[Wikiversity-l] Greek Wikiversity

Cormac Lawler cormaggio at gmail.com
Fri Dec 7 10:44:05 UTC 2007

Hi all,

In advance of the IRC meeting on Saturday (UTC) [1], I'm raising the
issue of the Greek Wikiversity to give some background to the current
situation [2].

According to [2] (and from personal correspondences), GerardM, a
member of the language subcommittee [3], "is concerned about a lack of
structure and maturity in the Wikiversity project" and is therefore
reluctant to authorise a new Greek Wikiversity. This acknowledgement
of a lacking of structure is attributed to me, from my recent talk at
the Wikimedia Nederland conference in Amsterdam. However, I'd first of
all like to clear up what I said - which was that there are *questions
that Wikiversity needs to address*, amongst which its ongoing
relationship with Wikibooks. I explicitly acknowledged that
Wikiversity was set up as an experiment, and was in the process of
finding out how best to organise its resources, both internally, and
with respect to other projects, particularly Wikibooks. I also
acknowledged that my understanding of Wikiversity is hugely biased
towards the English Wikiversity, and that there were different ways of
organising materials and activities on other language Wikiversities.
And, from the day as a whole, I observed that there is still some
confusion between Wikiversity and Wikibooks, and that some Wikibooks
communities (at least the Dutch) are incorporating non-textbook
pedagogic material in Wikibooks in order to avoid "splitting" the
existing Wikibooks community.

There's nothing much new in the above - we have always known that
there is a subtle line between Wikiversity and Wikibooks, as well as
being multiple perspectives on what either project should include.
*However*, I would like to point out that these are issues that the
Wikiversity, Wikibooks, and other communities will be working out as
we develop - and, as has been made clear in our previous discussions
on this list, will be negotiated in the context of each language
community *on its/their own terms*.

Moving onto the current situation with the Greek Wikiversity, this is
in the hands of the language subcommittee, seemingly being stalled by
GerardM. However, as I've raised with the language subcommittee, and
according to [3], the subcommittee is asked to assess the "feasibility
of new language wikis" - which is *not* the 'feasibility of the
*project*'. In my correspondence with the language subcommittee,
GerardM has indicated that it might be problematic to authorise new
language projects when questions still remain about the project as a
whole - to which I have responded that this is outside the scope of
the language subcommittee (also acknowledged by Pathoschild, a member
of the langcom [4]), and asked GerardM to state clearly how his
concerns relate to the scope of the subcommittee. I received no reply;
I asked again two days ago, and am still awaiting response. (I've also
made clear that my comments can be posted in public [4] - which hasn't
been done yet.)

So, if the language subcommittee remains stalled on this issue (and
whether or not GerardM has a veto, I don't know), then it would
possibly be a matter for the board. (The special projects committee -
of which I am a member, and which authorised the language subcommittee
- has not responded to this issue, and is effectively dead in any
case.) However, I would like the language subcommittee to make at
least some response to what I've raised, so I would ask for some more
time before bringing it up with the board (if that is necessary - and
I hope it won't be). In the meantime, we can use the IRC meeting to
discuss whether the Wikiversity community at large thinks it is a good
idea to set up new language projects (one of GerardM's proposals), as
well as further the discussion about Wikibooks and Wikiversity across
different languages.


[1] http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:IRC_meeting:What_is_Wikiversity%3F
[2] http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pathoschild/Status/wv-el
[3] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special_projects_subcommittees/Languages
[4] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special_projects_subcommittees/Languages/Archives/2007-11

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