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Date: 2005-11-06 (19:33)
From: Thomas Fischbacher <Thomas.Fischbacher@P...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Wikipedia

On Thu, 3 Nov 2005, Jon Harrop wrote:

...and once again, it may be interesting to see a bit more context.

>   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocaml
> The page gets a lot of hits and is, most likely, the first port of call by 
> many people when trying to learn about OCaml.
> Unfortunately, the quality of this page is substantially worse than that of 
> the equivalent pages on SML, Haskell and so on. I have tried to improve the 
> page myself but most of my links have been removed following complaints to 
> admim by an anonymous, German-speaking, OCaml-using physicist with the IRC 
> nic "tf" and all of my corrections were removed by Mike Lin. My code examples 
> remain though.

On Oct 26, 19:10, I put a note into the "talk" section of the OCaml 
wikipedia article, pointing out that it contained an excessively large 
amount of links to ffconsultancy.com, which were indeed entered by Jon 
Harrop, by now infamous also on Usenet.


To give an excerpt from the article as it was at that time:


Please note the number of ffconsultancy.com links:

<li>Several <a 
title="International Conference on Functional Programming 
Contest">International Conference on Functional Programming Contest</a> 

<li><a href="http://www.ffconsultancy.com/free/maze/" class='external 
text' title="http://www.ffconsultancy.com/free/maze/">A 2D maze 
<li><a href="http://www.ffconsultancy.com/free/ray_tracer/" 
class='external text' title="http://www.ffconsultancy.com/free/ray 
tracer/">A mini ray tracer</a></li>
class='external text' title="http://www.ffconsultancy.com/products/ocaml 
for scientists/visualisation/">Graphical examples from a book on OCaml for 
<li><a href="http://handhelds.freshmeat.net/projects/planets/" 
class='external text' 
<li><a href="http://home.gna.org/geocaml/" class='external text' 
title="http://home.gna.org/geocaml/">Drgeocaml</a>, a dynamic geometry 

class='external text' title="http://www.ffconsultancy.com/products/ocaml 
for scientists/complete/">Examples from a book on OCaml for 
<li><a href="http://www.ffconsultancy.com/products/presenta" 
class='external text' 
technical presentation software</li>
<li><a href="http://www.confluent.org" class='external text' 
title="http://www.confluent.org">Confluence</a> is a language for 
synchronous reactive system design. A Confluence program can generate 
digital logic for an FPGA or ASIC platform, or C code for hard real-time 


This was the state of the article when I put that comment into the 
discussion section. I did not re-enter that discussion from then on, so 
when Jon says:

> I have tried to improve the 
> page myself but most of my links have been removed following complaints to 
> admim by (...) tf

his "improvements" which were removed following my "complaints" can only 
refer to his act of Wikipedia vandalism (as I would call it), putting 
excessive link spam (see above) into the article.

Let's face it: if one takes Google rank as a a rough first measure of 
relevance (in the sense of "how much do people talk about it") in the 
non-academic world, in a search for "OCaml", none of Jon's material 
(despite all his efforts) is in the top 10 (note: google searches may 
depend on region/country), a link to his book is #17, and not one further 
single ffconsultancy link is among the top 50. 

So, if a single individual makes about half of all the external links in a 
Wikipedia page point to an irrelevant, obscure web site of his own(!), 
that hardly can be considered an "improvement", can it?

But unfortunately, such distorted view and presentation of reality seems 
to be not too uncommon in Jon's writings.

regards,               tf@cip.physik.uni-muenchen.de              (o_
 Thomas Fischbacher -  http://www.cip.physik.uni-muenchen.de/~tf  //\
(lambda (n) ((lambda (p q r) (p p q r)) (lambda (g x y)           V_/_
(if (= x 0) y (g g (- x 1) (* x y)))) n 1))                  (Debian GNU)