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Indeed. This commentaries were meant as a personal opinion, in no way representative of the Catalan wikipedia community. Smeira, please stop trying to discredit my argument by attacking me (Leptictidium's outburst here is a quite good example of the tendency for putting national pride into one's Wikipedia) or trying to change the subject of the discussion (In this spirit, let me make another proposal here: let's create another page...). Yeah, OK, let's create another page and forget about anything which has to do with meddling with Vükiped's Bots-Galore!
I insist; I am putting no national pride at all into this. I just want every Wikipedia to get its deserved classification on that list, without allowing for artificial tricks such as bot abuse. That, in my opinion, is not pride, but a desire for justice. Is it not just, is it not fair, that everyone should have what they have earned? And now, I will reply to Smeira's text.
  1. I was not referring to a fixed-policy consensus, but to a de facto one. What I meant is that the Lombard wikipedia has had its bot articles pruned in the past, and that many people have voiced their disapproval of this use of bots. Even though the closure proposal was (fortunately) rejected, it became obvious that there is a non-negligible proportion of wikimedians who frown at bot abuse. Even though we may be a minority, there is enough of us as not to be ignored, and by happily using your bot without measure, you have ignored us all.
  2. Mikibc is working on improving the articles of years. Who is improving the corresponding articles on Vükiped? Nobody is. You accuse me of being hypocritical, yet it is you who is trying to show only the parts which are appropiate for you. You chose certain years of the distant past on Catalan wikipedia to criticise, years for which information is scarce in most wikipedias. Yet why didn’t you point out most of the more recent years, as in the last five centuries? The difference between Vükiped and Viquipèdia would become much more apparent if you chose a few of those years.
  3. Bot stubs have not been improved. All of those pages you have shown have just been modified from Bot Stub Version 1.0 to Bot Stub Version 2.0. They still remain bot stubs, two months on. I can hardly see how you intend to meet the deadline you set yourself in two years’ time.
  4. The quality of bot-stubs is decreasing! The bot articles of American cities were more or less decent; the bot articles of French cities became slightly less quality; and now we have the wholesale creation of articles consisting of one template plus three empty headers! I think it is clear that there is a reduction in the quality of bot articles going on.
  5. Smeira, your proposal is not fair. Your stubs give no information – everybody knows that 345 bC comes after 346 bC and before 344 bC. That’s virtually everything your year-stubs say! They are of absolutely no use. Therefore, there is no point in deleting them if you’re going to put them back in a few weeks. Vükiped being in front of the Catalan wikipedia is but a part of the problem; the main issue being that Vükiped is continuosly inflating its article count by artificial means. What comes next, an article saying that thirty-six is the number that comes after thirty-five and before thirty-seven?
  6. You say Catalan wikipedia is fascinated with this article-count parameter, that it is a fetiche. Well, wasn’t it you who wanted to fill Vükiped with stubs in order to bring it among the first wikipedias so as to attract editors?
  7. And finally, this is not about a moment of glory. Firstly, because it is not a moment – Vükiped should be perpetually behind the Catalan version of wikipedia, as well as many other versions in which the editors have worked hard. Secondly, because it is not glory – it is simply a demand to correct an artificial classification and restore it to its natural order. And thirdly, because Catalan wikipedia will not be the last to complain. When Romanian wikipedia is about to overtake you, and suddenly SmeiraBot creates thousands more almost empty articles to give you more margin, they will protest too. When Turkish wikipedia finds itself in the same situation, they will protest as well. Smeira, the time of procrastination is over. Enough bot abuse, enough using the list of wikipedias as a propaganda scheme. – Leptictidium 18:55, 20 April 2008 (UTC)


