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.
On the Moldavian Wikipedia it says for over a month "This wiki has been
closed for now." Is there any outlook on whether 'for now' means 'for ever'
or that it will be re-opened at some time? I am asking because I want to
know what to do with the interwiki for the bot. If the wiki is closed down
for good, I intend to remove them silently; if it will be opened up again
some time soon, I want to keep them in the same way as to 'normal'
Andre Engels, andreengels(a)gmail.com
ICQ: 6260644 -- Skype: a_engels
2007/2/2, Berto 'd Sera <albertoserra(a)ukr.net>:
> BTW, how many editions did even bother translating those damn pillars??
> many non-english wikipedians EVEN JUST KNOW that they exist?
Should all Wikipedias translate the pillars? Why? Would it necessarily work,
if they did?
Most of the projects probably have lots to learn from enwiki, since it is
the oldest project and with all its flaws still somehow works despite its
size. Most projects have at one stage or another imported policy pages and
similar from enwiki, or from another wiki that took it from enwiki. Today
however, whatever rules that should be imposed on all projects should come
from the WMF, not English Wikipedia.
The five pillars  is, to my knowledge, a compilation of basic policy
created on English Wikipedia. There are other enwiki policy compilations as
well, but it seems the pillars is the one most commonly referred to. I once
a board member ,what policy a Wikipedia has to follow, and got the answer
that probably these are only three: that the content should be free (GFDL),
encyclopaedic and neutral. You can compare the pillars with for instance the
foundation issues page at meta  which, interestingly, mentions the "wiki
process" - a badly defined concept that may or may not be identical to the
basic consensus based process of a wiki  and that is not mentioned in the
The project that I have been most active at has a compilation of "basic
principles"  very similar to the pillars with one exception. This wiki
never imported or reinvented "Ignore all rules", which is the fifth of the
enwiki pillars. I don't think there is anything that tries to make them, or
tells them they should, import that concept from English Wikipedia. I
personally believe they might gain from doing so, but that is another issue
- and a process of much larger scope, and much more painful, than simply
translating a page. Personally I believe the concensus process a.k.a. wiki
process is equally important as Ignore all rules, and deserves a central
place in whatever policy compilation you have. Others might disagree, of
Since it is not coming throuh on foundation-l I put it here.
I personally have pictures of many Thai moviestars, comedians and
singers (I perform as a comedian almost everyday myself and meet them,
live in tv-shows and when I play in movies), and it would be easy for me
to make pictures on request (especially of all Thai comedians) as I know
where to find many of them. But what makes me hesitating from uploading
to commons is a couple of things ....
1) Non Thai people will not know them so they will probably be deleted
from commons in no time, it would take time for the Thai and other
communities to write articles on them as info on them is scarce and in
English virtually non existing. (of most I wouldn't even be able to give
their names, I know they are on tv regularly though)
2) I have seen people "upgrade" pictures resulting in horrible colours
on paintings and other pictures. Usually this means imho pictures get
3) I do not want these pictures to be used commercially (although I
could solve this by uploading low quality small pictures)
I also have pictures of Indian moviestars: Dharmendra Deol, Bobby Deol ,
Sunny Deol, Shilpa Shetty and a lot of others with whom I played in the
movie Apne. But the above reason keeps me from uploading to commons. I
feel that many people have pictures of stars but they hesitate to upload
them for some of the same reasons.
Two legal changes in France, one working for us, one against us:
1) Wartime copyright extensions
Before 1995, the normal duration of copyright in France was 50 years
after the death of the author, or after publication in the case of
collective or anonymous works. However, there were special extensions
meant to compensate the world wars. Due to European "harmonization" of
laws, the normal duration was extended to 70 years (following Germany, I
think). The lingering question was whether the war extensions still
applied. The French Court of Cassation
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_of_Cassation> said they didn't (at
least in the case where extensions didn't start to elapse before 1995,
but those who did will be over in 2009 or so). A yet unsolved question
is the case of the 30 year extensions for authors killed in action (the
only major author that comes to mind is Antoine de Saint Exupéry
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_de_Saint_Exup%C3%A9ry>, of /Little
Wikimedia France is having its counsel investigate the exact
implications of this evolution. In any case, it seems that the situation
is better for us.
For the curious, the relevant articles are in the Code of intellectual
property, L123-1, -8, -9 and -10, and in rulings 280 and 281 of the
Court of Cassation, first civil chamber, for 2007.
