[Foundation-l] [WikiEN-l] English Wikipedia ethnocentric policy affects other communities

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Thu Dec 21 19:37:37 UTC 2006

Birgitte SB schreef:
> --- Sam Korn <smoddy at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 12/21/06, Birgitte SB <birgitte_sb at yahoo.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Are there any en.WP editors who believe blocking
>> users
>>> on sight based on their font is not a useful
>> enough
>>> process to be worth breaking SUL for other
>> editors?
>>> Is there anyone outside of en.WP who believes that
>> SUL
>>> is not a useful enough process to be worth
>> creating
>>> bad blood between wikis?
>> Hang on now.  This is a gross oversimplification of
>> the problems that
>> this issue is caused by.
>> Firstly, SUL is a *good thing*.  It will make
>> contributing to
>> Wikimedia easier and more convenient.  I am certain
>> that the *vast*
>> majority of people agree with this and totally
>> support its
>> implementation.
>> However, there are issues that it raises.  No-one
>> wants good editors
>> from, say, the Arabic Wikipedia getting blocked from
>> en.wikipedia
>> because their usernames are incomprehensible to
>> other users of the
>> wiki.  But, on the other hand, there are many
>> Wikipedians who can only
>> read the Latin script (let's face it, this is the
>> vast majority).
>> Should they be expected to identify a username with
>> a user when the
>> username is incomprehensible to them?
>> I can't read Chinese, Japanese, Arabic or Thai
>> scripts.  I would find
>> it *extremely* difficult to tell the difference
>> between a user I knew
>> and a vandal if their names were in one of these
>> scripts.  This is
>> obviously a big problem.  You can't dismiss this in
>> the manner of "oh,
>> those English Wikipedians, they should get over it."
>> This is a serious problem, and other wikis will
>> suffer from it if they
>> get the same concentration of vandalism as the
>> English Wikipedia.  It
>> must not be dismissed.
>> So let's try to satisfy both the need to implement
>> SUL and the
>> problems that this raises.  The current en.wikipedia
>> policy uses a
>> sledgehammer to crack a walnut, that's true enough. 
>>  But rather than
>> ignoring these concerns, how about looking to make
>> this policy
>> unnecessary?
>> -- 
>> Sam
> I said above that brion had said the implementation
> details of SUL was not-negotiable.  I cannot find an
> email by him with the message I remember.  Perhaps
> someone else made that comment, or maybe my mind has
> just started making up email messages in my sleep.  I
> am sorry for the misquote there.
> I was going to start to answer you by quoting the
> non-existant message.  :P I think a technical solution
> to the issue would be great.  The question is first
> which  technical solutions can be developed before SUL
> is implented?  And second which of those options is
> prefered?
> Birgitte SB
The SUL is almost a year late as it is. All issues have been discussed 
at length at the time. Postponing it now it not really an option. There 
is also no capacity to come up with a technical solution. There is even 
no consensus as to what the problem is.

There are those who are dead against the current English language 
Wikipedia policy
There are those that resent the fact that the autonomy of the English 
language Wikipedia is "threatened" because one of its policies is under 
There are those that have pointed out that much of the problem does not 
exist any more
There are those that have pointed out that editors can install missing 
There are those that have pointed out that practically all of the users 
will be respectable users from other language projects
It is sad that the suggestion that people first have to create a user on 
a project in their script is likely not to be possible as we will have 
one user for any projects

There may be a developer who might code some functionality. What he 
writes has to fit in the overall architecture. This means that Brion 
will have to accept it.


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