Hi Leptictidium, I'll answer your points here. But I propose right now that we move this discussion to another page; the basic points have already been placed here, and we run the risk of supersizing the Metapub page too much. To other Wikimedians: is there another place we could take this discussions to? (Maybe to our own user pages, as we did in the past? As Aleator and you above have said, your opinion does not reflect a consensus in ca.wp; maybe it's more between the two of us and shouldn't be here at all?)
First of all: I'm not trying to discredit your opinion. I really do think it's a good example of the Wikipedia-is-the-Olympic-Games syndrome -- you're defending one Wikipedia against what you see as the "cheating" (against what, if it's all a collaborative project?) of another one. Is the WikiProject American Cities competing with the WikiProject Biographies in number of articles within en.wp? No. If one of them has more articles than the other, does that imply disrespect or lack of recognition for the work of those who contribute to the other? No. (Thank God there is no "List of WikiProjects by number of articles" in en.wp!...) Conclusion: you are putting group pride into all this. Perhaps not national pride for Catalonia per se, perhaps simply pride for the group of people who are contributing to ca.wp; but still, it's clearly a team-against-team viewpoint. And note that pride in group achievement per se is not a bad thing: people have the right to feel proud! But if you think their only reward is their position on the List of Wikipedias, then you are treating it like an Olympic competiton: who's winning the marathon? And here there is a problem. (To say nothing of the fact that number-of-articles is by itself a flawed parameter that is actually quite unfair to hard-working people, since it equates long, well written articles and short stubs. If we want a competition, then we should at least base it on something more meaningful.)
As for creating a different page to reward hard-working Wikipedias: if you're willing to volunteer some time to do that, I would cooperate with you. Would you like to discuss some possible ideas? (There are some good suggestions in the Top Ten Wikipedias page as I said before.)
Now, on your other points:
  1. It also became obvious that a number of people have nothing against bot-created stubs; by establishing cross-wiki laws about their 'abuse' (you've used a loaded word, haven't you? I note this since you're the one protesting against implications and subtexts), you'd be ignoring these people. Let me make your words mine: 'even though we bot-stub supporters may be a minority, there are enough of us as not to be ignored, and by wanting to impose external limits you have ignored us all'. There are, I think, good reasons why wiki-philosophies (inclusionism, deletionsim, etc.) never become cross-wiki policies.
  2. I myself am working on improving year pages (by adding "deaths" and "births" from already extant pages on important people; see e.g. vo:1904). From what I could see, that's exactly what your friend in ca.wp is doing, too. You're not checking before making claims, are you? You could have simply looked for year pages in my list of contributions; it wouldn't be hard. Again I say: why didn't you ask me before? I would have told that! Also, though I have certainly chosen empty year pages from ca.wp, I'm not trying to mislead anyone. My point is simple: most year pages on ca.wp are empty or have only one or two entries. For examples in more recent centuries, check ca:1654, ca:1657... In fact, just keep clicking on "Un any després" or on "Un any abans" and see how many more you get. I agree that empty pages are concentrated in more remote centuries; but still they're on ca.wp, and nobody is claiming here that you guys are "cheating" on the Wikipedian Games here by letting these hundreds of empty pages artificially increase your score.
  3. Hm, going from version 1.0 to version 2.0 is an improvement (version 2.0 of anything is supposed to be better than version 1.0, isn't it?) by any serious criterion: there's more information, more accuracy, and sources are indicated. If you re-read the discussion on the Radical Cleanup proposal, you'll see that this is exactly what I promised to do, and it's exactly what I'm doing. (The two-year time limit -- actually more like 1.5 now -- was/is a different thing, not about improving the stubs; do you remember? We talked about it.) If you're simply against bot-stubs in any form or guise, then note that this has already been extensively discussed (e.g., on Yekrats' bot-limitation proposal page). If you have new arguments to add, I'd of course love to hear them.
  4. No, the quality is not decreasing. If you look at the history of the articles on American cities, you'll see they all started out as three-line stubs and were subsequently improved (for technical reasons, this hasn't been done yet for the cities in the state of Michigan; so if you prefer, just check the pages in the category: vo:Klad:Zifs in Michigan to see what the others were like originally). As I've already pointed out, pages on French cities are now being improved. This will later on continue for Austrian, German, Italian, Spanish ... cities. Please don't try to ignore this. The new "unimproved" year pages that you mention are, as I said, just like the majority (of course not all, but the majority) of year pages in ca.wp. If you think they're "cheating", then you'd have to explain why the fact that pretty much all Wikipedias have them (and, except for the largest Wikipedias, they're also mostly empty) isn't also "cheating". In fact, for consistency, you should demand that the empty year pages in ca.wp be either deleted or not counted in your final number-of-articles highscore.
  5. You don't see the point of having these articles then, Leptictidium. First, note that what you said also applies to ca.wp here. Everybody knows that ca:317 aC comes after ca:318 aC, which comes after ca:319 aC, etc.; so why are these pages on ca.wp? Answer: because they're a framework that gets constantly updated. So: every time a new page on some historical event or person is added, the corresponding year and day-of-the-week pages are already there and can be edited to incorporate the information. That's what ca:User:Mikibc is doing on ca.wp, and that's what I'm right now doing with vo.wp articles on famous personalities. Consider e.g. ca:133 aC: it was created in 2004, by ca:User:Llull, spent three years being edited only by interwiki bots, till Mikibc added, first a template (unlike vo.wp, it didn't even have that before! and it remained undeleted for three years!), then he added Tiberius Gracchus and Attalus to to the "deaths" section, and then he deleted Attalus (presumably because there's no article on him yet). If you edit this page, you'll see that it looks just like the vo.wp pages that I have likewise improved. So: having year pages gives you a ready framework of dates and years to which you can quickly add new items as new articles on people and/or historical events are added to a Wikipedia. Like having an empty calender on your wall to which you keep adding dates. It's my impression that this -- having an easy-to-use framework for listing events -- is the reason why over 2000 year pages can be found in the overwhelming majority of Wikipedias, including some of the smallest ones, and including also ca.wp. (Why else would you guys have kept ca:133 aC empty for three years? Just to show that it comes after ca:134 aC? Leptictidium, come on...)
    So: Vükiped is not "inflating its article count by artificial means"; it is "adding a framework of year pages found in almost all other Wikipedias". Do you want some circumstancial evidence? Check out vo:Yelataib, where the whole framework is laid out (I used the same format as the German Wikipedia there): from 400 BCE to 2020 CE. Just like de.wp, and in fact far less than en.wp (even you guys at ca.wp went further back into the past than 400 BCE; cf. e.g. ca:498 bC). Now, if I really wanted to "inflate", why should I resist the temptation of going beyond 400 BCE? Gee, I could go as far back as 10 000 000 BCE so that Vükiped becomes Number One! I could go back to the time when there still were Leptictidia on earth! And even justify it by saying that I would add "Lepticitidia existed" to these pages! Gee, how stupid of mine to limit myself to the fifth century BCE!... No, I'm not inflating anything. I'm just installing a calendar framework, just like ca.wp did over three years ago. (Did you notice I also added articles on the letters of the alphabet? Did you also draw the conclusion that I just wanted to increase the Vükiped highscore by 26? Leptictidium, come on...) Will there be articles on all numbers? Let me ask: is it the case that most wikipedias have empty articles on numbers, and if so does this have a function (like the calendar framework)? I don't think so. So I won't do that. (If you disagree and can show that there would be a function for such articles, you might convince me. I'm always open for suggestions.)
  6. I do think number-of-articles has fetiche value (like a Pacman highscore) to many Wikipedians, yes. Is ca.wp fascinated with it? Might be. But Aleator's answer suggests to me that this is not the case; he doesn't seem to be overly concerned with it. Probably different individuals react differently to it. Hm, yes, I wanted to attract editors. That means the goal was not the highscore itself, but the new editors. Therefore it's a means, an instrument, to me, not a fetiche (a fetiche, as a 'magical' object that creates happiness, is not supposed to be a means to something else).
  7. By the criterion number-of-articles, no, the Vükiped should not be behind ca.wp, because it has more articles than ca.wp. The problem is that the quality level of the average article in ca.wp is much higher than in vo.wp, but the parameter number-of-articles does not show that. For measuring hard work, number-of-articles is a bad, flawed parameter! It does not accurately measure the hard work of Wikipedians that you laudably want to reward! It actually belittles their effort and work -- those people who spent days working on an already extant article are not rewarded, while those who added stubs are! See, the two of us agree that the List of Wikipedias by number of articles is an artificial classification; but the answer is: forget number-of-articles and pay attention to criteria that do give you a more natural order, based on hard work -- like the List of Wikipedias by sample of articles, where, to your delight, ca.wp is way above vo.wp! Stop fetichising the number-of-articles parameters and find one that does justice to the hard-working contributors of ca.wp whose honor you purport to defend.
Leptictidium, when you say that I am trying to prevent you from getting the position you think you deserve, and when you say I will try to do this against the Romanians, the Turks (Ukrainians, Esperantists...), you are deliberately offending me. You didn't come and ask me what I was doing; you just got on your high horses, decided that I was a bad bad guy and attributed conspiracies to me without bothering to ask me first. Come on!... We've had quite an extensive exchange before. Have I, at any moment, written anything to you that gave you the impression that I wouldn't honestly tell you what I am doing if you had bothered to ask? Why the heck didn't you? You say that the date at which ca.wp will overtake vo.wp is only part of the problem, you say you're concerned with propaganda schemes (while at the same time saying that the 'gain in exposure' of the 15th position would be important for ca.wp...) but given all of the above, how can I not conclude that it is, in fact, all of the problem? After all, you are terribly offended ('this is grossly unfair', 'we certainly wouldn't be stealing that 15th position') by what you describe as 'effectively granting the Vükiped a few months' worth of publicity' (actually, if the ca.wp stats are correct, it's more like two extra weeks; you guys are averaging 150-200 new articles per day; have a look. Haven't you done the math?). I repeat: this problem would be solved by my proposal of removing these pages, allowing you guys to get your 15th position as scheduled, and then putting them back. Everybody would be happy: you would be 15th, the Vükiped would have the calendar framework (which you guys also have, remember), and everything would be OK. As for attracting more editors: I've already done all I thought was needed for that. I'm now just counting the results and waiting in case there will be more. New article additions are for other purposes. It's that simple. -- 22:17, 20 April 2008 (UTC) --Smeira 22:25, 20 April 2008 (UTC)


