- The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
I will try to keep it simple, and the most simple TL;DR thing to say is - the king is naked and SEW is effectively useless. It was, certainly, a good intention (a project whose target audience are "people with different needs, such as students, children, adults with learning difficulties, and people who are trying to learn English".), but queue in the proverb about good intentions. More than 10 years on, there is no proof that the project is reaching its target audience; on the contrary, it is doubtful it is used by anyone - it's a curio visited by its small group of volunteers and occasionally some random person stumbles upon it, looks around bewildered, and heads back to the much more comprehensive English Wikipedia. I have been teaching students at university in English in South Korea, and not once have I found a student (or a single regular person in Korea or Poland, outside Wikipedia volunteers) who knows of this project. SEW does not show up in Google (or other) search engines, and remains a curiosity, known to some people in the Wikipedia movement - but, again, not to its intended audience.
Now, closure doesn't mean the end of the idea of helping special audiences. We can do it better - in the place which is known to those audiences, i.e. English Wikipedia itself. The best solution would be to integrate it into English Wikipedia through a new tab or prominent button. Nobody clicks on the SEW interlanguage link, and hence very few people, including SEW target audience of ESLs and other special audiences, is aware of it and benefits from the effort of SEW volunteers. So instead of the intuitive 'object, don't close my beloved project', please consider a conditional support 'close if En Wiki gets a new feature to showcase SE content'). INHO this would be the ideal outcome, and then this closure proposal, while put on hold, could be brought to WMF and En Wiki community to discuss how to implement such a feature.
Few other points.
How do you know almost nobody is using this project? Impact comparison: page views for Donald Trump on SE: 187 a day (), vs EN Wiki: 50,963
, so that's a ratio of 1:1000, roughly. If the project was used by ESLs, who outnumber native speakers by ~10x or so, those numbers would be widely different. But they are not.
Another dimension: SEW school projects list on average one educational project a year: . En wiki gets dozens if not hundreds of such projects every year ( is obsolete, but see  for a newer version - note how many of those projects are from ESLs (through not all target En wiki)). The point here, is, again, that as a platform to engage ESL students, SEW has failed. Instructors who want to use Wikipedia in education will do so on normal Wikipedia, not on the obscure and unknown SEW.
But what about the claim from English Wikipedia that "Material from the Simple English Wikipedia forms the basis for One Encyclopedia per Child,[ a One Laptop per Child project"?
en:One Laptop per Child is a nice imitative, but I have not been able to find any studies or data suggesting its use of SEW is significant. They have been using SEW content for 10+ years - without so much as a single academic study suggesting or confirming it is a good idea. Without scholarly analysis, we cannot say that SEW has educational benefits, one could just as well argue that it gives readers a dumbed down, poorly referenced/written version of content they need. If SEW was really useful, it would be more popular.
An overview of scholarly literature on SEW, again, does not show any indication that the project is useful to its target audience, the few academic papers that discuss it do so generally from the computer science/linguistics perspective, using its simplified word data set for some lingustica/cs analysis like: . This suggests that the only real world group that finds some moderate use of this projects are a few lingustic/computer science scholars who have a new dataset to play with. While as a scholar myself I appreciate new data sets, I don't think a project whose only effective use is allowing few scholar to publish some obscure research is what we should be supporting.
What do we lose by allowing SEW to exist? There are few dozens if not hundreds volunteers involved in this project, creating content of very little, if any, impact. Their work should would be much more beneficial (to the entire world, including the SEW target audiences of ESLs and others, who - again - generally are not aware of SEW existence, and use En Wiki anyway) if it was incorporated with en Wiki. Some of those volunteers are clearly confused; just a few days ago I copied content from SEW about en:Lee Sang-Bong, an article that should've been created on en wiki, and that does not seem particularly 'simply written' to me. In addition to misdercting few hundred of volunteers into creating content of little impact, maintaining its infrastructure/views does consume some (if small) portion of WMF budget. Those donations are a limited resource, and even if this project effectively costs [insert random small sum here], this money could be spend on something that is actually useful to a wider group (ex. readers of English Wikipedia, which, yes, I am repeating myself, include majority of SEW target's audience).
It is also worth nothing that SEP suffers from spam. I run a query on Wikidata for articles missing from En wiki that are on simple, and indicative - the first three hits were two deleted articles (en:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Amir Talai, en:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Joe Maggard (3rd nomination)) and one that was a redirect (en:Brenda Ann Spencer).
Bottom line, SEW volunteers may think they are helping ESLs or people with special needs, but they are not, because those people don't know about SEW. They are, therefore, sadly enough, effectively wasting their time. Once the project is merged to En Wiki and closed, they can continue their efforts to improve content of interest to those people, simplify jargon per MoS, or such, on En Wiki.
One final note. I intend no disrespect to the volunteers who created and maintain SEW. Their heart is in the right place, but I do believe that their efforts are misguided and end up creating a trivial site, not something that is useful to the people they intend to help. There is some value in simple explanations of articles, but if you consider  or , note that they suggest that SEW is/should be a feature of English Wikipedia. To some degree, this is a feature issue, SEW simplified versions of articles would be much more useful if they could be accessed from some prominent button on English Wikipedia (nobody looks at the language links to find SEW link...). If SEW volunteers care about having an impact and getting their efforts to the target audiences, they should support this proposal, perhaps conditionally on En Wiki adding a new, prominent feature, something like 'read a Simple English version of this article'. The effective way of bringing SE content to the wider world has to be done through the site that the world uses (i.e. English Wiki). Ending on that hopefully more constructive thought, Piotrus (talk) 08:42, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closing it. Simple is more effort than it is worth to maintain. I support maintaining it while we have it, but what it basically is now is a playground for vandals, spambots, LTAs, and people who have been blocked from various other WMF wikis to try to prove that they should be unblocked on their home wiki. It takes up more volunteer time than it provides value. For what it’s worth, en.wikinews is probably a better candidate for closing first, but simple still shouldn’t exist. Also, to the comments above about would we shut down other small language Wikis, well, that's the thing: Simple English isn't a language group. We already have a Wikipedia for English. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:17, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong Oppose It's viewed by over a half million people daily, has over 130,000 articles, and provides useful content for many. I see no reason to close it, and the vandal/LTA issue is managed without issue. There are vandals on all Wikipedias; it's no reason to warrant closing an entire project. Vermont (talk) 17:49, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- It is when it causes disruption to the entire movement. Simple is a breeding ground for the worst parts of the internet. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:51, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Saying that it's a "breeding ground for the worst parts of the internet" is exaggerating the issue exponentially. It is not causing enough disruption to warrant closing the project. Vermont (talk) 17:59, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Also keep in mind that although some LTA's may use it to vandalize people's talk pages and harass them, if this project is closed because of it the main effect will be the exact opposite of WP:DENY, as it'll give the LTA's a sense of victory, and all they'll do is move to another wiki. Just yesterday, I blocked an account on simple.wikipedia and they began harassing me by editing my commons and cy.wiki talk pages. Vermont (talk) 18:43, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- comment view count in this context is pretty meaningless and should be taken with a grain of salt. Look at the spambot filters for any given project. Chrissymad (talk) 17:52, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong oppose — community is active, wiki can be useful for English starters. M t | c 17:57, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support. Very much for the reasons provided. I appreciate that editors have invested a lot of time building it, but in my opinion it has been time wasted. ToastButterToast (talk) 17:59, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Could I ask why this time is wasted? There are dozens of of other Wikipedias with a lot of volunteer time spent on it and mostly all of them have less of an audience than the SEW. Are you suggesting that closing down the Simple English Wikipedia, which will free up about 20 editors, is worth it? Vermont (talk) 18:02, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closing it. I've dabbled in Simple here and there and I've found it's highly inconsistent. What language is "simple" versus language that's, I don't know, overly complex? The spirit behind the idea was wonderful, but what's there is really just a mishmash of articles that aren't as well-written, detailed, or comprehensive as their enwiki counterparts, as an inherent limitation imposed by simplicity. Eventually, when constructing an article in "simple" English, you reach a point where you either sacrifice complex details due to the limited vocabulary, or sacrifice simplicity in the interest of content. Compare for example simple:Mourning dove (a "very good article") with en:Mourning dove (also a featured article) - the two are practically indistinguishable, except that some of the language has been simplified in simplewiki, but not to the point that you'd expect a reader in Simple's target audience would not still have difficulty understanding the material. And once you get to that point, why not just direct that development to enwiki?
- On the other hand, the effort of creating a wiki that's easy to use on the project side is magnificent, and I do hope that at least some of the simplified terminology makes its way into enwiki. All of the pages linked from simple:Wikipedia:Rules are fantastic. Ivanvector (talk) 18:00, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- The article simple:Mourning dove is in Simple English. Put the pages side-by-side, and you'll notice the distinct difference in phrasing and linking. Vermont (talk) 18:16, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- I agree, but that's not my point. The Simple article has been watered-down from its enwiki counterpart presumably with the goal of having an encyclopedia article comprehensible by a reader with a Simple-level understanding of English, but rather than accomplishing either of those goals it exists on a spectrum between "simple enough" and "comprehensive enough". You can't create an article which meets both goals, there is always a compromise in one direction or the other. One could liken Simple Wikipedia to trying to recreate Monet's Water Lilies using only red, green, and blue crayons - you can do it, but either the result is inferior, or you take liberties with the three crayons limitation (mix them, use black because it's not a colour, use orange because you "can't do it without orange") such that the initial limitation is violated. There doesn't seem to be any agreement (or even discussion really) about how complex the language in an article can be before it is no longer "Simple", and so we end up with a copy of English Wikipedia with details arbitrarily omitted and/or language arbitrarily simplified.
- Using the experience of Simple to establish some standards at English Wikipedia for de-jargoning some complicated articles would be a good place to go from here, a lot of enwiki articles (especially technical and sport subjects, and anything remotely scientific) have not been written with a general audience in mind. Having an entirely separate project to deal with that failure isn't really a good way to address the failure. Ivanvector (talk) 15:59, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Support closing. To put it mildly, simple.wiki is a joke. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:05, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose - This isn't a zero-sum game in terms of resources. There is an active community of volunteers maintaining simplewp, and there are very little WMF or global community resources that need to be expended on maintaining it. It's true that simple English isn't a language, but I'm not concerned about that since the project has a dedicated community and reader base. – Ajraddatz (talk) 18:18, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- But its not being maintained... That's the problem. It basically exists for LTAs to create accounts and harass people and a place for people who have been blocked in their home wikis to go and be toxic in hopes of getting unblocked later. None of that is good for the movement. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:20, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Closing the project won't resolve the problem - LTAs would just go to other wikis to create accounts and do the harassment, etc. This is not specific to simplewiki. Whether or not it's maintained, there are several sysops in the project and they should have an idea about this. -★- PlyrStar93 →Message me. ← 18:36, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Yes; simple does a relatively good job compared with some other projects (*cough* enwikiversity *cough*) when dealing with the enwiki-banned crowd. Deleting simple won't remove that problem. – Ajraddatz (talk) 19:00, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose - While it is a niche project, it has it's place, especially for articles on the technical side. Tazerdadog (talk) 18:22, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support, sadly. There are too many examples where it has been used to push a POV rejected here, with no real notice or oversight. JzG (talk) 18:41, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Could you provide an example, please? - If there are many, finding one shouldn't be difficult...--Eptalon (talk) 18:54, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- The lack of examples clearly undercuts the POV argument. I patrol new pages on Simple pretty often and as the admins there will attest am very quick to request deletion of any POV pushing, copyright infringement, or anything non-simple. --Gotanda (talk) 02:36, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 18:45, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose closure of an active project. It’s well-used and the apparent issues about LTA doesn’t mean it needs closing. Aiken drum (talk) 18:53, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose Without firmly dissucssed RFC on proposed merger. Closing the project to me would also send the wrong message to potential ESOL contributors. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:55, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose: per Vermont and Ajraddatz, this would be the closure of an active project that receives enough traffic to sustain itself. I fail to see a purpose behind that. Javert2113 (talk) 18:58, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose If it isn’t getting through to it’s target audience then the solution is to ask the WMF for help in raising its progfile, not to shut it down. If there is a serious problem with trolls and LTA wingnuts to the extent that the local admin corps can’t handle it, the project should consider using flagged revisions as a solution. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:02, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Weak oppose I think the points made by Piotrus are very good, as same with Ivanvector, but I think, all in all, SEW still has its place, and a legitimate one for sure. It could do with some TLC, but not closing. My name is not dave (talk) 19:17, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose The SEW could use a lot of work, but it's not a net negative. I don't think closing it is necessary at this point. Natureium (talk) 19:31, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose if it needs improvement, let's suggest how to improve it. This reminds me of an AFD where the principle vote to delete is "I don't like it". With 500,000 hits a day, it's far from dead (unlike, say, Wikinews). And like AFD, we can simply work on improving it rather than consigning it to the annals of history. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:40, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support merge – The key quality of Simple English wp is to offer an easily-accessible summary of each topic, rather than the comprehensive, and sometimes dense, en-wiki articles. Compare this to the lede section of an enwiki article, which when well-written should effectively convey the essentials about the subject matter. A reader can skim Wikipedia and get a fairly basic understanding of anything by just reading the lede sections. In that spirit, I would very much support the OP's suggestion of a new tab in enwiki that would show the "simple" version of the article. This could be edited together with the main article, provided some technical markup mechanism is devised (a few templates and scripts could probably do the job without changing mediawiki code). This would elegantly resolve all issues:
- More visibility for the simple-English versions of articles;
- Harnessing volunteer work by Simple English editors;
- Incentivizing the general population of English-language editors to keep simple-English versions up to date;
- Easier policing thanks to advanced anti-vandalism tools and legion of admins working on enwp.
- In summary, a merge looks beneficial to everybody. JFG (talk) 19:48, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strongly oppose merge - The quality of the articles on simple.wiki is such that any merge with en.wiki would be detrimental to the reputation and integrity of en.wiki. There is simply not the time or the manpower available to take on the task of bringing simple.wiki up to the standards expected at en.wiki. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:14, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closing. Idea is fine, but execution problematic (as usual). —Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 19:50, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Blocked. Thanks for reporting it. Vermont (talk) 20:47, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose - The project fills an important niche. If it suffers from lack of visibility, per Beeblebrox, deletion is not the solution. As with any wiki, there are problems, some unique to the project. However, closing the project would be tantamount to shooting the horse over a thrown shoe. You can supplement whatever anecdote your feel most comfortable with. The wisdom still applies. Lets address and improve or correct the problems. This, of course, will require those saying there are problems to specifically identify the problems they refer to. Operator873 (talk) 19:54, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose-ish — I like having a simple version of articles available for when I don't understand the normal one. I don't normally read it, but when I have needed it it has been helpful to me. Changing it to a tab of EnWP could work (since I'm just a reader, not an editor there, I don't really care one way or the other regarding where the content is, as long as I can read it when I want it). Goldenshimmer (talk) 20:07, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closure No obvious supporting evidence of significant historical development, no likelihood of future development, project is a liability of lower quality information due to lack of critical mass of participants and engagement, failure to establish consensus for what "Simple English" manual of style the project will use among various competing off-wiki standards, highly defensive community culture which keeps the project inaccessible for editors as a way to protect the project (for example, no WikiProjects or community meeting spaces allowed), high likelihood of dissatisfaction among participants, low recruitment rate of new regular editors, no plan for change in the foreseeable future. We do have prospect of reform for a next generation project and that is the use of Wikidata to automatically translate structured data basics into simple Wikipedias of all languages. I would advise anyone who wants to advance the future of plain language Wikimedia projects to engage with Wikidata as the most stable, highest impact use of time and labor. Wikidata has a high satisfaction rate among participants. The Reasonator Wikidata / Wikipedia prototype is very encouraging as a Simple English Wikipedia replacement. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:48, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- To address your arguments: A lack of many editors is not a reason to close a Wikipedia. There are not multiple competing off-wiki standards as to the quality of content, as you imply. Your assertion that WikiProjects and community meeting spaces are not allowed is simply false. Although WikiProjects are very rarely in project namespace, there are many in userspace, and we also have simple:WP:ST for community discussions. I don't see what you mean by "high likelihood of dissatisfaction among participants." You don't have much of an editing history there, so have you conducted a poll or some other sort of means by which to find that information? Regarding a plan for change in the forseeable future, the viewership of the SEW has continually been increasing over the years (significant historical development), we have recently been gaining more active editors, and although we aren't planning any drastic changes, there are none required. The usual policy/guideline discussions happen, and your description implies that the Simple English Wikipedia is a small, inactive wiki with a few sad editors. The rest of your comment seems like an advertisement for machine translation, and that's a whole 'nother discussion. Vermont (talk) 22:36, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- @Vermont: This is not the place or an appropriate channel to go through all of this but I stand by what I said. If you want to talk then we can video or voice chat and take notes or record.
- Most of my conversation has been off-simple in the context of other projects, including en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Translation task force, Internet-in-a-Box, Wikipedia:Education program and various discussions about writing styles. All of these projects need plain English content but Simple English Wikipedia is unable to meet any of the needs of these programs. Yes, I have had 1:1 conversations with at least 100 people about plain language solutions for Wikimedia projects, and yes, I know that Simple English Wikipedia is not meeting the needs of users in this space.
