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
To avoid further disrupting discussion of interlanguage links and
usability, I'll address the cultural problems separately now. I must
admit, though, that in a discussion where we seemed to have agreed
(rightfully so) that a 1% click rate was significant enough to warrant
serious consideration, I was disappointed that someone could then be so
callous about the need for cultural sensitivity because it most directly
impacts "only 0.55% of the world population" in this case. There is no
meaningful difference in order of magnitude there.
We have significant distortions in the makeup of our community that
affect our culture. There are quite a few groups that are seriously
underrepresented, in part because our culture comes across as unfriendly
to them at best. I talked about African-Americans because it's what was
applicable in that particular situation and I happen to have some
familiarity with the issues. It could just as well have been Australian
Aborigines or another cultural group that has issues with our community.
I'm not as prepared to explain those concerns, but I would welcome
people who can educate us about such problems. It's legitimate to be
wary of things that promote American cultural hegemony, which is another
distortion, but that's not really warranted when the concern relates to
a minority culture in the US.
Some people seem to have gotten hung up on the issue of intent. I didn't
say there was any intent, by the community or individuals, to exclude
certain groups or to create a hostile environment for them. I actually
tried to be as careful as possible not to say that. The point is that
even in the absence of intent, it's possible for our culture to appear
hostile to such groups. We didn't have any intent to be hostile toward
living people, either, yet we've had a long struggle to cope with the
consequences of that impression created by our culture.
Consider the principle of not "biting" newcomers, which relates to a
similar problem. It's not about the intent of the person doing the
"biting", it's about the impact on those who encounter it. We need to be
more welcoming to people, and striving for more cultural awareness is
part of that.
The videos Wikimedia recently produced are available on Youtube,
Facebook and several other sites. Can somebody from the Foundation who
has access to the videos update them and include the subtitles in
several different languages that were provided by Wikimedians on Commons
(see the file description pages of the four videos in
The default video player on Commons does ot support subtitles. They are
only available through the mwEmbed extension. But Videos on Youtube,
Facebook etc. support subtitles natively.
That would make it much easier for non-English Wikimedians to direct the
interested public to the subtitled video in the respective language.
In a message dated 9/20/2010 12:02:43 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> In my experience
> the problem of humanities in Wikipedia is that the methods and training of
> the 'experts' is so fundamentally different from that of 'Wikipedians'
> by and large have no training at all) that disputes nearly always turn
> ugly. >>
You are again stating the problem as expert vs pedestrian (untrained at
However I again submit that in Wikipedia, you are not an "expert" because
you have a credential, you are an expert because you behave like an expert.
When challenged to provide a source, you cite your source and other readers
find, that it does actually state what you claim it states.
However it seems to me that you'd perhaps like experts to be able to make
unchallengeable claims without sources.
If I'm wrong in that last sentence, then tell me why being an expert is any
different than being any editor at all.
What is the actual procedure by which, when an expert edits, we see
something different than when anyone edits.
I can read a book on the History of the Fourth Crusade, and adds quotes to
our articles on the persons and events, just as well as an expert in that
The problem comes, imho, when "experts" add claims that are unsourced, and
when challenged on them, get uppity about it.
The issue is not uncited claims, or challenged claims. All of our articles
have uncited claims and many have challenged and yet-unfulfilled claims.
The issue is how you are proposing these should be treated differently if the
claim comes from an "expert" versus a "non-expert", isn't it?
So address that.
In a message dated 9/19/2010 9:38:37 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> "I would strongly urge you to leave the editing of articles
> concerning philosophy and/or philosophers to genuine experts. You simply
> lack the understanding and expertise required to assess whether an edit is
> genuine improvement or an obvious and cowardly sniper attack (as with the
> insertion in question)."
Yes I now see the problem :)
Ivory tower eggheads who think they have the right now, to talk down to
other contributors instead of educating them.
If you, as an academic, cannot explain your edit/article/sentence to a
person who isn't already an expert in your field, then you simply are too
rarified to find a home here at Wikipedia and good riddance, in my opinion.
We don't need *more* huffing and puffing, put-out little boys fingering our
Articles which can only be understood and thus edited by those with IQs
over 165 should probably be consigned to specialist (read read by few)
I'll take your one-sentence snipe as abject agreement :)
Prishtina Hosts Second International Conference on Software Freedom
For the second year running the Kosovar Association for Free/Libre and
Open Source Software
(FLOSSK) and the University of Prishtina are organizing a conference
dedicated to free software - Software Freedom Kosova Conference
This conference follows upon the success of SFK09 held in August last
year attended by more than 500 participants and over 40 national and
international speakers and professionals.
