Language committee/Archives/2009-03

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February 2009 Language committee (Archives for March 2009) April 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:


Apply first-project rules to Wiktionary Mirandese?[edit]

The committee confirmed that the relaxed localization requirements for the first project in a language applies to whichever request is approved first.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    CC André Malafaya Baptista
    02 March 2009 08:45

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    CC André Malafaya Baptista
    02 March 2009 15:20

    Hello,

    Yes, that is perfectly fine. The lower localization requirements apply to the first approved wiki, regardless of which project it is associated with.

  3. André Malafaya Baptista (Malafaya)
    04 March 2009 10:17

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  4. André Malafaya Baptista (Malafaya)
    04 March 2009 10:22

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Explanation of enwiki arbitration dispute[edit]

A member of the English Wikipedia arbitration committee unofficially asked one of the language committee's linguists for explanation of a local linguistic dispute.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    CC John Vandenberg
    07 March 2009 10:26

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

    John Vandenberg wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>
  2. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    07 March 2009 11:46
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    I've spent some time in analyzing it (as a steward, I am able to see deleted pages; so I've checked some of them). While I think that Antony is able to give more precise answer, here is mine:

    • They are proponents of the theory of "Usko-Mediterranean language family", which lists the next languages: Basque, Caucasian Berber, Etruscan, Minoan, Hittite, Sumerian and (old) Egyptian.
      • Caucasian languages are not a consistent group, but they make two groups (Northern and Southern) and it is not proved that there are genetic relations between them.
      • Hittite is an Indo-European language.
      • Berber and old Egyptian are Afro-Asiatic languages.
      • Contemporary linguistics doesn't have a clue where to put Sumerian (proposed groupings are with: Burushaski language, Dravidian languages, Hurro-Urartian languages and Munda languages.
      • Contemporary linguistics doesn't know enough about Minoan and Etruscan to put them in any branch.
      • Basque is treated as a language isolate with possible connections with Georgian (thus, South Caucasian), but, like with Sumerian, Basque is one of those languages which has the highest number of hypothetical connections.
    • The main proponent of this theory is Antonio Arnaiz-Villena [1]. The main problem with his expertise is that he is an immunologist, not a linguist.
    • So, this is a typical example of fringe science.
    • However, I don't understand en.wp policy toward two issues:
      • First, they deleted talk pages, too. So, for an ordinary user it is not possible to trace the whole path.
      • Second, if it is notable enough fringe science, and it seems so, it is better to describe it, than to delete it.

    [1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Arnaiz-Villena

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    TO John Vandenberg
    07 March 2009 14:43

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Milos Rancic <<email address censored>>
    Date: Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 10:46 AM
    Subject: Re: [Langcom-l] English Wikipedia Arbcom needs linguistic help
    To: <email address censored>


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

    I've spent some time in analyzing it (as a steward, I am able to see
    deleted pages; so I've checked some of them). While I think that
    Antony is able to give more precise answer, here is mine:

    • They are proponents of the theory of "Usko-Mediterranean language family", which lists the next languages: Basque, Caucasian Berber, Etruscan, Minoan, Hittite, Sumerian and (old) Egyptian.
      • Caucasian languages are not a consistent group, but they make two groups (Northern and Southern) and it is not proved that there are genetic relations between them.
      • Hittite is an Indo-European language.
      • Berber and old Egyptian are Afro-Asiatic languages.
      • Contemporary linguistics doesn't have a clue where to put Sumerian (proposed groupings are with: Burushaski language, Dravidian languages, Hurro-Urartian languages and Munda languages.
      • Contemporary linguistics doesn't know enough about Minoan and Etruscan to put them in any branch.
      • Basque is treated as a language isolate with possible connections with Georgian (thus, South Caucasian), but, like with Sumerian, Basque is one of those languages which has the highest number of hypothetical connections.
    • The main proponent of this theory is Antonio Arnaiz-Villena [1]. The main problem with his expertise is that he is an immunologist, not a linguist.
    • So, this is a typical example of fringe science.
    • However, I don't understand en.wp policy toward two issues:
      • First, they deleted talk pages, too. So, for an ordinary user it is not possible to trace the whole path.
      • Second, if it is notable enough fringe science, and it seems so, it is better to describe it, than to delete it.


