Language committee/Archives/2009-01

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December 2008 Language committee (Archives for January 2009) February 2009
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:

Wikipedia Dalmatian, Wikipedia Mandarin[edit]

The requests for a Dalmatian Wikipedia and Mandarin Wikipedia were rejected.

  1. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    03 January 2009 12:45
    • I rejected proposal for Dalmatian Wikipedia [1] because Dalmatian is an extinct Romance language (Italo-Dalmatian branch), while proposal was about Slavic language. Actually, proposal was really poor, even with links to the description of Dalmatian as a Romance language. Also, it was about Ikavian variety of Shtokavian macro-language and it may be relatively easily done by conversion engines. It was not even about Chakavian language system, which, by my opinion, would a valid request. The reason behind opening is obviously nationalistic because it had been started by Serbs and there are no Serbs which are natively Ikavians.
    • What to do with Mandarin Chinese proposal [2]? I am not an expert in Chinese, but my general knowledge says to me that zh.wp is, actually, in Mandarin Chinese. If there are no other informations, I would close this proposal, too.

    [1] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Dalmatian
    [2] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Mandarin

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    03 January 2009 22:16

    I agree to both rejections.

    According to the relevant Wikipedia articles, the Chinese Wikipedia is written in Vernacular Chinese; this is the official written form, which is essentially Standard Mandarin. The discussion indicates little or no written difference between the various Mandarin dialects and the Standard form (the former differing primarily in pronunciation).
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Wikipedia
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernacular_Chinese
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Mandarin

  3. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    04 January 2009 00:26

    Thanks! Rejected.

Spelling dispute on the Anglo-Saxon Wiki[edit]

The dispute was not within the subcommittee's jurisdiction.

  1. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    03 January 2009 04:52

    This argument seems to be damaging the project. Is there anything we can of should do?

    http://ang.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Style_Vote#Request_for_clarification

  2. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    03 January 2009 05:06

    I don't think that we are able to do anything... This is a dispute related to a particular project and there is no Wikimedia institution which deals with such problems.

    But, it reminded me that we should move all playground wikis to Wikia. So, if language is not used anymore and it is not useful for spreading education at all, such language should go to Wikia.

    In other words:

    • Latin should exist as modern Latin.
    • Old Church Slavonic should be replaced by Church Slavonic.
    • Ancient Greek may be useful.
    • I suppose that Sanskrit may be useful, too.
    • I am not sure is Anglo-Saxon useful at all: (1) Is it used for, let's say, Anglican Church or so? (2) I may guarantee that almost 100% of humans who know Anglo-Saxon, know English, too.
  3. Sabine Cretella
    03 January 2009 12:36

    Hi and happy New Year to all. I don't know when this message will go through since I don't have a normal Internet connection here and only download every now and then my mail.

    Langcom does only deal with the creation of new Wikipedias. We don't deal with the closure or movement of existing Wikipedias. This to avoid to be seen as the language police. Because if so there are some more that are not even languages according to ISO 639-3 or that have a completely wrong language code.

    The only thing we can do, if requested by the board, is give some advice which can help them to decide, but it will not be us to bring up such discussions.

    I hope this helps.

Southern Min written with Hanji[edit]

No decision was taken on the request for a Southern Min written with Hanji Wikipedia.

  1. Shanel Kalicharan (Shanel)
    07 January 2009 15:06

    I propose the rejection of the request for a Southern Min Wikipedia written with Hanji . This is not a request for a new language, but a script issue. If I am reading the request right, there is a standard script being developed, so after it has been created a conversion script can be used.

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    07 January 2009 15:56

    Agreed. Southern Min seems to be identical to Min Nan (which already has a Wikipedia), and has no ISO 639-3 code. Alternative writing systems should be on the same wiki, possibly using a conversion script.

  3. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    07 January 2009 18:21

    Hm. But, it is not so possible to make a conversion engine for that purpose.

  4. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    07 January 2009 18:27

    Latin and Han cannot be "converted"

  5. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    07 January 2009 19:02

    Michael and I changed a couple of words about this issue and I made a research. Here is the situation:

    • From the article [1]: Written: Southern Min dialects lack a standardized written language. Southern Min speakers are taught how to read Standard Mandarin in school. As a result, there has not been an urgent need to develop a writing system. In recent years, an increasing number of Southern Min Language speakers have become interested in developing a standard writing system (either by using Chinese Characters, or using Romanized script). For a phonological and lexical comparison of major Sino-tibetan languages (including prominent varieties of Southern Min Language), see Sino-Tibetan Swadesh lists.
    • However, Michael says that there is a standard Latin script now.
    • Also, as both of us mentioned, that it is not possible to make a conversion engine between Latin and Han scripts. Actually, it is possible, but needed work is equivalent to making a translation engine, which is not a simple, but a very complex task.
    • Provided document should be analyzed, too [2].
    • Community around zh-min-nan should be asked for the opinion.
    • Some trusting users from zh should be asked for the opinion.

    My conclusions are:

    • It is a political issue.
    • We don't have precise informations about what is going on there.
    • If it is a really needed project, it is not reasonable to force people to have two articles about the same issue in two different scripts at one project.
    • It is reasonable to suppose that to some people it is easier to read and write in Latin, while to other people it is easier to read and write in Hanji.
    • Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects are about written language, not about any form of language. If it is about the spoken language, the situation would be much different.

    The good situation is that there are not a lot of people who ask for that project, so nothing is urgent now. But, I wouldn't say that such project didn't fulfill the criteria. If the rules explicitly say that it is not possible to create two projects in two very different orthographic forms (one phonographic, one logographic), they should be changed.

    [1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Min_Nan
    [2] - http://tailingua.com/downloads/MoE400Characters.pdf

Antony D. Green joins the committee[edit]

Antony D. Green was inducted into the committee.

  1. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    11 January 2009 03:08

    This email is about a personal issues, so I am asking for closed discussion *if* proposal would be rejected. (Leave this paragraph visible as an explanation.)

    For a long time I was thinking to propose <name censored> as a LangCom member (not just for the time while I am a LangCom member). He is one of the rare linguists of kind which LangCom needs (introduced in a number of languages, not just in general linguistics). He is a very active Wikipedian and admin on at least English Wikipedia. I think that it is good to raise expertise level of LangCom. (Just to note that I didn't contact him about this issue. But, I think that he will be interested.)

    [1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/<name censored>

  2. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    11 January 2009 05:46

    I would very much endorse his membership.

  3. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    11 January 2009 07:12

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  4. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    11 January 2009 07:46
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    So did Axel Wijk and Noah Webster.


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

    I made my recommendations about the Moldovan thing.


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

    Write to him.

  5. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    11 January 2009 08:18

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  6. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    11 January 2009 18:49
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    I sent to him an email.

  7. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    22 January 2009 03:36

    Antony (<name censored>), Gerard and I had communication last 10 days. His only concern is connection of his WikiPedian work with his name. He opened new account at Meta for this purpose (with his full name): User:Antony_D._Green.

