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]]
This Friday's office hours will feature Mike Godwin, the Wikimedia
Foundation's Legal Counsel. If you don't know Mike Godwin, you can
read about him at <http://enwp.org/Mike_Godwin>.
Office hours this Friday are from 2230 to 2330 UTC (3:30PM to 4:30PM
PDT). Mike will also be taking the following Thursday from 1600 to
1700 UTC (9:00AM to 10:00AM PDT).
The IRC channel that will be hosting Mike's conversation will be
#wikimedia-office on the Freenode network. If you do not have an IRC
client, you can always access Freenode by going to
http://webchat.freenode.net/, typing in the nickname of your choice and
choosing wikimedia-office as the channel. You may be prompted to click
through a security warning. Go ahead.
Volunteer Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
Wikimania is an annual global event devoted to Wikimedia projects
around the globe (including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikinews,
Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikimedia Commons, and MediaWiki). The
conference is a community gathering, giving the editors, users
and developers of Wikimedia projects an opportunity to meet each
other, exchange ideas, report on research and projects, and
collaborate on the future of the projects. The conference is open
to the public, and is a chance for educators, researchers,
programmers and free culture activists who are interested in the
Wikimedia projects to learn more and share ideas about the
This year's conference will be held JULY 9-11, 2010 in Gdansk,
Poland at Polish Baltic Philharmonic. For more information, please
visit the official Wikimania 2010 site:
Wikimania 2010 will be a mix of submitted talks, open space
meetings, birds of a feather groups, and lightning talks.
Submissions will be discussed and selected in an informal process
on the wiki. If your submission is not added to the schedule, you
will still have many opportunities to bring topics forward
* Deadline for submitting workshop, tutorial, panel and
presentation proposals: May 20
* Notification of acceptance: May 25 (workshops), May 31
(panels, tutorials, presentations)
* All proposals and presentations will be welcome in the
Open Space track of the conference, whether or not they
are accepted in this initial process.
Submissions will be reviewed informally by a team of volunteers.
This year Wikimania will offer three tracks for submissions for
members of wiki communities and interested observers to share
their own experiences and thoughts and to present new ideas:
People and Community
The People and Community track provides a unique forum for
discussing topics related to people using/building wikis.
Relevant topics include, but are not restricted to, the
* Wiki Community: Conflict resolution and community dynamics;
reputation and identity;
* Wiki Outreach: Promotion of wikis and Wikimedia projects among
the general public;
* North meets south, east meets west: How can people of a
different cultural background create an encyclopedia according
to common rules? Same subject in the eye of different cultures.
* Special: Wikipedia in Central/Eastern Europe: this theme will
provide a forum to present and discuss the latest progress of
Wikis in the central/eastern European community.
Knowledge and Collaboration
The Knowledge and Collaboration track aims to promote research
and find exciting ideas related to knowledge...
* Wiki Content: New ways to improve content quality, credibility;
legal issues and copyrights (is free knowledge free?); use of
the content in education, journalism, research;
* Semantic Wikis: The use of semantic web technologies, linked
data; semantic annotation and metadata (in particular manual
vs. automated approaches).
The Infrastructure track at Wikimania will provide a forum where
both researchers and practitioners can share new approaches,
applications, and explore how to make Wiki access ever more
* MediaWiki development: issues related to MediaWiki development
* Moving beyond MediaWiki: what other Wiki-like platforms exist;
what tools and features do we need for collaboration on
different types of knowledge?
* Mobile Wikis: The Web is moving off the desktop and into mobile
phones, how we use wikis on mobile devices?; wiki-based
Augmented Reality (AR) applications, location based services
* User Interface Design: Usability and user experience;
accessibility, adaptive interfaces and personalization; novel
Please note that Wikimania 2010 is co-located with WikiSym, The
International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration. More
information about WikiSym can be found on the conference website:
SUBMIT A PROPOSAL
To submit a proposal for a presentation, workshop, panel or
tutorial, please visit:
Thank you for helping make Wikimania 2010 a successful event. :-)
See you in Gdansk, July 9-11!
Wikimania 2010 Gdansk
Dear Wikipedia Mailing list,
I am doing some research on the increasing structure in information
transmission and I am very interested to know some information on the
history and growth of infoboxes, or other machine searchable extracted
information, in wikipedia.
Could you tell me, or tell me how to find, the following:
the date of the first infobox on wikipedia?
the rate of increase in infoboxes, or at least the number of infoboxes
at several points in time and the date that number was measured?
The discussion page "How many Wikipedia articles covered by DBpedia?"
gives two such infobox data points and one approximate date, but I want
to flesh out the history a bit.
Thank you very much in advance, and please feel free to ask me if there
is any more information I can provide you with!
Hi everyone -
This is a project presented at Wikipedia Day 2010 at NYU in New York
We presented this as a way to discuss a few of the most
complicated/controversial Wikimedia-related issues that haven't yet
garnered a consensus. It was specifically designed to fix the current
problems with Wikipedia's discuss pages (arguments get very long,
complex, and messy).
What makes a debate here different from one on a standard discuss page?
Statements have a color (green/red) which represents their current
state of consensus (something that's been refuted, for instance, is
red). You can also re-use facts concluded in other debates by other
people - thus allowing the work of debating/reasoning to be
distributed among (potentially) billions of people.
We've created a Wikipedia category for issues surrounding Wikipedia:
We need your feedback...