Thank you for responding.  If I had to summarize things in one sentence, it would be that on the whole the members of this committee mostly seem not to be involved in any kind of real way. 

This is particularly true on-wiki. In my view, on-wiki is still supposed to be the core of what this is all about. And other than you, MF-Warburg and occasionally Satdeep, I can hardly remember a member of the Language Committee responding—for example at Talk:Language committee on Meta.  I’m supposed to be a clerk, not necessarily even responding substantively. I do, and that’s OK to a point, but can’t anyone else ever be there?

Still, I’d venture my biggest frustration is with the fact that people on the committee are not even doing minimal work based on what gets posted to this mail list. For example:  There are four projects that were tentatively approved in October-December 2018, pending language verification. I pointed this out again in an email on March 14. And I pointed it out again in an email on June 6. And nothing has happened; there have barely even been grunted responses from the Committee. If there is one piece of business I really have not wanted to get involved in, it’s discussing language eligibility with experts.  Can’t anyone act on these? Really? How long do we let a project sit in this status without verification? At some point, these people deserve an answer, and if we cannot get verification—and we assume good faith—that answer should be yes.

(Related to both of the above, I am going to write the committee, probably tomorrow, about two other requests: one to close Bulgarian Wikinews, and the other the ongoing discussion about this Literary Chinese Wikisource request. I have recommendations for both, but could people really look on-wiki at the discussions, and not just depend on my summaries? Please? And then engage in a real discussion? These are not simple questions.)

I’m also frustrated with something that the committee can’t entirely control: the technical block at Phabricator preventing creation of new wikis. Now part of the frustration stems from the fact that I’ve used that as an excuse not to bring new wikis here for tentative approval. (The reality of why I haven’t done that, of course, is at least as much about the fact I have such a hard time securing language verification from the Committee.) But part of it is real: how long do people have to wait before getting their projects approved?

I’ll add: Phabricator seems to be moving on recoding some of the projects that use non-standard language codes, or at least adding the standard codes as aliases. That’s fine as far as it goes, and I’ll admit that this is probably easier than fixing the real problem blocking new wiki creation. Still, can’t we somehow try to get the developers to put a higher priority on new wiki creation? There are a few people who care a lot about the code issue, but in nearly all cases, that hasn’t been a really important problem. The fact that we can’t create new wikis is a really important problem.   

And I’ll conclude by noting that people are starting to ask, “Why can’t we get verification now, notwithstanding the technical problems?” The only honest answer I can give is that LangCom doesn’t have its act together to do verification. If people want me to give that answer online, then I will. Better: get these verification requests moving, so that I can start pushing other projects along.

Thank you for listening.


Sent from Outlook

(Amir wrote:)


There's a phenomenon on wikis: Sometimes, when a person becomes an expert
at doing some kind of routine work, everyone else gets used to it and
decides that they don't have to do it, because the expert will take care of
it. No-one even bothers to learn the expert's modus operandi.
Unfortunately, the possibility that the expert will burn doesn't occur to
anyone. I am guilty of this myself.

Steven, I appreciate your work immensely. As a clerk, you reinvigorated the
Language committee's work and improved our processes.

Please let me where can I help, and I'll try my best.

Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

‫בתאריך יום ב׳, 5 באוג׳ 2019 ב-1:13 מאת ‪Steven White‬‏ <‪