    [1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Arnaiz-Villena

  4. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    07 March 2009 14:45

    I forwarded your answer to John, since you sent it to langcom-l only. :)

  5. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    07 March 2009 15:02
    Pathoschild wrote:

    I forwarded your answer to John, since you sent it to langcom-l only. :)

    :) I didn't see that John is at the CC.

  6. Antony D. Green
    CC John Vandenberg
    07 March 2009 15:05

    I don't have much to add to what Milos said. The Usko-Mediterranean hypothesis has basically nothing to support it. I don't know whether it's notable enough as fringe science/pseudoscience to warrant a Wikipedia article (the way, say, Dené-Caucasian is), but I would tend to doubt it. It's one thing when people try to group together language isolates and small families (like Basque, Sumerian, and the three Caucasian families), but when you start bringing in languages about which absolutely nothing is known (like Minoan) and languages already known to belong to larger families (like Hittite and Egyptian), even other crackpots don't take you seriously.

    As for the "Iberian-Guanche inscriptions", I think the right decision was made at AFD, and if the RFAr gets rejected, that will be the right decision too. As Newyorkbrad said, there is no evidence of misconduct warranting arbitration. Wikipedia can certainly have an article on the rock inscriptions of the Canary Islands, but it needs to be based on the work of reputable scientists, not that of Arnaiz-Villena, who is not only not a linguist or epigrapher but is apparently not even reputable as a geneticist.

  7. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    07 March 2009 15:43
    Antony Green wrote:

    families (like Basque, Sumerian, and the three Caucasian families), but when

    Ah, somewhere in my head there were two Caucasian families... :)

  8. Antony D. Green
    07 March 2009 18:31

    You're head's not the only one. There are people who thing the Northwestern Caucasian languages and the Northeastern Caucasian languages belong to a single Northern Caucasian language family, but the more conservative view is that they're separate. Thus NE Caucasian, NW Caucasian, and Southern Caucasian are the three Caucasian language families.

Assigning new-wiki requests[edit]

Erik Moeller recommended assigning new-wiki requests on Bugzilla to a system administrator who fulfilled them.

  1. Erik Moeller (Deputy Director)
    TO Brion Vibber (Chief Technical Officer)
    07 March 2009 01:52

    Jesse, Gerard,

    Brion may already have communicated this to you, but in the interest of accelerating creation of new projects: Please always make sure that the relevant bug ends up assigned (in the Assigned To: field) to a person (other than Brion!) who will actually implement it. Most site requests are currently handled by Rob; we're hiring a new sysadmin right now who will also help. Brion will try to set up some sensible defaults for site requests, and generally tries to assign bugs when he sees them, but due to the high volume of bugs, please point it out to him if a bug isn't properly assigned yet. More simply put, a bug that's only assigned to Brion will likely not get looked at until it's been properly delegated.

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    TO Erik Moeller (Deputy Director)
    CC Jesse Plamondon-Willard, Brion Vibber (Chief Technical Officer)
    07 March 2009 02:29

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Erik Moeller (Deputy Director)
    TO Gerard Meijssen
    CC Jesse Plamondon-Willard, Brion Vibber (Chief Technical Officer)
    07 March 2009 02:37

    Best try to ping Brion until he's assigned it, in case he wants to give it to someone else (Rob does go on vacation and get sick, and also has a few hundred servers to look after ;-)

  4. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    TO Erik Moeller (Deputy Director)
    CC Jesse Plamondon-Willard, Brion Vibber (Chief Technical Officer)
    07 March 2009 09:39

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  5. Erik Moeller (Deputy Director)
    TO Gerard Meijssen
    CC Jesse Plamondon-Willard, Brion Vibber (Chief Technical Officer)
    07 March 2009 13:03

    As I said in my earlier e-mail, we're implementing procedures to ensure that bugs will be assigned more quickly, such as setting sensible defaults for certain types of bugs. Regularly getting a filtered list of certain bug searches and assigning them is another approach. I am also telling you, for your _information_, that when a bug hasn't been assigned to a person other than Brion, it's not in the worklog yet. This is so you have a better understanding of where in the process a particular bug sits, and you can help remind Brion, and escalate to me if required.

