[Foundation-l] Closing projects policy now official

Ting Chen wing.philopp at gmx.de
Mon Jun 27 09:39:51 UTC 2011

Hello dear all,

on the August 2010 board meeting the board had talked about the 
responsibilities of the board, the staff and the committees (minutes 
here: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/July_8,_2010 ). The 
board had worked through this with the RASCI matrix 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix ). We had 
decided that the creation and closing of projects are responsibilities 
of the LangCom, the board should be informed about its decision. We 
believe that the LangCom has the knowledge and the professionism in 
issuing the correct policies, as it had showed in the past. When the 
LangCom came up with its new closing project policy proposal the board 
discussed it and thought that the policy is good. I therefore informed 
the LangCom that the board has no objection on this policy. There is no 
need for the board to issue a resolution on this.


On 25.06.2011 11:20, wrote Milos Rancic:
> Board has decided to make Closing projects [1] official. The text of the
> policy is below (as well as at the mentioned page).
> Language committee members who decided to take care about this would be
> listed inside of the section "Tasks" of the members list [2]. During the
> next weeks present requests will be normalized after the discussion at
> the LangCom list.
> [1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Closing_projects_policy
> [2] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_committee/Members
> * * *
> This policy proposal defines the process to close (and in some
> situations delete) a wiki hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. The
> proposals are handled by [[Language Committee]] members who opt-in to
> take care of this, and the [[Board of Trustees]] has final authority
> over the member's decision.
> ==Problem situation and new authority==
> The current [[Proposals for closing projects]] lack a clear policy.
> Several proposals have been made for a policy, but so far none has been
> adopted.
> Because of that, a lot of small inactive wikis are proposed to be
> closed. Some people support out of principle ("wiki is inactive"), while
> others oppose out of principle ("let it grow"). Often, users came by and
> made a decision, which could even be the opposite of the actual consensus.
> This policy tries to address this problem by:
> * requiring a valid reason for closure, and defining several reasons as
> either valid or invalid reasons
> * putting the procedure in hands of language committee members and final
> Board decision
> The community has no longer authority over closing projects, but only an
> advising task. This puts the procedure in line with the [[language
> proposal policy]], which is also dependent on language committee and
> Board approval. That means closing projects is no longer easier than
> opening one.
> Although the decision is made by a member of the Language Committee and
> no longer through community consensus, the Board will have final
> authority, and the LangCom is convinced that this procedure will improve
> the decision-making and that both the LangCom and the Board are the
> appropriate authority for dealing with closing Wikimedia wikis.
> ==Policy proposal==
> ===Types of proposals===
> In order to distinguish routine situations from potentially more complex
> or unusual ones, projects that are proposed to be deleted are classified
> as one of two types:
> # Regular language editions that are small/inactive but do not generally
> harm to stay open (automatic spam is always blocked, contrary to the past).
> #: ''For example: Afar Wiktionary, Gaeilge Wikiquote, Guarani Wikibooks,
> ...''
> # Other (often relatively more active) wikis that may be controversial,
> questionable or in another way uncommon.
> #: ''For example: Quality Wikimedia, Simple English Wikiquote, ...''
> ===Definition of actions===
> * Closing a wiki means locking the database so it cannot be edited but
> all pages are still visible to public. User rights (sysop, ...) are
> removed and can be restored on user request when the wiki is re-activated.
> * Deleting a wiki means deleting the database so it is completely
> unavailable on the web. An XML file with the wiki's content will still
> be available for external use.
> * Transferring or importing content means moving useful articles/pages,
> along with the contribution history, to the [[Wikimedia Incubator]],
> [[oldwikisource:|OldWikisource]] or [[betawikiversity:|BetaWikiversity]]
> (or another site when explicitly mentioned).<small>See
> [[incubator:I:Importing]] for more info.</small>
> ** Files are left on the wiki because of a lack of an export function.
> When the wiki will be deleted, files could be downloaded manually if
> needed.<small>When such a software feature becomes available, files
> should be exported.</small>
> ===Proposing===
> Anyone can propose to close a wiki. The following must be done:
> * The proposal must be categorised under either type 1 or type 2 (see
> above).
> * If you want the wiki to be deleted as well, that must be explicitly
> mentioned in the proposal.
> * When the proposal is submitted, the local wiki should be informed as
> soon as possible.
> * A good reason should be given why it should be closed/deleted.
> ** Inactivity in itself is ''no'' valid reason; additional problems are.
> When the Wikimedia Incubator is at a stage where it is usable to a
> certain extent like a real wiki<ref>In the future, the Wikimedia
> Incubator is intended to function as a place for normal wikis that are
> not large enough to need an own wiki (so we don't have a large number of
> small wikis but instead a normal Incubator wiki with "virtual
> wikis").</ref>, inactivity will be a valid reason.
> ** Absence of content since the wiki's creation is a valid reason
> (usually for type 1).
> ** Not meeting the current [[WM:LPP]] requirements is ''no'' valid reason.
> ===Decision===
> * During a period of 30<small>(''can be changed'')</small>  days, the
> proposal is public to the community for comments and recommendations.
> * Any Language Committee member who has opted-in to take care of
> handling closing projects proposals can bring up the proposal on the
> mailing list. It is discussed during 15 days (or longer if needed),
> without formal voting.
> * Thereafter, the initial LangCom member makes a decision and sends its
> recommendation to the [[Board]] which has final authority.
> ===Proposal approved===
> * For the first type of proposal, useful content should be transferred
> to the Incubator. Whether content is useful is hard to define, but
> common sense can help. For the second type, a different solution for the
> content is often appropriate.
> * A bug should be submitted to Bugzilla to request the closure (and
> deletion if applicable).
> * Re-opening projects is done through [[requests for new languages]],
> which uses the [[Meta:Language proposal policy]] that is much more
> strict than used to be in the past (when most wikis that are now
> proposed for closure, were started)
> ===Proposal rejected===
> * The wiki remains open.
> * A new proposal may be submitted if there are new conditions. A
> proposal that is exactly the same, may not be made the same year to
> reduce unneeded duplicate proposals.
> ==Retroactivity==
> As has been done when the Langcom policy was introduced, all current
> proposals will be made invalid. Anyone can start a new proposal under
> the new policy.
> ==References==
> <references />
> ==Links==
> * http://noc.wikimedia.org/conf/closed.dblist – automatic list of
> currently closed wikis
> * [[bugzilla:28985|Bug 28985]] – Wikis ready for closing (tracking)
> * Previous proposals
> ** [[Closure of WMF projects]] (August 2008 proposal)
> ** [[Closing/Deletion project policy]] (2006 proposal)
> * Other
> ** [[Proposals for closing projects]]
> ** [[Proposals for closing projects/General discussion about small,
> inactive wikis]]
> ** [[Requests for comment/Rights and closed wikis]]
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