Brockhaus "must concede defeat" to Wikipedia
c't, the popular german magazine for computer engineering, just
released a study they conducted of the three major digital
encyclopedias in germany -- Brockhaus, Encarta, and (most recently)
Wikipedia. They tested the encyclopedias on breadth, depth, and
comprehensibility of content, ease of searching, and quality of
The content test was the most elaborate : first they divided content
in three broad fields, Science, Society, and Culture. They further
subdivided these into 22 total subject areas, and within each subject
selected an easy, a moderate, and a difficult topic. They then
searched for the best matching article (and supplementary content) in
Finally, they brought in experts in each broad field who rated the
articles from 1 to 5, based on technical correctness and completeness
of the texts, and on their comprehensibility. Once this was finished,
the results were totalled at each level of conceptual difficulty,
within each broad field, and across all 66 topics.
The net result: Wikipedia ran away with the top prize, a comfortable
distance ahead of its stately predecessors. "Brockhaus Premium
surpassed the competition from Redmond," the review reported, "but
must however concede defeat to Wikipedia".
Happily, the full breakdown of the experts' ratings were published
along with the article, so that each encyclopedia may benefit from the
A full translation will be available on meta presently :
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia vs Brockhaus and Encarta
Grab a copy of the original at your local international-pubs shop, if you can.
Encyclopedias: Wikipedia vs. Brockhaus and Encarta (pg. 132)
On the czech (cs:) Wikipedia, we still have the original english logo.
On meta:Requests for logos, I have added the request that we are ready
to switch the logo, but there is still no reply (after a month). So I
am trying to catch someone's attention here -- could you help to
change the logo?
>Thank you Mark for your open approach of the request.
>Anthere I will take bake my candidature for the two new languages.
>As I did discover yesterday this background mailing list (I did all the time
>suppose that all the talk where open talks in the open-talk pages; I know,
>it was naive) I was chocked.
I think we do not give openess the same meaning Fran�ois.
Openess is not blindly saying yes to any proposal.
I do not understand why you are chocked.
You started a new language on meta. This is not the right place to do so. I could just have deleted it, I do not think anyone would have complained.
However, I did not delete your content on sight, instead I blanked it and I asked you for more information.
I forwarded your answer on this mailing list and invited you to discuss it.
You are free to talk as much as you want here. We are free to listen to you (to read you), to answer, and to have a personal viewpoint.
I think openess is very much this. You are given the opportunity to talk through several media (meta talk page and this mailing list). We also provide a mean for editors to answer you. We guarantee the freedom of all contributors to have their own opinion and to be able to offer it publicly.
But it is up to you to convince us.
Openess does not mean anarchy. Openess does not mean we have to blindly accept proposals.
If the community supports it, then so be it; if not, then your language will not find room among our projects.
>I did think about this matter during the evening and the night and I think
>that different important points of view in the Wiki world are extremely
I do not think that people having different view points is problematic.
I do think people having all the same point of view is problematic.
>I will now take my distance from the Wiki movement.
Wikipedia is not wiki.
You may exist as a wiki, without belonging to Wikipedia project.
There are many wikis aside us, and you can start a wiki project whenever you want.
If you wish to do so, you may use the mediawiki software, which is a free soft.
I was a long time thinking about the yes or the no to become a co-worker at
The open character of information ressources may be a potency but it is a
danger at the same time because there is no indicator of quality. If you by
something at ebay, you know that the partner is registered, you can look for
his evaluations and you can even look what other user did criticize. You
can open the other young article and look the texts concerning the
problematical transaction. All that has no equivalent in Wiki. You consulte
an information, perhaps an important information with consequences on your
comportement because that and for the next development of your life, and
there is no evaluation or possibility of any control. It would be possible
to enter problematical information with the objective to influence. What to
influence is a question of the specific detail.
The World Fact Book
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/fr.html writes for France:
French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal,
Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 99% male:
99% female: 99% (1980 est.)"
The site http://www.educationnationale.com writes "Pourcentage des 16 � 65
ans �prouvant des difficult�s � lire et � comprendre des textes de la vie
quotidienne enqu�te OCDE, 1995) : Su�de 7,5 ; Pays-Bas 10,5 ; Allemagne 14,4
; Canada 16,6 ; �tats-Unis 20,7 ; France 40,1 ; Pologne 42,6".
Between the 1 % of illeterate people of the WFB of the official institution
CIA (one information source of the President of the USA to start wars and
anihilate populations and cultures - Irak was a really problematic country
but Irak was not fundamentalistic and was theoretical lay/secular like
Turkey!) and the information of the other source (you can click on the link
"Quid" - French people considere Quid as an "eprouved" Wikipedia not as an
experiment!), there is a world of difference....