    I think that the best idea is to leave this thread private with mentioning that Antony D. Green is(n't) accepted as a new member of LangCom.

    If there are no objections in a week, I think that we may move to the procedure of accepting Antony as a LangCom member. (I suppose that Sabine should inform the Board about the new member [at the next Friday].)

  8. Sabine Cretella (SabineCretella)
    22 January 2009 04:24

    Ok, I read this. I am still after quite a lot of stuff that remained open because of many unplanned things that came along, so I am very quiet and only show up when really necessary.

  9. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    05 February 2009 05:35

    A week passed and nobody from the Board complained about Antony. I suppose that Jesse is responsible for adding Antony at mailing list. His email address is <email address censored>.

    One more note for archiving: I mentioned <name censored>'s name and surname a couple of times. It shouldn't be published.

  10. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    TO Antony D. Green
    14 February 2009 20:15

    Hello Antony,

    Welcome to the language committee. You can catch up on past discussion by looking at the private archives, the public archive index, or the current policy (see links below); or just jump right in, and we'll poke you as needed.

    Discussion with the committee is copied to a public archive for transparency, but this is opt-in only. Do you agree to the public archival of your emails? You can mark any discussion or comment as private and the text won't be archived. If you don't agree, your messages will be replaced with the note "<this user has not agreed to public archival>".

  11. Antony D. Green (Antony D. Green)
    15 February 2009 09:27

    Hi everyone,

    I'm glad to be abord on the language committee.

    I agree to public archival of my comments, associated with the username User:Antony D. Green

  12. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    15 February 2009 16:22

    Welcome :)

Private wiki?[edit]

The proposed private wiki was not implemented.

  1. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    11 January 2009 21:41

    What do you think about making a private wiki for at least organizing contacts with relevant institutions and linguists there? Of course, it shouldn't be a place for any kind of materials which should be public.

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    12 January 2009 02:19

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Quorum[edit]

The proposed quorum was not officially adopted as policy.

  1. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    11 January 2009 12:21

    I propose that we implement a quorum (a minimum number of support votes required to implement proposals), as is typical for committees. Before we discuss specific quorums and what they apply to (we probably don't want quorums for every trivial decision), I'd like to know what the subcommittee members think of the idea in general.

    This is intended to solve two main problems:

    1. Language subcommittee decisions are proposed and implemented by a single member if nobody objects within a short time period. This works well for uncontroversial decisions, but can backfire if several members are inactive or busy elsewhere. This occurred with the Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia, which was approved despite several members later saying they were not in favour. (See also the Foundation-l controversy, where several persons including Jimbo Wales stated they thought the process was broken.)
    2. Currently a single member can block a decision on an issue indefinitely, even if there is a consensus of all other subcommittee members. This also discourages participation, since all decisions can be taken by the most vocal few members. Compromise is also discouraged, since there's no incentive whatsoever to compromise when you can block progress by yourself anyway.
  2. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    11 January 2009 21:16

    I agree with proposed changes. Here are my thoughts related to them:

    1. Let's try not to make this issue too bureaucratic. If there are no potentials for controversy, I don't think that there are some special needs for changes of the procedure. If it is about, let's say, Finnish Wikiversity I don't see a reason why to make things more complex. If it is about a clearly distinctive language with enough speakers (i.e. not a moribund language) and established orthography, and without political issues around it, I don't see a reason why to change anything. (Don't understand me wrong: by default, I am for opening a project, but it is obviously that we need to talk more if there are some issues out of standards scope.)
    2. If it is about hoax and some of us is able to see it (the most recent is Dalmatian case), I don't see a reason why to discuss about it at all. (At last, if someone made a mistake, it is possible to reverse it.)
    3. If there are some issues, I suggest quorum (let's say 5 of us; I saw that at least 7 of us are writing here regularly). If there is one objection, we should prolong discussion for, let's say, two weeks more. If there are < 1/3 of objecting members, we should prolong discussion for, let's say, one month. If there are between 1/2 and 1/3 of objecting members, we should prolong discussion for, let's say, two months. After the period passed, needed majority will make decision (in the first case consensus-minus-one, in the second 2/3 majority in the third simple majority).
    4. In relation to inactive members, I would say that a good idea is to make a rule to move inactive members into advisers. When they are ready to be active again, they may become full members again. Let's say that we need to talk with a member who wasn't a part of quorum 10 times (10 connected times; I forgot the word in English). If a member expressed will to stay, everything is OK. But, let's say, such situations shouldn't be more often than two times per year. If there is a third need to talk, we should automatically move membership to advising.

    BTW, I agree that the fact that my opinion may block some process is a problem. Usually, I want to express my opinion, but it doesn't mean that I want to block every decision which I don't like.

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    12 January 2009 23:51

    Moving on, then. I propose the following addition to the charter:

    Decision-making process

    All subcommittee members speak as individuals in discussions, and cannot represent the subcommittee; however, they are empowered to change the status of a request subject to these conditions:

    • eligible: with subcommittee notification (only one notice per language).
    • rejection: with subcommittee notification.
    • approved: A quorum of three subcommittee votes over at least 48 hours. If a member objects and there is no consensus after two weeks, a vote can be called to decide the issue (majority if one objecting user, 75% if more).
  4. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    13 January 2009 02:40

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  5. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    13 January 2009 03:03
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:

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

    Not at all. A simple wiki edit can be reverted if there is objection, which is the reason for notification. The quorum for approval ensures there is actual agreement about the approval, not simply inactivity or absence. If there really is agreement, three votes is trivial to obtain; yourself, myself, and any of the other subcommittee members. The quorum should have no effect on the speed of approval in consensual cases.

  6. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    13 January 2009 03:16

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  7. Jon Harald Søby
    13 January 2009 04:23

    I think this is a good addition. It is pretty much the status quo except for the approval part, but it's nice to have it in writing somewhere.

  8. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    13 January 2009 04:37

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  9. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    13 January 2009 07:07

    I think that Gerard's changes have sense.


  10. 13 January 2009 15:08

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  11. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    14 January 2009 02:34

    I disagree with Gerard's proposal. In most cases it is approval that is not consensual. There are many factors around approval: verification, test project activity, localization, community size, suitability, miscellaneous issues with the content (such as intermingled language or bad translation), and so on. These issues cannot be discussed at the same time as the language's eligibility, since they are per-request issues.

    The ideal solution is a quorum on both steps since they are different sets of issues: one for language eligibility, and one for individual request approval. If there are no issues with the request, obtaining a 3-vote quorum is trivial. However, it prevents absence from being misunderstood as consensus, as occurred with the Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia, and encourages participation.

    I also note Gerard removed the impasse-breaking vote, which I think is a very important part of this proposal. I suggest we implement that at the same time.

    I have no objection to a longer period, as Karen proposes.

  12. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    14 January 2009 03:10

    So, then, we should have quorum at both steps.

    If there are objections, I think that we should prolong the discussion period. However, at the end it should have some epilogue; which means that we need to vote. I think that all of us are reasonable enough to take positions with arguments. Also, I would like to see publicly final positions expressed in between one or a couple of sentences (at Meta). If there are privacy issues, we may summary the positions anonymously. (My positions are by default public, but if there is a need for making all positions anonymous, I agree with that.)

