On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 5:34 AM, Samuel Klein <sj(a)laptop.org> wrote:
For the record, lots of people who use simple: are
devs or researchers
who need a good small simple testbed, or people who only intend to
read and use in contexts away from the original editable wiki. I
would bet, though with lower odds, that this is the case for most
users of WP as well,
That's probably the best possible use for Simple, but I don't think it
alone justifies Simple's existence.
In light of that, I understand that there is some
kind of simple
wikipedia usage among the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) distribution.
Perhaps someone could clarify, but if this is the case, then that would
make the likelihood that this already failing proposal would pass even
The simple-english snapshot has been replaced (in practice and in
popularity) in the OLPC collection list by a larger snapshot from en,
because of the difference in article quality and coverage.
However, simple: snapshots have been requested recently by people
interested in basic literacy (who weren't using WP at all before, but
are coming around to the idea that simple articles can make good short
readers). (@Pharos: I think French is a good idea, and there is
definite interest in simple spanish articles.)
If someone can find the first request for deletion of Simple, they'll
find that I made my case against it then. I still think that
encyclopedia articles should be in plain language, and that splitting
efforts from enwiki (though not that big a deal, anymore) doesn't help
anyone, particularly when you're dealing with an entirely undefined
subset of English.
And, again, what's the goal? English is horribly irregular and
difficult to learn, but what problem is Simple actually solving?
When Simple Spanish was proposed, I opposed it even more strongly.
The eswiki community was already fractured (read: gone); and, to its
credit, Spanish isn't that hard. It's a pretty regular language when
it comes to grammar, and it shares a vocabulary with most Romance
languages. There's not a whole lot you can do to simplify it.
And two other ideas
* this is a great thing to combine with wikikids efforts : kids
learning to write articles tend to add simple stubs, write about
topics of interest to other early eards, and may learn many things by
trying to adhere to simplified encyclopedic style.
Efforts targeted at kids should definitely use simpler language. Kids
should also be encouraged to contribute to Wikipedia articles in their
native language, at whatever level they're comfortable with. Others
can come by later and polish up their prose.
ps - Lars - what the creators of these sublanguages
have in mind / how
they test their criteria is fascinating... some cross referencing with
decisions made in creating esperanto et al would be fun OR.
I'm actually very interested in this, academically, and hope we get