Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Norwegian Wikinews 3

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Discussion[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

This is a proposal for closing and/or deleting a wiki hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is subject to the current closing projects policy.


The proposal is rejected and the project will be kept open.

  • Explanation by the closing Langcom member: Technically rejected, and project will not be closed and locked. However, LangCom agrees that a "soft close", as described below, is the best outcome for this project at the present time. For LangCom: StevenJ81 (talk) 14:59, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Reason[edit]

Norwegian Wikinews is dead, and has been dead for several years. Top stories on the site are three years old, most of the stuff seems to be up to seven years old.

I have posted a question at Norwegian Wikinews whether the project is dead and the reply was "yes", n:no:Wikinytt:Desken#Er prosjektet dødt? (posted 3. Sep. 2016 kl. 07:19 (CEST)) Before that the last post was 13. May 2013, with a lot of automated messages in-between.

There has been several failed attempts to close this project. After each attempt the activity has risen slightly and then dropped off.

I have also notified Norwegian Wikinews about the proposal to close the project, n:no:Wikinytt:Desken#Prosjektet er dødt (posted 3. Oct. 2016 kl. 14:52 (CEST)). — Jeblad 12:43, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

If someone wants to keep the site updated, then I will withdraw this request, but then there should be a clear understanding of how often the site should be updated. Ie. no old news on the front page! — Jeblad 16:34, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
So, let it hang around for another two months and then close it down? That would give closure 30. Sept. 2017. — Jeblad 20:49, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • Inactivity is not, and should not be, in itself a reason for closure. When someone wishes to employ the project, it should be there to employ; and, by the nature of news it should be there to employ without delay. --Pi zero (talk) 04:54, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Problem. Something must be malfunctioning in the project. Earlier this year one user and some ip-adresses vandalized several hundred articles. This was reverted by User:Syum90, see list of reverted edits here. The reverting was done 12.-15. August 2016. Now all the "news" on the frontpage are dated 12.-15. August. The problem is that a lot of these front page news are pointing to news items created in 2008. In other words the dates on the front page are completely misleading as they reflect the last date the articles were edited and not the date they were created. No edits seems to have been made since August to remedy this rather faulty dating of articles and I guess this means that no new news items have been created since before August 2016. As this front page of a news medium now stands it really is very misleading. The page view statistics shows that the amount of views are not negligible and something should be repaired, for instance showing correct date for the news on the front page. Something should be done by way of repair in the project or some decision should be reached here. I do not really know if the right decision is to put the project on ice so it can be revived at a later date. If the project is deleted I do not think it will ever be possible to revive. I rather think that the misleading amount of very old "news" on the frontpage is a barrier for anybody considering to start creating real news items. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 15:37, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
I have tried to publish a news item about a new piece of research Du blir ulykkelig av Facebook. I tried to follow the instructions, but I must have done something wrong. It does not seem to travel to the front page as a new news. No wonder this is out of use, it does not seem to work properly. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 09:53, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
@Dyveldi: I'll take a look either later today or tomorrow and try to fix the problem with publishing your article; I used to understand the technical workings of no.wn publication (which I thought at the time was more complicated than it ought to be), and should be able to figure it out again despite the big handicap of not understanding Norwegian. (Though I can't devote time to it instantly, as I've got stuff to do on en.wn plus real-life concerns related to year-end holidays.) Depending on what I find when doing that, if you are interested to help with the language-skills side of the effort, I might be able to help in devising an adjustment to the no.wn site organization to make it easier to use and (perhaps) fix the date problem (I have a guess what the date problem is off hand) — one thing about a project with very little activity, it needs to be easy to use so there won't be a high barrier for newcomers. (I could speculate on what sorts of improvements would require someone with admin privileges on no.wn, but that seems to be getting a very long way ahead of things.) --Pi zero (talk) 12:41, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Pi zero. The new news item has turned up on the front page, so this part seems to be working now. If I can help with any of the norwegian text please ask, here or at any of my talk-pages. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 18:34, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Except for some of the changes that are wrong, here are the necessary additional changes to the article itself and to the front page column. They are also listed on n:Brukerdiskusjon:Dyveldi#Endringer for å publisere en artikkel. — Jeblad 16:32, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment This sort of anti-Wikinews proposal is generally based on two deep misconceptions:
  • the misconception that availability of the project at a moment's notice doesn't matter. If we were talking about an encyclopedic wiki, there would be "no deadline", but we're not; we're talking about a news wiki, and the Wikipedia-centric attitude toward project status-change is inappropriate. It's far more important that a news wiki project is ready for use on the instant than it is whether the project is being used at the moment.
  • the misconception that a news wiki should be, or even should try to be, anyone's single source of news. Wiki news projects are important both to serve, and to foster, good information consumption — and getting all your news from any single source is a bad information-consumption practice.
--Pi zero (talk) 18:17, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
I think it is a pity if the site is closed. Which method used to close it is irrelevant. I think any closing will lead to certain death, not just hibernation which is now the case. Norway's population is more than 5 million and Norwegian should be able to provide enough users sufficiently versed in the language and interested in news to keep the site alive. The frontpage is however really not tempting anyone to do anything. I have published a couple of items and will try some more, maybe a little bit of activity will attract someone. I am not very much of a news person, I like reading them, but prefer to write the encyclopedias, so I will not keep it up. I will however do a bit and then we'll just have to see what happens as the front page changes (a tiny little bit). The pagewiew analysis shows there is interest in viewing it and 13 490 page views last 90 days is not all that bad and most certainly not generated by this discussion. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 20:51, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