- About WikiProjects - can you resolve this issue for me and let people make WikiProjects or community project pages? Every other Wikimedia project allows community project pages. Simple English Wikipedia prohibits community organizing. This is so strange! Simple English Wikipedia turns away so many potential collaborations! Why do you turn people away? Can you flip the switch and allow community projects?
- The community of people developing Simple English Wikipedia content is greater and more active off-Simple English Wikipedia than on Simple English Wikipedia. Yes, there could be a debate about whether structured data is the future, but there can be no debate about the number of people and amount of resources advancing that idea versus human-written Simple Wikipedia text. Much, much more attention and effort to produce a Simple English Wikipedia is going in directions other than to Simple English Wikipedia as it exists now. I know lots of people who have had conflicts with Simple English Wikipedia, but I am not aware of anyone from Simple English Wikipedia bringing value to any plain language project elsewhere. Please get anyone from Simple English Wikipedia to help these other projects or be more inviting of collaboration.
- Yes, there are multiple competing standards of manuals of style. Various university programs like this one at Berkeley do things like plain language translations, develop standardized vocabularies for technical jargon, present limited vocabulary lists, and offer algorithms for readability metrics. There is not a standard in Simple English Wikipedia. Someone could use one plain language manual of style and it be very simple, and another person could use another and it be too complicated. Simple English Wikipedia does not host conversations to resolve this. I would not mind a debate but it is not asking too much to set some minimal expectations of what is and is not appropriate. It really hurts to submit something and get rejected due to an individual asserting a personal preference when Simple English Wikipedia has no manual of style. Matching with a single academic definition of "Simple English" could resolve this, but instead, anything goes and there is too much arbitrary rejection.
- Simple English Wikipedia is a liability with serious problems. If it is not closed it needs serious urgent reform and strong leadership. The WMF has money. If anyone in Simple can get organized or get an institutional partner they should apply for a US$100k grant ASAP because the volunteer only unfunded administration is not working. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:20, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- I'm sorry, when you said "manual of style" I thought you meant simple:Wikipedia:Manual of Style. What you apparently mean is the language, which is defined quite well at simple:WP:HOW, of which there is strong consensus over. Despite what one may think when reading your argument, people are not coming on top of eachother quoting from different plain English translations. It's pretty well-established. Now, onto the misconception of WikiProjects. We do have editors collaborating and communicating. Your claim that "Simple English Wikipedia prohibits community organizing" is blatantly false. We have simple:WP:ST, which is our version of the Village Pump, where editors can discuss topics. We do have WikiProjects, except they are located in userspace rather than project-space. Because of there only being around 30 active editors, large-scale WikiProjects in project space are unnecessary. For example, I had my own WikiProject that gathered 12 volunteers, where we did edit categorizing to help enable ORES on the Simple English Wikipedia. The goal was reached, ORES is now enabled, and the WikiProject shutdown. When I made that project, I was new (about a week at SEW) and was still highly active on en.wiki. There is no anti-change group of people deciding what happens, nor are new editors being turned away. If we did allow people to create WikiProjects directly to Wikipedia: namespace, it's not as though dozens of new editors would magically spring up. Also, you said that both "The community of people developing Simple English Wikipedia content is greater and more active off-Simple English Wikipedia than on Simple English Wikipedia" as well as "Much, much more attention and effort to produce a Simple English Wikipedia is going in directions other than to Simple English Wikipedia as it exists now. I know lots of people who have had conflicts with Simple English Wikipedia, but I am not aware of anyone from Simple English Wikipedia bringing value to any plain language project elsewhere." To me, this sounds contradictory, so I ask you to clarify this. I also ask you how you can be sure of: "I know that Simple English Wikipedia is not meeting the needs of users in this space." If this were so, would viewship not decline? It's been steadily increasing for the last few years. Also, regarding the last bit of your message, how do you think the WMF's money or a grant could help reform the SEW? I strongly support reforms, although my ideal is more of a multiple-month-long copyediting/simplification drive. Vermont (talk) 17:21, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- @Vermont: Thanks for continuing the conversation. I will start with the money issue. Historically Wikimedia projects have operated in money scarcity, and the rule was that anything could happen so long as no money entered play. Nowadays money is not scarce, and the WMF and community are eager to trade money for more quality, participants, and better user experience.
- I am mixing fact with opinion in what I say. If I made a wish with money, then it would be for someone to be funded to organize some necessary community conversations, do a survey, and post some results. Although volunteers can do this sometime, SEW does not have the labor pool or participant base to do this. I appreciate the regular volunteers at the project but considering the size of the audience their 30 opinions and views are marginal. Plain language Wikimedia content is a really big deal for millions of people.
- I insist on WikiProjects because other Wikimedia projects have them. I do not accept that the prohibition on WikiProjects is thoughtful and SEW adopts other strange rules which have to do with its small user base trying to prohibit the influx of new users who might upset the local order. I do not agree that SEW should be able to make local rules that do not align with other Wikimedia projects. The lack of WikiProjects is a barrier to me and to a demographic of users.
- I can recognize that SEW has a manual of style but I disagree that it is coherent. The obvious thing to do would be for SEW to adopt an academic and well-defined existing manual of style. If professionals, academics, and people who go to Simple English trade conferences have established norms and processes, then SEW should follow that precedent until and unless there is a good reason to not do this. It is problematic when a professional writer trained to use simple English comes to Simple English Wikipedia and finds that there is another manual of style there. This needs a conversation with a mediator and if no volunteer can commit the probably 100+ hours to coordinate the right discussion then getting a paid administrator to do this is urgent. There are other conversations to have too.
- I acknowledge increased reader demand but I do not recognize that as a show of support for SEW as it exists now. The demand would remain even after a reform. The most obvious upcoming reform will be inclusion of infoboxes from Wikidata. Simple English infoboxes are the precursor to Simple (every language) infoboxes, and it is also urgent to have simple versions of every language. Right now the politics of SEW might be a barrier to delivering simple content in other languages.
- I said that demand for simple wiki content is increasing. Lots of people ask for it. For example, this talk next week will have a physician talking about it. The problem is that SEW uses a style which is unlike the professional and academic standard of simple English. Without a reconciliation this simple content will get developed elsewhere, like in subpages of English Wikipedia, through Wikidata, or off wiki. I want a Simple English Wikipedia; I just want it to be friendlier and more aligned with the off-wiki professional expectations of Simple English and to collaborate with other Wikimedia projects. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:34, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree with you that it would be beneficial to more clearly define the Manual of Style, but I must assert that your conception of how WikiProjects operate on SEW is incorrect. There is no ban on WikiProjects or user collaboration, nor is there a volunteer culture on SEW that acts that way. See the list of WikiProjects. I also disagree strongly that there are rules "trying to prohibit the influx of new users who might upset the local order." If you perceive this, what rules do you refer to? Vermont (talk) 19:08, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- @Vermont: If I move simple:User:Bluerasberry/WikiProject Medicine to simple:Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine then will you give your support for that and for anyone else to start any WikiProject in the way that other Wikimedia projects allow WikiProjects? If at least you got good support for WikiProjects to be community projects rather than user projects then I would change my opposition here. I see Simple English Wikipedia as a bleak project without a change to begin inviting more community organization and collaboration. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:24, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
- Lean oppose I feel arguments for closing could be applied to the other wikis patrolled by Small Wiki Monitoring Team. I could be convinced to support the closure if there were more argument about why the reasons for closure are unique to the simple English wikipedia. Billhpike (talk) 20:51, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Sure: Simple English is not an actual language, and we already have a Wikipedia in English that doesn’t have any of these problems. It provides no actual value while consuming significant global resources. This is different from other small projects where they are the only Wikipedias in their language. Simple is a fine concept that doesn’t work. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:01, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- How much administrative work on SEW is done by editor's who primarily contribute to another wiki? I looked at simple:Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser and it appears that most issues were handled by local check users / admins. Some of the replies were less then timely, but SEW is hardly the only wiki with a CU backlog. Billhpike (talk) 22:25, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- How do you define language? - There is a Wikipedia in Afrikans, which can also be seen a version of Dutch...--Eptalon (talk) 21:42, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong support — Just two days ago I wrote, not knowing of this proposal, that simple-English Wikipedia is neither read, edited, updated nor even serves the purpose that it intends to en:Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Medicine-related articles#Digression: simple.wikipedia.org. The lack of editors and lack of community, as well as lack of interested readership causes its articles to be out of date, and in many cases of very poor quality. Neither does it adequately serve the purpose it intends to serve, with articles only marginally more readable, and oftentimes less readable than leads on en-wiki.
- simple-wiki risks acting as an excuse to deprioritize clarity and unambiguous expression on en-wiki, which may seem unintuitive, but is a defence I've come across far too many times. Closing simple-wiki could bring editors versed in writing simply back to en-wiki, and would send a clear signal that Wikipedia is for everyone, not just those who can read at a post-graduate level.
- We need simple writing, and that is why we don't need simple-wiki. Wikipedia's articles vary, some more amenable to simple language, but all can benefit from the work of editors who can express themselves tersely. Even very complex topics need well written and easy to understand introductions. Carl Fredrik💌 📧 22:04, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- If closed, the amount of editors it would bring to en-wiki is insignificant, if any. As you said, there is a very small editing force, and thus articles, especially in constantly updating fields like medicine, are not always up to date. But, outdatedness is not a reason to close a project; if it were, the majority of small wikis would have reason to be closed. Vermont (talk) 22:18, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- While the number of editors that move may be low, it will act as a strong indication that writing simply is important — and that even editing with the sole intention to simplify difficult language on en-wiki — is not only acceptable, but highly desirable. I think you underestimate the amount of good you could do in a WikiProject Simple English. CFCF💌 📧 22:26, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Is your idea to make a simple namespace on enwiki? If not, how would you integrate the content, if at all? Thanks, Vermont (talk) 22:37, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. Seems harmless. I don't think that closing Simple would automatically mean that its contributors would take up some other Wikimedia project. Some might leave the project altogether, including some who currently work on multiple projects. I would think, perhaps, that a reasonable alternative would be to limit the coverage of the project to, say, a hundred-thousand vital topics in clearly defined areas, to avoid spamming of a less patrolled project. BD2412 T 22:16, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. It's #51 on the list of Wikipedias. Are we also shutting down the smaller ones? LeadSongDog (talk) 22:24, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose Closure and integration are two different things. The proposal is not well-developed. We have other considerations such as the mobile view and wikidata. Integration of these linked projects might be sensible but there is not a good structure for this currently. In the current chaotic way of doing things, competition is healthy in providing alternative approaches. Andrew D. (talk) 22:32, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support per TonyBallioni and CFCF --Alaa :)..! 22:33, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support in principle. At the current point Simple English Wikipedia simply does not fit in the grand scheme of things: it is not a separate language, it was a good idea some years ago to have such project that would have articles that are easier to understand for people, but right now it is the only exception among more than 300 language versions that we have. Simple X projects get frequently rejected, Simple English projects (there’s also Wiktionary, btw) sits there alone in a complete limbo. Don’t think we should completely delete it or disband the active community, but the opposite, if that is applicable: narrow down its idea to something like Wikikids, which is already being developed in some languages and even functions as a sub-project of Basque Wikipedia, reformat the project, make it Wikimedia-level initiative and allow the communities to grow under a new brand and under Wikimedia movement’s umbrella. Then it wouldn’t be sticking out like a sore thumb, but rather would allow us to do something bigger on the basis of established project. (I don’t know how well other language versions of such project would do, I just think that it is very hypocritical to keep Simple English Wikipedia and force other projects to do workarounds if they want to work on something similar on their own.) stjn[ru] 22:44, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- To add in response to some points above: the place in list of Wikipedias shouldn’t mean anything, because other wikis, even if they are the smallest of them all, still represent a corpus in respective languages. Simplewiki is the only project that does not, so it is not correct to compare it with language editions in any way. stjn[ru] 22:53, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong Oppose Simple is useful to new english speakers, such as people who have never spoken english before. I agree that it needs some work - but it is not enough to warrent closing it. Xenrøse • T 22:51, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support per TonyBallioni and CFCF .Simple English is not a separate language further it is not clear or there is no evidence how Simple English Wikipedia helps starters or that it has a separate audience or that new English speakers benefit from it there are thousands of articles in English Wikipedia which use simpler English than Simple Wikipedia or what is the benefit of having a separate Wikipedia that English Wikipedia does not cover.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 23:16, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Rather than using the ambiguous "thousands", could you provide examples? From my experience, the English Wikipedia is almost always significantly more complex than it's SEW counterpart-article, and when it isn't they're of equal simplicity. Vermont (talk) 23:43, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closure per TonyBallioni. From admittedly brief research it seems that Simple acts more as a playground for LTA users and sockmasters (At least one of which immediately identified themselves as such...?) rather than a useful project. As has been stated, this is nothing to do with closing down small language wikis, as simple English isn't a discrete language. ƒirefly ( t · c · who? ) 23:19, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Many LTA's edit on the Simple English Wikipedia after their socks had been blocked on the English Wikipedia. With the specific example of LovelyGirl7, see simple:User:Vermont/Reports/LovelyGirl7. A lot of my work (which I would be doing even if SEW didn't exist) is anti-LTA. It's not as large of an issue as many make it out to be. Most are blocked within an hour of their first edit, and with few exceptions, their edits are not left for any period of time. Vermont (talk) 23:37, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong support basically per TonyBallioni, Ivanvector and CFCF. It would be better to dedicate the effort to making enwiki more accessible, or other language versions more complete than continue with what amounts to a poorly-defined content fork, which is frequently used as the playground of LTAs. stwalkerster (talk) 23:47, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose per Vermont and Eptalon. Jared837 (talk) 00:00, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Weak oppose: I think ideas of integration with enwp are interesting, and were something concrete suggested I might agree with it (e.g. having another tab at the top of the browser view so it reads "Article | Simplified article | Talk"). But I don't think shutting down the project would be helpful, particularly without any specific plans of what to do with the content. Also, volunteers can work on whatever they want, and all who edit Simple are choosing to do so (though I concede perhaps a few are misguided in their thoughts of how helpful their edits to Simple are). I'm slightly in two minds because from what I've seen, the Simple English Wikipedia is not of particularly consistent quality and doesn't always have great prose. Then again, I'm not the target audience. As for how well-known a thing it is, I think it's fairly obscure but I've had the (very) occasional article pop up in the first few Google results for a term, and I once overheard someone in high school telling their friend that if they clicked the "Simple English" link in the sidebar, it would "simplify the article". — Bilorv (talk) 00:46, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose The opening premise of the proposal that "it is doubtful it is used by anyone" can be debunked pretty quickly. It's had more than 15 million readers per month since September 2017 and the number of page views has been increasing steadily since 2015. I'm surprised it's that high, but evidently people are finding it somehow. Maybe it would be worth surveying the readers about whether their needs are being served by simple Wikipedia before we consider closing it. Richard Nevell (talk) 01:11, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose unless there is a a clear, well-defined and realistic plan of including the "new tab or button" as mentioned. Also disagree that it is merely a playground for vandals, since there is an anti-vandal bot, ORES support and fairly active admins for a wiki of its size. Darylgolden (talk) 01:48, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose Is this Wiki taking up too much bandwidth or something? I also want to mention that this has already been nominated twice for deletion in the past. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:37, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support per Piotrus, TonyBallioni, Ivanvector, and CFCF. Double sharp (talk) 04:15, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose per the rather thorough opposing arguments listed above. Any of the issues raised by the opposing arguments above can be solved without closing the project. If a merge does happen though, a separate
Simple: namespace should probably be the method of consolidating the content. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 05:11, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support. Simple.wp is not achieving its mission. If you pick random articles from that site and run them through readability tests, they generally fail for the target audience level, most of them are woefully inadequate, are outdated in the cases where currency of the information is an issue, and many are full of unsourced and even patently false (i.e. vandalism) claims. The site is disused by readers, and has too small an editorial base to ensure even basic accuracy and other quality measures. It would make more sense for some combination of various forms of Simple English to be integrated into en.WP itself, perhaps as a sidebar option. The large editorial base at the main English Wikipedia is in a much better position to create and maintain "translations" of full-English articles into a simplified form of the language. — SMcCandlish ☺ ☏ ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ᴥⱷʌ< 06:31, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Last month the site received 18 million views from 7.8 million unique devices. How do you define 'disuse by readers'? Richard Nevell (talk) 07:32, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Not sure I want to make up a particular number. But it's not 18m hits per month., especially when a significant portion of that traffic is editors and bots and such, not readers. Many popular pages on the web get more hits than that per day. I would bet various en.WP articles do. — SMcCandlish ☺ ☏ ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ᴥⱷʌ< 18:02, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- @SMcCandlish: The stats tool tries to exclude bot traffic as far as possible. If we are struggling to define what counts as disuse, I think it shows not enough consideration has been given to how some pretty fundamental things that determine how well a wiki is doing. It has not been established what success looks like and how this can be reliably be measured, and if Simple English is failing by this standard what the various options are to rectify the situation or whether it should be mothballed. Is it even possible for the community of editors to have all the information they need to assess the health of a project without direct support from WMF developers who can look under the hood and give a sophisticated analysis? The proposer jumped straight in with this page, and while the mantra of 'be bold' has its uses in this situation there needs to be some serious research into Simple English before we properly consider what to do with it. It would be foolish to fold a large project before properly establishing its health, and that should have been done separately from a proposal to close the project. Richard Nevell (talk) 19:40, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
