Language committee/Archives/2008-04

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March 2008 Language committee (Archives for April 2008) May 2008
For a summary of discussions, see the archives index.

Spanned discussions[edit]

The following discussions span multiple months and are archived in the first applicable archive:

Approval process; Wikinews Czech, Wikipedia Karakalpak & Moksha & Sakha & Sranan Tongo, Wikiversity Portuguese[edit]

The following discussion (originally about closing several requests) became a lengthy confrontation over whether to require expert verification of test project content. No meaningful conclusion was reached, and Bèrto 'd Sèra left the subcommittee.

The requests for a Czech Wikinews, Karakalpak Wikipedia, Moksha Wikipedia, Sakha Wikipedia (after verification), Sranan Tongo Wikipedia, and Portuguese Wikiversity were approved. The second request for a Surzhyk Wikipedia was rejected.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    04 April 2008 02:46

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    04 April 2008 19:13

    Agreed. They all meet the requirements and have active test projects.

  3. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    04 April 2008 20:22

    What that kid said. Stealer. :'(

  4. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    04 April 2008 20:56

    Hello,

    I also propose the creation of the Portuguese Wikiversity. They're missing some recent messages, but this should be resolved by the time it is approved. They otherwise meet the requirements and have an active test project.

  5. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    04 April 2008 22:46

    All languages need verification, since we asked for it in the past. If we did not want to ask verification, we should have not to start requesting it. I did not request it myself, but since it got in the procedure now it must be made. Rules are rules, there is no space for "daily moods".

  6. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    04 April 2008 23:09

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  7. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    04 April 2008 23:58

    As I recall, you're the one who pushed for verification. I'm perfectly fine with not requiring strenuous professional validation, which is just going to mire us in a bog. We've been waiting for verification for Sakha for several months, and that's only one request.

    Since Sakha is the one that would set the precedent, I'm fine with not requiring it and not setting a precedent. As far as I can tell, poor quality writing has never been a problem with communities that started with more than two people. When we have several contributors over many months, it's very unlikely that they'll get away with poor quality text without somebody raising a fuss.

  8. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    05 April 2008 01:04

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  9. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    05 April 2008 03:15

    Those cases occurred where only one or two editors formed the community; the problems were exposed when more joined (or tried to). We do not allow very small communities, so that is not a significant problem. Delaying creation for several months *after* they meet all the requirements is.

    I still see no progress whatsoever on the Sakha Wikipedia; we've been looking for verification since August 2007. The notion that we can get professional verification does not have a very good track record so far.

  10. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    05 April 2008 11:36

    Jesse, you are the guy who archives the messages, so you are supposed to remember who asked what :) The expression "how can we tell this is Sakha at all?" was not born in any of my mails. Check if in doubt.

    Still, that thing was born, and it was used later on as a normal part of the procedure. I observe that some people here seem to like it "the royal way". Today our majesties require people to be dressed in blue and carry roses, tomorrow we will want apple pies and music. Well, maybe you feel you are a Queen or a Pontifex, but I don't. If we start behaving in one way we HAVE to be consistent. This is a responsibility just ANY policy-maker has, no matter the kind of policy. I perfectly understand that for many people "after all this is only a stupid wiki", but a bit of a serious and respectful approach to life and people is needed anyway.

    Honestly, I am a bit amused by the fact that you prefer making endless byzantine discussions on monophisism instead of simply writing a mail and getting the required confirmation. Sometimes I feel I'm the only guy on earth who can write an email... am I? :)))))))))))))) I'm sure you wrote no less than 100 lenghty emails to discuss the theological implications of the scary fact that this ONE email was needed, here and in various virtual pubs around the planet... But that's okay... you are a volunteer as I am, if you don't feel like helping a project being approved I can't aim a gun on you to force you, can I? :)))))))))

    Live as you wish, it's you right, my vote remains unchanged. And NO, this time I will NOT send the email myself. There's LOTS of people in this Committee who have no children to look after and lotsa time to write emails. Make 2+2...

  11. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    05 April 2008 14:40

    This has nothing to do with my clearly royal bloodline, Bèrto. :)

    I have objected to routinely requiring verification since the very beginning. Certainly, it's not working. We've been waiting 7 months for professional verification of the Sakha wiki, and several members of the community have already come forth to tell us that it is indeed Sakha. There are no less than *fifteen* editors of the Sakha community last month alone; it's a little paranoid to suggest that such a large number of editors are all conspiring to take over the Sakha wiki and efficiently silencing the real Sakhans.

    You are the one requiring professional verification, so you send the emails. Just like I demand an active test project, and *I* will investigate the test project; I won't demand that you write an analysis tool. If you want consistency, then don't require routine verification.

  12. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    05 April 2008 17:19

    One more email you wasted, Your Majesty :) the vote remains.

  13. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    05 April 2008 17:41

    So your position is "I'm not interested in argument between equals, what I say goes". Thank you for making your position clear, My Sovereign.

  14. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    05 April 2008 18:41

    Third wasted email, Your Majesty :) Now waste your fourth bullet... :)))))))))))))))))))) Life is fun, isn't it? :))))))) I throw you the ball, you throw me the ball, and nobody does ANYTHING!! We are getting ready to be elected to the Senate in most Democratic Countries!!!! :)))))))))))))))) Great, we'll have a grand carreer... free airplanes, exclusive golf clubs, tons of cocaine and nice chicks offered by big companies to make sure we "say the right stupid thing" :))))))))))))))

    FYI: I repeat that I was NOT the person requiring this step to be inserted in the procedure, but we DID insert it and reached an agreement on it. What is true is that I am the only idiot who cared for applying that part of the procedure thus far. That is, the only moron who took the five minutes it takes to google for a source and cut and paste a standard email... but I'm getting better, as you see... I waste just as many emails as you do, so we can play toghether and make it real adult fun for the both of us :))))))))))) Both of us (and anybody else) could have done the verification in one fifth of the time we spend making this spectacular firework, but... life would be dull if we spent it working, I absolutely agree with you :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    I'm neither upset or hostile, Jesse. I save my emotions for situations in which money is involved (and I rarely get emotionally involved even for big sums, as after all it's only money). When it's for free I am simply amused when things get crazy... and believe it or not, it's real fun to be here :)))))))))))))))))))))) Bèrto

    C'mon, fire back, so we can keep going until forever and everyone will think we are busy "defending some sacred principle" when we are but bloody lazy :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))) LOLOL

  15. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    05 April 2008 18:48

    Bèrto's and my opinions have been laid out. What do the other members think?