2) Repression of 'happy slapping'
The French parliament has just passed a law aimed at preventing
delinquence. Among a gazillion of measures on diverse issues more or
less related to delinquence, the Senate passed an amendment aimed at
repressing 'happy slapping'. 'Happy slapping' is basically youngsters
beating up people, filming the scene with cell phones, and broadcasting
the movie in order to humiliate the victim.
Unfortunately, the wording of the amendment was broad, and basically
criminalized against filming or broadcasting the film of certain kinds
of violences, unless one does so for gathering evidence for legal
proceedings, or as part of the normal work of a *profession* whose goal
is to inform the public.
In short, they have outlawed normal citizens (not professional
journalists) video reporting on certain kinds of violences. This could
prove a problem for Wikipedia, Commons and Wikinews contributors; for
instance, if reporting on police violence.
Wikimedia France contacted officials, who claimed that this was not the
intent; the only target was happy slapping, and that if we had called
them earlier they would have the amendment altered.
Now, several good things can still happen :
* The opposition has had the law sent for constitutional review. It is
possible that this article will get constitutional "reservations of
interpretation" that will clarify the situation of non professionals.
* The government will perhaps clarify the issue; that is, make it clear
that the intent of this article is not to punish non professionals
reporting on events with a goal to inform the public.
* Even if the law is accepted as is, prosecutors may get orders not to
enforce it against non professionals who merely meant to inform.
* Judges may also decide the same, if they feel there is a superior need
of freedom of speech.
Finally, do not forget that there are legislative elections 3 months
away or so, and this law may go 'pschitt' if the current opposition wins.
In any case, I don't expect actual prosecution of "citizen journalists",
though I envision as a credible possibility that overzealous police may
want to get rid of undesirable reporters using this law. Even if you are
prosecuted or sentenced in the end, being taken into police custody is
Wikimedia France tries to get informed on that issue.
Expert: Wikipedia Won't Go Away, So Learn How to Use It
Contact: Maggie Morris, maggiemorris(a)purdue.edu; Sorin Matei, smatei(a)purdue.edu
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Feb. 23 /Standard Newswire/ -- The popularity of
Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online
collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research
rather than as the final word, says a Purdue University communications
"Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern
grading policies and restrictions on its use," says Sorin A. Matei, an
assistant professor in the Department of Communication. "But Wikipedia
is here to stay and, despite penalties, people are likely to continue
Begun in 2001, Wikipedia is a popular online reference tool that
allows Internet users to add and edit entries.
Matei recommends Wikipedia be used as a search engine that acts as a
springboard to other resources and that it never be cited as a primary
source of information. But before starting an Internet search, Matei
urges users to consult with a professional who can help focus their
research topic. After narrowing the topic, those in an academic
environment should then search for more literature on major article
databases from institutional organizations, such as ProQuest or
"Many of the papers found on these databases are reviewed by highly
qualified individuals and institutions," Matei says. "They are not
just very powerful and accessible search engines, they are also
excellent filters of information that can be easily sorted by topics,
subjects and time."
After a broader Internet search, Matei says the Wikipedia page can be
used to help clarify some specific questions or terms that the initial
research process has not been able to resolve. However, when using
Wikipedia, the user should be on the lookout for possible errors and
biases. Matei says a number of strategies can be used to uncover any
bias or incorrect data that might be present, such as:
* Read the text carefully. Misspelling or poor grammar in
Wikipedia entries could indicate that the information was added by a
* Check for missing well-known features of a particular story or concept.
* Value statements or citations that aren't credited are almost
* When Wikipedia entries justify value or factual statements by
making reference to specific sources, the authority of the sources
should always be checked using a number of criteria, including: Is the
source cited from an institutional Web page or a formal publication of
recognized academic, research, education or scholarly institution,
such as a university, academic publishing house or journal site? Is
the source reference complete? Does the source have an author or is it
* The Wikipedia label "controversial" posted at the top of the
article might indicate that the topic has created conflict and debate.
* There may be conflict among contributors even if the article is
not labeled "controversial." Signs of conflict can be found under the
"history" or "discussion" tabs that come with any Wikipedia entry.
FN M: 0091 9822122436 P: +91-832-240-9490 (after 1300IST please)
What bloggers are saying about Goa: http://planet.goa-india.org/
I have a couple of questions.
First of all, in what circumstances should an admin block another admin?
Second of all, is it somehow "dishonest" for an admin to unblock
themselves when they honestly believe they have done nothing wrong?
Does it make them untrustworthy if they do not observe a block imposed
upon them by another admin?
