[Foundation-l] Fwd: Pt-Portuguese Wikipedia

Chad innocentkiller at gmail.com
Tue Mar 23 23:25:20 UTC 2010

On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 6:51 PM, Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam at fct.unl.pt> wrote:
> I absolutely agree. My "characterization of
> possible motivations is frankly beyond the pale."
> In fact it is a very rosy characterization. There
> is proof buried in this mailing list and in my
> mailboxes of utter indifference, if not outright
> contempt for the problems of a Wikipedia in a
> "foreign" language, from the subscribers of this
> list all the way up to the highest levels of
> responsibility at the Wikimedia Foundation. A
> simple way to state it might be: you guys have a
> problem, you sort it out or don't bother us, and
> we won't bother you. A lot of people will pay lip
> service to the common good, but will not even
> budge when they have a chance to do something
> about it. Never underestimate the results of some
> gentle persuasion, specially coming from those
> who hold the keys to all the hardware that's
> being used as a playground by a few.
> Please understand that a lot of people - really a
> lot of very powerful people - don't give a hoot
> about the Portuguese Wikipedia or any of its
> problems, and since I have proof and I haven't
> seen proof to the contrary anywhere, I rest my case.
> As for a believable plan of action at the risk of repeating myself:
> «Perhaps the question is not the creation of a
> new version of Wikipedia, but to make the
> Portuguese Wikipedia appealing to all readers and
> writers (editors) of the Portuguese language.
> There might be solutions and proposals to address
> this problem which have been kept from seeing the
> light of day, for untold reasons.
> It might be worthwhile to open a page where the
> discussion could be centralized. It would be nice
> if the page could be bilingual, with one section
> in English, to open the discussion to the wider
> Wikimedia community, and another in Portuguese,
> for those who lack enough command of the English
> language to participate in the broader discussion.
> If anyone would be so kind as to suggest what
> that page might be and where it could be created,
> I would be more than happy to participate.»
> All I have asked for is the suggestion of a page.
> You can't find a single word about that request
> in all that has been written. Not even: what if
> that page is created and nobody contributes? That
> is a possibility. There's also the possibility
> that whatever conclusion is reached it will not
> be implemented by those who hold the power in the
> Portuguese Wikipedia or the keys in the Wikimedia
> Foundation. There's also the possibility that if
> someone had several million dollars to spare, any
> solution that would please that person would be
> implemented. So you see, most things can be had
> for a price, and all I have asked was the
> suggestion of a page. I wonder what it takes to have that.
> Sincerely,
> Virgilio A. P. Machado
> At 17:14 23-03-2010, you wrote:
>>Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:
>> >
>> > I understand that the topic started with a suggestion to create "a
>> > new version of Wikipedia in Portuguese from Portugal", but I can't
>> > fail to notice that, for the wider Wikimedia community, avoiding to
>> > address any of problems of the Portuguese Wikipedia, might be very
>> > convenient to keep it where it is, mired in problems. We all have
>> > problems of our own, right? Why bother?
>> >
>>While it may be true that not all contributors in this
>>thread have written with perfect comprehension of
>>the specific situation, I do think the above characterization
>>of possible motivations is frankly beyond the pale.
>>Please understand that nobody -- really nobody -- wishes
>>for Portuguese Wikipedia to remain mired in problems.
>>Personally I do believe that notwithstanding that, the
>>best experts on how to heal the rifts within the Portuguese
>>Wikipedia might not come from the outside. That is my
>>personal view, lacking a believable plan of action for how
>>the foundation or some other external part of the larger
>>community could effect a healing action on the Portuguese
>>Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
>>foundation-l mailing list
>>foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>>Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> Prof. Virgilio A. P. Machado            vam at fct.unl.pt
> Engenharia
> Industrial
> http://web.archive.org/web/20070824105539/www.ipei.pt/GDEI/
> DEMI/FCT/UNL                    Fax:   351-21-294-8546 or 21-294-8531
> Universidade de Portugal                or 351-21-295-4461
> 2829-516 Caparica                       Tel.:  351-21-294-8542 or 21-294-8567
> PORTUGAL                                or 351-21-294-8300 or 21 294-8500
>                                         Ext.112-32
> 96-577-3726
> Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia/UNL (FCT/UNL)
> (Dr. Machado is Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at the
> School of Sciences and Engineering/UNL of the University of Portugal)
> _______________________________________________
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It requires you to take initiative to start the page and try
to draw others into a discussion. You don't need anyone's
permission to do that.

Also, I think it was (briefly) glossed over before, but there
/is/ the Language Converter code in MediaWiki that could
be leveraged to help some here. I don't think it's necessarily
a magic bullet, but it's worth exploring. I know nothing in
Portuguese, so I don't really grasp how widespread the
discrepancies are, but I assume there's rules to describe

Social solutions are also helpful, like the aforementioned
American/British and Cyrillic/Latin issues mentioned
earlier in the thread. A combination of social and technical
solutions might just help bring some closure to this issue.


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