- "It has not been established what success looks like and how this can be reliably be measured" cuts both ways. So put that pro/con arguments about that aside. The quality is poor, there are not enough maintainers to deal with vandalism, and most of the content doesn't actually appear to comply with any of the simplified English specs. So, what's the point? I've proposed merging it into en.WP in some form, specifically so we don't just fold the project in a total sense. More like a business's departmental reorganization. Move the content to where there's a pile of people who can work on it, and tie the simple content to the regular content so that working on it is easy. — SMcCandlish ☺ ☏ ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ᴥⱷʌ< 21:25, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose closure there are active editors and readers on this wikipedia, so I see no reason to close. A different amount of completeness to the EN WP is no reason to close. Unless there are severe widespread systemic problems, which I haven't read from above, this decision should be determined by editors from within said wikipedia, not canvassed editors from the EN WP. --LT910001 (talk) 10:00, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong Oppose Used it plenty in my younger years and it definitely has its place. Very useful when new English speakers don't understand the en-wp article, they can simply hop over to simple. --Treetear (talk) 14:47, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support As what Piotrus, TonyBallioni, Ivanvector, and CFCF said. TomasTomasTomas (talk) 15:41, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose There is no good reason for closing a wiki that is still working towards its goals. It is unfair to compare it directly with English Wikipedia when really its equivalent would be more like 2006 English Wikipedia. The progress of simple is a lot slower than English because it has 30 regular editors at best vs. 10s of thousands on the other. -Djsasso (talk) 16:54, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose It doesn't seem to me as if closing it will solve any problem, and I'm also concerned about procedure - we're discussing shutting down a wiki other than the one we contribute to. I don't see any compelling reason to close here. SportingFlyer (talk) 17:50, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose Simple.wiki has problems - I think everyone can agree on that - but I don't believe it's problems have risen to the point where closing the project would be a net positive to Wikimedia as a whole. Perhaps this proposal will serve as a call to Simple.wiki that change needs to happen, and I hope that the wider Wikimedia community can pull together to help support Simple fix its problems. - TNT❤ 17:55, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose This is simply a solution looking for a problem. The arguments for support are unconvincing, especially TonyBallioni's claim that simple is just a breeding ground for LTAs. Shutting that down won't stop them, they'll just move to some other small wiki and set up show there. Hell, even the test wikis can be the same breeding grounds. Arguments of little readership are also unconvincing. Views aren't everything, but views by unique devices is something different, and that number is also fairly high. The only argument the convinces me a little is the fact that the community there is out-manned and quality is suffering, but the same could be said for roughly 600 other WMF projects. Are we to close those down too?—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:59, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Yes, but it also literally has NO positive characteristics at all and actively harms it’s readers by diverting them in wikis where the information is better conveyed in their own language. It’s the epitome of Anglophone arrogance to assume that people would rather read substandard English than their own language. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:19, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- I wouldn't say no positive characteristics. What English has over all other languages is that it's the universal language when communicating internationally, especially true among airline pilots. People who are trying to learn that language tend to try and learn the simple stuff in a language first, and then move on to the more complex stuff. Simplewiki can be used as a stepping stone in such instances.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:24, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- I still think this is an exceptionally arrogant way to view it, and also think that isn’t the purpose of an encyclopedia. There are many better ESL resources out there and I see no value at all in the project and active harm coming from it in multiple ways. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:28, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Aside from the LTAs, can you give specifics as to how this is harmful?—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:30, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Tony, we're not suggesting that people should learn English from SEW, or that they should abandon their native language wikis for SEW. We're just supporting that a Wikipedia using simpler English is beneficial and useful to many. Vermont (talk) 18:36, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Not only is it used as a stepping stone, but for many smaller language wiki's the Simple English article is simply bigger and more detailed. And for those who don't have a firm grasp on English easier to read then a complex one. -Djsasso (talk) 18:32, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- By not directing people to projects that would better serve their needs and giving them a poorly done knock-off of en.wiki. No one wants to read non-standard English. Readers aren’t served by this project and people who need information are done a disservice. Simple only exists for people from other Wikipedia projects to mess around with. If we’re fine with it, let’s just say that, not pretend it actually helps readers. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:36, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Do you know where most of those people who "mess" with the Simple English Wikipedia come from, Tony? EN. When they're indefinitely banned. We get seen as a dumping ground for all the trash that doesn't fit into the complicated version of Wikipedia, i.e, en.wiki. It would serve us all a hell of a lot better if communication between the two was such that when problems occurred with users there, we would get to know about them and be ready. But the attitude of EN's editors has always been that we're a second class, second rate service which doesn't do what it set out to do. Merging the Simple English Wiki into en.wp will not work - period. A better way would be to teach all of the English Wikipedia editors to write so that EVERYBODY can understand their articles, not just the proportion who are either native speakers or have English degrees to back them up. DaneGeld (talk) 16:26, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- he understands perfectly well, therefore the endless vindictive deletion of the work of people he does not personally approve. but, "Lieutenant Sobel does not hate Easy Company, Private Randleman. He just hates you." and he shall share the fate of Lt Sobel. Slowking4 (talk) 18:52, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose closing it, this is useful to people who not have learned regular english and need to learn better, but the wiki is small and maybe also be closed.188.8.131.52 18:14, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose Just because there are problems, that does not mean that a simple closure is the solution. Instead of saying that there are problems and wanting to close a project which works for many users, why not instead focus on addressing these problems? You say that no one knows about Simple Wikipedia, well maybe we should focus on informing people. Or there are mentions of LTAs; other measures can be taken in order to fix this. Simple Wikipedia has worked for many people for years, and there are still many volunteers willing to keep the project running, so I don't see any good reason for a closure. Also, why close this wiki when there are many more way smaller wikis, struggling with the same issues? Another question: what would we achieve with the closure of Simple? I don't think diverting editors to Enwiki would work, since usually people who edit on Simple choose to, in order to help users who do not know such well English, or maybe because the editors themselves don't. Reception123 (talk) 19:45, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support Think there could be more effective ways, in terms of time and resources, to help the target audience of SEW than what the project is doing now. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:04, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Lean towards opposition to closing of the Simple English Wikipedia. The Simple English Wikipedia has its place as an accessible encyclopedia for children or for people who do not speak English as a first language. Vorbee (talk) 20:36, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Weak oppose - many arguments for closing it are valid, but I am afraid that saying "we should close it because it's constantly getting vandalised or spammed" is basically giving the vandals a sweet victory. They were trying to destroy the project for long time and now you let them have it? If anything - project being vandalised should never be a valid reason to close it. On other side it's true that this project is probably not very useful for target audience. But - it still is useful for the community. Many administrators of English wikipedia start as admins on simple wikipedia, where they learn to use the tools properly and prove they can be trusted with them. Sometimes you can even see in RfA on enwiki that users who aren't getting support are told to try to apply on simplewiki first to get more reputation and skills. Because the community is so small, it's way less conservative than enwiki, so deployment of new software features is much easier on simple wiki. I know it sounds like it's a sandbox for English Wikipedia, but keep in mind that wikipedia started just as sandbox for nupedia as well, and look what it became ;) simplewiki is maybe not useful for target audience right now, but it cost basically no money to operate it, its small community enjoy to maintain it, and devs like to use it as a sandbox for actual wikipedia. So I definitely can't agree that it's not useful at all, or that it's "too much effort to maintain it". There are volunteers who enjoy maintaining it. Petrb (talk) 21:40, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. I don't personally think simple is good for much, but the arguments that it's actually harmful are just not convincing. Let people who find it valuable put their work where they choose. If some of them are people who would be banned from en.wiki, well, who cares? I might feel differently depending on how much of a resource drain it is, but if it's a resource drain, let the Foundation tell us that. --Trovatore (talk) 21:55, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Opposebased on LTA abuse. With recent experience of LTA abuse, I can say we can manage LTAs case by case. A fast block (duck) is enough to contain the harm. No opinions on other issues.--Cohaf (talk) 22:22, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose unless there are concrete and realistic plans for a merger of ENWP and SEWP rather than wafer-thin suggestions. Lest we have forgotten, we are talking about volunteers, not paid staff. If someone wants to contribute to SEWP, that is their choice. As far as I know, there are no paid WMF staff toiling on SEWP, so I don’t see an argument for trying to push those volunteers to working on ENWP. I have done a couple of thousand edits on SEWP, and I can see the advantage of simpler articles. The failure was ENWP not adopting the idea of all article ledes being written in Simple English back in 2000-whatever. SEWP is not a perfect wiki but then again neither is any other wiki. There are more pressing Wikimedia-wide problems such as the burgeoning non-free content on dozens of wikis, many without adequate administrative oversight, which could be solved by creating a second image repository to complement Commons. Let’s support smaller wikis rather than reinforcing the ENWP stranglehold on Wikimedia by closing them. I was once a staunch English Wikipedian with a quite centralizing view i.e. pretty much every wiki could be recreated as namespace or a tab in ENWP. However, I have moved towards becoming a Wikimedian, with significant contributions to at least six wikis and I would urge more Wikipedians to do the same. Green Giant (talk) 22:32, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. "Simple.wiki doesn't show up in Google results"? Sometimes, it's ranked higher than the normal English Wikipedia (in most of these cases, both are on page 1 of the results). Lojbanist (talk) 22:53, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- I went through clicking "Show any page" and found that about 1/3 to 1/4 of articles show up on the first page of Google, although I could not find any that were above enwiki. I then checked a few simplewiki Very Good Articles, and although they came right next to enwiki, it was always second. I can provide images if needed, and I conducted these tests using a web browser I had never opened before. Vermont (talk) 12:16, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. Enough people find Simple useful to justify keeping it open. SilkTork (talk) 00:13, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- The most viewed article on Simple gets 287,412 monthly views. There are 5,669,952 articles on Wikipedia. 5,668,995 of those articles get less monthly views than the top Simple article. And while we are on stats, there are over 500,000 articles on Wikipedia that need references, including over 45,000 BLPs. No Wiki project is perfect. SilkTork (talk) 00:56, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. Slow-moving as a project perhaps, but not useless. Lusotitan (talk) 23:36, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closure I knew little about Simple English Wikipedia (SEW) until this discussion, so came into this survey with an open mind. I have to say that, on balance, the argument is leaning towards closure of SEW. I had a look at the SEW articles and concluded that it is not fit for purpose. There is no clear definition of what "simple English" is being used, or anything like the same kind of checks and balances on article quality from the few editors who work over there. It seems to be a clear case of a good idea *at the time* turning into something of a relic, more Wikia than Wikipedia. If Wikipedia can allow for Serbian's version to have both Roman and Cyrillic versions on the same article with different tabs, perhaps Simple English could be similarly "merged" into en.wiki? Doktorbuk (talk) 09:43, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose To act in good faith, if we want to integrate the Simple editors we should pursue that before any talk of closing their wiki. As an engineer, I also want to point out that we're already at a point where we could support such an initiative technologically, using Wikidata to link Simple with English content and making it more prominent to readers, and the Simple content could even be presented in a translation-like interface as a model for English editors to follow when simplifying their content. At the social level, I agree with points above that English would benefit from Simple's universality. At any rate, we would be better off reaching out to the editors as allies first, and only then taking drastic steps, that have been planned together. Adamw (talk) 11:24, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose - most importantly, I don't believe that SEW is yet failing a net positive test. Secondly, we should be trying additional steps to help it before we consider throwing it out (one suggestion is below). Thirdly, I would want a detailed proposal setting out exactly what was being done with the shutting down (etc) of SEW before I could !vote support. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:07, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support per TonyBallioni. For those who say "if we take down simple.wiki, why wouldn't we take down smaller wikis?", the answer is clear: simple English is not a language. L293D (talk) 15:15, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Basic English is not a language in the sense that it doesn't have an ISO language code, and is based off another language, but it is in the sense that it has it's own set of words (less than English) and some variations in grammar. Either way, SEW isn't strictly Basic English. Vermont (talk) 16:08, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Is being a language that important here? what about those users/readers who are not native english speakers and lack excellent english? I am not native english speaker and if my homewiki lacks any article (though it is a language), then English wiki is not that useful either. Though it has rich and updated content it hard to understand things that are written there. One tab for searching meanings and one for reading article, so instead of going to all that trouble people will start searching elsewhere.(This is based on my observation, since I am from a country where many people understand only basic english) So though it is not an actual language it can be very useful to people. All it needs is more visibility and there are other ways to do that.-BRP ever 16:11, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Yes, the general rule is to have a language or set of languages to have a project. It is very hard to justify Simple English Wikipedia being run from this point, even if it is ‘grandfathered’ as people say, but that is, in my opinion, a bad attitude: it shows, as a Russian phrase goes, that ‘who made it in time, ate it’ and that is not a healthy attitude to have. stjn[ru] 17:01, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong Support. Close it, then burn it to ashes, and then burn the ashes. I mostly focus on mathematics articles on the main English Wikipedia, so I took a quick look at a few high-profile articles here, and the overall state was utterly pitiful. Forget any problems with vandals or LTAs; this is just a low-quality project (and not just in math). I'm sorry for those who've spent time volunteering here, but this place shouldn't exist. I think the overall concept is fundamentally flawed. Who decides what's too linguistically complex? And frankly, I'd rather see people that struggle a bit with English led to a better article that they have a bit harder time understanding than to a low-quality one that they handle more easily. Deacon Vorbis (talk) 16:19, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- So you are saying that so many years of work by volunteers should just be "burned to ashes"? I think it should be extremely unfair to the volunteers and people who have worked on Simple Wiki for many years for their work to be deleted, archived or forgotten. There are many articles on Simple Wiki, and people have put in time for them. As to your argument that you'd like people that struggle to go to English Wiki, that should be their choice to make, if they prefer Simple Wiki over English, why should they not use it? Reception123 (talk) 16:45, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- I was being a bit hyperbolic, quoting Fahrenheit 451, but essentially yes. Leaving it frozen as an archive might be okay in case there's any information that anyone specifically wants to salvage. As for the time that people have put into the project, I certainly feel for them, but I think you're committing a version of the sunk cost fallacy. Why should more resources be wasted on something that's ultimately not worth it? Deacon Vorbis (talk) 17:27, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- It’s a lot more than “struggle a bit” with a complex English article. See BRPever’s comment immediately above yours. As you are a native speaker of English, you (and I, for that matter) are unable to recognize the helpfulness of a Simple English Wikipedia for those who only know basic English. Also, could I ask what you mean by “low-quality project”? I think this misconception of yours may stem from the odd phrasing and use of words, as you are an editor in perhaps one of the most complex areas of the English Wikipedia. Vermont (talk) 16:50, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose - I rarely visit it but I actually just checked it for something the other day; It is not a resource I would like to see brought to an end. — Godsy (talk • contribs) 20:56, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose no, it doesn't have anything like the number of viewers of the English Wikipedia, but that means absolutely nothing - few projects do. It has an active community and plenty of useful content. I wouldn't be opposed to integrating it into the English Wikipedia somehow but that shouldn't be done by closing it. Hut 8.5 21:34, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comment "If the project was used by ESLs, who outnumber native speakers by ~10x or so, those numbers would be widely different. But they are not." I am not a native English speaker either, but I have been using English as a secondary language since I was in elementary school, and have earned a couple of certificates on fluency. I never found the Simple English project either useful to read, or particularly interesting to edit. Both of my adult nieces visit English Wikipedia for information, though neither was ever an editor. My 8 or 9-year old grand-niece (I forgot her date of birth) is currently starting with her English education and with gaining computer skills, and has been advised to visit English Wikipedia. In part to start reading texts in English, and in part because it has comprehensive articles on subjects which she enjoys (such as dogs and dog breeds). I really don't get why non-native speakers should be spoken down to. Dimadick (talk) 01:00, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closure and merge existing content to English Wikipedia.
- There is already a wiki for English: English Wikipedia. "Simple English" is not a language. This does not meet the requirements §2 and §3 of the policy (wiki was created way before the current policy): The language must have a valid ISO 639 1–3 code, but this uses English code because it's English and does not have an own code, and The language must be sufficiently unique that it could not coexist on a more general wiki. In most cases, this excludes regional dialects and different written forms of the same language, but "Simple English" is no more than a different written form of the same language called English
- It has created duplication of content and splits community resources into two Wikipedias instead of collaborating in one more efficiently. This content duplication and efforts being splitted could create inconsistencies between enwp and simplewp versions of articles.
- Limitation in vocabulary could affect articles' accuracy in complex topics.
