On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 12:08, GoEthe.wiki <goethe.wiki(a)gmail.com> wrote:
And even if that was true for the English Wikipedia,
it certainly is not for
other large Wikipedias, which seem to have the same trend, according to the
2011/3/29 Nikola Smolenski <smolensk(a)eunet.rs>
> On 03/29/2011 11:40 AM, Theo10011 wrote:
> > The second issue as I see it, we might not be approaching the sum of all
> > human knowledge but we're running out of what the core
> > community can contribute. We are at over 3.5 million articles (go
> I strongly disagree. I see thousands of articles I could write outside
> of my profession if only I would have time and inclination. And I see
> missing articles even in well-covered topics like programming.
No, we are not approaching "sum of the human knowledge".
But, we are approaching some limits.
Let me explain it through one simple example.
Let's say that there is Wikipedia in X language with just one editor.
That editor is expert in, let's say, medieval history and has passion
toward chess. That person would spend years in: (1) writing basic
articles -- although he is not astronomer, he knows that it is
important to have articles like "Sun", "Earth", "Jupiter"
writing articles in medieval history; (3) writing articles about
chess; (4) and, finally, writing articles about surrounding areas of
medieval history and chess (let's say, ancient history and go).
If that person didn't stop because of lack of time or lack of
satisfaction, it is reasonably to expect that he will at some point
come to the situation where all articles are written according to his
level of knowledge. (That's the ideal situation, but it also assumes
the ideal systematization of the work on articles, which is not
We are witnessing similar trend on much larger scale. For example, if
I want to write now something about one of the Anatolian languages, I
have to spend today much more time than I had to while those articles
didn't exist. Instead of using one or two legitimate sources, I have
to check every fact and every source inside of the existing articles.
And that's not beyond limits of my knowledge, but beyond limits of my
willingness to spend in that way my free time. (Besides the fact that
there are 2/3 chances to find a bureaucratic moron and spend the rest
of the day in asking myself why I started to edit Wikipedia *again*.)
Yes, I will spend more time in writing articles from the area of my
expertise, but Anatolian languages don't belong there. And thanks to
the fact that there are no Wikipedians who are experts in Anatolian
languages and know English, we will have informative, but far from
satisfactory articles (three most important articles haven't been
significantly changed for two or three years: Anatolian languages ,
Hittite language  and Luwian language ).
So, yes, we are around some of the limits. It is, of course, far from
any sum of knowledge, but close to our capacities. And those
capacities are comparable among various Wikipedia editions as English
is the language with the most of primary and secondary speakers and
all of other languages have less (primary + secondary) speakers than
The situation "many people don't have a lot to write" also creates
decline. Yes, there are many people who are able to write a lot, but
even if 30% of "people" decrease their activity for 50%, it is 15% of
decline. (Numbers are not so simple, of course, but we see inside of
them decline in almost every aspect.) Visible effects are similar and
connected to the situation "we wrote everything". BTW, if we wrote
everything, we wouldn't have any activity. If there is no Hungarian
who knows something which doesn't exist on Hungarian Wikipedia --
there wouldn't be activity on Hungarian Wikipedia. And so on.
And a note about translation: No, I wouldn't translate article about
Hittite language from English Wikipedia. The article is not so good.
And there are a *lot* of such articles in English Wikipedia: those
which are not worthy of translation. So, the argument "But, they could
translate articles from English Wikipedia!" isn't always true. Besides
the fact that I've started to see more and more garbage-articles at
English Wikipedia, as there are not enough editors to keep systemic