Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Volapük Wikipedia

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The result of the following proposal for closing a WMF project is to KEEP the project. Please, do not modify this page.

The following discussion is closed: Discussion finished, result is KEEP. --MF-Warburg(de) 13:42, 6 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I propose to close this discussion within 7 days from now, unless there are objections. --MF-Warburg(de) 16:57, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because of the low number of speakers of Volapük there is only one author contributing to Volapük Wikipedia. Therefore the wiki idea is clearly not working in vo.wp and there is no chance to change that in the neanor or not so near future. Furthermore the author is using Python programs to blow up the number of articles in "his" wikipedia with the intention to advertise his pet language zw:vo:Gebanibespik:Smeira#Answers.3F. This results in a lot of interwiki links in other wikipedias which are useless to their readers. Rosentod 16:17, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


  1. --Möchtegern 16:31, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This is a vote. --Ooswesthoesbes 16:42, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'll support, this botopedia should be deleted. If they want to write articles on their language, they may open vowiki insecond time — VasilievV 2 16:33, 21 September 2007 (UTC) Confirmation: [1]Reply[reply]
  2. I support this too. Actually it never should be created, because it is an artificial language only spoken by 25–30 people according to the English Wikipedia. Yes we have a lot of small wikis, but they have a lot more potential, because there are a lot of native speakers around. I also don't like the fact that the majority of articles are very short bot generated articles by one person. So please move the contents to a place outside the Wikimedia Universe. --Jeroenvrp 17:29, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There are wikis in dead languages (latin, Old English); there are wikis in other artificial langauges (Esperanto, Novial, Interlingua, Interlingue), some of which also have few speakers and will never have a wide readership. If you have a look at the smaller wikis, I'm sure you'll find about 50 who have as much, or even less, potential than vowiki. Deciding on this would imply also deciding on some higher-level policies of the whole Wikipedia project concerning 'less viable' languages. Smeira 19:35, 21 September 2007
    In my opinion that is a correct assumption. In a rush about 250 Wikipedias have been created. 150 even lack an interface in the language of the wiki. Now that we have Incubator, language communities first have to prove that they have real language (ISO 639), a viable project by creating content in Incubator, creating babel templates, translating the core interface of MediaWiki and possibly some other things that I do not know of. Some wikis have recently been closed and their contents have been moved to Incubator. If at any time they appear to be viable, they can get their own wiki. It should probably be done for 400 or more Wikimedia wikis, because they only keep stewards busy deleting spam. Siebrand 17:51, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I don't see how your comments affect my point. I said closing the vo-wiki, if at all a good idea, should be part of a higher-order policy decision that would also close lots of other small wikipedias, and you seem to agree with that, by saying that many of those wikipedias should be closed or moved to the incubator. I'd say: make this be a discussion then about how and when a project is good enough to be a wikipedia, and what should be done with the current projects that don't meet these standards. --Smeira 21:55, 21 September 2007.
    Oh, you were actually agreeing with me. Sorry, I missed that. ;-) --Smeira 07:37, 22 September 2007.
    "There are others" is not a valid argument. Feel free to propose closing of other wikis similar to vo.wp if my proposal should be accepted. But of course most of them don't use your programs to create articles. --Rosentod
    It is a valid argument against differentiated treatment. What I'm saying amounts to: if you want to close, you should want to close a lot of other similarly "weak" wikipedias. If you don't, then why is singled out? It has to boil down to discussing ressources (in which case the logical extreme would be: make it all part of -- and also we'd need specifics: which resources are being wasted? how much do they cost? how are other people suffering from this? what are the numbers?), or interwiki links (in which case the question is how to administer and manage them, not how many stub pages there are in which wikipedias). Besides, in what way are bot-created stubs worse than similarly-sized human-created stubs, if in both cases the information is accurate? --Smeira 21:58, 21 september 2007
  3. Projects in small languages are definately ok, but this is no language wikipedia where a community presents good articles. There are some articles with good quality, but over 90.000 bot-generated stubs don't help anybody, even if he can read this language. This project is senseless in this way and should be closed down. Julius1990 17:58, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There are also tens of thousands of bot-generated articles (or small human-made translation stubs, which amounts to the same) in most other major wikipedias (the idea actually came from, so they shouldn't per se disqualify a wikipedia. The articles in the smallest 50 wikipedias also in principle 'don't help anybody', but you're not saying anything about them. Why single out the Volapük wikipedia? (cf. other arguments above and below). --Smeira 22:04, 21 september 2007.
    You miss totally my point. The proportion is missing. This language is spoken by 20 people, so the number of real editors is very low. The number of users is very very low. So there is no need for 100.000 bad articles, better to say Bot-stubs. The english, the du´tch wikipedia and many more wikipedias, even small ones, have to save the proportion. There is more potential to write articles, to enlarge Bot-stubs and so on. Volapük shows excrescences which can't be the goal of a Wikimedia project. That's my point, and the point is that we must begin with one and Volapük with this amazing big excrescences would be a good beginning. Julius1990 20:23, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, you hadn't made this point before; you just said "90.000 bot-generated stubs don't help anybody", which is a different point. Now, concerning proportions: I think there are three issues here that are being mixed:
    (a) The question of whether wikipedias without much prospects for growth should be allowed to exist ( would be bad because it's pretending not to be one of them), which is not really defined by stub-to-article proportion (if had only 100 articles, the 'there aren't enough readers, there isn´t enough potential' argument would be equally valid; in fact, if had 100.000 long, excellent-quality articles -- a wonderful stub-to-article proportion --, your 'no-potential' argument would remain valid; as you see, this argument -- too few readers -- by itself would imply that any number of articles of any level of quality would be equally useless). What, then, should one say about small wikipedias? Are they worthwhile? It's a different question, about which I have several ideas and arguments (to mention one: the purpose and goal of wikipedias in small-community languages should be different, but no less important and interesting, that the goal of wikipedias in large-community languages); but this is clearly a different question that needs its own discussion.
    (b) Are (bot- or human-created) stubs useful? Is having many stubs a good idea? This is an interesting question (why are bot-created stubs any worse than human-created stubs? if the information, however little, is correct, why should it be a problem? can't they theoretically 'be expanded and become featured articles' just the same, regardless of how they were made?), which again isn't really concerned with stub-to-article proportion. Stub-to-article proportion is one of the (somewhat problematic) criteria for judging wikipedia quality. Which leads to the third independent problem:
    (c) Should low-quality Wikipedias be allowed? This, in a sense, is similar to (a) (since, by whatever criteria, low-quality wikipedias and wikipedias with small language communities will tend to be the same), and it's the only question to which the stub-to-article proportion is relevant (as an indirect -- and problematic -- measure of quality), as well as the 'growth potential'. To this, I will say: the growth potential of is not smaller than that of most small wikipedias, because, like all planned languages, its community is formed by second-language learners: there are no monolingual speakers of Esperanto, Volapük, Ido, or Interlingua. Anyone, however, can follow a course (like this online one, which was the one I used to learn it) and after a couple of months become able to change a stub into an article (probably with dictionary help). (This is how Esperanto did it, by the way: mostly with contributions from second-language speakers, whose mother tongue is some other language.) So, theoretically, the potential is not that small; perhaps in fact better than for some other small languages. In fact, I am hoping this potential will eventually materialize; that's why I did the whole stub-creating thing.

