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. :)
Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild) 05 November 2008 00:41
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
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.)
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.
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".
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.>
Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild) 21 November 2008 17:16
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.
Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild) 22 November 2008 23:54
I will remove them tomorrow if there are no objections.
Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild) 28 November 2008 11:07
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: <
>. 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
The fact that we're a committee doesn't require bureaucracy and
inertia, but that's something we've come to excel at.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
— 10 December 2008 15:02
<this user has not agreed to public archival.>
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.