As you asked, I moved the discussion elsewhere. I was going to propose the same thing, remember how we cluttered the discussion last time? You are right and wrong at the same time – Aleator represents users on .ca who don't agree with me, and there is no consensus. But there are also people who agree with me and some have even asked for the Vükiped to be shut (again).

I don't think that collaborative project and competition are mutually exclusive. Imagine you were a scientist, and you worked 12 hours a day for months on end, until you discovered the cure for the common cold. And then comes your boss and proclaims to the world he invented it, keeping all the glory for himself. Wouldn't you feel it's tremendously unfair? And yet it would be for the common good of human kind, it would all be within the collaborative framework of your lab.

Listing wikipedias by number of articles may be a flawed parameter, yet for good or for bad, we know it is the most used parameter. Whatever we say, the average guy will almost always say "hey, the Polish wikipedia has more articles than the Portuguese one, it must be better".

  1. I didn't use the verb abuse as an implication; it is a fully open accusation. For it is not use that you are making of bots. I agree completely with what you say – those people who support bots cannot be ignored either. Yet that does not mean they may use bots to create thousands of stubs. In order to take into account both factions, common ground should be found. We shouldn't either ban bots (in normal circumstances) or support widespread use of bots. The ideal thing would be to use bots reasonably, with a measure; but you're gone much farther, Sérgio.
  2. If you are improving those year stubs, that must have been weeks ago; I can't see those years on the first couple of pages of your contributions. But, let's go back to the point. If those years from the distant past on .ca are not improved by the time I've finished dealing with other micro-stub issues, I will eventually propose them for deletion. I believe it was a mistake to have them created in first place and, leaving aside the bot problem, I wouldn't recommend you to make that same mistake. I am certain those kind of pages wouldn't (or shouldn't) be accepted if they had been created today instead of four years ago. Just as I think that blank year pages shouldn't be on Wikipedia, I don't think they should exist on Volapük.
  3. I think you missed the point during the proposal. I (and I believe many others, especially in the pro-elimination of bot stubs camp) understood that those articles were going to be improved to create "normal" articles like those seen on many Wikipedias; maybe not for Buchères or Nailsworth, but at least for big cities like New York or London. "Human articles", if I may invoke the wikipedia, by people and for people theme. Adding a few parameters to the bot program can hardly be seen as an improvement.
  4. As you say, I should demand those empty year articles on Viquipèdia be eliminated. And I will, once I've finished with the stubs I'm dealing with now: 200 bytes articles on neighbourhoods. I'm also merging very short articles into lists, with the goal of achieving a Viquipèdia with 100% percentage of > 500 bytes articles before summer. Of course, eliminating year articles is not an option for the last three millenia, but anything before 1.000 aC isn't truly necessary.

As for you inflating Vükiped with articles... Well, if you truly are doing it for some other reason, the only problem is that you'll have 2.000 more stubs to deal with. But I really find the timing of this boost very suspect. Why go back to 10 million BC when a couple thousand articles is enough to grant you two more months among the top 15? You did just enough to keep it for a time. God knows if you'd have done the trick again in a few weeks' time, when .ca was about to overtake .vp again.

  1. Do not ask me to stop giving importance to the number of articles when you're fighting restlessly for the right (?) to keep all those bot stubs which allow your vükiped to rank above many others. Even though Vükiped has more articles than Viquipèdia, it does not deserve to rank above it in the number of articles classification. Marion Jones was also the fastest racer, but she obtained her records by illegitimate means, so a legitimate classification shouldn't include her. The case of Vükiped is much the same. Vükiped is very much a doped Wikipedia, metaphorically. You say that other parameters are way more important than number of articles. So why are you injecting all those thousands of almost empty articles? They reduce the average size per article, they increment the number of stubs and they decrease your depth parameter. But surely, you do value these parameters as important, so why would you reduce your score in these fields?

The gain in exposure for Viquipèdia would be hard-earned and would be a by-product of hard work. On the other hand, the use of bots on Vükiped is purely propagandistic – you used it purely to attract attention to .vp, which you did. Deleting all those articles and putting them back again is not a valid option; not only would it mean putting back thousands of empty articles purely for article count purposes, but it would also mean you'd have to invest much time in deleting and then restoring all those articles. It would only be a loss of time for all parties involved.

