HELP NEEDED for openHAB on Wikipedia!


While we have a German Wikipedia entry for openHAB since quite a while (many thanks to everyone who contributed to it!), I have never managed to get an English version published. My own attempts resulted in the complaint that I am too biased and thus not trustworthy to write such an article. Also the relevance of openHAB was questioned - since then, some others added some content, but it is still only listed as an unpublished draft.

I received this kind offer today:

I am a Wikipedian. I was going through the list of submitted drafts the other day I came across your draft here at the following link;

It was declined because of lack of reliable sources and the content up there did not meet wiki requirements.
I will rewrite the content to make it Wiki acceptable using reliable references available and I will use my privileges to publish it on Wikipedia.

I was certainly grateful for that offer and responded immediately. Unfortunately, this uncovered the real nature of the contact:

I will do all the necessary research required to draft the content and make it Wiki acceptable (like refraining from promotional content and writing from a neutral point of view etc) but I will also need you to approve the content so it should not contain any information you may not like to be posted.
Also, I will let you know if I will need any information and citations from your side.
The entire procedure will cost you $400 and you will need to pay only when the page gets published on Wikipedia.

Let’s put the questionable process of how Wikipedia articles can get approved by “officials” aside (although it slightly worries me…). It clearly shows that openHAB is notably enough to be allowed to be covered on Wikipedia.

Looking at the comments on the draft over the past weeks, it seems that Wikipedians are still in doubt about the relevance of openHAB and they are specifically asking for neutral reliable sources for information about openHAB (news agencies, etc.) and it seems that they are considering to even delete the draft anytime soon.

THEREFORE I ASK FOR YOUR HELP! If you think as well that openHAB has some relevance in the smart home market and you are able to express yourself decently in English, it would be awesome if you could help contributing to this article!
Content is imho likewise important as relevant references - simply follow the Wikipedia rules and be a fair citizen there. Note that I am asking specifically the pure openHAB users for help here - as they can best comment and describe neutrally and are not biased.

From my experience, it will be hard to get to approval, especially as some Wikipedia reviewers seem to have made up their mind already (while many other articles that imho are far less relevant) - but I trust in our community that we can convince them of the relevance of openHAB!

A million thanks in advance!


The 400 dollar guy is a scam
In reality I have given up on writing for Wikipedia as there is always some self appointed wikipedia police that has a problem with the content.
“Relevance” seems to be quite random, looking at some other articles and once the police has made up their minds they get stuck on it.
Yet, I will see what I can do to contribute


Please be careful. I was Wikipedia author for years and such announcements from outside the wikipedia often had a contraproductive effect because they bring many people who have no expierience with the Wikipedia and it’s rules into the discussion. From the expierienced Wikipedia authors, who have way more influence than people from outside, this is often seen as an “attack” on the neutrality of the Wikipedia so that those users try to “defend” the neutrality by trying to prevent getting such articles published. My hints on this:

  • Focus on making the draft better, do not spend too much time for discussions. Find reliable, well-known sources to underly the relevance of openHAB WITHIN THE article (that openHAB is relevant should as obvious as possible when reading the article, not the discussions about it)
  • it’s no argument that other articles are less relevant. Yes, it’s true, but this argument does not help as it’s just showing that you’re not familiar with the wikipedia rules. Articles that are not relevant just can live on as long as there is nobody that wants to get them deleted…
  • If a discussion ended with a decision that the article is not published, do not open a new discussion until there are new arguments
  • anyway, as a user with no expierience with the Wikipedia rules, I would advise against of taking a too big part in discussions about article relevance. Fighting big wars on discussion sites is often lost time which should go into improving the article. Waiting 6 months until the article is better is often way more effective.
  • READ the rules of the Wikipedia before starting
  • please don’t translate the german article, it’s way too detailed / too technical and the relevance is not sufficently underlied with sources. If some particular Wikipedia authors would know the german openHAB article, I’m quite sure that it would have been already deleted :unamused:



Thanks for your valuable input!
Yes, I agree and I should again emphasis: I do not want to see any bashing of Wikipedia people, but constructive help in addressing their concerns and thus improving the article. This definitely means that Wikipedia rules must be followed and hence having people with experience in contributing to Wikipedia helping here, would indeed be the most helpful thing.

Hey guys,

it’s been a while since I really wrote a wikipedia article… nevertheless I started working on the article a bit, perhaps I’ll find the time to improve it further. It definitely would be helpful if other, more experiences authors could contribute.

I agree with Patrick that the article shouldn’t be too technical and rather focus on the systems/technologies/platforms that can be integrated and controlled through openHAB.

A chapter regarding the community (including the role of the openHAB foundation) probably would also be advisable.

Regarding the questions: “How does a good software article look like?” or “what to put into an article about software?”, it’s advisable to take a look on similar articles which were honoured by the Wikipedia community:

As you can see, a section that can be found within nearly all good articles, is “Reception”. This section is very important as it is the part of the article where authors have to prove the relevance of the article and show how the topic is seen by the society.

I’m familiar with the MediaWiki markup language, I’ve had a Wikipedia account for several years and I claim I understand what the Wikipedia moderators regard as “reliable sources” - they don’t accept blogs or (most) reviews and they don’t accept publications by people directly involved with the project. The earlier advice from @pfink is spot-on - there’s no point trying to win an argument in a discussion thread; let’s focus on making the article better and it will speak for itself.

I found there is a section describing openHAB in a published textbook which uses it as an example of a system based on the OSGi framework, so I’ve added a reference to that book (and reinforced that openHAB is based on OSGi rather than simply Java). I’ve also added a reference to the entry on Open Hub (what used to be Ohloh) as evidence of the large and growing number of developers, and another reference to a conference presentation from the Embedded Linux Conference in 2015.

IMHO that’s enough to demonstrate that openHAB is “notable” enough to warrant an English language Wikipedia entry.

At this time I have not re-submitted the draft for approval since I think the rest of the content needs more work.

If anyone knows of other published books or conference presentations (by people other than @kai :slight_smile:) we should add those too. I’m happy to take care of the markup language formatting if someone can point me at the reference sources.


Thanks @davidMbrooke!

Regarding conference talks from people other than myself (and not being related to the openHAB development), here are some further ones I have found:

Mentions in books:

Some links to independent news sites (I’d assume that even if they are not all English, they are considered a reliable and independent source):

Maybe a few of these links are helpful for adding further notable content - thanks to everyone helping on that!


Hi Kai

I am a Wikipedia editor and work on issues of conflict of interest and paid editing in Wikipedia. Your post came up at a discussion in Wikipedia, here.

Would you please forward the entire email (please be sure to include the header) to Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee? The email is arbcom-l @ (remove the spaces). It would be helpful.

I would ask you to name the person, but there is a risk of someone pretending to be someone else - this happens all the time. It actually happened to me - I have an impersonator on twitter who says I edit for pay, for example. (argh).

I am sorry this happened to you. Nice job, posting it in public!

Best regards Jytdog.

Hi Jytdog,

Thanks for getting in touch. I have sent the complete original e-mail to the committee.

Nice job, posting it in public!

I hope I didn’t offend anyone (but the scammer) through this. It is very good to see that you are taking this matter seriously and that this is indeed a scam and not a service that Wikipedia somehow tolerates.