    Also, one week seems more reasonable time frame than two days.

  13. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    14 January 2009 03:18

    I have no objections to these (Milos') proposals.

  14. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    14 January 2009 03:42

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  15. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    14 January 2009 03:51
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:

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

    I disagree with this proposal to strictly prohibit discussion of certain issues during the approval step. If a mistake is made during an earlier step, the solution is not to make that mistake permanent by approving all related requests blindly. This would set bad precedent, and is not fair to all other requests that are not marked as eligible incorrectly. For example, this would mean the immediate approval of the Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia regardless of the issues that were raised in the recent discussion.

    Furthermore, if there is agreement that a particular argument is not relevant, it will be overruled by vote if no consensus can be reached. There is no need to prohibit the raising of any issue.


    Gerard Meijssen wrote:

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

    This does not make sense to me. Many other factors can prevent progress; for example, a total lack of content will prevent the project from moving forward, regardless of the eligibility of the language.


    Otherwise the proposal seems essentially acceptable, with some minor tweaks.

  16. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    14 January 2009 04:49

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  17. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    14 January 2009 05:13

    Personally, I am more for making discussion available at all stages, but I understand the sense of Gerard's position, which is a wise one.

    If we say that we are deciding just at the first stage, we are immune on [political] pressures which are more possible at the second stage (approval) than to the first one.

    For example, in EA case, I would argue that it should be accepted at the second stage *just* because the arguments from the first stage. Opposing arguments to EA would be purely political, which, in fact, shouldn't be acceptable here.

    So, the question here is: Would we allow to ourselves to discuss and make decisions in all stages (which is more transparent and more modular approach) or to restrict it on linguistic issues at the first stage (which is more scientific approach)?

    In other words, the real question is: Is LangCom an expert or a political body? There are arguments pro and contra for both issues (roughly, it needs to be an expert body by definition, but it needs to be a political body which in its scope protects interests of WMF; while expert position is much more preferred, it may lead to making a gap between needs [and reality] and ideals.). Also, the answer doesn't need to be an exclusive one: it is possible to formulate it in both directions. I don't have a clear position toward that and I think that it should be discussed here.

    The answer may be to ask the community for thoughts at the first stage: to give linguistic and educational reasons why something should or shouldn't have a project. If we are doing that at the first stage and use just formal procedure for the process of approval, we may avoid political arguments (at least, we may treat them as irrelevant), while giving to the community members right to express their opinion.

  18. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    14 January 2009 05:16
    Milos Rancic wrote:

    The answer may be to ask the community for thoughts at the first stage: to give linguistic and educational reasons why something should or shouldn't have a project. If we are doing that at the first stage and use just formal procedure for the process of approval, we may avoid political arguments (at least, we may treat them as irrelevant), while giving to the community members right to express their opinion.

    linguistic and educational reasons => linguistic, educational and reasons related to the interests of WMF and Wikimedia community

  19. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    14 January 2009 06:47

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  20. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    14 January 2009 08:43
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:

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

    Transparency is not involved in this. When we decide at a specific point, when we make it abundantly clear as we always did, that this is how we work, we are completely transparent.

    The real question is, to what extend do we allow for political arguments. We have always said that they are not valid. It is and it was one of the reasons why we use the ISO-639-3. We have knowledgeable people in this committee to look for the OOPSIES in this standard and, several of them have standing in the Standards world that will enable them to get things discussed.

    One addition might be possible to the proposal. When a member asks to defer a decision because a named action is to be undertaken, a decision can be deferred. This would apply at any stage, it does help when a timeframe is indicated but we all know that talking to officialdom takes its time.

    I was talking about transparency in the broader sense. The meaning is: You may make a system fully transparent in the stricter sense, while not giving possibility to anyone to make any influence on your decision. So, modularity improves transparency in the broader sense.

    Transparency is increased if the community is informed about our decisions, too. One thing is if we inform them at "nearby administrative unit at Alpha Centaur", the other is if we inform them directly. I think that we should inform them about our decisions via foundation-l, too; let's say, weekly.

    Political arguments may be related to two very different issues:

    • The first is what do we treat as "political": ethnic, national or similar issue. I think that we shouldn't treat those arguments as relevant.
    • The second is related to the interests of WMF and Wikimedia community. At the other side, I think that we should treat those arguments as relevant.
  21. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    14 January 2009 09:01

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  22. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    14 January 2009 09:40

    Hm. Gerard, you are reading what you want to be written, not what I did write. I said:

    Milos Rancic wrote:

    Transparency is increased if the community is informed about our
    decisions, too. One thing is if we inform them at "nearby
    administrative unit at Alpha Centaur", the other is if we inform them
    directly. I think that we should inform them about our decisions via
    foundation-l, too; let's say, weekly.

    Which means that we should *inform* community about our decisions, not to discuss about anything. This is the basic form of transparency.

    At the other side, I don't see anything problematic in informing the community about current issues and to ask them for the opinion even we don't need to decide what the majority (or whichever part of the community) thinks. This *is* transparency. Such approach would give two major benefits: (1) we may get some relevant idea(s) and (2) we wouldn't be treated as untouchable body which works out of the sight of the community.

    Note that about vast majority of the cases we will (LangCom members) will have the same opinion; including EA case (language is written and existing). If debate becomes unproductive, we may stop with responding to it.


  23. 15 January 2009 19:54

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  24. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    16 January 2009 02:35

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Wikinews Urdu[edit]

The request for a Urdu Wikinews was verified as eligible.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    16 January 2009 03:12

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    16 January 2009 05:14

    As it is not a controversial issue, I don't see any problem in continuing development of this issue regularly.

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    16 January 2009 21:26

    Some food for thought: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urdu#Urdu_and_Hindi>. (There's no point opening a third set of wikis for Hindustani, of course.)

    No objections to eligibility.

Polytonic format on Wikipedia Greek[edit]

No decision was taken regarding monotonic/polytonic usage on the Greek Wikipedia.

  1. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    24 January 2009 16:52

    Someone asked about Polytonic. I wondered if Polytonic were used in the Wikipedia.

    Yannis Haralambous wrote:

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

  2. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    27 January 2009 13:11
    Michael Everson wrote:

    Someone asked about Polytonic. I wondered if Polytonic were used in
    the Wikipedia.

    It is possible to make a conversion engine for those who want to see Polytonic orthography.

  3. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    27 January 2009 15:24

    Only if the underlying text is encoded in Polytonic orthography. Unless you have a massive dictionary including ALL Greek morphological forms.

  4. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    TO Yannis Haralambous
    14 February 2009 23:50

    Hello Yannis Haralambous,

    I am the archivist for the Wikimedia Foundation language committee. On January 24th 2009 a message from you was forwarded to the private committee mailing list, quoted at the bottom of this email.