Also, the problem, as I said before, is not the "being on schedule" for Catalan viquipèdia – it's not really that important if we enter the top 15 in May or in June; the thing is: how can we be sure that, when we're about to overtake you again, there won't be another stream of newly created Mongolian villages stub which will bring the difference back to 2,000 articles anew? And then, when we've worked our way back, a new bloom of Polish cities? How can we be sure you won't use this trick again and again?

Surely, all this bot use-abuse (as you prefer) must come to an end. But when? Leptictidium 23:26, 20 April 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for moving it here, that's much better. I've also added a link there so that people can follow our discussion at their ease. Off we go!

I'm sure there are other people who agree with you on ca.wp, and on other wikipedias as well, and who would want to close vo.wp. Just like there are people everywhere who would rather close the Latin, Ancient Greek, Gothic wikipedias because they're dead languages, the Esperanto wikipedia because it's a conlang, or the dialectal or minority-language wikipedias (like ca.wp!) because 'they all speak another language' (in the Catalan case, Spanish), so their Wikipedia isn't 'really absolutely necessary'. Of course there people who think so, and maybe they're not just a few. That doesn't mean that they're right. If they want to defend these viewpoints (and it would be legitimate to do so, if they really believe in them), let them. I'd love to participate in the discussion. As for ca.wp, my point is simply that, since there is no consensus, your post reflects your opinions (and presumably those of the people who agree with you), not "la Viquipèdia" as a whole; so not everybody there is as offended as you are. (Out of curiosity: any stats?)

I don't think that collaborative and competitive are in opposition either; but I do think that some people (apparently also you) are overstressing the competitive side and forgetting the collaborative. That's where I see a problem. If the collaborative aspect was being emphasized, you'd have come to me and asked what I was doing rather than immediately running to the judge and shouting "cheat!" Hm, your boss-steals-the-discovery example is not really relevant to the issue. The calendar framework is not something we have invented; if at all, the Vükiped is the last (after some 150 others) to be adopting it. The boss who takes credit for someone else's work is more analogous to a copyright violator, which is not at all the case here. Of course it's unfair to violate copyrights; but in the case of the calendar framework, the only way to make it 'unfair' is by stressing competition above collaboration and making Wikipedia be more like the Olympic Games. Remember my WikiProject example: thank God, WikiProject American Cities is not competing against WikiProject Biographies.

Listing Wikipedias by number of articles is not only using a flawed parameter, it does not even do what you say you want, i.e. actually reward hard work; it only rewards number of articles, which, as vo.wp clearly shows, is not related to the number of hard workers involved or the amount of collaborative work they've done. Besides, there are alternatives, like the List of Wikipedias by sample of articles, were vo.wp cannot threaten ca.wp in any way. The average guy may also believe in horoscopes and think that Arabs are all terrorists; should we, too? Or should we rather provide him with good, well-argued reasons for not believing those things? One further example: The Hebrew Wikipedia has fewer articles than, say, the Ukrainian Wikipedia, and yet I'd claim (based on e.g. their position on the List of Wikipedias by sample of articles and on their depth parameter, average article length, etc.) that it's a better Wikipedia. Insisting on number-of-articles is unfair to them.

And frankly: it was not the average guy who went running to the Metapub to complain about vo.wp. The average guy just uses Wikipedia to find information; s/he's not really concerned with who's winning the Olympic Games here. It's Wikipedians who do that. In this case, it was you, and you certainly should know better than to trust number-of-articles. (Really, Leptictidium, I am quite angry at you for the way you arrogantly decided you know what I'm doing without asking me -- and you know I am an approachable person! How would you feel if I suddenly decided I know what your motives are better than you yourself and started fighting openly against them without even bothering to check with you first if my opinion was right? If you are (like me :-) a "hot-blooded Latino", I think you'd say an apology was necessary.)

Now, on to the numbered points.

