Talk:Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikiquote

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Prince Kassad said, "This Wikiquote is not useful". That is simply not true. I have already used it myself. Counter-arguments to the arguments given by Prince Kassad are already contained in the discussion. If someone thinks some nuance, which they find important, has been left out of a Simple English translation, they can add an explanation of that nuance using Simple English words. Since definitions of the words in a quote can be given in Simple English, (see Simple English Wiktionary), then explanations in Simple English can also be given. If they can't figure out how to put the nuance into Simple English, they can ask someone else to do it.

Prince Kassad seems to have given his own opinion rather than summarizing the discussion. I don't see any arguments in the "support" discussion that the project is not "useful". --Coppertwig 22:44, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore, the recent votes (since Feb. 11, 2007) have been much more numerous opposing closure (26) than supporting closure (15). Continuing at this rate, soon the oppose votes would outnumber the support votes. --Coppertwig 22:53, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
In reply to some of the new arguments introduced by Prince Kassad which were not in the original discussion: The Douglas Adams page simply has some poor quality translations. They can be fixed. Looking up words in the Simple English Wiktionary would not help to decypher a quote such as "come what come may" (from Macbeth by Shakespeare). It would also be much more time-consuming, much more work, than reading a Simple translation of the quote, on the same page, to aid in understanding the quote. Also, it will be a long time before the Simple English Wiktionary contains enough words that you have a reasonable chance of finding all the words in a quote there, ("giftie"?) whereas Simple English Wikiquote already has reasonably complete explanations/translations of many quotes. --Coppertwig 23:59, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Uh, there are 50 votes for closure, and 48 votes for keeping it open. I'm not as familiar with the wiki closure procedure as I am with others, but I would expect that there would need to be a majority greater than 51%. EVula // talk // // 04:41, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
The "not useful" part is a summary of the detailed description given directly below the statement.
"come what come may" is probably one of the best examples of a quote which should not be translated into Simple English, because the meaning will completely change, and people will get a wrong opinion on the quote. Even if there was only the OR argument, simplifying quotes is out of the question, supported by the large number of people using this as the argument.
Time/work is not an argument either, we're a quote collection, not a school which needs to explain everything in plain sight so everyone understands them. However, if you're going to recreate the Wikiquote in the Simple English Wikibooks while explaining the quotes, I won't oppose.
If Simple English Wiktionary does not contain many articles, the answer is to expand, not to use this as an argument to keep another project open.
Also, this is not a majority vote, while you can use a majority as an indication, it is not required to follow it.-- Prince Kassad 05:37, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
By all due respect, but I feel that you do not have the authority to take such a far-reaching decision unilaterally, moreso since there are no clear-cut guidelines for project closures. Such a decision should not be taken by a single individual. And it should be taken in line with generally accepted guidelines, which I cannot see here. Your decision is in my view a severe breech of a fundamental principle of Wikimedia, which is that individual projects are autonomous. To this principle, all reasons you have cited are secondary. You simply have no right to interfere there, unless you have very serous reason, which I cannot see here. After all, this is not the Siberian Wikipeda. Please also take note of these insightful comments by User:GerardM: Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Volapük Wikipedia#You cannot have it both ways --Johannes Rohr 07:23, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Totally agreed with Johannes Rohr.
  1. Any user, includin this user named Prince Kassad, has no right to decide unilaterally.
  2. Conclusion to vote and interpretation of the "result" is not equal. And the user in question has no right in either point.
If he or she is stick to his way, I take it serious offense to our principle, concensus-oriented decision making.
Again, I say, this user has no right to close the vote, while he is stick to pretend as if he had that right. If he continue to do so, I think I have a good reason to block him from editing due to his disruption. --Aphaia 12:48, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
That's why I proposed that multiple people check the decision before actually filing the request. -- Prince Kassad 10:25, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Prince Kassad asked to be blocked for 3 weeks -- see Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat#I need to take a break....
I must say that while I disagree with Prince Kassad's decision and some of his reasoning, I appreciate his push to close what has been an interminable discussion; I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I think our loya jirga needs to be concluded, but in a timeframe of days, not weeks and months. Now that Prince Kassad is out of the picture, what's next? --A. B. (talk) 15:53, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm ... I did not realize it, but Prince Kassad is not an admin. See: Meta:Administrators#List of administrators. --A. B. (talk) 16:05, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

What's our process[edit]

What is our process? What are the implications of the decision made here?

