On Sat, 30 Oct 2004 11:57:42 -0700, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net> wrote:
Mark Williamson wrote:
On Sat, 30 Oct 2004 07:37:19 +0100, Angela
On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 23:20:37 -0700, Mark
Williamson <node.ue(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I'd like to request a new Wikipedia for the
I don't feel that one person who admits to being rarely online is
enough to justify the creation of a new language Wikipedia.
If you read it, you'll see that this person claims to have another
Friulian person interested in working on it.
The big problem here is that it's neither of these two people who are
carrying the advocacy. Both supports appear passive. These people are
likely to write a few very good articles, but they are not the people
who are likely to carry on to make the wiki operational for other
Friulian speakers. I would feel much warmer to the idea if this request
were being made by a Friulian speaker. Often if you ask someone whether
they would be willing to help with a project you will get a very polite
yes, but that does not easily translate into real work.
That brings up another thing. What's the big problem if we have a
nearly empty Wikipedia for a while? How much space does that take up?
As long as we aren't having heaps of requests to such a degree that we
need a screening process so that we don't end up with 300 new
Wikipedias by the end of the year, what's the huge problem?
As Andre noted, Friulian is a natural language with thousands of
native speakers. There is no practical reason to not create a Friulian
Wikipedia, at least not that I can think of.
This would be
my third request for an Italian minority language
Wikipedia... having requested only a few Wikis, I find it quite
strange that three of them should be Italian minority languages (1.
Sardinian sc:, 2. Sicilian scn:, 3. Friulian)
Sardinian and Sicilian have only 28 articles between them. The lack of
success of these so far should be taken into account when deciding
whether another minority language should be started without a more
significant number of supporters willing to edit that Wikipedia.
Sardinian is admittedly a dud. Sicilian is still growing steadily, and
I'm sure they'd not appreciate the not-so-nice things you seem to
think of them.
Mark, how many articles have you contributed to either of these?
Why do you ask? To the Sardinian Wikipedia, I did the mainpage and
fixed some minor things in the few articles that were created by
others. If I spoke Sardinian myself, there would no doubt be at least
30 articles by now and probably more.
To the Sicilian Wikipedia, I've not actually created content although
I have provided constant support to Giuseppe d'Angelo.
I propose we adopt Wikitravel's policy of requiring
at least five
potential contributors before starting a new language. See
Hmm, how many of the Wikipedias with currently over 100 articles
started out with more than 5 contributors? From personal experience
alone, I can guarantee you that lb: (with currently over 1000
articles) and kw: (with currently over 200 articles) did not, and I'm
sure many or even most other Wikipedias are in the same situation.
I don't particularly think that the 5 contributor proposal is the best.
If they are all passive it will still get nowhere. Having even just one
person who is both willing and able to do the work goes a lot further,
especially if that person has a proven track record in one of the other
wikis, perhaps even sysop experience. And even so that should be the
person making the request, not Mark.
Note Andre's statistics:;
"Looking at the statistics
I find only 6 Wikipedia languages with 5 contributors in the first
month of their 'real' existence: en, he, fa, ast, be and tokipona. In
the second month this was reached by de, pl, fi, bg, ro, uk, ur. For
all other Wikipedias there was more difference between the time of
their first and their fifth user, although in reality there may be
some more because there might be non-registered users as well."
If we were to adopt a policy as severe as WikiTravel's, or even more
severe as you are advocating, we might be without some of our largest
definition of "potential contributors" means all the people
who speak the language and have Internet access, which in the case of
Friulian is well over 5.
What fraction of the world's English speaking population is currently
involved in the en:Wikipedia or any other English language sister project?
How is that relevant? We are talking about "potential contributors".
And how many
people speak Kannada? Is it a language with only a couple
hundred thousand speakers, like some of our active Wikipedias with
over 100 (or even 1000) articles? No... not really... Well, what about
under 1 million? No, not really. Under 10 million? Not really.
Far more than speak Friulian.
How is that relevant? What I'm saying is that kn.wikipedia was
preexisting, and that it only had one or two people when it got off
Just as if we
required people on en: to request a new article we would
have much fewer articles, it takes more time and effort and may be
confusing to some to figure out how to request a new language.
Educated Friulians also speak Italian. Educated Karnatakans also speak
And educated French people often speak English. Do you advocate that
we get rid of the French Wikipedia? I certainly don't.
And how are
they to know if there are already two people who would be
interested in the creation of such a Wikipedia?
By discussing it with the people they know.
I meant, two people who have already supported it.
If you are
interested in multilingualism, internationalism, and
ultimately the building of an NPOV encyclopaedic resource in *any*
language, it makes no sense to advocate such restrictions.
These "restrictions" are designed to promote the idea that a new wiki
should have a chance to succeed.
Regardless of what they're designed to do, they do exactly the
opposite. See again Andre's statistics.
But if we
pursue such a policy, I do believe a fork with more liberal
policies regarding multilingualism is in order
What makes you think that the operators of this hypothetical fork will
not face the same problems?
What problems? What problems are preventing us from adding languages
like Friulian just because somebody requests them, especially when we
have (sometimes inactive) Wikipedias for Klingon, Latin, Sanskrit (it
has native speakers now though), Toki Pona, Lojban, Occidental?
Do you mean the problem of people objecting to the creations of new
Wikipedias? That would easily be solved by a pre-existing policy that
allowed for more liberal multilinguistic activity.
If we deny such
to them, then I can no longer in good faith claim to support this
organisation fully and will consider creating a new site and a new
foundation with similar principles but with a stronger interest in
having policies more greatly favouring multilingualism than what you
You absolutely have that right, but I doubt that it will go beyond
And I'm sure it _will_ go beyond "consider". In fact, I am currently
searching for a host for the project, and if I can't find somebody who
can host it for free, then I will spend my own money on good hosting
for it because this is something that matters to me.