    Finally, you say 'Volapük is a good one to begin with'; but there's a problem here. If you're seriously talking about arguing for the closure of all 'low-potential' wikipedias, this is a significant change in current WMF policy and should be discussed as such. Only after the policy has been discussed and changed would it make sense to ask for the closure of individual languages. To do it the other way round is illogical. If you want to target with arguments that are equally valid for lots of other wikis, you should do a more general discussion -- inviting also people from these other wikis --- before resorting to closure proposals. Suppose someone thought that was useless (because most of the information is already on and the rest could be transferred, because resources would be better used if everybody concentrated on, blah blah blah) and then simply proposed the closure of without any previous discussion of why there are wikis in other languages at all and whether or not this is a waste of WMF resources. Don't you agree this would be an arrogant move? Also, of course nobody would agree with such a ridiculous proposal, which disregards all the hard work (of all kinds) of contributors. But note, to the one who made the proposal, and according to his/her arguments, s/he would simply be doing a good thing, and s/he could justify it with the same argument you made: we have to begin somewhere,, being the second biggest wikipedia, uses/wastes more resources than any other, resources that would be more efficiently used for, so it's a good one to begin with. Do you see the point? This would be trying to masquerade a larger, wider question as merely a question. And this is what this proposal is doing with Smeira 20:17, 23 Sep 2007 (UTC).
    no, you don't want to understand me. The comparison of the german wikipedia with volapük is a laugh, sorry to say that, but it's the truth. The difference is a man, a wikipedian, has to think about the arcticle he is creatic. No matter if it's a stub or an exzellent article. And i don't meant with ressources the capicity to safe articles, but human capital, the people who work with the articles as writer or as reader. But it's not worth to discuss anymore. You are personally involved and you can't see any argument for right, because of that. I don't know if you created all those articles, but think of any user who has no direction to this wikipedia as 99,99999% of the worls population, than you probably will understand. EOD from my side Julius1990 19:54, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. an artificial language with nothing but artificial content, I see no reason to keep this, content should be created for the benifit of someone, with a small 'living language' someone might find botarticles useful, but here it is nothing but a private fantasy. Peter boelens 15:36, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Cf. comments on 3. above. The 'private fantasy' argument you make doesn't single out; in practice, it works for lots of other small wikipedias that have only one or two active editors. Also, to lots of outsiders, even is a 'private fantasy' of those who work in it, folie à deux if you want -- haven't you heard any of the jokes? isn't (yet) a fully respectable endeavor. Smeira 21:03, 22 september 2007 (UTC)
  5. According to de:Volapük this language is not spoken any more. I don't think it's usefull to open another Wikipedia project which consists of bot created stubs only. --TM 11:40, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    According to en:Volapük it is. Who is doing fact-checking for (Note that there are several wikipedias for languages that are no longer spoken: Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek. Shouldn't you try to close them first?) Smeira 13:58, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
    The problem is not opening a new project: it's been already open for years. The problem is whether or not to close it. Smeira 13:59, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
  6. Support - The most generous estimate is 35 speakers of the language which to put it in perspective is twice the number of fluent speakers of the Klingon language. There is precedent for the closure of languages with living speakers so that argument doesn't convince me. Besides the complete lack of utility of this encyclopedia, the main problem is the disruptiveness to other encyclopedias which we have (a) interwiki issues and (b) distorted statistics. --MarsRover 00:29, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The existence of a precedent of a closed language with living speakers could, taken by itself, be used in principle to argue for the closure of any Wikipedia with living speakers, even, at least in theory, big projects like or; there must also be (other) arguments. Note also that there are dead languages with wikipedias (Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek); this precedent was apparently not enough for them to be closed, despite their case being "even worse" (no closure proposals yet). Claiming 35 people is 'too few' doesn't take into account the facts that (a) there are more interested people than speakers (the number of non-bot registered users on is already much larger than 35, and some of the active editors don't speak the language either), and (b) for any planned language (Esperanto, Interlingua, etc.), anyone is a potential contributor; s/he would just have to learn enough of the language (a couple of months would suffice) and start editing. Besides, who decides what exactly is 'too few'? -- part of the discussion about when a Wikipedia should be considered useless; see below. Further arguments are thus necessary. (It would be interesting to list the arguments in this precedent, the Klingon case, and how they compare to Volapük and also to, e.g., Esperanto; my guess is that its connection to Star Trek and fiction played an important role. Would you care to do that or should I?). Your arguments: (a) uselessness (already discussed here; counterarguments thus far: "uselessness" is relative, and applies to many wikipedias, so it should be discussed in more general terms: when is a Wikipedia useless, how many fall in this category, and should they all be deleted? etc.); (b) interwiki links (already discussed here; counterarguments thus far: interwiki links are a problem anyway, independently of, since all wikipedias keep growing and new ones keep appearing; and it is best solved by means other than closing a whole project, e.g. by having the software limit the number of interwiki links on each page); (c) distorted statistics: also discussed here, but less deeply, so let me comment a little: the 'statistics' are not distorted: there really are 112,000 articles in But these statistics are being misinterpreted by people who don't know much about statistics: the articles are mostly stubs and thus of less quality than the fuller and longer articles in other Wikipedias. In other words, to think that sheer article count is a measure of quality is simply a statiscal fallacy (cf. the article en:Misuse of statistics for further examples). Two things should be done: (a) people should be told that this is wrong thinking ( would be an example), and (b) better statistical measures of Wikipedia quality should be developed (in fact many people are doing exactly that). None of this necessarily argues in favor of closing; they're simply a different topic, in whose discussion could play a role. Smeira 03:44, 24 Sept 2007.
  7. Mostly bot-generated rubbish. Achates 12:13, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The 'rubbish' is usually similar to what you find on the articles with the same titles in other wikis, sometimes even better (compare vo:Dresden (Kansas) with de:Dresden (Kansas). The 'mostly' can change with time, if (as I hope) more people start to collaborate. Smeira 20:41, 25 September 2007
    Demü gen, ädabinoms mans 121,7 a voms 100. sounds pretty much stupid for a town of 51 people, while Es gibt einen leichten Männerüberschuss. states exactly the same without being meticulously. I wouldn't call the German article good, but it gives a short summary where the Volapük one tries to be as precise as possible. When a new citizen is born, the German article might still be true, while the Volapük one is out of date. Hooray, hooray. --32X 19:59, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Well, it's not much worse than "20,9 Einwohner je km²" (which, by the way, given the surface of 2,4 km², will change to 21,7 if one more citizen is born, hooray hooray! German fact-checkers, keep watching!). Notice also the unnecessary repetion of the area and population in the text in the German stub (already present in the infobox); in the Volapük stub, this repetition was avoided. Note, by the way, that by using the 121,7:100 men-to-women proportion you can actually calculate how many men and how many women there are in this small village, which is not possible only on the basis of the "leichter Männerüberschuss"; there is therefore more useful, as opposed to simply sensible-looking, information in the Volapük stub. The Volapük article is as precise as possible -- as precise as the US Census Bureau, the original source of the numbers, actually. Of course, it can still become "outdated" -- and it will, like all other US city articles in all Wikipedias, when the 2010 census data become available; but this can also be easily corrected with a bot. But let's not discuss small details; let's face the truth: both are small stubs, copied from, one by a bot and the other by a person who tried to make the text sound user-friendly but deleted some of the information in the process. Neither is really an ideal article. Even if consisted of 100,000 stubs like de:Dresden (Kansas), you guys would still oppose it. The real question is, I think, whether bot-created articles can play any role at all. Is right in excluding them, or is it maybe exaggerating? Smeira 13:25, 28 September 2007 (UTC).
    The last question is pretty much easy to answer: The German Wikipedia is still the #2 (in article count) of all Wikipedias, so excluding bot generated stubs can't be that bad. --32X 18:51, 28 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    'Can't be that bad' doesn't really mean 'is a good idea'. I have a colleague (a linguist from Australia) who refuses to have an e-mail account: he considers e-mail to be an evil thing (for a personal reason that doesn't matter here) and has been able to avoided it thus far. He doesn't even like the internet, and basically has other people get the information he needs from it and summarize it for him. He will use google if he has to, but he certainly prefers to avoid it if at all possible. So his contacts are via snail-mail, and he doesn't have a web site, not even for his CV and publications (an impressive list, I must say). Being the clever and resourceful fellow that he is, he actually is still pretty much up-to-date on current events -- conferences, new books, new ideas and debates, etc. He does manage to have a good academic life and publishes regularly. Does that mean that e-mail and google are not good ideas? Should we all do likewise? Well, no, that's far from obvious. E-mail can be useful, the internet can be useful. If he doesn't like them, he has certainly shown that he can live (mostly) without them; but that doesn't mean they are bad ideas. Likewise for bot-generated stubs. They can be well done, and be in no way inferior to human-made stubs, and perhaps even get some of the work done faster. Why avoid them? Smeira 21:27, 28 September 2007 (UTC).
  8. Strong support. The reason is not recent bot activities, it's always up to local communities to decide whether it's acceptable or not. However, I see little need for Wikimedia Foundation to host projects which would most likely be used only by 10-20 people in the world. That's my point related to all Wikipedias on such languages. Edward Chernenko 21:03, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This is a clearly stated point; I'm glad you coherently and consistently extend your argument to all small-community Wikipedias. The question here is, of course, not simply if Volapük should have a Wikipedia, but if the Wikimedia Foundation should at all allow small communities (say, languages with less than 10,000 speakers, or with less than, say, 10 potential users/contributors) to have a Wikipedia. I think it should, for the reaons stated below. Would other people care to comment on whether very small communities shoud get Wikipedias (and also how small a community should be to be 'very' small -- where's the cutoff point for the extant projects, for instance)? Smeira 12:35, 28 September 2007.
  9. In the project works only bot ... The quality of articles is very bad. And, as Edward said, there is no point in the draft, the language spoken by tens of people in the world. --Aleksandrit 21:12, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This is a bit simplistic; see the comments scattered throughout the discussion, and also at the end, in the "Real Problems" and "The Actual Problems" sections. (To put it quickly: poor quality can be improved if more contributors enter the project, which was the main motivation of the whole thing and may be now beginning to happen. On small readership: small communities also deserve Wikipedias, because they're also made of people -- as long as there are enough resources (there probably are: even Vükiped doesn't use more than 1 or 2% of them) -- because Wikipedia is not in essence a commercial enterprise. See also comments in the sections mentioned above.)
  10. this is not even close to being an encyclopedia and due to the extremely low number of speakers it is never going to be one. I think this should be the main argument in trying for a closure because the essential goal of all wikipedias should be to become an encyclopedia. For all of those who don't happen to know what an encyclopedia is, please go back and read some kind of article about it. I'm guessing 98% of the articles have never been visited by anyone else than Smeirabot to set them up and probably some interwikibots... If (at the most) only 35 people in the world speak this language, it's ridiculous to put up a "private" wikipedia project for them. I don't think they depend on this since they all speak some other language where they should rather contribute. Everything else is just a waste of time. This is exactly why the incubator process was introduced. Smeira, I think it would be better if you put your immense amonunt of work into some other wikipedia. Trying to "advertise" Volapük is not what wikipedia is there for. And please do not distract by pointing to other small wikipedias. Volapük is by far the smallest (ignoring the low-quality bot-generated stubs) and most hopeless one. Feel free to nominate others for closure too. I agree with Julius that there needs to be some kind of "starting point". And for Volapük there is just no potential at all and also no need at all... --X-Weinzar 12:18, 28 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Volapük the smallest and most hopeless one? Have a look at the end of the List of Wikipedias: there are obviously at least 50-100 Wikipedias that are worse by any stardards: no activity in many months except spambots, bad stubs (without definitions) and almost no articles (in some cases none at all), no active admins, system messages and skin still untranslated... On all these counts, does much better. If you agree with Julius that there needs to be a starting point, wouldn't you say there are 50-100 better ones right there on that list? (In fact, wouldn't it be better to treat all of them as a block and discuss their closure all together, since they mostly have the same "bad" features?). I think I will wait for better criteria on overall quality before proposing the closure of other projects; though there are lots of obvious cases, I feel it's better to handle them all after having decided what the general policy should be. No need at all? The same could be said of, say, Esperanto, Dutch, Danish, Swedish... (they're all bilingual, so they could all use/contribute to other Wikipedias; see this 'unnecessary languages' question [[here). I think the crux of your argument (which, by the way, could be stated less agressively; you seem to be suggesting that the 30-something people who have thus far opposed this closure proposal don't really know what an encyclopedia is, which looks more like an emotional statement than a verifiable factual claim) is that there are too few Volapük speakers for a Volapük Wikipedia to be meaningful. Logically, this implies the quality of the articles isn't really what matters: if all those stubs miraculously changed into featured articles, you would still claim there are so few potential readers and users that the whole is useless. So: should small communities (say, less than 10,000 speakers, or less than 10 non-bot active users, or however we want to define 'too small') simply never get a Wikipedia? I think not, and there may be reasons for that (see below). (Notice that the quality issue, which is not important for your too-few-speakers argument, has also been discussed; what I thing should happen to low-quality Wikipedias is also described below.) Thanks for your opinion on my work; it did cost me a lot of effort... it's nice to see someone notice that. I do contribute to other Wikipedias (see my article in on the Tiriyó language), and will continue to do so. But I am interested in Volapük, and I do want this Wikipedia to flourish. Call me a dreamer, but I hope I'll be able to find others. If not... as I said below, if after a reasonable amount of time really nobody else is interested, if no real community appears, then don't worry: I will myself submit another proposal for closing Or I'll myself delete all the "offending", "advertising" stubs: whatever people think is best. Is that loss of time? Am I crazy? I guess it's up to each one to decide, isn't it? Some people -- hell, most people, judging by those I know -- would say all of Wikipedia is a stupid project. Have you ever heard the jokes and funny comments? Like "how can these people be so stupid to do all that without getting paid?" Or "Wikipedia? Are you kidding? The whole idea is ridiculous! It's full of errors, and when it isn't, it's stuff that's already in reference books anyway". Or: "It's like a bathroom: it may look clean, but you never know who was there before and what they did". And other similar gems... Smeira 16:21, 28 September 2007.
  11. Support closing. Or any other way to deal with the addition of thousands of interwikis to other projects. I've always been against useless edits that distract users and clog history pages ∴ Alex Smotrov 17:20, 28 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If is closed, interwiki links won't stop being a problem. Their increase cannot be stopped, as more and more Wikipedias show up. Isn't it time those concerned with interwiki links actually started thinking about how to solve this problem instead of closing Smeira 23:26, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
  12. Support. Useful wikis in Volapük would be a wikisource to collect copyright-free texts originally written in that language, or the wiktionary. But a encyclopedia without any potential readers and only a machine to create articles is absolute nonsense. Ahoerstemeier 11:07, 2 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There is hope that more people will come and participate. Like Esperanto, Volapük is potentially learnable by anyone (here's a ten-lesson online course), thus the potential base of collaborators/readers is not so small. Recent activity in indicates this might actually happen. However, if it doesn't, and remains exactly as it is now for, say, two years, then I'll agree entirely with you that it should be closed. But there is reason to hope for the opposite, so I think this proposal is at best hasty.
    Thank you for considering the wiktionary and wikisource projects (both ongoing and doing well) good ideas. Smeira 18:19, 2 October 2007.
  13. Support. Close it! A collection of word-rubbish and nonsens has nothing to do with the idea of an Encyclopedia. And if some people argue, there is not only the volapük-version but some other little wikipedias mainly with nonsense article. CLOSE THEM ALL! Decius
    Aside from the offensive language, I would like to report that this user -- or at least his IP-number,, as you can see by clicking on the history tab of this page and checking who wrote this comment -- is responsible for vandalism in the Volapük Wikpedia (see here his log: he anonymously deleted the whole text of 15 pages). Apparently, in his anger, he forgot to create an account here at Meta, which would have given him a username and also hidden his IP number in the history page. His vote should probably not be counted. Smeira 01:08, 6 october 2007
  14. Support. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, i.e., the tool for collecting and disseminating of knowledge. Any artificial language wikipedias is fandom rather than a real source for information. What is more, a systemic bias and low content verifiabily are inherent in such wikipedias due to miniscule number of participants. Wasting bandwidth and money on such toy projects depletes real ones. Mikkalai 23:53, 5 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    So you're also against the Esperanto wikipedia -- another artificial language? Are they also just 'wasting bandwith and money' (how much exactly? 1%?... are you sure you're not complaining about too little?) Also, in terms of 'wasting bandwith', artificial languages are no different from small languages: Inupiaq, Hawai'i or SeSotho also have very few potential 'clients'. As I note down (see below, their objective is markedly different from that of the all-encompassing larger Wikipedias (yes, not all Encyclopedias are born equal; just think of thematic encyclopedias like the ELL -- Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics). Would you care to comment on that? Smeira 22:37, 6 October 2007.
    Smiera, I wish you would stop sullying the name of the Esperanto Wikipedia by comparing it to the Volapuk Wiki. Yes, Esperanto is a planned language, but Esperanto is also a language with native speakers, with several hundred-thousand speaking it as a second language. Our Wikipedia has an active community, and we often contribute to Meta projects like Translation of the Week. We currently have 136 articles of "feature quality,", and more are soon on the way due to some recent diligent work. I am not saying we are perfect, but I think the Esperanto community is one that is a good model for how a planned language Wikipedia should work. Yes, we too have used robots to add to the numerical total (against my personal wishes) and we are still trying to deal with some of that cruft. We stopped using robots for new articles because we felt they harmed our reputation, and because humans are personally invested in articles they write, so they tend to update them. I realize you were trying to raise awareness of Volapuk and it's debatable whether you attracted the attention you wanted. Such a stunt probably brought in a Volupikist or two, but at the expense of dealing with the spam and vandalism that comes with a 100k+ stubby wasteland which will probably never grow. You should have patiently grown the community first, and then grown the Wikipedia in proportion to it, not vice versa. I'm sorry to come down hard you you, but I think your actions were impatient and deplorable. I certainly do not support the closing of the VO:WP, but I would support you deleting the junk you added to level manageable by the Volapuk community. You've done what you wanted to do: attract attention, and possibly get people interested in Volapuk. Now I think it's time for you to make things right again. Amike salutas Yekrats 17:46, 8 October 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
    Hey, don't get on your high horses yet -- I have never sullied the name of the Esperanto Wikipedia (I'm an Esperantist myself, and I have contributed on occasion to the Vikipedio myself; look here). In fact, if you look for what I wrote on this topic (on Arno Lagrange's talk page, on Chuck Smith's, and on my own talk page), you will see that I always insist on how good the Esperantlingva Vikipedio is, how great you guys' work is, and how much I hope that it will progress further. I have said that if anyone ever thinks the opposite, I will myself argue that the Esperanto Vikipedio is of much better quality, and that the work done there is, by all reasonable criteria, excellent. Where on Earth did you get the opposite idea? Aren't you a little bit too ready to think I'm attacking Esperanto, just because I happen to like Volapük? Liking Volapük doesn't mean I don't like other artificial languages like Esperanto (or Ido, or Interlingua...). It even surprises me that you think I was trying to compare the Volapük Wikipedia to the Vikipedio in terms of quality. Didn't you notice I was actually arguing against that, by suggesting the guy above you, Mikkalai, had failed to distinguish between Esperanto and Volapük (the argument he gives against Volapük is also applicable to Esperanto, and yet everybody here -- probably even Mikkalai -- thinks the Esperanto Wikipedia is a good idea)? Why are you so ready to project bad intentions on other people? Do you think I don't know about the featured articles in Or about the information found exclusively there, such as details on the Esperanto movement in every land? Please, please read what I write before criticizing me! I do like Volapük, but that doesn't make me a bad guy.
    As for your more substantive points:
    - I don't think bot-created stubs are bad -- I think all stubs should be judged according to their quality (do they have useful information? is it correct?). The possibility of being further edited by humans is always there, as long as there are enough people taking care of a given topic; it doesn't matter whether the stub was bot-created or not, someone interested in the topic can always edit it and improve it (it's happened a lot in the English wikipedia, another great user of bot-created articles). I tend to think the anti-bot feelings contain some, perhaps even a lot of, simple prejudice.
    - Well, I would have loved to have patiently and slowly grown the community first. In the absence of an existing large community of Volapükists (something the Esperanto Wikipedia, and to some extent also the Interlingua Wikipedia, already had, and could build from), how exactly is this to be achieved? If you can give a short, step-by-step introduction to how to do this, I'll be happy to try. Most active Volapükists are rather computer-unfriendly and don't seem to really like the internet, let alone wikis. You think what I did was 'impatient'; I actually hesitated for months before starting, precisely because I thought such criticism would be coming. When I finally thought I couldn't see any other way to get more contributors (what instead? go spread leaflets about Volapük as an international language at the university? I don't believe in that myself -- I'm a Volapuka raumisto, not a finvenkisto...), then I started. That was a few months ago, after over half a year of more modest contributions (since Oct. 2006). If I had really been impatient, I'd have started right away. No, I just couldn't see what else to do that had any real chance of bringing more contributors into the project.
    - There is indeed a reasonable possibility that the Volapük wikipedia will never grow. Yet there are some good signs. Rather than one or two, I see already five to ten new anonymous contributors in (just go to the main page and click on 'Recent changes' = "Votükams nulik" and look at the various new IP addresses). I'm hoping there'll be more. Of course I cannot know for sure. Maybe these new contributors will disappear in a month. Maybe you're right and has no future. Plenty of people here seem to agree with you. Well, I can and do promise you, as I've already stated elsewhere on this page, that, regardless of the outcome here, if after some amount of time (say, two years; cf. what I say below) a reasonable community does not materialize in, I will myself ask for its closure again, or at least delete all the geographic stubs (and then probably quit). Every one of these stubs -- despite the amount of work and, yes, love it cost me to do them. (Everybody talks here as if it all had been very easy. Did you ever stop to consider how much work it cost me -- and all done in my free time?) So, would you consider this proposition enough? I don't want to delete stubs right away, because I'm hoping for more people to become interested and start participating. Up until recently, the 'Volapük community' was basically myself (and Manie, but he became more active in the Afrikaans wiktionary and sort of left me alone here); as I said on my talk page, that's not how I want it to be. I'm hoping you all will let me try to change this.
    - There hasn't been much spam yet, and curiously the vandalism I found looks like it's from people on this page (the style was reminiscent). In one case (Decius, vote #14 above), I was even able to trace it via his IP address to his account name in (he was really sloppy and didn't cover up at all). I wonder if there's some way I could report him. If vandalism increases beyond limits, I will of course have problems; but thus far it's not been more than one or two pages every two or three days. Only about twice as many as there was when I first came to
    - A small correction: it's Smeira (= Sérgio Meira, my true name actually), not Smiera. Smeira 04:33, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
    You asked: "Well, I would have loved to have patiently and slowly grown the community first.... How exactly is this achieved?" Well, the Esperanto Wikipedia grew slowly at first too, but worked hard to get past that inertia. How? 1.) We announce major milestones in Esperanto publications to try to bring awareness to the greater Esperanto community. I don't know if there's any Volapukaj news sites or webforums out there, but that's where it needs to go. 2.) We've set up a showcase for our best feature-quality and good articles, trumpeting it in the Esperanto news sites. We've set up votes to promote and demote to the featured articles page. 3.) We set up an "article of the week" program for people to vote on, so the front page changes every week. We made that achievement known in our press releases as well. 4.) We have a "Collaboration of the week which we try to take a stub article and grow it. And we advertised that as well. 5.) We worked on accessibility for the non-computer-literate community. We produced a "Wikipedia:Practical Handbook" which teaches users, in our own language, how to use Wikipedia. We make it inexpensively and sell it at Esperanto conventions, and it's already in it's second printing. 6.) Almost every week we translate the Translation of the Week article. We almost always create it early, so people can see that there's an "eo" article early in the list, and that link will get copied over into other wikis. Hopefully these suggestions will give you ideas of how to grow the Volapuka Vikipedio properly. My biggest suggestion is to make regular (even personal) achievements, and then trumpet them on your Volapuk news-sources. Advertise, advertise, advertise!..... Finally, please note that I/we certainly do not wish you or the Volapuka community any ill-will. I see a few other Esperantists voting here too. Thus my vote to preserve the VO:WP, despite me disagreeing with your tactics. (Although, I've been strangely targeted by a Volapukist vandal on my Esperanto talk page.) For the record, I don't really think you should close the Volapuka Wikipedia. I just want you to remove the robotically created articles, but not propose closure. I don't even want you to remove *all* of the robot-articles. I only want you to remove down to the number the community (maybe just you) can handle. For example, for a community of one or two Volapukists, you can probably handle effectively 1000 or so new articles at a time, inputing them by robot, and then polishing them to be proper articles, and removing the stuff that's a sub-stub quality. Then go on to the next 1000-article block. I'm sorry it's not working out for you, and if there's something that we (the Esperanto community) can do to help, please let me know. -- Yekrats 13:51, 12 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Your methods are all good, they were standard practice in other Wikipedias. Note, however, that they do not work unless there is a rather good audience and means of reaching this audience (publications, journals, websites etc. where to announce milestones). In the absence of such a (non-internet, non-wiki) community to be informed of the Wikipedia progress, or of means to reach it, these methods (featured articles, collaboration of the week, would simply reach no one and interest no one. This is not the case only for Volapük, but also for other small languages (say, Inupiaq, Hawai'ian...) and those with very few people with access to the Internet (SeSotho): what you suggest would probably not work for them, too. I did think along these lines in the beginning: I have sent messages to the only remaining Volapük journal, Vög Volapüka, and also to the Volapükagroup at Yahoo -- without stirring up any interest. I sent links to the Volapük 'featured articles', like e.g. vo:Arie de Jong or vo:Auguste Kerckhoffs; again no reaction. The problem, you see, is that, without a pre-existing largish group of interested Volapükists (such a group existed for Esperanto before the Vikipedio), there is no possible 'advertising' among Volapükists to interest them in the project. Unfortunatetly, most Volapükists tend not to like computers and the internet (let alone wikis)... I therefore had to come up with a new method to attract other, more computer-savy and internet-oriented people to contribute to the Vükiped.
    You mention advocating a reduction of the number of stubs to a 'manageable' level. Although I think that bots can raise the 'manageable' level quite a lot (I don't think bots or bot articles are necessarily a bad thing; but that's a different discussion; see below), I do tend to agree with you. But let's first see if my attempt can be successful in attracting more collaborators to the Vükiped. As I've already proposed elsewhere on this page, I'd wait a reasonable period (say, two years -- the time the German Wikipedia took to get from 0 to 100,000 articles). If the community of contributors to the Vükiped and the overall quality of the articles does not increase significantly -- if it all remains more or less as it is today -- then I will remove all the stubs (or even close the project: if nobody else ever becomes interested, I will eventually lose my own motivation). So: let's wait and see if my method attracts anyone interested in the next two years. If it doesn't, I'll undo everything. What do you think?
    Since you're offering help... your comments did give me an idea. Do you think I could publish or advertise, say, a "collaboration of the month" or a "featured article of the month" or "current milestones" of the Volapük Wikipedia... in Esperanto publications and news sites? Suppose I tried to get a column on Volapük (which I'd write in Esperanto, of course), in which I could discuss the evolution of the Vükiped and ask for help on collaborative projects. There's a little chance this might work. Esperantists, after all, are usually interested in other planned languages. In fact, all Volapükists I know either were or are Esperantists. Do you think this would be possible? If you think so, we can continue speaking about this on your talk page, or mine (since it's not relevant to the topic of this page). Smeira 04:24, 13 October 2007
  15. There is no point in comparing an artificial language with tens of speakers with a natural language with tens of thousands of Speakers like Cherokee. A single contributor also does not really need a Wikipedia, does he? I do think, there is much of advertisement motivating the, like mentioned by others before. --Schizoschaf 10:11, 9 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    How about Hawai'i, which has only hundreds? Or Old English, which has none? Who decides how many people are a 'good' community of speakers? >100? >1000? Shouldn't this be discussed before being applied to extant projects, as if it were self-evident? Who decides when there is 'no point' to a Wikipedia, and, most important, what are the criteria? Can I compare English, with 500,000,000+ speakers, to Cherokee, which has only about 20,000? Certainly the resulting Wikipedias will be very different, including also level of activity, right? Also, isn't the activity and user community the important factor? Are all the 300,000+ speakers of the en:Wayuu language important for wikipedia, given that not even one of them has tried to get a Wayuu wikipedia going? (Not that I fault them: they mostly have no internet access and probably don't even know about the possibility. If they knew they probably would.) Besides, since 'artificial' languages are always second languages anyway, the potential community is actually not so limited: anyone could learn them and use them. I certainly agree a single contributor doesn't make a wikipedia; that's why I try to get others interested. But people here tend to talk as if I didn't agree; as if the attempt to find others were in fact an attempt to keep others away; I am really baffled by that. And since we're talking number of contributors now, not number of speakers, why not have a look at all wikipedias without any activity and not a single active contributor? There's dozens of them. And the other ones with one or two active contributors? There's again a large number of them. Why single out Volapük? Smeira 17:02, 9 October 2007
    I'm not singling out volapük. Other wikipedias are not in question here. "There are other bad articles" ist not a valid point in deletion requests either. As for the advertising, you don't seem to deny that. You argue with the potential community and you want to gain that community using 'advertisement' e.g. via interwiki links. That somewhat reminds me of en:Wikipedia:No_original_research. --Schizoschaf 15:30, 9 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Good to know, you should mention the other ones as a block then. "There are other bad articles" is an argument when the point is that this is the only one that should be deleted, or even simply the first one (= i.e. it's the worst) -- implicitly made in the proposal, since other projects are apparently not "creating interwiki link problems" (no matter how many stubs they have). This shows there is something ambiguous, vague, or perhaps even wrong, with current criteria (if any there be). In other words: if this is general policy, it should be discussed and decided as such, not as if it was merely a problem with; it affects many other wp's as well. You call it "advertising"; I call it "trying to attract a community". I believe honest people can disagree here, but they should discuss their moral stances and arguments honestly and sincerely. As I said below, there are other things done on or by Wikipedias that one could see as "advertising", if one is so inclined: WikiReaders, WP CD-ROMs, even certain word choices ("the free Encyclopedia"). Attracting more and better contributors has been mentioned as an important item in the agenda of the Three-year plan here at meta. Besides, if it works, and a good community of users does develop: won't the whole question be then a little byzantine and unimportant? (If it doesn't work, I will, after some time -- say, two years -- submit another proposal for closing myself, or I'll delete all the stubs, as I've already promised elsewhere on this page.) Smeira 18:02, 9 October 2007.
  16. Support Wikimedia Foundation does not have enough money to support this language.--Certh 16:08, 14 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    What on Earth is the basis of this statement??! Do you have any idea what the cost of this wiki is? Personally, I suspect it's measured in cents per month, not dollars... --HappyDog 13:35, 15 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  17. Support - abuse of Wikimedia resources for hobby language. This is not useful to any human. Set up your own site for this sort of thing; it cheapens the name "Wikipedia". - David Gerard 21:14, 15 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Too few resources are used, so "abuse" is hardly the word. The whole of Wikipedia is "hobby" (= unpaid, done voluntarily, by non-experts = amateurs), so if your argument is based on this word, it doesn't really differentiate from any other ("quality" would be a better word to use here). The number of Volapük speakers is very low, but they are all human (no bug-eyed aliens); it would be better to try to think about a substantive issue instead (something like: how big should a community of speakers be for the name "Wikipedia" not to be "cheapened" by it? 100? 1000? 10000?... -- note in this respect that several Wikipedias would be comparable to Volapük: Hawai'i, Inupiaq...). Have a lot at The Real Problem below. A number of various issues that seem to be implicit in your formulation have also been discussed throughout this page; you should probably have a look. Smeira 14:24, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
  18. Support A project kept alive by means of fraud needs to be closed. Let's see what the very existence of such project does for the reputation of the Foundation. Suppose a new person navigates to the portal, and sees that Volapuk is more represented than Chinese. Ok, let's go see what we got there in Volapuk, and there is not much but useless BS put there by a dumb script to fake the numbers. Add to the picture other projects alike and there is no wonder that Wikipedia is getting so much bad rap and the educational institutions around the world go ahead with banning Wikipedia as a valid source for as much as middle school papers. Volapuk project driven by fraudulence synonimizes "wikipedia" with "cheating" and "wikipedian" with "crook." The tries to leverage the establishment to boost its relevance which has been a nil-nada for decades, but while doing so, it hurts the establishment, pulls it down with its dead weight, with the cheating way overdone. The latest language policy should be made retroactive and applied for other nonsensical projects like vo. The efforts to collect, preserve and pass the human knowledge along has to be concentrated in mainstream languages, languages that children learn in schools, otherwise the servers get clogged by confusion and the tarnished reputation of the Foundation turns the effort of navigating a browser to the Foundation's portal into exercise in futility. Yet another reason to go ahead with removing this nonsense from the Foundation's servers is setting up a precedent and sending a message to other frauds alike, show zero tolerance to fraud and nonsense. All kinds of master of the world wannabes fighting for a nonsensical cause with any means in a need of a good shrink should be running away from here instead of being attracted and tolerated. Elephas 16:35, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Hey, dude, misusing words will not get you much sympathy; this only shows that you don't like Volapük, but that's a no-brainer already...
    a. "Fraud" is a criminal offense with a definition that in no way satisfies. It is not lying, no promises are made anywhere that are not fulfilled, and there is no swindling involved. At most there is a tendency to interpret article count as reflecting quality -- a fallacy which has already been debunked time and again, but keeps managing to raise its ugly head afterwards all the same.
    b. does not hurt the WMF (I suppose that's what you mean by 'establishment') -- it uses too few resources for that. Not even all small-language wikis together could do that.
    c. The small, little-content Wikipedias are what makes "Wikipedia" be seen as "cheating" and "wikipedians" as "crooks"? You clearly have not been listening to current media; have a look at Critism of Wikipedia to understand the problem a bit better. As others will tell you, it's the English (or other big languages) Wikipedia that is criticized, and because of the wiki ´philosophy´ (cf. that Comedy Central comedian asking people to vandalize the English Wikipedia, or the comparison of the English Wikipedia to a bathroom because "it may look clean but you never know who was there before and what s/he did"), not because of small-language or small-content Wikipedias -- these play no role whatsoever in current criticism of Wikipedia in the media or in society in general.
    d. Do you seriously think that teachers were afraid that their students would try to look up articles in Võro, Cebuano or Guaraní and be appalled by the little content in these wikipedias -- content which they can't judge or even read? Do you, ahn, have any quotation -- from a newspaper, a magazine, even a chain letter? -- that supports this rather surprising claim? No? Only your admittedly vivid imagination? Tsk tsk tsk...
    e. Only languages that children learn in school? You mean highschool, the usual scholar system? Interesting, that should exclude Esperanto, most dialectal Wikipedias, the dead languages (Latin being perhaps the exception -- in case you accept optional-in-school languages) and a few languages that are not official in their countries. Don't you think you should suggest a general discussion on this topic first, Slonik? Without accepted policy -- even the new languages policy, whose incompatibility with Volapük is disputable -- all your angry tirades on languages boil down to a mere individual's opinion. You shouldn't behave as if you were the King of Meta...
    f. By slandering ('fraud'), using offensive language (flatulence, vomit, etc. in your other comments below, on this page -- not for the faint of heart) and using language offensively ('master of the world', 'nonsensical'), you've made yourself guilty of incivility. You're not saying anything that hasn't been said here before, and you're doing it in an unnecessarily angry way, which only puts your "argumentation" (? vociferous prejudice?) to shame. If you want to argue a point, you should try to get your facts right. If you don't, you should just cast your vote and go express your anger somewhere else, so that other people can discuss the issue in a civilized way. Otherwise, you end up looking like a pre-adolescent who wants to write graffitti and his name all over a famous monument, then go home and pretend nothing happened. I think even among those who support this proposal, most would wish you'd keep your bad language and graffittis in the bathroom, where they belong. You are shaming the supporters of this proposal by making it look like they approve disrespectful, no-discussion, oppressive language (and the corresponding worldview); and they don't deserve this. Please mend your ways. Smeira 02:14, 21 October 2007.
  19. Support Waste of resources on a robotic stub backup project in a language nobody really speaks. --Zinnmann 08:51, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  20. Support - Volapük is not a langage, it's a dead experiment. vo-WP is a waste of resources and will never be an encyclopedia. --FritzG 17:07, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It's a very small language, but it still exists; there are languages with even fewer speakers than Volapük. A waste of resources: how much are we talking about again? The evaluations I've heard put it on cents per month. Let the experiment run, set a date, and let´s see if it really never will be an encyclopedia. --Smeira 19:11, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If you all are complaining about those few cents per month, ask somebody if he is willing to give those few cents each month. Probably someone is. --OosWesThoesBes 11:04, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I would! What's the account number? --Smeira 11:12, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  21. strong Support - language with about 20 speakers (according to enwp) and 112.000 articles, completely (or at least nearly) created by Bots. Clearly waste of resources, source of embarressment to WMF (more articles than chinese and olny substubs) and some kind of "private joke" --Florian Adler 10:09, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    20 speakers + a history (cf. Latin), bot-stubs are not bad, used resources too few to call 'waste', no embarassment except among those who believe article ocunt means depth (and even depth isn't really a good parameter) --Smeira 10:56, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  22. Strong Support --Ecemaml 10:32, 24 October 2007 (UTC). There is no real community (not only in terms of native speakers but considering people interested in the language). As wikipedia is not a primary source or a way of propaganda, the wikipedias must not be used to promote an artificial language.Reply[reply]
    What are your statistics for people interested in the language? There are several new interested contributors; more may come. Since the proof of the pudding is in the eating, we should wait some time before concluding that there is no possibility of there ever being a community. When Wikipedia was first proposed, many people also thought it would never have a sufficient community. is not promoting Volapük (any more than "promotes" Bokmål over Nynorsk -- -- in the Norwegian-speaking world, simply by appearing among the 15 largest Wikipedias in article number): it is trying to exist and develop further. is a well-functioning Wikipedia in an artificial language (Esperanto), just like (Ido) and (Interlingua), and they're not "promoting" their respective languages either; there doesn't seem to be any problem problem with that. --Smeira 02:40, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  23. Cada vez más Support --Sanbec 10:49, 24 October 2007 (UTC) Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con el proponente, si hace falta lo repito: B"ecause of the low number of speakers of Volapük there is only one author contributing to Volapük Wikipedia. Therefor the wiki idea is clearly not working in vo.wp awnd there is no chance to change that in the near or not so near future. Furthermore the author is using Python programs to blow up the number of articles in "his" wikipedia with the intention to advertise his pet language z[2]. This results in a lot of interwiki links in other wikipedias which are useless to their readers".Reply[reply]
    Almost every Wikipedia above the 10 000 articles has used bot to create articles. --OosWesThoesBes 08:32, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Cada vez menos correcto. Unless you have a functioning crystal ball, I don't think you can know the future. "No chance to change?" ¡Puedes repetirlo cuántas veces quieras, no lo haces verdad, compañero! Have a look, for instance, at the new pages list, where you can see contributions by several new people -- apparently as a result of the "blowing up" that you despise. The wiki idea is a means, not an end. --Smeira 12:08, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  24. Support 90.000 articles created by SmeiraBot for a language spoken by ~30 people in the world. I can't understand the utility of this Wikipedia. Rastrojo 14:34, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There should be about 100 other Wikipedias with close to no activity; aren't they worse? As for utility: why have Wikipedias in Latin, Old English (dead languages), Nnapulitano, Zeeuws (dialects whose speakers also speak the standard languages Italian and Dutch), Irish, Dutch (all potential readers/contributors also bilingual in English)... The 90 000 articles do no harm and may attract more contributors -- that's already beginning; just have a look at the new pages on to see several new pages created by new contributors. More details elsewhere on this page. --Smeira 02:25, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  25. Support The real utility of this version is only to inflate the stats. Why a portuguese bot (see that the portuguese wiki too have many ministubs created by bots) inflate this wiki? I don't see any importance of these ministubs. Please, first, the quality; not the numer of articles.Taichi - (あ!) 20:17, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree - but quality needs contributors, and didn't have many till the number of articles started growing. The 'bot' is not Portuguese; I am actually Brazilian, and the idea comes from the English Wikipedia, where there are thousands of what you call 'ministubs' also created by bots. There are hundreds of thousands of such (bot- and human-created) stubs in all Wikipedias; if they were all deleted, I suspect the total number of articles would go down to 1/3 of its current level or less. Yes, please, let's stop paying attention to article number; but the answer is: change the stats, not close active wikis! --Smeira 02:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  26. Support closing. I especially dislike the faking of an interest in the vo:WP by robot created stubs, and I don't like that Smeira is still defending his acting as an honest way of promoting the WP. Otherwise I would be more tolerant.--Ziko-en 15:27, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If you want to read "interest" (or "quality") off article count, then this is just a en:Misuse of statistics; this parameter is simply not good for that purpose (things like traffic, how often pages are viewed, number of human edits etc. are much better). Yes, I still defend what I did, and I have raised some arguments in favor of that, which I mentioned in my response to your first comment and developed further elsewhere on this page (just look for 'advertising' or 'advert*' and check what I wrote). I hope you will not simply get angry, but actually react to them. I may be wrong; but I may also be right. Why not discuss? Smeira 21:45, 26 Oct 2007.
  27. Support. This is the first time ever I support something. This Wikipedia really is a joke. I find all Wikipedias who can't survive without bots should be closed. Volapük is just spoken by 20 people! It might be more active than the Limburgish Wikipedia, but that's because Limburgish is no language. Volapük has built up a reputation of bot articles, you can't ignore that. Many other Wikis using bots to create articles are not known because they know how to level the bot activity. Something Smeira doesn't know. I find more of these closures should come. JHaeneberghen 08:18, 27 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Note that this user is being accused of trolling, and that his/her proposal for closing the Limburgish Wiktionary has recently been dropped as an act of vandalism. Is s/he really a good judge of which projects are sufficiently good to be kept? If s/he wants to engage in serious arguing concerning bots, have a look at the arguments scattered over this page, or read their summary at our Association_Of_Those_Who_Think_Bot-Created_Stubs_Are_An_Acceptable_Way_To_Add_Information_To_A_Wikipedia -- then react to them. What each encyclopedia does or does not concerning bots is their own business, not anything to be imposed on other projects that have other opinions. --Smeira 05:18, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  28. Support. Mercedes (mensajes) 09:01, 27 October 2007 (UTC). 35 speakers of the language and only one contributing to it? It’s an abuse of Wikimedia resources, that they could be dedicated to other projects, like Wikipedias in minority but alive languages. As Ecemaml said, the wikipedias must not be used to promote an artificial language.
    Languages with few speakers also have a right to exist; there are also projects for Inupiaq, Hawaiian and others with a similar number of speakers (languages like SeSotho are also similar because, despite thousands of speakers, very few of them have any access to computers). Note that new contributors have been coming to (see e.g. the new pages list -- it is no longer correct to claim there is only one active contributor. Abuse of what resources? The only estimations thus far say about 40 cents a month. The resources for minority-language Wikipedia are being dedicated to them -- can you name even one case in which a language didn't get a project, or a project was closed, slowed down, or suffered anything at all, because of resources that were given to another project? This argument, which has already showed up several times, looks to me more like a kind of hidden prejudice ('there are better languages that that!') than really an economical argument. There is a difference between promoting an artificial language (which nobody is doing, not even the Esperanto Wikipedia) and trying to attract more and better contributors (which is being done in several ways, and is even part of the Three-year plan). If you're interested, you could look at what has been said concerning 'advertising' elsewhere on this page and then give your thoughts on the matter. --Smeira 05:30, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  29. Stronge Support. It's a bot-generated project. There is no human knownledge. No money of the foundation for this. Liesel 07:54, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There are arguments in favor of bot-stubs; check elsewhere on this page. There is human knowledge -- in fact, it's human history -- involved, as in all Auxlangs (cf. Esperanto); Volapük was the first and has the longest history of use. 40 cents per month? I'll pay! --Smeira 13:53, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There ist no human knowledge to make a bot, wo his make datasheets from templates in differents wikipedia projects. This had nothing to do with writing a encyclopaedia. Liesel 14:51, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There is, of course, knowledge necessary for making a bot, but this is not the point. The bots are for adding information that humans could also add but would probably with more mistakes (copying statistical data, etc.). Many useful things can be done for an encyclopedia in this way. What you probably mean is that human contribution is essential -- and we all agree with that. I am trying to get more human contributors to
    Natürlich ist Wissen auch notwendig um Bots zu machen, das ist aber nicht das Wissen, worum es hier geht. Bots sind gut, um Informationen hinzuzufügen, die Menschen auch hinzufügen könnten aber wahrscheinlich mit (mehreren) Fehlern. Viel Gutes kann auf diese Weise gemacht werden. Aber was du vermutlich meinst, ist, das Menschen unentbehrlich sind -- und wir stimmen alle zu. Ich versuche auch, mehr menschlichen Teilnehmer auf zu haben. --Smeira 16:37, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's the problem. It's a bad advertising for Volapük. It's make no fun to work in a project against a bot. Nobody can say how many articles are written from really people and how many are created from a bot. It's better to see, there isn't a article, as a stub. Every author is happy, when he can create a new article. Liesel 17:15, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree that people feel happy when they write articles, and well they should. But editing and improving an existing article is also good. And this can be done to bot-stubs and to human-made stubs too. Humans are essential for growing quality: nobody denies that. Trying to find more human collaborators is the basic reason for all the stubs at But humans and bots can work together. If a stub has correct and useful information, what difference does it make if the original author is a human or a bot? Do people avoid editing and improving bot-created articles? Judging by the US city articles in, this is not so. (If need be, perhaps bot-created articles and human-created articles could have identifying codes -- a suggestion already made elsewhere on this page.) --Smeira 00:17, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    On a different topic: could you please confirm your vote? The link to on your Meta userpage goes to a non-existing page, there must have been some mistake in the link. --Smeira 13:53, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The link goes to existing site. Is this the new way to manipulate voting. This is horrible. Liesel 14:51, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, the link was wrong (it went to en:Benutzer, not to de:Benutzer, which caused problems, because Benutzer is not a valid namespace in It is now right because I corrected it (you can see me on your history page). I just wanted to help you out.
