[Wikipedia-l] Idea for a new Wikipedia

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Fri Apr 15 20:49:54 UTC 2005

Angela wrote:

>On 4/15/05, Wouter Steenbeek <musiqolog at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>… the existance of a Simple
>>English wikipedia justifies a Simple German wikipedia anyway.
>That might be the case if the Simple English Wikipedia had been a
>success, but, in my opinion, it has not. The project still has very
>unclear goals, and few guidelines about which level editors should be
>writing at. It is not even clear whether the wiki is meant for
>children or learners of English as an additional language. The
>majority of articles are stubs and there has been little interest in
>extending them. Very little, if any, community has ever formed at the
>site. Suggesting the Simple English wiki be closed seems a better
>option to me than using its existence to justify the creation of other
>If enough people believe the Simple German one can work, then that
>could be trialed, but the existence of the failing English version
>should not be used as the reason for creating this.
I agree with this, having occasionally peered over at simple: but never 
really having gotten interested in it enough to edit significantly.

I do think the idea is admirable, but perhaps some of the same goals 
could be accomplished by making the existing Wikipedias somewhat easier 
to read. I've run across quite a few en: articles that use diction not 
in common use since the 19th century (and I don't just mean the ones 
imported from EB1911). That has a certain charm, but more people being 
able to read our encyclopedia has greater benefits, IMO.

I don't necessarily mean to reduce the writing level to that of a 
typical American newspaper (which are purposely targetted to a 
7th-to-8th-grade level to maximize the potential audience), but I think 
there is some reasonable middle ground.


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