  1. See, here your accusation is gratutiously offending me again. "Abuse" is not understandable without a set of criteria by which to judge "use" and "abuse" (just like "tall" and "short" need some average value to be defined: a "tall Japanese" might be short by American standards). And this set of criteria is precisely the difference between bot-supporters and bot-limiters. In fact, there is no set of criteria that has been universally accepted by Wikimedia (Yekrats' proposal was not approved). Either we discuss the criteria (are bot-stubs bad? should they be limited? and then I'd direct you to the discussion on Yekrats' proposal page first), or then it's unfair for you to accuse me with non-universal criteria that I don't accept. You (and others) think it's abuse, I (and others) think it isn't. Without criteria, what "using bots reasonably" means is a matter of opinion; you think I am not, I think I am. We should discuss criteria -- the "common ground" you want to reach --, not "abuses" that some would say are not. Don't start throwing stones before that. By all means let's discuss -- but let's start by looking at the previous discussion first.
  2. The last one I improved was yesterday (vo:1891, on April 19th); it's just that I work a lot on many different things in the Vükiped, so my contribution page is long. But actually, this edit is in the first two (20-line) pages of my list of contributions (immediately followed by vo:1854, vo:212 b.K., vo:287 b.K., vo:322 b.K. and vo:384 b.K.); I don't see why you missed them. Maybe you should have clicked on the "500" link to increase the length of the list? Now, as for the main point: if you're going to propose them for deletion, then I admit you're being consistent; but in view of the usefulness of a calendar framework, I don't see that you're right. Is it the consensus view on ca.wp that the calendar framework shouldn't be complete, or is this just your opinion? Have you discussed the topic with the people who created these stubs? Blank year pages can be found on almost all Wikipedias; I'd at least say that the number of people who agree with you that they should be deleted doesn't seem to be that high, since they haven't been deleted yet.
  3. I think I've said several times on the discussion page of the second closure proposal that bot-improvement is also improvement, and that this is what I was proposing to do to the French cities (I even added a link to an example of what I meant to do with the French articles: vo:Geban:Smeira/voböp; look for the link, you'll find it on the discussion page. This particular page has already been deleted, but you can check the improved French city articles I mentioned in my previous post to see what the example looked like). If you read through it, you'll also see I wrote that improvement by real humans, though always possible, is, given the small number of Vükipedians, not realistic; but that bot-improvement is possible, forthcoming, and good. (Now, on whether an article is good only if a human has graced it with edits or not, a lot was written there, and also on Yekrats' proposal page; please have a look at the arguments discussed there before simply claiming that 'obviously' no human edits means they're worthless. Let's not replay the whole discussion all over again!... If you have new arguments, of course, feel free to mention them.) "Bot articles" are also "by humans and for humans": humans write bots, and the resulting articles are written in a format meant to be read by humans, not by bug-eyed aliens or dolphins. Note also that no average user of Wikipedia has ever complained, after having found correct information on some article, that it was "added by a bot" rather than by a human: if the information is correct, the bot-origin is frankly irrelevant. If you think that adding a lot of new information (actually about 10 times as much as there was before) to an article is 'hardly an improvement', then I must say that your definition of "improvement" is not the one we find on the dictionary... What probably is causing this reaction in you is that it was "easy" to do that, since it was done by a bot; and I agree, it was "easy" (well, I actually had to work a lot on it; "easy" here is quite a relative term... but let's go on using it), I just don't think this is a sin, or that this nullifies the improvement represented by the new information that was added.
  4. On whether or not you should propose these empty year articles for deletion, see my comments above. Wanting to increase the average article length in the Viquipèdia is not a bad goal, by all means go ahead with it. (Interestingly, it seems that you don't want to eliminate anything in the last three millenia; so you'll keep articles like ca:1654 or ca:1657 just because they're recent years? Note also that all year articles in the Vükiped are within the last three millenia. None of them are older than 400 BCE -- a lot less than the 1000 BCE limit you want to use.)
  5. The Calendar framework should be slowly filled as new articles on people and historical events are added. Of course this is a slow process; even in the best-case scenario, it will take years for all pages to have a good amount of information on them. But then again, I also think it will take quite a while for this to happen in the Viquipèdia too... As for the timing, I do say it was a coincidence (I spent quite a while reseraching date pages on other Wikipeidas too, and then adding them to the Vükiped: e.g. vo:Yanul 1; the years pages were a logical continuation of that. Just like the articles on centuries and millenia that I plan to do after that. But you probably didn't notice the date pages -- and won't notice the century and millenia pages -- because 365 + 20 + 10 new articles wouldn't really threaten the quick ascension of the Viquiipèdia; you guys do more than that in two days). Now, are you calling me a liar? Should we get our laser sabers and go outside to settle this like real men ;-)... Seriously, now: at the speed the Viquipèdia is growing, it won't take two extra months for you to overtake the Vükiped, but more like two extra weeks (check the stats, man!). Do you honestly think that, even if I was as fixated on keeping this 15th position for propaganda as you claim (I don't see it as much better than 16th, 17th or 20th, actually), I'd fight for 'two more weeks' after having had what, five-six months? Do you really think I'd fantasize that two more weeks would change everything? Really! I'm not that stupid, Leptictidium; if I really wanted to start a life of crime and deception, I would at the very least choose a better goal! And also: if this was all about the Vükiped remaining #15 for another two weeks, why the heck would I offer to delete these articles and put them back only after ca.wp is comfortably in the 15th position? That wouldn't make sense now, would it? If you accept this proposal and I really carry it out, then I won't get those two damn extra weeks that you claim I care so much about! Finally, on 'God knows if you'd have done the trick again'... Well, God if he exists probably does know, but you can know, too; just ask me, whenever ca.wp is sufficiently close! I promise I'll tell you, and then you, like God, will know! :-) (I even have a list of future tasks on my user page; OK, it's in Volapük, but if you ask me I'll translate it.) You know what's funny? If you had told me before that delaying the obtention of the 15th position by ca.wp would cause you so much anger and revulsion, I'd have stopped and waited! Just out of consideration for a person whose intelligence and style I had grown fond of in our earlier discussions! But noooo, you were so sure I was Goldfinger and Lex Luthor combined in one that you didn't want to waste your precious time by asking me. (In case you haven't noticed yet, I am quite pissed at your -- to me fully unexpected -- arrogance.)
  6. You wrote: "Even though Vükiped has more articles than Viquipèdia, it does not deserve to rank above it in the number of articles classification." Hm, I hope you realize this proposition is a textbook example of a contradiction in terms? Its apodosis does not follow from, but rather denies the conclusion implicit in, its protasis, in a rather direct way? What you probably mean (Hm, now I'm the one claiming I know your thoughts better than you yourself...) is that, even though the Vükiped has more articles than the Viquipèdia, it does not deserve to rank above it in a quality-of-articles classification. And I agree, it doesn't deserve. And it doesn't in the List of Wikipedias by sample of articles, which I'd claim reflects quality better (though also still imperfectly) than a list based on sheer number of articles. The Marion Jones analogy does not apply, because if your criterion is number of articles -- not, mind you, number of articles created by humans, or number of articles created as longer than 1000 bytes, or whatever else -- then nothing wrong happened: the problem is simply that number-of-articles doesn't mean what you want it to mean. It's not that there is any "dope" in this race; it's that your criterion for 'speed' has little to do with how fast a car is actually moving. I do ask you to give number-of-articles less importance because I think what you care about -- quality -- simply isn't there! As for wanting to keep these stubs, it's because now we've worked a lot on them -- creating categories, subclassifying them, linking them, creating disambiguation pages, eliminating errors, etc. -- and we'd be mighty sorry to see all this work undone. Also, they contain useful information, found on other Wikipedias.
  7. 'You say that other parameters are way more important than number of articles. So why are you injecting all those thousands of almost empty articles?' Hm, I thought I had said it already: because I think a calendar framework is a good idea, because it will be slowly growing almost by itself, because it exists on almost all Wikipedias, except for the really small ones (so it's pretty much a consensus that it's encyclopedic information), and because it was simple and easy to do. Of course average size, percentage of stubs, depth etc. are better parameters than number-of-articles, but they are not perfect, and they're not the only relevant thing. In my opinion -- you may disagree --, the reasons I mentioned above are stronger than just wanting to increase these stats. Think of this: whenever someone adds a stub on any topic to any Wikipedia, s/he is infinitesimaly decreasing these stats too. Does that mean s/he shouldn't do it? Should there be a rule that says a new page can be created only if it is longer than the current average page size? I think not. (Note that other things I'm doing -- improving the French articles, adding redirects to them, etc. -- are actually having a good effect on these stats. The depth parameter has been slowly increasing, and, despite the almost 2000 new year stubs, improving 36000 French stubs (plus later on 8000 German stubs, 2000 Austrian stubs, etc.) will also increase the average page size. So you see, I am also improving these parameters -- it's just that this is not the one thing I'm thinking about and trying to do.
  8. I wanted to attract contributors to vo.wp, and that has succeeded to a modest extent; I didn't really want to attract attention to it (though I remember thinking before I started that this would probably be a consequence), and certainly not so many attacks. Yes, removing the articles and then putting them back on would be a waste of time -- each would probably take a day or two -- but despite everything, I have sufficient respect for you as person, and for all the hard-working ca.wp contributors who may be angry at those new Vükiped year pages, to say that, if you tell me this will make you all feel better, I will do it. I will be losing time, it won't fill my heart with happiness, but I will do it -- so that you see that I'm not so fixated on keeping this damn 15th position for another two weeks as you think. (Hell, I'm now wondering if you'll be paranoid enough to think I'm just bluffing. Maybe I should go ahead and do it anyway, without waiting for you to agree. Maybe I should. Just to show how pissed off I am at all this childish nonsense. Jesus, I'm beginning to sound like Yekrats! :-)...
  9. Again you ask how you can be sure that I won't be bot-adding lots of articles again, and again I answer: just ask me. I'll tell you. And again, if you're about to overtake vo.wp and I haven't noticed it (I haven't been checking the List of Wikipedias that frequently) and you're afraid of me planning another 2000 stubs on each individual hair on Stalin's moustache, then just let me know, and I'll gracefully wait! I'm no monster, and I'm not trying to make ca.wp contributors feel wronged; if you talk to me, I won't bite. As they say in Brazil, comunicação é a alma do negócio...
  10. You say bot (ab)use should come to an end. 'Will I use The Evil Trick again?' Bhwah-hwah-hwah-hwah... This is part of the discussion about the role of stubs. It's all over Yekrats' proposal page; please have a look! Or at least at GerardM's little essay here on Meta, providing information when there is little or none. In short: I don't think stubs are bad, so I don't exclude eventually adding more stubs on Polish cities. But right now, I'm concentrating on improving the existant city stubs, because that's what I promised I would be doing. (I did use bots to add more stubs on Romanian cities -- which you probably didn't notice because I did it in small batches; I was trying to keep copying errors under control by going relatively slowly, so that I could still check most of the resulting articles manually; so they were never really a threat for the overtaking of the Vükiped by the Viquipèdia... --; reason for adding the stubs: I had started before the discussion in the second closure proposal started, and I don't like leaving a job incomplete; I mentioned these stubs and my intentions in my last reply to Yekrats on the discussion page of the second closure proposal, go there and check if you don't trust me). So: I'm now concentrating on improving French articles, then I'll move on to German, Austrian, Swiss... And after they're all bot-improved? Will I want to add articles on bot cities by bot? I suppose so, unless of course the other Volapük Vükipedians tell me not to. Ultimately, I would like to have (longer, bot-improved) articles on most, perhaps all, cities of the world -- just like, er, en.wp has. Am I being bad? Aren't stubs evil? Please, read the arguments on Yekrats' Proposal for Policy on overuse of bots in Wikipedias page, read GerardM's "Providing information when there is little or none" (hell, if his proposal ever gets implemented, every new Wikipedia might have over 100 000 'stubby' articles ready to be added by translating templates...), and then let's discuss whether or not stubs are evil; but please, stop thinking that I am evil! I'm not, and if at any point you have any doubts about what I'm planning to do, just ask me! I'll tell you. I'll tell anyone who asks.