- Even if it **can** be useful to "English starters" as someone said above and a lot of native English speakers say, this has not been demonstrated. Just read proponent rationale. As an example, I am not a native English speaker and I never read simplewp, I go directly to enwp. As someone said: "there is not evidence how SEW helps starters or that it has a separate audience or that new English speakers benefit from it...".
- Could be developed better technical solutions to address alleged English-as-a-second-language learners' benefits such as proposed, add a tab "Simple" in English Wikipedia to offer a simplified version of the article being viewed.
- Keeping this "simple" thing is a violation of neutrality and could be considered a linguistic imperialism. Given that this wiki was aproved before current policy, it has gone live, but next "simple <language>" proposals were rejected because those were not real languages, just a "subset" of the referenced language. Why this project can still exists and other languages are not being allowed to have their "simple" versions? Should not have wikis for "Simple Portuguese Wikipedia" to help Portuguese as second language learners to understand more Portuguese?
- Could be better to offer English language learning contents to non-English Wikimedia wikis, so their readers can learn English first and then involve more with English projects? But even if that is the case, Why should I bother with learning English to access the knowledge if I can do that in my own language? Doesn't this resembles to something? Do you remember regions in where knowledge was denied to minority language speakers and because that they had to learn the dominant language if they wanted to access knoledge, losing little by little their cultural heritage? But the other side of this point is that learning new languages open new "worlds" and ways of seeing the world.
- As suggested above: with Wikidata structured data and ArticlePlaceholder extension will be easier to automatically translate data into smaller Wikipedias or smaller language Wikipedias, so the argument "It is better to use Simple English Wikipedia as a source for translations to other language because standard English Wikipedia's English form of writing is too complex" will become weaker, keeping some validity in the case topic complexity "force" to use simplewp, though.
- Merge to enwp could help to redefine enwp MoS to promote more clarity and better written English in pages among writers, what would benefit native or non-native readers with more understandable pages, no matter if they have or have not an universitary degree.
- Not a reason, and hence should not be taken in account as arguments:
- "This wiki is less active than X". Activity per se is not a valid reason to close a wiki.
- "Simple is useful to new english speakers, such as people who have never spoken english before". If they never spoken English before, then they could not even understand "simple English" wiki.
- "It is a playground for vandals, spambots, LTAs". These can be controlled by several tools, like patrol bots, blocks, FlaggedRevs, etc.
- "Closing it will send ESL speaker people a hostile or negative message". What message? All the world uses English Wikipedia, native and non-native English speakers. Please clarify.
- Said above: "The key quality of Simple English wp is to offer an easily-accessible summary of each topic, rather than the comprehensive, and sometimes dense, en-wiki articles". You should not have a Wikipedia to make abstract/stub versions of the main one.
- "This wiki is a waste of WMF resources". Hosting this wiki does not harm. Storage space is not a problem, and financial situation is very good.
- "<smaller language Wikipedia> and <even smaller language Wikipedia> has less activity/content/contributors so we should shut down the smaller ones". This is a RfC for Simple English Wikipedia, not for smaller languages Wikipedias.
- simplewp has a community.
- It has some activity, in other words, it is not inactive.
- Even with not many pageviews as expected, it seems to be read by some readers, and receives traffic, as some users here report.
- --Zerabat (discusión) 01:53, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
- Perhaps a few clarifications:
- SEWP was created before the policy you cite; therefore, you cannot reasonably apply ths policy.
- There are 6-7 non-extinct Sami languages, but we have ISO language codes for 11-13 of them. In total, we talk about 25k speakers, most of them old. Yet we do have a Wikipedia for the most common Sami language (covering about 17k of the 25k speakers). Given the structure of the language, it is likely, that the remaining 8k speakers will not understand the language we have the wiki for. Would I be able to start a Wiki for SJU, SJT or SJK langages?
- We have a wiki for Alemannic Wikipedia (ISO: GSW). There s however quite a bit of regional difference between the dialects; to the extent, that mutual understanding may suffer. There is also no agreement on orthography.There is an ISO code for Baiuvarian / Bairisch (BAR) with a Wikipedia. The difference in language to the GSW Wikpedia is marginal at best, the ortohgraphy problem, and the problem with variations will apply to a similar extent. There s one ISO Code for Gaelic (GD), how many gaelic-language Wikis do we have?
- There are many Creole languages, developed from Pidgins. For how many of them do we have Wikis?
- Problem of demostratng usefulness: Simple English is probably not very inreresting to linguists; I expect there are few scientific papers on it. As usual, the ones there are are probably not comparable. Also, given that there are probably more people who understand Simple English, should we not merge EnWP into SEWP, if a merge is to be done?
- You try to close SEWP because the policies/incentives to write in understandable language failed at ENWP?
- Implementing a technical solution to show simplified articles at EnWP on request needs work, and will cost money. This proposal was also raised because of alleged monetary concerns.
- These are of course just observations.--Eptalon (talk) 09:36, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
- Let me address some of your observations: (1) If you would read more carefully my comment, you would see I already said that above. If I wasn't clear about my point, then I'll say it more clearly: if this Wikipedia would be proposed to be created today, it would not accomplish policy requirements. (2) I don't know the cases of Sami languages and then I'm not going to comment about then, otherwise I'd say something wrong. But take in account this RfC is about SEWP, not about Sami languages Wikipedias, and it's a special case because "Simple English" is not a language in is own right, it's English with a limited vocabulary. If this RfC would be about an existing language (English is a language, "SE" not), then Sami languages example could be appropriate to take in account. (3) The case of alemmanic is interesting. It's a relevant case because it may differ between regional variants/dialects as you say, making those hardly intelligible. I think it's not the same issue because SE uses mostly the same rules as English language grammar, but the only difference would be the limited vocabulary. Please tell me if I said something wrong. (4) Not the case of SE, and this is a RfC for SEWP.(5) No comments on the linguist and scientific papers. About merging into ENWP, I think it will benefit more readers, because ENWP is by far the most visited Wikipedia, and non-native speakers of English will likely go to ENWP if they want to read about their topic in English. And in the case they don't understand very well, they could go to "Simplify" tab or whatever it could be called and will get an easier version. What is this "Simple tab" different from making click in "Simple English" interwiki? It's different because a tab is more visible than an interwiki, and will be easier to maintain and keep up to date by the community. (6) I didn't say that. (7) Currently SEWP doesn't seem to cost money. Technical solutions could require money, of course, but if the operation of merging is done gradually and with help of the English language community, the cost could be mitigated. --Zerabat (discusión) 14:12, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I'll perhaps rephprase, even though it may become technical:
- ISO 639 provides a set of codes, of 2-4 letters, which can identify a language.It also has rules to specify a language-variant. These are however technical codes, and they do not say anything wether two languages are related, or if speakers of one can understand the other. ISO 639 a priori also does not tell you whether the language you are talking about is a spoken language, and if there is a written form. The more common languages have shorter codes, if I remember correctly, but that is irrelevant for our purpose. The problem we now have with the languages I cited is that most of them have an oral tradition, there may be agreement on how to write something down, but not all people agree, and I would guess that you have a few competing forms. In that context, requiring an ISO code is useless, because other than telling you that the language exists, it doesn't do anything. And even so: I was able to show that there are language codes (GSW, bayuvarian, perhaps Letzeburgisch, Kölsch...) which can all be seen as regional dialects of German, or Dutch (in the case of Plattdeutsch/Niederdeutsch/NDS). This is the same for the en:Sami languages. In addition, the parts of Europe where they are spoken are very sparsely populated, which will probably lead to more regional variation. Note that ISO decided they should be languages, and not variants of the same language. I would also guess there is little written tradition of these languages, they are mostly spoken ("use everyday") languages. So: Requiring an ISO 639 code is probably wrong here; and it also will not tell us how closely related these languages are. In the case of the Sami language, I am pretty convinced that the 7k people who don't speak Northern Sami will have a hard time understanding; but that's not the issue here.
- As for Alemannic, mutual inintelligibility of some dialects is mostly due to different vocabulary, and not so much different grammar.And pronounciation can of course also vary a great deal; area:I'd say about 300 by 200 km; German speaking Switzerland, southern parts of Germany, Western parts of Austria, norther parts of Italy. Bayuvarian: rest of Southern German, and Austria.
- Closing a Wiki that is almost in the top 50 clearly sends the wrong signal, especially since this wiki has a community, and generates half a million page views a day. Wikipedia is there for threatened/marginalized languages, such as Plattdeutsch, or Northern Sami, but SEWP is "assimilated" by EnWP, despit its having a community. As a comparison: Latin, or Alemannic have 10-20k page views/day. Another example: Kölsch (ksh), which is also a dialect of German. Still another case: Afrikans (af)/dutch(nl/dut): Practically the same language, mutually understandable, two wikis.
- If Wikipedia wants to be about cultural diversity, about being abole to accept smaller groups, then closing down simple will make it lose much of this image.
- SEWP may have problems, but these cannot be solved by absorbing it into ENWP. --Eptalon (talk) 15:20, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- I’m sorry, but this is bogus. ISO 639 provides a useful baseline for whether the language exists and is normal to create a project about. The fact that Basic/Simple English doesn’t have an ISO 639 code does not show that ISO 639 codes are useless, it shows that Simple English Wikipedia currently exists in a limbo. The fact that smaller languages or dialects have their codes also doesn’t show anything, because they have been considered separate languages/dialects by standards and it is fine, whether or not mutual intelligibility exists or not. Closing a wiki that was created not according to the common sense, that exists simply because English community is too big to others, is more than warranted. Threatened/marginalised languages also have to have community on opening, so your point is moot. You have to reform Simple English Wikipedia or it has to stop existing, it’s that simple. Right now it is an another remnant of Anglo-centric nature of our movement. stjn[ru] 14:39, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- I invite you to look up the code "VIC" (ISO 639-3), which stands for "Virgin Islands Creole English". Officially it does not have the status of a language, the official langage of the territory is "English" (Sorry to be pedantic here: "American English" is not a language, but a language variant). Now ask yourself in what way this Virgin Islands Creole can be different from standard English? - The only two points I see are vocabulary, and spelling. Another example: BZJ - Kriol English, Belize. Same issues apply. Or another Example: Romania has a sizeable population of German speakers (about 30k native, about 500k as second language, of the 20m). At the moment, their dialect ("transsylvanian") is not mapped. I think if I dug a little, I would find more English or German variants in Sub-Saharian Africa, eg. in Namibia.. - in short: ISO 639 is a laudable effort, but probably unsuitable to our needs. --Eptalon (talk) 16:00, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support per proposers reasoning. The amount of time spent making it is not a rationale to keep. Lots of people spend lots of time doing lots of edits on this Wikipedia (the standard English one) that are routinely removed. ---Khajidha (talk) 13:38, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strongest possible oppose - The Simple English Wikipedia provides an outlet for people to read articles which would otherwise be completely indecipherable to speakers of English as a foreign language. Coming from a background as a native Danish speaker (with English as a second language), I found that I was better suited to writing on the Simple English Wikipedia than on the main English one. There are articles on there which I can only imagine would bamboozle the hell out of a non-native English speaker. Closing this project would be detrimental to accessibility, unless the Main English Wikipedia were written in such a way as to make it considerably easier to understand. You shall not pass! DaneGeld (talk) 18:43, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support per above. Simple English isn't a real language, the quality isn't great, and it seems to be attracting vandals. Volunteer effort is better spent elsewhere. -FASTILY 01:54, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support. The project's goals have failed and are unlikely to be reached. We serve readers better by focusing on one instance of the encyclopedia. Sandstein (talk) 07:24, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose While I think this is interesting, I think the problem is that this presumes a usage to Simple and then argues a failure based on that. We have, for example, an Old English wikipedia which has less usage (since nobody has spoken it in close to ten centuries) and while one could argue for it to be somehow interested in English (I can imagine some fun on historical pages), it seems quite silly. I think the problem is assuming that SEW exists only for EN because it also exists to allow people in smaller languages an easier description page to base their articles off. I think the goal should be how to encourage more smaller languages to use SEW rather than trying to close this project down or integrate it into the larger English one. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 10:33, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong oppose. People are reading it and I don't think anyone can say volunteers can use their effort elsewhere because it's upto that volunteer to decide where or how they want to work. If project or it's article needs improvement, then it should be discussed in more appropriate place and better policies can be implemented. There are other ways to make simple visible but merge is not a good option.-BRP ever 14:59, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose - As a competent native English speaker with an advanced level of English skills, even I find Simple to be useful at times, usually when STEM-related articles are too technical or complex for a casual reader to understand. English has significantly more non-native speakers than it has native speakers, and is in fact the most commonly-spoken second language in the world. If Simple is that useful to me, a fully-fluent native speaker, it sure as hell is a lot more useful to the many non-native speakers who only have a basic or moderate understanding of English or those who are still learning. I would wholly support Simple being integrated in en.wiki, but closing it outright would be more negative than leaving it open, and there doesn't seem to be any realistic path forward for integrating the content. The actual aim of this proposal is on shutting down Simple because it's "bad". On the contrary, I reject the notion that it's harmful or negative in any regard. Swarm (talk) 18:38, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong support deletion, but Weak oppose merge. Simple Wikipedia is effectively a laughingstock. It's pitifully uncomprehensive and should never have been created. But I don't want Simple Wikipedia to defile Wikipedia. The language on Simple is frankly too simple, making it a joke. Merging it to English Wikipedia won't make Simple English Wikipedia better, but instead make English Wikipedia worse. — Mr. Guye (talk) (contribs) 19:57, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Reply - Respectfully, Mr. Guye, I would say this to you. The whole point of the Simple English Wikipedia is that it's meant to be simple enough for people to understand without difficulty or needing minimal help from a dictionary if necessary. I'll be honest with you, I don't want the English Wikipedia to "defile" the Simple English Wikipedia.
Some Most of their editors wouldn't know simplicity if it came up and bit them on the behind. I've seen plays by Shakespeare which are more easily understood than some of the confusing mess on there. DaneGeld (talk) 20:17, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support per above. --184.108.40.206 07:54, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strongly oppose closure Let's improve it, not give up on it. Mock wurzel soup (talk) 08:47, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose closure tl;dr but cannot imagine an argument for closing an apparently useful project. --Itu (talk) 10:37, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong oppose improve it, not closing it. Will other smaller ones closed too? --Joergens.mi (talk) 10:55, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support I guess we don't need to English Wikipedias. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk)
- Oppose closure I am an active editor on both English and Simple English Wikipedias. i am also a teacher of English as a second language. Many of my students report having found Simple English Wik(or, by the way, Britannica) much easier to read than English Wik. Also, some of them read SE first to get a feel for material and then go to related articles in E. Without the first, the second would have been too difficult for them. The proposal is written in an inaccurate and snarky way. Thousands of visits (e.g., Germany · 6/3/2018 - 6/23/2018 · 19,606 pageviews; Ranked 37 of the most viewed SE pages for May 2018; 15th among Wiks about Germany) is hardly at the tiny level claimed in the proposal.
