[Foundation-l] Proposal: LiteratePrograms.org as Wikimedia Project

Brianna Laugher brianna.laugher at gmail.com
Mon Apr 30 02:14:27 UTC 2007

Literate Programs is a very cool and useful project, and could
certainly sit well under the WMF umbrella with regards to things like
NPOV and educational/informational value. But the idea of WMF
subsuming another project, as opposed to starting one from the ground
up, is not one I had considered before. It's not obvious to me that
just because we could subsume a project with suitable qualities, we
should. Are we aiming to host every such suitable project? Probably
there are a good many out there that would fit with us, right?

> WMF would be able to give the project sustainable hosting and exposure
> to a vast community. What do you think? If there is no consensus, I'd
> be willing to organize a community poll as we did for other projects,
> but I really see very little that speaks against LP becoming part of
> the WMF project family.

Exposure to a vast community == thinning of our existing communities,
and probably mostly from already-small communities in WB, WV, WS. If
LP is struggling in terms of user community, will joining WMF actually

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong but I'm kinda thinking, "What's in it
for us?" I love Literate Programs. But it doesn't have to be part of
WMF for me to love it.

I guess this also makes me think, does the WMF have goals for the
projects? Aside from the Foundation level stuff like copyrights and
NPOV. Wikipedia is obviously wildly successful, so let's leave it
aside. Does have a position about how development of the other
projects should go? If they languish in obscurity, or a rival
commercial enterprise with a similar-enough aim becomes wildly
popular, does that matter? Does it reflect badly on WMF if projects
have to close due to lack of interest, or struggle in the beginning?

I guess it does matter, because it's hard to meet the goal of
disseminating free knowledge/content if no one's ever heard of you.

Signs of success, aside from site popularity, for Wikibooks and
Wikiversity are relatively clear to me - publication-level quality and
use in educational institutions. Wiktionary - hmm. Wiktionary is a bit
like Wikipedia, in that when it is complete enough, it will be useful
enough, and it will become the standard reference on the web.
Wikiquote - ????
Wikisource - ???? (similar to Wikibooks and Wikiversity?)
Wikispecies - ???? (similar to Wikipedia/Wiktionary?)
Wikinews - I don't know. the model for Wikinews seems sufficiently
different that I can't imagine what its wild success might look like.
I guess Wikinewsies might have some ideas.
Commons - IMO, similar to Wikipedia/Wiktionary - standard reference on the web.
MediaWiki - pretty easy, when it answers every question every type of
MW user might have about it :)
Meta - I guess Meta doesn't need goals.

I know WMF doesn't want to micro-manage communities, but I'd be
interested to know if it considers this type of stuff its business.


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