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

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Fri Apr 11 08:28:29 UTC 2008

Like you I want to see a thousand flowers bloom. However, I am not a stamp
collector. I want living projects representing living languages (here I mean
languages that are actually used by people). I want to make sure that a
project is understandable to its readers and this is why localisation is
essential. I want to make sure that a new project has a good start and this
is why new projects have a kernel of a community and a kernel of content. I
insist that there must be something to read; it cannot only be a picture
with a caption.

In the Incubator new languages have all the time to develop. On Meta, a
project proposal is accepted as eligible when the language is recognised. In
Betawiki, we accept almost all linguistic entities within reason. There
seems to be a policy to commit a new language to MediaWiki when a first
substantial stab has been made to the localisation of such a linguistic

Most of the Wikipedias with less then 1000 articles are only a dream. When
this dream is started by a person who knows this languages well, it has a
chance. When there is nobody who cares for a project, such a project is much
better off in the Incubator and closed.

I do not believe in eventualism I believe in sending a new project off with
a minimal start in life.

On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 10:02 AM, Mark Williamson <node.ue at gmail.com> wrote:

> >  I do not require all project to have 1000 articles. I would consider a
> >  project for closure when they do not have a 90% localisation AND not
> 1000
> >  articles. Also a new project does not start with zero articles. It
> starts on
> >  average with a sizable number of articles *AND *a full localisation of
> the
> >  most used messages.
> That is how they start... now. You are proposing, from what I can
> tell, criteria to be imposed on existing projects. If these two are to
> be used together, then I wonder which projects will be closed? I'm
> most curious about Wikipedia; although I know it has annoyed you in
> the past, that is the project I care most about and I will admit it
> freely, I have a tie to it and a bias towards it. I don't feel bad
> when Wiktionaries and Wikibookses are proposed for closure on Meta,
> but I lose sleep when Wikipedias are. I am human, I have feelings, and
> that is how I feel.
> From the very start, I have been a strong believer in eventualism and
> gentle prodding. I discussed this with Francis Tyers, and from what I
> recall, he didn't buy it when we were doing preliminary work on adding
> a couple of skeletal articles to the Tajik Wikipedia... and then all
> of a sudden, new users came along. This, after 3 or 4 years of
> existance and total lack of meaningful articles.
> Most existing Wikis have their growth start either like the Big Bang,
> or in fits and spurts. I am disappointed that we are now closing empty
> Wikis, although I always knew it was only a matter of time before this
> would happen. That the Chamorro Wikipedia is now saved, I consider a
> great thing, and I hope it will remain open enough longer to attract
> real users.
> Many people have said "If nobody has come by now, they never will
> come", but the rash of Wikis that were all created around the same
> time have become active at different times across the years, right up
> until the present. If we wait long enough, almost all of them can be
> expected to become active. Wikis like Cheyenne, with 1700 mostly
> elderly speakers, could possibly fail, but the vast majority of
> currently empty Wikis are likely to flourish at some point.
> We have had this discussion in the past, and that is why I started
> SWMT. To my disappointment, the people who joined SWMT and made it
> their own after I became less active in monitoring small Wikis have
> all become strong proponents of the deletion of inactive Wikis. That
> goes directly against my original reason for starting it - if these
> Wikis are vandalized, having someone to monitor them removes that as a
> possible problem. It appears that the people who have taken it upon
> themselves to monitor these Wikis have decided that it is too much
> work and that they'd rather just close 'em all up instead... I guess
> for them, it is not a labor of love as it was for me, but rather a
> dull maintenance task. I was always excited to see that someone had
> added real content to a previously empty Wiki... I wonder about them?
> Since I stopped watching, the Tigrigna Wikipedia has sprung alive...
> did they smile? Did they add any helpful messages to guide the new
> Tigrigna Wikipedians along? I wonder.
> Deletionism is not the answer here. It has never been, and it never
> will be. Now that we have tightened restrictions on new Wikis, I don't
> see why we need to excommunicate any of the existing members of our
> family, except the problem children (like ru-sib).
> Mark
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