Student Project of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design
Wikipedia // GitHub // Moscow
We have conducted multiparametrer analysis in order to understand the process of editing in Wikipedia, GitHub and the city of Moscow and assess their strong and weak points, differences and similarities.
vocabulary
Wikipedia
A free-access, free-content Internet encyclopedia, supported and hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Those who can access the site can edit most of its articles
GitHub
Web-based Git repository hosting service. It offers all of the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features.
Revert
Revert in Wikipedia is when previous data is restored from a backup. Revert ('Otkat') in the city is informal word for bribery.
Edit
Analysis, evaluation, correction and improvement of a text, code or physical objects. Editing includes correcting mistakes, failures or law violations, logical errors elimination, reformatting without altering the meaning, validation and verification.
Edit war
Edit wars in Wikipedia arise when participants start to cancel edits made by other users. This kind of confrontation is considered to be a violation of ethical standards. It's an attempt to win debates by using "brute force" which jeopardizes the search for consensus – process that is supposed to be a productive collaboration. Edit wars in the city are the result of a clash of interests and inability of different parties to reach common ground. They keep changing urban space following only their own ideology and interests.
Consensus
Is a way of handling conflicts provided that there are no fundamental objections coming from the majority of the interested parties. While editing Wikipedia articles, consensus is usually reached in a natural way – if one of the participants edits or makes an addition on one of the pages, everyone who sees this change is able to react by either changing and cancelling it, or confirming it.
Master project
Any project that is made by a user for the first time is called Master project. The user becomes an owner of the Master project and all other users are able to send their requests, clone the project, create branches and forks. All actions and changes by any user are displayed in the edit archive.
Fork
Fork is a copy of a master project which allows users to edit projects without changing the original. Fork remains attached to the original to make it easy to send a request to the author of the master project in order to merge it with a fork which includes changes made.
Step by step
9 questions
At first sight, Wikipedia, GitHub and Moscow are three totally different spaces, that were created at different times, under different conditions and with different purposes. They exist in different zones and use different ways of communication. We asked nine questions and got twenty-seven answers.
1 // What is the space's mission?
1
Wikipedia
To make all the knowledge accessible to people, in their native lanuages
2
GitHub
To allow everyone to create the best possible software for themselves by collaborating with others
3
Moscow
Optimization and allocation of resourses
2 // Who is allowed to alter the system?
1
Wikipedia
Any internet user
2
GitHub
The owner of the master project
Platform's users
3
Moscow
Self-governing authorities
Property owners
Locals
3 // What resources do we need to make changes?
1
Wikipedia
Information
Knowledge
2
GitHub
Knowledge
Time
3
Moscow
Information
Time
Material resources
Bolshoy Spasoglinishevskiy per., Moscow
4 // Who is to decide if the changes are accepted?
1
Wikipedia
All users
2
GitHub
The master project's owner
3
Moscow
Self-governing authorities
Property owners
5 // How fast is it to make a change?
1
Wikipedia
Changes are displayed immediately
2
GitHub
Changes require confirmation from the master project's owner
3
Moscow
Changes need to be negotiated
Takes a long time to reach an approval to make a change

"Any online user can just click the 'edit' button on Wikipedia, add a change and the change will be immediately displayed in the article. Some articles are being held under special treatment due to article's protection or stabilization mode, when ability to edit is not always available to everyone. This mode is useful in the situations such as time after hectic football game when articles of football judges (who judged this game) are protected."
Ilya Schurov
Has been working for six years as an administrator in Russian Wikipedia

6 // What is the tool for reaching an agreement about changes?
1
Wikipedia
Reaching consensus
2
GitHub
Merging a fork/branch/clone with a project master
Project review by master project's owners
3
Moscow
Obtaining a permit
7 // How does the conflict of interest show itself?
1
Wikipedia
2
GitHub
Creation of a fork
3
Moscow
Reconstruction
Wrecking
Modernization

8 // Who is responsible for changes?
1
Wikipedia
Wikipedists
Administrators
Stewards
2
GitHub
Project's owner
3
Moscow
Government official
Property owner
9 // What are ways to track changes?
1
Wikipedia
History
2
GitHub
Repository
3
Moscow
Databases
Registry

Differences and similarities of
Wikipedia // GitHub // Moscow
The principles of change introduction
Making the decision of what code goes in where is more important than the code itself
Tom Preston-Werner, co-founder of GitHub, interview for Fast Company
Having taken into account strengths of online platforms and aspects of the city, we've come up with an algorithm of introducing changes which can accelerate and improve the changes that are being implemented into city space.

Even though at first sight the city and online platforms have nothing in common, you still can recognize similar processes if you look closer. It is possible to ask for a change in Wikipedia, GitHub and Moscow and you can address it to either community or authorized bodies. Edits also exist in all three spaces, they can be implemented immediately, after approval, or illegally. A strong area of the online platform, that doesn't exist in the city, is the constant interaction between users. Moreover, using Wikipedia and GitHub, it is easy to look up the revision history and find out what changes were based on and who made them. This option allows to understand what strategy was successful, what kind of problems arised after certain decisions and how it all began.
Introduction of changes
History of changes

City residents can easily introduce changes regardless of their abilities.
The history of changes is saved and available for review.
Discussions

There is a constant interaction between locals and authorities regarding changes in the city. This allows to reach a consensus that all parties are satisfied with.
Resources

In order to implement changes we need resources: material, financial and human. We can count on introduction of changes to the city only with the support of these resources.
Responsibility

Each object in the city space has to have a person in charge who will monitor its condition. Government services, communities, companies or individuals can all be people in charge.
Thanks to experts and STRELKA students for feedback and help.
Thanks to our tutors and curators Andrey Manirko, Eugenia Pospelova, Fedor Novikov and Pierluigi Dalla Rosa.
Made on
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