[Foundation-l] Rethinking brands

Robert Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Wed May 9 18:39:32 UTC 2007

Erik Moeller wrote:
> On 5/8/07, Johannes Rohr <jorohr at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Besides everything else which has been said already, I do not find
>> these names particularly appealing. "Wikibooks" is short and catchy,
>> "Wikipedia Textbooks" is long and clumsy and has a taste of
>> ugly marketspeak.
> Wikibooks is actually one of our most problematic names, as the focus
> is very much on textbook development. Short and catchy as it ma ybe,
> it is misleading. Fundamentally, I can see problems with the project's
> conception around a very specific type of knowledge representation (be
> it generally a book or specifically a textbook), but if that is how we
> define it, then we should at least be clear what _kind_ of books we
> are talking about.

(Cross posting to textbook-l as this is a perennial issue that still 
needs to be resolved)

I don't see that the name "Wikibooks" is necessarily as problematic as 
you are suggesting here, Eric.  Nor do I see that "textbook development" 
is necessarily the only focus of Wikibooks, even though I would admit 
that it is a major component of the Wikibooks and should be emphasized.

It would be interesting to see what the sense of the WMF board is on 
this issue in terms of how focused Wikibooks ought to be on textbooks 
and what kind of definition of textbooks could be used to distinguish 
what should or should not be found on Wikibooks.  A massive campaign to 
remove whole categories of content from Wikibooks has been underway for 
some time, but the actual working definition of what really should 
belong on that project has never been made clear by those who would have 
the authority to define this sort of scope of the project.

An effort by the community is currently under way on Wikibooks to help 
define this scope as best as can be done at the moment without WMF board 


I would hope that WMF board members would be aware of this current 
version of this fundamental policy, as it appears very likely that this 
will become official and enforced policy on en.wikibooks in the very 
near future.  I have raised some objections to this policy as it has 
been written, but this is as much of a compromise as we ordinary folks 
trying to figure out the mayhem of our little project can muster at the 
moment, and represents nearly a full year of effort by very active 
community members to help come up with this definition.

I would hope that non-textbook books could also eventually have a role 
on Wikibooks, but mine is a small voice that is mostly ignored on this 

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