@Jeblad: Isn't withdrawing the proposal premature at the moment? 99% of consensus agreed with the closure. --George Ho (talk) 12:16, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

I guess it is my statement from 16:34, 29 December 2016 (UTC) you are referring to. If someone will revitalize the project then that user would easily be the whole community at wikinews, and with no opposing votes from the project that users vote would take precedence. Still, right now there is no user that will revitalize the project. — Jeblad 13:27, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  1. Support Jd52102 (talk) 22:26, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
    Jd52102, may you move your vote to the very bottom please? Thank you. --George Ho (talk) 14:51, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
  2. Support --Doostdar (talk) 08:56, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
  3. SupportJeblad 10:24, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
  4. SupportPitpisit (talk)
  5. Support --Tarjeimo (talk) 17:38, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
  6. Support Not only has there not been published a single news article since the last closure discussion, but what seems to be non-revertible vandalism (which in itself would be a major flaw of the project) means that most of the articles on the front page date back to 2008 and that all the dates are wrong. If this proposal fails once more, I suggest doing a "soft closure" similar to what they've done at Swedish Wikinews by replacing the main page with a message informing visitors about the state of the project. This project is not only inactive, but is dead and has been so for years. –Mathias-S (no) 22:55, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
    What was done on Swedish Wikinews is essentially a form of group thuggery/vandalism; systematically lying to potential contributors for the express purpose of preventing them from contributing. --Pi zero (talk) 18:14, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
    Please elaborate. The Swedish community decided by consensus that there was no reason to pretend like the project was active, so the notice is appropriate. It simply states that the project is inactive, which is unquestionably true. Also, who are these "potential contributors"? At least on the Norwegian Wikinews, the only contributors who ever existed came from the Wikipedia community, and that was 10 years ago. Pretending like the project still is active or even has any potential is the lie here. The only purpose this wiki serves is to showcase a dysfunctional Wikimedia project. –Mathias-S (no) 19:47, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
    The idea that the notice is merely letting users know in good faith that nothing is going on there atm, is (sorry to be blunt) a flimsy fiction. I'm sure it's possible to believe that fiction; a person would be especially motivated to believe it if they were partly responsible for the notice and didn't want to believe anything bad about themself. In practice, the notice says the project is closed, which is a lie and its purpose is overtly to prevent anyone from contributing to the project. I find it unrealistic to describe those who did it as "the Swedish community"; it was done by a flash-mob of users who explicitly ignored the rules on project closure in order to suppress the project. A closed project can be restarted at the incubator, at least in theory; this is, in its intent, the equivalent of salting the fields. It's entirely possible that any of those involved may have failed to recognize what they were actually doing, indeed if (like most people) they were basically good people they probably did fail to recognize what they were actually doing (or even self-deceive to avoid recognizing it), but what they were actually doing was an unvarnished act of wanton destruction. --Pi zero (talk) 18:00, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
    Say something really, why Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Swedish Wikinews was deleted 3 times? Were those proposals really "vandalism"? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 05:01, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
  7. Support I agree with User:Mathias-S. --Trygve W Nodeland (talk) 09:16, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
  8. Support, and support soft closure ála Swedish Wikinews if this proposal fails. Danmichaelo (talk) 15:58, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  9. Support I agree with User:Mathias-S and User:Danmichaelo. Efloean (talk) 15:14, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  10. Support I agree with User:Mathias-S and User:Danmichaelo and Efloean. Kimsaka (talk) 15:38, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  11. Support, and support soft closure ála Swedish Wikinews if this proposal fails. Petter Bøckman (talk) 17:23, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  12. Support I agree with User:Mathias-S and User:Danmichaelo. More and more, all this reminds me of Norwegian Blue. Blue Elf (talk) 17:25, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  13. Support--Ezzex (talk) 11:52, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