  16. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    05 April 2008 19:48

    It'd be nice if we could have professional verification of a test project's contents, but we can't always have nice things, unfortunately. Sakha has been waiting for approximately 454548 billion years to have a project, because *we* have been demanding verification. Why? What could they possibly have to gain by writing in crappy Sakha/some other language? There's no money in it, there's no recognition (at least not on a big scale), and, if they weren't really writing in Sakha, the discovery thereof would be no more damaging to the WMF than the typical en-wiki drama.

    I note we have never asked for verification of projects written in bigger languages like Swedish, Portuguese, Tamil, etc. Sure, it's far easier to notice if people weren't really writing in those languages, but if we *really* want a verification step, it has to apply to all languages. I am not in favour of such a step. Not only is it paranoid, for the reasons stated above, it's needless bureaucratic and too paranoid for my tastes.

    Berto, you scare me. *hides*

  17. Maria Fanucchi (Arria Belli)
    05 April 2008 20:14

    Well. I'll have to +1 Shanel on all this. Yes, I also feel it's a bit paranoid to ask for confirmation on the text of each and every language asking for a project. There are many, many ways to pull pranks on people and/or screw them over, but asking and getting a Wikimedia project in a bogus language is not the easiest or fastest and is therefore probably a sucky target. However, I think that the best thing we could all do right now is have a nice cup of tea and a sit down. Yes, I am saying this seriously, for once. I would have piped up earlier but the tone of the discussion was getting a bit too passive-aggressive for me. A cup of tea can work wonders, and if you don't have tea a random puppy or kitten will do (for cuddling, not for boiling in water, of course).

  18. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 00:03

    Fantastic... two more people who love Sakha so much that they can talk about it foir ages, but sadly they cannot write an email for them :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) The collection is growing laaaarge................... LOLOLOLOLOL

    This reminds me of how fast anyone vanished when, after protesting because LangCom wasn't quick in giving software to South Koreans, I told them that I had put up a server for testing the said software... suddenly everybody forgot about South Koreans, even my beloved Johannes.... :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Which is why I will finish the testing on my own and I will NOT share the results. Since nobody needs it... I'll keep it for other uses, right? ;)

    I adore this place :))))))))))))))  Anyway, my vote remains :)))))) I'm curious to see what you will invent to get out of this situation :)))))))))))))))))) How many email of protest will be written, to avoid working 5 minutes in all :))))))))) And then I'll write a book with it :))))))) A book about "what volunteering in wikipedia really is about" :))))))))))))))))))

    Go on guys... I'm interested :)))))))))))))))) Maria, the tone is not aggressive at all :))))))) I am absolutely delighted, that's how I feel, maybe you don't believe it, but I'm actually shining in smiles as I write. This is SOOO funny :))))))))))) And honestly I did not notice any aggressive stance from Jesse, either. We all agree that this is a fantastic way to waste our time, and we do it all toghether... this is pure broterhood :))))))))) The "Brotherhood of philosophical laziness" :))))))))))))))))))

    So, who else hasn't got the time to do something for Sakha but is ready to play this fantastic game in instead? :)))))))))))))))))

  19. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 00:10

    In case anyone still is in doubt that I am not angry, aggressive or what, you can skype, so we can share a good laugh toghether :)))))))))))))) I'm serious :))))))))))))))))))

  20. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 00:38

    Out of curiosity... does anyone have a tool that can count the number of words in thread? It would be interesting to put the size of the book we are writing aside of the size of the emails needed for the verification :)))))))) I myself must have written no less than 1000 times more than what's needed for the verification email :)))))))))))))))))) Can't believe it's happening, yet it's absolutely real :)))))) It's fantastic, much better than any sociological experiment I ever saw :))))))))))))))))

  21. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 01:15

    I'm glad you're enjoying yourself, Bèrto.

    The difficulty of writing an email is not the problem. I'm sure even you will realize that I'm not lazy, despite what you wrote previously; I drafted the policy, coded and designed all the templates, coded the test project analysis tool, standardized and maintain the requests, consistently respond to requester's questions, et cetera. If writing emails were the only obstacle, I'd be the first to get verification before you even saw the proposal to approve a request.

    The Sakha Wikipedia request is an excellent example. You have written several emails, but we're still waiting over 7 months later for a response. Obviously, "five minutes" of work is not all it takes to get professional verification. *That* is the problem: the 7 months (and counting) of waiting, not the email-writing. And that is only one request; the probably would be greatly compounded if we were waiting for verification of other languages too.

    And Sakha isn't even a small language! There are half a million speakers. If we're waiting 7 months (and counting) for verification of a large language, how likely are we to get verification of some of the smaller languages going through the process?

    I explained why problems are highly unlikely with sufficiently large communities, and Maria and Shanel provided different arguments about the likelihood that anyone would bother trying under the new rules anyway. Routinely requiring professional verification is simply not feasible.

  22. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    06 April 2008 01:26

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  23. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 01:51

    I'm not saying anyone is lazy "in general" :)))))))) I observe that at times all groups of people fall into an "empty discussion syndrome" :))))))))))))))

    Wordcount    :-)))))   
           
    User    Words    - Chars
    Bèrto    1064    - 6316
    Gerard    115    - 673
    Jesse    653    - 4108
    Maria    156    - 791
    Shanel    179    - 1048
           
    Totals    2167    - 1293

    What for? just to avoid writing an email :)))))))))))))))))) BTW, I don't want anyone to take this thing personally. It happens in all teams. I've been studying group behaviour since UNI, and in 205+ years I cannot say I ever saw a single team that was not indulging in these games. So we are not worse than most of our governments are :)))))))) The scary thing is that when you think about it you realize that a war can start in order not to write an email... :)))))))) That's the REAL scary part... but since we cannot avoid it, the only thing we can do is to keep our sense of humour in good shape and remain smiling even under the bombs :))))))))))

    Also... I spent an incredibly boring night putting in place DB constraint and business rules. I would never had been able to make it without falling asleep if not for the fun of this thread.... so I owe everyone who kept the torch alight a bottle of the best wine, as soon as we meet :))))))))))))

    BTW, do your archives still have the text of the verification email we used? So we can compare the size :)))

  24. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 01:52

    ooopss.. it was 25+ years, obviously... I'm old, but not THAT old :))))

  25. Sabine Cretella
    06 April 2008 02:14

    Good morning!