    Nein, der Link war nicht gut (en:Benutzer statt de:Benutzer, was Probleme verursacht, da Benutzer kein Namenraum auf ist). Jetzt ist er wieder gut, weil ich ihn verbessert habe (du kannst mich auf deiner Versionenseite finden). Ich wollte dir nur mal aushelfen. --Smeira 16:34, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ok, the link was vandalized. Liesel 17:15, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Not by me, I just corrected the mistake. --Smeira 00:17, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  30. Stronge Support.--Tilla 10:38, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    OK; I hope you have reasons. Could you please confirm your vote? Your page at Meta doesn't exist yet, and there are no links to other Wikipedia projects where you are active. (Looking at the 'stronge', I suppose or --Smeira 13:53, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Hereby I confirm my vote. Yes, I am a user of the German Wikipedia and also admin there.--Tilla 02:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    OK. Thanks! --Smeira 16:58, 3 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  31. Stronge Support. --Btr 16:51, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    OK; I hope you have reasons. Could you please confirm your vote? Your page at Meta doesn't exist yet, and there are no links to other Wikipedia projects where you are active. (Looking at the 'stronge', I suppose or --Smeira 13:53, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  32. Support - Wikipedia is about an encyclopedia, not a database. Bot generated articles can never be something else then replications of databases. Shut down Volapük and ban bot-generated articles in each and any project. --h-stt !? 17:33, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If bot-created articles were the goal, I'd certainly agree; but they are rather a means to find more collaborators, and therefore to make the project more like the kind of encyclopedia we all like. To ban bot-generated articles? Regardless of whether or not they are true, or relevant, or interesting? Regardless of whether or not human contributors might expand them into better articles? Why not delete all human-created stubs (and therefore decrease the size of each and every wikipedia to about 20-50% of what it now is)? Life is not so simple... --Smeira 00:40, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Bot-generated-content has no place in a free encyclopedia because all a bot can do is replicating a database, that already exsists elsewhere. And using those bot-generated stuff as "seed" to attract human editors is a no brainer. For two reasons: Where do you expect those human editors to come from, if they have to be capable to express themself in Volapük? You probably know every one in the world, who speaks the language. And if you are still alone working on the Volapük-WP, it will stay that way. The second reason is even worse. No one will ever contribute to the Volapük-WP, because you spammed the project to a point, no one will ever be able to find any human written articles. Thus you killed the potential motivation. Even if there were someone out there, who could either write or read in the project, he (or she) won't even try after seeing maybe five or maybe ten of your bot-generated articles. The new comer won't expect anything useful after looking around for a moment. I repeat: shut down Volapük-WP and ban bot-generated content once and for all. --h-stt !? 16:10, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Infoboxes also do that: the information in the infoboxes of articles on e.g. German Gemeinde at is repeated at, at, at This is because of an obvious fact: Some relevant pieces of information are true and cannot be changed or rewritten differently without becoming wrong.. If the population of a certain village is 150, then this information will be repeated in every project that has an article about it, because it is relevant and there is no other way to say 150 except 150. I think you are confusing different things here. I also think using bot-generated stuff to attract people is a no-brainer (NB: in English, a no-brainer is something obvious, very easy to understand -- 2+2=4 is a no-brainer -- so here it is a good thing, i.e. everybody should agree with it, not a bad thing; you probably wanted to say "stupid"; and now I don't agree; look at what I wrote about bot stubs at the end of this page.) Where do contributors come from? From the world, of course, just like I did, Malafaya, HannesM, LadyInGrey, and other current editors of -- as you see, I am no longer alone (have a look at the list of new pages created the last few days at You have to learn Volapük, of course, but it's the same with Wikipedias in Latin or Esperanto -- you have to learn the language before you can contribute there. I didn't spam the project: you call it spam, because of your opinion about how content should look like (see again what I said about bot-stubs at the end of this page for some arguments), but nobody who is now working there calls them spam. They are stubs. And they are not killing the motivation of other people; on the contrary, if you go to my talk page you'll see I've received several messages congratulating me, and some of the new editors showed up exactly after the stubs appeared -- the opposite of what you said. Anyone who wants to consult an encyclopedia wants to find articles with correct information; do you think they really care if the article/stub was created by a human or by a bot, as long as the information is relevant, correct, and accurate? If someone looks at vo:Greenfield (Illinois) and at de:Greenfield (Illinois), where do you think they will find more information? Don't you think they would agree that this Volapük stub is better -- more infomrative -- than the German stub, even if it was created by a bot and the German one by a human? Having a human author doesn't mean de:Greenfield (Illinois) is a good stub. In fact, judging by the opinion you people seem to have, I don't know why you haven't deleted it yet. I repeat: stop the prejudice against good information just because it comes from bots -- don't shut anything that has good information, shut only projects that have no information or wrong inforation! Or also: good, correct, relevant information is never spam, no matter its source: only bad, incorrect, irrelevant information is! --Smeira 17:39, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In an environment ruled by sanity that would be a no-brainer: a language in which there are no scientific articles published, no official documents written, which is not taught to children in schools - such language can not possibly carry such a heavy burden as an encyclopedia. In fact, just to stay alive and well, a language has to be spoken as primary by at least a hundred thousand people daily communicating with each other, with schoolbooks, business contracts, political documents written in it (google it up anyone interested). In a sane environment this discussion would take one paragraph and five minutes after which bot runners would be banned and the bot project shut down and removed. But in an environment when sanity is not the part of design; an establishement which allowed creating encyclopedias (sic) in Vola-puke(!), Tokipona(!!) and such (sic), in which crooks caught red-handed still allowed to troll around messing a discussion with a non-stop non-sequitur, it's probably too much to expect sense. Elephas 19:58, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You seem to be prejudiced against smaller languages; besides, you tend to repeat the same thing ('bots are all wrong wrong wrong', and 'Vola-puke has an ugly name!'), and you never react to arguments -- I wonder why you accuse others of what you yourself do. On bots as being good for a wikipedia, cf. the answer to h-stt above (and others throughout this page). On small languages: to give you the benefice of the doubt, I will assume, despite your en:Al Capone-ian word use, that you object to encyclopedias in these languages simply because they have relatively few readers and potential contributors (not because they are spoken at all -- you certainly don't want Tokipona speakers to stop speaking it, do you?). Note that still there are Wikipedias -- and actually not bad ones -- in languages that do not satisfy your criteria: Esperanto, Latin, various Italian, German and Dutch dialects (even Estonian and Lithuanian dialects also have their own Wikipedias). Since these languages are nowhere official, they do not have schoolbooks, business contracts or political documents written in it (though translations can be found); some have no, or relatively few, native speakers, and certainly not hunderds of thousands of speakers daily communicating in it in all spheres of their daily lives. So all of them should be closed? Don't you think there are other ways in which these projects can be interesting? (see comments below). Note that an "encyclopedia" is not a single notion: the Britannica is one thing, the Encyclopedia of Human Sciences yet another, the Encyclopedia of the Bororo People yet another; but they are all encyclopedias.
  33. strong Support. looks like a sort of private --ulli purwin 18:26, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Considering that more collaborators keep coming, the "private" is quickly disappearing -- have a look at the growth in the number of contributors at the list of new pages. Are you sure you can really tell what it will be like in a year or two? It might surprise you. --Smeira 00:40, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    ... i followed your suggestion - this is what i found:
    94 edits from '15 tobul' to '2 novul' ( eq. 5.2 per day)
    Smeira: 47
    Chabi: 22
    Malafaya: 13
    LadyInGrey: 9
    Ooswesthoesbes: 1 / WiVo: 1 / IP-Transaction from Dictionary: 1
    what did you say about development? Volapük 'exists' since 128 years.
    almost at the same time the en:Iwrit('New Hebrew') was revitalized by en:Eliezer Ben Jehuda - spoken today by some 5 million people... --ulli purwin 13:51, 2 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  34. Support. I'm all in favor of Wikipedias in small natural languages, provided they are actually used as a medium of education somewhere in the world. But Volapük is an artificial language, it is not used as a medium of education AFAIK, and ultimately, you can't have a successful Wikipedia project without a community, and the Volapük Wikipedia has no community. Angr 06:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Which of the two things you mention here is more important to you: "naturalness", or the existence of a community? If "naturalness", then you're against the Esperanto Wikipedia, since Esperanto is also an artificial language? (I hope not; I certainly am not.) Note that lots of "natural" languages are also not used AFAIK as a medium of education nowadays (e.g. dead languages like Latin, dialectal languages like Zeeuws, Võro, Nnapulitano), and yet they have non-controversial Wikipedias. If the main thing is "community": there I agree that a Wikipedia needs a community. Look up the recent changes, new pages and new users pages at; don't you think the number of active contributors seems to be increasing, which might lead to the formation of the kind of community you and I want? Nothing is guaranteed, of course (which is why I've proposed several times already on this page that after some time -- say, two years -- I will myself submit another closure proposal, in case no community exists).
    Supporters of this proposal often show a Nostradamus-like unwillingness to admit their prophecies are simply possibilities. Maybe you're right in saying there'll be no community, and maybe you're wrong. Let's wait and see! --Smeira 08:29, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  35. Support. With only a possible 30 contributors, this project is (unfortunately) doomed to being a promotional device; in essence an entire Wikipedia of spam. Sorry, but close it down. Scoutersig 15:41, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Don't be sorry; use arguments instead. What are you calling "spam"? Information on place, population, surface, ethnic composition etc. of thousands of places in the world? The same information is in,, and it's not spam there. Please be clear on what you mean by "spam". Some people seem to believe that anything in big numbers or done automatically is spam; if so, then all Wikipedias are full of spam. Since that's not really true, you should probably take care with your definitions. 30 contributors is more than most Wikipedia projects have thus far; why do you consider this so small for Volapük? Besides, you're excluding new Volapükists. Note that only one of the new contributors at is one of these 30 people you mention; new Volapük-interested people keep showing up. Are you sure you know the numbers?... --Smeira 08:23, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  36. Support. From what I can understand there are no native speakers of Volapük. Therefore all readers (and potential editors) most likely already have access to Wikipedias in their native language. I don't think it is in the scope of Wikimedia Foundation to host an encyclopaedia project in an artificial language that can be used only by a few dozens - especially not when there already are other projects that would be more useful to them. The same does not hold for Esperanto or other large artificial languages (or large dead languages as Latin for that matter). NH 17:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Why exactly does it not hold for Esperanto or Latin? "Large"? Volapük, like any artificial language, is not limited to its current group of speakers. Note that Esperanto is always attracting new speakers, and that this is how its movement lives and grows; any artificial language is like that, and so is Volapük (look up the new users at Volapük Wikipedia: only one of them is also mentioned in the Volapük discussion group, or in the Volapük newsletter Vög Volapüka, or anywhere else...). "Other languages"? Then Latin and Esperanto are also candidates for deletion -- all their speakers have other native languages (even the few denaskuloj = people with Esperanto as a native language, are at least bilingual since childhood and have other native language(s)); so an encyclopedia in Latin or in Esperanto is, from this perspective, also useless (NOTE: this is not my opinion. I am merely pointing out that your argument does apply to Esperanto (, Interlingua, Interlingue...), Latin, Ancient Greek, Anglo Saxon (, Old Church Slavonic, Gothic,...). Furthermore, it also applies to dialectal Wikipedias: Nnapulitano (all contributors could use the Italian Wikipedia), Zeeuws (all contributors could use the Dutch Wikipedia),... Think also of people like the Irish, or the Dutch, and the Scandinavians: all, or nearly all, of them have good to excellent second-language knowledge of English, and could certainly use the English Wikipedia. (Someone somewhere has mentioned interest in the English Wikipedia as one of the reasons why the Danish Wikipedia is not growing so fast as it could.) Why Wikipedias in their languages then? Your argument -- usefulness -- is certainly one that needs to be considered; I think Wikipedia as a whole should discuss just what its goals are. Before this happens, though:
    a. Your argument does apply to Esperanto (etc.), Latin (etc.), Nnapulitano (etc.). How can you say it doesn't?
    b. The existence of these Wikipedias suggest that the production of "one" simple universal encyclopedia is not, or should not be, the sole aim of all Wikipedia projects. There are other worthy goals for e.g. small-language projects (see what I wrote below). --Smeira 08:16, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  37. Support This wikipedia does not make sense. The only goal seems to be promotion of Volapük. Per WP:POINT this cannot be the goal of Wikipedia. The project itself seems to be mainly a one-man pet project. The only thing that this wikipedia brings to the Wikimedia-community is tons of botcreated articles and milions of interwikilinks on other projects. This is not usefull usage of Wikipemedia sources. I am convinced that Smeira has good intentions but this simpy does not make sense. Tdevries 13:53, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    My hope is that it will stop being a one-man project -- and if you have a look at the lists of new pages, recent changes, and new users, you'll see that it seems to be growing into something better than that. Of course nobody knows what the future will be like; but I think there's some reason to wait and see. (As I keep saying, I will myself resubmit a closure proposal, or at least delete most articles, if after a certain period of time -- say 2 years -- there haven't been any significant improvements). Bot-created articles are not bad in themselves, as long as the information is accurate; and they seem to be the element that actually attracted some of the current contributors. Why are interwiki links a problem? Aside from some people from who felt that interwiki links should be treated like all other links or that only articles that "extended what was already on" could be linked to it, it seems to be more or less well understood that interwiki links simply want to record information on what exists in other Wikipedias, regardless of quality. Of course this could be discussed -- maybe they should have a different function -- but that's not the fault of There are millions of links to all wikipedias -- regardless of the quality of the articles being linked. --Smeira 21:34, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  38. It's an artificial language. Very few speakers, none native. It isn't educational like Latin. Hardly any contributors, and most articles are bot-made. en:User:Reywas92
    "Artificial" languages (the word is probably wrongly chosen, since all languages are human products and thus artificial; see the discussion at the end of this page) are OK too -- just ask anyone who speaks one of them (Esperanto, Interlingua, Glossa...). It is no demerit for a language to be a planned language. Very few speakers: like Latin. What is "educational" about the Latin Wikipedia that wouldn't be with all the other Latin sites on the Internet (see e.g. the Latinitas Viva website)? Why is an encyclopedia in Latin any more "educational" than in Volapük, Esperanto or Interlingua? There are now 4 active contributors, at least 10 anonymous ones -- have you checked? Bot-articles are not the devil's work -- see the seciton on bot articles below on this page. --Smeira 16:57, 3 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  39. Support because it is not an encyclopedia, just a bot-generated database. I might go for the alternative of keeping only non-bot generated content, be it 200 pages or 20 pages, in any case closing or not closing i think the interwiki links should be deactivated. Hijacking the statistics, even when done with a "good" intention a.k.a attracting users/speakers, is a wrong (to say the least) thing to do, it's bad thinking, exploitation of the Wikipedia idea and it's not fair to the countless hours users of the 100.000+ wikipedias have dedicated to take their projects there. Even if this vote doesn't pass, i think that if the volapuk users are really in good intention they should ask the removal of volapuk from the statistics table by themselves. What we do in wikipedia is collecting knowledge, not collecting audiences or propagating any other idea or ideal than the preservation and free distribution of knowledge - Badseed 04:31, 4 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There are three points here that need to be adequately addressed:
    a. I think you overlook the fact that article count is the real "wrong" thing here: thinking it measures the quality of a Wikipedia is simply a en:Misuse of statistics. Keeping article count as such an important criterion of quality is unfair to the countless hours users of the 100.000+ wikipedias have dedicated to their projects. The only good thing I can say in favor of it is exactly that it may attract contributors to -- and what a poor consolation that is, when you think of many people actually believing, say, that is actually better than just because it's way up the table! Consider this: why should someone who has worked hard on ten articles, perhaps significantly helping in improving them up to FA status, care so much about the number of articles in his Wikipedia -- when s/he knows 99% of them are worse than the FA articles s/he worked on, and about 50% are stubs (less than 2,000 characters of text)? (I'm currently working on an alternative measurement; I hope I'll be able to put a link to it here in the next few days. I'm sure everybody will be happy to see that is quite low in the list of wikipedias by this criterion.). To put it another way: I think it is only fair for you to ask for the removal of the Volapük stubs if you also ask for the removal of all similar stubs from -- which is where we got them from to start with. If stubs like vo:O'Fallon (Illinois) should go, then so should stubs like en:O'Fallon, Illinois, de:O'Fallon (Illinois)..., because, if one accepts your arguments, they are all unfair to the countless hours that contributors have put into their favorite articles -- they and similar stubs are, after all, a large group, perhaps even the majority.
    b. What Wikipedia does is disseminate free knowledge. And bot-created articles can help this goal. All the information in these stubs is relevant, accurate, and readable; they all therefore contribute to the goal of preserving and disseminating knowledge. Just as much as in any other Wikipedia: the same information is found in,,,, and there it is treated as an asset, not as a demerit. Any encyclopedia should aim at having this knowledge in it; and I can't see how else it would be presented other than in separate articles, as it is in all others.
    c. Attracting an audience: rather: attracting contributors. In my view, I am using a flawed measurement (and at the same time denouncing it as flawed and asking that it be improved) in order to attract people who may help in improving the quality of How is attracting contributors to a Wikipedia against the Wikipedia ideal? (Note it is mentioned in the Three-year plan.) What other idea am I propagating, except: "contribute to the Volapük Wikipedia?" You call it "highjacking statistics"; I call it "showing that article count is a flawed parameter". What you suggest -- delete the stubs from -- amounts to saying: "let's not drop the flawed parameter; no, let's keep it, but let's change the data so that the table 'looks right'". Is this really the lesson that we should learn from this situation? --Smeira 01:06, 5 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  40. Support. I think that all wikipedias should be closed if the language they're written is constructed and has number of speakers less than 100. However, there's another solution for - delete all bot-made articles. Abdullais4u 13:10, 6 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  41. Support. The wiki has only one contributor, and 90% of it seems to be machine translated crap with a lot of "flowers", as we say in Norway... Efloean 17:29, 7 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Consider the arguments against this being a bad thing scattered all over this page -- the section on 'The Real Problem' should give you some food for thought. Note, however, that this discussion is already closed, and the result was KEEP. --Smeira 13:53, 8 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  42. I support to Close it-- 18:16, 7 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    For your vote to count, you must identify yourself -- please open an account at Meta and provide a link to your most frequently used user account in your favorite Wikimedia project. (Note, however, that the discussion has already been closed; the result was KEEP.) --Smeira 13:53, 8 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. The project is existing for more than four years. It has 100.000+ articles and even when the mass is bot-generated there are many articles of good quality. The wiki idea may not work with one person, but wiki is only the instrument, not the goal. I personally do speak three languages well enough, to easily read longer texts, but there are 250+ Wikipedias. That does mean around 99 % of all interwiki links are useless for me. That can't be an argument for anything. --::Slomox:: >< 16:33, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It has 100,000+ articles that are mostly in English. What's the count of articles entirely in Volapuk? - David Gerard 21:14, 15 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Last time I counted, 99.4% of the articles were entirely in Volapük. The others simply need corrections. Where did you get your statistics? Did you try clicking on "random page" a few times to get a feel for the proportions? Smeira 14:29, 16 October 2007 (UTC).
    I clicked random article 15 times and all the articles were in Volapuk.--Oldak Quill 15:02, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. There is no compelling reason to close it. A wiki with one user doesn't mean that the wiki can't be expanded, by the way. Melsaran 16:52, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It does mean there is nobody to check for wrong information, mistakes, POV ... And of course there is nearly nobody to read it. Rosentod
    That's not a compelling reason to close it. The nature of a wiki is that anyone can edit, and that there is no guarantee as to the accuracy of the information. Melsaran 16:52, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The same can be said about most of the 'small' wikipedias, and nobody is proposing an en bloc closure of, say, the 50 smallest projects. -- 17:03, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The Wikipedia editing model --Rosentod
    Still: to be consistend, you should advocate the closure of, say, the 50 smallest projects. Why single out Volapük? --Smeira 19:05, 21 september 2007
    Because of the huge amount of bot generated articles and their interwiki links. --Rosentod
    This is not a problem with the Volapük wikipedia, but with the way interwiki links are handled. Why aren't they, e.g., handled by a central databse, instead of in this inefficient way that keeps needing interwiki-bots for updates? And, as the number of 'good' wikipedias grow, you'd keep having more and more interwiki links anyway. Vowiki is not adding any problem that doesn't already exist, and that should be addressed in some general way (e.g. by limiting the number of interwiki-links per page?) Smeira 19:28, 21 September 2007
  3. Many wiki's only have one editor. This is one of the largest Wikipedia's. I'm opposing closure. --Ooswesthoesbes 16:41, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Although this wiki is almost bot generated, and it has only one active editor, this is not a reason for closure. Volapuk is not a popular language, but it exists and has defined rules, so it may have a wiki. — Kalan ? 16:46, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Why oh why do we want to destroy someone's labour of love? If he can manage to build a nice place we should compliment him! There are wikipedia's around there in a far worse state! Waerth 16:51, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Why should the foundation pay for this "nice place"? Rosentod
    Why should it pay for the "nice place" for the 50 smallest projects? In fact, why even pay for any project other than the best one -- the English wikipedia? Any other is smaller, i.e. less complete, and resources could be better used by concentrating on the 'best' project. --Smeira 19:07, 21 september 2007.
    I really think that the Volapuk wikipedia doesn't break the bank, or contribute to a significant cost for the foundation. Not even the 200 smallest projects would make a dent in the foundation cost. So that argument doesn't fly. Being selective on interwiki links goes against the project spirit though a different approach might be needed in the future. I really do not see this obsession with forbidding Volapuk links. What is next forbidding links to some African languages because no-one in germany could be interested in it? Waerth 19:07, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Per Ooswesthoesbes, and I would like to add there were other editors who are now eventually inactive. We have no reason to assume neither that VOWP has no new editor anymore nor that former regulars won't come back. --Aphaia 16:55, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. This impressive work must stay! It is of no use to me, but that may never be an argument to close it down! Pdeege 17:05, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Start a bot and copy from other wikis. Impressive work, indeed. Rosentod
    If you're not impressed, it doesn't follow that others aren't, or that there are no reasons to be. It's just your opinion. Smeira 19:31, 21 September 2007
  8. Per Aphaia. Even though I really dislike artificial languages, there are speakers and many people can read it. --Thogo (talk) 17:14, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. This work must stay. Balko 17:50, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. The work should remain. Note that there is information in vowiki that is only found there, and in no other wikipedia. The articles on Volapük topics (see e.g. vo:Arie de Jong, vo:Auguste Kerckhoffs) are better and more informative than any of their translations. The vo:Category:Volapükans has a list of all Volapükists mentioned in the Volapük literature. New names are still being added (19-century Volapük literature isn't always easy to come by), but already now the list in this category is the most complete one available anywhere. The English wikipedia doesn't have such a list; the German wikipedia doesn't either, despite Volapük being a german invention. One of the aims of vowiki is precisely to record this information (cf. the effort made in the Esperanto wikipedia to add to each country article information on the local Esperanto movement -- information not found on country articles from other Wikipedias.) --Smeira 20:01, 21 September 2007.
  11. Existing language, so has the right to have a Wikipedia. Some day, other users may join inn. The thing doesn't even exist that long yet, but apparently, people nowadays don't have time to wait a few years before projects show a first result. Besides, the motivation above reads more like an expression of personal aversion, rather than a real motivation. --LimoWreck 18:41, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  12. Oppose. There are wikipedias with no active users at all (for example Turkmen one), with no articles added for months or years. If to delete such wikipedias we should start with them first, not with Volapюк.--Nxx 19:00, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  13. Oppose, I agree with LimoWreck - Kameraad Pjotr 19:45, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  14. Oppose - 21:21, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  15. Oppose, I agree with Slomox --Church of emacs 21:22, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  16. Oppose I have recently begun to learn that language. I slowly but surely will contribute in that Wikipedia. Furthermore I agree with Nxx. --HannesM 22:15, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
  17. Oppose, closing because of "Because of the low number of speakers of Volapük there is only one author contributing to Volapük Wikipedia." very funny, there is someone contributing, why closing then. Close the inactive ones, don't close the active. --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 22:18, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  18. Some users are annoyed because a bot is inserting lots and lots of interlanguage links. – That is not reason enough to close a Wikipedia. -- kh80 22:56, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  19. Oppose Only 25 or 30 speakers? Well, now there's minimum 27 or 32 interested people ( HannesM and I, and I think that many more).Loquetudigas--23:21, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
  20. Oppose You cannot destroy the work that is done during weeks and months even if this is done by one person. This language is still active, so has the right to have a wikipedia. Sonuwe 05:57, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  21. Oppose BoH 08:40, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  22. Oppose. There are a lot of Wikipedias with few active users, and there are some Wikipedias where bots are used to generate articles. So we should close all of them!? ОйЛ 11:21, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  23. Oppose This whole closing proposal is a farce. You are annoyed because of vo interwiki links? - bite a bot and call your shrink. And stop sticking your nose into other wikis' affairs. There isn't anything ill-faithed going on in Vükiped, so move on. If anything, the bot generated stubs have increased the profile of the language, so the wiki idea (anyone can edit) has worked beautifully to popularize the language. I wish that Wikimedia's resources could have been used so well for all the other languages (natural and artificial). Teak 14:14, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  24. Oppose I agree with Slomox. It must stay!!! Manie 14:23, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
  25. Oppose. Now I think we shouldn't close. But maybe filter our top wikis but some kind of depth? — VasilievV 2 15:29, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  26. Strong Oppose. Wiki-Project is 3 y.o., Volapuk was created more than 120 years ago. It's notable and non-political project unlike "Sibirskoy". --Pauk 04:28, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  27. Oppose closure, but add vo: to the Spam blacklist. -- Prince Kassad 05:11, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You mean the Spam blacklist of, right? (By the way, this wouldn't make it impossible for to have links leading to only interwiki links from de-wiki to vo-wiki would become impossible, right?) Smeira 07:40, 24 Sept 2007
    It's a dewiki only issue, so yes, the local spam blacklist would be the best location for this. And yes, only dewiki cannot link to vowiki, it'd be still possible the other way around. -- Prince Kassad 11:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    OK. No problem, I can live with that. Smeira 13:44, 24 September 2007
  28. Oppose small wikis are ok, even when they have over 100 000 articles. And interwiki links to them are also ok. We can not close down every wiki that generates interwiki links that isn't useful to most people. If the interwiki list gets hard to use because it is too long, it should be solved by making the users able to configure their own individual sorting of the list (combined with unified login). --Jorunn 08:29, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  29. Oppose Strongly: The entire New Testament in Volapük exists. If Esperanto deserves to exist, then so should Volapük. Also, as quoted by User:Drini on Xhosa Wikipedia, "Stubs are Good". --Jose77 08:54, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  30. Oppose - Information is good. Even information in unknown languages. Migdejong 09:55, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  31. Oppose Maksim 15:07, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  32. Oppose I tend to oppose the closure, even though I think Smiera's actions are terrible. I don't think closure is the answer. Despite this, I think the Volapukists really need to get their house in order. I have four big points that I'd like to make. 1. I think Smiera's bot-created articles lower the image of all Wikipedias, especially, the con-langs. The Esperanto community is trying hard to raise our image to work on quality over quantity, and I'm afraid that some of the slime hurled at Volapuk is likely to splash over on us. 2. I think that wikis should only add as many robot-generated stumps as the user base can support. As part of the Esperanto-Wikipedia, we have called a halt to such additions which we catch up with the fluff it generates. When the number of stumps far exceeds the user base's ability to tweak it, then you've gone too far. 3. What amazes me is you have over 100000 articles, but have nearly completely ignored all of the articles in List of articles every Wikipedia should have. It is a moving target, but if you want a list of stump articles to make, you probably should have started there! You guys haven't even bothered to translate that page. 4. The only blessing is, due to the well-deserved ridicule that the Volapuk wiki is getting, at the Esperanto community has pulled together to make quality a #1 issue, and the use of robots to create new articles is just about dead for now... which is something that I've wanted for some time now. -- Yekrats 18:19, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  33. Although I'm against the actions of the only author. --alexscho 14:00, 27 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    alexscho and Yekrats, thanks for your votes anyway. I think you the points you mention should be discussed in more general terms, involving all small wikipedias; see the discussion in the two final sections of this page (I think you'd be interested in the topic). Let me however address your points:
    1. Quality vs. quantity. I'm all for quality; I was just trying to get more people involved in the Volapük Wikipedia, so as to be able to improve quality. Nothing in what I did diminishes in any way the good work in the Esperanta Vikipedio (where I myself have contributed (anonymously), by the way), or in any other Wikipedia. Let us please make more people understand that article counts don't measure quality! Let us all try to find better measures of quality for Wikipedias, and even for single articles! (see also what I said on my talk page, and suggestions by other people -- one including the use of the list of articles every Wikipedia should have as part of a new measure of quality.) Note also (as argued in the discussion in the final sections of this page) that bot-created stubs are no better and no worse than human-created stubs; they're the same kind of animal, with the same kind of function/utility. The Esperanta Vikipedio has also a number of bot-created stubs; most Wikipedias do, including the English one.
    2. I'm not sure I'd agree with that. If bot-created stubs increase the information content of a Wikipedia (i.e. if they're accurate, readable, and relevant), then they're not a bad thing. Things like cities and towns are always relevant to Encyclopedias; even the German wikipedia says so. Why should human-created town stubs be acceptable (thousands of them in every major Wikipedia), but not bot-created ones? Maybe the Esperanta Vikipedio stopped doing that, but I don't think anybody wants to delete the old bot-created stubs; they're still there, aren't they? They still have a role, a place in the order of things, don't they?
    3. On this topic, have a look again at my talk page. The idea is that, if more contributors come to, this is exactly one of the first tasks for us to do. (Considering also my comments on the philosophy of small-community Wikipedias -- not to be a 'repository of all human knowledge' but to 'serve the specific needs of the small community' -- I think a first priority should be -- as several people, e.g. Arno Legrange on my talk page, have already suggested -- articles on Volapük topics, Volapük history, Volapük writers, and the language itself. Note that we are doing that: the articles on e.g. vo:Arie de Jong and vo:Auguste Kerckhoffs are better than any of its equivalents in any other Wikipedia. Of course, we need more contributors, hence the whole story.)
    4. Well, you call it ridicule, I prefer to think of it as a food for thought. I think I was actually the first to mention this consequence (on my talk page). I hope you're not being simply ironical, because it is true that, if people in the Esperanta Vikipedio and elsewhere have begun to think about what quality really is and how to improve it, then one of the good consequences I imagined when I started doing it has already happened. I note, en passant, that the Esperanta Vikipedio is also a Wikipedia with a somewhat unusual situation: more than 95% of the contributors are second-language speakers, and 100% are bilingual, so they all could use/contribute to other Wikipedias instead -- some people might argue that this alone is enough to make the Esperanta Vikipedio 'superfluous' or 'unnecessary'. (Disclaimer: this is most emphatically not my opinion: I am also an Esperanto speaker and I am very happy to see the Vikipedio grow. But the argument can certainly be, and has already been, made.) Smeira 13:00, 28 September 2007
  34. Oppose, --LadyInGrey 20:59, 28 September 2007 (UTC) No estoy de acuerdo con cerrarla, tener esbozos o pocos colaboradores no es una razón válida.Reply[reply]
  35. Oppose - It doesn't matter what happent in de past, it has happent. We now have a Wikipedia with a active contributor. That's what is important. Keep? Ποηραβασ 12:29, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  36. Oppose per Slomox. Don't close. AnonymousDissident 18:05, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  37. Oppose What a perfect example of "a nail that sticks up getting hammered down". Better being bot-active than being dead and silent, no? If not, why do we have so many small WPs in the first place? And if the supporters of closing are bothered with article counts, run a similar bot on your wiki! Why destroy when we're all here to create? --朝彦 (Asahiko) 12:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    #Oppose Still active / Σςιλλ αζςιωε. Ποηραβασ 13:49, 30 September 2007 (UTC) Duplicated vote removed. --Aphaia 08:27, 1 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  38. Oppose Closing just because of links? Total nonsense. SF-Language 14:56, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  39. Oppose I see no reason to close this wiki. There are no objections that have been raised that apply solely to vo. If the objections are genuine they should be raised at a foundation level and discussed in the context of the whole WP community. If, as a result, there is a new WMF policy (e.g. 'must have >100 speakers' or 'no constructed languages') that closes vo (and other affected WPs) then that is a separate matter, but without a concrete policy closing vo would be equivalent to mob rule. --HappyDog 13:55, 8 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  40. Oppose. Big number of stubs is not a reason to close. However, I suggest Smeira to stop using bot-created articles. You already attracted attention, now we should see the results. You should not aim to have in volapuk Wikipedia more articles than in English Wikipedia.--MariusM 19:41, 8 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I totally agree. The discussion on this page is not the kind of attention I wanted to attract,though -- but I must say I thought this might happen when I started. I hope I'll more of the right kind: interested contributors. No, I'm certainly not planning any substantial robot-propelled increases in -- all my bot is doing now is adding redirects, fixing spelling mistakes, adding extra information like links, categories, etc. Smeira 10:00, 9 October 2007.
  41. Oppose. IMHO it doesn't matter how much articles does it have. Smeira just want people to remember this good IL project and the whole idea of International Language. I think, that this pupose is much more important for all of us than the number of stubs. Dont want it, dont read it. -- Dr.Fatman from Russian WP
  42. Strongly oppose : yes there are a lot (!) of stubs in wp-VO, but nothing allows to say that 1°) the wiki idea is not working on wp-VO, 2°) there is no chance to change that in the near or not so near future, 3°) the interwikis are useless for their readers (how could we know if one or more reader(s) should decide to learn this old artificial language and then should decide to contribute in wp-VO ?). And also: wp-VO doesn't seem, as others wikis in the Wikimedia galaxy, to be a good place for spambots smiley. Hégésippe | ±Θ± 19:13, 9 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  43. Oppose: Advertise the existance of this wiki in Volapük community seem a really better idea that close it! Aoineko 06:19, 10 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  44. Oppose. I don’t find a good idea to dramatically increase articles number through a bot (and maybe there should be some limitations to it) but that doesn’t mean we need to get rid of the Volapük encyclopedy. Volapük is part of the universal knowledge and a human attempt to unite people. Yes, this constructed language can be seen as a dead language in comparison to Esperanto, but in the same extent as Latin to French for natural languages (and still we don’t erase Latin wiki resources). I find interesting to see real articles written in this language. Volapük binos gudik^^ Red*star
  45. Oppose. Although it's a conlang with almost no native speakers, various information from articles could be useful even for another languages, may be in the future. Volapük language is well defined (unlike ill-fated ru-sib) and can describe many things of human culture (unlike Klingon). Incnis Mrsi 22:53, 16 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  46. Oppose until a more general Wikimedia policy is worked out on 1) how to deal with Wikipedias for ultra-tiny language communities and 2) how to deal with creation of multi-thousand stubby articles by bots on any Wikipedia. Until those system-wide policies are worked out, closing this Wikipedia or removing its bot-created articles would be arbitrary. --Jmb 14:53, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  47. Oppose --Chabi 14:51, 22 October 2007 (UTC) It's a language so it's a culture. If some people don't want to see this it's simple, don't search here. --Chabi 14:51, 22 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    this user has no other contributions except this one here -- is it right time to establish sockpuppetry control here like on the ru-sib vote? There are obviously shameless crooks who run this petty scam on the vo project, already caught red-handled, they sure can cheat again. "Fool me once - shame on you, fool me twice - shame on who??" Elephas
    I agree, please check for sock-puppetry. Don't forget checking those who support the proposal; after all, there are vandals (Decius) and angry Mafia bosses (Elephas) there. One never knows what such people could do next -- better catch them "red-handled" (sic) if we can. I should have myself requested that sooner. (By the way, here are this user's contributions at the Aragonese Wikipedia). --Smeira 21:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, just check his userpage here, he links to es.wikipedia (and others!) [3], please don't be so voreilig. --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 08:56, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  48. Oppose Malafaya 11:14, 24 October 2007 (UTC). I am myself a contributor to vowiki, although not a very active one (I know a few things in Volapük). Lately I have been busy in other projects which doesn't mean I don't contribute to or support the existence of the vowiki. My humble opinion is that this is no Wikipedia race to see who gets more articles. If Volapük wiki has 100,000 articles, so be it. Does it get annoying just because it got this far and doesn't have just a full hundred of articles? Some years ago, I "started" the Georgian wiki. When I found it, it was dead: it had been started by some other person but who didn't have enough technical knowledge to start it from scratch. So I gave it a go along with another user. Truth is, if Georgian wiki had a Closure Proposal like this, it would have never reached the nice sum of over 17,000 articles and a good and coherent community (which took some time to form, obviously). I therefore oppose to the closure of this project. I still intend to contribute to it just like many people who have some knowledge of Volapük and are not taken into account in those 35 Volapük speakers referred above just because they don't speak it fluently. Malafaya 11:14, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  49. Oppose I really don't understand the problem about the iw. When you read an article, you don't care about them. When you edit an article, they are a ressource where you can find illustrations or informations that were missing on your local page. It is also a mark telling you how popular a subject is. When you click on an iw, you can find pages that are much worse than the ones in volapük. I guess every subject already treated in the de:wp should be forbidden to the other wp to avoid putting new iw on their pages... :-) Nobody is forced to contribute to the vo:wp. If you're not interested in this wp, just leave it in peace and don't bother the people that are working on it. Birdie 12:19, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  50. Oppose ka:User:Sopho 17:35, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  51. OpposeSlade 16:31, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  52. I'm perfectly comfortable with bots seeding Wikipedias in their native language; editing a stub is less daunting than writing a new article, so we're more likely to garner additional editors that way. EVula // talk // // 18:40, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In this case, let's seed every project with every entity known to men in every shade of blue (and green and red). Since with this approach, the article count lose any sense whatsoever, we'd have to change the metrics on the portal to real aricles count. A label would say, "This wiki has 10,000,000 articles like any other one, out of which 3 are somewhat real and the rest are bullsh... and/or stubs". Yeah, let's do just that, that would sink all BS projects like vo to where they belong while real wikis will stay where they belong, i.e. up. Best solution to the problem so far? Elephas 18:56, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You're reading more into my statement than I intended. I'm not saying we should punch up small wikis with bot-created articles. The crux of the argument for this wiki, as I understand it, is that the articles were seeded by bots. While I'd rather not see such actions become the standard way of creating wikis, I don't see it as such an outrageous sin as to necessitate the wiki's closure. EVula // talk // // 19:05, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Nobody is proposing the closure of the vo project on the sole ground of bot infestation; the arguments for the closure are severe bot infestation that ended up in lowering the density of the useful content down to mere nada; that aggravated by the fact that the language does not qualify by the latest of the new language policies anyway. I used a hyperbole to illustrate the extent of the fallacy of your logic: it's ok to seed projects with vacuum, because creating a new article is so, so, so hard! It's ok to inflate the numbers to fool the people that the project is much more popular than it appears... Elephas 19:24, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I look forward to the time when you can engage in this conversation without your current counter-productive attitude. Until then, I'm finished with this thread. EVula // talk // // 19:30, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Hey Slonik, you're doing a disservice to your own cause by your kill-the-heathen attitude. You contradict yourself by saying bot "infection" is not the cause and then saying "severe bot infection" is... You can't attract flies with vinegar, much less with illogical tirades. If you can't be more mature, you're not going to look like the good guy here. Hyperbole? That's a euphemism. If you talk like en:Al Capone, what do you think sensible people will think about your viewpoint? --Smeira 20:56, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    As for seeding to astronomic proportions: if this would finally make people realize what a bad idea it is to give any importance to article count, your suggestion would make surprisingly much sense. Please take it to the appropriate committees at the WMF. --Smeira 21:00, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  53. Oppose:First of all, the wikipedia already has a single and very active user who can handle vandalism and other things of that sort. Also, judging the quality of wikipedia by number of articles, depth etc is like measuring the salt concentration of an ocean by its area or depth. A person may edit a zillion times without adding anything significant to end user (and changing these parameters heavily). At most, the number of articles and depth denotes the activity rather than quality. For quality, I think that wikipedia community of all languages should form a consensus on List of articles by voting the articles which every language should contain. Judging by the number of featured, good, and long articles from within these articles, wikipedia can be ranked. I totally support creating bot generated short stubs as long as they are meaningful. Many a times, we can get random editors who get hooked onto wikipedia (including me) after searching for particular word and finding a stub about it in wikipedia. So, having large number of stubs means not just providing large number of short informations but also finding volunteers. I think that as long as I am not obssessed with that list of wikipedia arranged by number of articles, volapuk is doing fine. So, it should not be closed. Thanks. --Eukesh 20:14, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  54. Oppose More and more people are interested and editing. I think bot activity is better than no activity, isn't it? -Markvondeegel 15:54, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Very true. Indeed, since this proposal started, the number of human contributions to Volapük Wikipedia skyrocketed. Malafaya 16:26, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  55. Oppose Considering the present state of this Wikipedia, this proposal is worse-than-ridiculous. While the abundance of botted articles is indeed a major shortcoming of the project which makes it look much more impressive than it really is, the matter is that there are enough contributors and enough content to consider this Wikipedia a valid part of the cluster of Wikimedia projects. Closure would be a major loss, and essentially unnecessary: it is not a spam haven, it lives and it has a community. Okay, Volapük is a language with only historical importance in the realm of conlangs. Had this proposal been done two years ago, I would have approved it, for the wiki was pretty dead then. But as we have noticed, it miraculously came to life, and why should we deliberately cull it now? Steinbach (formerly Caesarion) 16:30, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  56. Oppose They not bothering anyone, except people that consider article count as important. Osias 12:33, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  57. Oppose. Does the language exist? Check. Are there people interested in it? Check. Does this fall under the definition of the "repository of all human knowledge"? Check. With that in mind, I see no compelling reason for closing this particular edition of Wikipedia.Ezhiki 13:54, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  58. Oppose Davin 14:45, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
  59. The existence of Wikipedia language projects shouldn't be decided based on speaker numbers or whether it is a natural or artificial language. It should be based on the ability of the community to sustain the project. --Oldak Quill 00:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  60. Oppose - editions of Wikipedia can be of interest to learners as well as fluent speakers of a language. Bot-created articles benefit Wikipedia, provided the bot is accurate, as the bot-created articles on settlements in the U.S. in the English edition has shown. The Volapuk edition is fortunate in having one very dedicated user; it should not be penalised for this. Should any other languages spoken only by small numbers of people reach 100,000 articles, this should be a cause for celebration, not proposals for closure. Warofdreams 02:04, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  61. Oppose This is a language with a considerable history of usage (see the wp article); it is not just a fan language. There is real content being developed here and there is not a vandalism problem. Thus, there is reason to keep the project and none to close it. Dovi 04:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  62. Oppose - Notable language. "Delete" votes present no compelling arguments for deletion of this project, but present a strong argument for expanding and improving it. Many American Indian languages have fewer than 100 (some fewer than 10) fluent speakers but we do not simply vote en masse to delete all articles in a language we believe is not spoken by enough people. Please work to improve, not deplete our knowledge base, thank you. Badagnani 04:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  63. Oppose - I agree with LimoWreck and Smeira. Ninane 09:01, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  64. oppose - I understand that the wiki model must go togather with a community, but since this has 100,000 articles without a real community, it stands as an encouregment to push those languages with a sleeping community who have zero contribiutions not to give up and not to close it. let the promise be fulfilled will leave no language behind!--יודל 13:07, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  65. Oppose - This wikipedia has over 100,000 articles and as pointed above be Smeira, over 99% in Volapük and also there isn't any valid reason to close this.--Cometstyles 18:00, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  66. Oppose. See no reason to close. --Fang Aili 20:53, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  67. Oppose. 25,000-30,000 people who may use it should not be denied the resource.--Piotrus 12:35, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I thank you for your vote, Piotrus, but I must correct your numbers: the current Volapük speakers are about 25-35, not 25,000-30,000. Yes, we're a small community -- but that's not the end of the world... There are other people interested in the language, as you can see by going to w:vo and looking at the recent changes and new users pages: new Volapük-friends, not part of this small group of 25-35. --Smeira 22:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  68. Oppose. Give it a chance. If there is more than one speaker and a significant number of articles, there is no reason to delete it. -- AlimanRuna 13:22, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  69. Oppose per above, Keep Keep this wikipedia. Multichill 17:39, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  70. Oppose per above, insufficient reason given to delete. - Alsandro 19:41, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  71. Oppose we have the future in our hands, and I think that if this language disappear, it will exist information of this language. --> ca:Usuari:KRLS and --Carles 21:04, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  72. Strong oppose To produce an encyclopedia worthy of the name in a language with so few speakers, automation is essential . Automatic maintenance will actually be easier due to the low number of editors (pages that have only ever been edited by a bot will not be a nightmare to bot-maintain, unlike those with a mixture of human and bot edits). The Volapuk written corpus is extensive and venerable. This wiki is probably by some margin its greatest encyclopedia. Automated content lacks creativity but it is factual, informative (albeit repetitive), written in Volapuk (the few exceptions are equivalent to the foreign language postings that appear on other projects) and in many instances significantly better than human-generated stubs at projects they are interwiki'd to. The unique slant that gives this project value to the Wikipedian community is its aggregation of information on Volapukists, Volapuk history, and Volapuk literature, and in that regard it may become an unrivalled albeit esoteric resource. But it's also valid for it to serve as the most comprehensive Volapuk-language encyclopedia (which naturally requires substantial automation). A genuinely valid reason for deletion of this project would be that it was disregarding the duty to produce a general purpose encyclopedia and focussing on Volapuk "hobbyism" instead! I appreciate that the "density" of creatively-written content is uniquely low, but what really matters to an encyclopedia is whether you can look up information and find an informative, accurate article. Low "density" of content is a weird metric to criticize something with; I can't imagine any end user trying to find a specific piece of information by repeatedly pressing the "random page" button!TheGrappler 03:04, 4 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  73. Oppose per above, insufficient reason given to delete. Keep it. -Aleator (talk) 13:57, 4 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  74. Oppose 14:13, 22 November 2007 (UTC) To close would disgrace the whole Wikipedia community on the basis of prejudice and biased intolerance considering the arguments presented.Reply[reply]
  75. Oppose because wikipedia is a multilingual project ("natural" or "artificial"). The quality of the project deppends on their users and has to be improve, not to delete. Sorry for my English--Guillem d'Occam (Digues, t'escolto) 22:23, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
  76. opposevolapuko estas mia historio, mia parto de mia vivo, mi ne permesas ke senkulturaj homoj mortigos ghin en nomo de kio? che de neekzistado de Volapuko? Volapuko estas en la sango de chiuj homoj kaj en chiu bona vortaro nacilingva trovighas informo pri ghi.

