[Foundation-l] Allow new wikis in extinct languages?

Pharos pharosofalexandria at gmail.com
Wed Apr 2 20:38:48 UTC 2008

On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 3:46 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hoi,
>  You are wrong when you think that we do not know of the process of getting
>  recognition in the ISO or IANA standards. We have been instrumental in
>  getting linguistic entities considered. This is something that we do when we
>  feel there is merit. The ISO may  be a big bureaucracy but it is interested
>  in learning from us.
>  Again, we can and we do get recognition for linguistic entities if there is
>  a need. We prefer not to, so the need must be convincing. It does not negate
>  any of the arguments however about allowing for Wikipedias for dead
>  languages. They are imho not a good thing to have.
>  Thanks,
>       GerardM

By "we", you mean the Language subcommittee, not the proposers of
Wikipedias in new languages.  As an official organ of Wikimedia, an
internationally recognized entity, the subcommittee a lot more clout
than some random person proposing a new Wikipedia.

But even you (meaning the subcommittee) have never gotten ISO to
recognize a -new category- of languages, that being "historical"
languages that still have active written literatures.

Latin is one such language, and the metadata code we use for the Latin
Wikipedia in fact classifies it as an "ancient language".

In fact, there -already are- codes for all of the proposed Wikipedias
in "historical" languages with active written literatures.  You have
objected in the past to such languages because they are officially
classified as "ancient languages" or "historical languages", but Latin
faces -exactly- the same issue.

If ISO chooses to make a new code for "Modern Latin" 10 years from now
that would be great, and we'll change the code, but for now the
"Latin" code should be satisfactory.

With the current system, it's all down to your personal subjective
opinion of Latin, and whether you personally consider other languages
to have a Latin-like status.  You idea that, say, Sanskrit is "dead",
but that Latin is not is just totally subjective.  It is wrong to
consider that your personal knowledge of such languages would be
sufficient to make such a judgment.

I realize that the subcommittee might have success persuading ISO to
create a new category, but that it has other things to do, and does
not consider the matter a pressing issue.  So, instead, I am making a
proposal that would not require work on your part, and that would rely
on the objective analysis of the highest level of the wiki model, i.e.
whether an FA can be written on the modern literature of a
"historical" language.  And of course, this would not be a misuse of
codes any more than using la.wikipedia.org for the Latin Wikipedia.


>  On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 8:24 PM, Pharos <pharosofalexandria at gmail.com> wrote:
>  > On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 2:07 PM, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com>
>  > wrote:
>  > > On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 2:00 PM, Pharos <pharosofalexandria at gmail.com>
>  > wrote:
>  > >  >  I've proposed the "Can
>  > >  >  someone write an FA on the language's modern literature?" criterion
>  > as
>  > >  >  a useful surrogate for the types of criteria you suggest.
>  > >
>  > >  But just saying that a person "can" do something doesn't mean that the
>  > >  person "will" do it. Volunteers work on what they want to work on, and
>  > >  if nobody wants to write a particular article or class of article, it
>  > >  will never get written.
>  > >
>  > >  Through Wikipedia policy, if the article exists then the topic must be
>  > >  notable. However if the article doesn't exist, that doesnt mean that
>  > >  the topic is non-notable. What this is, is a test with potential false
>  > >  negatives.
>  >
>  > What I'm saying is, we have to allow an outlet for people proposing a
>  > new language Wikipedia in a "historical" language to prove their case.
>  >  Right now, the subcommittee tells them, "Don't bother me kid, go to
>  > the International Organization for Standardization", which is an
>  > impossible task, because the ISO is a big bureaucracy that just
>  > doesn't deal with categorizing "historical" languages that are still
>  > alive in a written form.
>  >
>  > Writing an FA would not be easy, but it is a task that the proposers
>  > of a new language Wikipedia in a "historical" language could be
>  > reasonably expected to be able to accomplish to prove their case (or
>  > not).  The time-scale for writing an FA would typically be a few
>  > months, which is quite comparable to the time-scale of the -vastly
>  > unproductive- back-and-forth arguments that characterize a typical
>  > request to the subcommittee of this type.
>  >
>  > Thanks,
>  > Pharos
>  >
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