  1. Are the basic values (vote vs. consensus, admin roles, etc.) underlying community decisions the same across all projects? If not is there a "meta way" and what is it?
  2. Is this a vote?
  3. If it's not a vote but a consensus, what's the threshold for consensus?
  4. If it is a vote, does a simple majority carry or is some supermajority required?
  5. Does the closing admin have 2 or 3 conclusions allowed him/her? KKeep/close ... or ... keep/close/no consensus?
  6. If "no consensus" is an allowable conclusion for the admin to draw, what's the default action -- keep or close?
  7. Is there any adjustment allowed (as in some discussions on some projects) for discounting ill-informed comments? For instance, if a support closure commenter thought that only Simplified English quotes were presented without the original English (or English translation)?
  8. Is any adjustment made for shifts over time in the balance of opinion (as in some discussions on some projects) when new information or explanations unfold?
  9. What is the admissibility in the process of the closing admin's personal opinions on a project's desirability/suitability (as opposed to his/her just interpreting consensus). Is there or should there be a difference in the admni's role between widely debated, living projects such as this one vs. the tiny, dead spamholes that make up much of the proposed closure list?
  10. What is the relevance of size and activity in this case? Does the fact that both have increased since the start of this very long debate have any bearing? simple.wikiquote currently ranks 44th out of the 87 Wikiquotes we have (just ahead of Danish).
  11. Often, any small shreds of useful content from closed projects is moved to the Incubator to serve as the basis for a future restart if sufficient interest appears in the future. Does that happen here, or does the admin's decision to close this project also mean irrevocable content deletion? Where does Wikimedia information go to die?
  12. Are there any relevant precedents? Closing this project is very different from closing the Frytzzk Wikiquote because it had 1 useful page, no activity and repeated vandalism. The Siberian Wikipedia comes immediately to mind but are these really the same? Unlike Simple English, there was a question of "Siberian's" notability; that's true in the case of Simple English. Have there been other closures of active projects?
  13. Do our decisions with this project have implications for other projects? For instance, these pages that have both original language and translations similar to the Simple English approach -- should these pages just have the original quote in its language? Or just the translation?
  14. Does this project have value for some readers? Who are those readers?
  15. Does this project have readers? Is there a way to pull up page views? If there is a way to see the number of pageviews for this project, how do they compare to similarly sized Wikiquotes : Korean(#41), Thai (#42), Vietnamese (#43), Danish (#45)
  16. What does our decision here imply for the desirability of keeping other Simple English projects (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikibooks)?
  17. Should we reexamine the desirability of hosting Wikiquotes in other constructed languages such as Esperanto (#37) or languages with few native speakers: Latin #48), Anglo-Saxon (#54)
  18. The comment was made that nobody ever uttered an original quote in Simple English -- they all started in some other language. What are the implications for the pages in other Wikiquotes that were not uttered originally in that Wikiquote's language (Voltaire in en.wikiquote, Goethe in fr.wikiquote, Shakespeare in de.wikiquote, etc.)?

--A. B. (talk) 15:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for letting us share your extensive thought about this issue. I fully agree on that the fundamental issue is lacking the clear and defined procedure - we have lacked such even as oral tradition. And on my part, I am not totally sure the meta admins have the right to extend their "power" to close votes to things which are not meta community concerned (so at this point I admit Prince Kassad made a right claim), but as far as I understand the community which has been involved into closing votes tends to agree that meta admin would the first candidate to take care of votes ... but of course, it would be far better that we clearly define who is in charge of voting process and not.

As for this particular vote, I think we have three options. While I personally have a strong inclination, but due to my personal interest as Wikiquoter, I'm a bit hesitate to support a particular direction. So instead of stating my own argument, I'd rather love you all to join the discussion to seek out the best interest of the community.

Even limiting the topic to this particular vote, I should confess I am not sure if I understand the issue completely. I'd like you all to notice I'm in sort of conflict of interests as an active Wikiquoter. However it would be helpful to give my impression here to have you examine; not only to conclude this vote but also take a step to build the policy which will be able to apply the problematic cases of closure concerning votes.

As for the vote length: I confess I cannot still determine what is the best way - there are basically three options; 1) close now 2) extended but set a limit 3) leave it open until we find it appropriate close. Obviously 3rd is not the actual solution - just putting things into a cupboard. 2nd is, actually not so much different from the 1st, since the recent declaration of voting close was at least based on a precedent announcement. However interestingly, even after this announcement votings and commenting continued, while no one challenged to the closure itself. They didn't notice it or just had a discussion until the closure time? I don't know, but experiences say to me, it is not the time to close a vote, if fierce discussions are ongoing. Partly it would be just because the participants of this vote/discussion has been shifting: the early participants have gone and other people joined and left and (repeating). So it were just an open-end discusstion ... so personally I fully agree it is not usual to keep a vote so long, but still doubt the argument could be extended ...

