I have asked and received permission to forward to you all this most
excellent bit of news.
The linguist list, is a most excellent resource for people interested in the
field of linguistics. As I mentioned some time ago they have had a funding
drive and in that funding drive they asked for a certain amount of money in
a given amount of days and they would then have a project on Wikipedia to
learn what needs doing to get better coverage for the field of linguistics.
What you will read in this mail that the total community of linguists are
asked to cooperate. I am really thrilled as it will also get us more
linguists interested in what we do. My hope is that a fraction will be
interested in the languages that they care for and help it become more
relevant. As a member of the "language prevention committee", I love to get
more knowledgeable people involved in our smaller projects. If it means that
we get more requests for more projects we will really feel embarrassed with
all the new projects we will have to approve because of the quality of the
Incubator content and the quality of the linguistic arguments why we should
approve yet another language :)
NB Is this not a really clever way of raising money; give us this much in
this time frame and we will then do this as a bonus...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: LINGUIST Network <linguist(a)linguistlist.org>
Date: Jun 18, 2007 6:53 PM
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831. Mon Jun 18 2007. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
Moderators: Anthony Aristar, Eastern Michigan U <aristar(a)linguistlist.org>
Helen Aristar-Dry, Eastern Michigan U <hdry(a)linguistlist.org>
Reviews: Laura Welcher, Rosetta Project
The LINGUIST List is funded by Eastern Michigan University,
and donations from subscribers and publishers.
Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyer(a)linguistlist.org>
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
-------------------------Message 1 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 12:49:35
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
As you may recall, one of our Fund Drive 2007 campaigns was called the
"Wikipedia Update Vote." We asked our viewers to consider earmarking their
donations to organize an update project on linguistics entries in the
English-language Wikipedia. You can find more background information on this
The speed with which we met our goal, thanks to the interest and generosity
our readers, was a sure sign that the linguistics community was enthusiastic
about the idea. Now that summer is upon us, and some of you may have a bit
leisure time, we are hoping that you will be able to help us get started on
Wikipedia project. The LINGUIST List's role in this project is a purely
organizational one. We will:
*Help, with your input, to identify major gaps in the Wikipedia materials or
pages that need improvement;
*Compile a list of linguistics pages that Wikipedia editors have identified
"in need of attention from an expert on the subject" or " does not cite any
references or sources," etc;
*Send out periodical calls for volunteer contributors on specific topics or
*Provide simple instructions on how to upload your entries into Wikipedia;
*Keep track of our project Wikipedians;
*Keep track of revisions and new entries;
*Work with Wikimedia Foundation to publicize the linguistics community's
We hope you are as enthusiastic about this effort as we are. Just to help us
get started looking at Wikipedia more critically, and to easily identify an
needing improvement, we suggest that you take a look at the List of
Many people are not listed there; others need to have more facts and
added. If you would like to participate in this exciting update effort,
respond by sending an email to LINGUIST Editor Hannah Morales at
hannah(a)linguistlist.org, suggesting what your role might be or which
entries you feel should be updated or added. Some linguists who saw our
on the Internet have already written us with specific suggestions, which we
share with you soon.
This update project will take major time and effort on all our parts. The
result will be a much richer internet resource of information on the breadth
depth of the field of linguistics. Our efforts should also stimulate
students to consider studying linguistics and to educate a wider public on
we do. Please consider participating.
Editor, Wikipedia Update Project
Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831
There is a request for a Wikipedia in Ancient Greek. This request has so far
been denied. A lot of words have been used about it. Many people maintain
their positions and do not for whatever reason consider the arguments of
In my opinion their are a few roadblocks.
- Ancient Greek is an ancient language - the policy does not allow for
- Text in ancient Greek written today about contemporary subjects
require the reconstruction of Ancient Greek.
- it requires the use of existing words for concepts that did
not exist at the time when the language was alive
- neologisms will be needed to describe things that did not
exist at the time when the language was alive
- modern texts will not represent the language as it used to be
- Constructed and by inference reconstructed languages are effectively
We can change the policy if there are sufficient arguments, when we agree on
When a text is written in reconstructed ancient Greek, and when it is
clearly stated that it is NOT the ancient Greek of bygone days, it can be
obvious that it is a great tool to learn skills to read and write ancient
Greek but that it is in itself not Ancient Greek. Ancient Greek as a
language is ancient. I have had a word with people who are involved in the
working group that deals with the ISO-639, I have had a word with someone
from SIL and it is clear that a proposal for a code for "Ancient Greek
reconstructed" will be considered for the ISO-639-3. For the ISO-639-6 a
code is likely to be given because a clear use for this code can be given.
