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
Let's see what we've got here:
A "Board" that appears answerable only to some god; an "Executive Director"
who answers only to this "Board"; a group of "Moderators" who claim (with a
straight face) that they are "independent", but whose "moderations" are
clearly designed to keep the first two in a favorable light; and, dead last,
you have the people who, not so ironically, create the substance of the
thing that makes the first three possible. This setup sounds achingly
familiar. And, like all similar setups throughout history, is set up to
on 10/20/10 12:44 AM, Virgilio A. P. Machado at vam(a)fct.unl.pt wrote:
> I agree with you. You raised some very good points.
> Virgilio A. P. Machado
> At 03:47 20-10-2010, you wrote:
>> ________________________________ From: Austin
>> Hair <adhair(a)gmail.com> To: Wikimedia Foundation
>> Mailing List <foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
>> Sent: Tue, October 19, 2010 12:35:07 PM Subject:
>> Re: [Foundation-l] Greg Kohs and Peter Damian On
>> Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 6:40 PM, Nathan
>> <nawrich(a)gmail.com> wrote: > If it pleases the
>> moderators, might we know on what basis Greg
>> was > banned and Peter indefinitely muzzled?
>> Greg Kohs was banned for the same reason that
>> he's been on moderation for the better part of
>> the past yearnamely, that he was completely
>> unable tto keep his contributions civil, and
>> caused more flamewars than constructive
>> discussion. Peter Damian is only on moderation,
>> and we'll follow our usual policy of letting
>> through anything that could be considered even
>> marginally acceptable. We really are very
>> liberal about thisotheerwise you wouldn't have
>> heard from Mr. Kohs at all in the past six
>> months. I'm sure that my saying this won't
>> convince anyone who's currently defending him,
>> but nothing about the decision to ban Greg Kohs
>> was retaliatory. I'll also (not for the first
>> time) remind everyone that neither the Wikimedia
>> Foundation Board, nor its staff, nor any chapter
>> or other organizational body has any say in the
>> administration of this list. I hope that clears
>> up all of the questions asked in this thread so
>> far. It is not about defending anyone but about
>> the fact that the "I know bannable when I see
>> it" theory of moderation is unconstructive and
>> leads to dramafests. The next ban is the one
>> that will likely cause a real flame war. I
>> suspect *more* people would be on moderation if
>> any sort of objective criteria were being
>> used. The lack of explanation over this bothers
>> me so much because I suspect that you *can't*
>> explain it. It seems to be the sort of gut-shot
>> that hasn't been thought through. Moderate more
>> people based on real criteria, rather than how
>> you feel about them. Birgitte
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org Unsubscribe:
> foundation-l mailing list
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>From what I have seen about Greg Kohs is that he does have some
interesting points to make, but I do see that he is jumping to
conclusions and does seem to have a biased viewpoint.
People want to make their own decisions and have enough information to
do that. We don't want to have important information deleted away
because it is uncomfortable.
Banning him makes it less likely for him to be heard, and these
interesting points which are worth considering are not heard my many
people : this is depriving people of critical information, that is not
fair to the people involved.
Just look at this article for example, it is quite interesting and
well written, and why should it not be visible to everyone on the
Deleting and banning people who say things that are not comfortable,
that does make you look balanced and trustworthy.
The Wikimedia foundation should be able to stand up to such
accusations without resorting to gagging people, it just gives more
credit to the people being gagged and makes people wonder if there is
any merit in what they say.
This brings up my favorite subject of unneeded deletions versions needed ones.
Of course there is material that should be deleted that is hateful,
Spam etc, lets call that evil content.
But the articles that i wrote and my friends wrote that were deleted
did not fall into that category, they might have been just bad or not
We have had a constant struggle to keep our articles from being
deleted in a manner that we consider unfair. Additionally, the bad
content is lost and falls into the same category as evil content.
Also there should be more transparency on deleted material on the
Wikipedia itself, there is a lot of information that is being deleted
and gone forever without proper process or review.
In my eyes there is a connection between the two topics, the banning
of people and the deleting of information. Both are depriving people
from information that they want and need in an unfair manner.
Instead of articles about obscure events, things, and old places in
Kosovo you have a wikipedia full of the latest information about every
television show, is that what you really want?
I think there should be room for things in places that are not not
notable because they are not part of mainstream pop culture, we also
need to support the underdogs of Wikipedia even if they are not
mainstream, Mr Kohs definitely has something to say and I would like
like to hear it. And the Kosovars have something to say even if the
Serbs don't want to hear it. The Albanians have something to say even
if the Greeks don't want to hear it, etc. There are many cases of
people from Kosovo and Albania driven out of Wikipedia and depriving
the project of important information because they are not able to get
started and the contributions are so far way from the dominating
political viewpoint of the opposite side that they don't even get a
chance to be heard.
We need to make a way for these people to be heard and to moderate the
conflicts better, that will make Wikipedia stronger and more robust.
Should we offer to host citizendium?
Okey get over the instinctive reaction.