SFK10 will take place on 25 and 26 September starting at 9:00 in the
venues of the
Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of
Prishtina. This year the conference will host several notable hacker
Leon Shiman will speak on the use of FLOSS in public administration;
Rob Savoy of Gnash project will talk about network protocols; Mikel
Maron will speak on the geopolitical use of open maps and Peter Salus,
historian of operating systems, will lecture on the history of
development of GNU/Linux.
Overall, over 20 topics will be discussed, ranging from issues
associated with the Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia, GNU/Linux,
intellectual property licenses, building of communities,
OpenStreetMap, Sugar, and many other topics in the field of free
Topics to be discussed and the quality of lecturers, along with the
success of last year's conference make SFK10 the largest conference of
its kind in Southeast Europe.
The conference is held under the auspices of the Office of the Prime
Minister of the Republic of Kosovo and is supported by a number of
donors from whom it is worth mentioning: the Ministry of Energy and
Mining, Mozilla, Rrota, PC World Albanian and the University of
Prishtina Student Center.
The conference is free to participants during the two days. The
presentations and detailed information on the conference can be found
For Immediate Release
On Sep 22, 3:04 pm, "jamesmikedup...(a)googlemail.com"
> here is a rough translation of the press release :
> Pristina is the conference host software
> ***On 25 and 26 September Pristina will be hosted for the second time
> Freedom Conference Software Kosovo.*** *FLOSS SFK10 Kosovo, organized by
> Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering (FIEK) of the University of
> SFK09 held last year was attended by about 500 people who attended about
> lectures of 25 lecturers. This time the conference will be focused: the 24
> lectures will be from Kosovo, region and world.
> The main and guest lecturers at the same time honor of this conference
> renowned as hackers Leon Shiman, Rob Savoye, Mikel Maro and Peter
> Salus.Shiman's Foundation board member who oversees the development of
> system for Linux and BSD - x.org, and the owner of Shiman Associates
> consulting firm. Savoye is the primary developer of Gnash as previously
> developed for Debian, Red Hat and Yahoo. Savoye has been programming since
> 1977. Maron specializes in programming applications based on geography and
> location. Maron is OpenStreeMap Foundation board member, a service
> to Google Maps. Salus is a linguist, computer scientist and historian of
> technology. He worked a professor and dean at several universities. But
> is only the result of the work of the organizing committee which is
> preparing the conference program for almost a year .
> Other topics will provide for all the little: Milot Shala will directly
> demonstrate the Qt Framework development of Nokia's, Martin will tell
> Bekkelund Norwegian practices with open source code (open source) in state
> administration, Baki Goxhaj will talk about WordPress, Marco Fioretti will
> show how programming languages can be used in schools. Other topics are
> Wikipedia, CAD, use of EU's funds in Open Source, Sugar platform for
> children, CMS systems for universities, Android platform, etc..
> The conference will be held on the premises of FIEK-regulation. Free
> Registration begins on Saturday at 9:00 pm and during the two days program
> starts at 10:00. The conference is supported financially by the Office of
> the Prime Minister, Wheel, PC World and New OpenWorld.al.
> For more visit the official website of Kosovo Organization free software
> open - FLOSS Kosovo <http://kosovasoftwarefreedom.org/> . */ telegraph /*
> On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Luca Paolo Pescatore <
> > wrote:
> > Ehm.... great... should I send to TechCrunch and other EN/US websites in
> > Albanian ? :)
> > Is it possible to have a PR in English ?
> > Luca
> > On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 12:54 PM, jamesmikedup...(a)googlemail.com <
> > jamesmikedup...(a)googlemail.com> wrote:
> >> Bernard Writes :
> >> The attached notice has been published today in Gazeta Express and I
> >> sent it to: Telegrafi, Koha Ditore and RTKlive.com. You can use this to
> >> to other media and maybe invite them to come. Also Arianit has written
> >> similar text that we can also use...(
> >> )
> >> As I said yesterday, it would be good if somebody knows people in the
> >> media and talks to them to come.
> >> --
> >> Group homepage:http://groups.google.com/group/foss-al?hl=en
> >> Send messages to: foss-al(a)googlegroups.com
> >> Unsubscribe: foss-al+unsubscribe(a)googlegroups.com<foss-al%2Bunsubscribe(a)googlegroups.com>
> > --
> > Group homepage:http://groups.google.com/group/foss-al?hl=en
> > Send messages to: foss-al(a)googlegroups.com
> > Unsubscribe: foss-al+unsubscribe(a)googlegroups.com<foss-al%2Bunsubscribe(a)googlegroups.com>
> James Michael DuPont
> Member of Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova and Albania flossk.org
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James Michael DuPont
Member of Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova and Albania flossk.orgflossal.org
On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 2:55 AM, Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
> the agenda for Board meetings is set by Sue
> together with the chair of the Board and other Board members.