An you can see yourself in the differente wikis that the affirmation
"rapidly declining regional dialects and languages" is not certain! And if
this information would be correct why did you give in wiki the ok to start
new wikis in those declining dialects and languages? Only to disturb the
unity of countries like France or Spain etc? Or did you do that with the
conviction to help people to develope somewhat, that is precious to protect,
somewhat with a great valor? Today your restrictive conviction concerning
solresol is for me an indicator more of the first as of the second:
Soleresol was a great invention. But different people don't want to allow
that other languages as national language can exist parallel to the national
language. For this reason especially in France did a law forbid the use of
special languages as the national language. Please enter following words
into the search motor www.yahoo.fr "loi fabius congr�s de milan" and you
will see a fantastic number of link on the problem that AS YOU today in
wikipedia the most important part of the population of France through his
leader as on the list wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org did refuse to handicaped
people MORE THAN 100 YEARS ALONG the legitimity to develope own educative
solution especially signs languages to help the poor persones to live in the
dignity. See please http://www.a2mains.com/historique3.html . It is only a
little more as TEN YEARS legal to do that in France: propage an universal
language including a sign language: You will restrict the liberty with terms
like "audience" - "editors"- Well!
I am not entirely sure you will gain my sympathy by citing my country as one of these highly censoring countries.
Just as I am not entirely sure you gain my sympathy when confusing my giving a personal opinion as a lack of openess above, or me citing "audience" as "refusing handicaped people the legitimity to develop own creative solution to live in the dignity".
I think that on Wikipedia, we recognise and respect very much diversity of opinions because this is the essence of our project. We certainly often disagree and we will sometimes be a bit "hot" in trying to "win the case". But we generally try to accomodate and generally this means for us to have the right to speak our own mind with NO FEAR, before a consensus emerge.
The best way to irritate people and block in the most definite way an open and friendly discussion is to use fallacious arguments.
Example : implying that France refusal to welcome special languages as national language denies handicaped people a life in dignity is a bit slippery.
Example : implying that Wikipedia refusing to welcome a very minor constructed language denies handicaped people a life in dignity is certainly boosting our ego, but a bit slippery as well.
Now, it is up to you to go on this slope, but I doubt it will help.
Wikipedia is not particularly the best solution to teach language signs. And providing information in musical form is not either the best idea on Wikipedia. And for all I know deaf people can read a screen just as well as I. Well, actually better, because I have poor eyesight.
The number of readers of this language is extremely limited, but I agree, more information on the language might be meaningful.
The number of potential contributors to this language is even more limited. For all I know, contributorS would be "you". It makes little sense to set up a wiki just for one editor. Even for two. The interest of a wiki is mostly to work collaboratively.
Wikipedia aims at providing knowledge and making it available to the highest number of people. Good. Now, my own feeling is that most people using solresol also speak and/or read at least another language. So, not making available solresol is not denying them access to information. If they can READ a screen, they can very much read the screen in english or in spanish or in any other language for general information. And I suspect the quality of encyclopedic information will always be much much much better in english or spanish than in solresol. This goes as well for languages such as Klington language.
Now, I think that what is most important for this type of language is
* helping people be aware that the language exist.
* helping people learn the language.
* possibly provide some good ressources in that language.
This does not suggest me that setting a full encyclopedia is a good idea. The encyclopedia is likely to stay just a bunch of stubs, and I doubt much that it will be ever seen as a good ressource.
This suggests me this
* to promote the language : write good and comprehensive articles on wikipedias
* to help people learn the language : write a wikibooks on the topic. This book, as a free ressource, could contain all the relevant information you wish available on this language. This book might contain description, history and grammar of the language for example. When the book is ready, you may even consider printing it and distributing it. Or it might just become a great online ressource, with audio (sounds) included (you may include sounds in the book).
* to help people learn the language : a wiktionary might be eventually interesting. For example : english/solresol and french solresol
* to provide good ressources for people to train themselves (my library has some books written in big letters, or books for blind people) : write or translate books in this language. Consider translating public domain books from old authors. Or consider writing a book on disability. Or set up a cooking book with special tips for disabled people. Or whatever. Any good book will be far better than any cripled stubby-encyclopedia.
If you wish to help Wikipedia at the same time than helping SolReSol, a book which become a world wide reference on this language, will help Wikipedia get positive feedback much more than any 150 articles pseudo-encyclopedia.
And this is overall my position on many very minor languages.
