[Foundation-l] Simple Wikipedia: different projects

rupert THURNER rupert.thurner at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 20:30:17 UTC 2011

people working at teacher schools in switzerland approached us a couple of
times to push into a direction of *having wikipedia for different age groups
*. first discussed ideas included the *groups **kids, junior, standard, *and
* expert*. this would mean maximum four times as many articles, nicely
hidden behind a gui which allows a quick switch between the variants, and
also the inviting "missing article" feeling a red link gives.

up to now we always thought there is a lack of support for such ideas, or it
would be just retargeted to wikijunior. also, we thought there might not be
enough editors. but recently things started to change, at least imo. (1)
editors do not have anything to edit any more because wikipedia is so
complete. (2) the whole wiki movement has more money and energy to improve
the software. (3) and most important, not only professors in ivory towers
but long-standing, reputed wikipedians like you come up with ideas how such
a topic could be addressed.

one challenge of course is to encourage people providing low age contents
because creating it takes so much more time - but i am pretty sure there are
means to address it - let me just steal the brand "wiki loves monuments" and
rephrase it to "wiki loves kids".

what you think?


ps - to take milos acceleration example, the four variants could be - please
do not beat me if they are not good enough ...

a movie, or a picture, e.g.

Acceleration is a way to measure how fast something is speeding up. Suppose
you are riding your bike. You start out going very slowly, hardly pedaling
at all. Now you begin to pedal as hard as you can, to speed up - you are
accelerating. Now that you are going at a normal speed, you stop pedaling so
hard, and just pedal normally. You're still going, but you're not getting
any faster, just going along at your normal speed. You're not accelerating

*Acceleration* is a measure <http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measure> of
how fast <http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed>
 changes <http://simple.wiktionary.org/wiki/change>. Acceleration is the
change of velocity divided <http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide> by the
change of time <http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time>. Acceleration is a
vector <http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector>, and therefore includes
both a size <http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Size> and a
(from http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceleration)

In physics <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics>, *acceleration* is the
rate of change of velocity <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velocity> over
time.[1] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceleration#cite_note-0> In one
dimension, acceleration is the
rate<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rate_(mathematics)> at
which something speeds up or slows down. However, since velocity is a
acceleration describes the rate of change of both the magnitude and the
direction of velocity.[2]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceleration#cite_note-1>
[3] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceleration#cite_note-2> Acceleration has
thedimensions <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimensional_analysis>
 T <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time> −2. In
SI<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_System_of_Units> units,
acceleration is measured in meters per second
 (m/s2). (Negative acceleration i.e. retardation, also has the same

Proper acceleration <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proper_acceleration>, the
acceleration of a body relative to a free-fall condition, is measured by an
instrument called an accelerometer<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerometer>
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceleration)

On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 17:10, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 06/21/2011 04:35 PM, Lodewijk wrote:
> > Lets try to approach this from another angle.
> >
> > Perhaps simple Wikipedia should not be considered as a different
> language,
> > but rather as a different project - a simplified Wikipedia. Because the
> > purpose of simple wikipedia's can be debated of course, but one potential
> is
> > to give more people understandable access to the contents. Then the
> > simplified version might not just be about simpler language, but also
> > simpler explanations (no long mathematical equations, but only that
> > introduction in a way that someone can understand the basics - in simple
> > understandable English). I would find it wonderful if I could let my
> little
> > nephew or sister read on a "simple" project without worrying they will
> panic
> > over the complexities. Partially for learning the language, partially for
> > getting the knowledge.
> >
> > When approached like that, this would not really be a matter for the
> > language committee, and every language with enough potential community
> (!)
> > could get their own simple project.
> >
> > Another option along the same lines could be a Simple namespace within
> > Wikipedia, if there would be an interface allowing you easily to focus on
> > just that namespace.
> >
> > That way, we don't have to come up with artificial routes and
> explanations
> > to allow our communities the creation of such wonderful projects.
> There are at least three serious issues in creation of such projects, if
> they are not defined strictly linguistically:
> * Scope. Which age do we cover, approximately? Any valid theory would be
> useful, but it should be defined. According to Piaget, less than 15 [in
> Northern France]; according to the age when we could be sure that child
> knows to read, more than 7 or 8. Which knowledge is appropriate for that
> range of age? What's appropriate for one 8-years old and what's
> appropriate for one 14-years old?
> * Didactic methods. They have to be reasonably well defined before the
> first such project starts.
> * Ideological questions. Does human 12 years old need sexual education?
> I would say yes and I have serious scientific background for that claim.
> However, adherents of many ideologies say opposite, most notably
> Christians, Muslims and Jews.
> There is serious difference between giving adult people choice and
> taking responsibility for minors' education. And, according to the
> present state of Wikipedias, I don't have any confidence that it would
> be done well out of a couple of languages with large number of speakers
> and a couple more North European ones. I have no doubts that it would
> just a question of time when strong part of the smaller communities
> would require religious education to be introduced in such project;
> after which I would require introduction of teaching how to prepare
> Molotov cocktails, as they are more useful in real world and less
> dangerous.
> In response to Erik's idea, I would say that we should just take care
> about the present guidelines and possible to make small corrections.
> I've took a look at the article Acceleration [1]. The article is quite
> good for any level of knowledge (although more advanced issues could be
> addressed more). It has introduction with the simple description and
> just after that it covers more complex definitions. Maybe we should have
> the first section inside of every article named "Introduction", where
> all basic concepts would be described.
> But, anyway, the most important quality of one encyclopedia is to give
> introduction into the matter in a readable language, while referring to
> the other articles if a person doesn't understand needed concepts. And I
> think that English Wikipedia is quite good in that.
> What is more appropriate for one person who wants to be introduced
> slowly and didactically into some matter -- is not an encyclopedia, but
> schoolbook. The fact that Wikipedia is much better than Wikibooks
> doesn't mean that we shouldn't work on Wikibooks to make them really
> useful, like Wikipedia is.
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceleration
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