  14. Support, and support soft closure ála Swedish Wikinews if this proposal fails. --Apple farmer (talk) 14:56, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
  15. Support Ulflarsen (talk) 16:42, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
  16. Support, and support soft closure ála Swedish Wikinews if this proposal fails. Ordensherre (talk) 16:35, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
  17. Strongly support and we should re-consider the so-called soft closure of svwikinews, if someone wants to closure, please make it as really closure, not soft closure which can attract vandals. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 05:04, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
  18. Support for now. Right now, asking for those speaking Norwegian to be volunteering journalists is too much work. Also, I have written articles at English Wikinews, which needs some improvement. While the English one probably needs saving, the Norwegian one should be closed and then locked (or something). --George Ho (talk) 03:39, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  19. Support What I read here was sufficient to me to make a decision. --Gce (talk) 21:47, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
    withdrawn Support and do not move to incubator. Maybe keep a copy for archival purposes to show what happened and how it was "destroyed" by minor edits changing the date of the news. As it is now it is not probable that it is possible to revive. The programming of the project seems to be flawed and the last edits are machine translations by a Portuguese user. Done with all the best intentions, but they are not in Norwegian although having similarities in the words chosen. If anybody is interested it is best to start completely anew and look at how the English Wikinews is working. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 11:11, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
    I've been meaning to try to help out, but truthfully it's hard to motivate oneself to put time into a project that has this proposal-for-closure hanging over it. Even though the proposal for closure has, afaics, no legitimacy. --Pi zero (talk) 16:11, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
    Indented withdrawn "support" vote. --George Ho (talk) 08:19, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
  20. Support I agree with User:Mathias-S. DARIO SEVERI (talk) 14:23, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
  21. Support Per all of the above. 😂 (talk) 23:07, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
  22. Support -- the wub "?!" 12:04, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
  23. Support (with a strong preference for the soft closure approach). I feel to some degree compelled by arguments on both sides of this debate; certainly it seems like keeping the doors open in at least a technical sense is mostly reasonable, as there is potential future utility to this project. However, the lack of even a skeleton community to guard against vandalism and potential abuse is a problem. Therefore, it seems to me that, at a minimum, a notice of the project's status ought to be given to those who utilize the site. If the community ever revives to the degree necessary to propagate the project, they can always remove it, and I don't see the broader community ever objecting. It's not an ideal approach from the view at either extreme of this discussion, but I think it represents the best balance of interests. Snow Rise (talk) 05:46, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
  24. Two edits in last 30 days - sorry it's not pretty enough. I'm wondering why nobody of the Norwegian-speaking community wants to support their WikiNews - I think it should be interesting beginning. But well, we have what we have. --Wolverène (talk) 11:21, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
  25. Support, and support soft closure à la Swedish Wikinews should this proposal fail. Double sharp (talk) 08:15, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
  26. Support --Zhangj1079 (talk) 19:22, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

Oppose[edit]

  • Oppose Oppose --Pi zero (talk) 04:55, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose --acagastya 21:56, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose Inactivity is not a reason. --Rschen7754 05:34, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Per Rschen. – Ajraddatz (talk) 15:25, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose see General comment below. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 20:02, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