    Well I was not working yesterday ... had one day off and now have to answer X e-mails (where X is quite a high number :-)

    My proposal:

    I write those people using my wikimedia.org e-mail address provided that you give me:

    - the link to the project where the person has to look at - some e-mail addresses you found on the web

    By writing with the wikimedia e-mail address and as chair of langcom we should have better possibilities in getting actually a real answer.

    Sorry, but having really continuous work overload and to care about a family and a household I cannot do the researches, but writing the actual mail that is something I can and will do if I get the data to do this.

    Btw. if the weather is good enough we are going to the Reggia di Caserta (a really nice place) - so actually for my kids I hope I will not be around here today.

    Have a nice Sunday!

  26. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 02:20

    Naayyyyyyyyyyyy :((((((((( we cannot play in peace even on Sunday :((( Now all I can hope for is that people will refuse to help in principle, so we can continue to have fun :((((((((((((((

    You spoiled such a beautiful game.....

  27. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 04:02

    Thank you, Sabine. I still object to delaying approvals indefinitely, but it's worth a try.

    Here are the links to the projects left to check. Maybe Bèrto can provide some email addresses, since he's done this type of research before (and it's his requirement).

  28. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    06 April 2008 04:21

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  29. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 05:15

    Gerard,

    Professional verification is not a policy requirement. Our public (and only) policy does not mention it: < http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Meta:Language_proposal_policy >. Requirements are only added with subcommittee consensus, which we do not have right now. GerardM and Berto favour it, but Maria, Shanel, and myself do not. Sabine hasn't expressed an opinion on the issue yet.

    So far we've failed to verify Sakha after over 7 months of waiting. I don't think we can realistically propose making it an official requirement until we can do it much more effectively.

  30. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    06 April 2008 05:25

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  31. Sabine Cretella
    06 April 2008 02:57

    Yessssssss :-)))))))

    See: it's now that it is getting interesting ....

    Cheers, Sabine

    (p.s. I love to spoil games :-P )

    > Naayyyyyyyyyyyy :((((((((( we cannot play in peace even on
    > Sunday :((( Now all I can hope for is that people will refuse to help
    > in principle, so we can continue to have fun :((((((((((((((
    >
    > You spoiled such a beautiful game.....
    >
    > Bèrto

  32. Sabine Cretella
    06 April 2008 05:13

    I also answered Bèrto, but for some strange reason the messages don't get through to the list ...

    Anway: I will do my part but I expect all the others to do theirs. I don't believe that Bèrto right now has time, because I know what it means to work and to have little kids to look after (I have two and even if they are six now - and not just a few months - it still takes a lot of time to look after them). It is up to all to help.

    The requirement is not "his requirement". When it comes to cs and to pt I don't see problems, because should the contents be not in these languages we have wikipedia communities who would tell us (normally wikinews is started by people from the according wikipedia community). The others: some verification would be good.

    Researches can be done by google to reach linguists at universities. And I am not going to ask Bèrto to do this who already is at approx. 5 hours of sleep a day and often even these are interrupted. He's not the only one around here.

    /me has to cook now ... otherwise my kids will get quite ... ehm ...

    Have a nice Sunday!

  33. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 12:19

    Thanks Jesse!!!! I know you would save the thread :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) "This kind of research" is called Google with the name of the language in the search bar, I'm happy you thrust me to be the only guy in the universe capable of doing such hi-tech wonders, but no, I will not do it :))))))))))))))))))))))) GERONIMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)))))))))))))

    I repeat for the N-th time: it is NOT my requirement. It is a PROCEDURE WE ALL APPROVED (and it took me almost a month to write the text and make sure all parties had their requirements included in the text). Same applies to historical and artificial languages having a particular treatment. Same applies to the need for your stats. All in one text, all in one vote. The agreement had no clause saying that "should a single clause of this agreement prove not enforceable the rest of the agreement would still carry legal value", so... if it's gone it's gone. Full stop.

    Does your family carry any economic activity? I can try and explain you in practice... Now we sign an agreement by which you and your family give me certain goods, and I give you a certain amount of money in exchange. I get the goods then I say you should print your money yourselves, since that part of the agreement is "your requirement" and thanks, I already have the goods anyway. :))))))))))))))))))))

    You're great Jessie... we are heading atraight for the Guinness Book of Records :)))))))))))))

  34. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 15:53

    Bèrto,

    Please leave your silly attitude at the door. It's not helpful.

    GerardM say independent non-professional verification would be okay, which is much more realistic. Would you also support that instead of professional verification?

  35. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 16:46

    We had a vote. If you want to change the result of a vote you need a new vote, not a talk with friends at a pub :))))))))) Or do you seriously mean that when you are tired of paying the rent you simply quit paying it? It's an interesting way of life :)))))))))))))) My attitude is just that if you are not going to take seriously the things you formally decide, than you cannot expect ME to take YOU seriously :)))))))))))

    Man... haven't had this much fun since the last time a was at a poltical meeting :))))))))))))))

  36. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 17:43

    I wish to clarify a point and I am deadly serious this time. I lost the count of the times I invited everybody to read the archives and check that the stupid email being requested was NOT a weirdness of old Bèrto, but a formal decision we all made toghether. It appears that only lately it dawned on someone that when they sign an agreement they are bound to it no matter whether they like it or not.

    If you have a new procedural text to submit to LangCom go ahead, do it. But it must be a procedural text. Not just a vague assertion that we can always twist tomorrow to make it "handier" in everybody's usual style. Once you made your proposal will have a vote and see what happens. And if your proposal wins I'll be curios to see how many seconds it takes before one of the voters finds it "scary", weird or what. If suddenly everyone becomes aware that making a decision is not like discussing on what ice-creams we like better, than I'll be happy to clap my hands to what will have finally turned from a bunch of students at a flea-market into a technical Committee.

    I can't say I have big hopes for the latter, thou. This is the reason why, in the total absence of any minimal level of professionality here, I will mantain that we must find it somewhere else.

  37. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 18:40

    Bèrto,

    Please answer the question I asked; I'm trying to find a compromise acceptable to everyone. Would independent non-professional verification be acceptable to you?

    As you suggested, I read through the archives looking for a formal decision. There are two cases where verification was proposed, and in neither case was there a consensus to require it. I'm not opposed to discussing it now, but we never reached a decision. These two cases are summarised below.