What is LTA?Kdammers (talk) 11:28, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- @Kdammers: - LTA is an acronym for "Long Term Abuse" or "Long Term Abuser". It's given to accounts which have a long history of abusing Wikipedia across one or more projects. Saying that someone is an LTA usually means that they've been up to no good for quite some time. DaneGeld (talk) 16:21, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose per Ajraddatz: not a zero-sum game, and the SEW would be seen as a moderately successful project if enwiki didn't exist. EllenCT (talk) 16:27, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong oppose I am a (semi) active editor, but I also use simple wiki all the time when I am trying to understand more complex topics. It explains complex information easily, unlike en.wikipedia, which I find at times can be highly inaccesible (and this is coming from a native english speaker). There are much better changes you could make if you feel like simple.wikipedia isn't doing its job right now. For one thing, if you are so concerned about people who should be using it just using en.wikipedia, then wouldn't it be better for everyone if there was just a more prominent link, rather than shutting down a Wikipedia with over 130,000 articles. And in regards to the claims about LTA: yes vandalism happens, but it is almost always quickly reverted, and this is the same on all wikipedia projects. That's just my two cents on the matter, MiloDenn (talk) 16:31, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose is well used and closing a wiki due to vandalism is a terrible option as it would give victory to the vandals who would be bolstered and move to other targets. Instead, start a major crackdown on vandalism using the help of anti-vandal experts and bot-operators from the English wiki, thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 19:25, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support changing / Oppose closing - I'm fairly active on it and have been for the past year or 2 so I'll make my observations on it -
- My main issues I have with the site is that it's backwards compared to EN or any other project for that matter:
- Protection is non-existent - It's used sparsely,
- The project can occasionally be left without any active admin for a good 2-3-4 hours (how do I know ? ... Because I wanted a vandal blocked and no one was on for a good 2-3-4 hours! meaning myself and the vandal were the only person on the website)
- Vandalism stays unless you're watching that page .... (I've removed a 2-3-4 good years worth of vandalism from a good few articles)
- The QD (CSD) criteria over there is piss poor to say the least ("created by a sock" is apparently not a valid reason for deletion)
- In short the project is backwards in the way it's run and the way things are dealt with, Not only that but like others say no one is picking up the site and even when they do it's a vandalism cess-pit ..... Don't get me wrong I enjoy editing the site but in my eyes the cons outweigh the pros,
- At present in my eyes the project has been failing for a few years and it's only getting worse - There would need to be a lot of work done on it in terms of 'protection, blocking, csding and the way it's run' to make it a viable project - If none of those changes are made then this project doesn't have a great future, The Google Search is also another issue that would need to be addressed,
- I'm sure there are ways you could point new editors to Simple but simply put you'd need to change the project before implemeting that,
- Anyway sorry for waffling on - TLDR - Change it
or failing that close it down. –Davey2010Talk 22:10, 24 June 2018 (UTC) (Updated - Support changing not closing. –Davey2010Talk 16:21, 25 June 2018 (UTC))
- Vandalism is an issue on any wiki-project. If there aren't enough admins around, simple can always be added to the SWMT watchlists. In emergencies, you can always request steward help over IRC, and we can block when no local admins are around. – Ajraddatz (talk) 00:07, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- I absolutely agree it is an issue but atleast with EN and Commons there's someone there to help .... with Simple it was just me and the vandal ..... Ofcourse I don't ever expect anyone to be on 24/7 365 but one would assume there would be atleast one admin on, If memory serves me right I think I was off to bed so I believe the vandal had the website to themselves ? ... Anyway yeah I'd certainly support it being added to SWMT. –Davey2010Talk 01:05, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- Yes, this is a problem we all might have faced, though this might not be the right place to discuss solution but we can solve this problem by increasing the participation of admins in #cvn-simplewikis. Whenever admins are around they can be alerted. After Vermont became admin I have observed that with right coordination from the users and proper use of channel the problem can be minimized. More admin participation in the channel can help to prevent this problem.-BRP ever 05:15, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose I agree with User:Vermont's point that deleting the Simple English Wikipedia would give LTA's a sense of victory due to that wiki being deleted due to being used for vandalism, so I don't think it should be deleted, or at least not just due to being used for vandalism. SemiHypercube (talk) 00:54, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong oppose to closing or diverting Simple Wikipedia. I probably still test in the 99th percentile for reading and writing comprehension and skill. I edit both on English Wikipedia and Simple. I can still write for Simple Wikipedia like a star and factually and creatively. I am still not usually reverted or have scolding messages end up on my talk page or that of the article. In fact, on English Wikipedia I am working now on an edit request for someone who is hired by a firm to improve their clients articles and therefore is hindered by a conflict of interest from making the change themselves. It is going very well. I explained coherently the plot for simple:Primer (movie) time travel) for the Simple English version and got some kind kudos on a scientic forum because they finally understood. I write and read Simple for perhaps a different reason. I have a neurological genetic illness; one that I feared would cause me to lose my IQ. I was advised professionally to find a hobby that would use my knowledge and cognitive ability. They bet I could keep up. I registered in December 2010 as a user and then signed on to Simple in December 2011. I have created good 55 articles that I still watch and update and maintain. None were stubs but complete in sense of what was needed. Somme I consider clever: simple:Cat righting reflex, simple:Buttered cat paradox. It earned me the patroller right, with which I also judge other articles. Except for typos, no one would ever discern my difference. Surely there are other editors on Simple with limitations and if not, then I a gatekeeper for those who cannot comprehend level 13 grade English but love to read and learn. I beleive my level of writing for Simple is about grade 8, which I prefer. Thank you. Fylbecatulous talk 12:49, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- Please note that SE links to northern Sami; you probably meant simple:Cat righting reflex and simple:Buttered cat paradox...--Eptalon (talk) 09:33, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- of course; thank you User:Eptalon; not one of my better days to write an essay :)) thank you..and then not check my work..but I just had to comment and now I have dutifully correctly three bad links. sigh... all the best, Fylbecatulous talk 15:54, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support It should be closed because a lot of people know basic English. Let's say: 99%. --70 (18.104.22.168)
- Response - Let's not make up statistics to support something. If you don't know a number, research it :) DaneGeld (talk) 08:26, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closure, in favour of improving English Wikipedia. I don't think a straight import would work well, but rather English Wikipedia could address the needs from ESL reader with multiple closely integrated solutions. For example, the availability of lead sections via Page Previews has no doubt improved the experience for ESL readers, as well as the introduction of "short description" fields (as inspired by Wikidata). I hope we can continue this trend and establish stricter conventions for the lead section. For information beyond the lead section, we'll need to come up with a new strategy. My own idea in that area would be integrated "simple summaries" for individual sections of an article. --Krinkle (talk) 00:08, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
- Response This might be something you can talk to Doc James at EN about, Krinkle. As he says below in the response to my LANGCOM request, "Simplification is, however, super difficult as it is very easy to change the meaning if one is not careful." If editors on the English Wikipedia would be receptive, I'd like to try simplifying some of their articles to get a feel for how it'd be received. One thing's for sure though, I won't see SEWP go down without a fight. Something MUST already be in place before that is even considered. DaneGeld (talk) 08:26, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
- Well, in case it wasn't clear, I (the proposer) totally agree that SEW should not be closed BEFORE we have a working tool/solution that would integrate SEW into En Wiki. --Piotrus (talk) 10:33, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support closure, since it seems very likely to me that the downsides of the continued existence of Simple (mainly providing free rein for vandals, trolls, and well-intentioned new users who don't really know how to edit the right way; I've already noticed a couple articles being created by new users on Simple that just sit around unnoticed for much longer than on enwiki) far outweigh any benefits. I'm sure it will be inconvenient to many people who use it to read the articles for their greater readability, but I do not think that Wikipedia and the concept of helping people learn to speak a language are inherently compatible. I would also recommend, nay, urge my fellow en.wiki editors and I to greatly increase the currently way-too-low readability of en.wiki articles, so that more people who are less fluent in English than most native speakers can understand the subject by reading those articles. Everymorning (talk) 19:51, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strong Oppose: if some are concerned that the wiki is not reaching its target audience, then closing it will only ensure that. I've been editing on Simple since 2011 with breaks here and there. I link to SEWP as appropriate from my learning management system as an English language educator in universities in Japan. Students can read these articles when they cannot read EnWP. I've presented on SEWP at academic conferences, and it always gets an interested response from teachers; some start using it. I was once even quoted in the New York Times on using Wiki writing with language students (WikiTravel before it went bad, and before I knew about Simple.) I've assigned writing tasks in SEWP to students with good results and plan to do so again next year with a new course. The site is very useful for some but not all people. Being useful to all or even a large majority of Internet users is not a requirement. A little cooperation from EnWP on making links to SEWP a little more prominent would be very helpful, I think. How would English Wikipedia function differently if Simple didn't exist? I doubt it would change at all. Closing SEWP is certainly not the way to get editors there to contribute to EnWP. Simple isn't hurting anything and it helps some. I think that is good enough. --Gotanda (talk) 06:06, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- Neutral I would investigate if phab:T110190 is good as alternate way or not. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:05, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support to closing it and integrating it into en-wiki. Yes, there is a need for articles written for people with less English-skill but Simple is too obscure to satisfy it. Instead, those speakers come to en-wiki. So what makes more sense than providing the experience they need where they come to? Wookieepedia demonstrated that a whole wiki can run two different versions of the same page. Regards SoWhy 12:09, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- Weak oppose deletion, and Strong support merge. Until concrete measures are taken to incorporate accessibility, SEW serves an unmet purpose. There are two separate set of problems SEW tries to solve. One is making editing process friendlier, and the other is accessible content. For all of the wikipedias, content is arguably the bigger goal here. In order to achieve that, editing needs to be a positive experience. Since the number of articles on SEW is quite sparse relative to WP EN, why not harness the strength and benefits of WP EN, with bonus of not dealing with banned LTA's? Perhaps a template on certain EN WP articles (starting with the existing 140,000 corresponding articles on SEW) can state that an accessible SEW lede should be included in the top. Shushugah (talk) 16:40, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose This is a fairly active project. Traffic analysis shows it is relatively popular in India, or anyway twice as popular there as in the US or UK. I would not at all be opposed to greater integration with English Wikipedia, or proposals to pare down or further specialize the content.--Pharos (talk) 00:33, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- Support it’s lame. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 2600:1001:B01E:E429:312D:8690:3159:D15F (talk)
- Oppose - Simply revive the project. Closing is an ide solution. De Wikischim (talk) 09:32, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose: per Pharos. Fairly active and useful project. Septrillion (talk) 16:54, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. I admit, I neither read nor edit SEP and know nothing of its quality, and from occasional peeks, I don't get the point of its existence. Nonetheless, Wikimedia has allowed this thing to simmer on for a decade now. I think it sets a disturbing precedent and damages the Wikimedia "brand" if you just shut down something that has attracted that much work, for whatever reason. If there is a social contract among Wikimedia editors, part of it is the sense that their editing isn't all in vain. Surely less restrictive measures exist: in order, (a) you could make the project read-only historical, (b) limit it to only admins, (c) limit it to users who go through an approval process ... somewhere way out in (f) or (g) you should find some option that takes care of the spam, if that's a problem. In any case—you wrote this thing, took years to write it, now don't just toss it away. Whatever it is, good or bad, it belongs to the world now—respect that. Wnt (talk) 22:45, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. Actively maintained and used by many readers who manage to find it somehow. If it's not visible enough, there are other solutions than closure. Jonathunder (talk) 01:45, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose Every argument for "closure" pretty much would apply to a majority of all Wikipedias. The problem, in fact, is that it is "invisible" to most folks. A proposal to make it Concise Wikipedia would make far more sense, and it should be promoted as not being "simple" which sounds a bit "down-selling" as the fact that one need not read thirty thousand words on a topic to get an easy-to-understand overview. Most Wikipedia users do not read entire articles, as Google shows by its use of a precis in searches. I would further suggest that where articles do not currently exist in SEW, that leads from many Wikipedia "main articles" which do not yet have SEW counterparts should be linked by software to searches within "SEW" (or "CW" as I suggest). Collect (talk) 12:30, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose The wiki has issues, no doubt about it. When something has issues, you work to resolve them, you don't close it down and get rid of it. It has an active community of editors working to improve the content, and it still has potential to continue to grown. I think our time would be much better spent not trying to close the wiki, but discussing and coming up with conrete ways to improve it. The target audience is a huge portion of the world, we just need to find the best way to tap into that. --Gordonrox24 | Talk 19:16, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose not that there isn't some truth to what was said in the proposal but pragmatically we could close down about 100 wikis for the same reasons. --Rschen7754 19:28, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. I have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of English language mistakes both on TV News and newspaper articles as well as within English conversations among people in general. Also, I believe the illiteracy rates, functional and otherwise, are soaring in North America. So, it may be that the simple English version will be more necessary and useful by more and more readers as time goes by. Also, I.Q. averages vary dramatically among countries whose people are now living and working in English speaking countries, e.g. 67 for Haiti and 99 for Canada, and maybe, I do not know for sure, there is a need among lower I.Q. people for a simple English Wikipedia, although that may not be a reason WMF would dare put forth given today's epidemic, brutal and patently stupid political correctness censorship. Nocturnalnow (talk) 19:36, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- Wikipedia's mission is not to teach how to speak English language. Also it is irrelevant the so-called IQ, that was controverted about its value, by the way. --Zerabat (discusión) 12:38, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. It may be underutilized and be somewhat of a vandalism target, but that is no reason to kill it off; I would certainly support any effort to make it more visible to communities that it would be of use to, and to editors who may be unaware of its potential and be willing to join in making it better (both broader and more secure). It IS used consistently by a broad (if shallow) base of users; let's not let them down. Radagast (talk) 20:50, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- Of course, argument supporting closure just because vandalism are not strong. There are already software to prevent that. --Zerabat (discusión) 12:38, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose closure. Google Search now lists pages from Simple WP in results, when match is sparse at enwiki. If maintenance is needed, then post requests at enwiki to help edit Simple WP. I have created several pages in Simple WP, and if I had known more help was needed, I would have edited more. Also people have deleted short terminology pages, from Simple WP, which were added as an easy method to increase vocabulary by linking to such expanded jargon pages. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:04, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- Strongly Oppose - I contribute referenced content on the Simple English and find it quite satisfying and see that it is being read. With mass emigration occurring all over the globe into English speaking countries, it is probably needed now more than ever. Some emigrants come from cultures where access to information is not encouraged (Turkey, for example) and want to learn what they can. The only problem with the Simple English Wikipedia is that it is not well-known or promoted. I love the idea of a Simple English tab on the top of pages on the en-wikipedia. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 22:38, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- Then wouldn't be better create/translate contents to their native language instead to access those knowledges quicker than the time required to learn a new language to access the same knowledge but in another way? --Zerabat (discusión) 12:38, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Strong Oppose The project is exceedingly helpful for understanding technical topics that the regular English Wikipedia makes difficult to understand through use of jargon. The project is helpful for both English novices and for students that need help understanding difficult concepts. Pagliaccious (talk) 01:08, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- If ENWP articles are too geeky/poorly written/hard to comprehend, why not address this issue by rewriting poorly written articles instead? By doing that you would make a more important impact than doing that in SEWP. --Zerabat (discusión) 12:38, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose: Very useful for a quick overview of complex topics, and I am always grateful when I find what I am looking for. Suzukaze-c (talk) 06:19, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose: This is useful for the visitors with English as second language. --Itsmine (talk) 14:25, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose:If Wikimedia is closing the project, firstly why they started new wiki?, weak support of merging.— Bukhari (Talk!) 14:40, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose a poorly thought through proposal. --Crasstun (talk | contributions) 21:10, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose a close. It's interesting, as someone who rarely visits the wiki. The problem with en.wikipedia is that some of the articles are far too complex (not that the topic requires it, but it certanly is unreadable for those who have only a rudimatory idea especially for academic topics). For example, compare  and . It's implicitly clear that the second article quickly raises the heat and that there is a clear readability difference in the red as compared with the former article. Yes, many of you here should be able to read both without any difficulty, but the former strips off all the fat and just keeps the pudding inact; it's just easier to understand. However, clearly Oppose on a merge. There are editors on en.wikipedia who should be kept off simple. Not that they are in bad faith or anything like that, but again, the challenge is keeping the level intact.
As someone who knows enough of the linked topic, I stumbled on the phrase "integration of a normal equation" on simple. A 'normal' equation doesn't actually make sense; the correct word is 'polynomal'. But then using that would break the flow of the article. And then some of those editors would try to add content which they think is easy to understand but is not, causing an edit war. That's why both should be kept strictly separate, but maybe linking at best. Just maybe; again the tendency to mix up both wikis' purpose is quite high. Leaderboard (talk) 08:16, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose::I don't think we should close it just because it is not being contributed to; the whole basis of Wikipedia is to make free information available for everyone. People with learning difficulties are not going to understand the majority of the main English Wikipedia. I do however propose some sort of way to make Simple English directly accessible from the main English Wikipedia, maybe next to history or always at the top of the language lists. IWI (chat) 12:02, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Stop giving that argument about "it may be useful to L2 speakers or people with learning issues". All english native speakers are giving that argument but it is not being said by non native speakers. Did you ask non native speakers what is their opinion? Do they really asked for/need this wiki? Do not you think this is unfair English has its "simple" version, while there are also people with learning issues on Spanish language who could be interested in a "Simple Spanish" wiki if Simple English is let live? If it is said that "ENWP" is too hard to comprehend, even by native speakers, then why not work on ENWP to fix poorly written articles in a better way instead? --Zerabat (discusión) 12:38, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- That argument has been used by multiple non-native speakers here, and there is even an entire section about it below. Usage statistics show that a large portion of simple's traffic comes from India. Both of these suggest that it is, in fact, useful for that demographic. And for what it's worth, there have been proposals in the past for other simple projects (particularly French and German). – Ajraddatz (talk) 16:24, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose Unless there is a proposal to shut down Wikipedia as well then sure. I generally read Simple Wikipedia because some subjects become really easier to understand when you are reading Simple Wikipedia. My Lord (talk) 19:07, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- Strong support deletion, because Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not states that "Texts should be written for everyday readers, not just for academics. Article titles should reflect common usage, not academic terminology, whenever possible." If you need a "simple English" Wikipedia to make things accessible, then you've failed in one of the primary aims of Wikipedia. Rewrite Wikipedia pages to make them more accessible instead. Rune370 (talk) 18:30, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose - 130 k articles is nothing to dismiss, and lack of visits should not be a criteria to delete a whole wiki. There are many ways to promote Simple English, for example through Wikimedia affiliates involved in formal education. --NaBUru38 (talk) 01:32, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- Along the lines of Rune370's persuasive argument, I have two questions addressed to the contributors of SEW:
- To what extent is the existence of SEW a result of believing that the EnW fails in its goals?
- If the lead section of each EnW article was excellent in quality, to what extent would you think there would still a need for the SEW?
