GFDL corpus access provider

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A GFDL corpus access provider or GFDLcap is a web service or other net media, or potentially even email or CD-ROM distributor, that provides access to a large portion of the GFDL corpus open content.

current options[edit]

The best known of these is Wikipedia. There is often some confusion between that project and the corpus. This confusion is not only tolerated but created by its sysop power structure, many of whom are implicated in sysop vandalism. Wikipedia likes to pretend it is the only such access provider.

Wikinfo and Anarchopedia:Itself are lesser known access providers, in stricter compliance with the GFDL, to the degree that is possible given that it relies on XML export by Wikipedia for most content.

Wikinfo takes a sympathetic point of view, refusing to mix critical and sympathetic views in an article. This is a direct challenge to the neutral point of view wiki ideology that is promoted by Wikipedia, since that view gives maximum power to those who claim to be 'neutral' but are in a position of technologically granted power.

Here at Anarchopedia we - whoever that is keep the critical and sympathetic views together but do not put a sysop power structure in charge of editorial decisions like deletion policy or who is a troll and what alleged or collective identity they do and do not share. See Anarchopedia:troll IP, Anarchopedia:troll ID and Anarchopedia:faction and Anarchopedia:tendency for more on these questions and how we resolve Wikipedia's many authority and hierarchy problems in a more democratic way.

Other corpus access providers focus on particular subsets of the material, and do not have facilities to automatically import via the Wikipedia interface:

In addition, there are many Wikipedia mirrors that do not provide edit access but read-only access. These might or might not be considered to be true access providers but in any case some of them, like NationMaster have added a lot of information that may be of interest for some purposes.


There are several challenges common to all GFDL corpus access providers:

lack of interwiki identity standard makes attribution quite unreliable
having one standard wiki URI from which to retrieve the source, that can be easily predicted and made permanent
interwiki link standards so that differently-purposed or POV'd large public wikis can link to each other
  • resolving point of view differences, to which there are several approaches:
neutral point of view tries to do this always within one article, attributing disputed claims, but of course, a systemic bias then applies
multiple point of view tries to separate views into articles of their own, e.g. as at Metaweb or via the "faction" system proposed at some wikis
sympathetic point of view tries to separate positive and negative views, whatever that means

future integration[edit]

There are proposals extant to track all changes to the GFDL corpus in any of the known access providers, and perhaps simplify signup for jabber or other services that could serve as basis for interwiki identity standard. Such proposals are simplified by an interwiki link standard and standard wiki URI, though they are not strictly required simply for tracking.

There are also proposals to work with FSF and Creative Commons much more closely to avoid abuses of the GFDL's terms and spirit.

External links[edit]

Probably the best reference on this question is en: CreativeCommons: GFDL corpus access provider] since Creative Commons and their Common Content initiative and CC-by-sa license provide a clear alternative to GFDL and they have a strong motive to work closely with all such access providers to achieve dual licensed GFDL and CC-by-sa content.