    ==Bikol Wikipedia==
    07 October 2007: Jesse proposes the approval of the Bikol request. Bèrto opposes approval until verification. Jesse and Sabine agree that verification is good if it is possible.

    19 October 2007: Jesse asks Bèrto if there has been any progress. Bèrto does not respond.

    23 October 2007: Jesse proposes approval. He notes that verification is good but only if it is possible within a reasonable period of time, and Shanel agrees. Bèrto opposes, and demands verification at any cost. Maria prefers erring on the side of caution. Bèrto and Maria contact a large number of people, and eventually obtain verification. The matter thus resolved, debate dies down.

    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2007-October/000443.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2007-October/000540.html>


    ==Sakha Wikipedia==
    31 August 2007: Gerard proposes the approval of the Sakha request. He casually wonders if anyone can tell whether it's really Sakha. Bèrto promises to contact a professional for verification, and opposes approval.

    05 January 2008: Gerard proposes approval. He does not ask for verification this time (the verification promised 5 months before is still not done). Bèrto notes that we must verify the content before approval, but nobody else comments (discussion turns to statistical analysis). Bèrto promises to contact a professional for verification "ASAP".

    08 February 2008: Jesse asks Bèrto whether he's had any progress with verification. Bèrto promises to contact a professional for verification "by today".

    19 February 2008: Jesse asks again about progress. Bèrto doesn't respond.

    04 April 2008: Gerard proposes approval. He notes it as maybe needing verification (with a question mark). Bèrto opposes approval, and demands verification of all requests based on previous subcommittee discussion and precedence. Debate ensues.

    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2007-August/000329.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-January/000849.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-February/001084.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-February/001106.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-April/001145.html>

  38. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 19:08

    I spent a month preparing the text that led to make pre-approval automated. When you find that text you also will happen to find WHO was requesting verification for languages. And you will find the fact that we eventually agreed to use that procedure, in full. You can use that text to make your proposals of change if this makes your work easier and shorter. I will not take part in the vote. I'm not going to be interested in policy-making until I see that people make at least the effort of understanding what we are doing.

    Just be aware that whatever new agreement is found I will be just as harsh in defending it as I am defending the current version. No matter what I think about it. And that I will block whatever is not a full-fledged procedural text whose application I can check based on univocal criteria. So no stuff like "Their Royal Majesties in Langcom summoned in Council will discuss...". Maybe I'm weird, but that's the way I am. If we make a decision we HAVE to respect it  and it must be expressed in a language that does not deserve the "weasel word" template. Giving out a quick vote in the morning based on the fact that everyone will have already forgot about it in the evening is not something I'm going to swallow.

    Apart from that, choose whatever rules you please. Honestly, no matter which rules you choose, even the worst one, it will be a giant step forward that at least we happen to be aware that we have it.

  39. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 19:25

    Thank you, Bèrto. That's exactly what I want too. Once we make a decision, I'll enforce it completely as well. For example, I still don't agree with full localization as a requirement, but after we made a decision about it I have defended it publicly, set up the procedures and templates to track it, fully answer all questions about it, et cetera.

    I don't agree that we ever reached a decision about verification, and I did not find the text or decision you were referring to. I would like to make a decision now. So please answer the question I've asked: would independent non-professional verification be acceptable to you?

  40. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 20:18

    refusing to vote. In the absence of a full-fledged procedural proposal I will vote against whatever you propose. My messages happen to be written in english.

  41. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 20:25

    Does anyone think we should have professional verification, or is independent non-professional verification acceptable? For example, this would mean accepting verification from Wikimedians instead of only from professors and experts.

    Bèrto, I assume that means you abstain from discussion until we've worked out a full proposal. That's fine by me.

  42. Maria Fanucchi (Arria Belli)
    06 April 2008 20:45

    I don't have any problem with having non-professional verifications. Not having a diploma does not automatically disqualify you from being consulted on subjects you know well.

  43. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    06 April 2008 20:50

    I would prefer no verification step at all. We won't always be able to find a Wikimedian to verify test project content for us, especially for small languages where we can probably only ask the people working on the test project (which would be pointless). As for experts, it's not always so easy to track them down, and they're under no obligation to actually help us.

    It's already a slow, sometimes painfully slow process, going from open request to new project. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but I fear communities having to wait for us to verify the test project, then wait some more to get it created. It can be frustrating. I would support non-professional verifications but only if (a) We have reason to suspect they are not really writing in that language and/or (b)We can find someone willing to verify it. In other words, make it optional, but not something we absolutely must have in order to approve a project.

  44. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 20:50

    Yes... BTW, I checked the archives myself. There is a technical reason why you cannot find the original request for language verification and track its author. I suppose this hint is enough :)

  45. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 20:53

    I will vote against anything optional. It's either always and how (in clear detail), or never. We have no preferred kids in this family. Both yes and no are not discriminatory in nature and I will not discuss any of the two.

  46. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 21:00
    Bèrto 'd Sèra wrote:

    Yes... BTW, I checked the archives myself. There is a technical reason why you cannot find the original request for language verification and track its author. I suppose this hint is enough :)

    If you want to accuse me of something, do it. Don't hint around with your insults. The full archives are present at < https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/ >, and they are completely out of my control. Or do you accuse JHS, the list administrator, of dishonesty as well?

  47. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 21:03

    ROTFL Calm your paranoia :)))) There is a much clearer technical reason why you don't find it, and it has no relation whatsoever with YOU :)))) Think about it...

  48. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 21:05

    Oh... since the FULL archives are there... you will surely it find there :))) I had in mind the published version :)))))))))))))))) Is THIS hint enough?

  49. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 21:16

    Bèrto,

    The published archives are complete, with only private messages removed and the latest messages not mirrored. They include emails sent before the mailing list existed, IRC discussions, the original proposals, and even the discussion on the Special Projects committee list about founding a subcommittee.

    If you do not trust my honesty as archivist, several other members (including yourself) should have full archives in Gmail of every email we have ever sent to each other. I did not find the formal decision you claim exists in my Gmail archives. Feel free to look yourself.

    If you don't want a hostile reaction, I suggest you drop the attitude.