- I am just trying to better understand to what extent the drive to have the SEW is based on the EnW failing in some ways, or conversely to what extent SEW has other important purposes that are independent of how the EnW is doing. Thank you. (talk) user:Al83tito 19:10, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- Our editors are volunteers. They write as they can. Explaining a complex subject in simple terms is much more difficult than using the terminology prevalent in the field and explaining so that one's peers can understand. On en: the primary requirement is verifiability. A lack of simplicity is not accepted as a reason to delete content, so unless one has the skills to rewrite in a simpler way, the content is likely to remain unsimplified. One can challenge to get clarification, but there is no guarantee that anyone will clarify at all, never mind simplify to a level that everyone can understand. On simple: the priorities are somewhat different, which to my mind makes the project sufficiently different to be justifiable. Some topics probably cannot be explained at a level suitable for simple:, that does not exclude them from en:. Expecting all articles on en: to be understandable to everyone is unrealistic, even just for the lead sections. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:31, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- PLease stop pitching SEWP against ENWP - that's not useful for the discussion. Look at it from a different angle: The target audience is different. So just because you explain a subject to different people in different ways does not mean that one explanation is "better" than the other - it may perhaps be "better suited to your audience". Supposing the articles linked to already exist, adapting a "featured article"/"very good article" is realtively little work. Compare en:Ronald Reagan to simple:Ronald Reagan, or en:Evolution to simple:Evolution: Both are "featured articles"/"very good articles".--Eptalon (talk) 21:57, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- Question - How many active editors are in SEW, say, in the last 30 days? . 500,000 hits a day is already quite impressive and I think another key figure to know is how many editors are involved in it. Comment: I do not edit SEW, and while I have been reading good arguments on both options, I think that we should pay special respect to those who actually edit SEW, and give greater consideration to their views and votes. While simplifying from two English wiki projects into one (no pun intended) is an appealing proposition to me, I would feel very guilty voting to close a project that I have put no effort into. People's contributions should be respected as much as possible. Thank you. (talk) user:Al83tito 16:00, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- I don't have exact figures; there are 15 users which are administrators at SEWP. These users have been fairly active. I would also guess there are about 10-15 active users without the admin flag (Per policy: checkuser, bureaucrat and oversight also require the admin flag at simple; and "adminship is about trust"). So, as outlined below 25-35 users (named, non-vandal, contributing regularly).Depends a bit on the way of counting.--Eptalon (talk) 21:33, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose It has useful content, and for many subjects it gets a reasonable number of readers, comparable with some European languages. I have found simple:Cricket (441 daily views) a good introduction to those who are completely new to the game, compared to en:Cricket (5098 daily views), it also gets more views than fr:Cricket (352 daily views). When looking at page view statistics, consider what "simple readers", which include younger readers in English speaking countries are interested in. For example en:School gets an average of 1876 daily views, simple:School gets 260 daily views, which is about the same as the French article with 296 daily views, and much more than the Czech one with 22 views. AlasdairW (talk) 23:21, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose I oppose closing the Simple English Wikipedia. I am not a Wikipedia editor/contributor, but this is very important to me so I felt the need to voice my concern. I use the SE Wikipedia regularly. It is my second language option after English in my Wikipedia app. I use it to help understand complicated articles. Quantum mechanics is a perfect example. I used it for the Lenin article last night. It is a starting point for further research. I'm sure there are students out there, elementary and above, who use it for the same purpose. It closes off information if you close it. I'm sure non native speakers use it for the same purpose and to help develop their English skills. Don't close Simple English wikipedia! 2607:FB90:B215:D451:9A63:1453:EF20:A5EC 02:03, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
- Support I never understood why we have two different wikis for same language. Merging these two would also mean merger of editors, and resources. Also, this will improve the quality of reader's english. Also, per Tony, and few other supporters. —usernamekiran(talk) 18:04, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. I have to admit, when I first heard about Simple Wikipedia, I thought it seemed a bit dumb and pointless. However, once I visited it and explored around a little bit, I was blown away by how wrong I was. It does seem very useful, even for me - being able to get almost the same effect as far as content goes as Wikipedia, but without paragraphs and paragraphs of complex wording. And simple Wikipedia is quite active, most vandalism edits are reverted within a few minutes. I've never really seen hardly any problem with it being abandoned and overrun by vandals.--SkyGazer 512 (talk) 19:54, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. An active project that is attracting readers. The politics around English—English variation, status of dialects, world English—are unique, but they exist. I see no reason to shut down a project that attempts to respond to them in a way that does not cause problems for other projects, no matter what one's opinion on the issues. In fact I would quite understand if the volunteers involved did not transfer their effort to other Wikimedia projects after having this one closed from under them. For myself on the other hand, looking at the Mourning dove article suggested as an example, I believe it's not simple enough: words like "incubate" are not simple English. But as a non-participant on the project, I offer that only as an outsider's response. Yngvadottir (talk) 14:47, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose. For reasons I have explained in some detail elewhere on this page. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:28, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
- Strong Oppose. A mere perceived lack of activity should not be enough to close an entire project. Hundreds of thousands visit the wiki each day, and usually for a different niche than the standard English Wikipedia fulfills. To close or merge this wiki would be a grave mistake. HenryMP02 (talk) 22:21, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
- Strong Oppose. It serves a useful purpose. Hundreds of millions of people in the world are trying to learn English, surely some whose native language is not available in a Wikipedia, or marginally so. If there are problems, we should first explore solutions short of closure. Recruiting editors from en to watch new page creation, would be one possibility. Or provide a way to integrate the simple English watch list/new page list with their regular en counterparts. At one extreme, we could restrict article space edits to autoconfirmed editors, far from ideal but better than closure.--ArnoldReinhold (talk) 19:10, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
- Support The opposers are to me a lot of WP:MEAT. --22.214.171.124 02:03, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
- I happen to know that's not true, and you have no grounds to make such an accusation. So don't. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:25, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
- Says the IP with aboslutely no other meta contribs.enL3X1 ¡‹delayed reaction›¡ 17:14, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
- Close I was surprised to see from the usage logs just how little it's used, but there you have it. Andy Dingley (talk) 20:18, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
- Strong oppose It's undervisited? Promote it. A lot of good and hard work has gone into this place and I know it's valued because I know people who've used it. --126.96.36.199 10:26, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
- OpposeEmail me for my private opinion.enL3X1 ¡‹delayed reaction›¡ 17:14, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
- Oppose The Simple English Wikipedia has an active community and well over 100,000 articles. Just poking around the page view statistics, its clear that people are regularly reading the various articles on the wiki. If we're worried about low views, then I think we should advertise the wiki more rather than shutting it down. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 20:26, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Early discussion that started on simple
- Hello there. I am probably one of the oldest contributors (who still edits) Simple Wikipedia, and I have been with the project since the end of 2006. Over the least years I have seen that there is a growing knowledge that SEWP exists within the community; I think there have been (failed) proposals to start with similar ideas for French and German language Wikipedias. Many editors I have known from EnWP have an ambivalent, to hostile attitude towards SEWP, its editors, and its users. In that context, I cannot see how the project could be "absorbed" into EnWP. Yes, SEWP faces the problem of visibility, but I guess thats common to most smaller Wikis. How many editors are there for the Latin language, Scots, Gaelic, or Alemannic Wikipedias? - How many times have the closure of the respective projects been discussed? Another problem I see: How many editors care about readablity? - If the article is about mathematics, put the formulas, they stand for themselves? Compare simple:Navier–Stokes equations to en:Navier–Stokes equations, and tell me how much a person that is not in natural sciences will understand from each version? - In my opinion, many editors of ENWP have lost the interest in explaining concepts, so that a common audience can understand them. The result is, that ENWP has many poor quality articles, which are not improved, because quality is not enforced. SEWP has a small base of quality aware editors, so that the rate of poor quality article is probably lower. Simple English Wikipedia is about explaining concepts well, it is not so much about using word-lists. A word list won't help when it comes to scientifically accurate articles. SEWP has an issue with visibility; it does not have one with content. "Merging" SEWP into ENWP will not solve the problem. It will increase the problem, because as I pointed out, many editors of ENWP lack the interest and incentives to write scientifically accurate articles that a common person with no specialized domain knowledge can understand. In short: Merging won't work. Even if the userbase is small,the project has found its niche, and I don't think it should be deleted, for the reasons given. --Eptalon (talk) 10:29, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Before I forget: Being featured in pages like XKCD shows that the project has a certain visibility outside the community. --Eptalon (talk) 11:10, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- EnWiki is big and some people are hostile to anything new. But that doesn't change the fact that SEW niche is too niche to be useful to pretty much anyone. Other languages are not a valid comparison, as they are, well, other languages. Simple English is a variant that can be, with some support from MediaWiki coders, incorporated into English Wikipedia. If you care about SEW content, you should care to make it as visible as possible. And the only way to make it visible (and hence, useful) is to make it a feature of En Wiki. Please don't think about losing identify, or project history, or such. This shouldn't matter, our main concern should be the benefits for the reader. My Korean students would certainly enjoy reading SEW articles which are more suited to their language level than general En Wiki articles, but there is no way they'll start using SEW because it has so little visibility it doesn't come in search engines. It's time to fix this. Let's not assume En Wiki will be by default hostile to absorbing SEW content. If this is done as a cool new feature (a new tab, perhaps), or such, majority should be ok. --Piotrus (talk) 11:10, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- The idea that it doesn't come up in search engines is just plain false, it is often the first hit for a number of subjects. Or at the very least the link right below the English one. So that is an idea that needs to be nipped in the bud right away. And yes other languages are a valid comparison as Simple English has recently been recognized as a distinct language with its own ISO code. So it is no different than the variants of other languages that Eptalon mentions below that have even less of an audience than we do. -Djsasso (talk) 14:25, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- What is the ISO code? I couldn't find one. Note: ISO 639–6 has been withdrawn, and LangCom doesn't use it. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:47, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- I can't remember off the top of my head. It was actually from LangCom that I was told of it, there is a ticket in to switch simple to it eventually. -Djsasso (talk) 16:57, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Your claim that no one uses it is also false. You used the example of simple:Donald Trump, which is quite misleading. I was actually surprised at how little Donald Trump was viewed, but it is not like that on other pages in the SEW. The article Names of God in Islam receives a daily average of 1791 daily views. The English Wikipedia article Names of God in Islam receives an average of 526 daily pageviews. Recently when Donald Trump announced the proposal of the U.S. Space Force, Military of the United States was viewed 6,530 times. This is not as insignificant as you make it out to be in your examples. Furthermore, this year the Simple English Wikipedia has received an average of 614,344 daily page views. If you look at the all-time graph, you'd see a steady increase in average daily page views. See this graph comparing the SEW (52nd largest wiki) to the 51st, 50th, and 49th largest Wikipedias. Regarding you saying "there is no way they'll start using SEW because it has so little visibility it doesn't come in search engines", could I ask what search engine they're using? I just tested it on computers/browsers that I've never used to edit, and in many cases it shows up on the first or second page of results. Vermont (talk) 16:44, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- You do realize that XKCD is making fun of the Simple English Wikipedia, right? Seems to me that that cartoon argues in favor of getting rid of SEW. --Khajidha (talk) 16:36, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Your point? There are cartoons all over the internet which make fun of lots of different things. Should we listen to them all? DaneGeld (talk) 16:53, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- The mention in XKCD was given as a reason to keep. My point is that if the only outside notice of something is in the form of mockery, that might be taken as an indication that the thing mentioned was poorly received and seen as useless. --Khajidha (talk) 15:59, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Alemannic is one of the many dialects of German; there are no discussions to merge it into German language Wikipedia. As to the different varieties of Gaelic, how many of them have subprojects? - Scots, Irish, possibly Manx, and the variant in Brittany? - Should we therefore have one Wiki for "Gaelic", rather than three or four? - about ten million people have a passive knowledge of Plattdeutsch, about two million speak it natively. Is this reflected in the number of editors we have for Plattdeutsch? (and yes, with some effort it could probably be merged with the Dutch language Wiki). So please stop arguing that a project should be closed because it has little visibility; you had rather work towards increasing its visibility. --Eptalon (talk) 11:40, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- I've been with Simple English wiki since 2009, and contributed about 2,600 articles, and over 60k article edits. To start with, the comparison with Donald Trump is misleading, because the top few En wiki articles are flushed by transient hits caused by notoriety. I kept records for many years of the simple pages I had written, especially the ones I had written without using copy-text from En wiki. I found the ratio was roughly 50 to one: there are about 50 En wiki hits to every one on Simple.
- I edit subjects which are on basic school and university curricula, and try to write them much more simply that their counterparts on Englosh wiki. I always have been utterly shocked at the poor standard of prose written on En wiki. There are some exceptions, of course, and some whole areas where the contributions are superb. Music on En wiki is one example. But overall, the general standard is below poor. It is common to find sentences so long that it's clear the writer has completely lost track of where he started. Basic concepts are not explained properly. This is especially damaging where the topic is one which will occur on school syllabi. In fact, every possible error in writing prose can be liberally found on En wiki pages.
- Moving on, moving on... The other topic is the link between a given article on En wiki and its counterpart in Simple. Many of us pleaded for putting the link for Simple at the top of the list of languages on En wiki pages. This was rejected. Now we get buried near the bottom of the list. Anything which improves the connection is to be welcomed.
