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Best name[edit]

I hope the creators of Minipedia could donate its name, because I think it sounds really good. Essentialpedia and Lillipedia are all right as well in my point of view. Mikael Häggström 05:21, 23 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Micropaedia is not owned by Microsoft and, as far as I see, not used in the public. The name is originally from the Britannica, where it describes a very similar part of the project. --Harald Krichel 22:33, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


That kind of article length for all material would be good. One para. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 06:01, 23 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would probably work fine. Mikael Häggström 09:23, 23 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Joining in[edit]

This seems like an excellent content fork. Where do I sign up? Roux 06:09, 24 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You're very welcome to note your interest at the project's proposal page! Mikael Häggström 13:40, 26 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There is hardly any chance this proposal will pass. I support improving the Simple English Wikipedia since that basically does what Essentialpedia would do. If not, then work on the first paragraph of every wikipedia article, that is also basically the meat and bones of essentialpedia. --penubag 08:06, 24 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"work on the first paragraph of every wikipedia article, that is also basically the meat and bones of essentialpedia"...: I think the same. Maybe Essentialpedia could be a printed version of a few selected first paragraphs--Loquetudigas 23:50, 24 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support improving the Simple English Wikipedia as well, but unfortunately the function of it is different from what is the aim of this project, as clearly stated on its main page:
"Simple doesn't mean little. Writing in Simple English means that simple words are used. It does not mean readers want simple information. Articles don't have to be short to be simple; expand articles, include a lot of information, but use basic vocabulary."
Perhaps, however, could there be an Essentialpedia in Simple English in the future. First paragraphs don't always summarize the essentials. even in featured articles. Furthermore, they also provide dumps of information not fitting in into article sections, and if they do ever appear, then summaries may only appear when their articles have reached a certain length. Finally, with soon 3 million articles, and a number of introductions of the same order of magnitude, it is hard to distinguish essential introductions from less important ones. Mikael Häggström 13:55, 26 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support Loquetudigas and penubag's idea: adding stubs and keeping an eye on simple english wikipedia's first paragraph would do. The idea would be to form a task group in simple: to check for consistency and completeness in the opening paragraphs, to integrate the mini/essential-pedia into the simple wikipedia. Lwyx 21:02, 30 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is simple english wikipedia, but there is no simple russian wikipedia. Moreover, this project is meant to be an encyclopedia that one can read from A to Z, with significantly more strict inclusion criteria than wikipedia. In other words, Essentialpedia should be a subset of Wikipedia not only in article size, but also in article quantity. --Grebenkov 21:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see: again, you may implement the essential wikipedia as the first paragraphs of the Russian Wikipedia; so they would be task forces within the individual language encyclopedias. (There is a proposal to take down the Simple English wikipedia; if that happens the Basic wikipedia would be a task force of the English wikipedia.) Mobile users would use other domain, like, or thereabouts, and the server would download only the paragraphs before the first section of the article.- Lwyx 01:01, 31 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here is something to consider. Adding a new encyclopedia may cause confusion. Alot of people have heard of Wikipedia, but may not have heard of any of your other projects. People may get confused as to which is accurate or authentic. It may even bring a whole lot of unnecessary arguments or fights. It may also take a lot of time and money that is unavailable or may make donors stop donating. I would favor just the cleaning up of the Simple English Wikipedia. It may be a less tedious task that could be done more cheaply and efficiently. Master of Technology 00:38, 27 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, and I'm already in the process of trying to get the Simple English Wikipedia more well known, see my other proposal here (note sidebar). --penubag 11:10, 28 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The aim of Essentialpedia differs much from that of Simple English Wikipedia (see this main page), so merging the projects would be hard and not really yield what this is about. I agree that Simple English Wikipedia needs more attention too, but I don't think more features necessarily would mean that existing projects would get less attention. However, I agree that it would be confusing to have another sister project. Therefore, I've thought about a way to integrate it into Wikipedia - WikiProject Haystack. Mikael Häggström 06:14, 30 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that essentialpedia might start in the English Wikipedia, not in the Simple version. There is a lot of work already done if we categorize the main articles as first-paragraph stubs of essentialpedia or already-done first paragraphs. When the coordinated work reaches the non-stub status, it would be "easy" to compile the information for a printed version (at least I think that it is the easiest way). At the same time this project can be exported to the other languages, included the Simple version. There is an advantage in this or in a similar format: while essentialpedia and wikipedia are improving their stubs, both take advantage of their mutual work. Essentialpedia could be coordinated and discussed as a project, and could have his own portal. --Loquetudigas 11:22, 31 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here is the problem with this: as the wiki grows, so do the editors. As we start to run out of ideas for what is essential and notable, we start to lower the standards. The more articles that are created, the less "essential" new articles will be. Since both are run by the same project, there will be LOTS of copying from wikipedia. Soon, essentialpedia will be but copy of the world favorite online encyclopedia.-- 20:49, 10 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If we keep the content to be the extended list of vital articles, and keep that list to a couple of thousands, max 10.000, then we will have a stable limit of the project. Mikael Häggström 20:19, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One encyclopedia different Wiki ?[edit]

Are you sure? Almurfada 14:56, 24 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The only alternative would be to have it under Wikipedia but as a different language, which would be like Essential English. But apart from that, yes.

