Talk:Mandate of the ACL wiki

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I have some reservations about this mandate. First, I think the ACL wiki should be for researchers in computational linguistics. The Wikipedia is for non computational linguists, and it already replicates pages from the ACL Wiki as they are posted. So, we (ACLers) ought to be allowed to post more specialized information. The Wikipedia already covers the basics of much of computational linguistics. Trying to compete with Wikipedia itself seems pointless. In fact, the first thing we should do here is create pointers to all the computational linguistic articles in the Wikipedia so we don't duplicate their efforts--although I get the feeling that the Wikipedia is looking over our shoulders and will copy over everything of a general encyclopedic nature that we put up.

Second, it is the nature of Wikis that obscure text gets amended, so the fear that specialists would get too arcane for general reading seems to be false to me. I think it is an excellent idea to tell people that the goal is just like that of the "... for Dummies" guides. That was a brilliant idea, i.e., if you tell an expert to write "for Dummies" they explain things much more simply--but telling them NOT to talk about specialization is wrong. If not here, where?

Thirdly, course outlines wouldn't seem out of place to me. They just have to be clearly labeled and organized as such. Wikis don't force anyone to view anything, unlike a mailing list or blog in which items are organized linearly, a Wiki is entirely hypertext based and as such you can go anywhere anytime from anyplace. The best part of Wikis is that everything can be undone, so they are excellent for transitory information such as course outlines. Once again, if not here, where?

The encyclopedia notion is fine, but restricting content when there is so little of computational linguistics present seems short-sighted.