Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Xhosa Wikipedia 2

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This is a proposal for closing and/or deleting a wiki hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is subject to the current closing projects policy.


The proposal is rejected and the project will be kept open.

  • Explanation by the closing Langcom member: Closure was proposed for inactivity; apart for the fact that the proposer unfortunately did not reply to any further inquiries (such as whether he thought content should be moved to Incubator, etc. - he seems to have thought of a deletion initally?), we all know that "inactivity alone is no valid reason for closure". The project can also not be called of having absence of content. What is more, there is some recent activity cf. recent changes (maybe also sparked by the closure proposal). Therefore kept. --MF-W 02:04, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

After five years I presume the right to say that the decision to keep xh.wikipedia open was simply wrong.

In five years nothing has changed. No mother tongue speakers, no progress, nothing. I think it is safe to say that the speakers of this language, some 6 million of them do not want to write an encyclopedia. I thin Wiki-Media needs to respect that choice and act accordingly. Jcwf (talk) 22:57, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

And if there are people that oppose closure I think they need to come up with a rational argument why the next five years should be any different than the past.

Jcwf (talk) 22:57, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose closure, on principle. I object to closing projects unless they are actively causing harm. Why discriminate against speakers of minority languages by denying them the opportunity to contribute to a project in their own language? We can't conclude from the current lack of interest that nobody wants a Xhosa encyclopedia. Native speakers of Xhosa exist, they just don't have as much Internet access as the West does. This will change with time as technology permeates the third world. I don't understand why we're in a hurry to shut down a wiki that takes up no server resources and can only expand as Africa goes online. Tempodivalse [talk] 23:19, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
    • We are talking about a country that has been online for decades. And there are plenty of Xhosa speakers on the internet. But I am sure these facts don't fit your prejudice. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jcwf (talk • contribs) .
      • I am not intimately familiar with the technological situation in South Africa. That there are no contributors now, is not a guarantee that there will never be any; there are many possible reasons why people are not contributing. Perhaps there just hasn't been enough publicity? In that case, it would perhaps be better to raise interest among the online Xhosa community instead of summarily shutting the wiki down. I just don't think it's fair to deny people the ability to contribute in their native language. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:44, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
        • Nothing you contend or claim is new: it was all said five years ago. I think it is disingenuous of you and unfair to ignore that fact Jcwf (talk) 01:52, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
          • I AM STRONGLY OPPOSED to this proposal. The Wikimedia ZA chapter has in the past conducted outreach program's to this specific language group and have renewed plans to concentrate efforts for the activation of Small languages Wikipedias in South Africa. in fact we plan to activate finally the Ndebele Wikipedia by the end of this year. --Thuvack (talk) 11:06, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  • support, obviously not a viable project. Little content beyond the usual city spam etc., no activity of any significance. Let it grow in the Incubator if contributors ever show up. -- Liliana 19:55, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment I was brought up in South Africa during the Apartheid era. While I was there I remember a newspaper artcile from the anti-Apartheid press that surveyed the attitude of black people towards the medium of language used in educatuion - the chief supporters of mother toungue came from the least educated sectors of the community - the more educated sectors preferred instruction in English apart from possibly for youngest children. There was very little support for the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction. Since I no longer live in South Africa nor am I involved in financing the project, it is inappropriate for me to support or to oppose closure. 