[Foundation-l] Wikikids

GerardM gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Thu May 31 10:30:07 UTC 2007

This notion of "developer hell" is absolutely not that relevant. Only when
you have a need of specific functionality for your project, you will find
that there is this developer hell because things do not get developed and
even when they are it does not mean that they lead to inclusion in the
MediaWiki software.

When you have, like Wikikids does, have an organisation like Kennisnet
supporting a project, then there is no such thing like developer hell.
Kennisnet provides the projects it supports with one of the best people that
can help you start a new project. When there is a need for trying out
things, not only storange and bandwith are part of the deal but a really
knowledgeable support as well.

This is really the gold standard for how this should be done. When you
compare it with how new Wikipedia projects are to be started, you will find
that many projects fail because of lack of interest and because of a lack of
support. With the new policy for new languages, we try to get to a point
where there is sufficient activity before a project gets out of the
incubator. In this way we hope that a project will survive.

At this stage the WMF can only deal with the most extreme requirements for
our projects. We do not have the money and the people to really support
languages and projects in a sustained way. There is money and interest
available from organisations that are interested in supporting a WIKIPEDIA
(warts and all) for specific languages. At this moment it seems that the WMF
does not have the resources to even entertain these notions.

An other point, there are many wikis that do extremely well, OpenWetWare is
one Wikieducator is another. They provide a service, they develop new and
added functionality based on MediaWiki .. There are plenty more examples
that prove that you can create your own Wiki and be really special in the
field that you make your own.


On 5/31/07, Robert Horning <robert_horning at netzero.net> wrote:
> Mathias Damour wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > Robert Horning a écrit :
> >
> >> There is a certain bureaucratic process that goes into
> >> establishing a sister project, and I'm beginning to see a bit of wisdom
> >> to that process as well.  I should note that 95% (I think it is
> actually
> >> worse than this) of all new project ideas are shot down or left in a
> >> sort of "development hell" (to borrow a term from the motion picture
> >> industry) where a couple of ideas keep recurring, but don't seem to
> take
> >> off for some reason or another.  A children's oriented encyclopedia
> >> happens to be one of those recurring ideas, I should point out, and you
> >> nor those you are working with are the first to come up with this idea.
> >> I don't think you will be the last to bring it up in this forum either.
> >>
> >
> >
> >> (...) I'm still not entirely sure what it is that you
> >> would like to see happen ultimately with this project proposal of yours
> >> if everything went exactly as you would like it to happen.
> >>
> >
> > Well I wonder what *you* would like to happen for this idea and if you
> would really like to develop further. I hope you don't want this project to
> be left in a "sort of development hell" for years ! Anyway we are not in a
> "development hell" right now.
> > Let's anserw to this question "In the best of the cases" I would like
> that this to happen:
> > - The WMF would approve the project
> > - the main features of Vikidia which are very closed, not to say the
> same, as those of WikiKids.nl would be kept,
> > - I would give the fr.vikidia wiki and the domain name if needed,
> > - I would be "paid", let's say, a scholarship for Wikimania,
> > - children encyclopedia could be launched in other languages.
> >
> > If the anserw is no, we would continue like now, and propably
> nevertheless try to simulate or help other Vikidia-type encyclopedia in
> other languages, and let them be coordinated, but we won't use this
> mailing-list for that.
> >
> >
> So I guess you would like sister project status for at least the French
> version of this project.  BTW, in regards to "development hell", see
> this Wikipedia article on the topic:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_hell
> This was my intention.  And as a Wikimedia sister project, this proposal
> certainly is in this state at the moment, even though you have an active
> "demo project" at the moment.  If you don't want "approval" from the
> WMF, but are here to merely advertise your project, this term simply
> doesn't apply, although by your own admission you have gone through some
> of the same growth stages that nearly all Wiki projects go through at
> one point or another.  One of the significant advantages of becoming a
> Wikimedia sister project is that you have some people who can help out
> to deal with some of these growing pains and help with both
> administrative overhead and establishing basic policies that seem to
> work.  Mainly some considerable experience with leadership of massive
> volunteer collaborative writing groups.
> Also, if this is to become a sister project, some sort of effort must
> happen to work with those who are currently producing Wikijunior
> content.  And the two "communities" must simply have a much higher level
> of cooperation than seems to currently exist.  I'm also strongly
> suggesting that this cooperation still happen even if Wikikids stays as
> a completely independent group apart from being associated with the
> Wikimedia Foundation.
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