- Though it's only a minor point, remember that no branch of wikipedia has any effective kind of audience research. We don't even know who the users are! If we want to improve wikipedias in general, that is the place to look. It would be a major enterprise, of that I am sure. But it is the weak spot of all open wiki systems that they cannot know whether they achieve what they set out to do. If you think I'm exaggerating, have a look at the kind of developmental research done in programmed learning, and by the childrens' television workshop. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:59, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- I mentioned Alemannic (als), Latin(la), and Scots wikipedia further up. Looking at the number of daily page views they are a factor of 20 behind SEWP (In the order of 10-20k, compared to the 500k of SEWP). Just for clarity... --Eptalon (talk) 18:26, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- I just have a very quick observation. There is a Wikipedia in Northern Sami. (se.) To the last data available (which is 20–30 years old), there are about 10-11 samic languages. These languages form two or three large groups; languages within the group are mutually understandable, those from another group need a lot of training/ exercise. Some of the languages had as little as 20 speakers (at the time the data was collected, that is either 1993 or 2002). In total, there were about 25.000 speakers of Samic languages; about 60% of them also understood Northern Sami. I could now argue that the about 7.000 people who did not understand Northern Sami, would proably not be able to profit from Northern Sami Wikipedia, and that Northern Sami Wikipedia should be closed down... And yes, ISP 639 has 11 (3-letter) codes for the different Sami Dialects. Different Sami dialects are recognised minority languages in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Lets now assume that we capture 5% of the Sami people with our project. This would make almost 2.000 potential editors. Closing down Northern Sami would be amlost painless, yet, some people at the foundation consider Wikipedia to have a mission. Even if only very little money is spent on Northern Sami Wikipedia, its editor is much more valuable...--Eptalon (talk) 18:03, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- You're wrong on one point: Poor readability on EnWP is actually strictly enforced. Just try going on one of the math or physics articles and adding something to make the concept clearer—you'll be lambasted, denounced, and hit with such a wave of aggression you wonder if you can make it out of there without being banned. Certainly you will not make the mistake of trying it again any time soon. I mean, it's hard not to wonder if some of the folks there work for the textbook companies, who might have been wiser than Encyclopedia Britannica about doing what it takes to keep their business model viable. Wnt (talk) 22:56, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- These are topic areas where it is extremely difficult to explain the topic both simply and correctly. Correctly is considered more important. To explain a very complex subject in a way that makes it easily comprehensible to the ordinary person with no background would take a level of communications genius that would be better occupied in creating world peace. We are therefore stuck with less brilliant writers who fall back on trying to keep the content technically correct. In an encyclopaedia this is better than an easily understood but wrong explanation, and unless you are a subject matter expert, it is very easy to be wrong. The dumbed down models of reality, what Terry Pratchett, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart would refer to as "lies to children", and which are useful as a stepping stone to deeper understanding, may have a place somewhere, but probably not as the primary topic content in an encyclopaedia. On simple: they are more likely to be acceptable, as no-one expects simple: to be state of the art accurate. This alone is sufficient reason for simple: to exist. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:50, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
- Note I have posted notice on the administrators noticeboard and village pumps of the English Wikipedia as this proposal would affect it (by diverting editors from simple to en.wiki) and it is the main Wikipedia for the English language, and thus participants from that language group would likely be inteterested. See: , , , . TonyBallioni (talk) 17:31, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Will be interesting to see how the discussion goes now that it has been posted there because that is likely to cause the same thing that happens every time we try to have a cross wiki discussion involving the two projects, the English Wikipedia editors completely swamp and drown out anything that the Simple editors suggest due to numbers. -Djsasso (talk) 17:06, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Note I have notified the English Wikipedia Medicine WikiProject at , as they have had some interaction with SEW in the past. --Mark viking (talk) 18:38, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comment I am very much in between on this. I think there are many reasons that this project should be closed but I also think that the concept has significant value. What I would like to see come from this is meaningful change within the community itself and administration. Simple, at it's heart is meant for readers, just like every other project. The content should be simplified for all the people it is meant to target. The problem is, the project is not attracting editors to bring that content and instead attracts all those mentioned above. This isn't about LTAs or vandals but I think the downfall of Simple Wikipedia has been the intense focus on the bureaucracy of it, where so much of the community and time is spent making the backend editing "simpler" and is being used as a stepping stone for editing that wouldn't be accepted elsewhere. Specifically, I think all of the backend stuff, the things that the target audience (readers) will never see or know exists, should mirror that of it's successful sister projects, meaning policies, guidelines, to an extent. This, in my opinion, will help attract competent editors again and get rid of that "she doesn't even go here" attitude. If I am mistaken about the core purpose of this, I think the whole thing needs to be re-valuated as ultimately, this is an extension of an encyclopedia and ultimately the output is content and if we want to encourage people who would otherwise struggle, specifically due to language barriers or other issues on larger projects to edit, perhaps there needs to be a new project, similar to Wikiversity or test wiki. Chrissymad (talk) 19:35, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comment - I (and others) have voted above based on the merits of simplewiki, rather than the merging proposal given in the introduction. That proposal might be worth exploring, but should really be done on enwiki. A project to create "executive summaries" of pages could be started on enwiki and tested to see how it works. – Ajraddatz (talk) 19:51, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comment. One of the problems of simple English is that it is actually very difficult to write well about a complex topic in simple English, but that is not a reason to shut it down. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:05, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Question. Is the claim that closing simple will bring its editors to en: based on anything beyond wishful thinking? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:08, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- I know that for many editors on simplewiki, the fact that it isn't enwiki is a feature not a bug. Not everyone likes the bureaucracy and drama associated with a large project. – Ajraddatz (talk) 22:13, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- It's more than wishful thinking, in my opinion. Ajrddatz is completely right; many of SEW's editors prefer it due to the lack of bureaucracy and drama that is plentiful in enwp. Vermont (talk) 22:21, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- I understand these responses to mean that the responders believe that there is no plausible reason to expect many editors from simple: to move to en: and they will probably just be lost to the movement. This is also the impression I get from the discussion in general. As far as I know there has been no survey to indicate the probable reality. Losing those contributors for no equivalent gain would not be a good thing. Until some evidence surfaces, I would assume that closure would be a net loss. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:38, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- Question: Was a notice of this proposal posted anywhere on Simple English Wikipedia? I don't go there much, but there is nothing on the main page there. RudolfRed (talk) 20:25, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Yes. here Operator873 (talk) 20:33, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comment I haven't decided to support or oppose this proposal yet, but I have been looking over the Simple English Wikipedia, where I had never made any edits until today (in over 5 years of editing on this account). What I have found does not do much to convince me that the project should be kept, even though I have become skeptical of claims that "we need to delete everything!" since someone tried, unsuccessfully, to delete all portals on en.wiki (many of you of course know what I'm talking about). One of the biggest problems is that the Simple wiki is not very active, so vandalism can sometimes sit unchanged and unnoticed for much longer than it should (or would on en.wikipedia, or other much more active projects). This even happened over a decade ago and they covered it on NPR. Apparently the Great Barrier Reef was discovered by 'Ben Dover'. This is what people need to bear in mind when someone says "what's the harm, so long as some people use it?" The answer is that it provides a relatively save haven for trolls, vandals, and good-faith users who don't understand how to create well-written and -sourced articles, all of whom can and do roam far too freely, often without anyone cleaning up their messes, on a project that is not very active. Simple also has the side effect of inviting mockery for its numerous poorly-written articles. I am also sympathetic to the idea of merging Simple with en.wikipedia.org, because English Wikipedia articles should be written simply enough for non-experts to understand them anyway (though I realize that's not quite the same thing as writing an article to be read by ESL students/children). But maybe it'd be a good idea to add a "simplified version" button as mentioned above by some users. Everymorning (talk) 21:05, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
- @Everymorning: Pretty much what I said, but shorter and probably nicer :) --Piotrus (talk) 08:26, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Question: how large, active and well read is Simple English Wikipedia? Are there any other Wikipedias that are comparable? John Cummings (talk) 19:41, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- We are talking about a team of about 25-35 active (long-term, named, non-vandal) editors. There are rougly 135k content pages. Depending on the day, there are between 500k and 600k unique page views per day.--Eptalon (talk) 11:29, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- Question: what strategies could be used to mitigate some of issues raised with Simple English? Are there any easy wins in this list? John Cummings (talk) 19:44, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- While I personally don't think SEW is doing much good, I can see that this discussion is not heading toward a consensus to close it down. Maybe what SEW needs is an influx of new contributors to give it some newfound energy. I would be willing to be part of something like that, but I am not willing to spend much time contributing to SEW in its present state. Lepricavark (talk) 19:51, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- @Lepricavark: What do you think would make SEW more attractive to new editors? Vermont (talk) 21:11, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- @Vermont: for one thing, the very small number of regulars makes it hard for others to feel motivated to pitch in. As circular as this answer is, you need more editors to get more editors. I'm happy to be part of a community of contributors, but I don't want to be a lone ranger. I'm not entirely sure how you would go about recruiting new editors. Lepricavark (talk) 23:01, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
What could see (and what has already been done, I think) is to have a group of editors bring over & simplify a well-defined set of articles from EnWP. It has been done in the field of medicine, where a number of conditions were created & adapted for SEWP. Other things: we do have two levels of "better quality articles"; rasing an artcle to the respective level is a lot of work though, and doesn't occur too often, as we are only few editors. --Eptalon (talk) 07:31, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
- If this results in the keeping of the project I believe it would be beneficial to add a link on enwiki articles to the Simple English version, perhaps on the top of the "In Other Languages" section. Vermont (talk) 21:06, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- We did at one point have an RfC on en to move the simple link to the top of the language list. It failed, but perhaps it could be had again to see if consensus has changed. -Djsasso (talk) 14:29, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- This is already a reality with Compact Language Links: wouldn’t say that Simple English Wikipedia appears exactly on top of language box, but it is consistently in language box in English Wikipedia for readers. stjn[ru] 17:07, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- I don't have Compact Language Links turn on for en so I guess I have not noticed. It was a few years back that we tried the RfC so it may have been before they were added. -Djsasso (talk) 17:18, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comment Rather than remove developed content, it seems preferable to seek better modes of delivery for the future. Tighter integration between simple.wikipedia and en.wikipedia could provide better oversight and clearer references, especially for biographies. For example, where simple.wikipedia has an article or section matching the en.wikipedia page being delivered, could it be treated as an optional extension feature, flagged using a ‘’Simple’’ link much like the Edit link, and the article/section text shown similarly to hovering over a reference? That said, reviewing some simple.wikipedia articles on places, on music and on theory this week has given me some concerns. I’ve seen: dubious factual accuracy, such as the River Forth flowing through Edinburgh, or Bebop involving improvising over a small number of chords (rather than probably a greater number and speed of complex chord changes than any other music?); undue attention to a brief trial hovercraft service on the Firth of Forth; content which is far from simple (anarchism described versus a "pragmatic philosophy of antidisestablishmentarianism"), much of the article on Jacques Lacan listing his jargon terms, etc., and use of "famous" as a descriptor which adds nothing to a reader’s understanding. Each of these is, of course, open to a "so fix it" objection, and might be improved by more eyes on the simple.wikipedia content. Perhaps encouraging specialist project groups on en.wikipedia to review simple.wikipedia content in their areas could be a start. AllyD (talk) 15:38, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comment: Simple English Wikipedia has a low profile, and by the number of its editors, is a a small project (as stated above, 25-35 regulars). In my opinion, one of the key points that need to be addressed is how to increase the number of editors, if the decision is taken to keep the project. As pointed out above, being able to describe a concept in simple language, avoiding ambiguities is a skill, that needs to be acquired. So, if the decision is taken to keep the project, what I would like to see is the establishment of a working group to work on strategies on how to increase the visibility & number of editors in Simple English Wikipedia.--Eptalon (talk) 08:40, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- Keep me in the loop if this suggestion goes further. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:00, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Unique status of this wiki
I see many arguments pop up about abuse in the project and I don’t regard it as a valid way of thinking, but what I don’t see from ‘support’ side is the justification for keeping the entirely unique status of Simple English wikis (both Wikipedia and Wiktionary) in our movement. Could someone stop arguing about LTAs for a moment and give their thoughts on this specific argument? As a non-English editor, it’s hard for me to fathom or justify the continued existence of Simple English Wikipedia under such lens and it’s sad that mostly English-speaking people don’t engage with this particular thing about current Simple English project in its current and continuing status when (as LangCom is robotically bureaucratic to its core and unable to do any ‘controversial’ decisions that move from their documents) this request will be decided to be rejected. stjn[ru] 22:46, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
- Sorry I don't have any references but it is known that some English speakers are intelligent but struggle to comprehend standard written English. Compare simple:Charles Darwin and en:Charles Darwin and many others. I don't know of any studies regarding users of Simple but there are good editors there as well as LTAs—just like enwiki! Johnuniq (talk) 00:56, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- I believe it is also of use by non-native speakers who have conversational English. I have also used it, as a native speaker, to understand some of the more insanely complicated articles. I don't think there would be any objection if another major wiki (Germany etc) wanted to create its counterpart (assuming it survives). Nosebagbear (talk) 13:10, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Given that there were proposals of such projects in German, French, Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese, is it really a unique situation to English that could warrant keeping situation as is? I don’t have a non-procedural opinion on this matter, but to keep Simple English Wikipedia, given its current unique status in our movement, without ISO code, without counterparts in other languages, seems unfair to me. I get that the volunteers don’t want to lose their hard work, but the more thoughtout solution would not be to keep Simple English WP as it is right now, but either to transform it to something integral in Wikimedia movement or move it somewhere else. The status quo just shows that Anglo-centric nature of our movement is still alive and well even today. stjn[ru] 17:01, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- I believe the LangCom has said they would be ok with other language ones if they had a formalized basic version of that particular language in the same way that Basic English exists for English. I may be wrong but I think they are currently trying out a French one by starting it on the French wiki with the plans to move it off on its own if it works. Atleast that is what my shabby memory is telling me, it may have been another language. -Djsasso (talk) 17:12, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
See also, simple.wikt on this closure proposal: https://simple.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Wiktionary:Simple_talk&oldid=435454#Proposal_on_Meta_about_SE_Wikipedia —Justin (koavf)❤T☮C☺M☯ 02:40, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
High participation from native English speakers, but...
I could see here a lot of oppose votes made from mostly native English speakers who feel directly touched by this RfC (of course, it is their mother tongue), but no so much participation from the target audience of SEWP: ESL/ESFL readers and readers with comprehension problems, if I do not forget other target readers. Their voices will be welcome and will contribute to reach a more inclusive consensus if possible. A consensus from a single language or single cultural origin community (which could not represent Wikimedia community as a whole) is not a consensus. Whatever the result of this RfC would be, more constructive comments are welcome, from either side, and feel free to write your comment in your own language. --Zerabat (discusión) 15:27, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- As a native English speaker language instructor, you have a point. But, I would suggest that many language learners just focus on the article content and skip over all of the editing and admin stuff and things in the left column. You might be surprised how many university students are still unaware that they can edit Wikipedia. Depending upon the course I have assigned editing SEWP articles to learners at times. Not a single one had ever edited before. And, the level of language in these lengthy discussions would likely turn off many SEWP readers. All that said, yes, input from L2 users of English is always important. Thank you for encouraging it. --Gotanda (talk) 05:54, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- I agree that we need input from non-native speakers of English, but it's hard to measure that. Also, I'd not recommend SEW and a place for ESLs learning English to edit. SEW content is supposed to be simple, but ESLs don't do simple - they do errors. Writing a proper SEW/Basic English article should require no less language fluency then writing a regular English article. --Piotrus (talk) 10:28, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- You wrote, "ESLs don't do simple - they do errors." Unsupported criticisms like this are not helpful, but may be revealing. It is not common practice to refer to learners in the literature or in the profession as "ESLs." If you are teaching in Korea you should know that the teaching is EFL, not ESL, and that learners are people not acronyms (though ELLs is used sometimes). I'll speak to my own experience as a language learner and educator. All writers make errors. L2 users of English make errors as well. They can also make extraordinary sense. They are more than capable of contributing to a wiki like Simple or others (I will provide examples), and with instruction and support can do quite well. Writing for an authentic audience (the web, other learners, etc.) can be quite motivating. Summarizing and paraphrasing are basic academic literacy skills for all students (native or non-native speakers of any language) and Simple is a useful way to do that and share the results with others. --Gotanda (talk) 02:27, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comment: Can this proposal be en:WP:SNOW-closed as "no consensus" (which I assume results in the wiki being kept open, because on enwiki AFD, a "no consensus" close results in the article being kept)? Lojbanist (talk) 18:25, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- SNOW closes are not permitted on Meta. See SNOW. StevenJ81 (talk) 21:27, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- I think you might mean Meta:Snowball for the actual policy. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 21:25, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- If this is somehow successful, we should move the content to a Miraheze site (because that seems to be the only wikifarm that supports most of the WMF extensions) instead of en.wiki. (Moving the content of the Wiktionary and the already-closed Wikibooks and Wikiquote to Miraheze sites may also be suitable.) Lojbanist (talk) 17:27, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- I agree with that- if it is closed. XenrøsE 22:03, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- How do you tell a difference between native English speaker and someone who has English as a second language? Unless they explicitly state this information in the comment itself it's not always so obvious. Petrb (talk) 10:40, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
Translation of Wiki Porject Med articles
As per this discussion, there is a list of medical articles that need to be translated into local languages. Based on the format used, many of the articles on en:wiki are intended for medical audience and the contents can be rewritten with specific orientation intended for lay audience. This can be done on simple.wiki and the resultant templates (not template in a technical sense) can be used as a basis of translation into local languages. Diptanshu 💬 06:21, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Instead of trying to integrating simple: into en:, which would probably be much like integrating a snowball into hell, keep it as an independent wiki, but make the interwiki links much more prominent between the two on the principle that each is the alternative wiki most likely to be useful to a person using the other. This would make simple: far more visible, and that might be sufficient to kickstart it into a new level of activity and push the quality up a notch or two.
The communities are different. Integration would basically overwhelm and probably destroy the simple: community. Any not-blocked user on any wikimedia project can already edit on any other, so technically nearly all en: users are already users on simple: and vice versa. Closer linking while remaining independent may allow simple: to develop into what it should be. If it doesn't work, little harm will have been done, and the process would be reversible. If it does work, great good may be done. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:35, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- I definitely support making the interwikis more prominent on English. It was proposed awhile back on English to do just that but the community there ended up shooting down the proposal with reasoning something along the lines of that would give us special status. -Djsasso (talk) 11:15, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- It would give special status between en: and simple:, but they are the same language basically, so special status would not be unreasonable. The two Wikipedias are not in competition, we are all working towards the same goals. The special status would work both ways. The advantage would probably be more to the benefit of simple:, but this cannot be known for certain without testing. It is also possible that both projects would benefit, and there is no evidence that I am aware of that it would be any disadvantage at all to en: If it does take any traffic away from en: that would be a fairly good indication that the equivalent article on en: is sub-optimal, and that there is a need for simpler articles which would be valuable feedback. In some cases it is very obvious that the article on en: is poor quality, but an analysis of readers switching between the two might be useful to show where and how both can be improved. I do not think that en: could be threatened in any way by such a change. It may or may not gain much, but there is potential for simple: to gain a lot, the movement to gain a lot, and the reading public to gain a lot. No loss, net gain. Seems a good bet to me. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:44, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
- Based on my observation of my ESL university students, very few notice interwiki links. They'd have to be made MUCH MORE prominent to be useful. A cosmetic move to, let's say, where links to commons/wikivoyage are (higher on the left menu) won't cut it. This has to be at least as visible as a new tab, next to read/edit, etc. --Piotrus (talk) 12:26, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- If there was a "Simple" tab on ENWP, could it not just take the reader to a matching article on SEWP and vice versa? Green Giant (talk) 13:03, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- Yes, I think a tab which can lead readers to SEWP or a template like commonscat can both be helpful to increase visibility but that is possible if enwiki agrees and per Djsasso that might not be the case.-BRP ever 13:38, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- Technically it would be quite simple. It is just a matter of dressing up a hyperlink so that it displays in a different place and looks a bit different to what already exists. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:42, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- Yes, it's very easy to add a new tab using CSS. But I doubt that the enwiki community would go for it. – Ajraddatz (talk) 16:50, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
- For those who would take offense from its presence, it could be an opt-out feature. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:18, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- It could, but what's the point of having a separate SEW platform, with a duplicated category structure, and all other support stuff, including for example duplicated, low visibility talk pages? --Piotrus (talk) 10:25, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- Because that is what the people who are doing the work, as volunteers, appear to want. They do not want to be forcibly overwhelmed by the en: community, bureaucracy, dramah, and the rest. They appear to prefer a simple community. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:49, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- I actually have code on both wiki's to do just that for myself. It bounces me back and forth. -Djsasso (talk) 13:56, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- That's super neat. I'm using that now. :) Considering how easy this would be to implement, I don't see why there should be significant opposition to this on enwiki. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 21:26, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
What if redlinks were linked to the relevant Wikipedia article (if applicable)? If this were done, I would suggest putting some sort of superscript Wikipedia logo next to the link. Basically it would be like RationalWiki’s system, but automatic. Just an idea; this would probably need a separate RfC. — pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 20:29, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
My proposal to rename as "Concise" and autoli8nk the leads from Wikipedia article leads to any currently non-existent Concise Wikipedia page seems on point as far as I can tell. In addition, I will note that a great many editors are proud of their unreadable prose and great length of articles. Articles which require a Ph.D. to understand do not really help most living people. Collect (talk) 12:37, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
- There is a difference between concise and simple. There is no Concise Wikipedia, so I think this is an entirely different proposal. Concise does not mean easy to understand, it means short. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:57, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/concise The SEW articles are generally far shorter than the regular Wikipedia articles, and thus falls squarely in the normal use of "concise". Collect (talk) 20:45, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- Point 9 in https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/simple Their being concise as well as simple is incidental. It is not particularly relevant. To provide the same information in simple language would generally require a longer explanation. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 21:02, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- Support This seems to be the most obvious solution to the problems as described in the proposal. Most seem to agree that a high-quality Simple-style corpus would serve a useful function, and I can't imagine it would be easy to maintain a community of editors fluent in the Simple norms under any more ambitious merge proposal. FourViolas (talk) 01:51, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
A request from myself to the LANGCOM
I write to you today as a native speaker of Danish, who uses English as a second language. I have written this statement against the closure of the Simple English Wikipedia in my best English. I doubt I'll mess it up, but you never know - It wouldn't be the first time I have screwed up, I doubt also it will be the last.