Or, is it anyway a sort of things we can reach the consensus? On projects I am active, the majority which is considered to need to reach "rough consensus" is at least 2/3, sometimes +80%. This vote is, on the other hand, almost splitting into 50:50 ... I suspect we cannot reach "a consensus" on this issue. And it is, as far as I know, the first closing discussion we've met this kind of splitting. So personally I think the best analysis is "we didn't reach the consensus. Community is divided into support and opposition on this issue". If it is a right direction, the next question is what kind of result we draw from this situation analysis. Will we say "so keep it due to lack of consensus" or will we say "close it since the community lack the clear consensus to obtain it"?

So I think, ultimately we have three options at this moment:

  1. Re-opening the vote.
  2. Close the vote as is, and concluded to close the project.
  3. Close the vote as is, and concluded to keep the project running.

Each option has its own benefits and demerits as well its rational. Even the first - but I think the concern about length of this particular votes which was expressed by A.B. and Prince Kassad rational, while there are people who still wants to have discussions, so it doesn't look the best way to keep this vote open at least under the current scheme (or lack of scheme).

I admit the 2nd is clear to draw the line - if you lose the 50% support, you'll lose. Very clear. But I hesitate to pursue this direction, it seems for me extreme. And we haven't had close any projects which were supported so widely.

As for the third, we may make here another issue - then where should the line between closure and kept be drawn? My deep instinct say it may harm the community in a long range to draw a line mechanically - it depends and we might want to make this kind of decision not only in the number of votes but rather on the several considerations - the characteristics of the project, language and its community. So hesitating to draw a clear line, and taking the risk of ambiguity, still I suppose the third would be the best option we could get for now. It may not mean the project must not be reviewed again, but rather to close this vote and keep it for now. Those who want to close it may begin the new process later ... but hopefully under a new and clearer scheme. Just like all the requests for new language projects were once rejected, just because of introduction of new requesting rule.

Thank you for your following my random thought, and also for your input in advance :) --Aphaia 15:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion: Have you considered closing it as "no consensus", whilst declaring that community consensus requires a few changes in order to keep the project useful? Things like "the community would require continued growth in the project", "all quotes should be explained, not merely copies of their English counterpart", etc. They're quite vague, and have no official bearing on future discussions, but should the project come up for a vote again, they'd help in showing whether the project has been able to meet a few rather modest goals set out after this proposal's closure.
On another note, while I do think that these proposals should not be taken lightly, they probably shouldn't be left open this long in the future. I think what's happened is the glut of inaccuracy on both sides is baffling, because comments made in mid-2006 can be highly irrelevant now. I'm sure there are users on both sides of the issue who have long since left the project, and cannot defend their position, nor can they change their minds should new evidence arise. I can understand, due to the virtual tie vote-wise that this proposal has gathered, why nobody has desired to close it, but it really would be ideal if these proposals, given sufficient input, would last six months or so, at most. Ral315 (talk) 03:34, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, Ral315. I like your suggestion. Some concerns were showed and we can find some valid concerns, including those you quoted on the above. I think it is very good for SE Wikiquote community to share those sincere concerns and suggestions ... And moreover, if we can draw morals from this voting, then it wouldn't be a total vain, as well as A.B.'s concern about the project review system as a whole. --Aphaia 23:00, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Analysis of 60 pages[edit]

It was past time we all stopped speculating and generalizing and someone actually analyzed data, so I looked at all 60 articles in the range of starting letters from A to F. That's slightly less than a third of all 206 pages. Here's what I found:

  • 25 articles containing original English quotes with Simple English explanations
  1. q:simple:A Tale of Two Cities -- Simple explanations for about a third so far (this is very long)
  2. q:simple:Aeschylus
  3. q:simple:Aeschylus
  4. q:simple:Aesop
  5. q:simple:Albert Einstein
  6. q:simple:Alexander the Great
  7. q:simple:Alfred Adler
  8. q:simple:Alphonse Allais
  9. q:simple:Arabic proverbs
  10. q:simple:Archimedes
  11. q:simple:Aristotle
  12. q:simple:Azerbaijani Proverbs
  13. q:simple:Barbara Amiel
  14. q:simple:Beth Anderson
  15. q:simple:Bruce Forsyth
  16. q:simple:Buzz Aldrin -- Simple explanation for some items
  17. q:simple:Carl Sagan
  18. q:simple:Cicero
  19. q:simple:Douglas Adams
  20. q:simple:Eden Ahbez
  21. q:simple:Edward Abbey
  22. q:simple:Federico Fellini
  23. q:simple:Frank Abagnale
  24. q:simple:Franklin Roosevelt
  25. q:simple:Friedrich Kellner
  • 23 articles with Enlgihs quotes and no Simple explanation yet
  1. q:simple:Abigail Adams
  2. q:simple:Agnes Allen
  3. q:simple:Ahmad
  4. q:simple:Al-Hallaj
  5. q:simple:Alcuin
  6. q:simple:Ali ibn Abi Talib
  7. q:simple:Anne, Princess Royal
  8. q:simple:Anonymous
  9. q:simple:Ask a Ninja
  10. q:simple:Buckminster Fuller
  11. q:simple:Charles Babbage
  12. q:simple:Citizenship
  13. q:simple:Confucius
  14. q:simple:Conrad Aiken
  15. q:simple:Creighton Abrams
  16. q:simple:Dr John Arbuthnot
  17. q:simple:Dr. Seuss
  18. q:simple:Dune
  19. q:simple:Emily Brontë
  20. q:simple:Emily Dickinson
  21. q:simple:Fahrenheit 451
  22. q:simple:Friendship
  23. q:simple:Frontispicio
  • 12 pages, most, if not, all created in 2004 that merely direct to the Main Page
  1. q:simple:Accueil
  2. q:simple:Acuèlh
  3. q:simple:Ana Sayfa
  4. q:simple:Azal
  5. q:simple:Ceannleathanach
  6. q:simple:Cifapad
  7. q:simple:Duille Mòr
  8. q:simple:Esileht
  9. q:simple:Etusivu
  10. q:simple:Faqja Kryesore
  11. q:simple:Forside
  12. q:simple:Forsíða
  • Zero articles containing Simple quotes without the originals.

--A. B. (talk) 05:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

There have been about 140 content edits in the last 30 days.
Thank you for your analysis! Your list of 23 articles with no Simple explanation "yet" should really be 16. One (Frontispicio) is a redirect to the Main Page. One (Emily Dickinson) already has Simple translations. Approximately five of the others do not require Simple explanations because the original quote only uses words which are in Simple English already; some of these are listed as such on the Main Page. --Coppertwig 14:25, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Notability of Simple English[edit]

Various Wikipedias have articles on Simple English and its variants:

--A. B. (talk) 14:22, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


The person closing a discussion must have a sufficient level of authority and experience, and must carry out the closing in a neutral manner. For example, someone who has voted should not close the discussion. The closing should be a summary of the discussion. It should not be simply the opinion of the person doing the closing. Such an opinion should be listed as simply one of the many votes. --Coppertwig 14:50, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

This can't be closed. It's the same as 3000 oppose and 3002 support. Do you close a project then? Uswibèta 15:46, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Our next steps[edit]

To get a picture of the arguments used and prepare for a final result, these steps should be made soon:

  • Closing the discussion again (reopening it was a mistake from the start)
  • Gathering all arguments used, and collect them on a page
  • Valuing the arguments, preferably with multiple people as judges
  • Using the good arguments to find a consensus (again with multiple people)
  • Discussing and posting the result

All this does not need to be done immediately, but I propose that the result should be decided before New Year's Eve. This gives us 1 month to work with, which even in case of a low amount of people and activity should be enough.

As you might have guessed, I am not a fan of "no consensus" decisions, because they make the result look like "I wasn't able/was too lazy to analyze the arguments so I'll just close it to get it off my watchlist", which is not the right attitude especially for such an important discussion. -- Prince Kassad 21:08, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

About the closure[edit]

MF-Warburg is not an admin. I don't know where you got that. Also, even if he was an admin, closing proposals with no obvious consensus with no reason at all is very bad. -- Prince Kassad 15:35, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Prince Kassad, you are absolutely right and I screwed this up. I thought he was. If Meta awards duncestars, I reckon I've earned one today.
Nevertheless, this discussion has dragged on long enough and I can't see any major shift in the current status: a slight majority favoring closure. I also see no sentiment for keeping the discussion open, rather occasional comments from editors on both sides for many months now that the proposal needs to be wrapped up one way or the other. So I stand by my decision to stop the decision and protect the page and I have corrected my earlier comment about MF-Warburg's status.
As I see it, the final decision on this proposal turns on the issue of whether a Meta-Wiki decision to close a project requires a simple majority vote or a consensus. The closing admin will also obviously need to make the usual adjustments for sockpuppetry, invalid comments based on erroneous facts, double votes, etc.
I have left a request at Meta:Babel#Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikiquote requesting a more neutral admin than myself make a final decision based on the discussion to date. --A. B. (talk) 16:03, 2 May 2008 (UTC)