Most of you would be aware of some of the discussions that have occurred
around Wikipedia in the Norwegian languages. Since the last round of
discussions on this list, there has been a lot of internal debate, as
well as what seems to be a fairly widely accepted agreement following
This e-mail intends to, after a brief recap on Norwegian language and
wikipedia issues, take those interested through the latest development
and will stake out the road ahead. It is also intended to inform the
international community about the current agreement on no.wikipedia, so
as to prevent misunderstandings in the future.
Finally, we will mention an unfortunate reaction to the vote by a small
number of users at the Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål (no:) wikipedia who want
to disregard the result of the voting and are planning to create a
_third_ Norwegian wikipedia with the sole mission of mixing the contents
of the two current Norwegian versions.
== A short language history of Norway ==
Spoken Norwegian ("norsk") (ISO 639-2 alpha-2 code "no") is in a fairly
unique situation compared to most other languages of the world in that
it has two widely accepted written standards, Bokmål (ISO 639-2 alpha-2
code "nb") and Nynorsk (ISO 639-2 alpha-2 code "nn"). By national
legislation they are both regarded as official written forms of
Norwegian. In addition, many people still make a distinction between
Bokmål and its precursor which still is in use, Riksmål.
Briefly speaking, Bokmål and Riksmål are descendants of the Danish
written language. Until the 1800s, Danish was the only widely used
written language in Norway as a result of four centuries of union with
Denmark. With increasing independence came a wish to norwegianise the
Danish standard, with Knud Knudsen at the forefront for changing parts
of the vocabulary and orthographics. Thus, Riksmål, and later Bokmål,
resulted. These forms together are today probably used by about 90% of
Norway's population, or somewhere around 3,500,000 people.
Parallel to this development, a new written standard was created by Ivar
Aasen. He travelled extensively throughout Norway, and based his new
language, landsmål, on the grammar and vocabulary of dialect samples
from around the country. This was later renamed Nynorsk. Modern Nynorsk
differs significantly from modern Bokmål, and may be linguistically
looked upon as as different (or as similar if you like) as Swedish is to
Danish. For English or Dutch/German speakers, the differences may be
likened to those between (Lowland) Scots and English or Low German and
Dutch. Today it is estimated that about 500,000-600,000 people have
Nynorsk as their first written language.
More information about the Norwegian language history can be found in
English, German, French, Spanish or Portuguese on the website of the
Norwegian Language Council:
== A short history of Wikipedia in Norwegian ==
The first Norwegian wikipedia started 26 November 2001 on the subdomain
no.wikipedia.org. As most wikipedias, its contributor and article count
started really picking up around the end of 2003. At the time, it
accepted all written standards of Norwegian, although the amount of
Nynorsk was minimal. There were already several debates about the
feasibilty and appropriateness of keeping the two languages united on
one Wikipedia. On 31 July 2004 a Wikipedia for Nynorsk was created.
The creation of nn:, however, split the community at no: wikipedia. Many
felt that given that Nynorsk now had its own wikipedia, no: should
become a Bokmål/Riksmål Wikipedia only. Others disapproved and claimed
that there was no need to change and that it should continue its
language policy of accepting all and keep its interwiki link name of
Nynorsk Wikipedia soon proved a success, as it within the next few
months gathered several people who had felt uncomfortable in the
(mainly) Bokmål environment at no:. The name displayed in interwiki
links became "Norsk (nynorsk)" (languages are not spelt with upper case
in Norwegian). To date it continues to be one of the fastest growing
wikipedias, with a steady article increase, now at over 6000 articles
and >50 editors with more than 10 edits since arrival.
== Votes ==
The issue of no:'s language policy has come up time and again, and a
vote was held in March ([[:no:Wikipedia:Målform]]) as to which policy to
adapt. Independent of the method of the tally (whether or not to include
new contributors etc.) there was a majority for switching to a
Bokmål/Riksmål only language policy (50% for Bokmål/Riksmål, 43.2% for
Bokmål/Riksmål/Nynorsk/Høgnorsk, and 6.8% for the official variants
Following this result, there is now going to be a vote on which
interwiki link name will most appropriately reflect the current language
policy of no:. The result of this vote will most likely be either "Norsk
(bokmål)" or "Norsk (bokmål/riksmål)".