  50. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 21:22

    Okay... I hate to point fingers, but since you cannot make 2+2 alone... the request came from GerardM, whose messages are NOT in the public archives. Is THIS clear enough? :)))))))))))))))))))))))) Jesse... why on earth are you taking each and every event of the planet as if it necessarily had to be related to YOU?? :))))))))))))))

    We were making the first assesment of the Sakha wiki, the one in which I took the time to read almost all the pages present at the time. When you find it, you will also find that I gave pointers to a number of publications in Sakha, including a radio, and publiched a link to an MP3 in the language. His objection was "how can we tell that this is Sakha at all?". Since all I could honestly answer was "in no way" I added the criterion to the approval process ever since. This is how the story went.

  51. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    06 April 2008 21:39

    Gerard asked a question, and you unilaterally decided that professional verification was policy? I'm afraid committees don't work like that.

    Since you clearly didn't read my email, here again is the summary of the "formal decision" you're referring to. It even includes a link directly to Gerard's comment. (If you still don't get my drift: __There was no formal decision.__)


    ==Sakha Wikipedia==
    31 August 2007: Gerard proposes the approval of the Sakha request. He casually wonders if anyone can tell whether it's really Sakha. Bèrto promises to contact a professional for verification, and opposes approval.

    05 January 2008: Gerard proposes approval. He does not ask for verification this time (the verification promised 5 months before is still not done). Bèrto notes that we must verify the content before approval, but nobody else comments (discussion turns to statistical analysis). Bèrto promises to contact a professional for verification "ASAP".

    08 February 2008: Jesse asks Bèrto whether he's had any progress with verification. Bèrto promises to contact a professional for verification "by today".

    19 February 2008: Jesse asks again about progress. Bèrto doesn't respond.

    04 April 2008: Gerard proposes approval. He notes it as maybe needing verification (with a question mark). Bèrto opposes approval, and demands verification of all requests based on previous subcommittee discussion and precedence. Debate ensues.

    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2007-August/000329.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-January/000849.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-February/001084.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-February/001106.html>
    <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-April/001145.html>

  52. Bèrto 'd Sèra
    06 April 2008 22:16

    HEY!! I like the passage "He casually wonders..."!! I think I will use it as the title for my instant book. I would offer you to be a co-writer, because you do have the quality for doing it, but something tells me you absolutely miss the sense of humour it takes to accept the offer :) And it's a pity. Hopefully when you get older you'll understand it, I do wish you so, because you'll have a much more pleasant life :)

    You will excuse me if I don't bug you anymore... but I really feel you should win this game, since it means so much for you :) The funny (and sad) thing is that you will never accept the fact that I'm being sincere in saying so. You'll manage to intepret it as a provocation :) But that's none of my problems, after all. You have a Committee to manage, I have a book to write. So everyone is busy :)

Optional verification requirement[edit]

Following the lengthy confrontation over whether to require verification, Pathoschild proposed a compromise which would require that verification be attempted, but that projects not be stalled indefinitely if no verification is obtained. With Bèrto 'd Sèra no longer participating, the compromise was accepted without objection.

  1. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    07 April 2008 12:06

    Hello,

    So we've confirmed that we never agreed to require verification for all projects. Now we can move on to whether we should now.

    First, a brief summary. The committee is essentially divided between two positions:

    • Require independent verification, either non-professional (such as from Wikimedians) or professional (such as from linguists). If we can't verify the content, we don't approve the wiki.
    • Don't require verification.

    I suggest a compromise between these two positions. When we consider a wiki, we *will* try to independently verify the content. I can contact independent Wikimedians using <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pathoschild/Translators_by_activity>, and maybe someone else can try emailing a few experts. In many cases, this will be successful. When we're unable to verify the content after a set period of time (such as a month), we'll approve the wiki without verification.

    This compromise equalizes treatment of all requests and balances quality assurance against productivity, preventing the indefinite delays we are experiencing with the Sakha Wikipedia request (221 days and counting).

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    07 April 2008 13:16

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    07 April 2008 13:55
    The comprimise sounds awesome to me. As for Sakha, I have found someone named Susan Crate, a professor of Human Ecology who has done research in the Sakha Republic and speaks the language almost fluently, according to the linked article. I shall try emailing her.
  4. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    07 April 2008 14:11

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Wikipedia Sakha[edit]

Shanel emailed a professor who is nearly fluent in Sakha to request verification. The wiki was later approved.

  1. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    07 April 2008 18:36

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: S. Kalicharan <email censored>
    Date: Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 7:34 PM
    Subject: Sakha content verification
    To: <email censored>


    (This is the same email I sent before; I forgot the subject line)

    Hello Dr. Crate,

    I am a volunteer member of the Language Subcommittee for the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization which runs Wikipedia and other free educational web sites. The subcommittee is responsible for processing requests for educational projects in new languages; for more information, see <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee>.

    We have one request to open a Sakha Wikipedia, which has been open for some time. We would very much appreciate if you would look at some of the pages and tell us whether they are indeed written in Sakha, along with any comments or observations you may have. The test project can be found at <http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wp/sah>.

    If you respond, please also mention whether you prefer your message not appear in our public archives (the email address will be removed automatically). The archives can be found at <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee/Archives>. Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Shanel Kalicharan

  2. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    16 April 2008 14:49

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Susie Crate <email censored>
    To: "S. Kalicharan" <email censored>
    Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 05:53:46 -0400
    Subject: Re: Sakha content verification

    Shanel,
    I have checked the Sakha Wikipedia and it IS written in Sakha. As an anthropologist and a speaker, I am very happy to see such a well-written and extensive site. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
    Sincerely Yours,
    Susie Crate

  3. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    16 April 2008 15:52

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  4. Sabine Cretella
    17 April 2008 07:10

    Thank you Shanel!

    I'd approve this project then.

    Cheers, Sabine

Moratorium on wiki creation[edit]

GerardM crossposted to the subcommittee, Chief Technical Officer, and Executive Secretary to object to a moratorium on the creation of new wikis pending the release of GFDL 1.3 (implemented to avoid problems transitioning to GFDL/CC dual-licensing under the terms of the new GFDL text). This moratorium was later lifted as the GFDL release was continually delayed.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    07 April 2008 16:03

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: <email censored>
    Date: Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 10:57 PM
    Subject: [Bug 13264] Create the Hungarian Wikinews, Erzya & Extremaduran & Gan Wikipedia, and Japanese Wikiversity
    To: <email censored>

    https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=13264


    --- Comment #17 from Brion Vibber <email censored> 2008-04-07 20:57:19 UTC ---
    Currently, no new wikis will be created until GFDL 1.3 is released.