Wikipedia may appear to be the royal road; but it would be nice to be realistic. A bunch of very good, very comprehensive, very well-research books and a wiktionary to help understanding, will do much more for a very minor language, than any supposed encyclopedia of less than 100 stubs.
Now, the "yes", my devise in the web,
A lot of idealists works in these pages, do her best to make a lot of
possibilities accessible for a great number of other persones. Different
editors, not all, have a great experience and qualification and invest a lot
of time for other. Different editors of course reinvente only the wheel (and
it seems you prefer those editors: A encyclopedie book oder CDROM costs only
10 Euro in Germany today) but not fully round rather with a lot of corners.
But other give access at the knowledge to persones how would be have
difficulties because of the language of because of the deficit of the
production or import of book ware in her part of the world; I did already
explain that medicine students in West Africa did learn medicine from a
Chinese professor, who was only Chinese speaker... And books where extremely
rare at the same time in this African country. Other give access to non
conventional knowledge with reduced accessibility (like Solresol and
Frater - Try to get the complete sources that I have now...)
For this reason I did in the supposition that Wiki did be a really open and
wide seeing institution say to me: YES, I cooperate also.
Good. This is the correct approach.
But I did ignore those back ground tribunals like this access limited
email-list wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org and the opinion, that a persone can
only get a chance if he already did have this chance on a different place,
if he already has a successfull community (* Audience : who will read this
new language, how many people does that represent, if few people, are they
likely to be better served by another language * Editors : who will work on
that new project, how many people ).
The access to the mailing list is not limited. We ask for registration (which is not difficult to do) only to limit the amount of spam people get in their mail boxes.
Unregistered mails are blocked and require administrators approval. Spam is deleted, and normal mails get through.
Registration is here only meant as a nicety to readers of the list.
if I would have a kind of Catalan-Yahoo ( http://ct.yahoo.com/ ) for
solresol or frater, I would not move to Wikipedia (Catalan also is not a
national language; but they have a own yahoo...) after all the work would be
done and so annihilate my old work and make twice the same!
Good luck with your problematical project... I go away!
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say freely my opinion on minor constructed languages place within the Wikimedia projects. You helped me to see better in my own thoughts on the topic and the opportunity to offer these thoughts to the other editors. Possibly, it won't be the direction the community will follow in the future, but to my opinion, wikibooks and possibly wiktionaries are a best way than an encyclopedia for most of those. But I will accept encyclopedias if there is consensus for setting them naturally.
Thanks for triggering this clarity in me.
I do think the information is important. I do think it is worth to be included in our project. I just think the encyclopedic project is not the best in your case.
* Setting up an encyclopedia in SolReSol
I will not support it. I do think it would be a loss of time, a very poor encyclopedia (encyclopedia means comprehensive information, it will never happen in this case).
If the consensus is to do such an encyclopedia, I will not oppose it, but do not expect any help from me.
* Starting a wikibook on the topic : very strong support. In particular if the book is done in half french/half SolReSol (you might imagine a bilingual book). In this case, you might host it on the french wikibooks. Of course, it would be worth asking the french community their opinion on wikifr-l(a)wikimedia.org. But a half english/half SolReSol or any language will have my support as well.
Any further book on any topic in full SolReSol is okay by me as well.
* Starting a wiktionary : neutral to supportive.
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Daniel Mayer wrote:
> Two words: PRESS RELEASE!
> Seriously, once the fund drive is over we should have a press release about
> this and also mention the fact and result of our 'recent successful fund
> drive.' We should also quote Jimbo when he said that commercial encyclopedias
> will be out of business in 5 years if they keep doing as they have been.
I've seen that work already started on
I'm not entirely sure if it's a good idea to send a separate press
release. We discussed this yesterday among the german wikipedians,
feelings were mixed.
It's one thing to have an independent media giving wikipedia credit as a
valuable encyclopedia, but we know that in many areas it's still far
from being that. If we pick up the results of this test and boast about
them, we will be measured by this in the future. Closed season would be
over for us.
Please let's stick to "we are a project building an encyclopedia" and
let the media do the job of praising us. They do it quite well, as we
can see. Let's mention the c't test discreetly in future press releases
(like the one about the fund raising drive), but not send a separate one.
For the german wikipedia, we are planning to mention the test results in
our next press release about the publication of the wikipedia cd version.
One last important thing: If something like this happens, please don't
start actions without consulting the local people involved. So far we
have good contacts to the c't. But things like a full text translation
of the article can seriously damage this relationship. And it would fall
back to us, not the international crowd.
"I must say that creating synthetic languages wikis is somewhat controversial."
Yes, I understand this point of view. It is legitim. But ...
