[Wikipedia-l] Re: What is the purpose of this mailing list ??

Pete/Pcb21 pete_pcb21_wpmail at pcbartlett.com
Wed Aug 25 19:57:14 UTC 2004

Jimmy (Jimbo Wales originally wrote:

 >>a wikispecies directory will be a delightful
 >>resource work as a standalone *and* a nice foundation for *some*
 >>encyclopedia articles.  But the two are not identical.

Hmm, I think I mis-parsed this original comment. I took it to mean that 
only *some* wikispecies articles could be imported on Wikipedia, and 
that others should not be. Your next response makes clear that it is not 
what you meant. Sorry about that.

However as you have said to mav, all the information in a typical 
fishbase entry would be welcome information on the equivalent WP entry. 
Here you've said that every species would be welcome.

Thus this means that *all data* in a wikispecies project is ripe for 
inclusion on WP. Hence wikispecies is effectively a subset of WP - that 
is much much more of an overlap than the limited overlap between 
wiktionary and wikipedia!

Thus wikispecies is essentially about providing a different layout or 
"skin", and omitting some "pop culture"-style information.

With all this in mind, I think it is obvious why mav (strongly) and I 
(cautiously) have been ranting on about the dangers of two databases and 
duplicated effort. It really does seem to me that *some* solution along 
the lines of "one data, two display filters" is the way to go.

Having the common data (taxobox info) on WikiCommons with fancy new 
import capabilities - each project imports in a different way is one 
appealing suggestion. Making such data language-independent and 
providing a set of filters

"English Wikipedia filter"
"Dutch Wikipedia filter"
"Wikispecies scientific filter"

would do wonders for internationalization.


p.s. I take your point - it is possible that one day Naegleria fowleri 
will appear on The Simpsons, or perhaps some other popular animated 
series, but the truth is that for the vast majority of "boring" species 
(this has got to 99%), the only people interested are scientists, and 
the only facts known are scientific ones.

Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales wrote:

> Pete/Pcb21 wrote:
>>The Tree of Life project's aim has always been to write about all 
>>species. I think that ambitious aim has been part of the reason for its 
>>success in becoming the largest wikiproject (tens of thousands of 
>>articles), with the most contributors.
> I fully support this, as I think it is an absolutely excellent thing
> to be doing.
>>I am personally disappointed that you want to put a stop to that - 
>>presumably coming up with some guideline so that *some* species are 
>>allowed articles, but not all.
> Huh?  Why would we put a stop to that?  Why would we come up with
> guidelines to prohibit some species from wikipedia?  I do not support
> any such thing.
>>It also rides against the overwhelming consensus of this thread, as 
>>mentioned in my other post. Whatever their position on wikispecies, 
>>on-one has suggested crippling wikipedia.
> Especially not me!  I wonder if you misunderstood something I said,
> because I absolutely agree that Wikipedia and the Tree of Life project
> should have a very ambitious goal of every species.
> If anything, it makes more sense to say that I think that WikiSpecies
> should be "crippled" in that it should not have references to Tigger
> and Jaws, because it is not a general encyclopedic reference work but
> a specialized database.  But I don't accept that this amounts to
> "crippling" anymore than wiktionary is crippled by our insisting that
> a dictionary is not an encyclopedia.
> --Jimbo

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