Requests for comment/Rename no.wikipedia to nb.wikipedia

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This is a request for comment on renaming the project site for Wikipedia in Norwegian Bokmål. The site norwegian bokmål (Norwegian) (this name is used in Special:Sitematrix) is considered to currently be named incorrectly, and it is suggested renaming the project to nbwiki, as nb is the ISO 639-1 code for Norwegian Bokmål. Likewise the subdomain should be nb as this is the correct code, and the content language should be set to nb.[1] The Interface code can remain as it currently is, as it is already set to nb.

Note that changing the site identifier nbwiki must most likely wait until phab:T83609 is resolved, although the prefix can be changed before that task is closed.

There is a new attempt to vote over a rename of nowiki, starting at 2nd October 2017.


The present project nowiki is named according to a situation that existed many years ago, when nowiki included both official written forms of Norwegian, which are Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål and Norwegian Nynorsk. The language code no can be interpreted as a common code for w:Norwegian language, or what is called the inclusive code or macrolanguage. When nnwiki split off to become a project written solely in Norwegian Nynorsk, nowiki continued to use the inclusive code instead of switching to the individual code nb, which is the correct code for Norwegian Bokmål.

There were two main arguments for this. Partly a "peace offer" from nnwiki that nowiki could continue to use no as language code, and partly (and more importantly) that Norwegian language by some is considered to also consist of the unofficial, conservative forms of Nynorsk and Bokmål, which are, respectively, w:Høgnorsk and w:Riksmål. The differences to the two official language forms may be confusing to some, but while Høgnorsk was quite seldom in use at that time Riksmål was more common.

One of the main driving forces behind use of Riksmål was, and partly is, the newspaper w:Aftenposten. This newspaper used Riksmål as its language, but then in 2006 it created its own version of Riksmål and called the new language version "Moderat Bokmål". This started a slide among users of Riksmål from the previously conservative version to a more moderate version. At the other side ordinary Bokmål started a slide towards this Moderate Bokmål. In the latest version of ordinary Bokmål from 2012 the differences between Bokmål and Riksmål has become almost insignificant.

For all practical purposes there are no difference between Bokmål and Riksmål, and even for Norwegians the difference is next to impossible to spot. Most of the time when someone complains about changes to an article on nowiki that is said to be Riksmål it is simply an article written by some mixture of old Bokmål and local common dialects. This is hefty reputed by people from the Riksmål movement.

Some say harshly that Riksmål won and Bokmål has been moved towards Riksmål, but it is still called Bokmål. Some say there are still eight important differences, some say about 40, whatever is correct the differences has become infinitesimal for languages in common use. Still note that there are a lot of articles on the net that describe the status as it existed in late 1990.

It is only as a content language Riksmål is somewhat used, but the pages with Riksmål is not marked in any way. It will probably not be possible to identify by automatic means which pages is truly Riksmål, most of the terms that can be used as identificators will be just noise, and there will be no clear winner even for articles which are said to be written in a specific language form. It is simply not possible to identify any clear distinction between them after a few revisions.

The interface language at nowiki is more or less pure Bokmål, and the language code in use are nb that is Bokmål. There are no interface language for Riksmål. The project use nb as its default language.

In short, the reason why the no language code is used on nowiki is simply a continuation from the split between nowiki and nnwiki. There are no real reason why the code is no and not the more proper nb.

Future of the subdomain no[edit]

There is no clear solution on where the no.wikipedia subdomain should point, but one possibe solution is to eventually split the traffic evenly between nnwiki and nbwiki. If an article exist on both wikis the choice among them can be randomized, but if the trend is skewed the losing wiki should be weighted up.

It can be argued that the choice between them should reflect the number of users of the various language forms, but that will open up for a discussion on how many are in fact using the different language forms. Both language forms are official, and that makes it seem natural to do an equal division between them.

Another solution is to show the corresponding two pages from each Wikipedia (when they exist) side by side, allowing the reader to chose one version.

Arguments in favor[edit]

Partly from Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Norsk (bokmål)#Arguments in favour
  1. The ISO 639-2 code no represents all Norwegian languages, not only Norwegian Bokmål, which gives a wrong impression. That is the code no is hard coded as norsk, which is wrong as it should be norsk (Norwegian).
  2. The (most) correct code for the content language currently used on nowiki is nb, and it is used in the tag soup during page view and editing.
  3. The language code no is partly hard coded in the content as Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål and not Norwegian.
  4. Some of the specialized code to work around problems due to no being erroneously used to represent norsk bokmål (Norwegain) (name according to Special:SiteMatrix) can be removed.
  5. A lot of open bugs on Phabricator can be closed that has the no/nb mixup as it root cause.
  6. Correcting the situation will probably be appreciated by the community on nnwiki (the Nynorsk community).
  7. Change will not be visible in practice, as most major search engines have mechanisms in place to handle site moves. That is by using respond codes for permanent or temporary move.