We are now x milliards of human in the world. How many, I don't know (can the encyclopedie answer this question?). And we did never live in peace live without hunger live without racialism. Perhaps it is not a matter for wiki.
But we did did never transmit the knowledge. And that is a self-given objective of wikipedia. An example: I did leave in West-Africa about 30 years ago. My colleague had a cousin studying medicine. Her professor was a Chinese medicine professor. He spok only and always Chinese! No one African student did have learn Chinese. I know that it was terribly difficult for the poor African students to follow her professor. I am certain that a lot of the students did become doctor and have different deficits because of this very unadapted situation.
I did participate a long time to the messages board www.africa.com . A frequent opinion was that this continent will never more get any chance because of the division. I am not an African. I can not think like an African. But I am certain that different African people will never forget that her neighbours did fetch them to sell them as slaves. You are surprising of my opinion? And however different European people maintain an antipathy because of facts very older (French against Englishman, French and other European people against Turkish or different Arab people, etc.). It is a matter of culture, it is a matter of religion and it is mainly an matter intercomprehension too because the respective languages have a realy little diffusion in the other country. You can see that people with analog approach of comprehension like German, Japanese and Turkish (in all the 3 languages has the verb the same place at the end of sentence! and there are more languages in the world with this kind of construction as the construction in English, French, Russian or Chinese). The matter of the language is a main peace factor! But the matter of the faculty of comprehension also!
Artificial language can work as bridge between the people. You will be surprising: We need such bridges even under an uniform country with only one official language too...!
Consider for example the situation of deafs without hearing since the birth. They can't have make a begining to think though they think in spoken words because they never did realy listen to spoken words (deaf persones live all the live thinking in a different language or change into the (for them) foreign language of her nation in a second stage of the life after many years language education). Her thoughts are formed in different manner. For this reason they prefer sign languages created especially for her. But the use of sign languages needs a terrible long experience and the healthy people are totaly "deaf for sign language" generally. For this reason deaf people learn to read on the lips, a very difficult exercise and highly dependent of the "quality of the speaker", and try to speak herself words that they will speak but never listen. In the same country, the communication of 2 handicaped person can become a wonder.
In different countries is this intercomprehension not possible between handicaped persones and sometimes very difficult between normal people!
In all this cases can an artificial language sometimes help and be a good bridge between the people.
But all the articificial languages are not equivalent. Only one offers an build-in interface for deaf and different handicaped people. Only one can be readen with more or less difficulties by milliards of humans (all speakers of English, Spanish, French, German etc.; and relatively light by Grec and Russian people: E. de Wahl was himself Russian speaker at home - he was a Baltic born in Ukrain. But only after learning of the Latin alphabet). Only one is certainly 1000 time more spreads as the other each (Esperanto). Etc.
Different sources of knowledge have a extremly difficult nearly impossible access for normal people:
As I did begin to publish solresol in different languages I did constate that the (complete material of gajewsky!) material that I did have was not the best. I did search the original material from inventor. But the book of solresol was a timid effort of a widowed woman to try to make a little money with the invention of her man after he was dead. I suppose, she did print only a minimal quantity. Today this book is one of the rarest books on the world and a lot of languages specialists try to get it, because only a minimal number of big libraries (Bibliothèque national in France, Bibliothèque royale in Belgium, "Germanisches Museum", München, and, perhaps, Bibliothèque historique des sourds, Paris) have the old extremely rare book. I did search months and months for this book only to copy him. Months along, more that on year, without result. And "I" did be the happy man who did can buy it after one year of daily search in ebay, amazon etc...
I can now give all other people how are searching for this information the content of this work and start practice experience in the use of the language in a place that a lot of people will find easy.
Or I can close my new acquisition on my books board.
As I did constate which importance such secondary language can become for important groups of the world population (the European Union of 15 members did have 37 Million of handicaped people in 1995 and about 10 Million of completely analphabet. See please OCDE-statistic), I did find indications about Frater. The same problem in other form: The Vietnamese Publisher seems not to be any more existent. I did ask a friend for a copy of the book of the library of the US-Congres (I live in Germany!!!). Why? This book also is extremely rare now, because it was published in Vietnam and all people know that Vietnam was an especialy tourmented country. It is not possible to become the book in Europe (stand: Internet middle of 2004). It exist only an examplar at the University of Würzburg but it is only possible to see it in Würzburg.
I did decide that I invest the time to transmit my knowledge to other.
Naturally you can prevent it and say: Wiki is for knowledge pure!
My best friend on the internet is an intermediate person: Her man works at the university. Her mother is illetterate...
