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]]
Maybe this should go on Meta, but I want to see comments here, first.
As I can see, there are two ways of mass content adding. The first one
includes generation of articles based on some public data (for example
NASA, National Geospatial Inteligence Agency, French government etc.)
Now, this is almost usual way for mass content adding and I think that
a number of us have some experience with such work.
The other way is adding content using English Wikipedia. English
Wikipedia has a lot of categorized articles, a lot of templates etc.
All these typical forms can be used for automatic content creation on
I think that idea of having a thousends of articles with a couple of
sentences and good categorization about a lot of fields -- can be very
helpful not only to small Wikipedias, but also for spreading free
knowledge. I think that it would be a great day for us when people
which native language is Mongolian will be able to read about places
in Amazon and movies from Australia in their native language. And,
this is possible to do much faster then we think.
And not only that: bots should be able to update information; bots
should be able to do more things through time. Finally, it would be
possible to start with knowledge transfer between Wikipedias in
different languages: if we have the same methodology on different
Wikipedias, we would be able to update data semi-automatic (up to full
However, this needs a number of people who are interested in such project:
(1) We would need people who know to work with bots (pywikipediabot or
(2) We would need make software based on the bot core which would have
to be localized: like MediaWiki should be localized; this software
should have sentences like "<movie> is movie made in <year> in
<country>. Genre of that movie is <genre>. Director was <director>..."
in a number of languages.
(3) We would need good and quality work on English Wikipedia. Rules
like "this goes to the table, that goes to the template up, this goes
to template in the middle" should be more or less strict (but, I see
that people are working in such way on en:).
This is RFC. I am looking for your comments.
The conflict at the Moldovan Wikipedia has reignited.
A new user made a page called "Alegeri" (elections).
It starts with him espousing his POVs.
The requirements of the vote are:
1) You have to speak Romanian/Moldovan "adequately". Whether or not
your skills are "adequate", is to be judged by this particular user
2) You have to have at least 25 contributions on the Moldovan
Wikipedia... OR the Romanian Wikipedia!!!
Now, that strikes me as inherently unfair. Romanian Wikipedians are
allowed to vote, sort of like a free pass? But no other Wikimedians??
It's not the ROmanian Wikipedia after all, it's the Moldovan
You may argue all you want about whether or not Moldovan and Romanian
are a single language, whether or not that Wikipedia should exist, but
to let everybody from one Wiki vote for the future of another one, but
nobody from any other wikis may participate, seems inherently unfair.
The same user has been very... shall we say, "headstrong". He moved
dozens and dozens of pages from Cyrillic titles to Latin titles
(instead of creating brand-new pages in Latin), and replaced their
entire contents with direct copy from ro.wiki, systematically. He
obviously didn't even review his work, because many images were broken
because the image tag for ro: ([[imagine:...]]) doesn't work on
mo.wiki (you have to use the default, [[image:...]]).
Now, so far, of all the people who voted, the vast majority are
Romanians. How is that fair? Romanians get to decide the future of the
Moldovan Wikipedia, but no *other* foreigners may weigh in?
Well, maybe some Romanians don't see themselves as foreigners, but in
the eyes of the world, they are. And besides, very clearly, there are
two separate subdomains. Whether or not Romanians are Moldovans and
vice-versa, very clearly most ro.wikipedians are NOT mo.wikipedians,
though a few are.
Your thoughts, please?
Also, I encourage everybody to vote. I explained it at the enwiki
brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com) wrote:
> I've disabled the ability to use blank passwords on wiki accounts.
> For a long time we treated accounts very laxly in this regard; there generally
> wasn't _that_ much reason to secure a casual account unless you were one of the
> tiny number of sysops.
> In recent years though the number of sysops has exploded, and we've added
> really annoying if someone gets into your account and messes with them. As a
> small concession to security and accountability, it's time for blank passwords
> to go.
> While running some password security checks, I found that a handful of sysop
> accounts had blank passwords. Probably some non-sysop accounts also had blanks.
> Affected accounts can reset the password by the automated e-mail
> password gadget on the login form, unless of course they didn't put in an e-mail.
This is seriously wrong. It should be completely reversed.
A lot of people have just lost their account because of this,
and it wasn't even announced that it was coming.
This part of the problem could be reduced if the change was
announced in advance.
However, that's not the full problem.
Many people use blank or trival passwords and don't give their emails.
This is completely reasonable, as it's very hard to remember just
another password (and reusing passwords on different websites is about
as bad as having none),
and even if spamming wasn't a problem, why the heck would any website
need their email in the first place ?
So, while dictionary-checking sysops' passwords make a lot of sense,
there's very little point in limiting passwords of the non-privileged accounts.