mariorix (mario righi) Lumbard 9a 12 200781.208.74.182 15:18, 9 December 2007 (UTC)mReply[reply]

  1. Oppose The arguments to close are not compelling. The fact that a wiki can be written by bots just illustrates how practical such an artificial language can be. I presume this means translating articles from other wikipedias, and as long as the original articles are well-written, I see no reason why the translations could not be of high quality, too. On one point I agree, though with those on top: On the main page of Wikipedia the different editions are listed by the number of pages, with the implicit idea that the most important editions should be found easily by their numerous users. Volapük occupies a valuable spot here and this is the real cost, not the bandwidth. 23:45, 3 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Template:Oppodr No reason for doing this. Piercetp 18:19, 4 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Oppose The closure is against Wikipedia's policies & language freedom!--Mahmudmasri 18:50, 1 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Comment CommentI've just looked to the recent changes and there are several IP's active on this wiki. --Ooswesthoesbes 16:45, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, it is easy to add a coat of arms to a village stub linked from even if you cannot understand the language. But who works on the text? Btw. diskussion pages are mostly (nearly always?) in other languages. Rosentod
    The discussion pages on the nahuatl and gothic wikipedia too. --Ooswesthoesbes 16:56, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Exactly. You'll find the same thing happening in all wikipedias, even the great ones: not every contributor is even a good speaker of the language in question, and s/he may often just do stuff like adding a picture. Smeira 19:15, 21 september 2007.
  • Comment Comment I have to give some additional background information on where this request most probably originates. I run an omnipresent interwikibot nl:User:SieBot, that stumbled upon thousands of bot generated stub articles on nation's municipalities. I got a request from some users of the German language Wikipedia if I could suppress adding the interwiki links to that particular Wikipedia. In my opinion it does not make sense to not add interwiki links everywhere, because if SieBot does not do it now, another bot will do it later. I made a few suggestions on how we could resolve the issue for them in some way, but a most definitive conclusion would come from either a failed or a succeeded proposol for closing the wiki: in the former case the interwiki links should be seen as valuable and valid, and in the latter case the interwiki links to the complete wiki would be deleted. For your convenience I have added the discussion below. I currently have no opinion on keep/close, although having a Wikipedia with 100.000+ articles for a language that, according to the English language Wikipedia, is only spoken by 30 or so living beings, does not appear that great of a case to me. Siebrand 17:00, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, your bot is spamming with interwikis to bot-generated stubs on Could you please stop that and remove the interwikis? Greetings, Rosentod21 sep 2007 14:04 (CEST)
Hi Rosentod. Interwiki bots just do their work. Stubs are also articles and that is why the interwiki links are being generated. If you feel that the interwiki bot framework functionality should be changed, please request that as a feature. You could for example try to reach consensus on de.wp that no interwiki links to articles containing fewer than x words or no interwiki links to articles containing less than x characters can be added. The current additions are correct. The stub is not relevant in the interwiki concept and the additions are most definately not spam. Cheers! Siebrand 21 sep 2007 14:08 (CEST)
I think, that vo-interwikis are really spam. Who needs the Volapük-versions? The five speakers worldwide? Regards Rauenstein 21 sep 2007 14:22 (CEST)
That's what I'm talking about. I wouldn't complain about interwikis to stubs on (or But come on. Volapük? Those are more like advertisement for Rosentod
OK. That is a completely different issue. I read you are arguing that vo.wp should not exists. Please request the closing of the project at meta. Once it is closed, the problem will go away (as for example the ru-sib project has recently). Until then, that wiki has as many right to all services as any other... I am not going into the politics of the issue here, as you may understand... I am willing to get involved in a discussing on meta. Cheers! Siebrand 21 sep 2007 14:46 (CEST)
I personally don't care if exists or not. I do care, that they blow up their article number with bots thus wasting resources. And I most certainly care that we get so many interwiki links that nobody needs. If they wrote good articles even that wouldn't be much of a problem. And it's annoying that there is just annother bot setting interwiki links to those articles that probably nobody would ever want to read. But I understand what you are saying about politics. Thanks for your time. Rosentod
You may have seen this discussion before, but maybe it is time to have it again, although I guess the developers will not give priority to it: interwiki links should not be kept on each page, but in a shared database. Keeping track of interwiki links would be much, much easier and it would take a lot less resources to keep them up to date. Until then, we are stuck with the flawed system, I think... Thank you for understanding... Cheers! Siebrand 21 sep 2007 15:28 (CEST)
In case you would like to give some input: Proposal for closing Rosentod

  • Comment Comment If this diskussion comes to the conclusion that the status quo is okay, you can probably expect many new interwiki links from other small wikis. Rosentod
Right on -- the real problem is interwiki links, not the Vo-wiki. Wikipedia organizers and developers should really think about a better, more centralized way of handling them -- by e.g. allowing people to chose which languages get to have interwiki links on a given page? (I'd advocate central handling; as the smaller wikis grow -- and yes, you're right, they probably will... -- this problem will have to be faced. Smeira 19:40, 21 September 2007
Interwiki links are one problem. Your wp is or better suffers from several others. The first was created by you (most articles not created by humans), the second is not enough potential authors and readers. --Rosentod
Again I say, this is not a problem of this wp only; there are dozens of other wikis who suffer from not enough pontential authors and readers. Why are you singling out Volapük? As for most articles not being by humans, are you saying the articles are bad, wrong, etc. just because of that? All major wikipedias have lots of robot-created stubs. In fact, they have even more short stubs created by people -- what's the big difference between a two-sentence stub created by a bot and one created by a human? In what way is a human-made two-sentence stub any better? Besides, if this is a problem for the Volapük wikipedia, shouldn't it be resolved by Volapük contributors? In what way (except for the interwiki links) is this a problem for non-Volapük wikipedias? (Just like the stubs in the German wikipedia are a problem for those who work on the German wikipedia, not for those who work on the others.) --Smeira 22:57, 21 September 2007


This word is really overused. This is an example of a real botcreated article. :) --Ooswesthoesbes 17:29, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Besides, here's a question: other than in quantity, how are bot-created stubs different from human-created stubs? There are also hundreds of thousands of them. It's a bit slower, but I don't see any difference between a bot creating city stubs, and a person doing the same, e.g. from a list of cities for a certain area: s/he could create, say, 100 per day, while the bot would create 1000, but is there a real difference here? As for automatic translations: which (major) Wikipedia doesn't have thousands of translated (small) articles -- especially on stuff like cities from countries far away from the area where the language of the wikipedia in question is spoken? Smeira 19:53, 21 September 2007.

Human created stubs are checked while creation. It is unlikely that there is the same mistake in more than 10.000 articles (f.e. wrong population for 2001).
Well, bots can also easily correct this mistake after it is found: this has already been done (go have a look; you'll now see "2006 dekul 31id" instead of "2001", in agreement with the corresponding infoboxes). Isn't this after all part of how Wikipedias work? Someone finds a mistake, and someone else corrects them. Human-created stubs, like everything created by people, can contain mistakes and redundancies (human errors). That's why there are fact-checking people in Wikipedias: human-created stubs, and even articles, don't always get it right, or avoid repetitions. In e.g. de:Granite City (Illinois), the population is redundantly mentioned in the text and in the infobox. By browsing through a few articles in topics I know very well (indigenous languages of South America), I quickly found a factual error and a misleading statement:
  • de:Cinta Larga claims that the Cinta Larga people speak a dialect of Tupi called "Tupí Mondé"; in fact, the Cinta Larga speak a dialect of the Gavião (Digüt or Paiter) language, which belongs to the Mondé family (the Mondé language, also a member of the Mondé family, is reportedly extinct). Note that "Tupi" is not a language, but a rather big language stock (family of families, like Indo-European), with about 40-60 languages in it.
  • de:Jaboti claims that the Jaboti language is spoken by the Arikapu people. True, but misleading: the few remaining Arikapu (2 or 3 families) all speak Jaboti because this is the language of the Jaboti (Djeoromitxi) people, among whom they live. So Jaboti is the language of the Djeoromitxi people, not (originally) of the Arikapu, who have mostly lost their original language (two Arikapus reportedly still speak it) and speak Jaboti because of contact with the Djeoromitxi. (I can give references to published works that support these corrections if anybody in is interested.)
You may of course say that my bot generated many more errors than just these two. But note that these "bot errors" were just as easy to correct, as correcting the above errors should be for, given the appropriate sources (I note again both stubs failed to mention their sources; these should certainly be added.). So, if errors in bot stubs and human stubs are equally easy to correct after being found, where's the big difference? Where's the big problem? Smeira 02:53, 01 October 2007.
As for automatic translations: the German Wikipedia doesn't have thousands of translated (small) articles -- especially on stuff like cities from countries far away from the area where German is spoken. --32X 18:11, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it does -- just check the categories on US, Australian and New Zealand towns. Just the de:Kategorie:Ort in Illinois has about 50 of them. There's information on each stub, but by the stringent definitions of, most of them are stubs. Should I do a more comprehensive count for you? Smeira.
For example, Polish and Swedish Wikipedias have thousands mini-article which have worse quality than bot-created articles. --Pauk 04:37, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bot created article about Norwegian community Nesset in Polish Wikipedia: pl:Nesset
Article about the same community in Swedish Wikipedia, not created by a bot: sv:Nesset kommun. --Jorunn 21:48, 11 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apart from spam etc, I have never come across bot-created articles on svwiki or enwiki ... ? /NH 14:17, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For, I can't tell you; but if you look at the example given above -- sv:Nesset kommun, created by a person, with pl:Nesset, created by a bot (look up its origin at the bottom of the history page): isn't the bot article better? As for, there are literally thousands of such articles. Here are a few examples: en:Albin, Wyoming, en:Glenrock, Wyoming... in fact the whole en:Category:Towns in Wyoming. In fact, most members of the categories: Towns in X (with X being a US State). As you can see in their history pages, they were all created in 2002 by Ram-Man with his Rambot; they have a standard text for the geography and demographics sections; and afterwards were mostly changed by other bots, or had only minor cosmetic edits by humans. For over 5 years! Note that the author himself says this (see here), and he asks for translations for his texts in other languages, and several people have produced templates in Polish, Catalan, Russian etc. (see here). If you want, I can find you similar examples of large numbers of bot-created articles in and as well. (Someone should do some research to have better numbers for all Wikipedias -- the phenomenon seems to be actually quite common.) --Smeira 22:25, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other ways[edit]

I think there are some other ways of deciding problem:

  1. Exclude vowiki from all stats
  2. Reopen vowiki (close and then install again)
  3. Delete all bot-generated pages

What do you think about it? — VasilievV 2 16:59, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are you voluntering for looking through 100 000 pages? --Ooswesthoesbes 17:01, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think Wikipedia isn't Olympic Games and Language Editions have no any medals for number or quality of those articles. :) --Pauk 04:46, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Creating a list of bot-only generated and edited pages is not that hard. However, I think we should get a more clear view on the actual problem. What exactly is the problem, because more Wikipedias create 40.000 or so articles with bots on a regular basis... Siebrand 17:04, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe we should introduce statistics for bot-generated pages on wikis? — VasilievV 2 17:05, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thousands, if not ten-thousands of articles in the en.wikipedia are bot generated (and never changed since then), for example most articles about US villages that contain no real information except area, inhabitants and demographics. So why complaining about vo.wikipedia? --Thogo (talk) 17:12, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In en.wp there ist the potential taht most of the stubs become real articles. This is not the case for vo.wp. --Rosentod
This potential hasn't been actualized for most of them; I don't think it's a bad guess to say that 50% of them won't be in the foreseeable future. Besides, the same is true for smaller wikipedias: how often do you think stubs become real articles, say, in the Cherokee wikipedia? Should all of them be thrown out? Smeira 19:48, 21 september 2007.
Don't compare the small Cherokee Wikipedia to one of the biggest Wikipedias we have – the Volapük Wikipedia. And please stop using «others are doing it, too» as an argument. In the U.S. there are a lot of people who shoot people, that's absolutely no reason to legalize it in Germany. (As a citizen of Dresden, I'm very sad that a useful stub after a bot invasion (25 bot edits) turned into a useless stub. Oh yeah, now I know Dresden is located at «videtü 51° 2’ e lunetü 13° 44’», but without a Volapük world map this is pretty much useless information. Here's another out-of-context-information for that article: The Albertbrücke (Albert bridge) is neither located at the Albertplatz (Albert place) nor at the Albertstraße (Albert street).) --32X 18:32, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(a) All Wikipedias are comparable: they're all sets of WML pages containing a title, text, media files, and links. Does size matter? Can't I compare to just because, since is less than 1/3 of (as for size, is simply in a class of its own), it would be like comparing one of the Seven Dwarfs to Schwarzenegger? That's clearly ridiculous. Anything is comparable to anything as long as there are common properties / analogies that can be compared and a point/motive/reason for the comparison. In the present case, the point is obvious: you're giving arguments for closing that are valid for lots of other wikipedias, including the Cherokee one, and you should be in favor of closing all of them (which means the discussion is really at a higher level than that of; yet for some reason I don't understand, you want to avoid this. Rosentod has already admitted this fact in his Final Comments below. Own up to it, man! It is an implication of what you've been saying thus far!
(b) The argument is not "others are doing it, so it's OK"; it's "others are doing it and most people agree it's good / not bad / tolerable, so why is it so terribly bad in the case of"? has done it (I got the idea from them), too, etc., and the conclusion of discussions in these wikipedias is that it was, all in all, good; go have a look! There's lots of criminal killing in Germany too (ever heard of the Vampir von Hannover?); the reason why it is not legal there (nor in the US) is not that it doesn't happen there, but that there are good moral arguments against it, with which mostly everybody agrees. Unlike bot-created articles in Wikipedias, it's not the case that most Germans, or most Americans (or most members of any people in the world) think that shooting and killing is a good -- or at least neutral or tolerable -- thing (except in self-defense), wouldn't you agree? In other words: I'm not saying "others do it so I can, too", I'm saying something else!
(c) "videtü 51° 2’ e lunetü 13° 44’" should help you with any map that has longitude and latitude lines, not only a Volapük one; besides, there's a map of Germany there with a dot indicating where Dresden is located. Surely you didn't miss that? It's in your second link, the one you titled "useless stub" (see (d) and (e) below). What exactly is your point? Are you perhaps saying that if you can't understand a stub in another language, then the wikipedia to which it belongs shouldn't exist? If you aren't, then OK (what are you saying then?). But if you are, hey, my wife doesn't speak German; do you think that, as a native of Kiev, she would be grateful to be told that it is "die Hauptstadt und größte Stadt der Ukraine, sowie Hauptstadt der Oblast Kiew"? Unlike you, she wouldn't be able to understand it without looking up every single word in a dictionary. To anyone who doesn't speak German, all of looks like meaningless gibberish, of course. As a citizen of Dresden, do you feel any better being told that it "έχει μια μακροχρόνια ιστορία ως κύρια και βασιλική κατοικία για τους βασιλιάδες της Σαξωνίας" (from, a non-stub) or that it "[s]htrihet në veriperëndim të malit Elbsandsteinberg dhe në veri të Osterzgebirg si dhe afër lumit Elbe" (a Dresden stub from, unless you happen to know these languages (if you, like me, happen to know them, there are surely others that you don't know)?
(d) I'm glad you reported an error in the Dresden stub in; I'm sure you also noticed that only a space at the beginning of a line had to be deleted for it to look perfect (as it does now: have a look). That's how Wikipedias should work: someone notices an error, and then it is corrected. But you seem also to be saying that the information there is not really relevant? Let's see: if the coordinates of Dresden are really as irrelevant as your charming little claim about the Albertsbrücke, how come they are featured in the Infobox of the Dresden article on You don't believe? Click here: de:Dresden. Let's see: the Dresden stub in has, even in the uncorrected version you so friendly named "useless stub": (i) a location map; (ii) the Dresden coat of arms; (iii) a definition, including Dresden's position in the Bundesland Saxony; (iv) its latitude and longitude; (v) the surface of the Dresden Gemeinde; (v) its population in 2001. It is also placed within three relevant categories: "Zifs in Sachsen", "Zifs in Deutän", and "Zifs" (if you need any help to decypher these exotic category names, look them up in this online Volapük dictionary.) There is also a link to a disambiguation page that lists other places named "Dresden". How exactly does this information make the stub "useless"? And if it does, why are all these items also present in the article on Dresden? And why aren't they irrelevant there? (Goodness, I've just noticed another error: the population figure is for 2007, not 2001. OK, I've taken care of this too. Anything else? No Albertsbrücke please, you can keep this one for yourself, or put it on, as you please.)
(e) Judging by your use of the terms "useful" and "useless stub" (apparently not in the usual meaning -- a useful stub has a definition --, since the version you labeled "useless" does have a definition), you seem to be concerned also with the quality of stubs (this should be more important than whether they're made by people or by bots, shouldn't it?). So let's take another example. Since you're a citizen of Dresden, let's have a look at another city (actually a village) with the same name. Compare vo:Dresden (Kansas) with de:Dresden (Kansas). The German stub is smaller; it has some information in the Infobox that is not present in the Volapük stub (Gründung, Höhe); but the Volapük stub is much longer, has much more information on the demographic situation (approximately three times more than what you see in the German stub under Sozialstruktur), plus a location map of the village within Kansas and one of the State of Kansas within the US. In both cases, all the information was obviously copied from; in the case, by my bot, in the case, by someone. I think it would be fair to say my bot did a better job in this case (please note the stress) than the experts on US cities, don't you agree? And with much fewer edits: 18 in de:wiki (without counting bot edits; see here) and only 7 on (of course, counting bot edits; see here). One wonders why so many human edits were necessary to copy so little information. Of course, this is not a frequent, typical exemple. But now tell me: wouldn't you think I was being at least arrogant if, because of examples like that, I said something stupid and ridiculous like: "Volapük-speaking users of Vükiped who come to the Dresden (Kansas) article sometimes follow the link to the German wikipedia and are then annoyed by the fact that the German 'article' is a stub with little information, mostly irrelevant and already present in the much better Volapük article (and for Christ's sake, written in German, so they can't even understand it anyway; who the heck wants to learn that exotic language?). Really, we at find that interwiki links should enhance the resources at the disposal of our readers, not really lie to them by taking them to poorly made, irrelevant stubs they can't even read. Indeed! Dear Siebrand, can't you please change your interwiki bot, so that we at don't keep getting these useless links to US city stubs in It takes so much time to delete them all manually! We want quality here, after all!" Smeira 01:28 24 September 2007.
I would be satisfied with that solution. --Rosentod

If, as seems now clear, the real problem is not the number of vowiki articles or their quality but the handling of interwiki links, I don't think that any of the above would solve the problem, because:

  1. What happened once in vowiki could happen again: the same python scripts are available. Short of closing all other wikipedias, there's no way to prevent massive copying from happening again.
  2. The idea is out there -- any of the smaller wikipedias could do the same even if thousands of vowiki articles were deleted or the vowiki were closed.

Let's face it -- the problem is how to handle interwikis. Don't confuse that with the number of stubs, or the size/quality of other projects.

An idea: make it possible for pages to have interwiki links to other pages only if these links are to non-stub pages (say, larger than a certain threshould size, or with a certain number of links, etc.).

-- Smeira 19:52, 21 September 2007

Yes, that would be a good thing. Interwikis only to articles with more than 500 Bytes and containing at least one internal link to an existing page or so (the latter one excludes spam pages). And more attention to smaller wikis so that spam, no-content-articles, articles in the wrong language, etc. are deleted faster. --Thogo (talk) 17:58, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think so. If article on other wiki is small, but contains a definition, it's a useful stub. What about hiding interwiki to vo:? — VasilievV 2 18:05, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With which reason? The articles on vo.wp *are* useful stubs, because they contain a definition. --Thogo (talk) 18:13, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. Should people then discuss what is a 'useful' stub, and how to know one? Or even an article, for that matter? (see my comment below.) --Smeira 23:10, 21 September 2007.
This is not possible without first reaching consensus in each wikipedia where you want to implement this. That would be a very lengthy process and many authors would vote against such a general approach, myself included. I'm only opposed to interwiki links to bot generated articles that got their content from the article where they are linked. --Rosentod
And why not be opposed to, say, human-created stubs that also got their content from the article where they are linked? In what way are they any better?
I think maybe there's a more general problem here. Maybe there's some unspoken assumption abount an interwiki link being "useful", i.e. linking you to 'good' articles in other languages. But how are 'good' articles defined, for interwiki link purposes? (Each wikipedia will have its criteria, of course.) Is a short definitional stub ('mathematics is the science of numbers') a 'bad' article for interwiki links? How about an article that happens to be a translation of the one it is interwiki-linked to? Many wikipedias (e.g. in their guidelines for new authors) actually encourage people to translate articles from other wikipedias. Is it a good idea to have an interwiki link from, say, to an article in, say,, which is good by standards but is also a translation of the article? It would contain no information not present in the article. How about partial translations from different wikipedias? Smeira 23:17, 21 September 2007.
The point is in other wikipedias there are actually people who could improve the stubs. And of course there are, e.g., Germans who speak Dutch as a second language and could improve a nl article they found via an interwiki link. Practically all readers have no use for Volapük interwiki links and would (in the best case) look up, what Volapük is. I asume this is your goal (read "advertisement"). In the worst case the reader is just annoyed. Rosentod
That's the point. Many articles on all larger wikis are translations from other wikis. There is no problem with that at all. --Thogo (talk) 23:26, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, but large wikis have readers who speak no other language. That's not true for a very unsuccessful artificial language like Volapük. Rosentod
If you can believe that there's someone who will someday change a stub that's been on a wiki for years into a full article, then you can also believe that there's someone who will learn Volapük and do the same for a similar stub. That's how planned languages grow: non-native speakers learn them and then do things with them. In this case, the potential contributors are not just the 25-30 speakers, but anyone who might want to learn and contribute. Even you could do that, should someday the fancy strike you; just look up this Volapük course, follow it, and in a couple of months you should be ready to begin changing Volapük stubs into full articles. It's easier than learning English. Smeira 10:42, 23 September 2007 (UTC).
This is also true for very unsuccessfull natural languages (Hawai'i, Inupiaq, Cheyenne...). Why is Volapük singled out? Your argument suggests that only languages with monolingual speakers are wikifähig. Consider Dutch: 20-30 million speakers, but all bilingual (usually English, often also French or German). You could argue that the Dutch wikipedia is useless, since there are very few, if any, monolingual speakers, and pretty much everybody in the Netherlands or in Belgium could use the English wikipedia. The same is also probably true for the Scandinavian language areas. --Smeira 07:08, 22 September 2007
Where are all these 'annoyed readers'? Has any user really ever looked up an article, then seen a link to a Volapük stub, felt compelled to follow it, and gotten annoyed? With the exception of you and a few other interlink critics from, I haven't seen anybody pop out and complain, saying e.g. something like, 'Gee, I was so annoyed that I followed that link to Volapük and only found irrelevant information, like, a map of where the place is, its area and population, and a few photos and symbols. OK, it was all true, but gee, that really spoiled my day.' All I hear is you repeating all the time that this is spam or advertisement -- but this is not obvious at all, not in the sense you seem to give to these words, i.e. that of trying to get people to do things they don't really want to do. What it does is try to attract potential contributors to -- people who, as you desire, could improve the stubs; as I keep saying, how exactly is that bad? Who is suffering? Who is being hurt? You just keep repeating things like 'people get annoyed' (who? where's the damage?), 'spam' (for what? if I really wanted just 'spam', I could create nonsense articles by randomly combining Volapük words and giving the result a title that could be linked to other wikis -- it would be much easier and much faster than creating stubs.), 'readers have no use for it' (do they have use for SeSotho, Oromo, Cherokee, Latin, Old English stubs -- or, for that matter, for English or French stubs?) Are you sure you're not letting emotions interfere with your logical thinking? Smeira 04:38, 22 September 2007
So, if I write articles in Upper Sorbian to help the Upper Sorbian Wikipedia grow and to make this Wikipedia as well as the language more known ("What the heck is Hornjoserbsce?"), you would consider my actions as improper advertising? If not, what's the difference to writing articles in Volapük?