    Yes, creating new wikis is important, but so is fixing security issues in all software we run, racking new servers and taking broken ones out of rotation, ensuring that backups are in place for all key data and documenting relevant procedures, reviewing code commits, updating extensions and the main codebase, ensuring that all critical office IT is operational, maintaining support systems like OTRS, dealing with spammers and other abuse of our resources, dealing with performance bottlenecks, and so on. I am not aware of an organization that achieves similar results with the same amount or fewer resources, and that includes our support for languages. If you are, let me know.

    Your tone and style are frankly part of the problem. When the urgent, by default, gets in the way of the important, social avoidance is a significant factor in how people will prioritize their work. Polite and friendly e-mail reminders are helpful; ensuring that questions in bug discussions are fully answered is helpful. Aggressive hassling is not; apocalyptic e-mails accusing WMF of failing is not; blog posts of the type "X days and counting" are not. Yes, WMF needs to get better at systematizing its request handling, among many other things it needs to get better at, as any organization that is growing in the resources it has at its disposal, and maturing in its ability to manage them. Perhaps you can also work on that filter between your brain and your mouth/keyboard.

  6. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    TO Erik Moeller (Deputy Director)
    CC Gerard Meijssen, Brion Vibber (Chief Technical Officer)
    08 March 2009 02:13

    Thanks for letting us know. I forwarded your email to the langcom mailing list.

Wikipedia Radical Croatian[edit]

The request for a Radical Croatian Wikipedia was rejected.

  1. Robin P. (SPQRobin)
    10 March 2009 14:26

    Hi,

    I propose to reject this proposal <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Radical_Croatian>, since it has no valid ISO 639 code (it mentions hrv, but that's for Croatian in general, and hr.wikipedia.org exists), and it only contains some spelling differences for Croatian (so it's not sufficiently unique). Therefore it doesn't meet these two basic requirements. Am I allowed to reject it, or do I have to wait for consensus?

  2. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    10 March 2009 14:58

    Nobody in Croatia is using that orthography and, as stated at the page ("Ustaški Pokret", see [1]), it had been used during the period of Nazi Independent State of Croatia.

    [1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usta%C5%A1e

  3. Antony D. Green (Antony D. Green)
    10 March 2009 15:48

    I can't find anything about orthography at the Wikipedia article on Ustaše, but I did find a summary of the issues at http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=843019. At any rate, I agree the proposal should be rejected. There's no code (hrv is normal Croatian, rcr - which they're using at Incubator - doesn't exist, and sli - mentioned on the request page - is Lower Silesian), it's not sufficiently unique from normal Croatian, and it doesn't seem to have any registered users supporting it anyway.

  4. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    11 March 2009 18:12
    Antony Green wrote:

    > I can't find anything about orthography at the Wikipedia article on Ustaše,
    > but I did find a summary of the issues at
    > http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=843019.

    In brief... Since 19th century deal between Serbian and Croatian intellectuals related to the orthography, both nations started to use "phonetic" orthography. At the both sides, tendency among conservative circles (often connected with clericalism and fascism) is to use a kind of "root-based" orthography. It is more developed in Croatia because Serbian option is Slavoserbian language [1], which is not quite understandable by modern Serbs.

    [1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavoserbian

  5. Antony D. Green (Antony D. Green)
    12 March 2009 02:30

    Is the fact that it's "root-based" (whatever that's supposed to mean) the reason why it's called "radical" spelling and "Radical" Croatian? I thought at first it referred to political radicals.

  6. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    12 March 2009 03:44
    Antony Green wrote:

    > Is the fact that it's "root-based" (whatever that's supposed to mean) the
    > reason why it's called "radical" spelling and "Radical" Croatian? I thought
    > at first it referred to political radicals.

    I think that it is a linguistic, not a political name. Probably, it has the same origin as Chinese "radical" characters, which represents "root" of a word.

  7. Jon Harald Søby (Jon Harald Søby)
    12 March 2009 06:30

    I concur, this proposal should be rejected.

  8. Robin P. (SPQRobin)
    14 March 2009 09:33

    I have rejected the request per consensus.

Wikisource Gujarati[edit]

The request for a Gujarati Wikisource was marked eligible.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    10 March 2009 04:04

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  2. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    10 March 2009 10:26
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    Yep.

Wikinews Greek[edit]

The request for a Greek Wikinews was marked eligible.

  1. Antony D. Green (Antony D. Green)
    16 March 2009 02:46

    There is a request for Greek Wikinews at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikinews_Greek. It's eligible, but the test page at http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wn/el was created at the same time as the request and is not (yet) active. In addition, no native speakers have yet signed up as interested members of the community.

