On 9/24/05, Tim Starling
I created 5 new Wikipedias in June because I
received a request from a
Wikimedia Board member. If I receive another such specific request, I'll
carry it out. I do that out of loyalty to them, not because I think it
contributes to our mission.
I doubt you'll get another such request since I've been told that new
language wikis is not a Board issue and I shouldn't be taking
decisions on these or asking developers to start them. What people
fail to realise is that if the Board doesn't take these decisions (and
perhaps they're right and the Board shouldn't) - then who is going to
take them? There is increasingly resistance to the Board doing
anything, but also resistance to them delegating any authority they
may have had, which is just leading to stagnation. So, who should be
taking the decision on new language wikis (and also on new projects),
especially when no
has ever been agreed upon?
There's no stagnation, Wikipedia is growing faster than ever. I'm happy
to make decisions regarding how I use my time, and I've done so on many
occasions. I'm hardly going to agree to a policy which puts that
decision in the hands of others.
I'm not asking for the Board to approve new language requests, in fact
I'd be happier if they didn't. I'm just saying I'd honour them if they
Arbeo M wrote:
If this the current attitude of Wikipedia's
decision-makers on the issue I'll accept it, of
course. However, I think the fact that Wikipedias for
new languages are created solely upon requests from
Wikimedia board members needs to be annouced to the
"general public". Because, at the moment, most users
don`t seem to be aware of this fact (at least I wasn't
as yet). Several pages like e. g.
still create a very different impression, i. e. that
you _can_ actually have a new WP in your language if
you request it, find supporters, convince the
community etc. Given the reality you just informed me
about, that's quite misleading. I guess we should
change those pages so they don't cause people to put a
lot of time and effort into projects that don't have a
change of success.
Of course it's not announced anywhere, it's a bureaucratic black hole.
We cover up the fact that there is no procedure by pretending the
procedure is just really difficult.
Mark Williamson wrote:
Tim, we're not talking about dead languages or
We're talking about languages that are spoken by real, tangible people
as their everyday native language, and which have at least 5
supporters, native speaker support, and no oposition at all.
Specifically, now people are waiting for Ladino, Waray-Waray, and
Neapolitan. You can look any of them up on Ethnologue if you like.
Waray-Waray and Neapolitan have millions of speakers; Ladino has at
least tens of thousands but might have more.
Literate speakers of Neapolitan can all read Italian. Italian is the
language of instruction in state schools in the area. The same can be
said for Ladino with respect to Turkish or Hebrew. Waray-Waray now
rarely appears in print in its local area, having been displaced by
English, both in local schools and in print.
In all three cases, the majority of speakers are accustomed to obtaining
information in a national language. Even if we create it, the Wikipedia
in Waray-Waray or Neapolitan will never be comparable in size to the
Wikipedia in English or Italian. So regardless of what we do, they'll
have to continue to obtain most of their information in the same way.
The function of these wikis, it seems to me, would be pride rather than
education. That's not the function I volunteered to promote when I
signed up with Wikipedia.
These requests have many supporters, native speaker
(especially in the case of Ladino and Neapolitan, where heaps of
native speakers dropped by to show their support), and no opposition.
There are always many vocal supporters, and there are always people who
are silently opposed. Or rather, they are silent until those in power
give in to the lobby and create new wikis, and then they open up with
ridicule and criticism. We've seen it many times before.
-- Tim Starling