We can argue about whether or not the WMF should offer Wikipedias in exotic languages such as Volapük. But accusing someone of abusive advertising just for generating content is not appropriate. -- kh80 23:56, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ten argument Rosentoda jo, až ta volapükska wikipedia njama potenciala dosć, aby wše take kuški wutwarjali se. A ten argument móžom rozměś, teke ako Volapük gronjony. Sebastiano 20:25, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Would you please not mention the Upper Sorbian Wikipedia here? There aren't any bots adding articles, the language is spoken by real people and it is one of the official minority languages in Germany. Volapük and Upper Sorbian have nearly nothing in common. Regarding the advertising, how would you call „I thought I could try to get some new people interested in learning the language and contributing by doing something a little crazy -- like increasing the size of the Volapük wikipedia as fast as I could“? Ah yes, right, that's not „abusive advertising“ but „viral marketing“. (If you still want to help the Sorbian people, please translate the MediaWiki interface, because that's the last border before w:dsb: can start.) --32X 21:11, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Spoken by real people? Hey, no personal offenses here -- I'm a real person, too, right? And I don't get your point. There are bots adding articles in other wikipedias (English, Esperanto, Catalan, Dutch, Lombardo, ...). There are also humans adding stubs on other wikipedias (German, ...), which, as far as the result is concerned, is the same thing. Why don't you discuss whether bot (and human) stubs are good or not instead of insisting on "special treatment" for Volapük? There are good arguments for bot (and human) stubs, did you know? Volapük and Upper Sorbian have at least three things in common: (a) all their speakers are at least bilingual, (b) lots of people think they don't have a future, and (c) both are languages originally spoken in Germany (Volapük was a German invention). Yes, despite your irony, you're right: what I did is not „abusive advertising“ by any stretch of the word; I call it attempts at bringing more collaborators to Don't we all want more Wikipedians working on Wikimedia projects? Aren't there Wikimedia meetings/conferences, interviews, pages about how cool Wikipedia is on the net, for the purpose of attracting more Wikipedians? You are pushing a too strict definition of advertising!! You are exagerating!! Should I stretch it further? If anyone ever felt attracted to because s/he saw the words "freie Enzyklopädie" on its Main Page, would that count as "advertising"? Ah yes, right, I forgot: that's just "a definition"... I see. If other people are attracted, it doesn't matter, because "it was merely descriptive". What if the guy who created the sentence (Jimbo Wales?) ever said he did it "to attract more people"?... (Disclaimer: I don't think this is advertising in any sense; I'm giving an example of distortion and lack of understanding.)
Please, please, stop repeating that the problem is the Volapük wikipedia: admit that the problems are (a) interwiki links, (b) lots of bot-created stubs, (c) criteria for judging Wikipedia quality and deciding what to do. These things are all over the Wikipedias and can and should be discussed in general, not only in the restricted case of the Volapük wikipedia.. The Volapük case is making it obvious (as if all the small Wikipedias didn't do it already) that criteria must be found, discussed and agreed upon, or else anyone's opinion about a wikipedia being 'good enough' or 'not good enough' is merely personal opinion! And any personal opinion (yours, for instance) is not inherently right, as long as other people disagree; judging by the current voting, this is obviously the case here. I am a believer in defining the rules of the game before playing it (at least for important things like closing down a project that is growing, and also when there's already enough experience with 250+ Wikipedias so that the main real problems are pretty much well known). Why don't you address points (a), (b) and (c)? Are they so hard to understand? Should I organize a space for this discussion below, on this page? Smeira 10:26, 24 Sept 2007
Yes, spoken by real people. People as in plural of person, you are only one. And I doubt you're using Volapük in your daily life. As for your thre points, actually I don't think (a) alone is a problem. Interwiki links are great, but in combination with (b) and set by a bot on a large scale they may become to a problem for those, who care for quite some articles and have an eye on watchlists. (c) is no problem for most users as long as you stand behind the count of the mother of all Wikipediae. If you want to address that problem, adding a database of astronomical objects as articles to the Volapük Wikipedia might be the fastest solution. --32X 20:47, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Funny, you seem to be saying that people in the plural are real, while a person in the singular is not. Since you're probably the only 32X in the whole universe, are you not a real person? Oh, maybe you're thinking of people as Volk, not people as Leute. If this is the case, sure, Volapükists are not a Volk, an ethnic group, just Leute, but so are Esperantists, Idoists, Interlinguists, and other such Wikipedians... Anyway, I'm far from being alone. If you look up en:Volapük, you'll see there are 25-30 others. If you have a look at the messages in the Volapük group at Yahoo, you'll find the e-mail addresses of 10, 15 of them (just look for the messages in Volapük and check who sent them). If you check the Flenef Bevünetik Volapüka website, you'll find the e-mails of a few more (and you could get the list of subscribers to the Volapük newsletter Vög Volapüka from Ralph Midgley, where you would find still more names). That should be enough for your personal survey. We're all far apart -- in Holland, England, France, Poland, Austria, Brazil, Hong-Kong -- so of course there's no daily contact. But then again, what exactly is your claim? That Volapük is not a real language because no families use it? Then what about Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek, Gothic, and the others? Are they not real languages? And don't they deserve Wikipedias? (see below the discussion on 'Why Wikipedia has versions in 'small' languages' -- that's obviously a topic that goes beyond Volapük). Look, I have no problem with your personal opinion on what counts as a real language spoken by real people or not -- I surely don't want to force you to like Latin or Volapük against your will, in case you don't already like them. But don't forget that there is no "law of nature" defining real languages, and people differ in how they think about that. Judging by how many people oppose this proposal, I'd guess you should really take seriously the possibility that many people may well think Volapük is a real language spoken by real people (even if it's not their native language), and that they are not necessarily wrong -- they're simply don't agree with your criteria, or with rules and policies.
As for (a), (b) and (c), I think (a) is never really a problem, (b) or no (b) -- if people keep worrying about clogged history pages and watchlists, they can certainly solve that (by e.g. limiting the number of interwiki links per page, etc) independently of (b); clogged history pages and watchlists will happen anyway, since new Wikipedias keep appearing and the extant ones keep growing. So interwiki links are no reason to close This has been said here so many times already, and several people have already agreed! If you don't, then please say why, but don't just repeat again that (a)+(b) is a problem... This really doesn't help the discussion.
Now, as for (c), it is a true problem. You're being ironical and offensive, of course, in suggesting that I follow Slomox's idea and add the whole NASA Extragalactic database; you should probably try to control yourself. If you look at extant quality parameters and think critically about them, you'll soon realize they have serious flaws (cf. the pages at Meta that mention or discuss the difficulty in measuring quality: e.g.: Wikistats/Measuring Article Quality, English Wikipedia Quality Survey (done in 2003), and Too many cooks don't spoil the broth: Quality in Wikipedia). Article count is obviously not a good measurement, as you already know. Depth is also a poor measurement: to mention just one problem, note that 'Depth' would consider not only the English Wikipedia (depth = 339) as better than the German Wikipedia (depth = 105), but also the Hebrew (depth = 171), Persian (depth = 137) and Vietnamese (depth = 111) Wikipedias -- the three of them are Wikipedias with more than 10 000 articles and thus 'relevant', according to the little explanation of Depth on the List of Wikipedias. Yet I, and probably you, too, don't agree that the Hebrew, Persian, and Vietnamese Wikipedias are better than Hence: we need new criteria. Smeira 04:09, 01 October 2007.

Another idea. Seems to me the main problem are the interwiki links and the distorted statistics. Yes, the counter-arguments are interwiki links are an inherit problem not specific to and the distorted statistics are not wrong but the result of a misinterpretation. But it’s pretty obvious in both cases the system is being "gamed" for advertising purposes since quality is not taken into consideration.

Nevertheless, we should be able to solve these problems with general policies that apply to all encyclopedias. First we already have a measurement of quality: The "depth" statistic (which currently vo.wp has a value of zero). I would also improve this metric by ignoring edits by "bots". Next we can define the criteria of a "poor quality" encyclopedia which for argument's sake is a depth below 5. This particular aspect can be debated but it essessially needs to take into account to obvious fact that human editted articles are better quality than bot generated ones.

Set a policy that interwiki links cannot be used by "poor quality" encyclopedias. Current interwiki bots would have to be adjusted and perhaps an anti-interwiki bot created. This policy means an admin who poorly manages their encyclopedia in such as way the quality goes way down will cause their delisting from other encyclopedias. Interwiki links would be reserved for encyclopedias that are not "poor quality".

Statistics are also a case where we just need to ignore encyclopedias of "poor quality". They should not appear in any prominent place like the "" page no matter how many articles are created. It misleading and give the impression quality doesn't matter.

Hopefully this is viewed as a way to encourage quality using some simple policies. It would solve all the problems I see with vo.wp in the process. --MarsRover 20:49, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Yes!! Thank you, MarsRover, finally someone who agrees that the problem is not per se, but the policies concerning wikipedia quality and what to do about differences in quality between wikipedias. I'm so relieved, I will even start a new section below and place in it some of my ideas (and some reactions to yours) in order to get the real discussion started. Smeira 01:37, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The Real Problems (with as a case to be considered)[edit]

Inspired by MarsRover comments, I finally see the possibility of starting some discussion on the real issues in this case. I hope it will be interesting to all of you, and perhaps even lead to policy changes in the whole Wikipedia community...

Why does Wikipedia have versions in 'small' languages?[edit]

I think when a curious outsider stumbles upon Wikipedia, s/he is certainly surprised by the many languages. Not simply by Volapük, but also by SeSotho, Inupiaq, Guaraní, Võro and Basque. "Very good", s/he might say, "but isn't this inefficient? If Wikipedia's professed goal is to be a repository of all human knowledge, wouldn't it be better to have it all in one language (probably English)?"

I disagree, of course, and I assume you all do, too. The arguments I came up with are (feel free to add others):

  • There are people who don't know English and who could neither use nor contribute to a pure English-language Wikipedia;
  • This would privilege English and probably be offensive to other languages, their cultures and speakers.

The curious outsider could still reply: "Yes, but you could have one master Wikipedia (in English) and have page-by-page translated versions of it in all other languages. Discussions would lead to content changes in the Master Wikipedia, which would then be translated into the appropriate pages in all other Wikipedias. That's not what I see."

Yes indeed. Wikipedia is in fact a collection of different encyclopedias which also happen to be in different languages: articles on the same topic in different Wikipedias can differ quite a lot. One might still say, however, that each and every Wikipedia has the same goal: ultimately, to contain all human knowledge.

This is true, to a large extent; but it is not what we see when we look at Wikipedias. Usually, local topics are better treated or have more articles (Japanese cities in, Catalan writers in, the Kalevala in, planned languages and their history in, etc.). The Esperanto Wikipedia ( often adds specific information on the local Esperanto movement or local Esperantists to articles on countries (or even cities). They can also differ in internal policy: clearly has more stringent, less flexible internal rules than (cf. en:German Wikipedia).

This leads me to the following claim (a point for discussion):

  • Each Wikipedia can, and does, deviate from the philosophy and profile of a mere repository of human knowledge; each Wikipedia has certain specificities in its philosophy.

This is, in my opinion, what can perhaps justify the existence of Wikipedias in small languages. Take your pick: Inupiaq, Hawai'i, Võro, Aromanian, SeSotho... In many cases, there aren't sufficiently many speakers (or speakers with knowledge, internet access and interest in wikis) for one to hope that they'll ever become even remotely as comprehensive, detailed and information-full as In many of them, there aren't even basic reference works like encyclopedias published in paper. So why on earth are they "allowed to waste WMF funds"?, as the original proposer of this page said in one of his comments. My answer: because small-language Wikipedias are, and must be, based on a different goal, a diferent philosophy, from the others. This is why even dead languages like Latin or Old English should get a place: they also (should) have different goals from comprehensive projects like What these goals should be is an interesting question, probably to be answered differently by each project (small-language projects and dead-language projects, for instance, should probably have different goals).

What should the goal of be? There are several possibilities. The one I like best is be a repository of Volapük knowledge: its history, the people who used and divulged it in the late 19th century (about 1,450 I´ve been able to trace thus far, and, since I'm not even close of having reviewed the whole extant corpus of Volapük literature, the list will continue to grow; see Category:Volapukists in a curious fact: more than 100 of them were women, who played a significant role in the history of Volapük; see Category:Female Volapükists), its writers and their works, its grammar (several versions), its words, its "culture", to the extent that it developed one while it was in more widespread use (more or less like Esperanto did, though admittedly less impressively). This is why I have written, and am still writing, detailed articles on Volapük themes like important Volapükists (vo:Arie de Jong, vo:Johann Martin Schleyer, vo:Auguste Kerckhoffs; ongoing work in vo:Rupert Kniele). A similar goal might be set for other small-language Wikipedias (shall I call them micro-Wikipedias?). Do you have other ideas? (I'm curious about the opinion of other people who work on small-language wikipedias, especially non-European ones.)

A different, but important, question is whether or not the Wikimedia Foundation agrees. Is this the reason why they allowed so many language projects? Is this Jimbo Wales's opinion? Are they willing to "pay for it"? After all, I assume, fair or unfair, theirs is the final decision, since theirs are the resources and the money...

Your point about the different philosophies in the Wikipediae is a very good one. Another point is that the communities govern themselves usually with some cultural variations. For example, the Finnish Wikipedia considers that its Arbitration Committee must abide by the Finnish Law in its administrative procedure (e.g. in questions of incompetence due to the likelihood of bias) as far as possible. This is quite natural, as it is the legal framework known to most of the contributors, and the community feels that Finnish Law is simple and equitable. However, the idea of using Finnish Law as a convention in any other Wikipedia would be ridiculous. Similarly, many of the practical matters of the Wikipedia communities follow often the customs and basic philophical constructs of the "mother country" of the Wikipedia, for example in catagorization. (E.g. en-Wikipedia categorizes inventions by country, fi-Wikipedia by era.) This would, even if all the Wikipediae were "complete", cause them to be different from each other. Naturally, this is richness, not a weakness. --MPorciusCato 10:03, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I quite agree. In fact, I would go as far as saying that every Wikipedia is simply a different encyclopedia: is probably as different from as, say, Britannica from Encarta. If you translated into English, you would get something quite different from, even for articles with the same titles/topics. And we're talking about the larger Wikipedias, which can actually have a go at the idea of universalism (let's be all-inclusive) while preserving their own specific viewpoint. I assume the Finnish Wikipedia has also, in general, the same goals as the English Wikipedia. In the case of smaller Wikipedias, which are much less likely to be able to realize the ideal of all-inclusivity, the ideal of self-reflection or self-relevance seems better to me: give higher priority to all the things that are of particular interest to that community (such as Esperanto history, Esperantists, and the details of the Esperanto movement in each country in the Esperanto Wikipedia; or the cities and towns of Estonia in the Estonian Wikipedia, or in the Võru maakond for the Võro Wikipedia). I wished I could make these philosophy/ideal differences a topic of broader discussion; this needs to be addressed. Maybe if I talk to the language committee?... --Smeira 22:58, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How do we measure quality in Wikipedias?[edit]

Obviously not by counting articles; we all know that by know. MarsRover suggests depth, a measure very much in favor nowadays; I tend to disagree. In my opinion, anything which is based on some automatic counting algorithm can also be "artificially" increased. As an example: depth is basically edits/articles times non-articles/articles. In order to increase it artificially, one only needs to do a bot that increases any of these factors, or both. Coincidentally, I have a bot writing redirects for city stubs in now (from e.g. "Saint John" to "St. John", or vice-versa, depending on the version that was copied; also from double-indications like "San Diego, California" to "San Diego" -- since only adds the state name to the title if there is another city with the same name, unlike, where they usually do "San Diego, California" anyway). As a result of that, the non-article/article part is increasing. At the same time, I have corrections to do on the current stubs. So, one of the German critics here pointed out most population dates are wrong on for German city stubs (also for French ones, for that matter). So I'm running a bot that corrects it (mostly replacing the year with "2006 dekul 31id" = "31.Dec.2006", which is the correct date in the overwhelming majority of the cases; the exceptions I will correct manually). This will increase the edits/article part of the equation. As a consequence, I expect that the depth of will increase noticeably, perhaps to 1 or 2, in the next weeks or months. Further corrections, addition of new information to extant pages etc., should keep this index increasing.

So, if you want a measure of "quality" in terms of human work (but see below whether bot-work shouldn't be at least sometimes seen as increasing quality), then I think depth, though better than article count, is not perfect.

Someone made an interesting suggeston on my talk page: use in some way the List of articles every Wikipedia should have. Count how many of them have articles in a given Wikipedia, and at what level of development they currently are (stub, short article, long article, featured article) -- each status would imply a certain number of points -- then add up the total. This should be an interesting measure at least for the smaller Wikipedias. For the bigger ones perhaps not so much -- they all probably have good articles on all those topics (but even then, not all are FAs...). The measure could be complemented by adding something depth (with a weighing factor). The borderline between 'good' and 'bad' projects (the equivalent of MarsRover depth=5) could be set by, for instance, plotting this measure of quality for all Wikipedias and noting any obvious discontinuities that show sudden falls in quality. Or then by deciding what features and content a minimal Wikipedia would have to have, and then measuring its quality. What do y'all think?

Some relevant literature and food for thought (including other suggestions on how to measure quality):

What should be done about low-quality Wikipedias?[edit]

Most of what I said in the discussion of this proposal for closing thus far is that we should be discussing what to do with low-quality wikipedias. Here's what I have to say (and here we're talking opinions, suggestions, etc.; fell free to discuss or add any others):

I think we should (in order of importance):

  1. Try to get the quality of the "offending" Wikipedia to increase
    1. by contributing to it too (usually won't happen)
    2. by talking to the users/editors and making suggestions
    3. by trying to get more users/editors into the project who are interested in contributing.
  2. (If there is no hope of improvement): 'punish' the project. Start by:
    1. giving an ultimatum: if there is no improvement in X months, then:
      1. sanctions will be taken: a ban on interwiki-links, removal from stats, etc.
      2. if after X more months nothing significant happens, the project will be moved to the Incubator;
      3. if after X more months nothing significant happens... a proposal to close the project is submitted. Eventually the project is closed.
    2. The possibility of reopening (perhaps in the incubator) is kept, in case interested people show up after the closure of the project.

(A note on interwiki links: there may be good, system-internal reasons why it is important to keep them, even if new projects eventually make them too numerous and cumbersome: internal statistics of topics/titles that have already been covered in various wikipedias, for instance. The developers should be asked about that. Wouldn't it be better to suggest that interwiki links be handled by a separate, centralized automatic feature or project -- like Commons is doing for media files? Then each Wikipedia could decide which interwiki links it wanted to allow -- with a list of language names, or even with a quality threshhold. The rumors about some future version of the wiki software including a feature that adds to each article a measure of its quality suggest the possibility that links could be selected according to individual article quality, not general language/project quality.)

Now, what's the case for I believe I'm doing 1.3 above: trying to attract collaborators who will help me improve the quality of the project. Judging by the new contributors I've been seeing lately -- anonymous people adding pictures or external links (which didn't happen before), and a couple of people who are learning the language and already producing articles (see vo:Yapän on Japän, and look at its history, with contributions from new user vo:Geban:HannesM) -- I think it may perhaps be just beginning to work. Who knows... So here is my proposal:

  • Do the above procedure. Give a deadline. Say, 2 years or 32 months (the time it took to really grow from 0 to 100,000 articles, according to en:German Wikipedia.
    If there are no significant improvements; if I'm still the major contributor; if none of the measures of quality -- whatever they end up being -- shows significant improvements... then I solemnly promise I will myself either (a) delete all stubs, thus placing back in the 150th position or something like that, or (b) submit myself another proposal for closing the project; whatever you think best. (I would do it gladly; if after all this time nobody shows up, I'll be pretty discouraged. Who wouldn't?... I'm not so much a Volapük über alles guy; note that I voted in favor of the proposal to close the Volapük Wikiquote.)
    If, on the other hand, the situation does improve significantly, and gives signs of continuing to improve in the future (there are more active editors, the quality measure has better results, articles are longer, you name it), then... stays forever, and you people tell me my idea was, after all, good.

What do you think? Smeira 26 September 2007.

Its not really low-quality wikipedia but low volume wikipedia. Quality can always improve but when you don't have the actually speakers of the language your in a close to impossible situation. Of the obscure/dead languages in this conundrum, Volapük probably is in the least favorable position since it haven't been popular in its entire existance unlike 'Latin' or 'Old English'. But quality of an encyclopedia shouldn't be reason for its deletion but its a good reason to move it to the incubator. -MarsRover 03:20, 15 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I hope to attract more contributors, so as to increase the volume. I'm hoping that this will work out satisfactorily. Volapük in its prime was as popular as Latin or Old English today (it had at least several thousand speakers, judging by the number of "Volapükist diploms" that Schleyer, the inventor, gave to anyone who passed his Volapük test; it had speakers even in far-away lands like Syria, Egypt, China -- in the 19th century). There seems to be a good community of people interested in "auxlangs" and "conlangs" as the jargon goes; maybe some of them will become interested. One of them has just created an article about vo:Leicester City F.C.. But only time will tell if there´ll be more people, and if the ones who come will stay. Maybe it won´t work. I know. I´m still willing to give it a try.
As for the Incubator... I would rather not to that, so as not to lose the interwiki links (from to other wikis, which I want to keep), and also not to have to go back to an English-language system. Besides, what are the criteria for leaving the Incubator? Even without Geo-stubs, is 5-10 bigger than any of the projects I saw there. Smeira 21:44, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Bot-generated stubs: virtue or sin?[edit]

Most of the criticism of -- especially from -- concentrated on the issue that apparently bot-generated stubs are really bad. Here are a few thoughts to the effect that maybe they aren't:

  • A stub is a stub is a stub. If we admit that stubs are good things (they are the seeds from which longer articles grow, they show some attention has been given to every topic, etc.), then there should be no problem with how it is generated, but only with whether or not it is relevant. A stub should be judged as such, by whether or not its information is correct and relevant, not by how it was made.
  • Bot-made stubs are not necessarily worse than human-made stubs. Compare two stubs on the village of Dresden in Kansas, USA (already mentioned in the discussion above): vo:Dresden (Kansas) and de:Dresden (Kansas). Both are based on information from; the Volapük one was made by my bot, the German bot by a human editor. The German stub has less information, with more human edits (I counted 18, excluding Interwiki bots), while the Volapük one has only 7 (including, of course, all bots, Interwiki or not). I think it stands to reason that the quality of this Volapük stub is better than that of its German counterpart, despite the fact that it was made by a bot. A bot-made stub can be as good or as bad as a human-made stub, depending on the program that created it -- i.e. on the competence of the person who wrote this program.
  • Bots make more mistakes. Hmm, again that depends on your bot program. It's just like people: some Wikipedia editors make lots of mistakes (even when they don't want to), while others are very very accurate. For both human-made and bot-made stubs, the important question is: is anybody checking the information? Are errors being corrected? (Note that precisely this kind of work -- copying data like surface and population figures, latitude and longitude, capitals, etc. -- is boring enough to make human mistakes more likely; it is not impossible that a bot copier would be more accurate than a human copier for the same list of data on e.g. 50 cities to be made into stubs.)
  • Bots are too fast, they give the impression there are lots of people working on a project when that's not the case. Hm, this is because people have usually thought that it is more 'honest' to make humans write stubs rather than bots. But think about it: if your program is good, and the database you're getting information from (another wikipedia, an online database, etc) is good and easy to interpret, why not do it faster? This is what happened with the bot-generated US city stubs in, and with the bot-generated French commune stubs in; the consensus in these areas seems to be that it was a good thing. After the data are transferred, start and concentrate on quality checking: error correction, vigilance (to prevent vandalism), adding new features, and generally taking care of the bot-generated stubs. (Note that both and have people taking care of their city or commune stubs.) Having bots do it faster allows us to concentrate on quality-checking in a more efficient way.
  • If this catches on, pretty soon all Wikipedias will go beyond 100,000! Well, at least for all Wikipedias that do realistically want to become repositores of all human knowledge, is this bad? Think about it: any of the larger projects (with a sizeable community of users and readers, lots of activity, etc.) that wants to contain all human knowledge will have, sooner or later, to include, e.g., all human settlements in the world; if the information about them is already available in a database somewhere, or in another Wikipedia, why not copy it? (Wikisource, for instance, accepts simply copying texts that are already present elsewhere -- if they come from reliable websites, of course, and if they are proofread again by Wikisource people.) Isn't it what we are doing (manually, from written reference works or from online ones) anyway?Actually, copying it from a reliable database strikes me simply as more efficient. If this implies we'll have 40 Wikipedias with 100,000 articles next month, as far as their chosen goal is to contain all knowledge, then this is a good thing! It means they're coming closer to their goal, and faster! After transferring the data, the many contributors could then concentrate on polishing (e.g. correcting eventual errors) and on further developing their favorite stubs to reach full article status -- less work than if they had to write all stubs manually themselves, isn't it?
Smeira 27 September 2007.
You forgot the biggest problem with bots. They are "artifical". Unless you have developed a sentient bot, they will never create articles that are interesting or topical. Click vo:Special:Random ten times and tell me how many topics you find interesting? If your goal is to have people read the articles you shouldn't auto-generate articles. As far as accurancy goes, a phonebook is accurate but doesn't necessarily make good reading. --MarsRover 02:45, 15 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I certainly agree. I don't think that, before 'strong AI' relly lifts off (if it ever will), it will be possible to do an interesting encyclopedia based only on bots. But that's the point: I am trying to get people interested, so that there will be human contributors. I am not advocating bot-only encyclopedias. What I am saying here is: some people exaggerate in their attacks on bots. The ban on bots at the German Wikipedia is, in my opinion, a clear exaggeration. Bots can (and I even think: should) be used for a number of things, including also creating articles. Bots should never be the only active elements, of course. Humans are what makes the articles interesting, as you yourself say. If my intention was to continue only with bots -- if the current aspect of was what I had aimed at -- then I'd agree you're right. But this is not my intention. As I've said before, if this situation continues for too long (say two years), I will myself quit (and delete the stubs, or propose the closure of, etc.). (I'm curious: haven't I said often enough on this page that I don't want to remain like this? Like you, many other people on this page talk as if my deepest desire for were lots of stubs on various cities, and nobody working on anything else. This is not the case.) Smeira 21:53, 15 October 2007.
I believe your intentions are good but the math doesn't look good. Say you get 10 hard working contributors willing to flesh out every article they run into. 100000/10 = about 10000 articles per person. Say it took 1 day per article 10000/365 = is 27 years. You stubbed it out way to far. And the topics are not that interesting. -MarsRover 06:38, 16 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It took the English wikipedia about five years to reach this scale. It is only reasonable for a community orders of magnitude smaller to take longer to grow.
  • If a wikipedia has a good category framework, portals, and all that, the essential information is not diluted, and indeed is only supplemented by the bot-created background. The only negative, albeit debatable, is that hitting the random page button will land you on a bot-created page. Hillgentleman 08:35, 16 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, note that the idea is not that a possible community of contributors to would work on the stubs that already exist. No: every new contributor, just as in all other Wikipedias, will do what s/he prefers (create new articles, edit existing ones, write templates, discuss policies, etc.). Although some of these stubs will be expanded, I suppose most of them will remain stubs. What the future growth will look like is precisely one of the interesting aspects of Wikipedia, isn't it? (I certainly hope for more, and more interesting, topics.) Note that the same happens with the bot-created US city stubs in most of them were about small towns and villages, and many, perhaps most of these have not been significantly changed since their creation: corrections by bots, an occasional photo added by a human, a few more minor corrections by humans, and that's it. So: after 5 years in, they haven't really evolved into anything other than what they were in the beginning. Yet nobody wants to delete them, because: (a) the basic statistical information is still relevant and possibly useful, and (b) the rest of has become so interesting because of the activity of so many people. (Of course, I'm not saying will have as big a community as, or as interesting a result -- which other Wikipedia could say that? But I am saying that the other interesting things that were happening and went on happening after the creation of those stubs are what really matters.) I anticipate your criticism: but the US city stubs in are not a major component of the whole wikipedia, unlike, where geo-stubs are 95% of everything. Even if in two years this proportion down to, say, 80% after more articles on other themes are created (still feasible, I think: adding about 10,000 new articles, or 1,000 per contributor (or less, if there are more than 10) per year, should do that), still they're a major component, unlike their counterparts. Well, but if one counts all kinds of stubs in, not only US cities, they seem to be still a major component (stub ratio for is 0.1941, but since, according to Mutante, stub ratio = good articles / total articles, then 0.1941 means only 19,41% of the articles are 'good'; of course, there are a lot of other things -- redirects, disambiguation pages, other namespaces -- but it would still seem we'd end up with a surprisingly high percentage of stubs.). Smeira 15:45, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Let's not take Dresden (Kansas) as example, but vo:Ulysses (Kansas) and de:Ulysses (Kansas). This litte town of 5690 people has a unique history, that de-WP put on their main page, when the artcle was new, because it is funny and tragic and worth hearing about (for those who don't speak German and can't read our article: Legends of America on Ulysses). Six other languages have articles on that town, all of them bot-generated and useless (incl en), as they only replicate the US-census database on Ulysses. The article in en is from Oct 2002 and no one bothered to improve it beyond that database excerpt. Bot generated content is worthless in an encyclopedia, let's ban those bots once and for all - and shut down Volapük, as it has nothing to offer and no future beyond the bots. --h-stt !? 07:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're insisting on an unecessary opposition: nobody says humans are bad article-writers, much the contrary: they are essential. You are the one saying: forbid this, prohibit that, prevent this, erase that, delete that. I am just saying: let humans make their unique contributions, and let bots make their repeated ones. Both are OK, both are useful, for different things. I'll even go further: human contributions are much better than bot contributions -- your example, Ulysses (Kansas), shows that. But your example does not mean that bots cannot be useful for other kinds of information. So, please let us go back to the example of vo:Dresden (Kansas) and de:Dresden (Kansas): the bot-created article is better, more informative, and has more relevant information than the German, human-created one. Putting this example together with yours, the conclusion is not your iconoclastic "burn all bot-created articles!" but rather: let humans do the kinds of contributions that they do better (like de:Ulysses (Kansas), and let bots do the kinds of contributions that they do better (like vo:Dresden (Kansas)). So: Bot-generated content is relevant in an encyclopedia; let's keep it! Let our criteria be: is the information relevant, accurate, and understandable? Then let it stay!! Information is freedom! As for your prognosis on Volapük, you may be right; but I hope you aren't. In case you're right, I'll admit it; as I keep saying, I will myself submit another closure proposal in this case. Bt in case, just in case you are wrong and the Volapük community does develop further than you expect: I hope you will also be a gentleman, not get angry, and congratulate us on our hard-won results. Deal? --Smeira 17:23, 3 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wrote the article on de:Ulysses (Kansas) because I needed it in another article about something that happend in the vincinity of the town (before it was build - the first and second time). Had there already been a (bot- oder human-generated) article on the town, with nothing but the US-census data, I had linked to it and never even tried to search for information about that place. Those abominable US-census stubs prevent humans from research, once one of those database-excerpts is there, usually no improvement takes place anymore, besides some playing with categories or maybe adding a third rate drummer from some college band, who happened to be born there. Stop all the database excerpts - and the bots in the first place, as they can't do anything beyond copying databases. --h-stt !? 20:00, 3 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are all kinds of reasons for people to write articles, h-stt. In my case, it wasn't a red link: I just found a blue link to "Tirio" or "Trio" from the page on Cariban languages in the English Wikipedia, saw that it was a one-sentence stub, and decided to expand it and change it to en:Tiriyó language. So: if Ulysses (Kansas) was a blue link, you would not have followed it? You could have seen it was a stub and decided to expand it anyway... After all, you did expand it once it was a red link, didn't you? You could have just added a stub there: Ulysses ist ein Dorf im Staat Kansas., and then you'd have a blue link again. No, it wasn't the red link: it was your desire to do something more than a stub, just like me: I also desired to do more than stub. The difference is that in your case the stub didn't exist yet, in my case it did. So I disagee: stubs don't prevent research. Have you noticed how many of the original US city stubs in have been expanded (often by people who live there)? You say usually they don't, but lots of them did! Look e.g. at en:Alton, Illinois, en:Arlington Heights, Illinois, ... in fact, look through the en:Category:Cities in Illinois. Most of them started as US city stubs; about half of them have developed into much longer and more interesting texts. "Database excerpts", by bots or by humans, are ways of putting relevant data available on an encyclopedia. All encyclopedias, on paper or wiki, have this kind of data. And people can, and do, improve them, as the Illinois examples above show. Don't be so pessimistic and anti-stub. Stubs are seeds that can, and often do, grow. Do you really think that, say, de:O'Fallon (Illinois) is really preventing research, just because it will show as a blue link if someone ever refers to it in Would you to submit it for deletion? I wouldn't do that. I am a wiki-optmisit. If I knew more about the place, I would simply edit it and improve it. --Smeira 00:06, 5 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This is not so much a discussion as a reaction on the fact that several of those who were in favor of this closure proposal above mentioned that the 100,000-article increase was "advertisement" = "evil", like using steroids. I would be lying if I said such comments, sometimes rather aggressive, made me feel happy. Besides suggesting that people be more civil and polite, here's what I'd like to say:

