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]]
I would like to invite you to join a chat about the relationship
between the Wikimedia community and the Open Access movement in
scientific publishing. This will explore issues of licensing, content
sharing, technology, and hopefully result in mutual commitments to
In a nutshell: December 17, 2006; irc.freenode.net; 21:00 UTC; #openaccess
for more (including a link to a web interface for accessing the IRC
channel). I would appreciate it if you would add yourself to the "I
want to attend!" list on the page, so we have an idea how many people
Peace & Love,
DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
Please excuse my ignorance if a proposal such as this one has already
been discussed already (perhaps it's a wrong mailing list) but I could
not find any information about it.
Has it ever been discussed, considered to establish a central database
(in a manner of Commons) to hold information such as for example basic
statistical data about population, area, geographical data etc etc for
towns, cities or even countries? If data like that was to be stored
in one central location it would be possible to link to it from
Wikipedias and it would make it easier to update such data and it
would make it consistent across all projects. Just a quick example,
according to en Wiki the population of Washington DC is 581,530,
German Wiki says it's 548.360, according to French Wiki it's 553 523
and Polish Wiki states it's 582 049.
If data like that was stored in a central location, one could just
update it once and all projects would show the same information. Also
it would make it easy for bots to create articles containing basic
demographical data about towns and localities based on such
Michal "roo72" Rosa
Sorry for cross-posting, but the original message wasn't sent to the
above lists although it affects the users at those projects just as
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elisabeth Anderl <n9502784(a)students.meduniwien.ac.at>
Date: Nov 26, 2007 5:03 PM
Subject: [Wikiquote-l] set pagemoves to autoconfirmed - please read and comment
Dear Wikimedians, please read and comment the following plea, which is
of common interest through WMF-projects:
Many thanks in advance,
Elisabeth Anderl (aka spacebirdy)
Wikiquote-l mailing list
Note: This e-mail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails sent to
this address will probably get lost.
The birth date of the man on nearly all language edition of wikpedia is
Atatürk's DOB (Date Of Birth) is recorded as Rumî calenders 1296 (per
various official documents from Ottoman era). The birth day and month isn't
recorded in any such official documents. Rumi 1296 is the equivalent of the
Gregorian time frame starting from 13 March 1880 to 12 March 1881. Several
historians have made conflicting claims of his DOB (discussed to length in
the linked article) but none of these claims have any common acceptance
behind them. Atatürk's identity card states his DOB as 1881 with no mention
of a day or month.
With his (Atatürk's) approval "19 May", the start of the Turkish
independence war, was attributed as the DOB of Atatürk. Official bio of
Atatürk states the DOB as '19 May 1881' and this is commonly accepted as the
adopted DOB of Atatürk.
This is particularly problematic because 19 May 1881 coincides with Rumî
1297 contradicting official documents from the Ottoman era.
I have mentioned this problem to pl.wikipedia and fr.wikipedia so far. I
corrected it on tr.wikipedia and en.wikipedia. So I am telling y'all now.
Hope you fix it.
- White Cat
we've set up a blog to accompany our annual fundraiser. The headlines
from the blog will be featured in the sitenotice:
I'd like to invite you to submit posts to the blog. These posts can be
provocative, and should give compelling reasons to support the
Wikimedia Foundation. You can draft posts here:
Posts will be selected by a number of people: Cary Bass (our Volunteer
Coordinator), Sandy Ordonez (our Communications Manager), Sue Gardner
(Special Advisor to the Board), and myself. We'll probably try to have
a new post every 2-3 days at least.
Once again, the point of these posts is first and foremost to invite
the general public to donate. :-) Please submit stories in this
If you are willing to act as a moderator for comments to vet out spam
& trolling, please contact Cary Bass at <cbass AT wikimedia DOT org>.
For now, this is an experiment and as such, only in English. We will
set up blogs in other languages if this one has a measurable impact on
Thanks for any and all help!
Member of the Board
Wikitext-l was formed from a recent discussion on wikitech-l about the
need to sanely reimplement the current parser, which is a Horrible
Mess and pretty much impossible to reimplement in another language.
The MediaWiki parser definition is literally "whatever the PHP parser
does." Some of what it does is arguably very wrong, pathological,
magical or just a Stupid Parser Trick. So the list has been formed to
come up with a grammar that defines all the useful parts of the
present parser, and so can be used by anyone to implement a MediaWiki
wikitext parser. This will be useful for other software, for WYSIWYG
editing extensions ... all manner of things.
Some of what some people would think of as a "stupid parser trick" is
in fact important - e.g. L'''uomo'' which renders as L<i>uomo</i>
(necessary for French and Italian).
So: we need to know what MediaWiki quirks are supporting important
constructs in languages other than English (which is the language the
list is in, and is the native language of most of the participants),
and particularly in non-European languages.
This list is unlikely to implement new features, e.g. (an example
brought up by GerardM) the double-apostrophe in Neapolitan. But we
really need to know about present important features that wouldn't be
obvious to an English-speaker going through the present parser code.
This paper was posted to Dbpedia-discussion mailing list by Sören Auer
and it seems and relevant enough to forward (forgive me if you
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sören Auer <auer(a)informatik.uni-leipzig.de>
Date: 9 Nov 2007 14:10
Subject: [Dbpedia-discussion] Paper: Autonomously Semantifying Wikipedia
the paper "Autonomously Semantifying Wikipedia"  by Fei Wu and Daniel
S. Weldjust won the best paper prize at CIKM (ACM Sixteenth Conference
on Information and Knowledge Management) in Lisbon, Portugal.
I just had a short glance at the paper. Their work seems to apply
Machine Learning techniques in order to improve the coverage and quality
of Wikipedia. Regarding the relationship with Wikipedia they say:
The DBpedia system which extracts information from existing infoboxes
within articles and encapsulate them in a semantic form for query. In
contrast, KYLIN populates infoboxes with new attribute values.
This SF.net email is sponsored by: Splunk Inc.
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Dbpedia-discussion mailing list
Oldak Quill (oldakquill(a)gmail.com)
we're filtering out $0.01 donations from the various statistics on the
fundraiser from now on. This means e.g. that
http://donate.wikimedia.org/en/node/22 shows much more accurate data
now, but also that the sitenotice counter has dropped significantly.
Please, if you see people asking about this in various places on the
wikis or mailing lists, explain to them what is going on.
These tiny donations are, apparently, people testing credit cards;
they don't give us anything, but they also don't cost us anything. We
know if there's much else we can do about it.
Toward Peace, Love & Progress:
DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.