It will be a copy of knowledge already existing in Wikipedia, that's true, but it will also be the very best, the very most important of everything. Have you ever read the Don Rosa story "Guardians of the Lost Library", the one where Scrooge, the nephews and that bloodhound travel all over the globe in search for the knowledge base of the lost library of Alexandria? They eventually find out that it was used it as a framework for the Junior Woodchuck's Guidebook, containing only the most fantastic and interesting of the entire library. I picture Essentialpedia to be somewhat the same. Like the book of all books, it's like the pedia of only the most important of everything. Mikael Häggström 13:57, 26 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Or perhaps consider Wikipedia a large field of gold minerals, and all we have to do is to extract those pieces of gold and bring it all together into one single piece of jewelery. Well, enough of analogies now, I think you've got the point. Mikael Häggström 14:34, 26 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On second thought, there might be a way to have it in the same Wiki: WikiProject Haystack. Mikael Häggström 06:18, 30 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not just another language. It should exist in every language. Most of the people I teach would neither read an English Article nor any where they would have to scroll down (many) pages. So I think the idea is pretty good, but it may start in English but has to go to other languages as well. Or think for the mobile users, they'd appreciate a short version very much, but please in their own language, otherwise it wouldn't be seen at all. —Ulz cup of coffee? 23:47, 28 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point. Mikael Häggström 06:18, 30 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no need for this "essentialpedia": if you join the Introductions project in any-language-pedia you may work to read or write short articles (the introductions really) for any topic you want. If you don't want to check junk articles simply ignore them. Lwyx 20:39, 11 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Difference from category or Wikiversity[edit]

What makes it special so it doesn't fit on a Category or Wikiproject? Seems a specialization of [simple] Wikipedia or Wikiversity. Platonides 20:54, 22 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The difference from Simple English is that simple doesn't mean little. Writing in Simple English means that simple words are used. (see above and on main page for more details)
A category of important articles could gather important subjects, but important subjects tend to have very long articles, still including that less-essential part.
Wikiversity contains essential as well as less essential information. The function of Essentialpedia is to distinguish the essential part, which includes that whatever is typed in the search box or picked as a random page should be absolute essential, and that can not be the case in Wikiversity. Mikael Häggström 14:22, 26 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Introduction to...[edit]

Might be a bit of overlap here, although most of these articles tend to be a introduction to a single, more specialist article. TimVickers 21:27, 31 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Better as a Wikipedia WikiProject[edit]

Great idea - better done as a Wikipedia WikiProject which can collect together all the most essential articles and make a listing of them. --Aquillyne 16:53, 2 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a list of the most vital articles. Nevertheless, an Essentialpedia or a WikiProject Haystack in Wikipedia would bring forward even the most vital of vital articles, and make them separately searchable. Mikael Häggström 17:16, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Define essential and useful[edit]

Let's focus on that actually useful stuff!

How would the project determine what is essential and useful? How does essential and useful relate to K-12? How would this project work with other languages and school systems in parts of the world which don't rely on a K-12 system? To use examples from the diagram copied from the content page to demonstrate some problems I see with the current proposal:

  • Pokemon characters might be essential or useful information to someone trying to do research on Pokemon (such as for a video game) or simply because its there favorite thing and were asked to do a report on their favorite thing.
  • Urban legends might be essential or useful information for someone doing research on superstitions or what role urban legends play in modern society.
  • Family guy and other popular cultures might be essential or useful information for understanding trends and group behavior.

What about complicated information that might be hard to remember but is never the less considered essential or useful to remember? Like it might be essential or useful to remember the multiplication table up to 100 in some schools, but in other schools the emphases might be more on math tricks or simply on how to use a calculator. IOW how would this project define and determine what is essential and useful information and what is not for the purpose of inclusion or exclusion? --darklama 20:31, 2 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that 'essential and usefull' is too relative to really be able to create something usefull. Also I think that is more usefull create/fix/implement thesepages on wikipedia rather than create a new project. I have seen that more a project is close to wikipedia as idea or contents, less people will work on that. I think we should learn from our errors. Fale 13:39, 6 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the other hand, it might be a very simple task sorting it out. I updated the content section from WikiProject Haystack (that has a similar aim, but integrated in Wikipedia), and everything we need to do is to sort out the most vital of vital articles. I think many would like to take part of it, knowing that the knowledge worked with is the very most essential. Mikael Häggström 17:24, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is just a very stupid deletionistic idea. Cumulus 17:05, 18 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nothing needs to be deleted. Wikipedia will still be there for those who want specifics about anything. Mikael Häggström 20:19, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good project[edit]

I think Essentialpedia is a really useful and more concise wiki.About the name, i think Essentialpedia is the best.--Robypedia 17:40, 19 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What a stupid idea[edit]