(and yeah, /me just lost 2 (rarely used) accounts on fr.wp and de.wp)
It's an absolute disgrace that it should be allowed to continue. It's been clear to me for a while that the large wikipedias are as much about furthering western hegemony as anything else. NPOV generally means making western civilisation look like the absolute pinnacle, POV is when one dares challenge this hegemony. Write about vikings or celts and you can say anything you want without ever being challenged, dare suggest that something originated in the mediterranean, and all hell breaks loose. Basic premise of NPOV? Civilisation flows from north to south and west to east, don't you ever dare suggest that it has been in the reverse in the past!
You think I am exaggerating - for starters try checking out the article on race and IQ, to me it looks like a gathering point for white supremists - but hey, who am I to question that? Add a graph, quote the odd looney tune scientist, and presto, you have an idiotic article that absolutely crashes through the POV barrier. It laughably suggests that as a matter of course, the average monolingual, barely literate, uncultured Homer Simpson has on average a 50% greater IQ than the average sub-saharan African - let's get real people! NPOV indeed.
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 22:59:23 +0700
From: Walter van Kalken
Subject: [Wikipedia-l] Insulting the islam is allowed on nl: wikipedia
To: wikipedia-l(a)Wikimedia.org, Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
On nl: wikipedia we have a user (Torero) who under him quoting the
rights of freedom of speech is insulting the islam and everyone who
doesn't think like him on a regular basis.
Today he wrote:
Allah Akbar is almost the same as Heil Hitler.
This is not the first time he did this. He has insulted the islam and
muslims on multiple occasions. Also he constantly accuses people of
being leftwing etc.
Unfortunately this is "tolerated" on nl: by the mods and anyone else who
do not dare to pose an opposition against these kind of users. And
everytime he apologises some time later. But what does an apology count
for if he keeps on repeating himself time and time again. And again a
user who happens to be muslim is going on wikibreak because of this.
Freedom of speech ?????
Yahoo! Mail: gratis 1GB per i messaggi, antispam, antivirus, POP3
I have seen a request form a person who has a entry on the English
language Wikipedia to remove his date of birth because he fears identity
theft. He is a USA-citizens.
At first glance that seems to me a very strange reason to request to
remove that information. How can you steal someones identity??
>From the day of my bright until the day that I day that I die all my
movements are tracked in the national population register of Belgium. I
have a electronic identity card, a electronic national medical insurance
card. Most databaseses of the government functions are interconnected to
exchange information about the citizens. There is not much the
government does not know. (*) So how the hell can you steal some ones
But I understand that things are very, very different in the USA
regarding that. That there no way to verify someone identify. That you
can get a visa-card whit a drivers licence ID and a drivers licence with
the Visa-card as identification. And that this is also the reason that
Americans are not enthusiastic to give you there bank account number
because there is no good protection against abuse.
So when you look at it that way I would be scared also for identify
theft if I where living in the USA.
Would it not be reasonable to consider the local circumstances when
putting information in the articles?
Contact: walter AT wikizine DOT org
Wikizine.org - news for and about the Wikimedia community
I would like to know which are the pre-requisites for opening a wikipedia in
a language not covered yet.
I'm sure the answer must be in some place. I've been looking for this
information on wikipedia itself and in the previous postings to this lists,
but it's still not clear to me.
Thanks and regards.
First off pardon me if this is not the right list for posting this question.
I am new to wikipedia mailing list.
I have just downloaded the wikipedia en dump and am trying to cofigure
wikipedia on my local server. I have mysql and php on windows 2003 server. I
installed mediawiki and have extracted the wikipedia en dump file which gave
me an xml file (4 GB).
When I tried importing the dump to mysql using importDump.php, the process
started fine. But when the record count reached 18600, the process stopped
with the following error. I wonder what could be the problem? Any help in
this regard is highly appreciated.
By the way, the wikipedia dump file is the current version and not the
complete one. The zip file is around 900 MB in size.
Here are the last few lines from the output
18400 (23.2640009615 pages/sec 23.2614722657 revs/sec)
18500 (23.2941692512 pages/sec 23.2916509627 revs/sec)
18600 (23.3273356919 pages/sec 23.3248273763 revs/sec)
XML import parse failure at line 1672638, col 154 (byte 145084928; ""): no
brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com) wrote:
> Tomasz Wegrzanowski wrote:
>> So, while dictionary-checking sysops' passwords make a lot of sense,
>> there's very little point in limiting passwords of the
> At the moment we don't have a separate switch for sysops, nor any control which
> would prevent blank-password accounts from being made into sysops. I'd rather
> risk disabling a few accounts temporarily than keep the incredibly dangerous
> sysop accounts open (which could be used potenially to great destructive effect).
Could you elaborate on the "temporarily" part ?