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

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Fri Apr 11 09:40:17 UTC 2008

Marc, we agree on what we want to achieve, we disagree on the road that will
lead there. I readily admit that I bang the drum for localisation. And given
that only from this month 100 language have only the most relevant messages
localised at 98% we cannot say that I am done talking about this. I blog
about it, I write to lists, I do what it takes.  You on the other hand prods
people to work on Wikipedias and try to get them going. It is great when it
works and I salute you for it.

At the same time there is an increasing group of people that object to all
the projects that are for intends and purposes dead. The creation of the
Incubator, the policies of the language committee and now the proposed
criteria for the closure of projects are all intended to make sure that
there are some minimal criteria that intend to ensure that as many projects
as possible will do well.

I am not God, and you are not a boy putting his finger in the dyke. We both
cannot prevent people to object to moribund projects. What we can do is stem
the flow and provide objective criteria that will streamline the flow and in
that way we can prevent damage.

Jimmy has his contacts, the WMF has its contacts, I have mine and so do you.
When we want to have more languages supported with a Wikipedia we can tell
them about it, we can be enthusiastic about it but in the final analysis it
is the people that have to do the work. You can lead a horse to water, you
cannot make it drink.

On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 11:16 AM, Mark Williamson <node.ue at gmail.com> wrote:

> > 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
> Alexandria.
> 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.
> Mark
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