81.157.14.170 07:51, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support not enough active contributors to make this wiki viable. MaskedHero (talk) 19:15, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Incubate: If a contributor comes along to incubator, they should not be punished through a locked wiki. There are no fundamentally flawed problems with the project other than lack of participation. --LauraHale (talk) 00:25, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose closure, I am sorry I have not responded to this proposal sooner as not only do I oppose it but I have also been actively working on getting some contributors on Xhosa language Wikipeida. I had a preliminary crack at it last year targeting Xhosa language teachers and translators as an experiment which had mixed results in that the interest was clearly there and openly expressed but I was not able to attract any long term editors. Everyone I talked to expressed delighted surprise that there was a Xhosa language Wikipeida and that they could edit it. Which is why I think it is mostly an issue of informing people about it, the importance of editing it, and how they can edit it. Since February 2012 I have been very inactive on restarting the project until the in late March 2013 when I contacted the Xhosa department at the University of Cape Town (UCT) again and spoke to a professor there about exposing Xhosa language Wikipedia to Xhosa language students at the university and the possibility of using it as a language teaching tool that also expands the Wiki whilst introducing it to the students on a more practical level. I will be going to UCT tomorrow to introduce it to the students during their Xhosa lecture. If I have to go to them tomorrow only to tell them that we have now decided to close this Wiki I WILL BE VERY DISAPPOINTED!--Discott (talk) 11:36, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I would be very disappointed if this wiki is closed. I think that Discott may be able to find several interested participants who could save the project. Also, Thuvack seems to be interested in helping. (FYI, I mentioned this discussion a few places on enwiki to get more comments.) PiRSquared17 (talk) 03:32, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose closure, I believe efforts by Discott and members of the Wikimedia South Africa should be given time to produce results. Discott is making efforts to introduce Xhosa editors to the wiki. Mohau Talk 05:09, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It makes no sense to close in the midst of ongoing outreach efforts. The nominator failed to inform the relevant parties, made wild claims about potential contributors demanding to be paid, reacted aggressively in comments below about 'not being bossed around' and saying "this is also why Xhosa's won't come to be exploited by you." Strongly oppose. The nominator has replaced his/her user page with the content 'Gone', and has clearly lost interest, but seems to want the whole wiki to follow :) Greenman (talk) 15:58, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support closure; move back to the Incubator on the grounds of absence of real content. I did a random search on Special:Allpages and I do not agree that xh:Varenholz, xh:Brasil or xh:Frankfurt can be counted as content. It is simply not. Xhosa wiki had years to develop and the results speak for themselves: failure. xh:Special:Log/delete and xh:Special:Log/block shows that the current activity is vandalism and spam. Sorry but we do not need more dead wikis. It should be locked. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 16:14, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The arguments for closing it are akin to "blaming the victim" arguments. The fact that a Xhosa Wikipedia has ever existed is news to me - and I've been a member of WikiProject South Africa on en.WP for about seven years! This proposal is like a shopkeeper deciding to discontinue a product line due to lack of sales but he had kept the goods hidden in the darkest corner of the storeroom, the shoppers never knew it was available. WMZA is now initiating promotional actions, so lets give it a chance. Dodger67 (talk) 17:18, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - We have already deleted many african wikis like the ndonga wiki for Angolia, the Afar wiki in Afar, and the Kwanyama dialect in Nambia, if we cotinue doing this, many more African nations will lose most of their wikipedias, so lets try to make this like our english, dutch, and german articles Jp1337
  • Oppose substantial activity over the last two weeks. --Rschen7754 09:15, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose --Kolega2357 (talk) 21:20, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per some recent activity. Low activity should never be a reason for closing a project. Russavia (talk) 07:02, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose --Holder (talk) 19:46, 24 June 2013 (UTC) Per Russavia :-). There is (small) content with some 150 articles, so why should this project be closed? Perhaps there will be some Xhosa speaking authors in the future. What's the problem with such a small project?

