>Jesse Martin (Pathoschild) <pathoschild(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>There is no real difference between a historical language used by
>enthusiasts and a constructed language used by enthusiasts.
I agree with this point, but from an opposite, more inclusionary perspective.
If fact, I think I hear echoes of some of the points I raised at
Which is why I must protest the recent decision by the Language
subcommittee against any and all Wikipedias in "historical" languages,
and the possibility of that decision being extended to any and all
Wikipedias in constructed languages.
Now, all "historical" languages are not created equal. Some have no
contemporary literature, like Anglo-Saxon. Others have an active
contemporary literature, like Latin. Languages like Latin I would
classify as living "classical languages" that have a contemporary
literature, but few or no modern speakers. It is these languages that
are comparable in application to constructed languages, and that
should share the same criteria for inclusion, which IMO should be the
breadth of their contemporary literature.
Some people would say that languages without native speakers are
useless. I disagree profoundly. When Newton wrote Principia, was he
writing in a 'useless' language? If a language has an active
literature, it is not useless. Yes, primarily written languages are
not ideally suited for teaching young children basic facts about the
world. But they do have an important place in the intellectual sphere.
Imagine Catholic seminary students, from different parts of the world,
writing articles on church history, using the original Latin sources.
Would not such articles be ripe for translation into many different
And the argument that people are being siphoned off from their native
language Wikipedia to work on Latin just doesn't make any sense; it is
far more likely that the unique prospect of a Latin Wikipedia is
drawing people in who would not otherwise be associated with Wikimedia
projects at all.
Of course, the big question is, where do you draw the line? And how do
you draw it effectively, so that we don't exhaust the resources of the
resources of the Language subcommittee in fruitless research? As you
might have guessed, I'm a strong proponent of requiring active
contemporary literatures. ISO doesn't evaluate this, so we need
alternate criteria. One way to determine if a contemporary
contemporary literature is legitimate, is if its legitimacy is
respected by scholars of the "historical" language (as opposed to just
being a product of amateurs with no connection to mainstream
But if the Language subcommittee wants something really simple and
quantifiable, I'll give you this modest proposal: Is a language's
contemporary literature notable enough to be the subject of a Featured
Article on English Wikipedia?
Yup, simple as that. So, can [[Modern Latin literature]] make it?-
probably, with some work. [[Modern Anglo-Saxon literature]]?- almost
definitely not. [[Modern Ancient Greek literature]]?- maybe. This way,
-you- don't have to do the research. The Featured Article Candidates
team will do it for you.
And of course, these prospective Wikipedias would also still need a
significant initial contributing community, like all prospective
Jesse Martin (Pathoschild) <pathoschild(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Looking over this list for the past couple of months, several key issues
have been discussed. I notice, however, that most of the discussion is by
members of the English projects, with the notable exception of Gerard. In
comparison, two years ago on Foundation-l and three and four years ago on Wikipedia-l
(pre-Foundation-l), there was much more vigorous participation from
representatives of other projects. In fact, that is what made Wikipedia a truly
I wonder where so many of the participants of those discussions have
drifted. Is the discussion taking place on chapter lists, at the expense of the
Foundation umbrella, or is it taking place on internal-l, at the expense of
Regardless, it seems that this list is missing out.
**************Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music.
"I've just taken a look at the survey and must sadly
say that it needs a
lot of work done to it in regards to spelling, grammar
For example: ...is a resident of the[sic] Germany.
Also: IMHO Wiki's
aren't the best way of conducting a survey, sorry.
Other options should
be thought of here, Wikis aren't supposed to replace
everything else on
the web (and Wiki!=editable web)."
Well, that's kind of like saying "Wikipedia articles
have too many problems with spelling, grammar, and
content, so it's not worth bothering with." As a wiki,
problems with the survey can be fixed by whomever
finds them :). IOW, that's what the edit buttons are
for (none of those surveys are protected, as page
protection is very much frowned upon at Wikiversity).
I don't think the Wikiversity resource can necessarily
replace a "professional" survey, but it can be a place
to develop them, much as Wikibooks is used to develop
printed and/or pdf books. One thing we all should have
learned by now is that user-generated content can be
just as good as "professionally" generated content --
in fact it can even be better due to its flexibility
and adaptability. The census suffered primarily from a
lack of interactivity and a somewhat "top-down"
structure, and any survey created by the foundation
without user input isn't necessarily going to ask all
the right questions. Using the wiki approach (mostly
in respect to the wiki "ethic", but also using the
wiki software because that's what happens to be
available) allows us not only to ask questions, but at
the same time we can ask participants what sorts of
questions they would like to ask in turn, and that
second aspect is exactly what we need when trying to
decide what questions would be on an "official
survey", if you take my meaning.
Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
This conference seems highly relevant to Wikimedia, so I hope some
Wikimedians may attend (or even submit papers), and report back after
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hinde ten Berge <hinde(a)xs4all.nl>
Date: 26 Jan 2008 02:43
Subject: [Icommons] Free Knowledge, Free Technology Conference, July
15-17 2008, Barcelona, Spain
Free Knowledge, Free Technology
Education for a free information society
SELF International Conference 2008
First International Conference
July 15-17, 2008
The Free Knowledge, Free Technology Conference (FKFT) is the first
international event which will centre on the production and sharing of
educational and training materials in the field of Free Software and Open
Standards. Free Software, as opposed to proprietary software, can be
copied, studied, modified and redistributed without restrictions.
