[Foundation-l] A dangerous precedent

Andre Engels andreengels at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 09:44:28 UTC 2007

2007/12/27, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com>:
> It is interesting, although more on the larger issues of:
> * What constitutes a viable wikipedia language project? Do some
> languages not deserve to have a Wikipedia? Or, conversely, do we
> create a new wikipedia for every single conlang in existence?

I would say that the criterium here would be the issue of readership:
For whom are we making this wiki? Wikipedia is, first and foremost, a
medium to find information. Is there a reasonable likelihood that
people will go to this wiki rather than another for the purpose of
getting information? For a natural language with a reasonable number
of speakers, this will be answered with yes - if there is a decent
sized Wikipedia in that language, people having it as their first
language will probably prefer it to other languages. But for dead
languages, extremely small languages and conlangs, this is not
automatic. Only when there is a considerable amount of people who
would prefer that language to any language that would have Wikipedias
of similar or larger size, I think that such a project would be

> * When, if ever, can the foundation step in to "fix" a language
> project that may have gone astray? Is there a way to evaluate the
> progress and status of a language project to determine if it is
> generally "good" or "bad"?

I think there are cases where the foundation can, and perhaps should
step in. A language project has its own community, but it is also part
of a larger Wikipedia and Wikimedia community. These communities do
have the right to admonish a language project that has gone astray,
and the foundation could, and perhaps should, act as a proxy for this
wider community in these cases.

For the when I think that there are some principles that are project
wide, and they are what on en: Wikipedia are called the five pillars.
Blatant disregard of these would be a ground for intervention. So I
would say that the following are definitely reasons to censure a
* Material with strong POV not being changed/removed or even being encouraged
* Material that is clearly not encyclopedic (like poems and stories)
taking a significant part of the main namespace
* Requiring approval by the existing community before someone is
allowed to edit the wiki
* Allowing of large amounts of copyrighted material that is neither
under the GFDL nor under any other free license

Andre Engels, andreengels at gmail.com
ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels

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