General Comments[edit]

  • Comment Comment Did you warn about this proposal to Norwegian Wikipedia's Village Pump, in order to seek for interested people who would want to revitalize the project? --Zerabat (discusión) 00:37, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
A very short discussion at w:no:Wikipedia:Torget/Arkiv/2016/september#Norsk wikinews. — Jeblad 19:36, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
@Jeblad: That wikilink doesn't work. --Pi zero (talk) 04:48, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Should go to nowiki. Fixed now. — Jeblad 17:42, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment Actually, I would like to support this, again. What happened last time might be instructive: Some short-lived activity, then going to sleep again. A Wikinews where activity is only shown when there's a closure proposal is pretty dead. Last time, MF-Warburg mentioned that the policy says "Inactivity in itself is no valid reason; additional problems are" - well, I think that for Wikinews (unlike other Wiki projects, especially Wikipedia versions), inactivity in itself creates the "additional problems". It's a special case. Wikinews projects are supposed to deliver news. That's their raison d'être. Very different from a Wikipedia or Wikisource. However, that's more or less exactly what I said last time. If the "inactivity in itself is no valid reason" policy is seen as automatically blocking any attempt of closing a Wikinews on inactivity grounds, then it seems it's useless to support this proposal and we simply have to live with Norwegian Wikinews as well as with lots of other utterly dead Wikinews language versions... --Gestumblindi (talk) 17:34, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
Wikinews projects are supposed to provide an outlet for delivering news; it's about empowering contributors. That makes it especially important to keep them open. I approve of the policy that inactivity is not in itself a reason for closing a project of any sister; but if it were possible to tip the scales even further toward keeping projects open than "inactivity is not in itself a valid reason", the peculiar nature of news wikis would do so. --Pi zero (talk) 19:16, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
I wish the Norwegian Wikinews had succeeded, but the current state of the project makes it a very little attractive place to publish anything. Users looking for a place to publish their own news stories probably won't have much trouble finding other and more attractive outlets. Danmichaelo (talk) 15:53, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment As we know users at Wiki-Projects should be on a red list of threatend species! We are rather few! Our In the news-Window called Aktuelt are now used rather actively. In Aktuelt we have the opportunity to show good articles already written in Wikipedia. But we have not enough manpower to serve one separate project in addition. It is not enough with only a couple of users. They need at least ten. Even wikipedians take holidays! --Trygve W Nodeland (talk) 09:31, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment This site should attract users we quite often reject at the encyclopedia. Users interested in new and forever trying to use the encyclopedia as an opportunity to publish news are not encouraged. And persons interested in an encyclopedia often is more interested in facts and history than what is going on right now. The projects does not recruit from the same groups of interests. But the site does not seem to function well if at all and this must be quite detrimental. I tried to publish but did not succeed. How can the site recruit if it is malfunctioning? --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 09:53, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment Multilingual Wikinews have relatively low levels of activity, where most of the items are distributed between no more than 1 or 2 people (most cases are administrators). It is a situation that is basically due to the fact that Wikinoticias is not a project that has much diffusion, added to that there are certain languages that do not have a sufficient number of speakers. Alvaro Molina (Let's Talk) 18:30, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
    That's also true of the nearly dead eo.wikinews. edit: though I do have some interest in contributing there —Mikemoral♪♫ 09:09, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment The effectiveness of closing projects policy and the effects on closure proposals are discussed at Talk:Closing projects policy#This is not working. Pinging Pi zero, Dyveldi, Jeblad, Ajraddatz and Mathias-S about this. --George Ho (talk) 18:16, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment - The proposal has a serious flaw. It does not differentiate between being locked or being deleted. it says "Proposed outcome: closure", but does not state what kind of closure is wanted and did not link to Closing_projects_policy#Policy. I apologize for not seeng this point at an earlier stage in the discussion.
-- I do not think anyone is sufficiently interested in the project to go back and submit their opinion again. At the time this proposal was submitted here it was not announced on Norwegian Bokmål WP due to the proposer being blocked for 3 days. Someone else did post a question on Tinget on 25. des. 2016 (w:no:Wikipedia:Tinget/Arkiv/2016-52#Wikinytt) asking if a link on the front page of WP was necessary, the proposal was then revealed and consequently several Norwegian Bokmål-users posted their opinion here, but whether they want it deleted or locked is not clear.
-- Closing means as far as I can see the Wiki will still be visible and available on the net. It seems to me that the main reason for support in this thread is the state the project is in. The news are not news and due to inactivity it is likely to stay that way for a long time. If it is closed it seems to me it will stay that way "forever" and it will not be rectified since it no longer will be possible to edit the pages. I doubt very much that this is the result people want.