Third of all, isn't it considered wheel-warring if one admin
constantly tries to block another, who constantly unblocks themselves?
If this occurs, who is in the wrong? The blocking admin, I would
I ask this because I am being repeatedly blocked on the Navajo
Wikipedia by a new admin who seems to have popped up out of nowhere
(despite an interesting history on the English Wikipedia and
elsewhere), Jeff Merkey.
The reasons he gave for blocking me were legal threats (later
clarified as "legal baiting", referring to me saying "hopefully you're
not going to ... sue me for libel", referring to what I perceive to be
a history of legal threats on the English Wikipedia, while this phrase
may not be exactly "nice", I hardly think it violates NLT),
sockpuppetry (to be more specific, he has accused me of cross-Wiki
sockpuppetry, rather than having two different usernames or accounts
at the same Wiki), and personal attacks (after having called me a
spammer, a vandal, and a troll, he's certainly one to talk).
He also said "stay off this wiki for the next couple of weeks ... and
think about ... why I or any other editor could place our trust in an
Admin who unblocks themselves", leading me to wonder what the expected
response is when one admin blocks another.
A few days ago, he also requested this: "Please stop wheel warring
with me. It is not allowed." which begs the question: doesn't it take
two admins to wheel war?
He has accused me of "breaking the rules" many times, but when I ask
him for a citation of which rules have been broken, he simply tells me
again that I am "breaking the rules" and that he will not tolerate it.
Back again to the main topic, I have not actually blocked him. If he
were not an admin, I likely would've at least already given him
several warnings for his extensive personal attacks, but I for one
recognize that admins need to be afforded a greater deal of leeway and
of course that it would be pointless anyhow as he can simply unblock
Considering the fact that his only contributions at all to that Wiki
so far have been harassing me and reverting the work of the communist
vandal (which I could have done just as easily), I am wondering why he
was made an admin in the first place, since he is obviously not very
good at the language (I admit it is not my native language either, but
he does not seem to know more than a couple words).
But I digress, the main issue of this post is intended to be the issue
of admins blocking one another; I got off on a tangent, but I feel I'm
perfectly capable of handling the rest of this situation myself
through diplomacy since he claims to have some valuable resources for
the development of nv.wp.
Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.
I am studying your problematic system.
Why are you eager to hide all the contents of Unblock-en-l suddenly?
Why "within one week"?
>From: Luna <lunasantin(a)gmail.com>
>Subject: Important notice -- please confirm your unblock-en-l subscription
>Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 23:52:37 -0800
Dear unblock-en-l subscriber,
We've recently decided to establish some membership criteria for this
mailing list, and are in the process of removing subscriptions which do not
meet those criteria. In particular, we need to associate your email address
with a particular Wikipedia account or identity. In order to do that,
please click on this link:
PLEASE use "unblock-en-l identification" as your subject heading, to allow
faster processing of your email.
Do not email the user directly -- you MUST use the Special:Emailuser
feature, or your identity will not be confirmed.
If you have not replied to this message within one week, your subscription
will be cancelled. You can request to re-join the list at any time. We
apologize for this inconvenience, but hope that you understand the need for
privacy and security, given the sensitive personal information that is
sometimes discussed on this mailing list.
I don't believe it.
Luna, Prodego, Mindspillage( Kat Walsh ) and/or essjay are abusing
ALL ADMINs MUST make public and clear their identities in the first place.
The makers of "24 hours on craigslist" have a new project: "Truth in
Numbers: The Wikipedia Story", a documentary chronicling the rise and
controversy behind the world's most popular encyclopedia.
While producer Michael Ferris Gibson ('24 hours on craigslist') and
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green ('The Weather Underground') helm the
production from San Francisco, you can check out the crew's continuing video
podcasts from the road and other information about the film here:
As Wikipedia is a global phenomenon-- recently becoming one of the top ten
websites in the world-- director Nic Hill ('Piece by Piece') is currently
traveling the planet with the crew of Underdog Productions, interviewing
Wikipedians and experts on free digital knowledge. If you know any
wikiheads he should interview give him a hollar at
Best of all, the film's website is actually itself a wiki for the production
(currently hosted at Wikia and maintained by the good folks at Object
Adjective); feel free to contribute ideas, interviewee suggestions,
locations, even your own audio and video to the production! In the spirit
of free information, this is a non-profit project; so take comfort in
knowing that your contributions will go the worthy cause of exploring one of
the most important phenomena of our time!