December 8, 2019

I've been Wikipedia'd!

At some point I had the silly idea that I should be listed in Wikipedia. Now like a monkey's claw, like Midas' Touch, I discovered it happened, my wish has turned into a curse. My Wikipedia page is full of nonsense. It is hard to find a sentence that doesn't have an error or two or three. And each error correction requires four things, including cite-able third party proof that the change is justified .

Is this typical? To see so many errors in Wikipedia articles?

  • All of the Interlisp work was at Xerox. Although I was listed as a student at Stanford and didn't get my PhD until 1980, I was working at Xerox full-time after 1976.
  • I had nothing to do with Interlisp-Jericho.
  • There wasn't a port of Interlisp to the vax, there was an effort to build one, and I wrote a document trying to scope out how much work that was to be done. That document wasn't to "document the port".
  • My work at Stanford was on the Dendral project as an employee (my Alternative Service), not as a student. The program was in Lisp.
  • My work on document management was almost all at Xerox, not for Adobe. I didn't do "pioneering work on the PDF format" (for anyone).
  • I remained an employee of Xerox PARC, becoming a "Principal Scientist", but never had the title "Chief Scientist" and never reported to "Xerox AI Systems".
  • I wasn't "instrumental in the development of the PDF MIME type" (I helped publish it at best.)
  • My work on internet standards through IETF and W3C was over many years, between Xerox, AT&T Labs and Adobe. But it was mainly a volunteer effort on my part.
  • Internet standards are not published in "peer reviewed journals"; they are reviewed, but for different reasons than peer-reviewed journals.
  • I never worked on Apache. I never collaborated with Nick Kew or Kim Veltman or anyone else on any book.
  • The footnote references don't correspond very well to the topics discussed.

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