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
Dear All,Sorry for bringing up a possibly old and closed issue, but could
someone explain to me that why was the GFDL with a possible migration to
CC-BY-SA 3.0 or later[1[ chosen as the site license for the Hungarian (and
I guess some others as well, created at the same time) Wikinews?
Wasn't the CC-BY used by the older Wikinewses a deliberate decision to give
Wikinews an extra opennes and connectivity with other news outlets (I
personally see a bigger chance for some newsproducer agreeing to license
their work under either CC-BY or less likely CC-BY-SA than GFDL or even GFDL
with a possible migration)?
Is the current license compatible with Wikipedia (I am thinking that the
added migration clause makes the project incompatible with GFDL sites that
are not also double licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 or later)?
A reminder that WikiSym 2009 will be in Orlando, Florida, from October
25-27. The deadline for submitting papers, workshops and panel
proposals is March 27; April 24th is the deadline for posters,
demonstrations and WikiFest (practical experience) proposals.
Topics of interest include:
* social software for collaboration and work group processes
* wiki user experiences, usability, and discourse analysis
* reputation systems, quality assurance processes
* scalability---social and technical
* wiki technologies and implementations
* translation and multilingual wiki content
* educational applications
* wiki for non-textual media (images, video, audio)
* content dynamics and wiki evolution
* wiki journalism
* wiki archiving and versioning
* wiki administration: dealing with abuse and resolving conflict
* wiki and the semantic web, knowledge management, tacit knowledge
* wiki for small audiences (departmental and family wikis)
* legal issues (copyright, licensing)
* visualization of wiki structure
* wiki fiction
For more information, see the Call for Papers:
WikiSym is an annual conference devoted to research into all aspects
of wikis, including wiki communities, wiki software and technology,
and using wikis in education and organizations. Research papers about
the Wikimedia projects are welcome! Papers are peer reviewed and
archived in the ACM digital library (see past proceedings:
The conference is colocated with OOPSLA 2009. For more, see:
-- Phoebe Ayers (2009 Wikimedia Liason)
I think that when such a number of people come together it would be nice to
have a key-signing in Berlin. If you have no idea, what a key-signing is, look
at the wikipedia-article [[en:Key_signing_party]].
If you don't own a pgp-key yet and are an linux-user there are several how-tos
on the net to get one fast (there are how-tos for windows-users too, but it's
more complex, but that doesn't need to stop you).
Because there is no time (and place) for a hash-methode-keysigning (you know,
all standing in a line for hours ;)), I would organise a
list-methode-keysigning. That means that you send me
*Your nick (if you have one)
*Your realname (optional, but some people don't sign non-realname-keys)
*Your key (if it is not on normal key-servers)
I will make a list of that data. Then I (respectively the verein) will print
out several copies of that list and place them at central places (like the
reception or the c-base) for hand-out. You can also place sticker on your
nameplate (to let people easier find you) if you like (I have colorful
sticker-dots here ;)).
You will take such an list and start looking for other people, that stand on
the list, check your hash on his/her list and his/her hash on your list and
mark your name as checked on his/her list and his/her name on your list if
all is right. Then continue until all entries on your list are checked (or
the meeting is over).
It would be very nice if many people would participate to increase the level
of trust (at least the key-trust) between us.
Follow up to foundation-list.
P.S: Even if you come just to the party on saturday, you can take part!
2.P.S: I organize a key-signing for the first time, so please be patient if I
did anything wrong.
Diese eMail sollte mit dem PGP-Schlüssel 0x2D3EE2D42B255885 digital signiert
sein. Bitte beachten Sie, das unsignierte eMails beliebig gefälscht sein
können. Achten Sie daher auf Signaturen.
Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>>> I've just looked at a BLP and nowhere can I see an guidance on how to
>>>> complain. I suggest a "Report a problem with this article" link to
>>>> added to the sidebar of all articles as a mailto link to the
>>>> appropriate OTRS address.
>> I agree with this - I think "report a problem" would be a very helpful
>> starting point.
> I've started work on an extension to provide such a link. Hopefully
> I'll have something to show in a few days.
The Dutch Wikipedia uses an extension to contact "Wikipedia"
anonymously directly from the browser. See
IRC tells me that the response group is happy with the message flow so
far, and people using the form seem happy to use it as well, even
though it's also three clicks away from any article.
A couple of days ago I have contacted our project manager in San Francisco
who is dealing with the improvement of the usability of Wikipedia. I have
done this interview for [[de:Wikipedia:Kurier]] and translated it to German,
but originally it is in English and so I thought that I can also send it to
*Kimura: Wikipedia Usability by Better „Ranking“*
*Wikipedia is difficult to edit, many people say, and Wikimedia Foundation
encountered the problem by installing Naoki Kimura as a project manager. Her
team will make proposals to improve Wikipedia Usability. In an interview
with Ziko van Dijk she unravels test results and the next step.*
ZvD: Dear Naoki Kimura, previously you told us that you would run some tests
about the problems of our new users.
NK: Yes, first results confirmed that new Wikipedia users find it very
difficult to link to the already existing community, to fit in and to learn
the rules. Most difficult this is because the rules change and there is no
clear authority. You don't know whom to direct to.
ZvD: That is exactly the Wiki principle which made Wikipedia big.
NK: But is it suitable to keep Wikipedia running? We lose a lot of people or
scare them away even before they join, the statistics show us. Wikipedia can
only go on by making the collaboration better.
ZvD: So if I am a new user, what will change?
NK: In fact, as a new user you already have only limited rights compared to
more experienced users. You cannot vote, you cannot sight versions in
Wikipedias with flagged revisions, and so on. This must become more
systematic. So as a new user you will start as a „rookie user“, and after
six months, after trainings and tests, you might become an „advanced user“
and later a „user major“. A bigger step will be to become an „editor
adjunct“ etc. In the end, you can become a „senior editor general“.
