[Foundation-l] Criteria for the closure of projects.

Andrew Whitworth wknight8111 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 10 12:55:45 UTC 2008

On Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 8:23 AM, Gerard Meijssen
<gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
>    - A project is not what it is advertised to be. For instance when a
>    language is always written in a particular script, a project in any other
>    script is problematic.

I agree with this condition. If en.wikipedia were written in a
non-latin alphabet, that would be pretty unacceptable to most readers
of it. This would also go for conlangs which do not have representable
character sets (klingon comes to mind, although that project is
already closed).

I worry that this requirement, without further qualification, would
restrict projects like an ASL project which uses glyphs instead of
actual handsigns.

>    - A project does not have at least 90% of the most relevant messages
>    localised. For your information there are only 498 messages in this category
>    at the moment.

I would probably prefer a gradient scale, especially for languages
which have only one project. 75% might be a good barrier to entry for
the first project in a language, 90-100% for additional projects. This
could be similar to the requirements set for the creation of new
projects, but extended to include projects created before the language
subcommittee made those rules.

>    - A project should have at least 1000 articles. When there is nothing
>    to see what is the point ?

It can take a long time for a new project to reach this goal. If we
assume that a self-sustaining wiki project can grow exponentially (at
least at first), the first couple hundred or thousand articles can
take a long time. After this point, however, more articles will
attract more editors, which in turn will produce more articles, ad

I would prefer to see a condition which is based on annual growth.
Active editing membership and number of articles should increase every
year by a certain percentage until the project reaches a certain
stable size. For very large projects, such as en.wikipedia, it's
unreasonable to expect continued growth at a constant rate, so we need
to include cut-offs where we don't expect a project to be growing at a
constant rate anymore. Requiring growth in active membership can help
to reduce bot-generated projects like Volapuk which has article growth
but no new members.

10% article growth per year (which is 100 articles if your project has
1000) is not an unreasonable requirement. 5% growth in active editors
(1 new editor for a project that already has 20) would not be an
unreasonable lower-limit either. Projects which can't meet even these
modest requirements probably don't have a critical mass to continue
growth and development.

Doing something like this would enable us to automate the entire
process. At the end of the year we calculate the growth rates of all
the projects, and send warning notices to projects which have not met
their required growth rates. two years of poor performance causes the
project to get closed and moved back to the incubator. Plus, we don't
set hard limits, which can be problematic for newly-created projects.

--Andrew Whitworth

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