-- 03:04, 21 April 2008 (UTC) --Smeira 03:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)


Hello again. Let's see, dont get me wrong: maybe some people want Vükiped closed, but I'm not among them. And, as you say, there is no consensus on .ca (or anywhere, for that matter) about the bots. I never said there was. But there are people, apart from me, who aren't very happy about this sudden, coincidentally well-timed boost of bot stubs on Vükiped. One of them even asked for the Vükiped to be closed, which I don't agree with.

Once again, like last time, we don't agree about the examples. Last time it was the vitamins, this time it's laboratories and copyright violators! I don't think we can progress in this, as we are both quite sure of what we're saying.

Wikipedia is done mostly for the average guy. I doubt very much experts come to Wikipedia to look for information in their areas of expertise: do you think Stephen Hawking looks for info on black holes on Wikipedia? No. So, to put it that way, Wikipedia's target customer is the average guy. The same guy who believes editors are paid, that Jimbo Wales controls everything and that vandalism is fun. For big wikis like .de, .en or .fr, that's not a problem, but smaller wikis have to appeal to that average guy, in order to get people to come to this wiki instead of, for example, .es.

I'll apologise if I am sure that the timing of this burst was coincidental – that would be the right thing to do. The thing is, I find it very hard to believe it was a coincidence. The common ground between high bot use and low bot use is obvious: moderate bot use. But 2,000 new articles in one week is not moderate bot use at all.