Understandably, there has also been a debate as to whether the subdomain
should change from "no" to "nb", as this is the correct representation
of Bokmål according to ISO 639-2. However, there is some resentment
towards such a move and currently a general acceptance in letting the
Bokmål wikipedia stay at "no". The alternative some have suggested is a
server-side redirect from "no" to "nb", in the same way that "nb" today
is a server-side redirect to the equivalent page on "no".
== Summary of the problem ==
Unfortunately, a small group of users (who all write Bokmål/Riksmål) are
ignoring the results from the vote, and are claiming they want to
re-establish a wikipedia for all written standards of Norwegian. They
claim they have been in touch with people centrally in Wikimedia
(developers? stewards?) and that they have so far received positive
comments. With this email, we would like to state the fact that there
have been no official decisions about creating a third Norwegian
wikipedia containing both Bokmål and Nynorsk, it is merely an unofficial
initiative from a small group of users which started a sign-on list at
[[:no:Bruker:Norsk_Wikipedia]]. A spontaneous list with signatures
against this activity was immediately created at
[[:no:Wikipedia-diskusjon:Fellesnorsk]]. The process of creating a third
Norwegian wikipedia has not gone through a voting process in any of the
two existing Norwegian wikipedias (no: and nn:) and can not be
considered as a decision by the Norwegian Wikipedia community.
We believe the creation of a third wikipedia under the Wikimedia
foundation would have a serious and unfortunate impact on the existing
wikipedias in Norwegian, no: and nn:, and would undermine Wikipedia's
reputation in Norway. This being said, we are all for extensive co-
operation between the four Scandinavian language wikipedias (including
Swedish and Danish), as evident by the recent creation of
[[:meta:Skanwiki]], the Scandinavian meta-pages, and the use of featured
articles from neighbour wikipedias.
== Conclusion ==
Hopefully, this letter will help people better understand the
complicated language situation of the Norwegian Wikipedia community, so
as to give a background on which discussion can take place on this list
in the future, such as the inevitable debate following a possible
request for a re-establishment of the common (and third!) Norwegian
>From the community of no.wikipedia.org and nn.wikipedia.org,
Bjarte Sørensen [[:meta:User:BjarteSorensen]] (Administrator/bureaucrat on nn:)
Lars Alvik [[:no:User:Profoss]] (Administrator/bureaucrat on no:)
Øyvind A. Holm [[:no:User:Sunny256]] (Administrator on no:)
Onar Vikingstad [[:no:User:Vikingstad]] (Administrator on no:)
Jon Harald Søby [[:no:User:Jhs]] (Administrator on no:)
Chris Nyborg [[:no:User:Cnyborg]] (Administrator on no:)
Guttorm Flatabø [[:no:User:Dittaeva]] (Administrator on nn:)
Gunleiv Hadland [[:meta:User:Gunnernett]] (Administrator on nn:)
Jarle Fagerheim [[:nn:User:Jarle]] (Administrator on nn:)
Øyvind Jo Heimdal Eik [[:en:User:Pladask]] (Administrator on nn: and no:)
Kristian André Gallis [[:nn:User:Kristaga]]
Vegard Wærp [[:no:User:Vegardw]]
Nina Aldin Thune [[:no:User:Nina]]
Thor-Rune Hansen [[:no:User:ThorRune]]
Claes Tande [[:no:User:Ctande]]
Arnt-Erik Krokaa [[:no:User:AEK]]
Rune Sattler [[:no:User:Shauni]]
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;-)
Just a question, to reflect some possible misunderstanding.
According to the poll proposition, it seems that only wikinewsies are
allowed to participate to the poll. Is that so ? I am not sure as it
seems it would not be advertised on wikipedia mailing list if it was the
case. But the poll is mentionning wikinewsies only.