-- Deleting is a different cup of tea entirely since the visibility will vanish. It seems to me that it is possibly what most people want. It is however no way to establish what the users want since the proposal is not clear on which solution is proposed. Deleting is very radical and should have unambiguous support.
-- I withdraw my support since it is the visibility of the state of the project that worries me. And I am further worried that it will stay like this for a very long time. Locking it will only make things worse and it will not be possible to rectify the situasjon. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 19:58, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment If anyone still are interested; an admin at nowiki blocked me and he got a hell of a lot of pepper on that, but no one cared enough to do anything about it. The question was whether there was any reason at all, and the only reason was some other user misrepresented a previous discussion about a politician and I clarified the issue. The admin abused his rights, but unless someone actually do something about it nothing will ever happen. I doubt enwiki would have let the issue pass without any action against the admin.
Closure of nowikinews means "closing", and as such "Closing a wiki means locking its database so that it cannot be edited by anyone except stewards, interface editors, system administrators, founder and staff, but all pages are still visible to public." I am not sure anyone expected a discussion about the deeper meaning of "closing", but sorry to say, this is quite common on nowiki these days.
Over half of the support votes are users from the nowiki community, a single user is against. I believe that says a lot. — Jeblad 20:31, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment I also notified Swedish and Danish Wikipedia communities about this thread. Swedish and Danish are neighbors of Norwegian, three of which are Scandinavian. --George Ho (talk) 22:23, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
I also emailed the Wikimedia Norge about this proposal. --George Ho (talk) 22:28, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho: Would you please not to discuss Swedish, instead to re-create Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Swedish Wikinews with much more senseful reasons? This page is about Norwegian, and is expected to only close (or keep?) n:no:. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 13:34, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Oh... no, no, no, no, no. I just notified those Swedish and Danish Wikipedia communities, Liuxinyu970226, because they are of Scandinavian communities. I just need their input about the Norwegian Wikinews. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway are part of Scandinavia for centuries, i.e. Sweden and Denmark are Norway's neighbors. I hope I am clear about this, am I not? --George Ho (talk) 19:40, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho: The north part of norway is also neighbouring Murmansk Oblast of Russia, so shouldn't you invite "users from that Oblast"? Sanctions from EU/EEA/NATO? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 22:32, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
If you wish to notify someone else, feel free to. I don't see any need to chew on a contributor because they informed someone of a closure discussion.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:27, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Someone have actually tried to do something: [[4]], but the state of the front page is rather a barrier. The front page does not work well and as long as the project is flawed it does not tempt anyone to try to do anything. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 19:03, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
I would be interested in trying to help, if there were not this closure discussion hanging over the project. It's incredibly demoralizing to have this thing hanging over the project, actively discouraging any investment of time since, if the project were to be closed, any effort invested meanwhile in improving it would be flushed away. --Pi zero (talk) 01:51, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Well, that's not true, as the content won't be deleted, but moved to Incubator where work can continue. --MF-W 15:05, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
That's a matter of interpretation. The incubator is pretty certain to differ in some very fundamental configurational ways (and configuration is already a key problem, by my understanding), and is profoundly psychologically different. When I say it's extremely demoralizing, that's an objective observation of fact exactly because demoralization is a subjective phenomenon. --Pi zero (talk) 18:11, 26 July 2017 (UTC)
  • The article n:no:Ny koalisjonsregjering i Norge at the frontpage of Norwegian Wikinews about the election is now four years old… — Jeblad 18:56, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • "Keep"? There are as of now 26+ supports and 5+ opposes on the closure. How is the outcome "Keep"? --George Ho (talk) 09:42, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
     !votes on Meta are strictly advisory in proposals for creating projects or closing projects. The Language Committee has the sole authority to make decisions on creating projects; in the case of closing projects, LangCom decides, then the WMF Board must also concur. LangCom's position, as a rule, is "inactivity is insufficient in and of itself to justify closure". LangCom generally thinks that if anyone ever did want to start up Norwegian Wikinews in a serious way, it would be easier to do it from the already existing project than it would be from Incubator. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:41, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