Other discussion[edit]

You didn't format the request correctly, and the local wiki has not been informed (possibly on the Community portal or a SiteNotice). Also, it seems strange to have someone who is/was an admin proposing closure... πr2 (t • c) 23:21, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

How so? Am I not allowed to draw conclusions from the obvious: Xhosa people do not participate because they want to get paid. Frankly I don't blame them. And I think you should respect their choice, rather than clutter the internet with a disgraceful front page in their language. This is also why the local wiki hardly needs to be informed: there is nobody there and hasn't been for year and years and years.
Jcwf (talk) 00:28, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
How exactly did you come to the conclusion that Xhosa speakers want to be paid? That is not the case for most minority-language communities, in my experience. I do not view the lack of activity on the xh.wp as an active decision on the part of Xhosa speakers not to participate; but rather as a consequence of the Internet still being inaccessible to many in Africa. (BTW, I corrected the indentation on your post.) Tempodivalse [talk] 00:35, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
See Proposals for closing projects: "Do not forget to warn the project itself and/or its language community in Wikimedia in the best possible way and add a link to it in the proposal. Proposals with no fair warnings to the projects will be ignored." See Closing_projects_policy#Proposing. πr2 (t • c) 00:46, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I am sure you want me to jump through all sortf or hoops, but you have no business asking me to do anything. You do not pay my salary. This is also why Xhosa's won't come to be exploited by you. You seem to think rather wrongly that without paying anything you can boss people around and you are wrong. Jcwf (talk) 01:52, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry if my comment seemed rude to you -- it wasn't meant to "boss" you around. I think you misunderstand my intentions. If you don't want to notify the community, then I will do it. ... πr2 (t • c) 02:13, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
@Jcwf, to put it into terms you can understand: Very few people are paid and all those work for the WMF. By failing to adhere to policy guidelines regarding community notification, YOU Jcwf, waste the time of unpaid volunteers. Sure, you are correct: You are not being paid and cannot be made to do anything, but in choosing to take this unpaid action on your part that does not follow procedures, you deliberately set yourself up for failure. --LauraHale (talk) 00:24, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
To put foward the idea that xh.wikipedia is failing because Editors want to be paid is wrong and insulting in many levels that I do not care to state on this page. It is unfounded flimsy and downright condensending! --Thuvack (talk) 11:58, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

I have informed Wikimedia South Africa, whose representatives are sitting right beside me at the Wikimedia Conference 2013 in Milan, about this proposal. --Sky Harbor (talk) 11:02, 21 April 2013 (UTC) Maybe this should be advertised within the Xhosa community. Maybe people will come forward and become more involved

