Language committee/Archives/2008-11

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October 2008 Language committee (Archives for November 2008) December 2008
For a summary of discussions, see the archives index.

Organization or advocacy group for language issues[edit]

No decision was reached on GerardM's proposal for an organization or advocacy group to handle all language-related issues not handled by the language subcommittee.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    04 November 2008 15:31

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    05 November 2008 00:18

    Ahoy hoy,

    I think it'd be great if langcom or another group could take over the responsibility of handling closure requests. We'd be good for this because we already have lots of experience dealing with people trolling, being upset, and pages and pages of words (horray!). Plus, it's something people always assume we do, so why not?

    As far as more technical issues, I'd prefer some other group do that, but that's probably because I'm not the kind of person who is equipped to deal with them. I'm a biologist, not a silly computer science-type. :)

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    05 November 2008 00:41

    Allo,

    The body that handles opening new wikis (and sets the requirements and procedures thereof) should also handle closing them (and the similar requirements and procedures thereof). This logical correspondence explains the numerous times users have mistakenly assumed we already do. Advocacy and community discussion is a different matter, and should be handled separately.

    However, we need to clean up langcom before we expand its responsibilities. Most members are inactive (many have never been active at all), langcom's activities are out of synch with its policies and charter, and requests ready for approval can easily be perpetually frozen by a single member due to the low number of participating members.

  4. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    05 November 2008 01:29

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Glitch in analysis script[edit]

GerardM noted a glitch in the analysis script, which was promptly corrected.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    06 November 2008 08:39

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Wikinews Persian[edit]

GerardM notified the Board of the impending approval of the Persian Wikinews, without first obtaining subcommittee consensus. The request was not approved.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    12 November 2008 06:27

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Wikipedia Tarifit[edit]

No decision was taken on the request for a Tarifit Wikipedia.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    12 November 2008 08:11

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    12 November 2008 13:52

    I object. There is very little activity in the test project, as indicated by the status page: < http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee/Status/wp/rif >.

  3. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    12 November 2008 14:12

    Concurring. It would be nice to have more African language wikis, but even being sympathetic to that the test project is practically dead.

Subcommittee dissatisfaction[edit]

GerardM asked the subcommittee members if they were satisfied with subcommittee procedure and the application of the policy, on Brion Vibber's request. The response was negative. (Brion delayed creation of the Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia until subcommittee consensus was ensured, but another sysadmin created the wiki without knowing this.)

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    19 November 2008 05:55

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    19 November 2008 13:12

    No, I'm not happy with our procedure.

    • A lack of response is not consensus, particularly during busy times when some members may not have time to look into a proposal that has no deadline given for decision.
    • The majority of decisions are taken without subcommittee awareness, and many others are made with only two or so voices participating.
    • Progress can be stalled indefinitely by a single dissenting voice, so there is zero impetus to compromise (see verification requirement, constructed languages). This also decreases participation, since there is no point debating with someone who won't compromise and can never be overridden.
    • There is no incentive to participate and many reasons not to, so that 81% of the subcommittee is primarily inactive.

    I will propose changes to the policy and charter as part of a general reform, but first I want to remove uninterested inactive members and invite new members. I've already started that process by emailing inactive members to ask if they're still interested in participating in a reformed subcommittee.

  3. Jon Harald Søby
    19 November 2008 14:19

    I agree with Pathoschild on most of his points here; we should become better in communication within the committee, and definately find a way to compromise.

    I think the new community draft is looking alright, but it needs to keep the ISO 639 requirement (and it is not that different from the current one in spirit). However, with regards to Egyptian Arabic, I think we have done nothing "wrong", and I believe it is a viable project and that we don't need to change the policy to "rule it out".

  4. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    19 November 2008 14:20

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  5. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    19 November 2008 22:32
    I don't know what to think of the Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia. I guess part of the blame lies with me for becoming decreasingly inactive and paying less attention, but I did not like that it was approved with apparently no discussion. It didn't seem like an obvious approval to me. I read the request page a few days ago and I was even less sure of what to make of it.

    Please don't archive the next part.
    <this comment is marked as private.>

  6. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    20 November 2008 02:03

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Remove inactive members[edit]

Tangotango was removed for inactivity; Aksi great and Ascánder resigned voluntarily. Bèrto 'd Sèra was not removed due to GerardM's and SabineCretella's opposition.

  1. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    21 November 2008 17:16

    Hello,

    I've been planning changes to the subcommittee to make it more functional. The first step is removing inactive members who are no longer interested in participating, to make room for new members. I emailed very inactive members to ask if they were still interested. Maria is, but Akash and Ascander have resigned. There was no response from the two others.

    As such, I propose the removal of Bèrto 'd Sèra (no message since April 6, explicitly said he would no longer participate) and Tangotango (no message since January 6). Neither has responded to my email sent earlier this week.

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    22 November 2008 23:54

    I will remove them tomorrow if there are no objections.

  3. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    23 November 2008 01:56

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  4. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    23 November 2008 02:09
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:

    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    If you have some other way to contact him, please do so. He has not responded to my email (and has been completely inactive for over 7 months).

  5. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    23 November 2008 02:11

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  6. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    25 November 2008 15:31

    I removed Tangotango; I'll wait a few more days for Bèrto to make sure, but I doubt he's still interested since he suddenly left more than 7 months ago.

  7. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    25 November 2008 15:41

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  8. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 November 2008 07:35

    Done.

  9. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 November 2008 07:38

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  10. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 November 2008 07:42

    What is your objection?