I am disheartened that this proposal has been opened. The reason given being that we as a project, are simply not reaching our target audience.
The Simple English Wikipedia has existed since before the standard rules and guidance for a project to exist were created. This means that technically, we're a grandfathered project.
And yet, here we are having to justify our existence to the LANGCOM - a group of people who hadn't been in existence too long when we opened, against rules which nobody had created and against people who don't even use our Wikipedia.
SEWP is a project which grew out of a thought for accessibility, to help users of English as a second or subsequent language. The primary English wikipedia contains many articles which simply are not written at a level which English learners or non-native users could understand.
When comparing the work of simple english wikipedia with that of the primary english wikipedia, the first thing people think we're doing is "dumbing down". Which we're not - what we're doing is making the work easier to understand.
Nobody should be thought of as being "dumb" because they need to have things written in a manner which makes them accessible. That means blind people are dumb, because they can't read written text, no? No. Of course not! That's just ridiculous.
But this is just one part of the argument against our existence. Another is that we attract banned users and vandals from other projects who just want to mess with us. That in itself is patently wrong. Find me a project which doesn't attract vandals, and I'll show you a Wikipedia with a read-only database.
I began working with the SEWP, when I realised that the bureaucratic nature of the primary English Wikipedia, mixed with the manner and complexity of their article writing, meant that my chances of contributing meaningfully were about the same as me giving birth sometime in the near future.
I have now been with SEWP for two and a half years, and in that time, have made more than eight times the number of edits on SEWP as I have on the primary English Wikipedia. Why? Because it's easier to use. I believe in the goal of Wikipedia, which I found out from a guy called Steven Walling: To assemble the sum of all human knowledge and make it available for everyone for free, in their own language.
I believe that this goal should include making it available in a manner which people can freely understand without help. This is why we're here.
To close the Simple English Wikipedia without an accessible alternative would be damaging to the goal and work of Wikipedia. I hope that the LANGCOM will understand how much the (serious) editors of SEWP care about what we do.
I would never vote to close any Wikipedia project with an active community.
If there are problems, tell us.
If we need solutions, help us find them.
Don't disband us because we don't meet your goals.
Remember, your goals didn't exist when we began.
DaneGeld (talk) 17:50, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
- I agree with you on every single point there. Sincerely, Xenrøse • T 00:07, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- The bigger issue IMO is how do we get the main EN WP written in easier to understand language (especially the leads)? Those who do this work often get insults thrown at them. But that of course is an EN WP issue not a simple EN WP issue... Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:03, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- You are right, @Doc James:. But maybe it's something to put to ENWP's editors, a few of them are here campaigning for our closure. If ENWP's articles were easier to understand, there would have been no need for us.
- Until they are, we have a place. Maybe some of SEWP's editors should drop by and try to simplify some of their articles to see the reaction; it would help us gauge feeling. What do you think? DaneGeld (talk) 07:35, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Agree User:DaneGeld. Simplification is, however, super difficult as it is very easy to change the meaning if one is not careful. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:04, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- Simplification is annoying, causes addiction to caffeine and makes you wish you could tear your hair out sometimes. But we do it because of a wish to. There are articles I know from EN, which we could never simplify, because one slight hiccup and we could change something which makes sense into complete and utter garbage (think en:Quantum mechanics and you'll get a good idea of what I mean). Maybe we could start a course at Wikiversity in how to write in Simple English, for the benefit of regular editors who wish to help out. It would be so much better if we could just get along. DaneGeld (talk) 15:45, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
- It is not easy to write a simple description of a complicated topic, and most people do not have those skills. A course at Wikiversity could be a good way to improve those skills and spread them around a bit. One of the most difficult things for me is deciding whether to use a concise technical expression, or to describe the concept in more commonly understood terms. It is often not clear where to draw the line. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:30, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- There are two separate set of problems SEW tries to solve. One is making editing process friendlier, and the other is accessible content. For all of the wikipedias, content is arguably the bigger goal here. In order to achieve that, editing needs to be a positive experience. Since the number of articles on SEW is quite sparse relative to WP EN, why not harness the strength and benefits of WP EN, with bonus of not dealing with banned LTA's? Perhaps a template on certain EN WP articles (starting with the existing 140,000 corresponding articles on SEW) can state that an accessible SEW lede should be included in the top (I know SEW does not imply article length, but rather style), or through some special EN WP feature, be visible to those who have it enabled. This doesn't solve the problem of a frustratingly pedantic editing experience on EN WP, but we can work on that. Shushugah (talk) 15:44, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- Dear DaneGeld. The goal of SEW is not to be a more friendly editing place. It is to create helpful content that is easily available. That SEW is more friendly/easy than EnWP is irrelevant to the wider world. The point is that SEW creates useful content (setting aside spam/etc.) that is not widely seen, because most Wikipedia users/Internauts don't know of SEW. SEW was a great idea that should've never been an independent wiki. It should've been a feature of EN Wikipedia (and others). I am sorry to say this, but it is time for your 'safe, friendly' playground to grow up and become useful to the world (which reads ENWP, not SEW). It doesn't matter how old SEW is and how nice it is and so on. We are here to build useful stuff, not hidden gardens for small groups that end up duplicating efforts (content) with bigger projects for no good reason other then "our small wiki is a nicer/friendlier place then the big scary ENWP". --Piotrus (talk) 10:24, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- I think your opinions (because that is what they are) that people don't read simple have been thoroughly discredited at this point because the traffic stats clearly show that isn't the case. Clearly it is useful to a very large number of people. I believe it was 7.9 million unique hits per month. One of the goals of simple is actually to make editing simpler as well as the language. It is very clear you didn't actually know much about simple when you made this nomination. I don't know what got this bee in your bonnet about simple considering you don't at all edit there, and its existence doesn't in any way impact ENWP. Being that closed projects generally still remain visible once closed in a perpetual frozen state, there are no resources to be saved. Simple's goals are not just to duplicate English Wikipedia and suggesting we are just a duplicate is ridiculous because we fulfill a gap that doesn't get filled by English Wikipedia. Would I like to see English Wikipedia filling that gap, of course I would. I just don't think its likely possible, mostly because of editors like yourself who seem to look down on Simple English. -Djsasso (talk) 13:52, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- Piotrus, you are right that the goal of the SEWP is to create helpful content that is easily available - but do you honestly, for one nanosecond, think that people who have trouble writing in English are going to attempt to edit articles on the main English Wikipedia? Of course, Competence is Required, but it's much easier to create that content in an environment where we're not getting bogged to death with more abbreviations than we know what to do with and people telling us this is wrong, this is wrong, that doesn't belong there, etc. We're friendlier and quite frankly, far more welcoming than the ENWP. We're not stuck in red tape and arguments over things that seem completely pointless. The difference between ENWP and SEWP is like the difference between sticking a leg of beef with your bare hand into a Lion's mouth, and petting your neighbours exceptionally friendly Chihuahua. DaneGeld (talk) 15:40, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- The fact that simple: appears to be a friendlier place to work is not irrelevant to the people who work there. One of the goals of en: is to be a friendlier editing place, but it seems to have a lot of difficulty achieving that eminently desirable goal. Just because we dont have it is no reason to take it away from those who do. That alone should be a reason not to force integration. How friendly do you think the integration process would be, and how much of the better products of simple: do you think would survive the process? What simple: has achieved so far may be less than what en: has achieved, but popping the snowball into hell does not integrate it, it annihilates it. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:33, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
Time for an RfC on En Wiki
Regardless of the outcome of this proposal, we should start an RfC on En Wiki on whether or how the En wiki community would like to see SEW integrated (again, independent of whether SEW is closed or not). This perhaps could be phrased as follows, with regard to some options that ENWP community should discuss/vote (please suggest what else we may want to ask the ENWP community).
Concerns have been raised that the Simple English Wikipedia (SEW) is not reaching its audience (due to very low visibility), and that this could be improved through closer integration with the English Wikipedia. Other concerns about SEW have been raised as well, and there is ongoing discussion on meta about the future of SEW.
With the understanding that ENWP cannot make any binding decisions regarding SEW's future (which is to be decided by the meta:Language committee and the meta:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees), which of the following scenarios would be best for ENWP:
- Change nothing (don't make SEW more visible then it is now).
- Improve SEW visibility option 1: move a link to SEW articles from 'Languages' to 'Other projects' (where we list Commons, Wikivoyage, etc.) left nav/toolbar?
- Improve SEW visibility option 2: add a link to a SEW article to the top of the article, next to the read tab perhaps, to improve its visibility making the average reader aware of the SEW's existence (since very few regular users bother looking at the links on the left anyway y and it is likely most average readers are unaware of SEW's existence?) Options: a) nothing, or b) a red link to create a new article on SEW.
- Close SEW and merge its namespace articles into a new ENWP namespace: create a new 'simple' namespace on English Wikipedia, to be populated while SEW is closed while its mainspace articles are copied/transwikified to the ENWP? That namespace would be best accessible through a new simple tab, like discussed in the previous option.
Separate from the above:
- How, if at all, should we improve the visibility of the SEW link in the Wikipedia mobile app? Right now (AFAIK) mobile page does not not link 'Other Projects' at all. There's plenty of room to add a SIMPLE link next to the language choice tool, for example. Mobile Wikipedia link. So, a) should a link to SEW be added to the mobile version next to the language button or b) should SEW be available as the first option from the currently alphabetical list of languages in the mobile language menu?
Anything I missed that you think would be good to ask on ENWP? (Also, if anyone wants to start an RfC there before I get to it, go ahead). --Piotrus (talk) 11:15, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- This sort of RfC would make sense, once this discussion is closed for a number of reasons. 1. It would mean we knew if we could take your option #4 off the table or not. 2. It would allow a much more focused set of options and messaging. 3. It would also avoid being the canvassing this would appear to be if posted in the middle of this discussion here especially since its been posted in a number of places there already. -Djsasso (talk)
- Aren't we doing the same thing here? For me this RFC means:
- Clearly saying SEWP community don't have a say in the matter and should do as ENWP community decides for it. So, this kind of discussion should be carried out after and in regards to this discussion.
- Also, it is posted in many noticeboards in en so keeping a section here and commenting here seems fine.-BRP ever 15:35, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- Why would we waste our time on ENWP holding overly-complicated, non-binding community discussions with multiple trifling "options", before there is any hard mandate to integrate Simple whatsoever? Sounds like a foolproof way to get a "no consensus" result and waste everyone's time. Cut out all of the bullshit, and come up with a straightforward, common sense, yes or no proposal, here, to integrate Simple into a new namespace on ENWP. Common sense dictates that it should be visible via tab at the top, but if you really need the community to decide that, those details can be hammered out after it gets a consensus to happen and it gets approved by LANGCOM. Just my opinion, though. Swarm (talk) 03:25, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- Riiiight. Pick one option and act like there are no other options. Lets have an RfC on reducing drunk driving, but instead of choosing between options like increased enforcement, more education or having bartenders hold your keys, just ask "death penatly for dunk drivers, yes or no." --Guy Macon (talk) 16:17, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- Too soon. There is no point discussing the options on en: until we have a reasonable idea of what they are. If this RfC finds to retain the status quo, then the options become very different to those possible if the decision is to integrate. Besides, any options offered by en: would be subject to agreement by the larger community, as this is not only between en: and simple: It is a movement-wide issue. There is a bigger picture. No consensus on en: is binding on any other project. If a decision here is binding on simple, it must be equally binding on en. Precedents can be very inconvenient when they don't suit your agenda. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:46, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- On the other hand, nothing stops any user in good standing from starting an RFC on en: If you want to do it, that is up to you. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:49, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
- @Piotrus: The "Close SEW and merge ..." thing is kind of confused for multiple reasons:
- ENWP has no authority to close SEW.
- Doing something with a namespace at SEW has no relationship to whether SEW closes or not. Rather, that's an option 3 under the bullets before it. And I think I may have already mentioned an option 4 or 5, somewhere in the previous discussion above. (E.g., SEW might not be closed, but ENWP could use a namespace anyway, to provide soft-redirects to SWP pages on the same topic.)
- If ENWP closes, what to do with its content is an open question, and giving it an ENWP namespace is just one option among others, like having it be subpages that are accessed via a menu as in option 2, or whatever.
- Basically, this is commingling technical ideas of what to do at ENWP to get this content more frequently used, with WMF policy decisions about whether to close the site. These topics need a cleaner separation. We're also glossing over the probably more important issue, from ENWP's perspective, about quality. Lack of visibility isn't [the only reason] why SWP is a failure. It's lack of strong content writing, proper sourcing, policing for vandalism, and all the other things that ENWP and its huge userbase do well.
The selling point for ENWP users is going to be having control over the content and ensuring its quality. This will be an easier sell if the simple content and the regular content are tied. E.g., if I can edit w:en:Albinism then immediately also edit w:en:Albinism/simple (or whatever) to make a conforming change, without having to do more than click a button, this is easy. The more it involves a bureaucracy, a process, a complicated technological and editing hassle, the less likely people are to even consider the concept at ENWP.
PS: Having these exist as subpages that are categorized as simple version of articles will enable us to use tools, like auto-analyzers for compliance with various simple English standards, and so on. It's probably the most practical approach. It could be done with a namespace, but many users who need simplified English probably may trouble with the namespace concept (not the ESL people, but some of the other classes of users, like children and those with developmental disabilities).
PPS: If we're going to abbreviate this, we need to pick a consistent abbreviation. "SE" is a country code for Sweden and might be confusing. "SWP". more closely matches simple.wikipedia.org, and there is no other simplified-language WP from which to disambiguate, so no "E" or "EN" is needed, though I suppose "SENWP" next to "ENWP" works out okay. That said, few people at ENWP actually call it that. More like en.wp (thus s.wp). — SMcCandlish ☺ ☏ ¢ >ʌ<*:/sup>ⱷ҅ᴥⱷʌ< 17:51, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
- I would propose you use "SEWP", like most editors at Simple Englisah Wikipedia do. SE is the country code for Sweden (ISO-3166-2), and the language code for "Northern Sami" (ISO-638-2). The language code for Swedish is "sv" (ISO 839-2). The northern-sami Wikpiedia is at "se.wikipedia.org". So using "SE" for Simple English is probably a bad idea.--Eptalon (talk) 08:07, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
- The discussion is dying down, so I think it's time for an English Wikipedia RfC? --Piotrus (talk) 14:17, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
- Once the language committee closes it I would say have at it. -Djsasso (talk) 02:26, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
Hello all, I have now watched this for some time, and I would propose the following:
- We fix a date, ideally in a few days from now, at which the discussion is closed. The deciding body then takes a decision to close or keep open the project, based on the material they have.
- If they decide that the project should be kept open, we establish a task force of senior editors/experts of both EnWP, and Simple English Wikipedia to address the issue of how to improve visiblity of SEWP, as well as collect ideas of how to increase the number of regular contributors. That working group might also look at ways to improve co-operation between closely related languages.
- Indpendent of the decision above, people at ENWP should think about ways to incite editors to use simpler/more concise language. Writing shorter sentences, and trying to explain scientific concepts is not something that came with Simple English Wikipedia: Almost any scientific publication will require editors to use concise wording and to explain concepts where appropriate. In the end, we must not forget that Wikipedia is for the readers.
Any thoughts? --Eptalon (talk) 11:50, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- I was going to let discussion run until 19 July (therefore open one full month), unless people here believe that little new has been added. For LangCom: StevenJ81 (talk) 13:58, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- Let it run, I think. No rush. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:20, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
- no harm keeping this open anyway--Cohaf (talk) 21:14, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
- The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.