We can apply for a code and as it has a use bigger then Wikipedia alone it
clearly has merit.
With modern texts clearly labelled as distinct from the original language,
it will be obvious that innovations a writers needs for his writing are
This leaves the fact that constructed and reconstructed languages are not
permitted because of the notion that mother tongue users are required. In my
opinion, this has always been only a gesture to those people who are dead
set against any and all constructed languages. In the policies there is
something vague "*it must have a reasonable degree of recognition as
determined by discussion (this requirement is being discussed by the language
subcommittee <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee>)."* It
is vague because even though the policy talks about a discussion, it is
killed off immediately by stating "The proposal has a sufficient number of
living native speakers to form a viable community and audience." In my
opinion, this discussion for criteria for the acceptance of constructed or
reconstructed languages has not happened. Proposals for objective criteria
have been ignored.
In essence, to be clear about it:
- We can get a code for reconstructed languages.
- We need to change the policy to allow for reconstructed and
We need to do both in order to move forward.
The proposal for objective criteria for constructed and reconstructed
languages is in a nutshell:
- The language must have an ISO-639-3 code
- We need full WMF localisation from the start
- The language must be sufficiently expressive for writing a modern
- The Incubator project must have sufficiently large articles that
demonstrate both the language and its ability to write about a wide range of
- A sufficiently large group of editors must be part of the Incubator
it seems that people enter articles into quality assurance more often
than before having the flags - which at the end leads to higher
quality for these articles. but i am unsure if this feeling can be
better prooved somehow.
one thing seems to be a bug: with ff3 on linux i always get the
flagged revision and not the most current one, even if i unchecked
"show flagged revision" in the preferences.
On Sun, Jun 8, 2008 at 2:02 PM, THURNER rupert
> it seems that people enter articles into quality assurance more often
> than before having the flags - which at the end leads to higher
> quality for these articles. but i am unsure if this feeling can be
> better prooved somehow.
> one thing seems to be a bug: with ff3 on linux i always get the
> flagged revision and not the most current one, even if i unchecked
> "show flagged revision" in the preferences.
> On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 11:14 PM, Andre Engels <andreengels(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2008/5/7 Lars Aronsson <lars(a)aronsson.se>:
>>> Erik Moeller wrote:
>>>> In a nutshell, FlaggedRevs makes it possible to assign
>>>> quality tags to individual article revisions, and to alter default
>>>> views based on the available tags.
>>>> Aka hacked up a nice script that shows how many pages have been
>>>> "sighted" (basic vandalism check) on the German Wikipedia:
>>>> Given that FlaggedRevs has just been live for a day or so, a review
>>>> rate of 4.41% is quite impressive!
>>> Wait now. When FlaggedRevs was first mentioned, the press started
>>> to announce that censorship was being planned for Wikipedia.
>>> This was countered with the explanation that flagging was a more
>>> open regime than page locking. We no longer have to lock pages on
>>> controversial topics, because we can allow free editing as long as
>>> the non-logged-in majority gets to see the flagged/approved
>>> Is it really "impressive" to have this new "soft locking"
>>> mechanism applied to a large number of pages? Wouldn't it be
>>> better to show how few pages were in need of this protection?
>>> And at the same time, to mention how many previously locked pages
>>> have now been unlocked in the name of increased openness?
>> No, I don't think so. Having a flag on a page is just a way of saying
>> "this version is ok". Would it not be much better to have a version
>> that is 'ok' for ALL pages rather than just the controversial ones?
>> Would it really be a good thing to say "Only these few pages have
>> versions that are okay, we have no idea about the others, but we see
>> no reason to think they're not okay?"
>> Andre Engels, andreengels(a)gmail.com
>> ICQ: 6260644 -- Skype: a_engels
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
We are talking about people who on or off list threaten others to kill, maim
and rape. We are talking about people associated with aggressive pov pushing
and using any means whatsoever to establish their pov. There have been
several examples given of this behaviour by credible people. Suggesting as
you do that there is no idea that we are talking about it not where we are
When YOU do not know what is being discussed you either read up on it, do
some research, talk to people involved or keep out of it. Suggesting that
there is no clarity about such issues is exactly the kind of behaviour that
makes this situation worse because it leads to more procrastination. What is
needed is clarity to what extend the WMF is aware of this situation and what
involvement it can have, research is needed about the extend this type of
behaviour DOES affect our project and impacts the NPOV of controversial
subjects. This research is needed because it will prevent people from
ignoring or belittling this issue.