    Discussion with the committee is copied to a public archive for transparency, but this is opt-in only. Do you agree to the public archival of your messages (including your response to this email)? You can mark any future comment as private and the text will not be archived. If you do not agree, your messages will be replaced with the note "<this user has not agreed to public archival>".

    The public archives can be found at <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_committee/Archives>.

    Yannis Haralambous wrote:

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

  5. Yannis Haralambous
    TO Jesse Plamondon-Willard
    15 February 2009 05:43

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  6. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    TO Yannis Haralambous
    15 February 2009 22:35

    Unfortunately not, since the public archives should contain exactly what was discussed. If you'd prefer this message not be published, it won't be.

  7. Yannis Haralambous
    TO Jesse Plamondon-Willard
    28 February 2009 14:45

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

  8. Yannis Haralambous
    TO Jesse Plamondon-Willard, Michael Everson
    28 February 2009 14:55

    dear Michael,

    on january 24th you asked me a question (Is there a Polytonic Wikipedia?) which I answered in a very vigorous way because I assumed it was a personal message to you. On february 15th, Jesse Martin wrote to me, saying that he found that message on the private committee mailing list of the Wikimedia Foundation and wanted to know whether he should archive it. I didn't knew you would send that message to others, and even less to a committee.

    i would like to rephrase it before it gets archived. Here is the new (more politically correct) version:

    POLYTONIC WIKIPEDIA????

    The people from Greek Wikipedia apply totalitarian methods!!! I wrote an article for m late piano teacher, in polytonic of course. Next day I wanted to continue and I discovered it had turned monotonic. I immediately corrected everything, and once again, a day later it was monotonic. This happened once again, and I became an official warning of being a spoliator OF MY OWN TEXT! If I would do that once again I would be banned from Wikipedia. They told me that they have voted to use only monotonic and that de facto this vote becomes a rule for everybody. Others arrived trying to help me but the administrators were unflexible.

    And then the worse arrived: I asked them to remove my text, since I could not publish it as I wanted. And they said: no, once you have written it your text belongs to us, so you can't remove it anymore.

    I find this unacceptable and against the elementary rights of citizens. If I consider that my text should appear in polytonic Greek and you are against it, I assume I have the right to withdraw my text.

    I would like the possibility to write polytonic texts (or to convert unaccented texts from monotonic Wikipedia to accented ones) in a polytonic Greek version of Wikipedia. Many languages appear in several versions, I would like to have a polytonic Wikipedia version.

    End of the message intended for the committee

    Thanks in advance to transmit this message to the committee, I have asked Jesse Martin to delete the previous message, since it should arrive to that committee in the first place.

  9. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    28 February 2009 15:55
    Yannis Haralambous wrote:

    dear Michael,

    on january 24th you asked me a question (Is there a Polytonic Wikipedia?) which I answered in a very vigorous way because I assumed it was a personal message to you. On february 15th, Jesse Martin wrote to me, saying that he found that message on the private committee mailing list of the Wikimedia Foundation and wanted to know whether he should archive it. I didn't knew you would send that message to others, and even less to a committee.

    i would like to rephrase it before it gets archived. Here is the new (more politically correct) version:

    POLYTONIC WIKIPEDIA????

    The people from Greek Wikipedia apply totalitarian methods!!! I wrote an article for m late piano teacher, in polytonic of course. Next day I wanted to continue and I discovered it had turned monotonic. I immediately corrected everything, and once again, a day later it was monotonic. This happened once again, and I became an official warning of being a spoliator OF MY OWN TEXT! If I would do that once again I would be banned from Wikipedia. They told me that they have voted to use only monotonic and that de facto this vote becomes a rule for everybody. Others arrived trying to help me but the administrators were unflexible.

    And then the worse arrived: I asked them to remove my text, since I could not publish it as I wanted. And they said: no, once you have written it your text belongs to us, so you can't remove it anymore.

    I find this unacceptable and against the elementary rights of citizens. If I consider that my text should appear in polytonic Greek and you are against it, I assume I have the right to withdraw my text.

    I would like the possibility to write polytonic texts (or to convert unaccented texts from monotonic Wikipedia to accented ones) in a polytonic Greek version of Wikipedia. Many languages appear in several versions, I would like to have a polytonic Wikipedia version.

    End of the message intended for the committee

    Thanks in advance to transmit this message to the committee, I have asked Jesse Martin to delete the previous message, since it should arrive to that committee in the first place.

  10. Antony D. Green
    28 February 2009 16:11

    Sigh. More inflation of words like "totalitarian". By submitting his text to Wikipedia, he released it under the terms of the GFDL, so he can't control it anymore, and if el-wp's in-house style is to use monotonic (and why shouldn't it be? Polytonic has been obsolete in Greece for what, over 30 years now?), then he has to expect it to be edited to comply with that style. That's no different from German editors who have to accept that de-wp uses the new orthography, or Irish editors who have to accept that ga-wp uses the reformed spelling. And of course if he doesn't accept that, and keeps reverting to his preferred spelling, eventually he's going to get blocked for disruption. If there *were* a polytonic Wikipedia, it would be at grc, but grc hasn't been approved (and probably never will be as long as it has no native speakers).

    Still, I don't see that any of this is an issue for the langcom, unless someone makes a request for "el-poly" (which wouldn't meet the "sufficiently unique" criterion).

  11. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    03 March 2009 07:18
    Antony Green wrote:

    > Sigh. More inflation of words like "totalitarian".

    It's an emotional subject. Please be kind. Not everyone lives and breathes Wikipedia the way we evidently do.


    Antony Green wrote:

    > By submitting his text to Wikipedia, he released it under the terms
    > of the GFDL, so he can't control it anymore, and if el-wp's in-house
    > style is to use monotonic (and why shouldn't it be? Polytonic has
    > been obsolete in Greece for what, over 30 years now?), then he has
    > to expect it to be edited to comply with that
    > style.

    There are genuine concerns that intelligent people have over the spelling reform, which was made by the government because of 8-bit font limitations. Be fair please.


    Antony Green wrote:

    > That's no different from German editors who have to accept that de-wp
    > uses the new orthography, or Irish editors who have to accept that
    > ga-wp
    > uses the reformed spelling. And of course if he doesn't accept that,
    > and
    > keeps reverting to his preferred spelling, eventually he's going to
    > get
    > blocked for disruption.

    Please don't be so dismissive. Yannis is not a crackpot. I have known him a long time.


    Antony Green wrote:

    > If there *were* a polytonic Wikipedia, it would be
    > at grc, but grc hasn't been approved (and probably never will be as
    > long as
    > it has no native speakers).

    I'm sorry, that's WRONG. Polytonic orthography for modern Greek is not

    There is an ISO-15924 subtag which could be used, el-polyton I believe, and I would definitely support a Wikipedia in that orthography. We have similar for Belarussian, have we not?


    Antony Green wrote:

    > Still, I don't see that any of this is an issue for the langcom,
    > unless
    > someone makes a request for "el-poly" (which wouldn't meet the
    > "sufficiently
    > unique" criterion).

    Why wouldn't it?