  1. Articles in the last two-three millenia are necessary purely because there are many articles that link to them. Articles such as 2571 bC are unlikely to be linked, so there's no point in keeping them if they're empty. Has Vükiped got many articles about the Roman Empire or Ancient Greece? If it hasn't, there's no reason to keep all empty year articles up to 453.
  1. A human-programmed bot is not a human. If a space probe were sent to space with a human-programmed computer, would you say it's being piloted by a human? The same goes for bots; human-programmed bots do not count as by humans, for humans. By the way; if you're improving the bot script for articles, why didn't you use the same script from the beginning? It would have been better to wait and write one good article than to write a small article which will have to be improved several times.
  1. Viquipèdia has been nearing Vükiped at about 700 articles per week for the last two months. Now that you've got 5,000 articles advantage (or you had it when the discussion started), the math is easy: seven weeks, almost two months. And I've got the stats. But I can't do anything about it if you feel angry for all this – I am not angry at you, I am just very disappointed at you switching the bot factory on again.
  1. To "deserve something" is different from to "have something". If I break the record for climbing the Everest in least time, but I use oxygen bottles while everyone else did it without them, I will have the record. But I won't really deserve it. It's more or less the same case with bot-stubs: it's the quick, (relatively) easy and controversial way to pull ahead.
  1. If you really want to prove your point, take those articles off. But I don't find it a good idea, as I said, it would only be a loss of time to take them and put them back in. It's better to continue discussing the matter here.
  1. Finally, I hope GerardM's proposal never gets implemented. That would lead us to the birth of the clone wikipedias, in which all the wikipedias in the world with little to no active community will use those 100.00 bot stubs to boost their figures, having exactly the same articles only translating the templates. Many people would start asking for an own Wikipedia, not because they're really interested in the wiki itself, but because they'll think that those 100,000 articles can serve their political propaganda: some will want to use it to promote Mirandés, some to promote the difference between Romanian and Moldovan... Wikipedia would get even more instrumentalised.

Good day, Smeira. Leptictidium 12:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


Hiya! Hey, I don't think you want to close the Vükiped; no, you've never expressed this desire, not even this time. What I'm angry at is you claiming you know better than me what I want to do, and that without even bothering to ask me. That's what I claim you did wrong, not wanting to close the Vükiped. (If there's someone from ca.wp who does want to close the Vükiped, I'd like to hear his/her reasons, if s/he has time to tell me.)

Both examples -- vitamins and this one on copyright violation -- are based on ideas about what Wikipedia is and how it ought to be built. I've said some things about that on Yekrats' project proposal page -- I think you'd qualify as a supporter of the Aesthetic School. (In case you agree with such categories, I think I clearly belong in the Pragmatic school; and I hope you'll see that the goal the Pragmatic school pursues is not evil.) I suppose if we want to continue discussing this, the next step would be to discuss what Wikipedia is, and what specific Wikipedias are (since la.wp is probably never going to be en.wp, its goals may very well be different, etc.). But I'd be OK with not discussing it further either if you don't feel like. I will, however, insist that every project has the right to decide what it wants to do without intrusion from others, as long as the basic WMF tenets -- no copyright violation, sufficient activity, etc. -- are met.

I certainly agree that if you realize it was a coincidence then you should apologize. But I'd go further and say you should apologize regardless, because -- at least in my opinion about morals -- it was also wrong to go screaming "cheat!" to the Metapub without at least talking to me first. Leaving aside all the implicit Wikipedia-is-the-Olympic-Games problem, it's just plain wrong to take such a step when it would have been so easy -- and in no way harmful to a subsequent attempt to attack me, in case I was really a bad guy -- to talk to me first. I would never have done that to you, even if I was sure you were about to sabotage ca.wp. Jesus, in en.wp we're told never to scream names at a user just because what s/he did in his/her first edits looks like vandalism -- it might conceivably have been a stupid mistake made in good faith by a newbie. You didn't show me even this little amount of consideration.

On proving that this was a coincidence: there is no irrefutable evidence I can give you, since the matter involves facts -- my intetions -- that exist only inside of me and to which no one but me has direct access. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether or not to believe. I hope you realize that, by making your apology conditional to this, you give me an impossible task. All I can do is pile up circumstancial evidence, which might conceivably have some other explanation. Anyway, I will try.

  • I had been working on the date/year framework for weeks before I started creating year pages; you didn't feel outraged at them because they're far fewer (365 rather than 2000) so they represented no danger for the Vükiped's overtaking by the Viquipèdia. (This suggests that adding year pages was not a sudden decision taken when I noticed how close ca.wp had come to vo.wp.)
  • Since the number of years on the calendar framework was about 2000 (see vo:Yelataib), the number of pages that needed to be created was 2000. It's not a question of moderate vs. non-moderate bot use; it's a question of how much needs to be done, and then of doing it. (This suggests that adding the pages was not a panic decision after seeing how close ca.wp was to vo.wp, but actually a planned step to get to a certain result that I had envisaged.) And surely you don't oppose only the simple fact that I did it with a bot? If I had done it manually, by spacing it during two weeks (i.e. about 150, or 1 1/2 hour of work, per day), surely you'd still have the same opinion (i.e. that I was doing it just so that the Vükiped stays ahead of the Viquipèdia)? And you'd have reacted just as angrily?
  • The fact that I offered (offer still valid) to delete most of these 2000 pages so that you guys can overtake vo.wp on schedule. (This suggests that I was not trying to protect the position of vo.wp for another two weeks, since I'm ready to give up what you claim I had been trying to get if you'll agree to it. If the Vükiped staying ahead of you guys for two weeks was not what I wanted -- and since I'm offering to give it up, I think you'd agree it wasn't -- it would seem that a coincidence is the best explanation.)
  • Coincidences do happen. The fact that the first syllable of the word "Leptictidium" -- lep -- is also the Volapük word for 'monkey' is a coincidence: it had nothing to do with the reason why you chose this name. A closer example: if you look at the past activity of the Viquipèdia, you'll see that there was a sudden addition of 602 articles in one day (one day between 2008-01-29 and 2008-02-23) -- more than five times the ca.wp average at the time. Should one immediately deduce from this that the Viquipèdia was just trying to increase its numbers faster, so as to overtake vo.wp sooner? Was that the only, or even the major, reason for that increase? Or could there be other reasons? Or could it even have been a coincidence, unrelated to this sad Olympic Games mentality? Wouldn't it be a mistake for me to want to ascribe evil motivations to the Viquipèdia solely on the basis of this fact? Shouldn't I first ask you guys what was happening, and only then draw a conclusion?
  • Last but not least, there's my word. I'm telling you I wasn't trying to do what you claim. Of course you're free not to believe me, but I hope you don't find it strange that I take offense at you implicitly calling me a liar. (I think that, if you don't change your mind, I'll return the barnstar you gave me for translating the vo:Leptictidium article. It would feel strange on my user page now.)

