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

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Fri Apr 11 09:16:53 UTC 2008

> Hoi,
>  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

We're not discussing dead languages.

>  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

Your localization arguments have all been hashed and rehashed. I would
say they have been debunked, but that is my POV, as I am sure you
would disagree with that statement.

>  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.

Exactly - new projects. You're trying to extend new project rules to
existing projects. My answer is, and will always be, no.

>  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
>  entity.
>  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.

Who are you to play God, to say what is best for a project? I have
made my own suggestions, said what I think is best, but I am not so
presumptuous as to say what is best for a Wiki... only to say what
methods I have used that have been successful. I have e-mailed many
people to encourage them to contribute with varying degrees of success
(that is how scn.wp was started basically, for example). I have
replaced blank main pages with "directory" pages indicating basic
articles to start with, and this has seemed to pique peoples'
interest, although I will not take credit for that as the driving
force behind any project (although I did see a correlation in many
cases between me adding that and people beginning to contribute). With
this gentle poking and prodding, Wikis have become active over time.
What about the Wikis that are still inactive? Well, I never e-mailed
anybody about Chamorro or Yi. I never posted on a message board about
Marshallese or Tumbuka (remember that one?). I never joined a Yahoo!
Group to promote the Kanuri Wikipedia.

Jimmy Wales and the Wikimedia Foundation have many contacts in many
countries. I am sure that someone somewhere in their network have a
friend of a friend who speaks some of these languages. If not now, I
am sure African languages will have them after Wikimania in

As far as people who speak a language WELL... that has not been a
criterium so far, it seems. I feel like I have been the only one who
appreciates this. We have so many Wikipedias, some of them with
thousands of articles, where most of the content is written by people
who consider themselves xx-1 or xx-2. This is, to me, unacceptable...
but I don't think that means they must be sent back to the
incubator... however, nobody else has paid much attention to this
issue. And you... it was on your watch that Jose77 was allowed to add
near-complete localizations for dozens of languages he doesn't speak a
single word of. I admit that I have added some localizations for
languages that are completely foreign to me, such as Venda or
Tigrigna, but that was when I was 100% sure of the translation, for
example a month name or a word that I found in the localization of
another program or website ("search"). I have not added thousands of
localized messages in languages like Hawai'ian, Uyghur, and whatever
else he has done, with the not-so-hidden ulterior motive of promoting
his religion.

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

Sending off implies, again, a new project. These are hardly new
projects. I think we need to give them time... at least the
Wikipedias. I realize it is a double standard, but I really don't care
if we close all of the inactive Wikibooks, Wiktionaries, and
Wikiquotes. Not that it would be more right for them to be closed - on
the contrary, it is every bit as much against my ideals, but I just
honestly don't care as much about those projects.


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