    Should we put the request on ice until the Incubator page is up and running?

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    16 March 2009 02:52

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Antony D. Green (Antony D. Green)
    16 March 2009 03:03

    I know; I said it's eligible. My question is: should we suspend the request until the Incubator page is up and running (and leave a note to that effect at the request, along the lines of, "If you're interested in Greek Wikinews, go to Incubator and actually work on it"), or should we allow people to continue to come and add their "support votes" (which they do, no matter how big and bold we write "Votes will be ignored") even though nothing's happening at Incubator yet?

    At http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%92%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%B9%CF%80%CE%B1%CE%AF%CE%B 4%CE%B5%CE%B9%CE%B1:%CE%91%CE%B3%CE%BF%CF%81%CE%AC#Proposal_of_Wikinews_in_Greek the proposer has asked people to go the request on Meta and support it. Should we leave a note there saying, "Don't support the Meta request yet; if you're interested in a Greek Wikinews, go to Incubator and contribute to it." (Or maybe just the part after the semicolon.)

  4. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    16 March 2009 03:20

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Wikipedia Mirandese[edit]

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

  1. Robin P. (SPQRobin)
    22 March 2009 07:37

    Hello,

    The contributors of the Mirandese Wikipedia seem to get tired and asked several times why their project is not yet approved. The request meets all requirements, so I'd like to ask if this should be approved.

    Link: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Mirandese

  2. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    22 March 2009 08:06

    Yes, it should be approved. Language is distinctive enough and it has official recognition in Portugal. Asturian Wikipedia covers just one of the language systems of Asturo-Leonese group.

    However, if both groups are willing to make one Asturo-Leonese project, it may be an option. However, it seems that they have two regulatory bodies, which means that it is a not so realistic option.

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    22 March 2009 08:24

    Hello,

    They asked me and got a response earlier: <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Pathoschild/Archives/2010-03#Mirandese_Wikipedia>. Apparently not liking that answer, they asked again elsewhere.

    Our precedent is two to three months of sustained activity. The overall activity in that test project fluctuates: the project had only two active contributors in January, did quite well in February, and was back down to three contributors this month (one of them new). Chabi and Cecílio are solid contributors, but otherwise there's little continuous community.

    Those are my observations. I cast no vote either way.

  4. Milos Rancic (Millosh)
    22 March 2009 08:41
    Jesse Plamondon-Willard wrote:

    > They asked me and got a response earlier:
    > <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Pathoschild/Archives/2010-03#Mirandese_Wikipedia>.
    > Apparently not liking that answer, they asked again elsewhere.
    >
    > Our precedent is two to three months of sustained activity. The
    > overall activity in that test project fluctuates: the project had only
    > two active contributors in January, did quite well in February, and
    > was back down to three contributors this month (one of them new).
    > Chabi and Cecílio are solid contributors, but otherwise there's little
    > continuous community.
    >
    > Those are my observations. I cast no vote either way.

    Ah, I thought that it is about eligibility...

Wikinews Greek status page[edit]

The Wikinews Greek request status page was created.

  1. Crazymadlover
    TO Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
    23 March 2009 18:03

    Hi.

    For GerardM, Pathoschild or another langcom member.

    Can someone of you make a unofficial analysis page of this proposal?

    http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikinews_Greek

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    23 March 2009 18:07

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

  3. Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
    TO Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
    23 March 2009 18:12
    Crazy Lover wrote:

    > For GerardM, Pathoschild or another langcom member.
    >
    > Can someone of you make a unofficial analysis page of this proposal?
    >
    > http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikinews_Greek

    Done.

Wikinews Turkish & Greek; Wikiversity Arabic & Chinese[edit]

The requests for a Turkish Wikinews, Greek Wikinews, and Chinese Wikiversity were marked eligible. No decision was taken on the request for a Arabic Wikiversity.

  1. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 March 2009 02:56

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>

Wymysorys[edit]

  1. Michael Everson (Evertype)
    28 March 2009 04:28
    Gerard Meijssen wrote:
    <this text is quoted from a user who has not agreed to public archival.>

    A dialect of German with Polish orthography. Is the orthography standardized?

  2. Gerard Meijssen (GerardM)
    28 March 2009 06:08

    <this user has not agreed to public archival.>