  11. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 November 2008 07:46

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  12. Sabine Cretella
    28 November 2008 07:48

    I object as well - will write more a bit later.

  13. Sabine Cretella
    28 November 2008 10:46

    <this comment is marked as private.>

  14. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 November 2008 11:07

    Hello Sabine,

    I agree that we're volunteers and don't need to be constantly active. However, Bèrto is not inactive simply because he is busy. He left almost 8 months ago after a lengthy debate over the approval process (you may recall "LOLOLOL"). This was his last message, which looks to me like a goodbye message: < https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/langcom-l/2008-April/001195.html >. I emailed him 12 days ago (November 16th) asking him if he was still interested, and did not received so much as an acknowledgment of receipt. He seems inactive and uninterested to me.

    I'm fine with waiting if we expect something to change. However, I think we need to avoid a tendency to stall decisions indefinitely, as we've gotten into a habit of doing (see constructed languages, or the many approvable wikis awaiting verification such as the Pontic Wikipedia).

    The fact that we're a committee doesn't require bureaucracy and inertia, but that's something we've come to excel at.

  15. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 November 2008 12:00

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  16. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 November 2008 15:04

    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    Sure. You might have noticed that I do chip in a little here and there. Just the little things, you understand; like writing the policy, designing and programming the templates, organizing the request pages, inventing and organizing the status pages, programming and maintaining the analysis script, archiving every public message, periodically updating the status pages, proposing requests that are ready for decision, discussing every issue that's brought up, answering the questions and feedback from the community, contacting experts to verify wiki contents when I can, pushing for change when I think change is needed, and so on.

    I think it's a little odd that you accuse me of being the reason for the inertia, really, but maybe I'm just biased. It's also pretty far off-topic, given that we're discussing the removal of totally inactive members.

  17. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 November 2008 17:16

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  18. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 November 2008 19:07

    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    Being active in some areas (like status page updates) does not prove we are active in all areas (like approving new languages).

  19. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    29 November 2008 01:00

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Wikipedia American Sign Language[edit]

No decision was taken on the second request for a American Sign Language Wikipedia.

  1. Jon Harald Søby
    22 November 2008 14:51

    The post on Foundation-l just now made me think: we should put this request as eligible, even though it is not technically possible to create it yet. I mean, process-wise there is nothing wrong with the request, and once the technical stuff has been sorted out it could happen in theory, right?

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    22 November 2008 16:26

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    23 November 2008 04:05

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  4. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    23 November 2008 05:25

    Fine by me, although I know of one person (non-langcom) who has voiced objection to it when the topic arose.

  5. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    23 November 2008 05:37

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>


  6. 25 November 2008 13:11

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Constructed languages[edit]

Requests for constructed and historical languages (Wikinews Latina, Wiktionary Muisca, Wikipedia Lingua Franca Nova) were rejected after GerardM retracted his opposition to applying the current policy to them. However, he blocked the resulting policy clarification. See also discussion in August 2008 and January 2008.

  1. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    23 November 2008 03:29

    I propose finally rejecting requests for languages with no native speakers, since these do not meet the policy requirements. Gerard has agreed not to oppose the decision, so long as he is not the one to implement it.

    For some extensive past discussion, see < http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee/Archives/2008-01#Constructed_languages >.

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    23 November 2008 03:35

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    25 November 2008 16:14

    I have rejected the following requests.

    Historical/extinct languages:

    http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikinews_Latina
    http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wiktionary_Muisca

    Constructed languages:

    http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Lingua_Franca_Nova
  4. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    04 December 2008 13:29

    Gerard has rolled back all changes to the policy to early August 2008. This change re-introduces:

    • the redundant additional requirement for constructed languages we agreed to remove;
    • a note that this requirement is under discussion by the subcommittee (which I guess it is again, now);
    • an incorrect FAQ section saying that wikis for artificial languages are eligible, including fictional languages.

    The rollback even undoes a link syntax correction. I'm not sure whether the rollback was careless or deliberate, but either is an absurd way for a subcommittee member to behave, particularly with no attempt on his part to discuss it.

  5. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    04 December 2008 14:57

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  6. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    04 December 2008 17:35

    Constructed languages have been discussed extensively, notably <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee/Archives/2008-01#Constructed_languages>, <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee/Archives/2008-08#Constructed_languages>, <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee/Archives/2008-11#Constructed_languages>, and many other threads some of which are linked from those. You yourself agreed to the rejection of constructed languages just last week.

  7. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    04 December 2008 17:49

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  8. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    04 December 2008 18:50

    If we reject all constructed languages, that means it is our policy to do so. We don't make decisions because we feel like it, and have our policy say something different.

  9. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    04 December 2008 19:27

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Subcommittee activity statistics[edit]

  1. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 November 2008 20:25

    I had some spare time after my exam today, so here are some subcommittee activity statistics. The data used was largely public information (except discussion volume).

    1. A statistical view of our request-processing and internal discussion activities, September 2006 to October 2008 inclusive. Discussion volume is only available after April 2007, when the mailing list was created. < http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Langcom_statistics.png >
    2. A statistical view of each member's successful request closure proposal activity, September 2006 to October 2008 inclusive. This doesn't include proposed conditional approval/verification for eligibility (which doesn't result in request closure), technical work, discussion, or any other subcommittee tasks, so it does not indicate overall activity. < http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Langcom_member_statistics.png >

    If you have other ideas for measurable stats, do let me know.


  2. 10 December 2008 15:02

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    10 December 2008 15:22

    That particular statistic just means you never successfully proposed the approval or rejection of a request.