That is our world and I will change that...
oui (yes/ja/da/shì etc...)
The new search engine "clusty" features wikipedia fairly prominently.
I overheard some talk about GNU FDL compliance, and I just wanted to
let everyone know that I talked to the CEO of Vivisimo last week
(before they launched) and (a) they love us and (b) there will be no
GNU FDL compliance problems with them.
So, I will contact them in a few days after I have a chance to
assess what, if anything, we'd like to have them adjust.
"La nÃ¨fle est un fruit." - first words of 50,000th article on fr.wikipedia.org
What would people say to a wikipedia in ancient Greek?
It has an ISO (grc), it's a pretty important language
historically, and it's studied by hundreds of
thousands of people worldwide. Most every classics
department offers a course in Greek prose composition;
so, there would be plenty of nerdy people wanting to
write articles. Having a wikipedia in the language
would help to encourage students to take composition
seriously, and it would strengthen students' grasp of
The first western encyclopedias (like Suidas) were
written in Greek; so, there are plenty of public
domain entries to get the ball rolling.
There is a modern Greek wikipedia, but Ancient Greek
is really different from Modern demotic Greek in all
its most interesting qualities, like particles,
prepositions, and its huge vocabulary. Greeks can
more or less understand ancient Greek, but students of
ancient Greek have little or no knowledge of Modern
I'm a doctoral candidate in ancient Greek letters, and
I'd be willing to get the ball rolling. Let me know
what you think.
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The current fundraiser will be over soon; we should reach the target
goal early, within the next hour or so. The fundraising banner will
be replaced by a thank-you banner for the rest of the day:
Thanks to you, we have reached our goal of $50,000 in
We are grateful to everyone for their help. Donation breakdowns
are now available
Please translate this notice and send it to a sysop on your project.
( To edit your site notice, you need to change the protected page
Gerard, were you not the one working on the GEMET issue ? I am not sure,
and I cant find the mails any more in the archive. If so, could you
please answer to my previous mail on the topic. If not, do you know who
could inform me ?
Gerard Meijssen a écrit:
> Wikipedia and Wiktionary are currently the two biggest projects of
> Wikimedia (as far as I know). These projects are quite seperate from
> each other. They are more seperate than is good for either project.
> Typically, the type of information in Wiktionary cannot be found in
> Wikipedia, things like translations and pronounciation are better
> developped in Wikipedia while more more encyclopedic information can be
> found in Wikipedia.
> To enhance the cooperation I added a template in Wiktionary (both in en:
> and nl) called -info-. This template will refer to the Wikipedia article
> with the same name as the Wiktionary article.
> On Wikipedia (both en: and nl:) I have added a template called wikt,
> this template has one parameter; this is the name of the article on
> Wiktionary. The reason for a parameter is that Wikipedia has many
> articles that are disambigued and given a name that differs from the
> Wiktionary name. A second reason is that the nl:wiktionary does not have
> first character capitalisation for article names any more. Here it is
> important that the word is spelled correctly.
> The importance of these interproject links is not only in giving more
> information to our users, it is also important to make people aware that
> dictionary content has its place and that it is really welcome in
> Wiktionary. It makes for people that are used to contributing to
> Wikipedia, to contribute to Wiktionary as well.
> One nice word recently added to the nl:wiktionary is [[wikt:nl:grote
> muggenorchis]], an orchid it has three translations. This information is
> not really welcom on nl:wikipedia and this way it finds its place .. :)
> Please add these functionalities to your wikipedia and wiktionary and
> add it to the content you work on, it really makes us a greater
> resource !!
>>One last important thing: If something like this happens, please don't
>>start actions without consulting the local people involved. So far we
>>have good contacts to the c't. But things like a full text translation
>>of the article can seriously damage this relationship. And it would fall
>>back to us, not the international crowd.
> I am still saddened and amazed by this paragraph.
I didn't want to sadden you - my words were not directed to you, but
were meant more generally. I can understand your enthusiasm about the
article, but I felt that things moved too quickly and I was afraid that
things like the press release would be done whithout proper consideration.
> Not only wasn't action taken without consulting local people involved,
> but the idea that things which affect the de: press team, which is a
> credit to Wikipedia in general, do not affect the "international crowd",
> is particularly hurtful (and untrue).
It was not the de: press team, but german wikipedia in general I refered
to. It would be the german wikipedia which would have to stand the
scrutinizing views of journalists after such a press release. And it
would probably fail on this in many areas.
For the press team: yes, we would have the problems if c't complained
about a copyvio, but this case was resolved quickly (and it wasn't even
a translation but only a summary, as I heard later), so let's drop this