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    CC Brion Vibber (Chief Technical Officer), Erik Moeller (Executive Secretary)
    09 April 2008 08:50

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Erik Möller (Eloquence) Executive Secretary
    10 April 2008 12:01

    That's not how the migration clause works. We have to either wait right now, or dual-license immediately. To be able to discuss the issue of dual-licensing openly, we've decided to wait. I hope that the FSF will move forward quickly - they promised a release date of end of March. I will ping them again tomorrow.

Wikisource Venetian[edit]

No decision was reached on the request for a Venetian Wikisource.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    08 April 2008 17:22

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    08 April 2008 18:29

    The request looks great so far, but I suggest we approve it in the May 2008 batch instead. This is only a few weeks for the requesters (which I think is reasonable just after they open a request), and has a few benefits:

    1. The discussion will be open for a few weeks, so users can note any problems we haven't noticed.
    2. We have plenty of time to obtain verification if possible.
    3. The test project will have two months of activity to look at, since one-month spikes in activity are common and often don't last.

    But I certainly agree with fast-tracking this request into the May batch.

  3. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    09 April 2008 00:16

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  4. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    13 June 2008 05:56

    This project wasn't included in the May batch (if I'm not mistaken), but I think they should be given approval. The test project looks like it's sustained the activity it had in March. Localization is, of course, already done.

Status page upgrades[edit]

Pathoschild notifies the subcommittee of improvements to the status pages (notably the addition of language crosslinking and error tracking).

  1. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    09 April 2008 05:24

    Hello,

    I've implemented some changes to the status page template (see next paragraph). If you regularly use test projects, please take a look and tell me about any problems. If you don't, see < http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee/Handbook_%28subcommittee%29#Status_pages >. :)

    The template now automatically links to other status pages for the same language, so we can easily synchronize localization updates. It also now detects common errors, and adds problems to < http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Invalid_language_committee_status_pages >. Currently it recognizes two errors:

    • A status page for a Wikisource or Wikiversity request links to the Incubator, because the "category" parameter is empty. (This is almost certainly incorrect, because those projects use their own incubators.)
    • A broken link to the request page. (This is usually because of an invalid "en-name" parameter).
  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    09 April 2008 05:26

    (The second sentence should read "regularly use status pages*".)

Ancient Greek: proposed policy for constructed and historical languages[edit]

No consensus was reached on the proposed policy change.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    CC Foundation-l
    17 April 2008 06:20

    Hoi,
    There is a request for a Wikipedia in Ancient Greek. This request has so far been denied. A lot of words have been used about it. Many people maintain their positions and do not for whatever reason consider the arguments of others.

    In my opinion their are a few roadblocks.

    • Ancient Greek is an ancient language - the policy does not allow for it
    • Text in ancient Greek written today about contemporary subjects require the reconstruction of Ancient Greek.
      • it requires the use of existing words for concepts that did not exist at the time when the language was alive
      • neologisms will be needed to describe things that did not exist at the time when the language was alive
      • modern texts will not represent the language as it used to be
    • Constructed and by inference reconstructed languages are effectively not permitted

    We can change the policy if there are sufficient arguments, when we agree on a need.

    When a text is written in reconstructed ancient Greek, and when it is clearly stated that it is NOT the ancient Greek of bygone days, it can be obvious that it is a great tool to learn skills to read and write ancient Greek but that it is in itself not Ancient Greek. Ancient Greek as a language is ancient. I have had a word with people who are involved in the working group that deals with the ISO-639, I have had a word with someone from SIL and it is clear that a proposal for a code for "Ancient Greek reconstructed" will be considered for the ISO-639-3. For the ISO-639-6 a code is likely to be given because a clear use for this code can be given. We can apply for a code and as it has a use bigger then Wikipedia alone it clearly has merit.

    With modern texts clearly labelled as distinct from the original language, it will be obvious that innovations a writers needs for his writing are legitimate.

    This leaves the fact that constructed and reconstructed languages are not permitted because of the notion that mother tongue users are required. In my opinion, this has always been only a gesture to those people who are dead set against any and all constructed languages. In the policies there is something vague "it must have a reasonable degree of recognition as determined by discussion (this requirement is being discussed by the language subcommittee)." It is vague because even though the policy talks about a discussion, it is killed off immediately by stating "The proposal has a sufficient number of living native speakers to form a viable community and audience." In my opinion, this discussion for criteria for the acceptance of constructed or reconstructed languages has not happened. Proposals for objective criteria have been ignored.

    In essence, to be clear about it:

    • We can get a code for reconstructed languages.
    • We need to change the policy to allow for reconstructed and constructed languages

    We need to do both in order to move forward.

    The proposal for objective criteria for constructed and reconstructed languages is in a nutshell:

    • The language must have an ISO-639-3 code
    • We need full WMF localisation from the start
    • The language must be sufficiently expressive for writing a modern encyclopaedia
    • The Incubator project must have sufficiently large articles that demonstrate both the language and its ability to write about a wide range of topics
    • A sufficiently large group of editors must be part of the Incubator project
  2. Ziko van Dijk (Ziko)
    TO Foundation-l
    17 April 2008 07:01

    Dear GerardM,
    Thank you for your explanations; it is sometimes difficult to me following the discussions, a full history of the subject would be useful to me. So, if I understand correctly, if nowadays someone would propose WPs in Esperanto or Latin or Anglo-Saxon, they would be rejected, because they are "constructed" (interlinguistics say: planned) languages or reconstructed. And they do not have native speakers, or just a small percentage of them. When judging the vitality of a language, one can make a list of criteria as done by Detlev Blanke: Internationale Plansprachen, Bln. 1985 (I don't remember by heart the exact list):
    - publications
    - conventions
    - codification by dictionaries, grammars
    - sociological or political diversification of the language community
    - family language
    According to that, Blanke divides into:
    - Planned languages: a full language, in fact only Esperanto
    - Semi-Planned languages (Semiplansprachen): only some achievements, today only Interlingua and Ido, in history also Volapük and Occidental-Interlingue
    - Projects of planned languages: a very faint existence if at all: all the others (more than 1000 projects), including Novial, Lojban

    Following Heinz Kloss (Die Entwicklung neuerer germanischer Kultursprachen, 1978), a small language does not cover all fields of a big language. It will make it possible to speak on a level of low education about 1) matters close to the language community (language and culture, history of the region, maybe a craft common in the region), 2) cultural subjects of a larger range, like general politics, philosophy, 3) subjects of science and technology. On a level of higher education the small language works only on the subjects 1) and 2). On a scientific level the small language works only on subject 1).