  12. Antony D. Green
    03 March 2009 18:36
    Michael Everson wrote:

    >> Sigh. More inflation of words like "totalitarian".
    >
    > It's an emotional subject. Please be kind. Not everyone lives and
    > breathes Wikipedia the way we evidently do.

    My intent was not to be unkind, but when people start casually tossing around words like "totalitarian", Godwin's Law kicks in for me and they lose all credibility.


    Michael Everson wrote:

    > There are genuine concerns that intelligent people have over the
    > spelling reform, which was made by the government because of 8-bit
    > font limitations. Be fair please.

    There are genuine concerns that intelligent people have over the German and Irish spelling reforms too, but that doesn't change the fact that those languages' Wikipedias follow the orthographic practices that are currently standard.


    Michael Everson wrote:

    > Please don't be so dismissive. Yannis is not a crackpot. I have known
    > him a long time.

    I didn't call him a crackpot, but if someone persistently reverts articles to an orthographic style that is neither standard in the real world nor the established practice of the Wikipedia in question, and has been told to stop doing so, and then makes accusations of "totalitarian methods", he can hardly be surprised that he gets threatened with a block. Such behavior is the very essence of disrupting Wikipedia to make a point.


    Michael Everson wrote:

    > There is an ISO-15924 subtag which could be used, el-polyton I
    > believe, and I would definitely support a Wikipedia in that
    > orthography. We have similar for Belarussian, have we not?

    Unfortunately, yes. I was opposed to the splitting of Belarussian Wikipedia at the time, and I still think it was the wrong solution to the problem.


    Michael Everson wrote:

    >> Still, I don't see that any of this is an issue for the langcom,
    >> unless
    >> someone makes a request for "el-poly" (which wouldn't meet the
    >> "sufficiently
    >> unique" criterion).
    >
    > Why wouldn't it?

    Because polytonic Greek and monotonic Greek are completely mutually intelligible, just like the 1901 spelling of German (which also has an ISO 15924 subtag) and the reformed spelling of German. I have no doubt that if a proposal were made for a Wikipedia in "de-1901", it would get a lot of support. (One German linguistics professor told me he will only publish articles in English now so that his writing won't appear in the reformed spelling.) But I'd still be against it, because it doesn't have a separate ISO 639 code (the language proposal policy saying nothing about ISO 15924), and because it is only an orthographic variant of the standard, not a linguistic variant.

  13. Antony D. Green
    TO Yannis Haralambous
    05 March 2009 03:02

    You say "monotonists" have a hard time reading polytonic texts, but I don't understand why that should be so (surely they can just ignore the breathings and iotas subscript and mentally convert the grave and circumflex accents to acute), unless what you're actually talking about is not writing Dhimotiki in polytonic, but rather writing Katharevousa. If that's what you mean, I think a case could be made for a Katharevousa Wikipedia, provided it had its own ISO 639 code. As far as I know, it doesn't at the moment, but if you go to http://www.sil.org/ISO639-3/submit_changes.asp you'll find the instructions for requesting a new language code. Since Katharevousa is really linguistically different from Dhimotiki (not just orthographically different), a strong argument for a separate code could be made, and the application would very probably be accepted.

  14. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    07 March 2009 10:23
    Antony Green wrote:

    > You say "monotonists" have a hard time reading polytonic texts, but I don't
    > understand why that should be so (surely they can just ignore the breathings
    > and iotas subscript and mentally convert the grave and circumflex accents to
    > acute), unless what you're actually talking about is not writing Dhimotiki
    > in polytonic, but rather writing Katharevousa. If that's what you mean, I
    > think a case could be made for a Katharevousa Wikipedia, provided it had its
    > own ISO 639 code. As far as I know, it doesn't at the moment, but if you go
    > to http://www.sil.org/ISO639-3/submit_changes.asp you'll find the
    > instructions for requesting a new language code. Since Katharevousa is
    > really linguistically different from Dhimotiki (not just orthographically
    > different), a strong argument for a separate code could be made, and the
    > application would very probably be accepted.

    Just to say that I am really happy that we have a scholar linguist with us :)

  15. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    07 March 2009 12:28

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

CLDR languages[edit]

Gerard suggested requesting entries for Wikipedia languages in the Common Locale Data Repository.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    27 January 2009 14:06

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Multiple wikis per language[edit]

No consensus was found to subdivide wikis by orthography.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    27 January 2009 03:14

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    27 January 2009 03:49

    I am not going to go into great technical detail.

    You can get away with using both Cyrillic and Latin on a single Serbian project because you can convert between them easily.

    You cannot have Cyrillic and Mongolian in the same project because there is no way to convert between them and besides Mongolian writes in vertical columns.

    Arguably Hindi and Urdu are the same language (they used to call it Hindustani) but you're surely not going to merge those two, are you?

    Having Cyrillic and Latin and Arabic for in a single Azerbaijani project would, frankly, be really annoying to any end user. Azeris in Azerbaijan don't read Arabic script. Azeris in Iran don't read Latin or Cyrillic.

    A lot of the "minor languages" projects we have are more dialect projects than anything else.

    So there are technical reasons, and there are human reasons, to avoid script mixing. The Balkan situation is unusual and should not be considered the norm.

  3. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    27 January 2009 12:09

    One more addition to Michael's words:

    In the case of phonographies, like all Azerbaijani's scripts are, I would be bold and say that it is possible to make some kind of conversion engine (I think that we even have one Cyrillic-Latin-Arabic conversion engine; some former USSR language). However, all of the cases which assume educationally divided areas need significant changes in the present conversion model.

    For example, all educated Serbs know to read and write in both scripts (Cyrillic and Latin), however, as Michael mentioned, not all Azerbaijanis know to read both scripts (AFAIK, educated Azerbaijanis from Iran usually know Latin script, but, AFAIK, just small faction of Azerbaijanis from Azerbaijan know Arabic script).

    But, present conversion engine assumes that editing is just in one script, not in all of them. And, BTW, we have one more important issue: mixing left-to-right and right-to-left orthographies is very frustrating even for native r-t-l writers, even they are fluent in writing some l-t-r orthography, like English is.

    Fixing just this kind of issues assumes changes in Edit.php file, which is a major thing for MediaWiki (the other option is to make JavaScript aids for that purpose which may make the situation very complex). And, again, Azerbaijani and Kurdish cases are fairly simple because their orthographise are based on Perso-Arabic script (not purely Arabic), which, for instance, approximately differs small and capital letters. However, if we try to make a conversion engine between Arabic, Tifinagh and Latin for some Berber languages, we will have problem related to capital letters, which means that we'll have to find a way how to solve that problem.

    But, in case of mixing phonographies and logographies, it is almost the same type of task as making a translation engine. Possibly, it is a kind of simpler task to make a conversion engine for Southern Min than to make a conversion engine between Russian and Chinese, but it is still extremely complex.

    Funcitonally, persons which writes in one linguistic system, but in two different scripts -- are using different written languages. It is possible to try to think about the best possible solution, but if we are not able to say that we'll have a working solution in, let's say, one year from the time of asking that kind of project, it is not reasonable to force people to be at the same project. We may say that we are giving two projects just for the time when creation of a conversion engine is possible, after which projects should be merged. Or something like that.