  • This is a method to attract interested contributors. I take advantage of the fact that high article count attracts attention to see if other people who might be interested but would usually never know there was such a thing as (I've already seen messages from people who had never known it existed before seeing the stats). Is that really so evil? I suppose this counts as some sort of "advertising"; but I'll claim it certainly is not spamming or abusive advertising, as one might think judging by the animosity of some of the criticisms in the discussion above. I'm not selling anything; I'm not even asking for people to contribute; nowhere do I even say learn Volapük! or write articles here!. I feel it's more like putting a call for papers for a conference in a very visible website. This struck me as a method more likely to succeed in reaching people who might be interested than just sitting and hoping. Before, you wouldn't get the Volapük wikipedia even if you googled for "Volapük"; now you do. Is that really so bad? If I do succeed in attracting more collaborators and increasing the quality of, will I really have sinned so deeply?
  • This is a waste of resources. What resources? I don't think I've used more than 1-2% of any resource. And of course this is so. Do you have any idea how many computers I'd have to own, and put to work with various simultaneous bots, to even come close to matching the resource usage of any of, say, the 5 larger Wikipedias -- to say nothing of them all together? This is clearly beyond my possibilities. So there is no way in which I could even make a dent on WMF resources, even if this were my basic goal (which it isn't)!! What is the cost, after all? Have there been any problems? Is any wikipedia slower than it should be, because of Has anybody had problems with searching, finding and reading articles, because of Does anybody feel like there is less space, because of Where is the damage? Who is suffering? Despite all the rage and fury, what's the reality here?
  • I note that there are other "quasi-advertising" things going on around Wikipedia. The "Three-year plan" mentions as one of the goals to "expand the breath of contributors" by "attracting" several kinds of people: talented artists, musicians, experts in various areas, via subject-specific mailing lists, newsgroups, university departments (presumably lectures, discussions, special websites, distributing Wiki Readers, etc.). Isn't this also, well, a little bit like "advertising"? The same plan mentions also WM products and their distribution via contacts in publishing, manufacturing, distributing, etc.; I think this will even involve actual advertising and marketing, won't it? I suppose the products (Wikipedia CDs, Wiki Readers, etc.) won't be all given away for free; but, even if they are, aren't they "advertisements" for Wikipedia, "shouting" to the world: 'I'm here! I'm a big thing! I'm important!'? If so, is doing something really much worse? Note even that its target is a much smaller group of people: only those who are/might be interested in Volapük. Surely you don't think that lots of people who never even knew planned languages existed will suddenly be magically "converted" into "Volapükists" by my "advertisement"? Honestly, people, I don't see how I am doing anything terribly wrong, or even a little wrong. Smeira 26 Septembre 2007
So, you are exploiting an element of advertizing build into the wikipedia system in a theory that it will increase your community. Look at the history of the en:Spanish Wikipedia to see what contributors think of advertizing. When it comes to advertizing (or spam) it is in the eye of the receiver. One out of a billion who click on a link to a vowp article cannot read it, you just happen to be the one out of billion. So, you are biased in idenitifying whether its annoying (the main cost of advertizing). Many people commenting here don't agree with your actions and it is a common policy that wikipedia is not an advertising service. I haven't seen one person defend your advertizing actions (except you). This really isn't a debatable question. Its like someone robbing a bank and then trying to say "give me two years and I will show you all the good I can do" with the money. MarsRover 01:43, 15 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not defending "advertising": I'm saying what I did is at best a borderline case, and probably not even a case at all of "advertising" in the bad sense (as opposed to its original sense: "letting people know" -- cf. Latin adverto). The Spanish case and the guidelines you mentioned are based on a rejection of (commercial/political) advertising, based on texts. So you cannot add pop-up ads to Wikipedia pages. I agree with that, too. Likewise, I cannot create a page on Wikpedia saying: "Buy hamburgers at McMeira!" Or even: "Volapük is great! Learn it now and contribute to Vükiped!". Such things are neither informative nor objective: they are at best expressions of opinions or desires, at worst simply... advertising. This is what I think you mean when you say it isn't a debatable question. And I agree! It isn't! The question here is that this isn't what I did. What I did was simply to place the name "Volapük" higher up in the list of Wikipedias, so that others can see it and wonder what it is. They'd still have to go find the information by themselves (e.g. at en:Volapük). I didn't even add a link to an information page in English that they could read! Higher up than Volapük are Norwegian and Finnish. Is their mere presence there also "advertising" (even if this was not the intention)? Maybe there are people who didn't know the Finnish language existed and first saw it on this list. (I, for one, first saw Võro on the list of Wikipedias, was equally surprised, went on to check and found out it's a divergent dialect of Estonian. Was I "captured by an advertisement"?) You say that the receiver is the one who gets to complain; but not all complaints are fair. Wouldn't you think that it would be wrong for someone to protest against the position Norwegian has on the table simply because the kind of Norwegian on the top 15 is Bokmål, the person is a supporter of Nynorsk and s/he considers the fight between both standards a political question? "The position of Bokmål on the list infuriates me: it is a subrepticious kind of political propaganda, implying that Bokmål is better than Nynorsk. I hereby demand that all stubs be deleted from, which should reduce its size significantly and bring it closer to Nynorsk, as it should be!" (Of course I understand that there are good reasons for the difference: the Bokmål community is larger, more active, etc. They are not trying to advertise. Which wouldn't prevent such a person from claiming that they were, even if unconsciously, and to claim that, since "advertising is in the eye of the receiver", s/he has the right to complain and demand changes.)
So what I'm saying is: define advertisement$! By any definition you use, either (a) what I did is at best (worst?) a borderline case, and probably no case at all, or (b) there are other "innocent" things that would also be advertising. As I mention above: WikiReaders, CD versions of Wikipedia (especially when offered for free), even certain word choices ("the free encyclopedia"; "that anyone can edit" -- the point is not whether they are true, but that they may have been chosen because they sound 'cool' and attract people, and I'll bet many people were attracted by them -- thus conceivably "advertising", even if with true information). Your example of the bank robber is an exaggeration, a simple example of "the ends justify the means". Here's a better comparison: think of a student putting a piece of paper (often handwritten) with the name of his student club, and a conference he's organizing, at the entrance of the local university library, where incoming people can see it. It may be, in the etymological sense, "advertising": it is letting people know something is going on. But it is not "advertising" in the bad sense (which, by the way, was also forbidden on the library of the university where I studied -- no "Buy hamburgers at McMeira" allowed!). Well, what I did was less than that, because, even though Volapük went up the list (the student club), there was no further information (forthcoming conference, event, etc.).
You mention Interwiki Links as advertisements, and the fact that I'm one of the happy few who can actually read Volapük articles. I don't really see your point there. You see, the interwiki links were not what I was thinking about: I actually never gave them a moment's thought, and even though I suppose they could, in principle, also attract someone, I never expected anyone to even notice them. One usually reads the article, not the Interwiki links, unless one is interested in some specific language (I suppose that's why they're way to the left, away from the main body of text: to attract less attention.) The only people I saw really complaining about interwiki links were the proposer of this page and a few like-minded contributors of the German Wikipedia. But, should someone find them bad, I will say again that I never wanted to use them, and that if someone wants to delete links to from a given Wikipedia (by adding it to the spam list, etc.), feel free to do so. I would still find it funny that s/he wouldn't want to do it to all links to "small" languages, only to Volapük -- it doesn't seem logical: why not delete e.g. all links to stubs, or all links to languages that, say, 99% of the readers of a given Wikipedia wouldn't understand --, but hey, it's a free world. Delete them if you want. I'd even help, if someone asked me. Smeira 00:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC).

Final Comment (by the author of the proposal)[edit]

I would like to make a final comment about this whole affair.

First I would like to point out that I didn't know Volapük, vo.wp or Smeira before yesterday. I'm not opposed to artificial languages at all. They are a very useful tool in linguistics. But I can see no sense in creating an encyclopedia in a language only two dozen persons can speak as a second language and maybe some hundred or so persons can understand a view words. And I didn't see a compelling argument so far why this is useful for anyone. Especially if not a human being is writing good quality articles but bots are just increasing the database.

Why many of you insist comparing Volapük to living languages with thousends to millions of native speakers is something I can't understand.

Some of you insist I should want to close down many more small projects. Well I certainly think so. Wikimedia should focus on languages with potential readers. There are many projects that could use help, but don't get the attention of Volapük because they try to create articles the traditional way (meaning without extensive use of bots). But although I think more projects should be closed down this is no reason not to propose closing Volapük wikipedia. One has to start somewhere. But don't worry, now that I know what to expect I won't continue. There are better things to do with my time.

I can only assume there are political reasons that so many persons are opposed to my proposal. Since politics is not my cup of tea I won't participate in this discussion anymore. Please don't address or contact me about this issue I won't answer anyway and sure won't change my opinion. I'll just see what happens with this proposal and in the meantime continue my work in de.wp where I can at least have some fun. Maybe there will be a solution for the interwiki link problem, maybe not.

Thank you very much. Rosentod

Here are some answers that may help you understand what you currently don't.
(a) I also have nothing against you personally. As you said, we had never met before yesterday. I'm sure you've done good work for Your user page has an award, it certainly must mean something. The suggestion that a language with few speakers shouldn't have a wikipedia is not per se bad: it is a point that certainly deserves discussion. You're not a priori wrong about that. The problem is that you've singled, when there are hundreds of other wikis for languages with very few speakers that you're not saying anything about. You're making a discussion about which languages should have wikipedias become a discusion about the Volapük wikipedia. 'Should languages with few speakers have Wikipedias? Isn't that a waste of resources?' becomes 'Volapük shouldn't have a Wikipedia!': this is making a specific question out of a general one. This is your error, this is what you are doing wrong. I hope you won't miss this point.
(b) I am baffled by the fact that you think anyone is comparing Volapük to languages with millions of speakers. I am comparing it with languages that have thousands to hundreds (Inupiaq, Cheyenne, Hawai'i), or even zero (Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek), and asking why you preferred to request closing and not their wikipedias. How did you get the impression anyone is comparing Volapük to languages with millions of speakers? I really don't get that. Looking at your reactions, are you really so surprised that some people end up thinking that you have something personal against the Volapük language? I mean, by not answering any of the above questions and by repeating things that had already been countered, you contributed to create precisely this impression. It's a good thing that you've now explicitly declared this not to be the case.
(c) You do agree now that there are lots of projects that should be closed. Should I start a discussion on some page on this interesting topic? Will you contribute with your arguments -- criteria for measuring which wikipedias are not good, and also for deciding which projects need more help, and how? I'm sure it would be interesting.
(d) You say that the fact you think there are other projects who should be closed down doesn't mean the closure of shouldn't be proposed. True, it doesn't logically follow. But think priorities: if the reason for closure is lack of activity, lack of potential contributors, lack of potential for development, shouldn't you be first getting the languages with no activity or no speakers (Latin, etc.) out first? By your criteria (with which I don't agree -- I don't think Latin shouldn't have a wikipedia -- but that's a different discussion), you've either got your priorities wrong, or then you have never looked at these other wikipedias. In other words: there is an inconsistency between your professed opinions and your apparent priorities.
(e) If you can only assume that there are political reasons for so much opposition, then you haven't really been reading the posts. Let me summarize:
  • Your proposal for closure goes against accepted policy (no activity, not superactivity by one editor, is grounds for closing);
  • You are, as you've said already, really concerned with the problems of interwiki links in, not really with the size or content of or other smaller wikipedias. This is a different problem (if it really is one -- there are also good arguments why there should be many interwiki links) that is logically and factually independent from, and thus is no reason to propose its closure.
  • You give no answer to the various criticisms. Many important questions were asked (just search for question marks in the discussion), and you have failed to provide answers and arguments. You have basically insisted that a project for a language with fewer speakers and with many robot-created stubs doesn't deserve a wikipedia, and when arguments and questions were presented against that ('what's the difference between human stubs and robot stubs?' 'why shouldn't meaningful stubs be created by either method? why should they make people who write longer articles feel discomfort -- unless there's some unspoken assumption that the sheer number of articles is really a good measure, something we all know to be wrong', etc. -- look through the discussion), you failed to provide an answer. If one person asks and the other doesn't answer, how exactly is that only politics? Look, maybe you feel wronged by other people's opinions; that's OK, I would too, if they had turned out to disagee with me. But this is no reason to ignore their questions and keep repeting the same claims without fundamenting them with new arguments! If you want to feel like a Russian dissident, well, feel free; but this is not your situation. You look more like a politician confronted with embarassing questions that s/he doesn't want to answer.

In the end, this was an indeed an interesting discussion, and it did show some of the virtues and some of the problems with Wikipedias and Wikipedians. Thank you for it. Smeira 14:52, 23 September 2007

The actual problem[edit]

I think that actually the main problem with the Volapük Wikipedia (VOWP) is Wikipedia's reputation. Given that VOWP now appears high up in the stats, a lot of outsiders will find it, and some of them will find out that actually those 112,000 articles are mainly created by bots. They will use this fact to insult and make jokes about WP. They will say things like: "Look. Wikipedia has a version in that joke language with 112,000 articles created by bots. Probably many versions of Wikipedia in other languages are similar jokes. And probably even the big versions (en, de, fr) have a lot of such articles whose main function is to boost the statistics."

Seeing this extreme case of VOWP, some people will think that that's the norm within Wikipedia, that it's all a big joke. Now this is the main reason why we have to do something about VOWP. For me the other problems mentioned on this page (e.g. the use of resources and the problem with interwiki links) are just additional problems, while the main problem is Wikipedia's reputation. That's why I don't think that we should necessarily shut this Wikipedia down. I think that VasilievVV's first and third proposals are rather good alternatives (i.e. either excluding VOWP from all statistics or deleting all bot-generated pages on VOWP). Marcos 15:12, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, the bigger wikipedias (en., fr., pl., sp.) have used bot-generated stubs; even de. has thousands of (human-)generated stubs. So: if someone thinks: Wikipedia has lots of bot-created articles... then this person is right! There are! And this shouldn't be hidden, but actually explained (as I said above, a bot-created stub is not necessarily worse than a non-bot-created stub). It seems to me that what is necessary here is to discuss this issue, also with outsiders. Bot-created articles shouldn't be worse, to outsiders (and even to insiders), than, say, doing computer-aided statistics and letting the software create beautiful charts that you then use as you wish (in papers, on web pages, etc.). We should tell them how quality is to be measured, and then display quality statistics -- not just article counts and depth -- so that they can see and judge by themselves; so that they can see that the Wikipedias differ in this respect.
IMHO, the main, greatest, most joke-inspiring problem with Wikipedia's reputation is exactly its wiki structure. In an article I read once, someone compared it a public bathroom: whenever you use it, it may even look clean, but you never know who was there before you and what he did. Smeira 18:43, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

True, the "Bots" are the cause of the problem. My support for the closure proposal is because of the "bots gone wild" situation. IMHO, any solution that saves vo.wp requires getting rid of the bots and the bot created articles. My suggestion of "another way" is really a more even handed way of saying "vo.wp" needs to reign in the bots in the name of quality (or as Marco's says for the sake of Wikipedia's repution).
The problems with "bots" are the fact that they are artifical. A recent interwiki link was created for en:Desert Center, California to a "vo.wp" article. If you have ever driven thru this town, the idea that the vo.wp article will someday flurish is wishful thinking. If this article was created by a human, one could assume at least one person in the vo.wp community is interested in this town. When comparing bot usage with other wikipedias, one needs to look at percents (not counts). If 99% of the articles were generated by bots. It means 99% of the community is artifical. Keeping things up-to-date, checking POV, enhancing articles all require a living community. If you have a small community unfortunely you should have a small encyclopedia. --MarsRover 21:52, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On all bigger Wikipedias, the proportion of bot-created stubs to proper articles is much smaller. Someone who finds out about VOWP might erraneously think that other Wikipedias have similar proportions of bot-created stubs.
I agree with you that bot-created stubs aren't any worse than manually created stubs. The main difference is that no one would actually create 110.000 stubs manually. So you could never get as bad proportions by manually creating stubs as by bots creating stubs.
The problem with all these stubs is that they just present statistics: You could equally well put all the information in some tables, and label the tables with Volapük text. That would be equally useful to someone speaking Volapük as your 110.000 stubs. Proper articles and even many manually created stubs are different in this respect: Their content can't be grouped together into tables. Their informtional value is far too rich and complex for that.
So it's not only the proportion of bot-created stubs to articles, but also the proportion of informational value to articles that's extremely low in VOWP. This makes all Wikipedia statistics highly misleading, and may, as I have already pointed out, decrease Wikipedia's reputation (i.e. make people have negative opinions about Wikipedia which are still much worse than the real state of Wikipedia). Marcos 19:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
MarsRover and Marcos, you raise relevant points, and you come to the crux of the problem faster than most other comments on this page, and without aggressive word choice; thank you very much. Let me address your points:
  • Of course, I could reply to the comment on en:Desert Center, California that there are many such stubs that haven't flourished also in the English Wikipedia (e.g. en:Fairview, Wyoming, on which every non-bot change after its creation was just cosmetic: adding links and a small county template, etc. There are thousands of such stubs in, and, despite the potential for growth, it is clear that some of them probably will never grow into anything else, just because coincidentally there won't be anybody interested in them (we could even try to figure out the statistical probability at some point); yet nobody is talking about deleting such articles from In fact, all Wikipedias have lots of such articles-that-will-probably-never-grow, and nobody wants to delete them, because maybe some day, who knows... (maybe someday there will be lots of Volapük speakers, and then, who knows, everything will change...) But, frankly speaking, if I said this, I would be avoiding the question that I see behind your words. Basically, as you said at the end, the Volapük community is too small to "take care" (with specific human attention) of all those human articles. I think this is also the point in Marcos' argument on low proportion: with a small community, there is no way a high level of human attention per article could be attained, leading to a better proportion. So, let's clarify a couple of things:
  • Are you concerned with the quality of the articles, or with potential readership? So, if I had, by some magic means, been able to produce 110,000 long, excellent-quality articles instead of stubs, would that make everything OK, or would the fact that this all had been the work of one person, and that there aren't very many potential readers and other contributors, still make the resulting Wikipedia objectionable? (Notice that not all languages that have a small community of contributors have a small community of speakers = potential readers; Quechua and Aymara have in principle several million readers, but the overwhelming majority are peasants in small villages who have never used a computer; they could, if someone somehow produced lots of articles in their Wikipedias, read the articles, i.e. the potential readership is large but the number of possible contributors quite small; compare Estonian, a language with, in principle, a smaller potential readership -- 1,5 million -- than Quechua or Aymara, but with a much larger (potential) community of computer-savy users and contributers, given the importance of computers and the internet in Estonia.)
  • You two make an interesting (implicit?) claim: that Wikipedia is interesting not because it contains (correct) information, but because it has a living community, i.e. with mostly human editors, not (only) bots. I disagree slightly: I think certain kinds of information (like precisely statistical data, surfaces, population figures, etc.) are better copied and pasted onto articles by bots (faster and fewer mistakes); I think the German wikipedia exaggerates by not allowing them in this case. After all, an encyclopedia should contain all kinds of information, not only that in which its contributors are personally interested, because all kinds of information can be potentially useful and necessary in some case. Hence all those US city stubs in, including those nobody ever changed significantly, I think: the information in them, even if bot-generated, may someday be useful to someone. -- But in general terms I agree: a large human community makes things much more interesting. The consequence, as you point out, is that small-community languages (meaning a small community of computer-savy contributors, thus also Quechua and Aymara, despite their millions of speakers) have Wikipedias with a goal that is different than large-community languages like English or French (see comments above). I agree, and I think this should become explicit Wikipedia policy. This is one of the goals I had in mind when I started this whole thing.
So what about the Volapük case? Well, call me a dreamer; but I want to think that maybe this whole story will attract more interested people, increase the community, and thus allow an increase in the overall quality of the project. If sufficiently many people enter the project, then maybe the Volapük Wikipedia will become what you guys want, and me too: a group of like-minded individuals collaborating to produce something interesting. Given that some new users have shown up, and started contributing (see the example I gave above: vo:Yapän = Japän, with a new human contributor in the last edits (see its history page), maybe this will happen.
Of course, I know that there is a good chance that this will not happen. So here's my proposal: give some time (I had said two years above, because this was the time took to go from 0 to 100,000, and this proposal for closure came from a user; of course, this is only symbolic and can be changed). If, at the end of this time, the situation hasn't changed significantly; if I'm still the only contributor (say, 80% of all edits are mine) and mostly by using bots; if the quality measure (which we'd need to agree on; see this suggestion one person made on my talk page) still shows unsatisfying results; then I will myself, either delete all geography stubs, or submit another proposal for closing (If nobody ever gets interested in helping, I would certainly agree it's not worthwhile to try to have a Wikipedia. I did, for instance, support the proposal for closing the Volapük Wikiquote.) Is this proposal good enough, in your perpective, MarsRover and Marcos?
I will leave it to the community to decide. If you stop using bots to create articles and removed enough articles so that at least half of them were actually touched by a human hand, I wouldn't support the closure. Whether you are comparing "bot edits vs human edits", "article count vs community size", "breadth vs depth", "visibility vs notability" this encyclopedia is unbalanced and need to be adjusted. I think you are a too focused on article creation and not on obvious things that might help your cause (one of the benefits of a community). Most people first and last exposure to Volapük will reading a rather unflattering article in en.wp about the language. If there is anything positive about the language you might want to make some edits. Your biggest problem after that is 35 people know the language. There are several sizable wikipedias that have less than a hundred active editors so its not a crazy thought a community could be built. --MarsRover 05:53, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem, MarsRover, is how to get such a community -- in the long run, the only solution to this "unbalacing" you mention. So my first priority became to attract more people. As I said on my talk page, I did try e.g. writing good articles. I wrote many, some following exactly the list of articles every Wikipedia should have, like vo:fösilav = paleontology, vo:filosop = philosphy, vo:matemat = mathematics, etc.; I'm traslating biographies (see vo:Ninon de Lenclos, vo:Milan Kundera; especial attention to Volapükists, where the text is all mine: vo:Arie de Jong, vo:Johann Martin Schleyer, etc.). This didn't seem to attract anybody. And I understand why. A supporter of Interlingua, another planned language, once told me: "Of course I'd be interested in articles on Volapük history and Volapükists -- we all want to understand how come Volapük was so popular at the end of the XIXth century -- 17 journals, 15 written exclusively in Volapük! Subscribers even in countries like Egypt, Syria and China! But don't write them in Volapük -- I don't want to learn the language just to read them." But if I don't write them in Volapük, they don't belong in So we're back to the small-comunity problem: whatever happens in would have a small readership, unless more people become interested in the whole thing (note that the new contributors that have appeared in were not among the 20-35 listed speakers; they're actually new people who became Volapükists recently -- they're not among the members of the Volapükagrup at Yahoo, for instance).
You say there are some obvious things I could do in To attract a larger community, I assume -- the only way to remedy the "unbalacing" you talk about? Please tell me what these things are. If you have ideas, be sure I would like to know. (You see, this is the real problem in all this discussion. All this talk about bot stubs vs. human stubs, interwiki links, quality measurements, the importance of Volapük or lack thereof, these are all simply reasons why some people have made some apparently angry comments; the real, big problem is, I think: was I right in doing so many bot-generated stubs -- nothing wrong with them per se -- in order to try to get a larger community of contributors for And 'right' here means both: can it work? (reality or fantasy?), and: is it morally acceptable? ('resource-wasting', 'advertising'). Believe me: I remember hesitating for months precisely because of such issues -- just look how long it took me to finally decide to go ahead: 6-7 months after I started working on I just didn't see any other way that might work. Even this one is quite iffy. Maybe I was wrong and there are other, better ways of trying to increase the size of the contributor community: let me know then. I swear I didn't bump up article counts just because of the stultifying magic of growing numbers.) Smeira 12:32, 29 September 2007 (UTC).
  • A final note on the stats: I think that one (I hope, good) consequence of this whole story is the conclusion that the statistics, as they are, are misleading (or better: misinterpretable and usually misinterpreted). Maybe someday someone will criticize Wikipedia and the WMF by saying too many people rely on this kind of misinterpretable statistics ("are you doing this on purpose?" "misinformation!"... etc.). If we had a better measure of quality, it might turn out, for instance, that the German wikipedia deserves the first place rather than the English wikipedia -- if, for instance, the quality-per-article ratio turns out better in than in So there are other "potential lies" that the current ranking seems to support. So, I'd say: is not so much "affecting the reputation of Wikipedia" (if any outsider will ever use to criticize Wikipedia, s/he will probably base his/her arguments on discussion pages like this one rather than on itself, which s/he is probably not going to want to evaluate directly without learning some Volapük and/or having some "insider" knowledge of how Wikipedias work -- enough to use the "random page" buttom to check variety of topics for instance); it is "showing that current statistics are flawed and should be replaced". Article count is like the GNP per capita: without a PPP correction parameter, it gives you a false impresion about the actual income level of a given country (compare GNPs per capita with and without a PPP parameter here). Smeira 15:10, 28 September 2007 (UTC).

Honestly saying it is unfair to call Volapuk "joke language". It is one of oldest international auxiliary languages. It hasn't become as popular as esperanto, but it has a long history and a significant part of this movement. Marcos said "the main problem with the Volapük Wikipedia (VOWP) is Wikipedia's reputation.", since he thinks Volapu as a "joke language". But as I noted, if you have knowledge about linguistics and history of constructed languages, you might not have thought in that way. So the proposal may be based on misunderstanding, lack or knowledge or just a plain malice. I don't think the latter is the case, so it came from misunderstanding or lack or knowledge. Either the former or the latter, both cannot be a good ground to close a project, hence this proposal for closure should be rejected in my opinion. --Aphaia 14:06, 30 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I didn't say that Volapük was a joke language. I know enough about the history of planned language to be aware of its glorious past. The only thing I said was that others might call it a joke language, based on the fact that nowadays only 25-35 people speak it.
Nor did I support the closure of VOWP. I prefer that the bot-created stubs be deleted, or alternatively that VOWP be removed from all Wikipedia statistics. Smeira has admitted that he created those stubs in order to attract the attention of many people, so that some more people learn Volapük and contribute to it. I think that this is a misuse of Wikipedia's popularity: He uses Wikipedia's much visited statistic pages in orde to advertise Volapük. That's just not right!
What would people say if I created so many stubs on the Esperanto Wikipedia that it becomes bigger than the English Wikipedia, just in order to advertise Esperanto (in order to increase its chances of becoming the main language of international communication)? I could, similarly to Smeira, argue that I do it for the benefit of the Esperanto Wikipedia, in order to get more serious contributers involved. But this would certainly be considered a misusage of Wikipedias popularity, wouldn't it? (Of course, if I actually planned to do this, the community of the Esperanto Wikipedia would hinder me; but in the case of VOWP, there was no community to hinder Smeira).
So, because Smeira misused Wikipedia's popularity, and additionally might damage Wikipedias reputation, we have to do something against his actions. Deleting VOWP wouldn't be the right response: Instead we should either delete (a large number of) the bot-created stubs on VOWP, or we should remove VOWP from all statistics (and from Marcos 14:46, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't get this impression you said Volapük was a joke language from any of your comments; I think Aphaia must have misread you, or confused you with some other people who did say or imply such bad things. I also appreciate the fact that you're not supporting closure. I am happy to see you discuss a real issue: not interwiki links or clogged watchlists or whether bot-created articles are intrinsically evil, but the morality of the whole thing: the "advertising". I said something about it above; let me restate what was said to address your ideas more directly.
"To advertise Volapük"; "that's just not right!"; "what if I did this for Esperanto?"... Ah, sigh. There are some fine lines here, and I will understand people who decide that I have gone too far. I had similar qualms, believe me. I hesitated for months before starting this, because I was arguing with myself about precisely such issues. My final thoughts, adapted to the context of your words, would imply something like the following comments:
-- I am not advertising for Volapük per se; I am trying to attract more collaborators for a Wikipedia. As far as I can see, there's absolutely no chance that Volapük would ever be marketable as an auxiliary language. I don't think there's anything I can do, or the whole Wikipedia for that matter, to change this situation. If you did what you suggested (of course you won't, I understand it was just an example) and added, say, the 9,000,000 items of the NASA Extragalactic Dabatase to as stubs about galaxies outside the Milky Way, so that goes way above, for the purpose of "increas[ing] its [=Esperanto's] chances of becoming the main language of international communication", you would in my perspective be pursuing an aim outside of Wikipedia itself. I wouldn't want to do that, either -- especially because I don't think Wikipedia would help increase Esperanto's chances of becoming a true international auxiliary language. For most non-Wikipedians -- there are important exceptions, of course, but in terms of numbers, most people still think that Wikipedia is, sadly, a joke. Even being explicitly supported by Wikipedia wouldn't really help there, let alone simply having "good statistics" (which are in fact easy to explain away). From your comment, I get the impression that you think this is what I really want: to bump up the status of Volapük, its use as an auxiliary language, etc. I assure you this is not the case; as I said, I think this would be simply impossible. Also, again as I said above, I can myself tdelete the stubs, or even propose again the closure of (whatever people think is best), if after a certain period of time (say, two years) the number of contributors hasn't increased. I now intend to do this regardless of the result of the voting on this page.
-- Is trying to attract new contributors a "misuse of Wikipedia's popularity"? As I said: there are other things in Wikipedia that are meant to attract more, and better, contributors (the WikiReaders, the CD-versions of Wikipedia, perhaps even choices of phrase like "the free Encyclopedia" or "the sum of all human knowledge". The Three-year plan here at Meta mentons explicitly attracting new and better users as the goal. So: is using article count for doing this bad? My idea: if people understand that article count is as irrelevant as penis size or pissing distances, then it shouldn't be a problem; if they don't, then the size increase in should make them think about it, and change their minds. This would, in and of itself, already be a good consequence of this whole story. I understand that the distinctions here are nuanced, and that honest people may disagree about where they draw the line. There may even be sufficiently many people who think so to close, or to externally delete stubs (without waiting to see if new contributors show up). I understand the risk, I can live with it, and I respect your wish to "do something against my actions": it comes from opinions based on a moral stance. But, because of what I said above, I disagree with your moral options with respect to that. Basically, I think that, although non-conventional and controversial, what I did is still ultimately justifiable (thus not "misuse") as a means of attracting more contributors -- 20, 15, even 10 would already suffice -- especially since I am explicitly saying I will undo it if there is no significant community increase, even if nobody forces me to. And also, the other consequence I hope for: that people will stop considering article count to measure quality.
-- Removing Volapük from the stats: in my opinion, what is really needed is a change in the stats themselves. Let a new measure be defined -- one that is more relevant for Wikipedia's goals than mere article count -- and let all Wikipedias be ranked according to it. If the measure is sufficiently good, Volapük should drop naturally out of the table. In fact, I would be happy to help define precisely such measurement, and I wouldn't be sad to see it make the Volapük Wikipedia disappear from the ranking. But taking Volapük out of the table without altering the statistical measurement itself is a half-hearted solution: we're aware the measure is not good, so instead of adopting another one, we'll just drop the results that we don't like (should I say: for publicity's reasons?). That's not very scientific: we drop the flawed results but keep the flawed method? Let us please define a new, more accurate and adequate measure! Frankly speaking, it is the reliance on mere article count that may damage the (still to be formed) reputation of Wikipedia: paper encyclopedias like Britannica have made precisely the same point: the apparent big size of -- 2 million articles -- is misleading, since only a very tiny percentage of them has the same level of quality of an average Britannica article, etc.
Since you do seem to be a good person with thoughtful comments, I really would appreciate to know what you think about what I said above. Please be assured that I am not trying to play any games, or do covert propaganda, or anything; I am trying to be as honest as I can. I am sorry if we disagree; I don't mean it as an offense. I hope that more people will agree with me than with you, but I have no control over that and I will accept the final outcome no matter what it is. Smeira 02:30, 6 Oktober 2007.
Thanks a lot for your long response. I appreciate it that you are planning to remove the stubs in case your plans of getting a community don't realise within two years.
Just like pfctdayelise, I don't understand why you need as many as 112,000 articles to advertise VOWP. I have read you're response that 10,000-15,000 just weren't enough to get people interested. But nevertheless I think that you should have stayed below the 100,000 mark - especially because the 100,000 sends VOWP very high up on, which is visited a lot.
So I think that as a move towards those who have critisised you here, you should delete some of the stubs so as to reduce the article count of VOWP below 100,000. If you do that, I am perfectly fine with you're idea of waiting two years and see whether you're plans succeed. Marcos 17:37, 13 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But the position of Volapük there is precisely what may attract some interested people -- say, people who like to learn 'exotic' languages but didn't know Volapük existed. They see it high up in the hierarchy and it attracts their curiosity; maybe they thought they already know most, or all, language names, especially those that are high in the Wikipedia list, but this one stands out as an unexpected unknown language. So they consult their favorite source (say, and find out what Volapük is; from, they could take a link to an online Volapük course, or to the Volapük discussion group at Yahoo. Then they get interested, learn it, and show up at at some point in the near future... If goes down, say below 100,000, I think the chance of this happening also becomes smaller, don't you think? I mean, that's why I went as far as 112,000 in the first place. (Maybe you'll say the chance of noting it in the more-than-10,000 group is also good for exotic language lovers. Maybe you're right, maybe not; at first sight, it seems best to try the largest group, which 'exotic' language lovers will probably read first. But I'll say this: if most people here think this is not the case, and, like you, advise me to drop the article count to, say, 90,000-95,000, then I'll do it.) Smeira 01:19, 14 October 2007

This wiki is a joke[edit]

Bot-created articles can be useful for "seeding" a new project but "seeding" on this scale is ridiculous, 75% of the edits in the entire wiki are by User:SmeiraBot. With just 250 registered users and most of them registered to people cannot speak and have no intention of learning the language. This project goes against the Wikimedia practice of having a community write and edit an encyclopedia (or dictionary, etc). The bot articles are so overwhelming that a community has no hope of growing here, and thus no way to really maintain the articles at all. And all the articles are obscure tiny American towns. If one was randomly vandalised there would be next to no one to check and revert.

