admin nomenclature (was: Re: Wiki focus - user versus developer documentation)

Cesar Eduardo Barros cesarb at
Sun Aug 31 17:34:25 CEST 2008

Marko Knöbl escreveu:
> 2008/8/29 Minh Ha Duong <haduong at>:
>> 1.  Overloaded admins = don't even think about it IRL.
> Whom do you mean by "admins"? The wiki editors?

I think we're having a confusing overload of the term "admin".

On Wikipedia, "admin" is someone with the "sysop" user flag (as seen on 
[[Special:Listusers/sysop]] [1]). The ones who have shell access to the 
servers were formerly called "developers" 
( shows this group is now 
called "system administrators"). However, "admin" is also a very common 
abreviation of "system administrator".

So, when you mention "admins", you might be talking either about "wiki 
sysops" (which can edit protected pages, including the parts of the 
interface on the MediaWiki: namespace, protect and unprotect pages, 
delete and undelete pages, block and unblock users and IP ranges, and a 
few other functions) or about "system administrators" (which, by having 
root-level shell access to the servers, can do everything, but are 
usually more overloaded, and have other attributions more important than 
endlessly tweaking a wiki's configuration) [2].

Because of such potential for confusion, it might be best to avoid using 
the unqualified term "admin" on this list.

[1] There are twelve such users on the Openmoko Wiki, several of them 
not listed on [[Who is Who]].
[2] Let's not mention the third group, "bureaucrat".

Cesar Eduardo Barros
cesarb at
cesar.barros at

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