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.
How can anybody say that Yury Tarasievich and his project is about
language, not about politics, after such a letter? No facts, just
insults and speculations.
> You are an entity, yes, set out to destroy the existing Belarusian
> language and culture and replace it with your version -- okay, your
> right. But get yourself your own blessed language code for that.
This speculation with such aggressive words doesn't help your case, it
can only make your case worse. I don't even hope any more that you
understand that your outrageous insults are absurd. You just dig a pit
for yourself by your own hands.
> Some years ago I witnessed a creation of one of such sites you call
> "proofs". So, there was 1 tech and 1 editor, who re-edited everything
> incoming (like 90+% or even 99% in standard Belarusian and Russian)
> into his flavour of "classic". It was politics. Thousands pages (and I
> mean real thousands, there was sort of 4800 or so) of pages. And...
> grant money. I could add -- near to zero interest, excepting the
> indexing bots.
Another great example of lies. Where could they get any incoming in
"norm" if people just don't write in it?
My user name is borgx from Indonesian Wikipedia.
I would like to ask the strategy used for English Wikipedia in
monitoring their recent changes. As far as I'm concern it has thousands
of edits an hour (exact numbers escape me)
My questions are:
1. Did you ever miss an edit?
2. If yes, what if they were vandals edit? What is your solution for these?
Indonesian Wikipedia now has approx. 1,300 edits per day and the numbers
will only grow in time. Although the numbers (comparing to yours)
considered low, we also have a very limited number of sysops --
specially when out of 14 syspops, we only have a few active ones and
during their monitoring period -- which is not a continuous-- they only
check the top 50 or 100 and go about and did something else. These
actions leaves gap out of the 1,300 edits a day + we have no mechanism
that gives an information to public user saying " the changes had been
checked" so we might be checking the same thing several time.
I understand that we have a "patrolled edit" mechanism, but this
mechanism is not going well this time because new users may edit
something up to 20 times in a certain time and we need to marked
patrolled edit 20 times <-- this is not practical. (I have submitted bug
8697 for this but there's no action from developer for my request).
This mail was scanned by Trend Micro IMSS 5.5
Running at e-intidata.com mail server
As a few of you may know, about 5 weeks ago some new guidelines were
put into place on meta for the IRC channel #wikipedia. At the same
time, the operator access list for the channel was emptied and started
The changes were quite unpopular, to say the least. A discussion
thread was started about them on the foundation-l mailing list, but
probably should have been started on wikipedia-l.
Now that I am back from my holiday, I have opened a review discussion
about the guidelines on their talk page on meta, which you can access
at the follow URL:
I would very much appreciate the input there of all people who have an
interest in the guidelines, and indeed any users of the
Wikipedia-affiliated IRC channels on Freenode.
surfing on hy.wikipedia (Armenian I think) I've noticed that the logo
has been coulored with the national flag colours. Not having a clue on
Armenian, I'm not sure if this is only a temporary change (National
Holidays?) or a permanent change. I think it shouldn't be allowed in the
latter case, since wikipedia is about languages and not countries.
Hi, I'm the hy:wp admin that Berto 'd Sera (thanks for doing this!).
The logo was uploaded by another admin, and there was no nationalistic
idea behind this, as far as I can tell (definitely not in the sense
discussed in this thred). There is a very strong language to nation to
ethnos relationship (correlation) when it comes to Armenian
(Armenians, Armenia), and the flag can and is frequently used as a
symbol of all the three. While I certainly understand the sentiment
(wp edition is for language not nation), this point was never
considered around the logo, since, quite honestly, I don't think
anyone took the logo to be a nationalistic stamp on wikipedia (and
many users did approve it after the upload).
My own concern with the logo was around the issue of copyright, the
logo being copyrighted by the WM, which was discussed on hy:wp. So
after trying the IRC, and not getting a certain answer about the logo
policies, I contacted the OTRS and received the following reply:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Wikipedia information team <info-en(a)wikimedia.org>
> Date: Jun 13, 2007 10:21 PM
> Subject: Re: [Ticket#2007061410001127] Wikipedia logo modification > policies
> To: teak <teak.wiki(a)gmail.com>
> Dear teak,
> Thank you for your mail.
> teak <teak.wiki(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> > Are there any policies, or established practice about allowing
> > modification of Wikimedia's projects' logos? The specific question
> > that I have is about modifying the image part of "Wiki.png" on local
> > Wikipedias, e.g. is http://uz.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Wiki.png an
> > allowed modification of the copyrighted image, even if it's being > > used
> > on one of Wikimedia's projects?
> > This question has come up in the Armenian Wikipedia around the issue
> > whether http://hy.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Wiki.png is allowed.
> > Thanks,
> > teak.
> > hy:User:Teak
> Try reading http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Uses_of_logo_derivatives, > but they
> are generally allowed. I remember the Russians adding an award > they got to
> their logo and was allowed.
> Yours sincerely,
> Zachary Harden
So I guess a better logo policy outline may help others in similar
situations. In any case, the modified logo is coming out, I'll change
back to the usual one shortly.
From: wikipedia-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:wikipedia-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Florence
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 6:20 PM
To: wikipedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
Subject: Re: [Wikipedia-l] National flag on wikipedia logo
Marco Chiesa wrote:
> surfing on hy.wikipedia (Armenian I think) I've noticed that the logo
> has been coulored with the national flag colours. Not having a clue on
> Armenian, I'm not sure if this is only a temporary change (National
> Holidays?) or a permanent change. I think it shouldn't be allowed in the
> latter case, since wikipedia is about languages and not countries.
Whilst I am supportive of temporary (as in "24 hours") fun logo for
special events, setting up a permanent derivative logo is really wrong,
in particular when it refers to a nation.
Can someone talk to them and explain to them it is not okay to do this ?
I would be interested to know the process followed which led to such a
decision. Might it reflect internal bias or a misunderstanding of the
nature of our project ?
Hi all there,
I want to create a new version of Wikipedia in my mother language,
Valencian, but I don't know how to do it. I've searched for my language
and I haven't found it. Anybody can help me? I've a lot of friends
anxious for writing in our language.
Thank you very much and sorry about my english......
>> Two days is a reasonable amount of time for someone who knows what he is
>> doing to do a complete MediaWiki localisation. Experience suggests that when
>> the terminology is not readily available, it can take a week. A week as in
>> amount of time spend on the job not as in within a week it is ready.
What I need to read for begin?
> The problem is that even once localised, we have a confusing and
> complex interface program and markup language to teach them!
The markup language is as complex as TeX?
> It's not simply a matter of getting all the labels right -
Where can I find a reference of these labels?
> the user interface
> is a pretty sharp learning curve to the uninitiated or the
> technologically inexperienced.
>Language localisation is a necessary precondition, but it's not the
Finally, where can I find a How-to for this (not localisation, but
the other issue)?
I am writing to ask about promoting (and to promote) the 'MetaBase'
project http://BioDatabase.Org - a MediaWiki run "database of biological
databases". This is a 'non-foundation' project run under the 'BioWiki'
collection of BioPedias - http://BiO.CC
I am not sure if this is the correct list to contact (and apologies if
it isn't), but I am interested in information regarding the promotion
of MediaWiki based projects. Like any user contributed resource, the
site needs contributors to be worth anything. I would like to find out
about where and how to try to attract users, and to ask members of
this list if they are interested in looking at this project.
I will be promoting the project to biologists via the 'bioinformatics
bulletin board' run at http://Bioinformatics.Org but the project
really needs people who know MediaWiki inside out, have experience
with working on large community projects, and who are willing to help
out with this kind of work.
Any suggestions on how to better promote this project are very welcome!