It makes a joke of Wikimedia to have this the 15th largest project and it cheapens the hard efforts of actual people who make actual efforts using their actual brains... like Turkish, Romanian, even the Esperantists clearly have a community. The majority of the bots edits should be deleted so the project can return to being tiny, and do it the proper, slow, hard way -- by building a community in proportion to the project. --pfctdayelise 13:43, 8 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But isn't the question: does it work? Will it create the community we all desire for All your numbers refer to the present situation (actually slightly past already -- things change every day). If a reasonable number of new contributors does come to and things get better, won't we come closer to the wiki ideal? If a community does grow, won't the whole thing be justified? Wouldn't you yourself become satisfied with, if this were to happen? So if this "ridiculous seedig", this "joke" by people who don't "use their actual brains", actually does succeed in starting a community, will you then say "sorry, I was wrong"? Who knows? it might happen... no guarantees, of course, there's a good chance that it won't work, but... have a look at the "recent changes" in and count the number of new IP addresses... did you notice I'm not even the only person reverting vandalism anymore?). The proper, slow, hard way: oh yes, haven't we all heard this song before. Yes, maybe Wikipedia should also have stayed like en:Nupedia: none of this stupid business of letting anyone edit any article -- don't look at the possibilites or at some initial results, don't be optimistic; nooo, do it the proper, slow, hard way: use experts and peer reviews. If you don't have any, just wait till they show up. In fact, some people are going back to this idea now -- just ask the guys working at en:Citizendium. Yes, isn't the Wikipedia concept, the "anyone can edit" concept, really a joke?!?!... (WARNING: THE PRECEDING SENTENCES EXEMPLIFY IRONY AS A RHETORICAL DEVICE, NOT THE EXPRESION OF TRUE OPINIONS. DO NOT TAKE THEM AT FACE VALUE!)
You use the word "joke", and even make it the title of this subsection in a rather offensive way. I'm sure it wouldn't make your day really nicer if someone added a section like that to the talk page of an article that you care about -- especially if it criticized your edits. But let's forget the offense and think you're just presenting an idea; then maybe you haven't thought about how bad a measure of quality and teamwork article count really is (cf. en:Misuse of statistics for some enlightening comments). Isn't the mere use of article counts for classifying wikipedias really the joke here? Its punch line, should we say? (Oh God, why can't people simply let arguments talk, without offenses? We don't really have to be so childish, you know. You can certainly articulate your few arguments in a more civilized way, without offensive expressions. Look up how MarsRover and Marcos did it above. They said pretty much the same you said -- in fact even more -- and without offensive wording. It would be a good idea if you checked the answers I gave them, and others -- did you bother to read anything at all I wrote here? -- and then tried to come up with some interesting, original reactions and further thoughts rather than just adding one more repetition of things that are already all over this page.)
Hm, you have some good points.
You are right that trying things in new, radical ways can have unexpected results, like Wikipedia itself. Nonetheless to me Wikimedia is not a radical free-for-all try-anything approach to creating information. To me it is a way that has community as a core part of the content creation.
I am aware that article count is not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to evaluating success or growth but nonetheless it is a very useful measure. It's the combination of the article count and the user count that makes me think something strange is going on.
I didn't scrutinise every inch of this 160kb page but I did look through some of the other comments.
OK so the question is, will it work? You tell me, how long we do wait to know the answer? Isn't the answer forever? In which case didn't you ask a convenient question?
Another question is, how useful is it? Is there evidence of its usefulness increasing steadily? --pfctdayelise 13:33, 9 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I certainly agree that a community is an essential thing -- this is actually the reason for this whole story. I thought that, if some other people who never heard about Volapük actually became interested in and started collaborating (as it seems to be beginning to happen -- but of course it's too early to say), then we would have precisely such a community, a starting ground for further development. If, say, 20, 15, even 10 people became active contributors, something really interesting might start here. The Dutch Wikisource is an interesting place with only 4-6 active contributors. I am not trying to carve out a little fiefdom for myself here. I am sincerely trying to see if I can find other interested people, as I had said in my talk page in Other efforts had not yielded any results, and I couldn't think of nothing else. Yes, in fact, this is so much a last resort that, as I've said often on this page, I will waint for some amount of time (say, two years) to see if things get better (i.e. if a better community gets formed); if they don't, I will myself resubmit a proposal for closure, or delete all stubs (and then probably quit the project, unless someone has some other idea). Of course, I'm hoping this will not be the case.
Well, again, there's a description of the 'something strange going on' on my talk page. Yes, it's not your ideal community-based wiki-project. But maybe it will become one. I can't guarantee it, and I'll try to close it myself if it doesn't after a while. I hope I won't have to, though. I really like it.
Article count is indeed a very weak predictor of quality -- and 'quality' is what I suppose everybody wants to have as a criterion. It is, however, very hard to define (see the pages I listed in another section above. But given cases like this -- or, say, doubts about whether is better than or not by criteria other than article count -- I think people should start talking about other ways of measuring quality. Someone on my talk page had suggested using the List of articles every Wikipedia should have as a first yardstick: by e.g. assiging points to every Wikipedia depending on the presence and quality level (stub, short article, long article, good article, featured article) of each item in the list. I would certainly support starting such a discussion somewhere here at Meta.
How long do we wait? My suggestion thus far is: two years. No special reason: it was simply the time it took the German Wikipedia to grow from 0 to 100,000 articles. I suppose the actual amount of time is up for discussion. If you think there's a better reason to suggest a different amount of time, please let me know. I sure hope it's not forever -- I don't have that much time.
How useful: well, what are the criteria? Volapük is a little-known language, and Wikipedia information is readily available in many other better known languages (English, German, French, Italian). If this makes it useless, then why have an Esperanto Wikipedia (also artificial language, all speakers know other languages)? Or a Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Irish (Gaelic) one? (All have near-native command of English, where they can find the same information.) Why have Wikipedias in dialects: Plattüütsch, Nnapulitano, Piemontese, Zêeuws (they all speak the 'main' dialect/language in their country: German, Italian, Dutch and could use / contribute to the respective Wikipedias). Why have Wikipedias in dead languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English (all contributors are second-language speakers, as in the case of Volapük and Esperanto). So, which criteria should one use to judge all "small language" Wikipedias? What makes a Wikipedia in a certain language "useful"? It's not simply a Volapük problem, it's a general problem of Wikipedia policy. My idea is that small-language Wikipedias are a good idea, despite their lower "pragmatic usefulness" (low number of potential readers), for other reasons, e.g. respect within the multilingual community of independent Encyclopedia projects that the original Wikipedia has, rather unexpectedly, become (see more thoughts on this point above). (I actually think this is an important issue; there's a lot of divergent opinions on this topic, and it should be more widely discussed.) Smeira 17:34, 9 October 2007.
If you are just trying to get people interested, why do you need so many articles? 10,000 articles, OK. 100,000 is nuts. It is nuts because you given the status of this language you will physically never be able to build the community to maintain it.
You misunderstand me on the point of "usefulness". I don't dispute the right of languages with few speakers to have a Wikipedia, at all. I mean how useful is it to its potential audience, ie Volapük speakers. If you scrapped all the American smalltown three-liners and started on the "articles every encyclopedia should have" list, that would surely be potentially much more useful. Not to mention interesting. --pfctdayelise 13:31, 10 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is a good question. When was around 10,000 articles, I didn't see any new contributors appear. (I did stop for a couple of weeks around 10-15,000 as I recall, after the first batch of US cities, before I started doing CDPs.) A week after I hit 100,000, a number of new contributors materialized (check out the recent changes for the various new IP addresses; a few were even doing administrative tasks like reverting vandalism). A new Volapükist has also shown up: HannesM, who has already worked on the article on Japan. Of course, I cannot guarantee that this level of activity will continue after a month or two, let alone that it will grow; only time will tell. But it does suggest that 100,000 articles empirically seem to be a better attractor than 10,000.
"A community to maintain it". Though of course I might be mistaken -- stranger things have happened -- I tend to agree with you: there probably won't be enough people to guarantee individual human attention to each of the 100,000 articles, even if I succeed in creating a community for The question is whether the stubs created are therefore 'bad' and should be deleted. One could argue that they can be maintained (actualized, checked, corrected) with bots. Would it be so bad if there were, say, one or two interested members of the community who kept taking care of the articles via bots? (That's of course a different story, but I'd find it an interesting discussion. I note it seems at least some of the US city stubs in are also kept updated via bots.)
'Usefulness': well, if your definition of 'usefulness' is 'what the users want', I suppose we'd have to wait for a community to say whether or not they find city stubs a good idea, right? If they decide we'd better delete them, I suppose that's what would happen then. While there isn't such a community, though, the idea is to try to attract the attention of potential community members via the number of stubs. I can imagine someone e.g. looking at an interwiki link to "Volapük" somewhere, or seeing "Volapük" in the lists of wikipedias at meta and, and thinking: what is Volapük?; and then reading e.g. en:Volapük, feeling interested, following some of the links, and ending up at an online Volapük course. In a couple of months, this person could become an active contributor... But, still on the topic of 'usefulness': maybe that's not the right word for what you mean. After all, even if there were lots of excellent articles on lots of topics, potential readers could get the same information from other Wikipedias, and Volapük, being a planned language, is always a second language: Volapükists could always use another Wikipedia, which would certainly have more information and be more 'useful'. Maybe you mean something more along the lines of: what would be 'interesting' for Volapükists?
The List of articles every Wikipedia should have: I didn't know this list at first, and now that I do, I am using it (see the articles on vo:matemat = mathematics, vo:filosop = philosophy, vo:fösilav = paleontology. Note that it's not an either-or choice: I can both do stubs and write articles from this list. Of course, I could not write all the articles in the list, even as translations; there's more than 1,000 of them. I need a community. Hence the priority of forming a community, and then we go back to the stubs, quick growth as a way to attract potentially interested contributors that would then (presumably) feel interested in writing (or translating) some of these articles. I couldn't do it all by myself -- unless every article were a 3-sentence stub, in which case it wouldn't be really much better than the present situation. And I don't think it would per se attract more people: why should it? Can an article on paleontology or on philosophy in a little known language really attract someone? I haven't noticed any new people coming around because of any of the few 'good' (long, information-rich) articles in (Given my opinion in the sections above about the goals of small-language wikipedias, I wonder if it wouldn't be a better idea for them -- after they have a community -- to concentrate on 'their own topics' instead of on this list. For, that would mean articles on Volapük, Volapük history (there's a lot to do there), Volapük writers and Volapük literature, i.e. original written in Volapük or translations from other languages (about 1,000 items in current bibliographies). I've started doing that, too, with articles on famous Volapükists: vo:Johann Schmidt, vo:Arie de Jong, vo:Auguste Kerckhoffs, the inventor himself: vo:Johann Martin Schleyer... This might be a better goal. --Smeira 21:44, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, get real, who's going to read about Japan or fossils in vo when there are plenty of good articles in the languages that people actually speak. There are no native vo speakers, no experts, the most advance volapuk fans are at best average. You should not have pushed your numbers to move vo above Chinese. Now welcome to the laughing stock. Elephas 13:51, 18 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, who's going to read about Japan or fossils in Hawaiian? Or Inupiaq? Or SeSotho? Who needs to read about them in Latin or Sanskrit or Esperanto, since these languages are currently second languages to at least 99% of their users? Who needs to read about them in the dialectal Wikipeidas (Nnapulitano, Piemontèis, Plattdüütsch...), if the dialectal speakers all can use and contribute to the Wikipedias in the standard languages? Oh well... if I'm in the company of Latin, then the laughing stock can't be that bad. Gaudeo quia absurdum...
It is a joke. Schleyer was thinking with his backside putting "puk" in the dictionary for "to speak". In English, it's similar to "puke" (to vomit), in Russian it means "a little fart". That makes even the name of the language instantly laughable to native English and native Russian speakers. Elephas 13:51, 18 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, no! Really???! What a disaster!!... I suppose we have to give up English, too, since e.g. "cool" sounds like the Portuguese word for "anus". Or Dutch, since the first word in Dutch "goede morgen" sounds like Russian "xyй" - 'penis'. Or because Dutch 'hoor' = 'hear' sounds like English 'whore'. And did anyone ever tell you how much laughter speakers of Latin languages -- Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, even French -- can produce when hearing Russian words like "путать", "путаница"... or even Mr. Putin's name, joifully provided with what looks like a Latin diminutive suffix -in? And you even forgot to mention that Russian "вол" (vol) means 'bullock', so Vola-pük = ox-fart... No wait, they've got a university called Oxford, don't they? The university of vola-pük? ;-)... These English. Their language is a joke... Maybe Russia and Dutch are also jokes... Hmmm... if you´re going to use coincidences between languages as arguments, then your "thinking" seem to belong in the laughing stock too... ;-) Smeira 04:35, 19 October 2003
Dutch, Portuguese, Russian are real languages, those clashes are purely accidental. Volepuke though was supposed to be "perfect", intelligently constructed to substitute them all and rule happily ever after. Which never happened and never will: Schleyer blew it, Zamenhof did much better job so far. That's the first and last time I am talking to you: you obviuosly have much more time to whine, to fake an expert while googling all your "expertise" up, play with words, and whatever else you play with beside vo.puke. Elephas 03:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, right. Like nobody knows that a perfect language has never been made. Hey, did you ever wonder about old Zamenhof, looking at Esperanto words like "mi penis"? That should make Spanish-speaking girls giggle. A nice-looking future particle like "kaptota" sounds so much like a Portuguese slang word for "nose mucus"... one my mother would never want me to use in public! But then again, Zamenhof clearly didn't create a perfect language either now, did he? As for faking expertise and using non-arguments as if they meant anything, you're much better than me. Time? I'm not sleeping in order to answer your grunts (did you notice how your messages are always full of pukes and farts? :-). I just happen to care about this issue -- do you know what caring about an issue is? I certainly hope it's the last time you talk to me. Do a course on thinking and argumentation first -- you can certainly find one at Amazon, can't you? Yes, please do us all a favor and refrain from answering. Have a good life. Smeira 05:53, 19 October 2007.
Another "joke" twist: if you search for "Volapuk", the only relevant thing you find is |a hilarious historical novel, i.e. a few laughs. As a contrast, searching for "Esperanto" brings several pages of dictionaries, grammar guides, phrase books and, last but not least - plenty of translations and original works. So, volapuke is a joke in that dimension too: even Amazon with huge selection has not even one Volapuke dictionary available. Case closed.. Elephas 03:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Now, another answer: if you search "Volapük" in Google, you'll find lots of links to serious sites -- the Volapük Wikisource, the Wiktionary, online courses... Also, if you look at alibris, or other second-hand internet stores, you're going to find old Volapük books being sold at a high price -- collector's items. As for Esperanto... should I give you links to sites that tell jokes about it, or can you find them by yourself? :-) Oh, by the way -- did you notice the Esperantist was the bad guy in Drummond's novel? There's an article on him at -- vo:Andrew Drummond. He himself gave me the photo and send the release message necessary for adding it to the article. He speaks passable Volapük, and gave me comments on the article and thanked me for it afterwards. Maybe you should reread his "hilarious novel" to be sure you understand what he's talking about -- namely, that people sometimes defend ideas without understanding their full consequences (in a message to me, he compared the International-Language activists of all persuasions to the naive communist idealists of his youth.) Smeira 05:48, 19 October 2007.


I personally would like to see the Volapuk Wikipedia simply reverted back to its state before Smeira added all the bot-articles. This seems like the fairest option to me. I feel that it is horrible to punish other Volapuk users for the acts of Smeira. While I oppose Smeira's actions, I believe he intended them for good. --Chuck SMITH 15:22, 18 October 2007 (UTC), initiator of the Esperanto WikipediaReply[reply]

that would be a fair solution if the project did qualify by the terms of the latest new language policy. Since it does not, and after cleaning the botwork the content will go back to nil, since there is essentially no expert base for this language, no native speakers and it's usage has been steadily declining for decades, it would make better sense to use the opportunity to delete the whole thing without wasting resources on cleaning it.Elephas 16:30, 18 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I take the new language policy to mean not native speakers, but speakers of all kinds (or else it would exclude Esperanto, which it explicitly didn't; see below). Volapük is the oldest auxlang, it was the one that came closest to being accepted as an international language (if Schleyer and Kerckhoffs hadn't started fighting); it clearly has a place in the history of auxlangs (many things in Esperanto, e.g. the tense vowels -- -a for present, -o for future, -i for past -- are probably Volapük influence). Its level of recognition in the auxlang community should be as high as that of Latin among historical linguists and lovers of literature. Hey, don't get so angry, dude. You can present your arguments in a civilized way, too. The world is not such an awful place. Smeira 04:39, 19 October 2007.
Well, I think it should stay because it has an official two-letter ISO language code. --Chuck SMITH 23:45, 18 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
a two-letter ISO language code alone does not qualify a language. Vo fails requirement 4 - sufficient number of living native speakers to form a viable community and audience. That's where it fails miserably driving the fans into faking numbers by fraud. Elephas 00:26, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that by this argument Esperanto wouldn't qualify -- the number of native speakers is too small to form a "viable community or audience". You have to include the second-language speakers to get beyond the few hundreds. I therefore claim this criterion is (a) not sufficient, and (b) not to be understood as unchangeable law, but as a suggestion of the direction in which people should think. After all, it's how the situation evolves -- whether or not more people show interst, whether or not there are more contributions etc. -- that should count. Smeira 04:42, 19 October 2007.
Hi Chuck, for the reasons I mentioned on your talk page, I would rather wait. I have been proposing on this page that, if after a certain period of time (say, 2 years), the community does not develop further and the quality of the resulting work doesn't improve, then I'll myself propose closure, or delete the stubs -- whatever people find better. But I think there's a chance this wiki might become something interesting -- several new people and even more IP-addresses have already showed up at (have a look at the recent changes pages; even though I'm still the major contributor, the number of other contributors has been increasing), which makes me feel hopeful. So: before closing, let's see what happens. The final result might, just might, be surprising... Smeira 04:58, 19 October 2007.
Hi Smeira, unfortunately you don't understand how Wikipedia works. Small language projects would stay around forever if they don't make much noise, even with their new language policy. Unfortunately though, your work is making other Wikipedias in the list look ridiculous by their article counts because of Volapuk's high count. I would never want an encyclopedia written by a robot. There simply are not enough people who speak Volapuk to edit all those bot pages. I'm afraid that through your actions, the Volapuk Wikipedia will get deleted, because Wikipedia admins tend to be delete-happy. It's mostly why I stopped contributing to the English Wikipedia and mostly work only on the Esperanto Wikipedia these days... life is too short to fight Article for Deletion procedures. I have better things to do. In other words, work quietly in your Volapuk Wikipedia, no one notices. But, I think now because of your actions, however good-intentioned they were, it's going to get deleted. They are not going to wait two years. Sorry. --Chuck SMITH 08:51, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, Chuck, you may be right. If it happens, I'll certainly be sad. If someone had done that to Jimbo Wales when Wikipedia started -- "letting anyone edit? you can't dream of having quality like this! that's a joke!" etc. -- the internet world would certainly be a little less interesting. I'm not comparing Volapük to Wikipedia; I'm just saying that if someone stops everything that looks stupid to him/her, some good things would never appear. But yes, Wikipedia is not a democracy, and you may be right: might get deleted even despite the current tendency of 2:1 for keeping it in this vote. I thought about that too before I started, as I had said on your talk page once. But since one of the tenets of Wikipedia is also: be bold, I went ahead; it might, just might, be able to take out of the 'unnoticeable small project' ghetto (besides giving people an opportunity to think about this ghetto -- should it exist at all? Why are there so many Wikipedias? Etc...) Of course being bold doesn't mean succeeding. And, as a good citizen, I'll take whatever result there'll be. If it saddens me, so be it... life wasn't made to be fair, simply to be lived.
Hey Chuck, it's article count that is ridiculous, not Wikipedias with less than 100,000 articles. Frankly, I think Wikipedias should be listed by the number of their featured articles -- a few thousand for, less than 2,000 for Wouldn't that be a better table? (Still imperfect, because the criteria are different in different Wikipedias, but still better than simple article count.) These things can be and are being debated -- did you notice the recent discussion on depth in the talk page of the List of Wikipedias? I even suggested a slightly different definition for depth, which was accepted. As for there not being enough people to edit the bot articles: frankly speaking, leaving propaganda aside ("there's a good chance given the number of users that these stubs will be improved", etc.), there's a rather largish number of stubs in all Wikipedias, both bot- and human-created, that will probably never be anything other than stubs. is different only in the proportion; and even that isn't that clear (the stub ratio for is also quite high -- perhaps more than 50%, though the current formula for calculating stub ratio at tends to hide this) -- maybe it's only in the thematic diversity that is really terribly divergent, and that will certainly change if more contributors come.
Don't be sorry, Chuck, it's not your fault; Wikipedia is what it is. Go on working for, your work there is good and valuable. Many people -- I'll include myself if you don't mind -- are proud of At present I can only dream of ever reaching this level. Maybe it'll be given a chance. Maybe it won't. Either way... it was worth trying. I was bold, and I won´t regret it. Even if it ultimately fails. Smeira 12:05, 19 October 2007.
Hello, I am a sysop at the Volapük wikipedia (though not an active contributor) so I don't know if I am entitled to vote here. I won't comment on closure, but I will say that I am opposed to mass creation of articles by bots in any wikipedia as a means of building up article count.
There might be a way to test for this, by checking if any substantial human contribution to a bot-created article has been made within a substantial period of time after creation (a certain number of bytes of unique text within a certain number of months?). If no such edits have been made, the article would be deleted.
This would allow for bot-assisted article creation for certain sets of concepts, e.g. countries, administrative divisions, etc. intended for immediate fleshing-out by real people. If no person comes along who cares about a given Belgian commune or whatever, the article would be deleted (it could always be created again later by anyone who wanted to). --Jmb 02:32, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Jmb. I think you probably can vote, as your conscience dictates. (I did, without apparently having caused any strong reactions.). Your idea is not bad, but I suggest that you consider also completeness. A number of US City stubs have been bot-generated in, and they have only had minor edits since they were created. Deleting them, but allowing other articles on equally small towns to stay just because the latter had more substantial contributions would leave gaps in the documentation. Why should there be gaps in a Wikipedia? "Why this town but not that town?" the naive user might ask; and end up thinking that Wikipedia is not really so good. Note that the information in the city stubs, despite their bot origin, is correct, and could in principle be useful to interested users.
Having said that, I can also appreciate the interest in at least measuring human contributions to articles. Wouldn't it be better, instead of deleting the bot-created articles, actually using some sort of classification system -- a color-code, or a symbol, or a tag (template), placed on top of bot-created and -edited articles saying something like "this article had 10% or less of human work in its development" -- so that readers and other users would know what they're dealing with? (This tag could also act as a plea for human contributors do improve that article.) Smeira 04:51, 19 October 2007.
Measuring an amount of bot-edits would not necessarily be an indicator of how good an article is. Interwiki bots tend to show up after an article is mostly completed. An article could be a great one, passionately created by a real person for 10 edits, and then 20 edits are made afterwards with interwiki bots. So is that kind of article 66% bot, 33% human? No, it's a human article with tedious interwiki bot additions. -- Yekrats 11:58, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I think any test of this kind should be aimed at identifying stubby articles created by bots and never (or only trivially) touched by humans. A lot of articles on e.g. European municipalities exist on a number of Wikipedias which only have bot edits in their edit histories. It might be interesting to count these and factor them into a "smarter" measure of article count somehow. --Jmb 19:09, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here's another suggestion: count bot and human edits separately, and compare articles as to the number of human edits. It would probably be a good idea to factor out vandalism as well (i.e. do not count vandal edits nor the following reverts). Now note that people may differ in the "efficiency" of their edits (one person may do a lot of work in one edit, another one much less work in five edits); so perhaps the amount of text changed should also be taken into account. Should the number of different editors also count? The wiki principle suggests it should (the more people work on an article, the "better"); but then again, the passionate article author mentioned above by Yekrats would get less credit than s/he deserves. --Smeira 19:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Sorry to be going into a side track. But Chuck Smith: "your work is making other Wikipedias in the list look ridiculous by their article counts because of Volapuk's high count." - There seems to be an assumption here, that there is a certain "prize" or "prestige" in achieving a high article count, and that if somebody uses a bot to contribute contents, and somehow, intentionally or not, achieves such a high count, is cheating and therefore ridiculous.
  • A mature wikipedia should have a lot of articles. But the converse need not be true. Before Vo:wikipedia, there was no counter-example, and so a lot of people use article count to measure maturity. That is all. What we should do is to refine the measurement. Recently there are talks about how to improve the concept of "depth". This is the way forward. Criticising a wikipedia as "cheating" or "making others look ridiculous", only because you use too primitive a measurement, is backwards.
  • Some people may really care about the article count a lot. And others don't care. Anyhow, Chuck Smith, yours is only one point of view. And content and information, however little, is always more important than ranking in the list. Hillgentleman 12:12, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's the key, content and information. There are lots of microprojects handled by a handful of people who really care of content and information to preserve whatever is left of a culture, of a language, of whatever is unique, distinct, valuable to it. Nobody in their sane mind will ever suggest to take down, for instance, Armenian, Arabic, Persian projects just on the ground of low audience/contributors count - these languages belong to the whole of the history of humanity; the articles are thought out and contributed with veneration and respect. Nobody in their sane mind will ever suggest to take down the Urdu project either, with the argument that Urdu is essentially a form of Hindi written with Arabic letters: some of the smartest people on Earth, geniuses of technology, biology, medicine, grew up with Urdu as their mother tongue. That's very different from scam projects like ru-sib or vo, that's the reason why ru-sib and vo both had to resort to fraud for the sole purpose of primitive attention whoring instead of content and information. I am insisting on deleting the vo project because it can not possibly have any distinct, unique information worth preserving: the language had too short of a lifespan of a couple of decades, nobody ever relied on vo as a primary communication vehicle, everything in vo is derivative and has a better representation on other forms of communication. Elephas 15:34, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, Slonik, you're confusing two issues here: cultural importance and content. If you look at cultural importance, Volapük certainly ranks high in the history of planned languages: any interlinguist has heard about it (e.g. all Esperantists; Cherpillod, the author of the Volapük-Esperanto dictionary, has called it "part of our history, part of our culture"; he mentioned that in the third Volapük conference in Paris, "almost 20 years before the event at Boulogne-sur-Mer", an artificial language was used by people of various nationalities to understand each other.). There were more than 1,000 publications in or about it (including whole books, novels, collections of short stories, both original and translated), etc. (the Volapük Wikisource has over 600 texts thus far, and that's not even 10% of all the remaining available texts) -- so no, it's not all derivative; in fact, most of it is not. Volapük has even had its geniuses (en:Auguste Kerckhoffs is part of the history of (military) cryptography). Its success at the end of the 19th century was unprecedented -- it had supporters all over the world. Kerckhoffs in France had the full support of important members of the French society (cf. Kniele's book, Das erste Jahrzehnt der Weltsprache Volapük). There was a Volapük champaign, two Volapük restaurants, and several Volapük hotels. Kerckhoff's Volapük manuals ran edition after edition, constantly sold out; his little introduction to Volapük ran upwards of 40 editions. Lots of people everywhere started learning the language, because it was expected to quickly become more and more important. There were signs saying "Volapük spoken here" in some places in Paris; some large shops were considering giving their salespeople Volapük courses (cf. transcriptions of discussions during the congress in Paris) -- that because Kerckhoffs was an important and influent member of the community. In fact, at that particular moment in time (1889-1890), I think Volapük had a better chance of actually becoming an international language than Esperanto in its whole history thus far (nobody knows the future, of course). Note this is all very different from ru-sib, who had none of these things. Of course, you may think that the "history of planned languages" is not part of the human cultural heritage; I expect you to belittle it rather viciously. But that would be only your opinion, not the truth.
As for content: that should come from getting a community, which is what I'm hoping to do; and, though you can guess, you can't know what will happen without letting the experiment go. In your typically uplifting style, you call it "attention whoring" (with a link to a rather dubious information source, isn't it?...); I say it's part of what the Three-year plan calls for: getting more people interested in a Wikipedia.
You have not responded to any of the comments made by Hillgentleman; you simply kept repeating "fraud" -- without evidence; cf. en:slander) -- as if it magically explained everything. Let me restate them, in bold, to follow your stylesheet: a. article count is a false measure of quality and maturity; b. it is not true that only mature wikipedias should have many stubs; c. Finding new measurements of quality -- e.g. new definitions of depth -- is much more meaningful than accusing Wikipedias of 'cheating' just because they make article count look misleading; such accusations are simply backwards. I fully agree; I had said similar things before. I hope you have something to say about them? --Smeira 19:47, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You cannot have it both ways[edit]

Each wikipedia is a project in its own right. It is self governing. From an activity point of view there is no argument; this project is alive and well. There is a constant process of improving the content. Volapuk is a language and as such it qualifies. It existed before the language committee started, it is clear that it aims to represent the language faithfully so from my point of view it is none of your business.

It is none of your business because you, who vote for dissolving this project, are not part of this community. All arguments like "what is the benefit of all these 'foreign' languages" have a point of view that is inconsistent with the philosophy of the Wikimedia Foundation. To the WMF there are no 'foreign' languages as we aim to provide people with information in the best way possible. The best way is to provide this information in the language that people feel most comfortable with. The notion that some 'intelectuals' say that they are comfortable with another language like French and English is nice, but they only talk for themselves. They do not have the (moral or other) authority to speak for others.

The language committee has so far not had the priviledge to consider artificial languages. In contrast to historic languages, they are not dead. They can adapt, new terminology can be introduced in the language and still represent the language in a fair way.