  • My 1st question pertaining the closure of the Xhosa Wikipedia is .....How about the feature Generation of the Xhosas,who might be interested in running Wikipedia in Wiki-Xhosa in the future....?The idea sounds more like an embarrassment to the initiators of the Wikipedia Page,think of the efforts,costs and the time spent initiating such a projects and even the amount of money to host the sub-domain...that's just food for thought.Secondly does that mean the foundation is contradicting its Mission and Goal of "Free Knowledge to everyone" if by any means they are supporting this idea?I totally disagree to this motion,i understand the number of contributors might be less and Inactive but my blame lies on the very people who are assigned to take care of the Wikipedia page more especially the prominent volunteers....i know choice lies from within an individual and i must say it takes so much commitment for someone to commit to Wikipedia Errands therefore if Wiki Xhosa Volunteers are not able/interested in continuing with the page then recruit other volunteers to continue the project.Wikipedia is a non stop project and we both wouldn't want to see sub projects that give strength to the number 5 most viewed encyclopedia missing its incredible position in the cyber world.I like the way Tswana Wikipedia was initiated in Botswana...i remember Google partnered with Wikimedia Kenya in helping the foundation to recruit volunteers who could help the page grow,i wish the same strategy could be used to recruit more contributors (Xhosas) but in a diverse way.....student are easy to lean and teach about Wikipedia so holding seminars/talk with them and showing them the importance of Wikipedia would be a great way to revive the Xhosa Wiki Page.It has really worked out for us (Botswana),as a fellow Wiki campus Ambassador i have held so many talks with people and now their interest is so engrossed in Wikipedia and sooner they will start editing on Tswana Wikipedia.However i must say Wikipedia Pages are one way of establishing chapters for the foundation because they really show how serious some people are committed to Wikipedia.Now how about the future if we propose to have the Xhosa page closed!?....yet we are preaching "Imagine....." to the entire world?. Oarabile Mudongo (talk) 12:11, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
    Do you know who ran the Setswana Wikipedia Challenge 2011? Would they be interested in doing it for Xhosa? PiRSquared17 (talk) 19:03, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
User:Discott who is also a board member of WMZA is going to Organise a similar or smaller event for the Xhosa Wikipedia in Cape Town during the course of 2013. I am currently organising JoburgpediA and will certainly aim for a few articles to be written in Xhosa Wikipedia in the next three months. --Thuvack (talk) 21:00, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Might be useful to link to User_talk:Ijon#Xhosa_Wikipedia_Challenge.3F here. Asaf has not responded to Oarabile's comment as far as I can tell, but that's understandable given the length. PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:23, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
  • xh:Special:Contributions/87.160.118.16 has made some edits in what appear to be Xhosa recently, but [s]he seems to have added the same content to different pages (Nelson Mandela, Chemistry, etc.). PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:27, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
    • I noticed that, too. However, I think that is mostly text from the sports (Ezemidlalo) article copy/pasted several times. In other words, inadvertant vandalism from sandbox edits, rather than useful contributions. -Kierano (talk) 18:14, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
  • On principle, I oppose closing the project if it has even the smallest amount of useful content. That said, the project is definitely in a poor state right now, and we need to think of ways to revitalise it. I think Oarabile is onto some good ideas: organising numerous seminars on university campuses and creating networks of campus ambassadors is a good way to recruit a critical mass of volunteers. This would likely require some funding (to pay at least a core staff member or two to coordinate volunteers, plus to cover incentives like food at volunteer events), which would itself require funding (preferably from WMF, but possibly also from an external philanthropic source or even the South African government?) WMZA seems to be a in a good position to apply for this funding and guide such a project. -Kierano (talk) 18:14, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose closure - I am currently in the process of documenting the students of Sinenjongo High School, students who in November 2012 penned a letter for free access to Wikipedia from cellphones (check the references on the article). ALL of them speak Xhosa, live in extreme poverty, have extremely limited internet access (one hour per week through their school) and all of them value the knowledge on Wikipedia highly. This Monday we had a lesson where representatives from the South Africa Chapter and 1 Wikipedian from Botswana came to teach a class about how to edit Wikipedia articles. The students made a few edits to pages and were ecstatic when they clicked save and saw their work live on Wikipedia. One student corrected the page on Nelson Mandela! I can see a bright future for Xhosa Wikipedia, there is a community here in South Africa that values Wikipedia and simply requires more internet connectivity which will slowly happen as time goes on. I believe that on principle that the Wiki should remain open and that any move to close it would be motivated by impatience. Victorgrigas (talk) 21:29, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Ndiyayichasa intokuvalwa kwale project, umzekelo mna lo ndiyaqala kwa-ukungena kwelikhasi namhlanje ngenxa yokungafikeleli kakuhle kwi intanethi, khasi elo liluncedo kakhulu kuthi bantu bathetha isiXhosa ndivuyiswa yintokuba ndizokwazi ukufunda ibhayibhile efonini / komputheni yam ngesiXhosa hayi ngesilungu kuphela. Ngxe banumzana ababekekileyo ngokuvala silindeni singenelele.mazdasiera 04 june 2013 (Mthatha)

For translation into English, see User_talk:Vgrigas#Special:Contributions.2F163.195.24.11 PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:29, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I am against the closing of this project, for example, it is the first time today I visit this page because of limited access to internet. That page is of great assistance to us Xhosa speaking people, I am happy that I will be able to read the bible on a cell phone or on my computer in Xhosa and not only in English. Therefore honourable gentlemen, please allow us to intervene and wait for us before closing. (translation, see note)

No need to close this Wikipedia. This is a bad idea that this user requires. At about 5 wikipedia I also saw no change as the weeks and then close them. --Kolega2357 (talk) 23:33, 14 June 2013 (UTC)