[Foundation-l] Simple English Encyclopedia

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 21:29:16 UTC 2009

Jesse (Pathoschild) wrote:
> Hello,
> There have been a lot of points raised, so I'll answer a few
> generally. (All messages from committee members, including this one,
> are personal messages and don't represent the committee.)
Very cool parenthetical remark there, just as an aside.
> New simple-language wikis will not be created under the current
> policy, simply because the policy does not have objective criteria
> that would allow them. Do we allow any simple wikis, like a "simple
> Cherokee" Wikipedia? If not, what objective criteria distinguish
> deserving from non-deserving languages? If so, should we also permit
> scientific-language wikis, and any other arbitrary variant
> contributors may legitimately propose? If not, what criteria
> distinguish deserving from non-deserving variants?
I think this is a conundrum, and I tried to offer a shortcut
way of proceeding with non-English simples, without
thinking about the criteria at all, by just dumping them
all into incubator, and following the criteria of viable
community size/activity criteria or what have you - I frankly
have no idea what they are at all, but I am betting they are
getting viable project results, or you would be adjusting
them - and hatching them when they meet the criteria.

Don't see why you couldn't have a go at letting non-
simples from at least a few of the largest languages have
a test at creating a viable community of editors in a simple
variant of their language.

I know as a fact that even such a minor language as Finnish,
does have many many books in any decent public library
worthy of the name (studying as I am Library and information
sciences - and paddling very hard below the surface for my
"craftsmanship work") here would have a respectable
number of books written both in large print, and in simplified
form (not always intersecting). But I confess that may be an
artifact of being a citizen of one of the nations with the highest
literacy rates on record.

> There are two ways to create new simple-language wikis. The first,
> most obvious but most difficult, is to formulate those criteria so
> that the policy can be changed to allow them. The second is to
> circumvent the policy, by convincing the Board to accept such a
> proposal directly. (The second may be possible, but would be very
> unfair to contributors who want a simple non-English wiki, which won't
> have the same amount of popular support to sway the Board.)
I frankly don't understand what would be "very unfair" to
let larger language projects with more weight behind them,
be the ones to do the hard lifting to actually establish the fact
gosh-darn it, English is *not* the only simple that can be viable.

Baby steps, baby steps. Get a beach head first, and soon you
can haul in smaller languages.

> The language committee itself was created by Board approval, and can
> be dismantled or have its membership changed by Board approval.
> Without a language subcommittee, requests would need to be processed
> by the Board or the sysadmins directly. More likely, the membership
> would be changed in case of problems. I think the language committee
> does more good than ill, but persons who disagree can certainly gather
> together and propose a change.

Or of course, people on the committee can grow themselves
noses, ears, and other senses, and observe the environment
more clearly.


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

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