Talk:Global sysops

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Requirement for Babel boxes[edit]

After this discussion, I am unsure as to the phrasing of the global sysops policy. For global sysops that act across multiple languages (which appears to be all active global sysops), is the intention of the policy wording that their account user pages should explain what languages they can understand? This seems highly relevant for users that may be affected by the actions of a global sysop and may wish to discuss those actions. Thanks -- (talk) 13:50, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

@: "Asked to" is encouragement, a recommendation, it is not a requirement. I added it here as we had been asking, so I wrote it as "asking". By the way this is not a "policy" page, it is explanatory, and notes standards, etc. (per top bit). Thanks for asking.  — billinghurst sDrewth 14:05, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
It is surprising that this is confusing and the policy document is not written in unambiguous plain English.
The Global sysops page uses the standard template:process header, titles itself Global sysop policy & information and is listed on Meta:Policies and guidelines described as "Information and policies related to global sysops." The specific section where "asked to" is used, reads to me as a requirement on Global sysops that use a global user page (as most or all current global sysops do).
If you are correct and this meta policy page is not a policy and therefore does not contain policies, then that needs to be fixed, further could you please link to the actual policy that does apply to Global Sysops, explains the limits of the role and how it is governed by community agreed policy? If this meta page is a policy document that Global Sysops are required to comply with for all Wikimedia projects they use this trusted status on, then this needs to be made clear to the current members of the global sysop group and those parts of this document that are not policy should be marked as such explicitly or removed.
How do you suggest we fix this? Thanks -- (talk) 18:15, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Cross-wiki issues tend not to have clear policies. This is in part because the RfCs creating the pages are usually very broad so as to be able to gain consensus. It also doesn't really matter that much as global sysops are working on projects without an established local community.

To the main point, you and the person you are fighting with both are clearly native anglophones, so this comes off as petty. If you only spoke Lithuanian and could not speak English and were confused as to whether Praxidicae spoke Lithuanian when she was acting on a project with that language, I think you'd find a more receptive audience for your concerns. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:47, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

So you are agreeing that this document is not a policy? -- (talk) 18:56, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Fæ, I would note that it says "Global sysop policy & information". Given that is says "asked to" would make that specific request a guideline/information rather than a policy. I think Tony is saying that this document is policy, but that it is a broad document with some interpretation allowed for and some of it as "grey area" or "guidance" rather than document entirely made up of absolutes. The "asked to" phrasing would suggest that interpretation. Waggie (talk) 19:28, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Sure, that's one reading. The problem here is that what is or is not policy is ambiguous, and while I am being criticised above for discussing the meaning of the words used, if this is a policy that is to be complied with by Global sysops, it needs to be unambiguous, measurable and written in plain English that can accurately be translated.
You see above a current global sysop assuring us that this document is not a policy, yet other readers like yourself saying it is, that's not a good state of affairs, as there are global sysops that are unable to point to the policy that governs their trusted role. -- (talk) 19:39, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Could you please clarify where you see a current global sysop is "assuring us that this document is not a policy"? Frankly, it seems like you're putting words in their mouth. I'm concerned that this seems to be a bit pointy. Did you want to establish consensus on "...is the intention of the policy wording that their account user pages should explain what languages they can understand", or not? That's why I came here to comment. My opinion is that it is suggested, but not required, and it seems like that's simply what other commenters here are saying also (including Tony). Waggie (talk) 20:15, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
diff By the way this is not a "policy" page, ...
"Global sysops must have user pages on every wiki ... [global user page] users are asked to include a Babel declaration." This is an extension of a sensible requirement to help other users understand who they are. A global sysop that refuses to add babel boxes intended to help the multi-lingual nature of their actions, would have to have a reason for not helping the good-faith users affected cross-wiki by their global sysop actions in this very simple way. For the life of me, I honestly cannot think of a good reason to evade doing this. -- (talk) 20:42, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

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Thank you for the diff. billinghurst will have to clarify for themselves, but I believe by placing "policy" in quotes, I *think* they're trying to draw a distinction between WMF policy (as in ToU-type things), and community "policy". That's simply my read on what they're saying. Regardless, the question you asked was not one about policy/guidelines/whatever, but a specific question about the intention of that policy with regard to userboxes. Given that multiple people here suggest that it's a recommendation, rather than a requirement the side conversation isn't relevant, and especially as the person who added it has clearly stated their intention when adding it. As such, your question is answered and I think this discussion can be closed. Waggie (talk) 20:58, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

I don't know what the context between Fae and Praxidicae is, but I agree with Tony that this just looks petty. Global community policies (contrasted with WMF policies) are intentionally flexible, containing some provisions that are very explicitly included as a result of past and ongoing consensus, and some that represent views of the policy authors. I don't think this issue is worth further discussion. – Ajraddatz (talk) 21:06, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Comment Comment A policy is something is reached by a broad consensus of the community, this page contains aspects of that policy consensus, and it provides information generated around practice. The text about #babel would not appear on this page if it was policy as I would not have added it, as I didn't seek consensus for that change. I added the text as I had been asking global sysops to add #babel statements, so the text reflects the reality and the practice. There is no requirement, there is a request for #babel statements.

It is not unreasonable for you to ask, and that reflects the information, good on you for doing it. But all of this ^^^^ and your continued edits at user talk:Praxidicae seems like wikilawyering and hectoring, and trying to impose your PoV rather than the community practice for 10 years.  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:04, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Indeed. Policies are policies: a policy decided by community consensus isn't any less powerful or operative than a policy written by some Wikimedia Foundation staff (actually, most policy documents they write apply only to staff, while global policies apply to everyone). The matter is not whether the global sysops policy is enforceable, but whether there is a certain requirement as part of the policy.
It seems pretty clear for instance that the list "Users with global sysop access" is not policy. It's hopefully also clear that "are asked" is less strong than "must have [user pages]" in the same paragraph. If the language is not clear, it can be changed. Having a functioning userpage was a rather strong wish of the community when this policy was originally enacted, but of course there is some flexibility in the contents.
Now some more concrete suggestions. It seems that the crux of the issue is rather trivial: {{user info}} does not properly accommodate babel templates. That's quite a major deficiency of this template, and given it's now rather widely used it would be very useful to ask some template writer or wiki designer to come up with a good solution. We could then also tell all WMF staff that they can now easily add the babel in an easy way, rather than just stack it at the bottom of the contact field as most people seem to do. Nemo 08:47, 17 February 2020 (UTC)