So, it seems (if I interpret Jimbo's mail on wikitech and the discussion
here correctly) that most of us would like *some kind* of category
scheme in wikipedia. I do, too! But, we seem to differ on the details
So far, I saw three concepts:
1. Simple categories like "Person", "Event", etc.; about a dozen total.
2. Categories and subcategories, like
"Science/Biology/Biochemistry/Proteomics", which can be "scaled down" to
#1 as well ("Humankind/Person" or something)
3. Complex object structures with machine-readable meta-knowledge
encoded into the articles, which would allow for quite complex
queries/summaries, like "biologists born after 1860".
1. Easy to edit (the wiki way!)
2. Still easy to edit, but making wikipedia browseable by category,
fine-tune Recent Changes, etc.
3. Strong improvement in search functions, meta-knowledge available for
1. Not much of a help...
2. We'd need to agree on a category scheme, and maintenance might get a
3. Quite complex to edit (e.g., "<category type='person'
occupation='biologist' birth_month='5' birth_day='24' birth_year='1874'
For a wikipedia I'd have to write myself, I'd choose #3, but with
respect to the wiki way, #2 seems more likely to achieve consensus (if
there is such a thing;-)
I wonder why Grin, who seems to be in charge of editing/revising/censoring wikipedia in Hungarian, has been given the privilege and the courage to disqualify any entries that
a) are not direct translations of a similar entry in the En Wiki
b) he is not familiar with, as he does not seem to be knowledgeable in everything, save GNU technology and practising paranoia.
It has happened twice already, and both me and a friend of mine find it insulting and revolting to doubt our competence that way, especially so, because both entries were offered in the trial sections (usertalk) for comment and were instead labelled as text of dubious origin.
Could you tell the s.o.b. that despite his memorable contributions in general, he is no GOD almighty disguised as peter gervai?
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As Andre Engels already made clear, neither the ISO code nor the SIL
list can be taken for granted in all cases, regarding what we actually
look for in their lists. He gave good examples, and so did Tim Starling.
In fact, my opinion on this topic is, that we should use both the ISO
and the SIL when were unsure again whether to allow a certain language
or not. What were the 3 artificial languages on Ethnologue again?
Esperanto, Interlingua and... Europanto or something, I dont remember.
Well, we have a Volapük Wikipedia, to which I and some others even
contribute, from time to time. Volapük is not included in the SIL index
but in the ISO codes. Thatd be a pro.
Thus, if the language can be found in either the ISO or the SIL list, it
has a right to exist. But we should still consider each new language if
there are enough contributors for it. Maybe 3 or 5 could be enough. That
would speak for Klingon as well there is an ISO code (tlh), there are
more than just 3 or 5 contributors, and the vocabulary and grammar is
large enough as well (a fact that in my opinion doesnt really apply for
Sindarin/Quenya, for example). I dont know off-hand which other
constructed languages could be found in the ISO codes (too lazy to look
it up now ;)), but I doubt that there are more fictional languages
And Toki Pona is wiki-fied already itd be unfair to remove it now, if
its included in ISO/SIL or not.
Okay, I think you understand my point.
I just wanted to say that I really strongly support the central
ideas put forward by Erik here:
I can't say if I agree with every single detail of his proposed
implementation, because I'm not really qualified to judge all of it.
But the central ideas, as proposed here:
are valid and important.
I especially like the requirement of NO fair use materials on the
commons proper. Fair use is often problematic and complex, and so I
really want to encourage the creation of free alternatives even to
fair use. (Even though, at the same time, I strongly support the
concept of fair use and would like to see it expanded and strengthened
and clarified legally.)
I think it would be very nice to be able to have portfolios of images
of specific topics, even when we only use 1 or 2 of the images in a
particular article on a particular wikipedia. For example, we might
quickly end up with 50 different pictures of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
One thing that I strongly recommend is that we get started on the
right foot from the beginning on this site, *requiring* a certain
level of documentation: what is this? where did it come from? what
license(s) is it under? who is the creator? when was it created?
Part of the idea here is to create a central core of material that we
*and* those who license our content can feel comfortable using.
(Toward that end, we should have a mechanism to store, but not display
by default, high resolution images.)
p.s. I do not like the use of the word 'altruism' in his proposal, but
that's just something he said on the side, not central to what he's
talking about. I wouldn't mention it, except that it's a
philosophical peeve of mine. :-)
I support the continuation of the Klingon Wikipedia, because it seems
that a (very rough) consensus has been reached. It's worth noting,
too, that Klingon is a "special case" in many ways in the geek culture
where we all live, and that my own confusing remarks caused it to be
created, and then deleted, causing hurt feelings which are fully my
own fault and much regretted.
In short, this is a unique historical situation that ought not to be
viewed as creating a precedent. I feel the same way about the sep11
wiki, a project that we likely would not have undertaken or continued
to support, except for a set of unique historical facts about how our
project has evolved.
I'm not really ready to declare an _exact_ policy for future cases,
and it would be inappropriate of me to do so until we have more
consensus building, but I think that we can easily recognize the broad
outlines of a reasonable policy...
1. We ought to use some external source or sources to determine what
we will count as a language for the purposes of creating new projects.