ZvD: I see. And what about non editors?
NK: You mean developers and admins? It will be the same or similar.
ZvD: And the "commander-in-chief" of the three service branches will be
NK: Yes of course, that will not change at all.
ZvD: So the word "edit war“ will get a totally new meaning?
NK: No, there will be no edit wars at all! There will be no quarrels, no
uncertainties, no cybermobbing. We will even be able abolish the talk pages.
ZvD: Because everyone knows who is senior and has what rights.
ZvD: But will Wikipedians accept such a system?
NK: That is funny, you know. I worried about that until I presented the idea
to the staff members in San Francisco. They told me that they are all Star
Trek fans and when they were children at play, they called each other
"captain“ or "midshipman“ or "commander“.
ZvD: Naoki, I wish you all the best for implementation (it will certainly
not be easy) and thank you for this interview.
Ziko van Dijk
Originally I wrote it somewhere on a blog ( http://dammit.lt/2009/03/28/im-a-creative-commoner/
), so this is a bit long copy-paste into an email:
Lately Creative Commons is becoming very dominant topic in my life.
First of all, I see all the people in free culture world holding their
breath and waiting for Wikipedia switch to CC license. I’m waiting for
that too - and personally I really endorse it. Though usually people
do not really notice licenses on web content, they really do once they
see something they really want to reuse. Wikipedia ends up being
isolated island, if it doesn’t go after sharing and exchanging
information with other projects.
It takes time to understand one is ‘creative commoner’. I do have a t-
shirt with such caption, but it is much more comfortable once you
start feeling real power of use and reuse of information. Few anecdotes…
> Dear Mr. Mituzas,
> Thank you for making your photographs available under a
> Creative Commons license. I am writing to inform you that
> the American Society of Civil Engineers has featured a
> silhouette of “Up we go” on the cover of its new book,
> “Constructability Concepts and Practice.”
> Per the terms of the license, the following credit appears
> on page ii of the book: “Front cover photograph by Domas
> Mituzas used under a Creative Commons license.
> I will be happy to send a copy of the book to you if you
> will provide me your mailing address.
I got this email back in summer, 2007. Did I just steal a job from
professional photographer? Or would they just leave blank book cover?
Will this lead to a better bridge in future? Did I join a civil cause?
All I know now, is that I’m book cover photographer, albeit quite
cheap one. Also, by using CC license I simply used lingua-franca of
world I’m in - and now my content can evolve into shapes that I
couldn’t expect, and that would be limited by non-portable licenses.
Other anecdote is way more internal. I have cheap point-and-shoot
camera (same one to shoot book cover pictures :) that I use during my
travels. It fits well into my jeans pocket, it doesn’t provide me any
self esteem in professional photography. Still, I get to places, I
take pictures, I place them on my flickr photostream, and I license
them under creative commons. And fascinating things happen - my
pictures appear on top of Wikipedia articles (like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_buildings_in_the_world
), without any intervention of mine. People just use it, I can sit
back, relax, and see how the contribution widens.
Of course, there other different stories. My colleague (and manager)
runs a wiki about his own town, Bielepedia, and he wants to exchange
information with Wikipedia. Now he can’t, as well as quite a lot of
other free content community projects. Though of course, some may
believe license difference doesn’t mean much, in this case it means
that we’re building borders we don’t need nor we have intent to
I live and breathe Wikipedia technology, but I do not feel competent
enough to go and push content itself around, and it just shows up
there itself (oh, of course, there’s army of committed volunteers who
help with that). So, I benefit the project just by being creative
commoner, and I may benefit lots of other projects. We at Wikipedia
technical team are very open in what we do, and try to spread our know-
how in many directions. Documents I wrote about how we do things ended
up downloaded hundred thousand times, and I really hope that some of
that know-how will end up used and reused.
I guess I’m taking this to extremes - I ended up talking to people in
government of Lithuania, journalists and non-profit activists. Imagine
a government, that would commit to open licensing for produced
content. Well, no need to imagine - US federal institutions release
information to public domain, but in Europe it is way more restricted.
Still, what one has to realize - at government level it is not only a
right to be given, it also has to be a right that has to be protected.
Nowadays that means going to copyright powerhouses that serve large
record labels and movie studios, and will charge for services, that
government has to provide for free (and does in other areas, like
looking for your stolen car).
We have lots and lots of talks about knowledge-societies at government
levels, but we never get to the point, that every individual is part
of that, and first of all we have to teach those rights, and guard
them. But of course, to prove, that our rights have to be guarded, we
have to show how great our work is - and how powerful can our sharing
be. To achieve that we have to build bridges between license islands,
talk same languages, and of course, create.
I’m a creative commoner. So should be you.
P.S. So should be Wikimedia Foundation. I’m extremely excited about
the work being done to make it reality (thanks Erik, Mike, Mako,
everyone!), and you know my personal position on the matter by now :)
Domas Mituzas -- http://dammit.lt/ -- [[user:midom]]
There's another way to do a key-signing, faster than 1-to-1. You have
everyone have a list and each one presents itself, giving their fingerprint.
I guess you'll have a brief introduction at the beginning where everyone
presents himself? If you were to say "I'm Daniel (aka as DaB), the evil
toolserver dictator", you'd also add " and my fingerprint is 3F70 85CA
F69E 03B5 063B 3B38 2D3E E2D4 2B25 5885"
Depending on their key-signing policy may request you later some kind of
id, but at least they have seen someone with that key claiming to be
you, and can remember your face to ask you instead of wandering about.
Also see the Sassaman methods.