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.
Back in September we had an open community IRC meeting, where we
introduced the new Trustees and talked about various issues. It was
pretty successful and we discussed afterwards making such "community
meetings" a regular event.
I'd like to revive this idea :) I've made a proposal for having
community meetings on the first Saturday of the month:
Which would make the first upcoming meeting on February 5.
I proposed 17:00UTC as a time, but please discuss good days/times on
the talk page if you are interested in attending; we'll need to rotate
I envision this as not really a Q&A session like the staff office
hours, but rather as a chance for community members to get together
and talk about important issues in a structured way. To that end,
please add your proposed agenda items to the wiki. It would also be
great to have some volunteers to take notes/moderate.
Of course this is just an experiment -- but there seemed to be a lot
of interest in having such meetings, so I'd like to try it out. Let me
know what you think and if you'd be interested.
* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
<at> gmail.com *
In his 10th anniversary address Jimmy Wales says: "Today is a great
moment to reflect on where we've been."
What my reflection brings up is that the single thing that probably
raised more controversy among the widest range of Wikimedians is not
the content of articles about sex, celebrities or geopolitical and
linguistic conflicts, but the procedures of appointing administrators.
It should have never been a big deal, but it is, in all projects in
The "administrator" privilege lumps together several very different permissions:
* blocking and unblocking
* deleting and restoring pages and versions of pages
* viewing deleted versions of pages
* protect and unprotect pages and edit protected pages
* some PendingChanges/FlaggedRevisions-related permissions, which i
haven't quite figured out yet :)
Now i, in general, think that these permissions should be given
liberally to as many reasonable Wikimedians as possible. I always
believed in it, and since most of these actions became visible in the
watchlist a few years ago, this belief became even stronger.
But some re-thinking is needed. The administrator privilege, as it is
now, should be retired and broken up to several separate privileges:
* protect, unprotect, edit protected, config PendingChanges on the page
* edit highly technical pages - the MediaWiki: namespace, common.css, etc.
* revert, delete/undelete, view deleted
The permission to revert, delete and undelete unprotected pages can be
given to those users who can create and move pages ("autoconfirmed").
There is no big functional difference between deleting a page and
deleting a paragraph in an existing page or doing a major re-write.
The difference between reverting and undoing is a matter of civility
and a lot of uncivil things can be done without permissions anyway.
Limiting these actions only to certain users is quite pointless.
Viewing deleted pages shouldn't be a big deal either. Deletion is not
so much eliminating non-notable topics and nonsense from existence, as
about separating them from encyclopedic articles. It shouldn't be a
big deal to let bored people read them somewhere. Eliminating
egregiously offensive and illegal content, major copyright violations
and BLP issues can be accomplished today with the oversight
Controlling Pending Changes, although i haven't figured out all of its
intricacies, is essentially an improved version of page protection. It
makes sense to give this permission to (many) selected people. It will
probably evolve over time, and i believe that it will evolve more
organically if conceptually separated from blocking and deletion.
Another comment about protection is that protecting system messages
(the MediaWiki: namespace) and sensitive CSS and JS pages (commons.css
etc.) is very different from protecting vandalism-prone articles
(Obama etc.). The protection of these technical pages and sensitive
articles should be a different concept.
The permission to block should be a separate one. Separating the
discussions about giving users the permission to protect pages and to
block vandals will not stop the holy wars, but it will focus them.
There will be no more comments such as:
* "User:PhDhistorian may be a good editor who understands
Verifiability and who can be trusted to edit sensitive BLP articles,
but he has personal grudges with User:FatMadonna and he may block her,
so he shouldn't be given the Administrator privilege."
* "User:VandalFighterGrrrl is excellent at patrolling RC, but she's
too inclusionist and shouldn't be given the right to decide about
All of the above is formulated in the English Wikipedia terms. I
believe that the English Wikipedia policies for deletion, protection
and blocking make a lot of sense and should be adopted by all
Wikipedias, but this obviously can't be forced on any Wikipedia. Other
projects may have very different understanding of these processes and
it's OK. I'm only talking about the technical separation of the
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
"We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace." - T. Moore
Tonight, Egypt has ordered all operators to shut down their BGP
adjacencies with out of countries providers. This mean Egypt is
disconnected from the rest of the internet.
I am wondering, should we just close our site in support? That would
surely have a huge impact and show how much we care about free
information for everyone.
Apart from celebrating 10 years of Wikipedia 2011 is also an election year for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.
As you may recall the board has three directly elected representatives on it which serve for two years. Currently those are Mindspillage, SJ and Wing. As in the past years we rely on an effective election committee to coordinate the elections for us. They not only guarantee that the election is overseen by an independent body, but they also make sure that the tremendous amount of work that needs to be done is taken care of. My job is to coordinate the formation of this committee.
This is a call for volunteers to serve on the election committee. If you feel that you can contribute to this committee, please contact me and give a small summary of why you think you would be able to help out with this process. Just to make sure we all understand: you cannot be part of the election committee if you are planning to be a candidate or are planning to support any candidate publicly. Deadline for any extra volunteers is January 22 th 12:00 UTC.
The timeline for the next steps in the process will be published somewhere in February by the election committee. So if you are interested in becoming a candidate, time to start preparing!
Jan-Bart de Vreede
Wikimedia Board of Trustees
Board Liason Election Committee
PS: Should you want to know more about the role of a board member: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_board_manual
> I agree that the edit restrictions on the WMF wiki are very
> unfortunate and there's still much more that can be done (perhaps one
> day leading toward www.wikimedia.org as a single information,
> collaboration and discussion hub, subsuming both WMF and Meta, and
> possibly other backstage wikis).
> Erik Möller
> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Perhaps have Meta: Strategy:, Outreach: Usability:, Tech:, and Wikimania*:
namespaces to replace the separated sites in existence today. The main
space could cover wikimediafoundation.org content. Wikimedia: for meta-wiki
discussion. Or any variation on that. At the least, there is no need to
keep creating new wikis for Wikimania if you properly tag content for the
year it applies to.
-- Aaron Adrignola