    From this one could draw conclusions whether to accept a language edition of Wikipedia, like: a planned language should be a Semiplansprache at least; an ethnic language should cover the subjects as described by Kloss. One criterion useful especially with regard to Wikipedia might be: Is there a vocabulary about computer and internet matters? Would it be a major difficulty to the language community to translate the MediaWiki? This criterion would cause no problem to Latin and certainly not Esperanto, but would ban very recent projects of planned languages and regional idioms who merely are dialects or local varieties of the standard language.

    Gerard Meijssen wrote:

    > - The language must have an ISO-639-3 code
    > - We need full WMF localisation from the start
    > - The language must be sufficiently expressive for writing a modern
    > encyclopaedia
    > - The Incubator project must have sufficiently large articles that
    > demonstrate both the language and its ability to write about a wide
    > range of
    > topics
    > - A sufficiently large group of editors must be part of the Incubator
    > project

  3. Mark Williamson (Node_ue)
    TO Foundation-l
    17 April 2008 07:38

    There are two stumbling blocks for grc.wp in particular:

    - The requirement of native speakers.
    - Gerard's unilateral and so far apparently unsupported and unpopular view that people will make new words up out of thin air and that this will make the language they are writing from an historical language into a conlang.

    Now, the second problem has been discussed over and over. Gerard said at the beginning of this thread: "Many people maintain their positions and do not for whatever reason consider the arguments of others." I can't help but wonder who he is referring to here? Is he referring to himself? Or does he consider that unless people all agree with him, they have not "considered" his argument?

    I considered his argument, and I disagree and think it is invalid. I asked even for evidence of these made-up words... why not give me 10 or 20 words as proof? But I have yet to see them. I was ignored once I asked for the proof. If he decides he is up to my challenge, let me add a qualifier or two:

    1) Proper names do not count. Although they may not be in the original corpus, this is irrelevant as any language, historical or modern, can rapidly assimilate proper names from other languages. Thus, "Britney Spears" is not a neologism, but a made-up word to mean "computer" is. Most proper nouns are the same in all languages with exceptions only for certain toponyms (even in the case of toponyms, many are universals or close to it).
    2) A word, present in the historical corpus, that means "calculating machine" used to mean "computer" in modern texts is not a neologism. Neither is a descriptive phrase of the type used in Navajo (which is a living language).

    With those two restrictions in mind, I challenge anyone to find a neologism in use in the grc test wiki, or the Gothic Wikipedia. I am not saying they do not exist, but I think it is ridiculous that we are arguing about something that is said to exist without even having proof that it does.

  4. Chad (^demon)
    TO Foundation-l
    17 April 2008 10:04
    Mark Williamson wrote:

    > Now, the second problem has been discussed over and over. Gerard said
    > at the beginning of this thread: "Many people maintain their positions
    > and do not for whatever reason consider the arguments of others." I
    > can't help but wonder who he is referring to here? Is he referring to
    > himself? Or does he consider that unless people all agree with him,
    > they have not "considered" his argument?

    You've hit the nail on the head right there with your last statement, and it describes quite a few people on this list, I'm afraid. Gerard, your passion for wanting to do this correctly is admirable, I cannot deny that. However, at times you--and many others, on both sides of the debate--work yourselves into a posisition where you only seem to see "your" solution as "the" solution. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can cause discussions to be frustrating at times. And to everyone, please remember that it's OK to be wrong! It's not a battle to be won, lives aren't lost because people disagree with you. I think if we all remember this a little more often and are willing to say "You're right, we should do it your way instead of mine," we can be a little more productive. And nicer.

    Mark Williamson wrote:

    > I considered his argument, and I disagree and think it is invalid. I
    > asked even for evidence of these made-up words... why not give me 10
    > or 20 words as proof? But I have yet to see them. I was ignored once I
    > asked for the proof. If he decides he is up to my challenge, let me
    > add a qualifier or two:

    Likewise. I would like to see the same information before I can accept that this is a realistic concern.

  5. Sabine Cretella
    17 April 2008 07:09

    Sorry, but no: it does not make sense to have a wikipedia in an antique language. The only projects that can make sense in such languages is wikisource (but that could go together with the wikisource in modern Greek since the UI will be in modern language, otherwise you need to invent terminology for the UI) and wikiquote (and also that one: which language is the UI going to be in? wouldn't it make sense to have it together with modern greek?).

    The language is still used by scholars? Well fine, but they certainly don't use Ancient Greek to communicate in their e-mails and communication at home ... sorry ... no, I am against a policy change here.

  6. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    17 April 2008 16:17

    Sabine,

    Did you mean to only send this message to langcom-l? The conversation is occurring on Foundation-l.

  7. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    17 April 2008 16:32

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  8. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    TO Foundation-l
    17 April 2008 16:51

    Gerard,

    I disagree with your proposal.

    I think some of the proposed criteria are very arbitrary. What is "sufficiently expressive" for a modern encyclopedia? Does that prevent many natural languages (such as Navajo) which don't have words for advanced technology? Wouldn't "insufficiently expressive" languages be perfectly sufficient for the vast majority of concepts, even if they might not have an article on quantum superstring theory?

    Further, I've painstakingly followed every thread in this discussion, and I have not seen any strong argument for allowing languages nobody uses natively. Wikimedia wikis exist to make the sum of human knowledge available to everyone, not to practice or preserve languages.

    I think the argument that they act as a common language for scholars of the ancient language is not valid; we are not a forum for academic exchange. An English scholar of Ancient Greek can (and probably does) use English in his everyday life, including research and communication. An exception can (and is) made for Wikisource, which exists to collect existing literature, but other projects in dead languages do not serve our mission. A scholar of Proto-Indo-European does not communicate in Proto-Indo-European.

    So while I'm open to further debate, I currently disagree with this change.

    (As an aside, the vague statement in the policy you point out is only there because you consistently blocked a majority agreement to remove it.)

  9. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    TO Foundation-l
    18 April 2008 01:24

    Hoi,
    Please read the proposal better next time. "sufficiently expressive" is used for the proposed criteria for constructed and reconstructed languages. Natural languages are not like Navajo are not in that class.

    If you have not found arguments for the use of languages that are spoken natively, you are effectively denying the use of projects like Latin and Esperanto and are in effect blanket blocking all constructed and dead languages to have a Wikipedia. It is nice to have that in the open.