Thanks, GerardM 06:33, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, I fully agree with you, GerardM. Note however that the supporters are trying to make a different point: not that people should despise or hate Volapük because of what it is, a planned language (though some people obviously do, like Decius and Elephas), but that it has too few speakers to ever form a viable wiki-community. (My take on this is: wait and see, more people can come in and be interested -- see the comment made in the "Oppose" section by Malafaya. Those who say "there are too few potential contributors" cannot really know in advance that it will be like this -- and there are growing signs of activity in that point in the opposite direction, and which supporters of this proposal are simply ignoring, in their desire to close it. The original issue -- interwiki links -- is pretty much dead now.) --Smeira 11:39, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can give my other two cents here: I found the Volapük Wikipedia by an interwiki on another Wikipedia. Hadn't it been put there, I wouldn't even know of its existence. Gradually I became interested in the language and had even studied enough to be able to write some short articles (vo:Lafab Grusiyänik, vo:Antonio Vivaldi, vo:Johann Sebastian Bach...). My contribution to vowiki is definitely far from ending. Volapük is a fully established language, not a con. I believe with time, and with people being able to find this project (interwikis are helpful for this), this project will evolve and potentially even make the Volapükan community grow in size. Malafaya 13:18, 24 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reasons for closing (all ridiculous)[edit]

  • Interwiki's: nonsense, it can help to enlarge the Volapük communtiy
  • Botcreated articles: almost all Wikipedias above the 10 000 articles have used bots (or are using bots) to create articles. You can't close en.wikipedia for the same reason. SmeiraBot doesn't create new articles anymore (I think) so this is totally irrelevant.
  • Volapük is an ugly language, is a ridiculous argument. I find German an ugly language too, should we close de.wikipedia too?
  • Volapük is spoken by just 30 people flewently, I speak little Lozi and I'm creating a Lozi Wiktionary. Latin is a dead language and has a Wikipedia (living) too.
  • Wikimedia doesn't have enough money to host Volapük Wikipedia, I've somewhere read (I think it was or something like it) it's $40 to host 1 000 000 articles. It just costs $4 for Volapük for (what is it, a year?) So that's about $40 cent per month (I'm sorry my mathematics is very bad)

This is my comment. --OosWesThoesBes 06:58, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, I don't think all the reasons are ridiculous. There have been some mud slinging going on lately but that wasn't the original reason for this proposal. Most people have resisted that comparison and judgment argument except a few recent commenters. I think that most people have a "live and let live" attitude when in comes to other languages and only the first two reasons have any validity since these affect other wikis. The last reason maybe but cost is usually in bandwidth and if vo.wp used a lot of bandwidth that would probably be a reason to keep it (not delete it).
  1. Interwiki links - I am sure it will enlarge the vowp community but the cost is the multitude of edits in every other language page. Which basically means that cost is annoyance. (why do I have this edit in my page history? why do have link on my page to an obscure language?) I personally don't find it that annoying but what worries me is the precedent it sets. I think we can easily be drowning in these interwiki links to obscure language wikis if the argument "how are people ever going to know about my language?" is a valid reason. To Smeira credit he said we would remove them. The cat probably out of the bag since you would now have to remove them on all the different wiki languages to keep the bots from consistently repairing the links. Since there currently isn't a technical way to filter/hide/prioritize/avoid interwiki links from vowp within the software the proposal to just close the whole wiki was made.
  2. Botcreated articles - I don't believe most wiki do use bots to create articles. Although the popularity of bots seems to be gaining with some new wikis. How the bots give unexpected results, promote advertising and give misinterpreted statistics is what concerns most people. Since there is a common reputation that all wikis share there is an argument that this wiki so adversely affect our reputation it should be removed. I also noticed the vo.wp article count has leveled off. But I haven't heard yet of Smeira's bot plans if this proposal for closure doesn't pass. Shall we have the great bot race to million articles, inquiring minds want to know. --MarsRover 06:40, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe Smeira stated his goal was to reach something in the magnitude of 100K articles and stop using bots to create pages in the way it is being made lately.Malafaya 09:58, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, let me clarify my (current) intentions and viewpoints then, MarsRover.
  1. Interwiki links. The question 'why do I have to have this link to an obscure language?' should be rephrased as: 'why are there interwiki links at all, and why should they be automatically added'? Certain famous topics -- "philosophy", "United States", "Paris", "mathematics" -- have hundreds of interwiki links already, mostly to small two-liners in little known languages. Who decided that every article in one Wikipedia should be linked to every article in all the others that has the same topic, and why? The clogging of edit pages and the drowning in interwiki links in a clear consequence of this decision, not of the use of bots; all they can do is speed up the process, but as long as interwiki links are added automatically -- and as long as there are so many projects in different languages -- this "drowining" is bound to happen eventually. Maybe MediaWiki software should be changed to allow each project to decide which links they want to have (the German clearly want to treat interwiki links like all other links; and I frankly agree with them: why didn't the WMF did this from day one?); but even without that it can be done. The Volapük main page, for instance, has links only to those Main Pages that I wanted it to have, and to none others. I did the same as the Main Page at en-wiki: I placed all interwiki links in a template, and placed the template in the Main Page itself. Interwiki bots don't see any interwiki-links on the main page itself (it looks like it's not linked to anybody) and they don't see a place to add new interwiki links to (they're all in the template). As a result, new interwiki links can be added to the Volapük Main Page only if a sysop adds them manually to the template. I suppose it would only be a technical problem to do the same to all pages in a given Wikipedia (maybe with bots). So this can be done. And I repeat: why should interwiki to vo-wiki be any less "drowning" than interwiki links to any of the, say, 15 biggest wikipedias? Their 100K+ articles means 100K+ interwiki links, and their speed of growth suggests that many thousand new interwiki links are being added all the time. If "clogging history pages" is the only problem, why not protest against that from all big wikipedias? If "obscure languages" is the problem -- isn't that a little prejudiced? Doesn't that sound dangerously close to: 'I don't like this language, therefore it shouldn't have links on this article'?
  2. Bot-created articles. There are actually several topics in this paragraph of yours; let's see:
    1. How many Wikipedias have bot-created articles? I've seen bot-created articles in,, and; is adding them now. Cases like cebuano and lombard are also well-known. Maybe someone should do some research and actually list all Wikipedias with bot-created articles (and some rough estimate of how many?), so that we know better what we're talking about.
    2. Advertising. The advertising issue is quite delicate; I've mentioned my viewpoint elsewhere on this page. I will only mention that 'advertising' is not a clear-cut notion; different opinions on what is or isn't 'advertising' are morally possible.
    3. Reputation of Wikipedia. The opinion does exist that many bot-created articles damage the reputation of Wikipedia, but frankly I still have to see one piece of evidence. Most criticism of Wikipedia I've seen thus far centers on the wiki principle: "of course experts are better -- Wikipedia is crazy", "Wikipedia is like a bathroom", etc. Have you ever seen anything anywhere in the (non-Wikipedian) media that criticizes 'bot-created' articles -- or even 'stubs' in general, whatever their source? I mean, I could imagine someone arguing that the number of stubs damages Wikipedia's reputation (the argument/prejudice would run more or less like this: stubs are by all criteria substandard articles that would never make it into a 'real' encyclopedia; if they are so numerous in Wikipedia, then Wikipedia is mostly a collection of poor substandard articles and is therefore a bad encyclopedia -- not my opinion, but imaginable as a non-Wikipedian's opinion, isn't it?) There are more than 130 stubs only on the geography of Albania in (look here; how many do you think there are in all topics and categories taken together? The stub ratio (misleadingly defined as good/total in the table here) suggests most articles in are stubs. How would this fact affect Wikipedia's reputation among non-Wikipedians? Even if it weren't true: if somehow non-Wikipedians got the opinion that Wikipedia is mostly substandard articles, what would it do to its reputation? And, well, it's true, in some sense! Don't you think that's much worse than anything could ever do? And I'd say again: everybody agrees article count is a bad parameter to judge Wikipedias by, so why don't we concentrate on creating a new one (like the discussion on depth 2.0 in the talk page of the List of Wikipedias at Meta) so as to build a new table rather than closing a project just so that the statistics 'look right'? If the parameter is not good it should simply be abandoned.
    4. My intentions. As I said, I wanted to attract a community. Considering the number of new people showing up at (check the recent changes page), or the list of new articles), I have some hope this might be happening. (One never knows, of course, but...) So I don't see any reason for quickly adding more stubs and doing further quick increases in article count. Let's rather wait and see what happens now. If a community (as I hope) does form, they'll in principle take over. If they decide we should delete all geo-stubs, then that's what will happen: I myself, or any other member with the necessary means, will do it. If they don't, then the stubs stay. (Of course the opinion of others is also important, and if the WMF and the wiki-community is massively against the stubs -- I hope with good answers to the arguments I raise, but even without that if there is consensus everywhere -- then off they go.)
I hope you see I'm sincerely defending a viewpoint here, MarsRover, not trying to offend anyone. Smeira 21:25, 26 Oct 2007.


Apparently, some user(s) decided to take justice into their own hands and started vandalizing the vowiki (Example [4]). These people should not be taken seriously as they don't seem to care about any voting that takes place and just impose their beliefs. Can a Check User or something similar be run on these IPs and an eventual sanction be applied to the responsible(s) on all Wikis? Malafaya 14:49, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I still didn't understand all this fuss about interwikis in German Wikipedia. Take a look a it:Buchdorf. Is it any better than vo:Buchdorf? Should the Italian interwiki also be banned? Malafaya 14:56, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will request steward help. This should be taken very seriously. Siebrand 15:03, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, Siebrand. I hope this will help avoid such incidents that can only soil the reputation of and of those who really care about quality. --Smeira 17:03, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Quick message for the vandals: come bloody on, that's low and that's not worth it, there are lots of better things in life to do than this. Even if these vola-puke clowns win this vote and post even more garbage on their project shooting the numbers as high as English, sooner or later they will realize that their expectations of getting money and power with this scam are strictly delusional and they will find some other scam to give it a try, then the vo.puke wiki just dies natural death. Meanwhile, it makes ergonomic sense just to cope with this lint floating around, lazily casting a vote or leaving a quick opinion. Elephas 15:48, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, at last I agree with you on several points. This vote is not really getting supported (twice as many people oppose as support it). Of course, you never know what will happen in the end; but the way to bet seems to be that the proposal will not pass. I'm happy to see that you understand this. As it shouldn't, since the reasons mentioned thus far are really minor. I also agree that should be given time to grow and try to attain more quality and higher milestones. Finally, I also agree there are better things to do than support this proposal: why not write a good article about an interesting topic instead? It's good that you talk like en:Al Capone; it scares good people away from voting in favor of this proposal. (Considering your language, you're having some problems with your ergonomics, aren't you? ;-) --Smeira 23:40, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English content in the Volapuk Wikipedia[edit]

One thing that disturbs me about the big bot upload was that I've found many articles (several hundreds) that are just copied out of the English with little or no effort at all given to translate it. Some are almost 99% English, and others are in a half-English, half-Volapuk chimera which hurts the eyes. If you have articles in the Volupuk encyclopedia, I would think they should be completely Volapuk, and not some other language.

Here's a few painful examples:

-- Yekrats 16:51, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, they were wrongly copied. They're being dealt with, like any other articles having errors (cf. e.g. Walls (Mississippi), Oriole Beach (Florida), Edgartown (Massachusetts), Summerset (South Dakota), Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Rahway (New Jersey)... just to mention the most recent ones.) Note that what is bad for a Wikipedia is not that you can find errors in it (you can in all of them -- when I was copying US city stubs, I found a number of acts of vandalism in little-know villages that nobody had reverted before me; the text was in a few cases almost as compromised as the examples you show above); what is bad is when nobody takes care of them. As you can see, in, these errors are being fixed -- just as should happen in any Wikipedia. (Since you mentioned those, I'll myself take care of them today or tomorrow.) As a final remark, think in terms of efficiency: 200-400 / 100 000 = 0.2-0.4%; so a success rate of 99.8-99.4%. Even if you consider only the US city stubs (since these are the only ones you cite-- there were erros in other countries too, I can show you some if you want), that's about 200 - 400 / 20 000 = 1-2%, success rate 99-98%. Frankly, I've seen worse. (How do you think that compares with the percentage of articles containing incorrect information present, say, in,, or even --Smeira 17:25, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not exactly sure how many I saw, but it seemed like a lot more than 200-400. It seemed like the number was bigger than that to me. I found them by doing searches on vo:Category:Cities in Texas & vo:Category:Towns in Texas (using the English) and varying the state name started to find several.
Regardless, I don't know of any wikis that have about .5% or 1% or 2% of their articles with foreign-language content. To call it "incorrect information" is a bit of a misstatement. Most of it is probably accurate, it's just in the wrong language! If any other wiki has 1% foreign language content, I'd be surprised. I didn't check for villages outside of the United States, because I only speak English and Esperanto, but if I were to make a bet, I would guess that a large portion of the villages in other countries are messed up similarly. -- Yekrats 18:01, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, they've been fixed now, Yekrats. You provided links to the older versions, thanks. (Anyone interested in seeing these, or others, can always click on the dif links in the history pages. Or just check my contributions: one of my tasks is to fix wrong pages, so if you check the changes I make you'll soon see other similar cases.) Another place to look for such pages, Yekrats, is the long pages list; that's where my 200-400 statistics come from. (I may be wrong, of course; if you want to count them and report, feel free.). Another good place is the list of categories; most of the red links (if they're not in Volapük) will take you to some more. (Note that there are more categories than wrongly copied pages, since each wrongly copied page typically has three or four categories that it brings along. They disappear as the pages themselves are corrected.) There are a few more that I've been using to fix these pages, if you're interested.
Now, most of the small wikis with less than 10.000 articles (and perhaps some 10.000-50.000; I remember coming upon similar problems on a while ago) should have about that, or more. (Of course, it's hard to make a good estimate; if an article has, say, the wrong population, it doesn't look obviously wrong, and the person counting wrong articles might miss it. I wonder where you got your .5% to 1% figure -- which is more than, by the way, if my estimation is right.)
Well, what to call these cases is, as Arno Legrange once put it (I think), "harfende diskutadi bagatelojn". They are obviously copying errors, not attempts at writing pages in English; and, like all errors, they should be corrected. That's one of my ongoing tasks, as listed on my userpage. --Smeira 18:18, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, they are not fixed. If you just take a look at the samples mentioned above, there's still a significant amount f english text present. --Zinnmann 07:36, 20 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You may have missed the fact that these links are to older versions of these pages. Follow them, then click on the "page text" tab ("yeged" in Volapük), and you'll see the English texts disappear as if by magic. Yes, they have been corrected. --Smeira 17:12, 6 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
At least Yekrats didn't miss the fact, that people like Smeira at first thing change the pages linked here, to hush up the fact, that vo.wp is a complete fake. Käptn Weltall 12:32, 13 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Close unless...[edit]

With all due respect to the glorious past of Volapük: WP is made by human beings serving to human beings. If people are writing in WP in any language, this should be welcomed, but generating stubs by a robot - admittedly for a kind of propaganda reasons - is clearly an abuse of resources. I suggest: Let the vo:WP live but only if the robot stubs are deleted.--Ziko-en 18:03, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Abuse of resources? The latest calculations were about 40 cents a month (better estimations, anyone?). Propaganda? Attracting new contributors is part of the Three-year plan here at Meta; and other Wikipedia-related products (WikiReaders, CD-Rom versions of Wikipedia, even word choices like "The free Encyclopedia that anyone can edit" can also be seen as a kind of propaganda, if you stretch your definitions enough to include the Volapük case. Not really "clearly"; think of a student putting a note with the name of his student activity club at the entrance of the university library (the same which forbids propaganda: no "Eat burgers at McDougall" allowed). The idea of the stubs is to attract people for writing more, not just "propaganda"; and that seems to be working (have a look at the new pages list and check the number of new contributors, other than me, creating new pages.) If the final result is a good community of people working on articles, isn't that what we all want? --Smeira 23:22, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
...and every single article is written on solid, refined, shiny-polished Vola-puke, not in English, Klingon or any other language except the solid, refined, artsy Vola-puke with shock and awe! As I would say in the latest and greatest of the modern Esperanto, Ĉu ni volapuku, ĉu ni getridofthisbullŝitu... ;)Elephas 18:13, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hey, here's some more hyperbole! You've been googling more new words every day. I'm so glad to see you in such a happy mood... Slonik, you remind me of Fred Astaire: just singing in the rain... Please keep doing this anti-propaganda work: after your attacks of logorrhea, new accounts are opened at I should be paying you for this. How about 40 cents a month? --Smeira 23:22, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SmeiraBot only adds new redirects as far as I know. I've followed a link from vo.wp to pt.wp and saw this: 1 + 2. Pt.wp uses several bots to create new pages. Should we close pt.wp because of this or delete half the pages on pt.wp? --OosWesThoesBes 16:49, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow two examples, see [5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],... and so on - there is the category [11], you are a Wikipedian you know on your own how to find a history. There are different solution, either delete all "bot-articles" at every Wikipedia and no "bot-articles" any more or everyone works on his own Wikipedia with his own conception of quality and no interwikibots any more - it is boring to revert the masses of interwikis to low, better said no quality articles. -- 17:45, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please note SmeiraBot is only one bot. You can see on are min 2 bots active. Those are create tons of stubs. --OosWesThoesBes 07:50, 27 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's no threshold (quality or otherwise) for adding interwiki links; they exist only to show that a version of the current page exists in another language, and that's all. Removing interwikis is needlessly destructive. EVula // talk // // 19:17, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
However surprising that might seem, I can see their point here. A normal user might see lots of interwiki links and deduce (invalidly, but still) that there were lots of good articles in other languages to look at, which usually is not the case. Even though interwiki links don't bother me at all (I find them actually quite charming, with the non-latin alphabets and all), I can understand that some people feel bothered by their being so many and not under the control of the author of the article (they also add more edits to the page history, which forces people with these articles on their watchlist to check for vandalism more often). So I do myself wonder: why aren't interwiki links administered by the projects? Why can't the contributors decide if they want a certain interwiki link or not, just as they can decide for other kinds of links? Does the WMF need them for some internal purpose -- checking which topics are more popular across Wikipedias, etc.? --Smeira 22:42, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interwikis are administered by the projects. I've been told to not link to another project because they aren't satisfied with the quality of the articles there; see wikt:pl:Dyskusja Wikipedysty:EVula#Russian interwiki for the full conversation. EVula // talk // // 23:09, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had thought interwiki adding was some sort of general policy that the WMF insisted on, but judging by your answer this is not so. So the project contributors can ask an interwiki bot operator not to link them to another project they don't like, and the operator will do as they request? In this case, there really is nothing for the Germans who don't like links to to complain about. They could simply talk to the bot operators and ask them not to link to --Smeira 00:01, 27 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not exactly. If there was consensus on the German Wikipedia that the use of vo.wp interwikis on the project should be limited, bot operators would be required to honor consensus. It isn't simply a matter of asking bot owners to not add the interwikis; the project's community must be behind the idea. EVula // talk // // 08:41, 27 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no concensus against too many interwiki links at This sounds like information relevant to this discussion. Would you mind providing a link to a page that shows this? --Smeira 05:14, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Er, I wasn't saying that there was or wasn't consensus. I was just saying that consensus is what is needed; I have no clue if said consensus exists or not, as I'm not a member of the German Wikipedia community (though I do have an account there). EVula // talk // // 06:39, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hey, everybody already knew these articles were bot-created, and there there are thousands of them there; the point was that there are such articles in other wikipedias as well. There are about 10 to 20,000 similarly bot-created articles on US cities in; since you're also a Wikipedian, just go there and check their history pages (go to the very earliest edits to find the original bot). In other words: they're everywhere, deal with them. Delete all bot-articles everywhere? Well, suggest it somewhere, and start a discussion; that is a lot better than trying to close, and you'd finally get to hear more opinions on how good bot-created articles can actually be. Your current opinion looks like it has a few misconceptions; you should try to talk more about the topic. There may be arguments you don't know. Hmmm... by the way, your IP prefix 217.231 looks like the one of the German Vandals (;-) that tried to attack a few days ago, as reported above. You've probably also been blocked from editing there by the quick range block. Was it worth it? --Smeira 20:34, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are apparently hundreds, perhaps thousands of stubs more than a year old at the Polish, Portuguese, and Esperanto Wikipedias (those are the ones I just looked at) that were created by bots and have never been edited by non-bots. Shall we delete those articles, too? --Jmb 17:01, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes delete, if there is no useful substance to expand the article by manpower and of course in a foreseeable space of time - (very) short space of time to an acceptable level. Manpower - yes, it is nonsense to put the same schema-sentence by bot in a few hundred articles to get a few hundred schema-articles. Volapük seems to be a precursor and is by now a synonym for bot-created articles - if you have a look at categories like vo:Klad:Zifs in Deutän you´ll see that it will take some decades (how many volapük speaking users are there?) to transform this database into useful artikles. --Btr 17:39, 28 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But there is useful substance to expand the article -- the information that the bots added. A human editor can edit it and improve it as s/he sees fit. If stubs attract contributors, then this is no nonsense. You talk as if stub articles were the only goal. They're not. They're a means to an end. Decades? Well, if you consider all the stubs in, or all the stubs in -- it will probably take centuries before all of them are at the level of good, not to say featured, articles. Would you like to propose that stubs in or be deleted after, say, one year if nobody improves them significantly? I'll bet you would have to delete at least half of all wikipedias then. There are old stubs in and -- and a lot of them, at least tens of thousands. And nobody thinks they are a problem -- I don't see anyone trying to get all stubs deleted. You clearly don't believe can become something interesting. I do. Why not wait and see? Would you like to bet on it? It would be better than vandalizing it as you people have done. --Smeira 00:52, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But there is useful substance to expand the article - No, there are thousands of copied pages and these are no stubs, too. I think you should strongly find out and understand the difference between a encyclopedia and for example a telephone book and so hard it is volapük looks like a telephone book (e.g.vo:Klad:Zifs in Deutän). Bots can add interwikis, can add categories, can correct typos can built and update infoboxes, can add a new date on request pages and archive discussions (greetings to de:Benutzer:Sebbot and de:Benutzer:ArchivBot for working every night) - in short they can do stupid, boring work but they can´t never create continuous text! For this creativity is necessary and that is a human attribute. By the way, following german law it is not even able to licence your bot-articles under the "GFDL", they are in the "public domain", because the work of machines has no "Schöpfungshöhe" (ineligible for copyright)!
I'll bet you would have to delete at least half of all wikipedias then. And nobody thinks they are a problem -- I don't see anyone trying to get all stubs deleted. - No, thes pages you built by bot are no stubs (see above), they are stupid/always the same data sets and Volapük Wikipedia is the database for them, stubs are created individual (by human) no stubs looks like the other.--Btr 10:47, 29 October 2007 (UTC) PS: One word to "vandalizing", there was a joke if deletion request at vo is also arranged by bots and so on - I think some IP-users took it for real and tried to test it. This dimension of a few hundred (I hope I have not misjudged at reading your contributions) vandal, spammer and so on edits is for example normal and "daily bread" (I know it of de) - our vandal-fighters would laugh, block and revert instead of running panicky to each other (vo:Gebanibespik:Malafaya#Ataque de vândalos, vo:Gebanibespik:LadyInGrey#Crisis,...). — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Btr (talk) Reply[reply]
I don't know what you mean by "running panicky". If warning another user that some German IP addresses are responsible for adding 'delete templates' with the reasons 'spambot', when there is a running proposal for closure just because of that is running in panic (especially because Smeira is an admin and is someone that can act) then I don't want to see you in panic, really. I mean, what would you guys do at dewiki if suddenly there were 10,000 vandal attacks (all in proportion) at the same time? I guess you would just stay put... This was no ordinary vandal attack. A normal vandal doesn't care about Wikipedias. This concrete attack was made (anyone can see that) by supporters of this proposal, and that is serious. Malafaya 11:38, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Only short - why should the supporters of this proposal eliminate one cause of this proposal and debilitate their arguments. If you would have done, what this "vandals" proposed, this proposal would be unfounded in some case and I think a lot of users would have changed their opinion from Support to "Oppose" - oh god what have I written, wondering about my own conclusion. Also block this vandals, so that this proposal has a chance to be successful. --Btr 12:49, 29 October 2007 (UTC) PS:...if suddenly there were 10,000 vandal attacks (all in proportion) at the same time? - I have given up to revert vandals because my DSL is to slow, at the beginning at Wikipedia I did (monobook, one click!), but by now I mostly get a editing-conflict and till I try to revert the next the vandal is blocked by a admin reading the recentchanges. And if not, one (little) call at de:Wikipedia:Vandalismusmeldung or de:Wikipedia:Chat and a horde of admins run him or them down.Reply[reply]
You're right. That's what I thought too (why debilitate their arguments) but I guess one person (that one vandal, not necessary plural) just couldn't resist. Anyway, it's not the way vandalism is handled that's a point in this proposal. It's just sad that someone couldn't follow the normal procedures and wait. Malafaya 13:35, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, most stub-like new articles already get deleted at the German Wikipedia for being bad articles. And I think the huge difference between stubs in the English, German or Portuguese Wikipedia and stubs in the Volapük WP is that there are millions of speakers of those former languages who can use their knowledge to expand the articles, while only 25-30 people in the world could theoretically contribute to the Volapük WP. -- 10:51, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I still don't know where that number (25-30) comes from. The only place I can find that mentions that number is Wikipedia and still it doesn't mention its source. If you check the Volapük Yahoo group, it contains nearly 200 members. Malafaya 13:37, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Look, Btr, I think you simply have a different definition of "stub". I wrote above what I thought about stubs and bot-stubs; let me now try to restate it here in terms of a definition of a stub. (This is my opinion, of course, not accepted policy; but if you see what I mean, then you can position yourself better. If we keep using different definitions, we'll get nowhere.)
a. A stub is not defined by its origin, but by its size. Look up e.g. Good stub or stub here at meta; the word 'bot' doesn't even occur there, only the pieces of information that should or should not occur in it. Nowhere is it said that a stub should be "different from other stubs", that it shouldn't have "the same text", etc. I maintain: a stub is a short article with very little information besides a definition. If you disagree, please offer another definition.
b. Stubs should be judged by quality, not by origin. We should therefore concentrate on identifying bad and good stubs by seeing if they: (i) present correct information; (ii) are readable; (iii) are placed in the correct categories; (iv) have links to related topics; etc. etc. etc. This is what makes a stub good or bad, not whether or not it was created by a human. Bot-created stubs like e.g. nl:Albignac (created by BotMichiel; cf. its history here) are as good as human-created stubs. The information is correct, relevant, well-presented, and useful to someone who wants to know about this particular village. Another example: vo:Dresden (Kansas), created by a bot, is, by the criteria I suggest here, a better stub than de:Dresden (Kansas): it contains more demographic information and a location map. has many such stubs, arguably inferior to their Volapük counterparts: compare e.g. vo:O'Fallon (Illinois) with de:O'Fallon (Illinois) (which, despite being a small one-line uniformative stub, has thus far not been deleted by any admin, despite what you said); also vo:Greenfield (Illinois) with de:Greenfield (Illinois); in fact, look up the entire category de:Ort in Illinois: some stubs there are good, many are much worse than their Volapük equivalents. And this despite the fact that they were created by humans. Do you sincerely believe that a one-liner like de:Greenfield (Illinois) is any better just because it was created by a human?
c. Bot-created stubs do not prevent further human edition. A stub can always be further edited by a human -- if someone is interested in the topic, s/he just edits the stub and adds more to it. You speak as if someone wanted bots to create stubs, and then forbid anyone from modifying them. No! Nobody wants that. The fact that a stub was created by a bot does not prevent it from being modified, improved and extended by humans.
d. Information is the key, not "art". You accuse of looking like a telephone directory; the Ort-in-Illinois stubs I mentioned above also look like that, but nobody is quickly deleting them from I can see why: because telephone books have information, and I would say, information that is also useful in encyclopedias. If this were not so, why would you want to have Infoboxes (which you admit are better edited and updated by bots)? Or why would even paper encyclopedias have statistical information in tables, summary boxes, or in yearbooks? Of course they are not everything (I keep thinking: where do people get the idea that someone is suggesting we should only have bot-stubs? Nobody ever, ever said that!) -- that's where humans come in. But that doesn't mean that the information added by a bot -- in the form of an infobox or of a text -- is bad. has done it, has done it, has done it -- pretty much everybody except, and as I said above some of the human stubs at are rather poor in comparison. Maybe some people think that a stub created by a bot lacks some "vital energy" or "élan vital" or "life force" or whatever; but I am not such an essentialist. In short: the criteria for judging a stub should be based on the information it contains, not how it came to be: human stubs can be worse than bot stubs, like the examples from I showed above.
A final note on your bragging about vandalism: I'm sure you have more experience with it than I do. That doesn't make you better than me. There are probably many things I can do better than you, or than anyone else at (speaking Volapük comes to mind :-); but that is no reason for me to brag. We successfully defeated the vandals; that is good. If you could have done it faster, good for you. But the fact is: we did it. You should be praising us for quickly reacting to a new situation and finding a solution without ever having had experience. If you had no experience but had to take care of an emergency, are you sure you would have imagined the solution by yourself so quickly -- without other people to tell you how? Why are you trying to find petty ways to offend people who did their jobs succesfully? Shouldn't we all simply be against vandalism -- period? --Smeira 17:09, 29 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Artificial" languages, Smeira?[edit]

You mean, English and Portuguese are "natural", "from the nature", weren't made by human beings?

Wasn't English words created, every one, by a human being? What's the difference between English and Esperanto or Volapük, were all words in said "conlangs" created by only one person? Aren't all languages receiving new words and rules all the time by many people?

Or is the difference the fact that English was created slowly, taking several centuries? Isn't Volapük today also a centuries old language and evolved since its first idea?

To me, calling a language "artificial" is meaningless. As well as "conlang". Maybe "planned" is fit. As opposed to "spontaneous". But is the difference in origin relevant at all?

I think there must be some criteria for choosing languages to host a wikipedia. To avoid hundreds of people creating new languages to host it here. Wikimedia foundation seems to have such criteria, I think it's related to being old enough and having a "history". They allow Esperanto and Volapük, but ruled out Toki Pona.

Osias 12:21, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You misunderstand me, Osias. I have absolutely nothing against languages like Esperanto and (obviously...) Volapük. Or Glossa, or Wenedyk, or Tolkien's Elfish, or Interlingua, or Balta, or Novial. Not even Klingon! I even quite like Solresol. I do agree that the criteria for opening a Wikipedia in a new language should not take into account how the language came to be, but other factors to be discussed. I do see a difference between languages like Volapük or Esperanto (which have a birth date and an author responsible for most of their design) and Portuguese or English (which lack such a specific birthdate and people with such importance for their history as Zamenhof for Esperanto or Schleyer -- and de Jong -- for Volapük). But this is not a difference that makes one kind of language better than the other. To me, it's more like saying that some languages are tonal, like Chinese, and some are not; or that they have words with many consonants, like German or Salishan languages, or words with many vowels, like Hawaiian or Fijian. The difference between Volapük, Esperanto, etc. and Portuguese, English, etc. simply means their history was of a different kind, nothing else. (Creole languages like Sranan Tongo or Papiamentu also had a different history; they're a third type.)
I think you were upset by the word "artificial". I wasn't the one who used it; rather the supporter of this proposal whose argument I was trying to counter used it, and I simply took the term from him for simplicity's sake. Some people prefer "constructed languages", "auxilary languages" or "planned languages"; I personally don't think "artificial languages" is very bad (if you want my philosophical opinion, I think the nature-culture, natural-artifical distinction is overrated and a somewhat misleading everywhere, not only with respect to languages... note that all cultures, like languages, are "artificial" because they are also the result of the work of people, still we talk about cultures evolving "naturally"... what's natural and what's artificial, after all?). So I don't think being "artificial" is a bad thing. All classical music in the world was created by someone and is in this sense "artificial" (from ars = technique, but also art; the Greek word tekhné shows the Greeks already knew that the difference between them is, well, artificial...), but it doesn't make it "inferior" to natural sounds and noises. So if somoene calls Volapük an artificial language, I won't be offended, because I don't think this is offensive. Of course, if other people feel offended by "artificial" when applied to languages, then of course I can also use the current PC "planned languages". In fact, I think I'll do it from now on here on this page, even if I'm counter-arguing someone who used the word "artificial". --Smeira 21:48, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, weel, I'm not upset, I just find it funny, calling them "artificial". I find those dinstinctions too artificial :) Osias 17:25, 3 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Machine translation[edit]

After trying vo:special:random quite a few times, it appears that not only the "stubs" but also most of the somewhat longer articles have only been edited by robots (Smeirabot and various interwiki bots). Has machine translation from other languages into Volapük reached further than, say, machine translation from English to German? Otherwise the articles must be in very bad Volapük. Or is there some form of more advanced human interaction in what Smeirabot does? /NH 22:15, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, what you saw was probably SmeiraBot (though if you've looked at e.g. vo:filosop, or vo:Arie de Jong, or vo:Johann Schmidt, or vo:Rumän, or vo:Leonardo da Vinci, or vo:Jenav.... etc. , then you've seen some of my own human work). If you're surprised by articles like e.g. vo:Phoenix, Arizona, then have a look at the en:User:Rambot page on t