2. Based on those external sources, we ought to have a mechanical
rule that generates a default answer. For example, Klingon has a 3
letter ISO 639-2 code, so the default is "accept". "Toki Pona" has no
such code, so the default is "reject". (However, I have been
convinced by sound argument that the ISO 639 codes are often drawn
along political lines rather than real linguistic lines, so a more
sophisticated rule is likely needed than in this simple example.)
3. In cases where there is significant community support or opposition
to the result given by the "rule" we should use some additional
procedure, such as a vote, or better yet a discussion with an eye
toward reaching some compromise, followed by a vote.
4. Reasons for overriding the "rule" could range from the rule being
wrong to historical precedent. For example, we might decide
ultimately to keep 'toki pona' even though in other cases, we would
not. While consistency is a value, special cases can be made as a
courtesy when a significant community has grown up.
I think almost everyone can agree with the outline above, but mostly
because it's an abstract procedure that leaves us with no concrete
guidance. ;-) I'm good at that. But I freely admit that the hard
part is settling on a "rule" for the future.
Some things that I think people can agree on about what the rule should
1. The rule should not tell us to have separate wikipedias for
British English and Australian English and American English. (Nor for
"African-American Vernacular English", popularly called "ebonics", nor
for "Southern American English", my own native dialect.)
2. The rule should provide some means of exclusion for vanity
projects and extremely small (and thus unlikely to be successful)
3. The rule should be external to Wikipedia, based on some other
official standards. The reason for this is that this is only our
default, and the whole purpose of the rule is to give us one less
thing to argue about. Let some international body make the decision,
and then we follow it unless we do something unusual.
"Tim Starling" <ts4294967296(a)hotmail.com> schrieb:
> The Ethnologue, a language catalogue published by SIL International,
> does all of these things. SIL is a non-profit organisation dedicated to
> linguistics, language documentation and literacy. Their catalogue makes
> a division between languages and dialects based on linguistic rather
> than national concerns. They list 6,800 "main languages", plus dialects
> and alternate names. This is as opposed to ISO's approximately 490
> "languages", many of which even they admit are actually groups of
> SIL seems to have little time for constructed languages, listing only
> three. ISO 639-2, on the other hand, has a policy allowing any language
> with more than 50 documents to obtain a code. Hence, Klingon is included
> in ISO's short list, but not in SIL's much longer one.
> My proposal is to automatically allow any language considered one of
> SIL's main languages, and to only seek community approval when it is not
> listed. I think we should largely ignore the ISO list.
I have taken a look at the SIL list, and I find it to be honest rather
astonishing. Looking at the languages in the Netherlands, I see that within
the official Dutch language area there's 2 languages according to SIL
(Dutch and Flemish including Zealandic), which sounds reasonable. But
then the part in the east of the Netherlands where Low Saxon dialects
are spoken, suddenly is considered 10 languages, whereas the many times
larger Low Saxon area in Germany is only 2. It seems that there is
measured with different measures there.
They even in some cases find 3 different languages where as far as I can
see more standard treatments (like the map on [[nl:Nederlands]] consider
them variations of the same _dialect_.
Even without those objections, the best thing to do seems not to be to
drop 639-2, but look at SIL and 639-2 for different purposes. 639-2 is
more applicable when the question is whether the language is large enough
to beincluded. SIL is more applicable when the question is whether a
language is enough separate to allow such. Still, I very much have the
impression that the criteria are not consistent in their application.
> Firstly, I'm disappointed Erik chose to characterise my stated
> motivation as "false pretenses"
Sorry, it was a poor choice of words. What I meant was that the reasons
for creating the wiki were shown to be in error.
Again, as I said, I would have preferred a more open discussion before
relaunching the site. A couple of people on wikitech-l have agreed to some
solution which the people on the Klingon Wikipedia are supposed to follow;
or, the other way around, the people who hate Klingon now have to tolerate
our compromise. Of course we can still have this discussion (any further
comments about Klingon should go to wikipedia-l) but it will be made more
difficult by the current reality.
Regardless, if this compromise prevails, the same solution should be
adopted for all <10,000 speaker language wikis.
Hello fellow Wikipedians,
This is my first posting to this mailing list; my name is André and in
the Wikipedias you might either know me as N-true or André Müller.
Okay, well... you created the Klingon Wikipedia yesterday. Today you
suspended it again. I dont quite understand why you did the latter. The
Wikipedia project is to create an encyclopedia in many languages. Also
artificial are included, such as Esperanto, Interlingua and Volapük.
Even dead languages like Latin or Sanskrit (which remains unused
though). Theres even a Wikipedia in Toki Pona, another artificial
language even known to much fewer people than Klingon, for instance. I
dont see how Toki Pona stayed up and Klingon didnt? If this is because
you think thered be too few contribuents, youre wrong therell be
many enough. If its because the Wikipedia might lose credibility when
it adds silly languages no. The Klingon language community is a
growing one, just like the one of Toki Pona. I dont think this would
offend anyone out there. Wikipedia might just get some more famous. And
speaking about credibility... I dont know if some validated languages
are more realistic than Klingon; theres Plattdüütsch, which is indeed
considered a language, but it doesnt have a orthographic norm its
written as you speak it, and thus may differ from speaker to speaker.
As you have probably seen, I had already started to work on the Klingon
Wikipedia. Dont get me wrong Im not trying to make you suspend
Plattdüütsch or Toki Pona. Its just that I and many other Klingon
speakers/learners and future contribuents would like to have our