Superbly expressed. Some respondents demonstrate a palpable lack of
perspective regarding this serious issue.
Months ago I initiated a proposal to eliminate the word "wikistalking"
because of exactly the problem that has manifested in this thread: it takes
a serious crime and trivializes it, fostering confusion on a subject where
victims already have a very difficult time making themselves heard and
With the notable exception of Gerard and a few others, this conversation is
occurring on an absurd level. It's as if David Shankbone had stepped
forward to announce that his car had been stolen, and responses had confused
real auto theft with the game "Grand Theft Auto."
I posted a proposition regarding the Wikimedia Mouvement here:
The general idea is to create a website which would report on our global
mouvement. Main benefits would be
* to present ourselves as a loose but nevertheless coordinated body of
some sort (public face)
* share practices and experiences between chapters and wmf
Situation right now is not satisfactory and I believe it likely to
create either more tension or more separation in the future. Generally,
information regarding wikimedia mouvement is hosted on
* internalwiki (private wiki shared between some chapters members and wmf),
* on meta (access to information is very confusing since it is mostly a
work-wiki and a wiki shared by many),
* on Foundationwiki (eg
* on each association website (eg http://wikimedia.de/)
Can we discuss that ? If you are supportive, please mention it on the
There are opinions on Commons that Moeller's statement in this list
("[W]e've consistently held that faithful reproductions of
two-dimensional public domain works which are nothing more than
reproductions should be considered public domain for licensing
purposes") has been "overruled" by Mike Godwin's statement (which was
adressed on a Wikisource case)
We should not accept such nonsense.
Every Wikimania bid has strengths and weaknesses. Once a bid is chosen,
the ritual of criticizing the selection by focusing on some weakness
seems to have become inevitable. I would be more impressed to reconsider
the jury's selection if somebody presented a serious evaluation that
reached a different result after weighing all the issues, instead of
harping on only the one most favorable to the argument.
Since that is not yet forthcoming, I'd like to refocus the discussion on
the concept of Wikimania in general, since it seems to produce so much
debate. As an idea, Wikimania is being pulled in too many directions,
and it cannot be all things to all people. Supposing we have a consensus
that in the most basic sense it's a good idea (do we have that?), what
can we make of this idea? What kind of event should it be? What values
do we prioritize - intimacy, mass appeal, accessibility, outreach,
infrastructure, culture? Others that I haven't listed? If we care about
diversity, what is that? When we consider costs, whose costs do we mean?
How do we balance the competing considerations?
Currently the conference is planned for roughly 400 people. So far I'm
not aware of any location having difficulty attracting attendees. The
argument for catering to the highest concentrations of contributors
would be more appealing if coupled with the idea that it makes sense to
accommodate more people. But expanding Wikimania would change other
dynamics of accessibility - the type of facility used, individual costs
and overall conference expenses, the character of the event. At least so
far, nobody has been presenting this as a vision for Wikimania's future.
Another consideration is that admission fees have consciously been kept
low. Otherwise Wikimania doesn't make Wikimedia contributors a priority
- at least, not the kind of contributors I gather everyone is referring
to here. For any location most people already face costs related to
attendance, it's simply impossible to physically bring Wikimania to
everyone. Realistically, for any one person, Wikimania may be close
enough for you to come at minimal cost once or twice in your lifetime.
Some people may have to use a broad interpretation of "minimal" for even
Geographic proximity only goes so far in any case. Talking about Europe
and North America may sound as if that still leaves a vast range of
options. In the first place, this would be more persuasive if we saw a
larger number of cities bidding. When it's just one from each, the
chances of producing a bid superior to a highly-motivated team from,
say, South America are not exactly overwhelming. Furthermore, even if
this was the very highest consideration, it's not exactly neutral
between those. The varying population distributions and distances,
especially for North America, would have obvious logical consequences.
