[Wikipedia-l] Re: wikispecies

Gerard Meijssen gerardm at myrealbox.com
Wed Sep 15 19:08:51 UTC 2004

Stan Shebs wrote:

> Gerard Meijssen wrote:
>> Well, I can remember that I have tried my darndest to get the 
>> en:wikipedia resource "Three of Life" to consider working towards a 
>> unified Taxobox that is acceptable to *all* Wikipedia. I was 
>> basically ignored with the argument, "see our arguments in the 
>> archives it was a hard slug to get this far we do not want any more 
>> of this". I have presented arguments about things that were wrong for 
>> internationalisation eg [[Animal]]ia in stead of [[Animalia]], I 
>> stated that the mentioning of "Bionominal name" does not add anything 
>> as it is inherent in "Scientific classification". The only result was 
>> "we have voted on this, this is our consensus".
> So the executive summary I get out of this is "people on en: didn't
> like my ideas, so I want to make a separate wiki".
> That's why we're concerned about forking; the underlying reasons
> seem to be interpersonal conflicts in existing wikis, rather than
> a clearcut difference in content.
> It would be great to have a common store for language-independent
> information, but not only is there a commons to serve just that role,
> but without higher-powered database and wiki machinery than is
> currently available or being worked on, wikispecies is inevitably
> going to be another pile of per-language data that partly duplicates
> wikipedia content. Then the board will be faced with the really
> enjoyable decision of whether to perpetuate the fork or put an end
> to it...
> Stan
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Well, if you want to read it like that, you may. However, it is not as 
things went and it is not as I perceive them. People were not interested 
enough to go for a taxobox that would unite all the wikipedia. This is a 
shame, but I was mighty pleased that some progress was made towards 
something that was halfway usable (the {{taxon}} implementation). I have 
introduced the latest taxobox on nl: as well but I do confess I was not 
entheausiastic about the latest iteration. Personally, I would welcome a 
universal taxobox. It would save a lot of work particularly in the 
smaller wikipedia.

When I try to understand what a fork is, I cannot help myself but come 
to the conclusion that all these diferent implemenatations of a taxobox 
can be defined of forks of the same concept. So please explain to me the 
fault in my reasoning. It would point in the direction that Wikispecies 
will combine all these forks into one universal implementation of a 
relatively fixed amount of data.

In a previous post, I explained why having the commons to include this 
data is a bad idea. I have not heard any arguments that refute that..

I fail to see how Wikispecies is going to be this pile of language 
dependent data.
*For encyclopedic information Wikispecies will refer to the wikipedia's.
*English and Latin being the predominant languages in this field, will 
mean that it will be mainly in English. The User interface may be in 
multiple languages. This is being developped for other purposes at this 
moment in time.

As to cooperation among the different wikipedia's, nothing would please 
me more than when we find ways that will decrease the amount of work 
needed to provide quality data to our public. I do welcome any 
suggestion that leads to better consistent, data for all wikimedia 
projects. I wish I could easily tap into the quality data of the en:ToL 
for the nl:ToL. This is what I have been striving for all the time.

Mind you, I defend the Wikispecies idea, I am not the one who proposed 
it. Therefore the suggestion that I want to make a seperate wiki is not 
a true reflection of how things went.


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