On your other points:

  • Many of the year articles for the last two millenia in the Viquipèdia are empty; so saying they're necessary to me implies accepting (implicitly) the idea of a calendar framework that is slowly filled up by new articles. It's not simply 2751 BCE, it's also 333 CE. No, the Vükiped has only about 10 articles on Ancient Greece and Rome, which is not much. There are no current plans to attack precisely this area of history; but should there be any, the year/date framework will be ready to accommodate it. Which I think is a plus.
  • Good example! A space probe -- like a Wikipedia article -- is not a human, but it is made by humans and for humans. Everything in a space probe shouts 'humans!', and if aliens in other planets get their tentacles on it, they'll learn a lot about us. Bots, like space probes, are an instrument used by humans to pursue human goals. The bot vs. no-bot discussion is not about encyclopedias for humans vs. encyclopedias for bots, it's about what methods humans should be allowed to use to add articles to encyclopedias for humans. Humans, and only humans, are always the main point and the main actors. In sum: bots are not opposed to humans, bots are one of the methods that humans can use. Bots are a method, not a competitor.
  • Why didn't I start with the improved articles first? Because I didn't know how. When I first edited a Wikipedia article, I didn't even know what a bot was (I remembering asking a sysop what a bot was, what... 15 months ago?). Then I had to learn Python, which took time and experimenting. My first attempts at adding pages were based on little knowledge and little experience. The first time I realized I could do more was when I read about the Rambot articles in vo.wp; and later on, when I saw what the Dutch and the Portuguese had done with their bots. Only then did I try to figure out how I could do the same. In sum: it was a process of learning. As I went on learning, I started doing better things.
  • Leptictidium!... The total is seven weeks. 2000 articles were added, that's only two extra weeks. These are the ones you're now complaining about. The 3000+ articles that were already there -- almost five weeks -- you're not officially complaining about. After all, your claim at Meta was that I had added 2000 articles in order to stay for yet another two months. 2000 articles won't do that; they're good for only two weeks. In other words: you're not officially complaining about the 3000-article advantage that was already there, so you're also officially not complaining about the time you'd take to neutralize this advantage. You're complaning about the 2000 newly added articles; so you're complaining about two extra weeks. Not about the other weeks that were probably already part of your schedule before.
  • I'm not angry at the stats, Leptcitidium. I'm angry at you not having talked to me at all. And also at the fact that you didn't check the claims you made. I've already said several times: I would have told you everything if you had bothered to ask me. That is what has made me feel quite disappointed and, yes, angry at you. If you're disappointed at my using bots, well, there isn't much I can do about it than point out that I believe, out of principled reasons -- just check my arguments -- that it's OK to use bots to create articles, even many articles. I understand you don't agree, out of principled reasons too -- so I'm not disappointed in you if you don't use bots. Why should anyone be disappointed in anyone else for following the principles that s/he clearly laid out in previous discussions? In your place, I'd feel sad, but I'd understand the other fellow.
  • You won't deserve the record if you get it against the rules -- on which all players agree before they start. If the rules say you can't use an oxygen bottle and you do, then you don't deserve to win; but you will then be automatically disqualified. Now, if the rules allow you to use an oxygen bottle, that means you can't complain if someone else does, even though you're against oxygen bottles yourself. But now, let's see: you are now saying that Wikipedia is the Olympic Games, right? So not getting to 15th position on schedule is bad, and my plans or the advantage of having a calendar framework (which all other Wikipedias including yours also do) are not sufficient reason against the 'we deserve the 15th position' and 'bots are cheating' arguments? (I really think someone should do another page to reward hard work, so that number-of-articles remains what it is: a mere measure of the number of article titles available for linking.) My claim: bots are not cheating in principle, because we're not competing. Bots are, as you point out, an easy solution to a problem; there's ethically nothing wrong in using them, even to create many pages. The question is always: will you get the desired result or not?
  • Are you agreeing then with my proposition? OK, I'll do it next weekend, when I get some more free time. And I'll put them back on in, let's say... late May? Early June? When will ca.wp be getting above 118,000 articles? (Yes, it's a loss of time and it's pointless, but since you say this would prove my point, I $guess that's sufficient reason. Wouldn't you want to defend your honor if someone questioned it?) May I, by the way, conclude that this is what this whole complaint was all about after all?
  • Maybe you didn't get GerardM's point then. This information is repetitive, and it's a waste of time to have articles in 100 Wikipedias saying what e.g. the population of Berlin is. Just like Commons is a good idea, so is GerardM's proposition. I think this really is about the difference between the Aesthetic and Pragmatic schools on Wikipedia. I subscribe the idea that Wikipedia should try to provide as much information in as many languages as possible. And GerardM's proposition would make that easier. You may have a different dream for Wikipedia; that's legitimate. But I hope you realize that GerardM's dream (implicit in his proposal) is just as legitimate. Have lots of people started Wikipedias just because Commons puts 2 000 000 media files at their disposal? No. If there were 100 000 articles in every new Wikipedia, this simply means people would finally stop considering number-of-articles important and start thinking that Wikipedias shouldn't be judged like phone books: by the number of telephones listed. (Besides, people would probably simply factor out the template articles in their comparisons. Note that GerardM's proposal suggests that they would be in a differet namespace, which would make disregarding them in your statistics easier.) You may not agree with GerardM, but please realize that he's not simply trying to create ghost Wikipedias. Just like you, he's pursuing an ideal. And a quite beautiful one at that: as much information as possible in as many languages as possible, so that the user can decide which one to use. You may not want to work for that, but this is sure not the Nazi Party.

Good night, Leptictidium. Time to go check how my daughter is doing. By-bye! -- 23:26, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Smeira: Consummatum est[edit]

A total of 2400 articles have now been removed from the Volapük Wikipedia. We will wait for the Viquipèdia to overtake the Vükiped, and then start putting them back at a slower pace, always inferior to your own growth rate. In this way shall the Viquipèdia not only reach 15th position as scheduled, but it will also retain it during the whole reimplantation process.

Peace be unto you,

--Smeira 20:59, 24 April 2008 (UTC)