[ crossposting on foundation-l, wikiversity-l & translators-l ]


Wikiversity Beta is now 10 days old and I think the time has come to give some news. I have decided to organize it as a list of FAQ. Feel free to ask questions I have not thought about. This page is available in English at http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Help:FAQ/En and will be available in French soon.

* What is Wikiversity?
--- Wikiversity is a new Wikimedia project [1] exploring ways to use the power of wiki to support online learning. This new project will be in beta phase during the first six months [2].

* What is Wikiversity Beta?

--- Wikiversity Beta is a global platform aiming at coordinating Wikiversity projects in several languages [3]. This multilingual coordination intends to deal with Wikiversity's mission and general guidelines of the project's scope (for example, about original research). Wikiversity Beta is also a place where Wikiversity projects which don't have a subdomain yet can develop.

--- In a nutshell, Wikiversity is both a meta-wiki and an incubator for Wikiversity projects.

* How is it possible to have so many languages coexisting on Beta without it becoming a mess?

--- Wikiversity Beta intends to take advantage of the input of its many members (not only English-speakers). Multilingual discussions should not only coexist, but live in symbiosis. A multilingual discussion system has been proposed to manage them [4] so non-English speakers can take part in discussions. Moreover, Beta is using the Language select feature [5] developped on Meta, which allows users to hide foreign languages on multilingual pages.

* What about separate Wikiversity projects which already have their own subdomain?

--- Those separate projects [6] are growing their way. However, their participants are strongly encouraged to take part into discussions about general guidelines that will apply to all Wikiversity projects. Moreover, they are encouraged to post reports [7] about their projects to let everybody know about how it grows.

* What's next?

--- Now we need people to take part in the discussions on Wikiversity Beta. People from existing separate projects and people willing to contribute to a future separate project should join the discussions and work together. People who do not speak English are encouraged to take part in discussions but we also need volunteer translators to translate the talk summaries [4].

* Your multilingual system will never work. It requires too many translators.

--- If people really sum up their discussions, not only this will help them to focus on important things but it will not take much time to translate them. Ten days after Beta opening, its main page is already available in five languages.

--- By the way, it is just a proposal. Hey, if everybody speaks english, very well, we won't have anything to translate. If the system does not work, at least we can say we tried.

* For a coordination project, it would be much more practical if a single language of discussion is chosen.

--- Of course it would be more practical; the question is: should we manage Beta the way that is easier for us English speakers or should we manage it the way everybody can take part in discussions about guidelines that will apply to all projects?

* Wikiversity Beta Motto?

--- The shorter, the better. If you want your ideas to reach people speaking other languages, write short and understandable summaries.

Please feel free to ask questions and to make constructive comments. I would also like to thank Sebmol & JWSchmidt for their help.


[1] Board resolution: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution_Wikiversity
[2] Anthere's mail about Wikiversity: http://mail.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2006-August/009074.html
[3] Wikiversity Beta URL: http://beta.wikiversity.org
[4] Multilingual discussion proposal: http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Multilingualism
[5] Language selection system: http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Language_select
[6] List of separate Wikiversity projects: http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Separate_projects
[7] Reports from separate projects: http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Reports

Guillaume Paumier
Disciplus Simplex
http://fr.wikipedia.org : Resistance is futile You will be assimilated.