  1. Moral Support Support, looks well. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 10:37, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
    Additionally, shouldn't this page be discussed in Langcom Mailing list? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 12:23, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
    The list seems to be correct. Note that first point is corrected and {{#language:no}} now returns "norsk" ("Norwegian"). — Jeblad 12:10, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
    @Jeblad: One modification: the main task that about renaming database name is no longer phab:T21986 (a tracking bug that replaced by #Wiki-Setup (Rename)), but now phab:T83609. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 02:57, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
  2. Support Support, renaming should be heavily considered. --Bjarkan (talk) 18:00, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
  3. Support Support, as a Bokmål user and no admin myself, I consider nb to be clearly the (most) correct language code (and hence domain prefix) for the project. Provided that a site-wide 301 redirect is implemented, I also feel that the negative consequences of a potential move have been somewhat overstated. - Soulkeeper (talk) 20:38, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
  4. Support Support, I'm in favor of a move. And I'm a bit ashamed how I have argued against it earlier. — Jeblad 00:07, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
  5. Support Support We must make the entire T21986 works as successful, and for database we can wait for several years, but non-db issues must have their ways to be resolved before 2030, nsaa, there should have no reason to oppose renaming wiki works which is already 10th anniversary, don't make it fail, please?! - 05:30, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
  6. Support Support If this change is the only way in solving the current problem where Wikipedia in Norwegian Bokmål is presented as Norsk, I support the change. Ulflarsen (talk) 09:11, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
  7. Support Support It seems to be the only way to solve this problem. BLÆGG 20:43, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
  8. Support Support per nom. 21:32, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
  9. Support Support, I have had this opinion since the nn/nb split a long time ago. --KRISTAGAα-ω 09:37, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
  10. Support Support, after reding the wiki pages, I guess this could work. Artix Kreiger (talk) 12:29, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
  11. Support Support Most of oppose users are not Norwegian, they look like Dutch, and still claim that "there's only one Norwegian exiting" which is extremely wrong. -- 15:40, 21 July 2018 (UTC)

Arguments against[edit]

Partly from Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Norsk (bokmål)#Arguments against
  1. The nb does not include the unofficial written form Riksmål, but those has become increasingly similar the last thirty years or so.
  2. Correcting the situation will be unpopular in the community on norsk bokmål (Norwegian) (name according to Special:SiteMatrix) (the Bokmål/Riksmål community).
  3. Change may,( and inevitably will – it seems), make repercussions on all networks, search-engines etc. that now are connecting to the present address. Link rot may create much work for both Wikipedians and "innocent bystanders". That was one of the arguments against change last time the question was discussed in noWP's Tinget.

  1. There are no support for a move at the nowiki-community per Read the full list of arguments against a move at Talk:Requests_for_comment/Rename_no.wikipedia_to_nb.wikipedia#No_relocation_from_nowiki_to_nbwiki. Some of these are a lot stronger now. nsaa (talk) 14:09, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
    Discussion at nowiki ended and archived here . nsaa (talk) 23:08, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
    Comment Comment @Nsaa: Unfortunately, your "oppose" seems failed for me, the priority of meta RFC is bigger than any single wiki RFC imho. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:33, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
    Go through the list an comment where it's wrong. The no-wiki can't be moved by anyone. It's the property of the nowiki Community that represent the no language code. End of case. Close it. nsaa (talk) 22:56, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
    So you are also opposing rename of als|arc|bat-smg|bh|cbk-zam|eml|fiu-vro|nrm|roa-rup|sh|simple|zh-classical|zh-min-nan|zh-yue to gsw|syc|sgs|bho|cbk|egl|vro|nrf|rup|hbs|en-simple|lzh|nan|yue, as they are the properties of the als|arc|bat-smg|bh|cbk-zam|eml|fiu-vro|nrm|roa-rup|sh|simple|zh-classical|zh-min-nan|zh-yuewiki Community that represent the als|arc|bat-smg|bh|cbk-zam|eml|fiu-vro|nrm|roa-rup|sh|simple|zh-classical|zh-min-nan|zh-yue language code, aren't you? -- 05:21, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
    And your point is? This is just noise. has been etablished, has one of the biggest communities under the Wikimedia umbrella. Destroying this because a small group of activist want something else is just ridiculous. No is the correct code for this wiki. The claim that's wrong is wrong. nsaa (talk) 20:15, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
    @Nsaa: Not surprise, your "oppose" results phab:T173602, which no is now shown as just norsk rather than norsk bokmål. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 02:20, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose - most people have voiced their opinion on the discussion page and oppose this request. The support consists of a few actual editors on of which several do not support but find the developers name change intolerable and wants the Wikipedia to have the correct name. The developers have changed the name of the Wikipedia from «Norsk bokmål» to «Norsk» and this is not an acceptable situation and not the correct name. The developers should not interfere with content and should not make decisions of which name to show. The ramifications of a move is poorly explored. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 11:52, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
    The devs has corrected the names of the language codes, but nowiki use the wrong code. The fix is pretty simple, and is to correct the language code. To make it consistent prefix and dbname must be changed too. — Jeblad 15:36, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. Merge into instead, per the obvious extension of the engvar policy (which prevents creation of,,,,, and other such forks). KATMAKROFAN (talk) 01:23, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
    Pet your clause, we should merge English and German Wikipexias to one "Germanic Wikipedia" which also includes "Proto Germanic". We should merge Cantonese, Wuu, maybe Mindong, Minnan and Zhuang back to (Mandarin) Chinese Wikipedia. We should merge, Outreachwiki, a list of Wikimania wikis and Wikidata to our Meta. We should merge United States, Canada and Mexico, maybe as well as a lot of Carribbean Island countries to one "Federal Republic of North America". Aren't you? -- 01:55, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

New voting at nowiki[edit]

There has been a new, and quite confusing vote at nowiki. It can be found at Ny avstemming om (New voting about and the outcome at Avstemning (nb/no) (Voting (nb/no)) with an actual outcome of 23 for the change and 9 against. Three users have publicly abstained from casting a vote.

I believe the change is no longer blocked by the earlier voting from 2009.

I voted support on it, but @TommyG: striked my vote (why?!) --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 02:10, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, the @TommyG:'s action was too unfairly, it's really inappropriate to strike a supporter's comment in order to oppose something. -- 23:16, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Well, i suggest you read the conditions for the vote: "Alle brukernavn aktive på dette prosjektet før forslaget til avstemning ble reist (dvs. 18. sep. 2017 kl. 18:47) har stemmerett". You were ineligible. TommyG (talk) 05:25, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

See also[edit]