See also[edit]


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Soft close[edit]

LangCom agrees that this is the proper approach for now. In the Committee's view:

  • Keeping the project open and available for editing will make it easier to restart, if and when contributors express an interest in doing so. At the same time ...
  • The current state of the project, and especially the front page, is embarrassing to the entire Wikimedia community.

Therefore, LangCom makes the following request:

  • Someone can prepare a draft front page for a soft close situation. The page at n:sv: is a reasonable model. Any link to a discussion necessary can point to this page on Meta. The page should include English, Norwegian, and any other language local community thinks might be appropriate. Set it up as a draft somewhere within n:no:.
  • Put a request at SRM to have the current main page moved to an archive location, and the draft page moved into the position of the main page. This is necessary because like most main pages, that page is fully protected. Include a ping to me in that request.
  • I will affirm that LangCom approves this. Then a steward or global sysop can make the change.

Any questions, please let me know. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:59, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

The page is only semiprotected. It's also fine to just remove the non-current news articles from the Main Page, IMHO, and to note that the project currently does not have an active community, but that it is possible to reactivate it just by writing new stuff. --MF-W 09:24, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@StevenJ81: I want to replace the Norwegian Wikinews's Main Page content with this: "Per discussion at Meta-wiki, Norwegian Wikinews is no longer active. Questions can be answered at Torget at the Norwegian Wikipedia. If help from bureaucrats is needed, please contact one of them listed at no:Wikipedia:Administratorer. (Translation for Norwegian language needed please)" It's a draft message, but I like to be bold and all that. Therefore, I would like someone else to work on the message indicating "soft closure". Would that do? --George Ho (talk) 23:53, 1 December 2017 (UTC) Never mind then per below replies. --George Ho (talk) 09:45, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
That sounds a bit overbearing to me... but I do wonder if it wouldn't be better to avoid burdening this proposals-for-closure page with the task of composing the soft message. What the project's page should say is a question ultimately to be determined on and by the project itself, surely, ensuring the soft closure can be undone locally. --Pi zero (talk) 01:56, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I've already created a draft at n:no:Wikinytt:Forside/soft and am waiting for someone to review the Norwegian. StevenJ81 (talk) 22:43, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
...and someone has done so. So I'm going to move it shortly. StevenJ81 (talk) 22:46, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Now I see two messages in Norwegian. Why replacing the English message? --George Ho (talk) 09:45, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
one in Bokmal, one in Nynorsk. It's a Norwegian language project, and still technically open. So an English-language version isn't really necessary. In any event, it's done now, so let's move on. Thanks. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:20, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
With pleasure. What about n:no:MediaWiki:Sitenotice? n:sv:MediaWiki:Sitenotice currently notifies readers about Swedish Wikinews. --George Ho (talk) 09:31, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm not adding that. I think the site notice discourages the possibility of anyone trying to revive the project, and I don't want to go that far. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:37, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, and the LangCom, for resolving the situation. — Jeblad 20:51, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Question on soft closure[edit]

Copyied from User talk:StevenJ81#Soft closure. StevenJ81 (talk) 23:55, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Hi. I've been wondering how to ask this; it's to do with the recommendation regarding Norwegian Wikinews. It seems that the project is technically not to be closed, but the committee is recommending "soft closure". If I'm understanding this correctly, what is being recommended is "soft closure" akin to that of Swedish Wikinews, which is papered over with warn-off messages (go away, you're not welcome here); afaics, Swedish Wikinews has been "softly" closed more irrevocably than any project that receives a "hard" closure, effectively salting the earth so that in practice there is no chance of resurrecting it. I really don't wish to be difficult, nor to give offence to anyone, but I do want to understand how things stand. Does the committee intend to guarantee Norwegian Wikinews is forever beyond recovery? Or, if (perchance) the committee does not intend "soft closure" to permanently nix the project, by what means do they believe it would be possible to rescue a project once such a thing has been done to it? (For perspective, I had said during the discussion I was willing to help out with infrastructural difficulties on that project, but found it morale-destroying to have the threat of closure hanging over the thing, so that I could not possibly divert part of my volunteer wiki efforts to that project while the proposal-for-closing was active; but a "soft closure" would also guarantee that I could never do anything for the project.) --Pi zero (talk) 00:38, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

