[Wikipedia-l] Re: One Chinese Wikipedia

Vina Wang vwang at myrealbox.com
Sat Sep 11 20:35:07 UTC 2004

>So, you have two choices here: we can run Wikipedia like it is the PRC
>and hold a sham vote where one group of people gets to decide the fate
>of another group of people, or we can run it *fairly* where we have
>private e-mail discussions between Traditional users and the relevant
>Wikipedia people, ie Tim Starling, Jimbo, etc etc.

Fairly over email is going to be quite impossible, as most people who should be discussing this does not read/write English, and a lot of the relevant fine points are lost in translation.  

Also, I'm assuming that Tim and Jimbo is joining the discussion mainly from the software capability perspective, why would fair come into consideration at all?  Whichever way the Chinese wiki communitiy decide to go, they'll be looking at the amount of work to create/maintain software to support it (sorry to put words in your mouths :)

The other perspective that you have look at, is the amount of work that the sysops of the wikis will be looking at the amount of hours to maintain the wiki's quality. 100 hours is the same regardless language or nationality.  

Sysops were the ones who had to keep up with the software development, keep versions in sync, run the interlanguage bot, etc. etc.  Before starting a new wiki, not only do you need to worry about how many people will contribute content (less than 100 currently active on Chinese), you also need to think about whether you have the time, and can find other people with the time and inclination to maintain the site, deal with vandals, correct typos, format, and guide the new users through the wiki system.  This is a lot regular, time-consuming and tedious work.

We've just started translating the dozens of pages related to categories.  It's already taken me personally over 20 hours to read through the English wiki, talk about it a bit on the Chinese wiki to see if there are interests, then start translating contents that fits, so Chinese wiki participant who don't read English can see what is being proposed and decide on what to do.  There are several others actively participating in it as well, and I have no idea how much time they sunk into this piece alone.


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