    This "vague statement" has been there from the start, it is only vague because of your insistence that it is to be interpreted in a way it was not intended to be. The intent was that it was to be read as an exception on the rule for native speakers. I know because I put it there.

  10. Pharos
    TO Foundation-l
    18 April 2008 01:57
    Jesse Plamondon-Willard wrote:

    > Further, I've painstakingly followed every thread in this discussion,
    > and I have not seen any strong argument for allowing languages nobody
    > uses natively. Wikimedia wikis exist to make the sum of human
    > knowledge available to everyone, not to practice or preserve
    > languages.
    >
    > I think the argument that they act as a common language for scholars
    > of the ancient language is not valid; we are not a forum for academic
    > exchange.

    You have to remember that "everyone" includes people who consider written-only languages a part of their intellectual sphere.  If Wikimedia was around 500 years ago, would we deny Latin for purely ideological reasons, even though it was very widely used in literature?  And though that use has declined greatly for Latin and similar classical languages, I do not think we can say that such a use is dead, nor can we at all predict the future course for such languages.

    And is it not true that certain topics are best researched in certain languages?  If one were to collect writers from around the world to write an encyclopedia article on medieval ecclesiastical history, based on the most relevant and important sources, would not the optimal language for collaboration be Latin?  And if one were to write an encyclopedia article on early 20th century artificial languages, would not the optimal language for collaboration be Esperanto?

    Surely such articles, written in one context but translated into many other languages, would be very valuable to all of our Wikipedia editions.

    Not that I agree with Gerard's specific proposal, but the case for Wikipedias in written-only languages is quite clear to me.

  11. Mark Williamson (Node_ue)
    TO Foundation-l
    18 April 2008 05:03

    Stop saying Latin, we already have a Wikipedia in Latin. We are discussing the denial of a Wikipedia for Ancient Greek.

  12. Mark Williamson (Node_ue)
    TO Foundation-l
    18 April 2008 05:04

    So Ancient Greek is not a natural language? 100 out of 100 linguists would beg to differ.

  13. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    TO Foundation-l
    18 April 2008 05:07

    Hoi,
    If that is all you want to discuss, the status quo is that Ancient Greek has been denied. I do not want to discuss Ancient Greek only. If that is all we are discussing, I am done talking.

  14. Mark Williamson (Node_ue)
    TO Foundation-l
    18 April 2008 05:10

    Well, we're not discussing Latin, are we? They already have every project besides Wikiversity, as far as I know, so there is no need to discuss approval of Latin projects.

  15. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    TO Foundation-l
    18 April 2008 08:22
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:

    > Please read the proposal better next time. "sufficiently expressive" is used
    > for the proposed criteria for constructed and reconstructed languages.
    > Natural languages are not like Navajo are not in that class.

    The "reconstructed" languages you suggest are natural languages without modern native speakers.


    Gerard Meijssen wrote:

    > This "vague statement" has been there from the start, it is only vague
    > because of your insistence that it is to be interpreted in a way it was not
    > intended to be. The intent was that it was to be read as an exception on the
    > rule for native speakers. I know because I put it there.

    You did not put it there. It was present in my original draft written in November 2006: <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Meta:Language_proposal_policy?diff=466496#Prerequisites>. This predated my joining of the subcommittee, so you had no say in that draft. It was intended as an additional requirement, as shown by the fact that there's no requirement for native speakers in that draft to exempt them from. It was only left as an oversight, and then you blocked its removal when we noticed.

Removal of Timichal's mailing list access[edit]

GerardM's proposal to remove Timichal's access to the private mailing list (following his resignation) was not implemented.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    26 April 2008 01:58

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Sabine Cretella
    26 April 2008 23:29

    Well instead of removing him I would say he stays (he can set himself to nomail) and can come back if he wishes. Everyone needs a break every now and then. He can well be an inactive member - this is something to ask him.

Change Persian requests from 'fa' to 'pes' language code[edit]

GerardM proposes changing all Persian requests to use the ISO 639-3 code 'pes', instead of the ISO 639-1 and -2 codes 'fa' used by current Persian wikis. The proposal is not implemented.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    27 April 2008 03:37

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Jon Harald Søby
    27 April 2008 05:46

    That is a change I don't agree with. I can appreciate that the code pes is more accurate, but when there are several projects written in the exact same language (Persian not Dari) using the code fa, I believe it is wrong to start using the 'pes' code for this project only. It is too arbitrary. Either all Persian projects change to the code 'pes', or this one should use 'fa', for consistency.

  3. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    27 April 2008 05:49

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  4. Sabine Cretella
    27 April 2008 09:20

    I would like to remind you that LangCom only talks about new projects and that we only give information on board request for existing projects - the board itself is then going to take any decision. We are NOT the language police.

    Now: if you want to change .fa into .pes you have to discuss this first of all with fa.wikipedia people - this is nothing we are going to discuss about here, because it is none of our business (.fa as language code was agreed upon quite some time ago).

    I would agree to new .fa projects and would not insist on .pes, because if there are requests for other languages with ISO 639-3 codes which would belong to .fa they would not create problems in terms of "wrong code for this or that language".

    The only real problem we have is .als and this is something we will have to decide upon the day when the "real" .als project is going to be created, but before that happens we can only try to talk to the people from that wikipedia, because we have no actual "code collision" for now.

    I know the answer which is going to come now: my opinion here will not change. LangCom was created to help new projects start and not to clean whatever we find more or less useful from what was done in the past.

    /me going ahead with some really urgent stuff here :-)

  5. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    27 April 2008 13:08

    That's not up to us. You will need community consensus and developer-poking to do so.

    I agree with Jon that all wikis in a language must use the same code, either way.

Wikipedia Sakha, Wikisource Venetian[edit]

The request for a Sakha Wikipedia was approved; no decision was taken on the request for a Venetian Wikisource.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 April 2008 09:24

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 April 2008 11:06

    Hello,

    The activity lasted less than a month. There's only one person currently editing the test project, which is not sufficient to create a new wiki. I'd favour leaving it as eligible until more editors show up.

  3. Sabine Cretella
    28 April 2008 10:45

    Sakha Wikipedia ... there is a mail that did not come through ... we have two confirmationś that contents are correct (for some reason my mails sometimes don't come through or only very late ... and I don't have a clue why ... eventually my subscription should be changed to a different address) - so Sakha should be the first to be created. They have been waiting for ages.

    Of course vec.wikisource is ok.