  4. 27 January 2009 14:10

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  5. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    27 January 2009 14:12
    Milos Rancic wrote:

    > And, again, Azerbaijani and Kurdish cases are fairly simple because
    > their orthographise are based on Perso-Arabic script (not purely
    > Arabic), which, for instance, approximately differs small and
    > capital letters.

    This is not true in any way at all. No variety of Arabic script has an analogue to capital and small letters.

    ("Perso-Arabic script" means "Arabic script with a few extra letters". It is not a separate script and there is no need to use the term.


    Milos Rancic wrote:

    > However, if we try to make a conversion engine between Arabic,
    > Tifinagh and Latin for some Berber languages, we will have problem
    > related to capital letters, which means that we'll have to find a
    > way how to solve that problem.

    Casing is a problem. Only a few scripts case: Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, ancient Georgian, and a couple of scripts in Africa and India are now developing case but they are not encoded yet.


    Milos Rancic wrote:

    > But, in case of mixing phonographies and logographies, it is almost
    > the same type of task as making a translation engine. Possibly, it
    > is a kind of simpler task to make a conversion engine for Southern
    > Min than to make a conversion engine between Russian and Chinese,
    > but it is still extremely complex.

    I doubt it. And people from Taiwan who want to write Min in Latin do so. They don't write their language in Chinese. They write Chinese in Chinese (Han characters).


    Milos Rancic wrote:

    > Funcitonally, persons which writes in one linguistic system, but in
    > two different scripts -- are using different written languages. It
    > is possible to try to think about the best possible solution, but if
    > we are not able to say that we'll have a working solution in, let's
    > say, one year from the time of asking that kind of project, it is
    > not reasonable to force people to be at the same project. We may say
    > that we are giving two projects just for the time when creation of a
    > conversion engine is possible, after which projects should be
    > merged. Or something like that.

    I would say there are MUCH better things to work on than trying to convert between Cyrillic and Mongolian.

  6. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    27 January 2009 14:55
    Michael Everson wrote:

    > This is not true in any way at all. No variety of Arabic script has an
    > analogue to capital and small letters.
    >
    > ("Perso-Arabic script" means "Arabic script with a few extra letters".
    > It is not a separate script and there is no need to use the term.

    In conversation which I had with Mohsen Salek (User:Mardethana), an Azerbaijani from Iran (BTW, I didn't understand that communication fully because I have a lot of problems in recognizing distinctions between letters of Arabic script), he insisted that they have a kind of distinctions between capital and small letters (I suppose that it is about initial letters or so -- which is common for all Arabic scripts). So, I may suppose that it may be guessable *somehow*. I also suppose that there will be a lot of problems.


    Michael Everson wrote:

    >> But, in case of mixing phonographies and logographies, it is almost
    >> the same type of task as making a translation engine. Possibly, it
    >> is a kind of simpler task to make a conversion engine for Southern
    >> Min than to make a conversion engine between Russian and Chinese,
    >> but it is still extremely complex.
    >
    > I doubt it. And people from Taiwan who want to write Min in Latin do
    > so. They don't write their language in Chinese. They write Chinese in
    > Chinese (Han characters).

    During the discussion about Cantonese project a couple of years ago, one native speaker mentioned that word order in Mandarin (maybe word formation, too; he was not so precise) is strange to one native Cantonese speaker. It is very possible that similar problems exist in Southern Min, too ("Cantonese" is Northern Min?). So, I may suppose that those who are writing in Mandarin have the same problem, as well as that their Mandarin written in Han is closer to word ordering and word formation of Southern Min than to standard Mandarin. Of course, this claim should be proved by talking with some native speakers. (And I'll write to Ting to get from him some informations; I think that he is Mainlander, but that he is able to connect me with the right persons from Taiwan.)


    Michael Everson wrote:

    > I would say there are MUCH better things to work on than trying to
    > convert between Cyrillic and Mongolian.

    I would like to hear what do you think that it should be done. LangCom should articulate needs related to languages and send it to the Board (or to other interested institutions).

    About an engine: It would be very useful to have one generalized engine which would allow editing in native script to speakers of a same language. This would make spreading free knowledge faster. For example, imagine that educated Azerbaijanis from Iran don't know Latin nor Cyrillic. They would have population divided on ~10M of those who write in Latin (or Cyrillics) and ~20M of those who write in Arabic script. If it is possible to unite their efforts, it would be really good to do so. And it is obvious that there are a lot of similar situations.

    About a specific case related to Cyrillic-Mongolian relation: It may be not so complex, but it is true that it is not the first target. (Hm. I see that it is an alphabet, which means that it shouldn't be *so* complex to make a conversion engine.)

Decision-making process, discussion of eligibility, community discussion, approval process, project-specific requirements[edit]

No decisions were taken on the various proposals.

  1. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    27 January 2009 17:35

    A couple of days ago I was talking with Gerard about defining the rules of our work, but I didn't have enough of time to word it. We made a kind of agreement, but this text includes some new moments about which should be discussed (as well as others should say what do they think about issues about which Gerard and I agreed).

    • We should be able to unblock issues which are staying nowhere. This means that we need to define how should we make decisions, not just how we shouldn't make decisions. For me, it leads to the simple majority voting at the end. (Are we approving or not a project? Are 30% of us able to say that we are not approving it or 30% are postponing decision?). However, I am fine with 75% majority needed for decisions. If we ever would be in such situation, we should think about it then. As far as I understood, Gerard agreed with this (75% majority for decisions) if we achieve to redefine our functioning as a whole. Other details for decision-making process are, if I remember well, one week for discussion and at least 4 (or three? -- please, correct me) members included in a discussion.
    • The other issue is related to the languages which already have projects (usually, Wikipedia and Wiktionary). Usually, we don't need to discuss about eligibility of such projects. And I think that all of us are fully aware about a couple (maybe up to 10) of exceptions related to already existing Wikimedia languages. If there is an issue, we should discuss; if there isn't an issue, project should be marked as eligible by default. (I don't see a reason why to talk about Urdu Wikinews or Finnish Wikiversity in the sense of language eligibility; however, I see why should we talk about Latin Wikinews; also, even I don't think that we should talk about, let's say, Egyptian Arabic Wikinews -- there is an issue, so we should discuss it).
    • New languages are the most important issue of our work. I think that all new languages should pass this list and voting procedure for *eligibility*.
    • If there is no issue in relation to this language (let's say, a unique African language with ISO 639-3 code without possible issues and no one of us objected it) Gerard agreed that we may put this on discussion at foundation-l for a limited amount of time (let's say, two weeks) and to try to make decision after that. It is possible that we'll get some significant opinion/informations about that language (I have to mention that we've got a very good technical solution for the attribution issue related to the license migration thanks to Erik who put this on community discussion at foundation-l). We are not obligated to follow what does community think. This will, also, improve transparency in our work (while Gerard doesn't think that it is about transparency :) ).
    • Approval should really be a technical issue and we should just mark if a project fulfilled needed requirements.
    • If there are interested persons in informing community periodically (Jessee?, me?, anybody else?), Gerard agrees about that. I think that we should inform community weekly or monthly, depending of the volume of our decisions.