Moreover, open standards, and the capacity they offer for exchanging
knowledge and sharing information, have become essential because they
allow business and administration processes to function in a more
flexible, transparent and cost-efficient way. The expansion of free
software has brought together a continually growing community of
With the objective of promoting Free Software and the sharing of free
knowledge, the FKFT 2008 Conference will bring together hundreds of people
from different continents including government representatives, school and
university teachers, IT companies, publishers, and NGO's. By gathering
together people from all these groups, we aim to stimulate both present
and future collaboration between diverse disciplines, sectors and
countries, through the medium of free software programs and the sharing of
successful experiences related to free software and free technologies.
SELF (http://selfproject.eu) is an international project financed by the
European Commission which has developed a platform to encourage the
creative cooperation and the sharing of educational materials and
continuous training, paying special attention to free software and open
standards. Inspired by the Wikipedia model, the SELF platform is open to
the contributions of all those who would like to bring their knowledge to
it, and share this knowledge without restrictions.
The Free Knowledge Institute and the SELF Consortium (Internet Society
Netherlands, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Free Software Foundation
Europe, Goteburg University, Internet Society Bulgaria, Fundacion Via
Libre and Tata Institute for Fundamental Research) will collaborate to
organise the content of the conference and to build strong relationships
between attendees. The conference partners recognise the vital importance
of the collaborative creation and sharing of free educational and training
materials on Free Software and Open Standards. Our conference host is the
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
The programme consists of an elegant mix between keynote speakers, panel
discussions and parallel tracks on topics such as Social implications of
Free Knowledge and Free Technologies, Technological aspects of e-learning,
Learning Standards, Free Software in society, Legal issues of Free
Knowledge, Free Knowledge in public bodies, Introducing the SELF Platform,
and many more. Invited speakers are, amongst others, Lawrence Lessig
(pending confirmation), Karel de Vriendt (EU/IDABC), Pekka Himanen
(pending confirmation). During the social evening the Award Ceremony of
the "Free Knowledge, Free Technology" Open Documentary Contest will take
Registration is open since January 2008. The deadline for early
registration rates is April 1, 2008. Please see
All events take place in the centre of Barcelona, the Fira de Barcelona,
unless otherwise noted. The FKFT 2008 organisers recommend to make
reservations for hotels and flights as early as possible as July is
The preliminary programme will be announced shortly on http://fkft.eu
David Megias (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
Wouter Tebbens (Free Knowledge Institute)
David Jacovkis (Free Knowledge Institute, Universitat Oberta de
Dragoslava Pefeva (Internet Society Bulgaria)
Conference information: http://fkft.eu/index.php/fkft/2008
Organising team: http://fkft.eu/index.php/fkft/2008/about/organizingTeam
For Papers: http://fkft.eu/index.php/fkft/2008/about/submissions
For Sponsorship: dmegias(a)uoc.edu, wouter(a)freeknowledge.eu
David Megias, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Tel: (+34) 933 263 735
Fax: (+34) 933 568 822
Wouter Tebbens, Free Knowledge Institute
Tel: (+31) 20 8910 319
Fax: (+31) 877 844 107
Icommons mailing list
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
Jaroslaw Lipszyc, a poet from Poland, has just published a book of
poems which are created from selected sentences from Polish
As he has written in the preface of the book:
"Nie jestem autorem tej książki. Nie napisałem ani jednego ze słów,
które w niej przeczytacie. Ta książka ma setki autorów, a ich listę
znajdziecie gdzieś pod koniec. Są na niej imiona i nazwiska,
pseudonimy, numery IP. Za tymi nazwami nie zawsze skrywają się ludzie.
Niektóre są oznaczeniami botów - małych, sprytnych programów
komputerowych. Wszystkie te słowa pochodzą z Wikipedii."
"I am not an author of this book. I have not written a word, you can
read. This book has houndreds of authors and their list can be found
at the end of this book. There are real names, nicknames and IPs.
Under these names there are not always humans. Some of them are the
names of bots - a tiny, smart computer programes. All the words in
this books comes from Wikipedia".
Of course, this book is under GNU FDL licence :-)
(in Polish only)
Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz
"I think suggestions for actual survey
questions would be welcome. I imagine one of the very
the survey might ask is, "Do you consider yourself a
< / snip>
This might be a good use for the Wikimedian
Demographics project on Wikiversity... just add
questions or sets of questions there, and see which
ones "work" (in the sense of getting clear responses
and making sure that all options that should be
included are available for answering.)
One question that comes to mind is whether this survey
will be "anonymous", as opposed to the Wikiversity
surveys which tie responses to a particular username
(presumably one used on other projects as well).
link again for those who are wondering what I'm
(By the way: is there something wrong with the
"digest" mailings? I haven't recieved one in several
days (working fine on checkuser-l). )
Looking for last minute shopping deals?
Find them fast with Yahoo! Search. http://tools.search.yahoo.com/newsearch/category.php?category=shopping
Today we uploaded a number of documents to the Foundation wiki. They can be found at:
under, "Related Documents."
Some of these are procedural documents we use internally to respond to requests and general business, others relate to the substantive job
descriptions and our internal organization. We've opted to keep them in formatted odf files for practical reasons, we'll continue to post policies
and other information in wiki format as often as possible.
As more materials become available we'll continue to post here and keep you updated.
Head of Communications
1 (415) 287-0680
Relevant because 1) Flickr is calling their new collaboration "The
Commons" (potential for a bit of name confusion there); and 2) didn't
we talk to the Library of Congress about giving similar collections to
us? All the images being donated are public domain though, so no
reason why we couldn't scoop them up, but (as partnerships going) it
would be nice to get a similar one going.
This workshop may be of interest to the WMF staff, and those doing or
considering doing Wikimania and other conference event bids...
-george william herbert