@Pi zero: To a great degree, this was a compromise position within LangCom.
  • Certain people simply felt this project should be closed. The one real reason for closing projects (that aren't phony, like that "Siberian" thing) is because of vandalism that remains uncontrolled. And I have to say that Wikinews projects are probably more vulnerable to such things than other projects because dating of items matters. In most other projects you could simply revert the damage and be done; clearly in this case, reverting the damage still left a problem.
  • Others did not want to close the project. They felt that it would be easier for a future community to restart the project if the infrastructure remained available than if the project needed be rebuilt from scratch in Incubator.
Accordingly, this was a compromise: it leaves the project open for a community to restart later on; at the same time, it hides the very embarrassing, obsolete content that currently exists on the project.
The Language Committee most certainly does not want this project to be "forever beyond recovery"; it would like to see the project revived at some point in the future if a community appears that wants to do so. In that regard, it will be important for the new front page not to make the project look like it is permanently closed. Perhaps I will draft the English version of the page myself.
Still, the Norwegian-speaking community made it pretty clear above that it prefers a closure. And as long as there are not Norwegian speakers willing to create content, LangCom found it difficult to "simply" leave the project open in this case.
I hope that is clear, but feel free to get back to me if you have other questions. StevenJ81 (talk) 00:24, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@StevenJ81: Although that's helpful information, I feel part of my question remains unanswered, and there's something that bothers me about what you've just said.
  • In my experience, Wikinews projects in particular, and to some extent non-Wikipedian projects in general, tend to be the subject of what one might call community bullying from Wikipedia-based factions that want to close them. I would expect a Wikinews project to operate in the presence of opposition from a faction that may well outnumber positive contributors; what matters should, to my mind, be the presence of users who want to contribute, not the presence of users who want to prevent the project from operating. For a project that isn't even closed, I would think it wouldn't even take a lot of users; a Wikinews project, especially, needs to be available for use immediately when someone wants it, because news is only news if it gets out while it's current — the idea of requiring any sort of protracted restart process before the project can be used again seems to me to be anathema to the very concept of news.
  • I asked how a project with a "soft close" state could possibly be restarted. As I say, it seems to me that when someone wants a news project, it needs to be available now, not after some restart process consumes time; but I really don't see how a soft-closed project could be restarted even with an (unacceptable) time-consuming process, because afaics there is no process for it. Anyway, that's what I was hoping for an explanation of.
--Pi zero (talk) 01:26, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
People can just start to create articles again. --MF-W 09:22, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@MF-Warburg: Perhaps I have misunderstood. I was under the impression we were talking about something similar to what was done to Swedish Wikinews, and afaik it is impossible for an ordinary user to simply start creating articles again on Swedish Wikinews since the warn-off messages on the sitenotice and main page are both inaccessible to anyone without admin privs. My question apparently splits into several parts: Is there a way for an ordinary user to revive Swedish Wikinews (which, if so, evidently I've failed to see); and if not, how could Swedish Wikinews be revived? Is Norwegian Wikinews to be handled similarly to Swedish; and if not, how is its treatment to be different? --Pi zero (talk) 13:45, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
I'll let MF-W speak to the Swedish Wikinews situation. With Norwegian Wikinews, the project is not going to be closed or locked, and editing will remain possible for the entire project. We're just not entirely confident that there are a lot of contributors available now, so we're going to hide the front page for the time being. If the project reactivates in a serious way, even the front page will be replaced.
As for competition between Wikipedists and "other Wikimedians", if you will, that's not relevant to the current situation in my view. What LangCom sees is that nobody is contributing to Norwegian Wikinews, and that most Norwegian speakers who commented here seemed to want the project closed. But I'm going to write the new main page (probably later today or tomorrow), and will try to do so in a way that makes it clear that the project can still be edited. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:04, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@StevenJ81: So, the edit to the main page will be something that could, in fact, be undone by an ordinary user (that is, not fully protected)? --Pi zero (talk) 15:00, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@Pi zero: It is semiprotected (and should stay that way), not fully protected. That said, we'd probably prefer the community to leave the edit in place until there is a decent amount of updated content there. I will set it up with a link to the "real" main page, not unlike how an Incubator test project's info page contains a link to the test's main page.
