[Wikipedia-l] Developers needed!

James R. Johnson modean52 at comcast.net
Tue Aug 24 01:49:00 UTC 2004

Or maybe just have a wikispecies that allows you to navigate via Kingdom,
Phylum, Subphylum, and so on, down to species (or go directly via binomial
nomenclature to the wikipedia) and then go to the wikipedia article, by
having links to each language's version of that article.  At least that way,
the language teams would know which animals they have yet to write about.


-----Original Message-----
From: wikipedia-l-bounces at Wikimedia.org
[mailto:wikipedia-l-bounces at Wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Ray Saintonge
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 6:38 PM
To: wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org
Subject: Re: [Wikipedia-l] Developers needed!

James R. Johnson wrote:

>I don't know much about the "category system," but if you were to use 
>Kingdom, Phylum, Subphylum, Family, Class, Order, etc. down to Genus 
>and Species as categories, that'd make it quite simple.  I don't know 
>how you'd work that, but it would make things simpler.
I have mixed feelings about the proposal.  While the textual material might
be better in the existing encyclopedias, there are probably data structural
advantages that could be derived from the proposal, though I would see it as
a single project that could be interlinked with the various Wikipedias.  The
idea of having a separate Wikispecies for each language would be a
tremendous waste of resources.

Having a sample Wiki that works out some of the problems over a limited
taxonomic range would likely be helpful so that those involved could work
out the bugs in their system.  This includes dealing with the view of some
cladists that the traditional taxonomic ranks shown above whould be avoided.
It will also be the best way to convince the skeptics that this could be a
valuable spin-off.  At the same time it should be made abundantly clear that
support of a sample Wikispecies should not imply acceptance of a full blown

Spin-off or daughter projects need to be distinguished from forks in that
they would seek to maintain full interoperability with the other member
projects in the family.  They should be bound by the same fundamental
principles such as NPOV, free access, respect for copyright and each other,
and the software used by each should maximize compatibility.  Outside that
core of policies, the diversity of approaches and formats enriches us all.
It encourages members to find their own solutions to problems.  In the long
run over time these diverse solutions can be compared, and the techniques
that prove successful on one project can be imported into another when the
participants are ready.  This gives more opportunity to think outside the
box.  The one big single project sometimes requires us to apply solutions
prematurely in a way that makes it more difficult to reconsider what in
hindsight might have been a superior solution.

Smaller projects also involve more people in the decision making, and mean
that a newbie can feel some level of ownership much earlier.  That means
more wikiholics are available to do work, many of whom would soon feel
unwanted on a big single project.  This is a much bigger question than what
happens with Wikispecies.  It has more to do with scalability, and the
fundamental right of every individual to reinvent the wheel.


Wikipedia-l mailing list
Wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org

More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list