Two Russian WPs

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(moved from en:Wikipedia:Village pump)

Why are there two Russian WPs? (Rossijskaja Vikipedija ( & --Menchi 17:07, Aug 11, 2003 (UTC)

My understanding is that is the "official" Russian Wikipedia, while is an unrelated project that happens to also be calling itself a Wikipedia (possibly started by someone who wanted a Russian Wikipedia and wasn't aware of the existance of —Paul A 03:11, 12 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Who is the Russian ambassador? Could we ask them to contact the non-Wikipedia project to discuss a merger? -- Tarquin 10:18, 12 Aug 2003 (UTC)
From Rossijskaja Wikipedia FAQ:
  1. Sometimes local Russian connections are cheaper (however, relatively rarely nowdays)
  2. It more optimal using of the internet bandwidth
  3. Much greater accessing speed for the target group
  4. Decentralization of the wikipedia
  5. It was not possible to use before spring'2003 due to encodings problem
  6. Lack of resources at
  7. Reliability problems at
  8. Licensing problem - GFDL considered non-free
However, is still (and so will be) under GFDL, there are no severe localisation problems anymore, and all other problems may be solved by simple mirroring. So it is direction that we try to follow. Drbug 13:56, 12 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Great, another pointless fork, more needless duplication of work. Please do not call your fork Wikipedia if it is not controlled by the Wikimedia foundation. has nothing to do with Wikipedia.—Eloquence 15:49, Aug 12, 2003 (UTC)
Eloquence, it doesn't look like a fork in the same sense as the EL project -- more a case of people using a stopgap server. Drbug has also posted to the intl mailing list where I have raised this; it seems that now ru.wikipedia is running nicely, there is the will to merge the two. -- Tarquin 18:06, 12 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The person behind is me - vovkav. There were several reasons to start the fork. The first reason is that by the time of starting the fork, was disfunctional due to encoding problems.

The main problem, as I see it, is the License - GNU FDL is considered nonfree and harmful by lots of parties (including Debian, whose Debian GNU/Linux is used at; and Stallman himself). See especially after 'GFDL has additional serious practical problems:' (The same article is referenced at wikipedia gfdl article, but anyway...)

These arguments are wrong. Debian really has no comprehension of the problems of human written material - and if Stallman had an issue with it, why is it the *GNU* FDL? See freedom to defraud.
The Invariant Sections are absolutely vital for written material. How else can one attach text like "The UK Royal Society finds this version of this article accurate and complete." All the valid objections to Wikipedia are overcome by the potential of adding such Invariant Sections. This is also true for code, but, with code, there are other ways to achieve such authentication, since you know among other things there is a computer running it. This is not something you know with an article, which may be printed and read independently.

I have not decided the license for content at yet (BSD, MIT-X, and some ways of public-domain-ization are considered), but I am discussing it with some russians, that are concerned with license matters. Anyway, I would like to hear comments on possible more-free license for the other Russian Wikipedia from other Wikipedians familiar with the subject.

If you wish to improve on the GFDL, then specify that use of the material to do damage to something alive, like, in war or for logging or killing, is not licensed. The less "free" in this sense, the better.
Here is the only legitimate argument against GFDL yet made, if you are going to argue against it, at least do so for the right reasons.

Since most of the contibutions to are mine and the people's, that I know in person, license change should not be a problem (I am not a lawyer, so correct me, if I have made a mistake). In the worst case (when I cannot contact original authors or they refuse to relicense) I'll simply dump that few offending articles.

I would certainly refuse any relicensing, and encourage others to do so, to a "more free" license. One "less free" in the sense of restricting use for violent or ecologically destructive activities would get a lot of support in a relicensing effort.

This is also the reason, why I have not copied all the articles from (ru.) - I want articles at to stay away from GFDL.

My strong belief is that the content and software should be free/open, so I have no intent to close access to or make it non-free (through licensing or access costs). DrBug has already begun copying articles from to (actually, I can make db dumps available). I am sure, this would not be stopped by changing the license terms at

There is another issue - I use two banner advertisement exchange networks. I know, this is against wikimedia stated policy, but I believe this is necessary for the project, at least in early stages. There is no profit using those _exchange_ networks.

I am not endorsed with any company, the server is run 'just for fun' ;)

PS: I hope, that LanguageRu.php posted on not so long ago, would help with the translation and technical issues.

---vovkav 06:50, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I think you are to be commended for the thought and energy you put into, Vovkav, though I dislike your choice of a name. "Forking" the wikipedia is something Ive been against for a number of reasons, centrally that an outside wiki wont grow with the wikipedia as a whole--I've been particularly active in pushing for better inter-language connectivity between wikis, so that the en:wiki is not so lopsidedly large compared to the others. But pushing does little if you dont know how to speak the language -- the formula first seems to require people who are fluent in both English and the target language to be ambassadors to carry over (what we think of as) our "perfect" traditions of openness, and community. And likewise this should flow the other way as well -- ideas on non-English wikipedias must have resonance through the wikipedia world-- the En:wiki cant simply count on the "trickle down" theory.
But, at least theres some success to report -- Zhongwen is taking off, and soon will break into two wikis-- simplified and traditional, Arabiya is still a fetus, sadly, and Russkiy -- probably the most vital other language aside from Spanish, I was disappointed to see that it still had not had been fully localized, but glad to see its now getting some energy going toward it. I sincerely appreciate (as I'm certain does JW and everyone else who's interested in this--not to speak on anyones behalf, though :) the thoughfulness of the answers youve given to some of these questions. -Stevertigo 17:30, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)
The Russian Wikipedia is still around 5 times as big as LittleDan
IANAL, but my understanding of the FreeBSD Handbook license only requires the writing that it is under the FreeBSD Handbook license, and aside from that, it is just like the MIT license that spreads with variants. I don't think that the FreeBSD license is compatable with the GNU FDL, but I can't find the FDL compatability page. LittleDan 20:14, 22 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Wanting to use a non-GNU FDL license is a valid reason to fork since the GNU FDL is non-ideal (although Wikimedia is stuck with it since it was the only copyleft license in town when Wikipedia started). Wikitravel is this type of fork because they started off with the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license, which is copyleft but incompatible with the GNU FDL (NOTE: forking due to this may be trivial in the near future because we plan to pressure both the GNU and CC people to make their copyleft content licenses copy/paste compatible). Another valid reason to fork is wanting to not follow our NPOV policy (this is the route Internet-Encyclopedia took). The type of fork I hate is when one language version forks and the resulting forks are both GNU FDL, follow NPOV and use the same software! Es.wikipedia and Encyclopedia Libre are such a fork; a complete duplication of effort since the two versions have the same goals, license and procedures! My point is that forks are fine if there is a very pressing need to do something so fundamentally different that it would be incompatible to have within Wikimedia. However, cannot use the Wikipedia trademark for their project; doing so is a violation of Wikimedia's trademark "Wikipedia." This is non-negotiable in my view. --Maveric149 19:21, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Hm. Tienes razón. -Stevertigo 20:45, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)
¿Qué significa "Wikiznenia" como dice la ? El nombre nuevo de la wikipedi de ellos?
What does "Wikiznenia" mean like at Is that their new name for a wikipedia?
Yes, it is. WikiZnanie is a new name for the project. "Znanie" in Russian means knowledge. (User:vovkav)