Those who have read this week's signpost will be aware that
citizendium is in significant financial difficulties. If not see the
end of the briefly section:
Now I know we haven't exactly had the best of relationships with
citizendium but we are if not distant allies at least interested
observers. Their mission and much of their product at this time
coincides with ours.
We should offer to host citizendium on our servers at no cost for a
period of 1 (one) year offering a level of support equivalent to our
smaller projects. After one year the citizendium community/Editorial
Council is expected to have sorted themselves out to the point where
they can arrange their own hosting. At which point we lock the
database and provide them with the dumps
*It is inline with out mission
*It wouldn't cost very much. Given their traffic levels and database
size the cost to host would probably be lower than some of our more
prolific image uploaders.
*It would be possible to effectively give them instacommons
*Citizendium is an interesting project and gives us a way to learn
what the likely outcome of some alternative approaches would be
*It helps with positioning the WMF as more than just wikipedia
*It prevents the citizendium project from dying which since they have
useful content would be unfortunate
*They may still be on PostgreSQL rather than mysql which could create
issues with compatibility
*Some of their community are people banned from wikipedia
*risk of looking like triumphalism over Larry (can be addressed by
making sure jimbo is in no way involved)
*keeping control of the relationship between the citizendium
community/Editorial Council and the various WMF communities
*Handing the password database back at the end of the year would need
to be done with care.
All in all other than the assuming we can deal with the database issue
I think it is something we should do. The citizendium
community/Editorial Council may well say no but at least we will have
This morning the Wikimedia Foundation had a meeting about migrating to
Google Apps. Google Apps is a Web-based closed source office suite that
includes Gmail and a few other services.
I had a few questions about this migration.
Has the decision to use Google Apps been finalized? If so, who made the
What are the benefits of using Google Apps for the Wikimedia Foundation?
Is there a concern about using closed source software when there are
comparable open source alternatives?
Is there a concern that this will bring Google and the Wikimedia Foundation
closer together? After a $2 million grant, I imagine some people looking in
from the outside have their concerns about a takeover.
Are there concerns about Google's privacy practices? It doesn't seem
particularly wise to hand them all of your e-mail, especially if they
possibly have a business interest.
Any clarifications on this would be great!
In a message dated 11/25/2010 3:31:07 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> On 25 November 2010 22:15, <WJhonson(a)aol.com> wrote:
> > We have Geni, many ways to determine if someone is an established
> Name one that doesn't boil down to editcountitis
> > We have flags already to mark people as established editors in addition
> > that.
> I for one have no wish to turn requests for rollback in a mini RFA
> more than has already happened.
The police always think they are doing a fine job and don't need any
All democracies have checks and balances. Those who do not, are police
Our single hierarchical structure is just such a system with no checks and
The point of having three parts to the US Government is to ensure that if
you are harassed by the police you can turn to your legislator, if you are
attacked by your legislator, you can turn to a judge. Wikipedia has a single
structure. If you are harassed by an admin, you have no recource except to
another admin. The police policing the police. I see no justice in that
system. Plenty of abuse. If you're not an admin, you have no power
whatsoever over a single admin deciding to silence you. And other police simply back
That Geni, is the entire nature of the police state. And why a police
state is not a system of government under which enlightened people wish to
operate. It only takes one run-in of this sort to send the promising editor
away. Suggesting this is an appropriate system to retain only shows the sort of
disconnect Admins have with Editors.
You assume that any editor who wants to protect themselves from this sort
of abuse should become an admin. Tantamount to any citizen wishing to
protect themselves from the Police should become a policeman. I find that sort of
attitude to be.... alarming.
In a message dated 11/30/2010 11:58:07 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> Your recent postings have definitely been foolish. You seem to be going
> out of
> the way to misinterpret everyone's words in the worst possible light. Why
> you assume the phrase donor is meant to be restricted to monetary
> donations? Why
> must you approach responses that are not full agreement with you as
> combat? You
> obviously aren't on my ignore list, but frankly I am not sure how
> this thread is of your general behavior. I guess I will know in a year or
> so. >>
I disagree with your characterization "You seem to be going out of
the way to misinterpret everyone's words in the worst possible light."
Don't you find a sentence like that a bit extreme?
Have I really responded to everyone ? Have I really put every word in the
In U.S. English "donor" in the content of a foundation means monetary. We
don't call volunteers who give their *time* donors, we simply call them
volunteers. If you are implying that "donor" in terms of a foundation, means
anyone who donates anything, I would suggest that is a non-standard
definition. Are you presuming that in the case of the original message "donor" meant
something else? I would suggest it did not.
I do not "approach responses that are not full agreement with [me] as comba
t". When a person directly attacks me, I respond. That is a normal
attitude in my opinion. I did not directly attack you, and yet you directly
attacked me. You mischaracterized my responses as "combat", a provocative word
meant to illicit negative responses and attitudes in the readership. Yet you
probably perceive this as a "fair" charge. My responses to attacks are
defensive responses, hardly fair to term these "combat".
Does your above response, seem like a logical course toward your goal?
Does it seem likely to lead to an outcome that you would consider fair and just