Can you clarify this point ?
Thank you to all for the kind words about scn.wiki - but I am not sure if I received an answer to my original question (or if I did I havne't understood it!) - I am not sure whether it is an individual user choice thing or a choice for each wikipedia. As I said, I have noticed that some wikis do not employ the underlining for internal links, so we had assumed that each wiki is able to control that somehow. Please keep your explanations clear and succinct - if you start talking about terrabytes you will lose me - let's stick to terra firma - thereby reducing the risk of you lot being further terrarised by me (spelling intentionally changed so that the some incompetent spooks don't come looking for me and accidentally/intentionally put three bullets into my skull).
Thanking you again in anticipation.
Yahoo! Mail: gratis 1GB per i messaggi, antispam, antivirus, POP3
I'm forwarding this to Wikipedia and Foundation-l since the poll could
potentially make Wikinews incompatible with Wikipedia or any of our
other projects. Currently, content from Wikinews can be used in
Wikipedia (though not the other way around). CC-BY-SA is not
compatible with the GNU FDL, so this would not longer be the case.
Earlier polls and discussion are at
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Amgine <amgine(a)saewyc.net>
Date: Aug 30, 2005 11:57 PM
Subject: [Wikinews-l] Licensure straw poll
To: Wikinews mailing list <wikinews-l(a)wikimedia.org>
A poll is being held at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikinews/Licensure_Poll on whether or not
to adopt the CC-by-sa 2.5 licensure for the Wikinews project.
This licensure allows any use of the articles so long as attribution
credit is given to the Wikinews project and any derivations or further
developments are released under an identical licensure.
The poll was suggested by jwales, and is short so the board may have an
idea of how the community feels in time for their next meeting. Please
visit the poll and vote; comment on the discussion page
Hi to one and all and everyone else in between
Before I ask my very important question - I thought I would mention that after only 10 months of operation, scn.wiki recently reached 2,000 articles!
Please keep that in mind the next time you want to slag off at Mr Williamson for supporting minority languages.
Now to my question. We recently noted that some wikis have set themselves up so that their internal hypertext links are not underlined (I think ca.wiki is one off the top of my head). Is that something easy to do? We in scn.wiki land think that it looks better not being underlined. Anyone got any ideas for us?
Thank you in anticipation - and as the Wiggles say - toot toot chugga chugga!
Yahoo! Mail: gratis 1GB per i messaggi, antispam, antivirus, POP3
In the german Wikipedia we came accross the article
While there was a band of this name in the seventies, the article is being
used to promote a newly founded band from Estonia which does not seem to
have any relation to the original band. Most edits of the article are from
an IP in Estonia.
Interestingly enough the article has been (more or less) translated into
11:55, 26. Jul 2005 Palica K (interwiki Ergänze: tl, lv, ro, th, rm, pl, no,
nn, nl, la, pt, lb, ru, tr, gd, io, ar, ga, ee, gl, id, cs, eo, el, es, eu,
an, ca, it, iu, vi, bn, sh, ur, ast, ks, sl, ku, ms, chr, yi, se, nah, sr,
oc, hi, hu, bs, bg, sk, fi, ang, br, uk, hr, ht)
This seems very fishy and i believe someone is playing a bad game with
Wikipedia and most language version have fallen for it (until now).
At least in the german wikipedia there is also an article about the alleged
front man of the band: [[de:Tony Blackplait]]. It seems that all the facts
mentioned in the article (like films) are fabricated, and when searching for
that name in google all that came up are other Wikis (where the name has for
example been included into an article about Sid Vicious) and mostly wikipedia
copies. You might want to check for similiar fake articles in other
So i would like to make you aware of this. You might want to check the facts
for yourself and maybe delete the article from the various languages.
As it seems this article has been classified as a hoax (and deleted)
earlier in the englisch wikipedia, see:
In the meanwhile the article has been recreated in the english wikipedia,
see [[en:The Flowers of Romance (band 2)]].
It's an insane world, but i'm proud to be a part of it. -- Bill Hicks