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

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Fri Apr 11 11:43:04 UTC 2008

Agreed. We are trying to fit old projects into the terms of new ones.
This is completely unreasonable, and nobody would've ever dreamed of
requiring new projects even to have that many articles (do we now?) if
it hadn't been for some amazingly quick work on the part of a couple
of projects (including Siberian...)

Not that I am against this limit, as the incubator is a RELATIVELY
safe place for Wikis to grow (for some reason, people want to delete
test wikis that are small and/or inactive... that strikes me as BAD
and WRONG as long as it is in a real language with an ISO code; if it
is not a real language with an ISO code, move it to incubator plus),
and it is much more comforting to know that a Wiki already has 1000
articles when it is created than to know it is starting from 0, like
Tumbuka, or even 250, like some of the more recent ones have done.

But again, it strikes me as unreasonable to impose these restrictions
on existing Wikis. If there is any sort of restriction, the number of
articles should be much, much lower... 10, 50, or at the most, 100. Of
course, these are articles written in the language, not linkspam or
"...translate to xx language"-type texts (which are often effectively
spam, as the [[India]], [[True Jesus Church]], and now various small
villages in Europe's pages have scattered across various odd Wikis
without or with very poor translation).

I don't personally think the Lak Wikipedia is the best example of a
healthy Wiki... perhaps instead we should look at the Ewe Wikipedia.
It would be safe under Gerard's limits because it has, I believe, a
completely translated basic interface... but what if it did not? Many
times, the user who jumpstarts a project is technologically not ready
to make a leap between editing Wikipedia and translating system
messages on TranslateWiki, at least not for a while. They are content
to just write articles... and what is wrong with that?

Gerard is convinced that a Wiki with less than 1000 articles that is
not fully translated cannot survive, but this is simply not true. Many
Wikis have remained largely untranslated until well after they reach a
critical mass of articles. Threats of closure are not the way to get
people to do those translations.


On 11/04/2008, Yaroslav M. Blanter <putevod at mccme.ru> wrote:
> I am not exactly sure why everybody really supports this proposal. I can
>  only say that if it is accepted most of the minor wikipedias which are
>  active on a level of several native speaker contributions per month, will
>  be closed. In this case, I will be the first one to encourage them leaving
>  WMF and migrating to some more friendly server. As an example, I used to
>  be a temporary admin in Lak Wikipedia, which has between 30 and 40
>  articles, and I am continuing to monitor the project. There are regular
>  contributions from native speakers, but they will probably never localize
>  100% messages since nobody has ever heard of betawiki, and people are only
>  interested in editing  pages. There is no chance it will reach 1000
>  articles in two years, as it has been suggested. I think it is very
>  typical of a project open BEFORE the new rules of the language
>  subcommittee were established. If you guys want a fork - welcome, go on.
>  Cheers,
> Yaroslav
>  >>  >    - 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
>  >>  infinitum.
>  >>
>  >>  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.
>  >
>  > Requiring projects to have 1000 articles in a fundamentally flawed
>  > proposal, since all projects start out with no articles, so all
>  > projects would be immeadiately closed. If you're going to have such a
>  > requirement, it would have to only come into force after X years, or
>  > something, but then you have issues with when and how to reopen it,
>  > and when to reclose it if it still doesn't work.
>  >
>  > Requiring a certain growth rate sounds good. I think the cut-off point
>  > should be quite low (1000 articles, say). I'm not sure what a good
>  > rate would be for that first 1000 articles. Does anyone have
>  > statistics for how existing projects grew at the beginning? It the
>  > growth exponential at the beginning? I would expect not, since you
>  > probably get rapid growth during the first couple of months (for a
>  > Wikipedia: articles on general topics, geographical articles on the
>  > area that speaks that language, etc) which then tapers off as the
>  > novelty begins to wear off and then things follow an exponential curve
>  > from then on. That's just a guess though, I'd love to see the actual
>  > statistics if anyone has collated them.
>  >
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