    There is one more issue related to the project approval. I am looking into Wikinews requests and I may say that our existing process doesn't address Wikinews approval well. It is, also, possible that it is related to some other projects as well. As someone who is working on Wikinews I may say that it requires at least a couple of highly dedicated persons. All Wikinews editions without a couple of highly dedicated persons are dead projects.

    This raises an issue related to the project-specific requirements. I would say that we need to discuss about this issue with representatives of the projects (at least for smaller projects [Wikinews, Wikisource...] it is not so hard to find "representatives") and to define project-specific requirements. I also think that it is not our job to decide about that, but a project-specific group.

    If we decide to add this into our algorithm, it would look like:

    • Project eligibility:
      • If it is about an existing language and without any issue, anyone of us is marking it as eligible. (A technical process.)
      • Otherwise, we are: (1) discussing; (2) making decision or giving to the community to see what does it think; (3) making final decision. (A "political" process. It is in the sense of making a decision by voting, not about cultural, ethnic or so disputes. It may include a political decision in relation to the interests of Wikimedia community and WMF.)
    • Project-specific approval:
      • A project-specific group says is some project fulfilled all project-specific requirements. (A technical process.)
    • General approval:
      • We say is some project fulfilled all general requirements. (A technical process.)

    The last issue about which we should think is how to solve issues around languages which don't fulfill cultural or technical (I would say "bureaucratic") issues.

    If a language doesn't have a written form, it is not useful to give them a written project. It is better to give them a spoken project. Also, we should find a way how to help to those speakers. (I would say that Michael should make a project for making a team of linguists who would standardize languages in such cases.)

    If a language doesn't have an ISO 639-3 code, we should think how to help to its speakers. As we have contacts with Ethnologue, we should find a procedure for cooperation between them, us and interested speakers.

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 January 2009 03:39

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    28 January 2009 16:08
    Milos Rancic wrote:

    > * If there is no issue in relation to this language (let's say, a
    > unique African language with ISO 639-3 code without possible issues
    > and no one of us objected it) Gerard agreed that we may put this on
    > discussion at foundation-l for a limited amount of time (let's say,
    > two weeks) and to try to make decision after that. It is possible that
    > we'll get some significant opinion/informations about that language (I
    > have to mention that we've got a very good technical solution for the
    > attribution issue related to the license migration thanks to Erik who
    > put this on community discussion at foundation-l). We are not
    > obligated to follow what does community think. This will, also,
    > improve transparency in our work (while Gerard doesn't think that it
    > is about transparency :) ).

    I realized now that I wrote a really confusing statement.

    • If there is *no* issue with a language, we don't need to put it at foundation-l. Our agreement is good enough.
    • If there *is* an issue, we should put it on discussion at foundation-l for a limited amount of time.
  4. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    28 January 2009 16:21
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    It is one more reason why to think about making a Compendium or promoting Incubator to Compendium (Incubator is, indeed, not so developed Compendium).


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

    I agree with adding CLDR into the list of requirements. But, it is a general requirement and it is a part of our work.

    When I was talking about project-specific requirements which should be defined by people who are in some of the projects. I explained an issue with Wikinews (it is better to have good Current events at Wikipedia than dead Wikinews) and I think that there are different issues related to different projects.

    If we decide that it is a good thing, I think that we should start to talk with one by one project about creation of the body which would care about project-specific requirements.

Wiktionaries Western Punjabi, Silesian and Pitcairnese[edit]

The Western Panjabi and Silesian Wiktionaries were marked eligible. No decision was taken on the Pitcairnese Wiktionary.

  1. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    27 January 2009 17:56

    So, here is the list with my suggestions:

    • Western Punjabi Wiktionary [1]. As far as I may see, it is a Punjabi dialect written in Arabic script. There is an Incubator project for Western Punjabi Wikipedia [2]. As it is a similar issue like Hindu/Urdu, I suggest that we should mark it as eligible.
    • Silesian Wiktionary [3]. As I didn't hear any issue around Silesian Wikipedia, and there is Silesian Wikipedia, I don't see any problem with marking it as eligible.
    • Pitcairnese Wiktionary [4]. I see no reason why it wouldn't be eligible.

    At the beginning I was enthusiastic and I was willing to do this with all not processed projects in the eligibility sense, but I realized that processing one project consumes not so small amount of time. So, I'll continue with the task next days.

    [1] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wiktionary_Western_Panjabi
    [2] - http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wp/pnb
    [3] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wiktionary_Silesian
    [4] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wiktionary_Pitcairnese

  2. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    27 January 2009 18:40
    Milos Rancic wrote:

    > * Pitcairnese Wiktionary [4]. I see no reason why it wouldn't be
    > eligible.

    Less than 100 speakers?

  3. Jon Harald Søby
    27 January 2009 18:52

    Pitrairnese/Norfolk (essentially the same, share code) have close to 500 speakers in total.

  4. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    27 January 2009 19:00
    Jon Harald Søby wrote:

    > Pitrairnese/Norfolk (essentially the same, share code) have close to 500
    > speakers in total.

    :) Ah, I forgot to check that, too. But, it is good that the issue raised: So, what should we do with such cases?

  5. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    27 January 2009 19:05

    Is it people at .pn who want to write the articles?

  6. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 January 2009 03:42

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  7. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    28 January 2009 15:57
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    I was thinking about such cases and I have a proposal: We should reject it with the comment like "If any native speaker or linguist is willing to work on this project, they should contact us."

    It would be, also, good to invent new type for this purpose: Instead of having rejection mark, it should have some other mark, maybe a question mark. In such cases we didn't make final decision because language is not eligible, but because of lack of speakers. If no one objects, Jesse (or anyone familiar with this template), may you add new type of answer (for example, "lack of speakers" or whatever) into the template and different sign?

  8. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 January 2009 16:02
    Milos Rancic wrote:

    > It would be, also, good to invent new type for this purpose: Instead
    > of having rejection mark, it should have some other mark, maybe a
    > question mark. In such cases we didn't make final decision because
    > language is not eligible, but because of lack of speakers. If no one
    > objects, Jesse (or anyone familiar with this template), may you add
    > new type of answer (for example, "lack of speakers" or whatever) into
    > the template and different sign?

    The templates already support this; try changing the status to "inactive". The status is not currently used, though.

  9. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 January 2009 16:07

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  10. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    28 January 2009 22:37
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    OK :)

    I would resume our positions toward those three issues:

    • Western Punjabi Wiktionary is eligible.
    • Silesian Wiktionary is eligible.
    • Pitcairnese Wiktionary is on hold (with a mark!) until some native speakers or linguists express their interest in work on this Wiktionary.

    I would also suggest making a separate table (at the page "Requests for new languages") with adding there all similar cases.

Sabine Cretella resigns, abolition of Chair position[edit]

SabineCretella resigned from the committee, Antony D. Green joined, and the position of Chair was abolished.