Because the project will remain open, nobody will have to wait for a LangCom approval to reverse this "soft close". However, just to repeat, we'd strongly encourage the community to leave the temporary main page in place until there is (a) a cadre of regular contributors, and (b) enough content that the project really looks active again. Until then, treat it to some degree as if it were in Incubator. StevenJ81 (talk) 17:07, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@StevenJ81: I'll keep that in mind, although I see a potential for deep philosophical conflict over the nature of a news wiki; the recommendation you're describing seems to be based on a... call it a misapprehension (much harsher words come to mind)... that the point of the exercise is to produce large volumes of output that then don't matter any more once their publication is well in the past. I'll give the matter some thought, how to steer a path that avoids deeply offending either philosophy. --Pi zero (talk) 20:10, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@Pi zero: That's fine. I really don't think we care if there are exactly "large" volumes of output. Instead, perhaps you'll consider the following:
  • It seems embarrassing (at least to us) if there appears to be a large volume of obsolete content showing up on the front page. If you can remake the front page so that obsolete content doesn't appear, that would make the project seem less embarrassing. Now, what is "obsolete"? I don't think we can say. But at least superficially, I would personally think that something old enough not to seem like "news" to an ordinary reader shouldn't be on the front page, even if it is still relevant. (It can still be accessible through an archive page.)
  • Similarly, it seems embarrassing (at least to us) if there is not at least some regular stream of contributions showing up on the front page. Again, the volume doesn't need to be large. But if there are never more than one or two new articles available, that doesn't really seem like a useful site for people trying to find news. Again, I don't think we would say exactly what the amount should be. But there should be enough news that ordinary readers would have a reason to come to the site periodically.
  • Because as far as I know you aren't actually a Norwegian speaker, I would add that we'd like fluent writing, not machine translated articles, all other things being equal. I don't know that an ordinary reader would have much patience for a site that mostly consists of machine translations.
Put simply, those are really the three things that need to be overcome in order to get the project moving again. Until those things happen, we're more comfortable putting something else in place as the front page. Make those things happen, and we'd be happy for this project to be resurrected. StevenJ81 (talk) 20:56, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Heh. One thing we're seriously allergic to at en.wn is automatic translation. My favorite was a source article written in, iirc, Turkish that said that some minister had a head cold, and an automatic translation of that said he had been beheaded. --Pi zero (talk) 21:06, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@StevenJ81: That you for that clarification. Though I have some misgivings about how well things will work in practice (a general suspicion that the best laid schemes gang aft agley), this sounds to be starting out as a pretty reasonable plan. @MF-Warburg: I would be less disturbed by the situation on Swedish Wikinews if it were as apparently reversible as the described measure for Norwegian Wikinews. --Pi zero (talk) 13:59, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

Discussion continues about Swedish Wikinews only[edit]

I am not familiar with Swedish Wikinews, but looking at it, I don't see what would be different. The wiki is still editable as well and people could reactivate it at any time. --MF-W 14:22, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
@MF-Warburg: The difference I perceive is that Swedish Wikinews is papered over with warn-off messages that, afaict, would require an admin to remove. That (together with the severity of the warn-off) seems to me to make it in practice an unrecoverable situation. --Pi zero (talk) 17:32, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Let's remove the protection of these messages then. Also, do you think they should be made less severe? --MF-W 20:30, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
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Otherwise, downgrade to semi-protection? Therefore, IP edits can be blocked off. --George Ho (talk) 22:42, 13 December 2017 (UTC)