It is? Isn't that really really odd?
On 29 September 2010 23:32, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Andreas Kolbe <jayen466(a)yahoo.com>
> > wrote:
> > > German Wikipedia has had pending changes implemented
> > *globally*, in all articles, for several years now. Unlike
> > en:WP, where numbers of active editors have dropped
> > significantly since 2007, numbers of active editors in de:WP
> > have remained stable:
> > >
> > > http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaDE.htm
> > > http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaEN.htm
> > The stats on that page are pretty confusing, Andreas. Could
> > you say
> > here what the relative figures are?
> According to the tables, the number of en:WP editors with >100 edits/month
> stood at 5,151 in April 2007, and was down to 3,868 in August 2010.
> de:WP had 1,027 in April 2007, and 1,075 in August 2010.
You raise an interesting point, Andreas. I am not persuaded that pending
changes/flagged revisions have anything to do with the editor retention rate
at the de:WP. However, I think you may be right that the considerably more
homogeneous editor population, as well as the commonality in cultural
background, was instrumental in the ability of the project to jointly make
such a cultural shift. Indeed, the number of de:WP editors with >100
edits/month has remained very stable since January 2006. (The number of
en:WP editors was essentially the same in January 2006 as at present, but
hit its peak in April 2007. Let's not cherry pick the data too much, okay?)
As an aside for those interested in the historical perspective, the massive
increase in the number of editors on en:WP coincides with a massive influx
of vandalism, and over a thousand editors did almost nothing *but* revert or
otherwise address vandalism. As better and more effective tools have been
developed to address that problem - Huggle, Twinkle, Friendly, the edit
filters, reverting bots, semi-protection, etc - the number of editors needed
to manage vandalism has diminished dramatically. In other words, that
1300-editor difference may largely be accounted for because those whose only
skill was vandal-fighting have moved on. That's not to say there is no
vandalism on en:WP today; there's still plenty of it.
Observing from afar, it has often struck me that when almost all members of
an editorial community come from a common cultural background and geographic
area, there is a synergy that isn't found on projects where the community is
much more diverse. This is best illustrated in the large scale on German
Wikipedia, and some other European projects, where the community is visibly
more cohesive. In the smaller scale, certain projects with shared
cultural/geographic background on English Wikipedia, such as Wikiproject
Australia, are more accomplished at developing and meeting shared
objectives. These groups, whether large projects or small pockets within a
larger project, seem to operate in accordance with their local cultural
norms; in other words, they don't have to find common cultural ground before
they can move on to a discussion of a proposal.
It's my belief that the common cultural background of the de:WP editorial
community has been one of the keystones of its success in being able to
implement large-scale and project-wide changes, flagged revisions being the
most obvious. That common cultural background or focal geographic area
simply does not exist for the English Wikipedia; we're probably one of the
few projects where the same expression can be viewed as friendly, somewhat
rude and downright offensive at the same time, depending on whether the
reader is Australian, British or American (not to mention those who have
learned English as a second language, which also makes up a significant part
of our editorship).
Each project also has its own culture, but I confess that most of my
knowledge of the culture of other projects is anecdotal rather than
observational, so I won't venture to try to compare them.
When faced with dramatic increases in vandalism, en:WP created tools that
are largely developed by individuals and utilized by other individuals (with
the exception of semi-protection); de:WP developed a single unified
community response. The remarkably high quality of the tools used on en:WP
means that any new systemic tool has to meet a very high threshold for it to
be considered acceptable for wide-scale use. Perhaps that is the key
difference between these two community types: one places more emphasis on
making cohesive group decisions, while the other more strongly encourages a
range of solutions. I don't have any answers, just observations.
A reminder that Sue Gardner, the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, will
be having office hours today (September 30) at 23:00 UTC
(16:00 PT, 19:00 ET, 01:00 Friday CEST) on IRC in #wikimedia-office.
If you do not have an IRC client, there are two ways you can come chat
using a web browser: First, using the Wikizine chat gateway at
<http://chatwikizine.memebot.com/cgi-bin/cgiirc/irc.cgi>. Type a
nickname, select irc.freenode.net from the top menu and
#wikimedia-office from the following menu, then login to join.
Or, you can access Freenode by going tohttp://webchat.freenode.net/,
typing in the nickname of your choice and choosing wikimedia-office as
the channel. You may be prompted to click through a security warning,
which you can click to accept.
Please feel free to forward (and translate) this email to any other
relevant email lists you happen to be on.
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