  1. Sabine Cretella (SabineCretella)
    28 January 2009 17:42

    Hi, it's been quite some month now that I cannot follow well the LangCom activity for several reasons. So I really took some time to consider this: I am going to leave the Chair of LangCom.

    Two weeks ago I started to look at who could become the chair and considering the work you do, who is linguist, is impartial and logical - that is I am convinced about what I propose - I would like to propose Milos to become the chair. He is also very new in our group and new ideas and sights are needed. On the other hand: he knows the Wikimedia Foundation well enough to know the bottlenecks.

    So this means that I will go - maybe when things become better in terms of really having the time I will come back as a normal member. Of course if you believe that I can be of help for specific questions: just contact me (as some might have noted: I did not even have the time to do any edits on Wikipedia lately ... and Neapolitan, well we are not many there and so if I have spare time it is needed there).

    And now I would like to see your yes for Milos.

    Thank you all for your co-operation from the beginning up to now - it was fun to work with you.

  2. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    28 January 2009 18:05

    Aye, for Miloš.

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    28 January 2009 18:08

    I suggest we simply remove the position of 'chair'. In this subcommittee the chair has no additional power or responsibilities; everything Sabine has done has been as a (valuable) regular member of the subcommittee. We're all equals, so there's no need for particular titles.

  4. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 January 2009 18:17

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  5. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    28 January 2009 23:01
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    I agree with position that we don't need to have any special person at the chair position. So, if there are no requirements from the WMF side (we should ask the Board) and it is a dominant position here, I don't have anything against that.

    At the other side, As Jesse noticed, chair doesn't have any additional power or responsibility inside of the committee. Practically, LangCom's chair has function of secretary and if there is a need for any particular function, it should be named properly. In other words, it is a position of person which responsibility is to care about "everything else". I am ready to be that person as I understand why Sabine chose me, as well as I am perfectly fine without that responsibility. Also, such position doesn't have to be a formal one if there is no need for that.

  6. Jon Harald Søby (Jon Harald Søby)
    29 January 2009 15:17

    I too do not really see the need for the chair position any more. If Foundation wants there to be one, however, I think Milos would be a good choice. But as I see it, it's only a formality.

  7. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    TO Ting Chen (Trustee)
    30 January 2009 04:56

    Ting, we have two formal things related to LangCom's work. For the first one we need response from the Board; the second one is a notification to the Board about new member.

    1. As Sabine Cratella is living her position of the chair of LangCom, we came to the question: Do we need to have a chair or an equivalent position for formal communication with the Board? If there is no such need it seems that we would prefer not to have it.
    2. We decided to call Antony Green ([[en:User:<email address censored>]]) in our committee. He is a linguist and administrator of English Wikipedia. Please, keep in mind that he doesn't want to have connected his work on English Wikipedia with his name. He will be member of LangCom under his name and surname.
  8. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    05 February 2009 06:01

    After a week nobody from the Board said anything. This means that we need to make a decision. Again, I prefer LangCom without a chair, but I've got relevant objections against such situation, most notably from Sabine (privately); the main point is: even we don't think in hierarchies, entities with whom we are communicating think in hierarchies and they prefer to have one person for communication.

    So, we should make a decision about it. As I don't see this as a big deal, I suggest the next form:

    • There are three proposals: to have a chair, to have a secretary or not to have any of them.
    • List your preferences. For example, if your first option is not to have a chair, the second to have a secretary and the third to have a chair, then, you should list it like: 1) without formal position; 2) secretary; 3) chair.
    • A week is a reasonable time. Five persons should participate in decision (in this thread already 6 of us were talking).
    • Decision will be the option which sum of positions has the smallest number.
    • If we would decide to have a formal position, we may confirm myself at that position or choose another in the week after that.

    My preferences are:

    1. secretary
    2. without formal position
    3. chair

    If there are no objections about the method for decision making process, please give your preferences.

  9. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    05 February 2009 09:23

    I have no opinion on this matter.

  10. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    05 February 2009 11:24

    No formal position. Our contacts will continue to have a single contact person in the subcommittee, which was never necessarily the chair.

Use of Han script for writing Southern Min[edit]

No response was received concerning the use of Han script for writing Southern Min.

  1. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    TO Ting Chen (Trustee), Zhengzhu
    30 January 2009 05:23

    (A quick note for LangCom members: Zhengzhu is the author of the conversion engine for MediaWiki. Initially, it had been used just for Chinese Wikipedia, but now that engine is used for all others projects which need conversion engine between scripts.)

    At LangCom we have discussion related to Southern Min and scripts which are used on Taiwan. If I remember well, both of you are Mainlanders, but maybe you are able to give us an answer to our question or you are able to connect us with some persons from Taiwan who are able to give some simple answers to us.

    There is an ongoing discussion related to the project proposal for Southern Min written in Han [1]. As we already have Southern Min project written in Latin script, we are in doubt would Southern Min in Han be useful at all.

    While there is an ongoing discussion about should we allow or not projects in distinctively different scripts, in the cases where conversion engines are not relatively simply achievable, our main concern is related to usage of Southern Min written in Han.

    While it is obviously that a logographic writing system is able to hide linguistic differences up to some extent, we already have other Chinese projects written in Han: Cantonese [3], Wu [4] and Gan [5]. At the other side, we have informations that Han script is used on Taiwan just for writing Mandarin. So, is Han script used for writing Southern Min at all? If you know more details, please let us know.

    [1] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Southern_Min_written_with_Hanji
    [2] - http://zh-min-nan.wikipedia.org/
    [3] - http://zh-yue.wikipedia.org/
    [4] - http://wuu.wikipedia.org/
    [5] - http://gan.wikipedia.org/

Wikisource Baluchi; Wikiversity Arabic; Wiktionaries Arabic and Gan[edit]

The requests for a Baluchi Wikisource, Arabic Wiktionary, and Gan Wiktionary were marked eligible. No decision was taken on the request for an Arabic Wikiversity.

  1. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    31 January 2009 09:33

    As I have opened tabs with all requests without eligible status, I am listing here projects in languages which are obviously non problematic:

    - Gan Wiktionary [1]: has Wikipedia; one of the main Han languages.
    - Aramaic Wiktionary [2]: has Wikipedia, has enough speakers.
    - Arabic Wikiversity [3]
    - Baluchi Wikisource [4] - language of Central-South Asia with 7-8 millions of speakers. Has Wikipedia at Incubator.

    This is the list of non problematic requests. I would mark them as eligible in one week.

    Others are inside of several groups:
    - Wikisources for classical languages: generally, this has a sense. We should talk about that.
    - Languages with some issues: macrolanguages, political issues and so on. This group has several types, we need to analyze them one by one.
    - Wikinews projects: I would like to contact Wikinews community as the experimental project related to giving to the project community right to decide what is needed for a new language edition.

    [1] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wiktionary_Gan
    [2] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wiktionary_Aramaic
    [3] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikiversity_Arabic
    [4] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikisource_Baluchi