Wikipedia is incredibly useful. The detailed information about Family Guy episodes does not stop me using Wikipedia for pretty much any "essential" topic. And sometimes, just sometimes, I actually want to know about that MacGyver invention. Your idea has been discussed thousands of times, you just had a funny diagram to back it up. User:Tristanb

I think that Essentialpedia is not a stupid idea. We can discuss why or how to make it or dispense it, but it is an idea, neither stupid nor dogmatic.--Loquetudigas 15:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Besides, you are still welcome to search Wikipedia if you want to know about MacGyver inventions. This project, on the other hand, is what most likely is essential to anybody on our planet. Mikael Häggström 20:19, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What a smart idea[edit]

This is a great idea. I wish you all the best and hope it will be implemented someday. -- Giorgio Gonnella 10:35, 3 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


When will it open?Deevrod 13:37, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The only problem I have is surely, being limited to concise articles on important subjects, eventually editors will run out of things to write and then it will cease being a wiki. Because at some point, everything important enough to be included will have been written to the highest standard and then what will we do? Either it simply stops or it includes non-concise/non-important articles and then it stops being Essentialpedia. Thoughts? The Flying Spaghetti Monster 22:25, 2 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Would not this project simply be offering a subset of Wikipedia? Essential topics should be treated thoroughly in Wikipedia, there is no real need to duplicate (or divide) writing efford, skills, etc. Thus creating Essentialpedia is:
    1. selecting the essential,
      1. This goal seems unrealistic to me. There are simply no clear-cut criteria to determine what is "essential". The project will crash in edit wars discussing whether some article is "essential". Better stick to wikipedias as comprehensive as each individual language allows, but more concise by concentrating in the introductions. Lwyx 00:40, 4 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    2. improving Wikipedia articles on these essential topics to meet or exceed Essentialpedia standards,
    3. present them in Essentialpedia manner, and style.
      --Purodha Blissenbach 21:20, 3 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • At some point I thought about proposing or joining something like a Concisepedia; now I see that it may be implemented as a Project within the individual language wikipedias following these criteria:
    1. by concentrating in the introduction to each individual article, so that the rest might only be an expansion;
    2. perhaps by devising a skin, so that it filters in the main intro and only gives access to the rest of the article on demand; this skin might be the default for WAP access, so perhaps the extra domain only points to that skin.
IMNSHO this way we avoid to duplicate tasks with individual language wikipedias. In conclusion, I'm not joining it, and I discourage people from joining. Sorry. Lwyx 00:40, 4 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This sounds like a terrible idea. This content can already be hosted on the various Wikipedia language editions. Just extract the content you want.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 06:20, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • We already have Simple Wikipedia, which doesn't get a lot of contributors (I think), and there is Veropedia, which is intended to "collect the best of Wikipedia's content, clean it up, vet it, and save it for all time (another project that seems stalled). So no, I don't think we need yet another fork. John Broughton 22:05, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This good idea might be addressed by a scale already present in current (English) WP. The Version 1.0 Editorial Team's "importance of topic" scale is used widely in many WikiProjects. Picking up "High"-rated articles should do the job. / If the need for a separate site is high, (that is, higher than my imagination,) I think it would work better as an automated mirror of the current WP, not a separate project. The Essentialpedia editors would only maintain the list of articles that would be mirrored. / Then again, I still believe that this Essentialpedia idea could be worked out within the current WP framework. --朝彦 (Asahiko) 16:19, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I object to this. Its function is already covered by Wikipedia and working towards these goals would be less productive as a separate project. Fewer, broader Wikimedia projects allow for greater efficiency and greater potential. There should only be separate projects if they cover different, non-mutual types of content, which is reflected in the current make-up of Wikimedia projects: an encyclopedia, a dictionary, a media repository, a text repository, &c. --Oldak Quill 19:02, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Query: how would this project differ from Simple Wikipedia? --Kralizec! 19:32, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    We would assume that everyone reading is fluent in English (I'd imagine), and simply concentrate on making it concise, not on basic English. DavidWS 19:14, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The entire concept of this is "random strangers tell you what you should read in Wikipedia"[edit]

What the heck is the point of this? All it would be would be some arbitrarily abridged form of Wikipedia. There are already several lists of the most vital/essential/important topics, all of which are adequately covered by the English Wikipedia (if not necessarily by some of the foreign language Wikipediae.)

This just boils down to a list of "essential" articles compiled by random internet strangers. Just read whichever articles you think are important or useful in Wikipedia. If you're worried about forgetting something, turn to any of the many existing Wikipedia lists of essential articles. This problem has already been solved multiple times.

From a reader perspective[edit]

From a reader perspective I think this would be a good idea. Wikipedia is now full of more and less important content, for normal readers it is hard to concentrate on the really useful things. Wikipedia contains knowledge "one can know", Essentialpedia would only contain knowledge "one has to know", that's a big difference.--Sinuhe20 (talk) 09:43, 28 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]