to ask him on his talkpage in English since I don't know Russian. Ramir responded:

Unnskyld, jeg forstår ikke.

Which means "Sorry I don't understand" in Norwegian. I assumed good faith believing him that he really did not understand English so I tried to translate my message with babelfish and I offered 4 more languages we could communicate in.

Deutsch - español - français - íslenska?

But because I knew that babelfish does not good translations I looked for someone speaking Russian to assist me.


Ramir responded to that in Russian, but at that time I learned that his English is pretty good and therefore informed the mailinglist that I can't communicate with him on that basis.


Effeietsanders restored the banners and was reverted by Ramir. We were informed in the channel and I restored them again with the summary:

please don't change this back - it is requested by the foundation to leave it this way, thanks.

and additionally left another note on Ramirs talkpage


I am kind of shocked being insulted now, I don't see having been rude anywhere that would justify such impoliteness. Thanks
--birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 22:35, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

And that is why I refer to such people as sociopaths: apparently in sound mind, they still just “don’t see how addressing a person without introduction, in a foreign language, with impertinent demands, just after receiving a denunciation from a non-contributor, and with absolutely no knowledge about the community… (&c &c) — is wrong! And that is why I assert that Wikimedia needs restructuring, if it is to avoid big trouble. Ramir 00:57, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
You were asked kindly before to stop insulting people, I ask You that once more, thanks, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 09:46, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I just blocked him for 3 days, giving him a very last chance to discuss without insulting people afterwards. --Thogo (talk) 09:57, 30 January 2008 (UTC)