Basically, we should prefer any bid from the European core (defined by
London on the west, Rome on the south, Berlin or Rome on the east,
Berlin or Amsterdam on the north); the east coast of North America would
be a secondary option (maybe we could disqualify Europe every third
year); by comparison, the odds for the rest of North America would be
decidedly inferior (after ten or so years, we might make it to Chicago
or Los Angeles).
Wikimania could be bigger or smaller, reach the developing world or only
the already-developed, more expensive or less so, rotated widely or
narrowly. Leaving aside the security concerns specific to Alexandria,
the choice of options would have the following undesirable consequences,
depending on which course is taken:
*Complaints that the event is impersonal, lacks a sense of community, or
is merely a stage-managed public relations show
*After a cycle or two, it seems to be pretty much just the same group of
people getting together every few years
*Objections that the amount being spent is a poor use of foundation
funds (depending on how it works out, this would be about either the
size of the event or the travel costs incurred by the foundation itself,
making distance from San Francisco a factor)
*Inability to accommodate anyone beyond the local audience, thus being
hardly different from a random meetup and failing to reflect the diverse
character of Wikimedia participants
*Rumors and misperceptions of unfairness in timing of when registration
is opened or how tickets are allocated
*Outrage over high admission charges, resembling more closely a
I would like to understand what vision people have for Wikimania, and
see how their vision would deal with all of these issues. So far I have
heard only complaints and rebuttals, nobody offering their own vision
(on this list, at least). I fear an end result of the fights over this
would be to either abandon the idea of Wikimania, or simply to hold it
in the Moscone Center every year like Macworld. Before we get there,
let's hear some better alternatives.
Maybe this is not the most popular item, but I do like to comment on
the news about Japanese and Polish Wikipedias and their 500,000
articles each. In fact, jp.WP actually has 500,000, but pl.WP does
In an attempt to compare Wikipedia language editions I have clicked
the button "random articles" and with a sample of 50 clicks each I
have calculated how many articles a language edition really has, minus
all those pseudo articles.
A pseudo article is e.g.
Many Wikipedias loose, in my calculation, quite a huge percentage of
their articles. There is one honourable exception: Japanese Wikipedia,
which in 50 clicks showed absolutely no pseudo article. If Japanese
Wikipedia would have such a floppy policy about new articles as many
others have, jp.WP were already close to one million "articles". Pl.WP
has for about 300,000 real articles, very respectable, but not what it
seems to be.
Since the beginnings, Wikipedians report about the number of articles,
having to tell something about to the media and to be proud about
their achievements. They rank Wikipedia language editions by the
number of articles. This has caused tragical dynamics: many
Wikipedians and Wikipedias are so obsessed with this number that they
produce rubbish articles to show off. Volapük Wikipedia with more than
100,000 pseudo articles created by a single bot using user is only the
top of the iceberg, and when someone called to close vo.WP, vo.WP was
supported by a amazing number of users from many language editions:
cosi fan tutte. Wikipedians could and should use their time for more
useful article work.
It would be good if the community found a different way to compare or
to measure it's successes.
Ziko van Dijk
On Jan 8, 2008 6:19 AM, Brian McNeil <brian.mcneil(a)wikinewsie.org> wrote:
Forgive me if some of this is retreading old ground, but I've over 50
> messages for this list since yesterday. Can we have a rerun (or a January
> run) of the top poster stats? I was 2nd last time and felt embarrassed
> despite having thought most of what I wrote was close to the topic in
Posts in December to Foundation-l
1 Thomas Dalton - 123
2 Anthony - 70
3 Andrew Whitworth - 64
4 David Gerard - 48
5 Florence Devouard - 47
6 Brian McNeil - 43
7 Nathan Awrich - 36
8 Ray Saintonge - 33
T9 GerardM - 32
T9 Mike Godwin - 32
T9 Erik Moeller - 32
> My reason for asking was from a comment left by Kelly Martin on the
> Wikipedia Review, where she said, "And Cary routinely makes
> exceptions to
> the "must identify to the Foundation" policy, too," which seemed odd.
> It was such an outrageous comment that I wanted to ask what is
> Cary, thank you for answering. Is what Greg mentioned he did what
> happens to
> all people with private access--do they have to provide a passport,
> ID, something like that?
I don't know what Kelly is referring to here. Cary doesn't make
exceptions, routinely or otherwise, to the identification policy.
Greg's experience is the norm, and it has been since I came on at the
Foundation a year ago (one-year anniversary coming up in July!).