[Talk-GB] No more voting on mechanical edits

Matthijs Melissen info at matthijsmelissen.nl
Thu Dec 18 01:17:22 UTC 2014

Dear all,

The DWG has decided not to allow votes for mechanical edits. Andy
Townsend wrote me privately, on behalf of the Data Working Group:

> Please also don't try and organise "votes" for subsequent mechanical edits -
> the consensus of the comments on the talk-gb list is clear that it's _not_ an
> appropriate mechanism.

For the sake of transparency, I thought it would be good to share this
message also with the list.

It is not clear to me why the DWG believes that the consensus on this
list is that voting is not an appropriate mechanism. During the
procedure for my mechanical edits, I had the impression that while
some members, perhaps a majority, were against voting, there were also
members who supported the voting process, or at least thought it is
the best process available.

Personally, I also don't think this decision is particularly helpful
for the community. For the three mechanical edit proposals I have run,
voting has helped me a lot to gauge the amount of support within the
community. From discussion alone it's hard to estimate if there exists
opposition - often people ask critical questions, which might lead one
to think they oppose the edit, but then these people still express
support when confronted with an approve/oppose question. Also, the
mechanical edit policy states that 'As a rule of thumb, you should
have 90% of the community behind you when you make the edit'. It's
unclear how someone who proposes a mechanical edit can find out what
part of the community he has behind him, when polling the community is
not permitted.

In any case, the citation above is the decision of the DWG. I respect
this decision, and I will therefore not use voting as a means to gauge
the community's opinion in further mechanical edit proposals.

Finally, I would like to thank Andy and the rest of the DWG for their
hard work. Even though I don't agree with their decision in this
particular instance, I realize they do a lot of unpaid hard work that
is invaluable for the community.

Kind regards,

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