Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Bence Damokos
-----Original Message-----
From: Jesse (Pathoschild)
Date: 2010. augusztus 26. 21:29
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 10:14 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Can anyone else from the language committee offer a credible
> explanation of their special requirement for secrecy? Surely if this
> is a requirement, it can be explained, as Gerard did not.

Hello David,

There are some cases where confidentiality is necessary. We routinely
ask external experts for their evaluation of the test project content
before project approval, as Yaroslav mentioned early in this
discussion. These external persons are sometimes in situations where
speaking negatively about the content may be seen as an attack on
nationalist or culturalist interests, and put them at risk of
professional or personal reprisal. These persons are offered
confidentiality to protect them and to ensure we get their honest
opinion.

However, most content can be safely made public and is published to
the public archives if the email authors agree. These have not been
updated recently, but only because I have not had time to do so; they
should be updated in the coming months, now that someone has joined
with public archival as one of their goals.

By the way, the language committee never makes official statements.
Any comments from Gerard or I are our personal comments.

--
Yours cordially,
Jesse (Pathoschild)


Thanks Jesse for this explanation.
I am a still bit confused as to what is the reasoning for those members who
chose not to disclose their messages publicly at all – not even on a case by
case basis or at least on a summary level that would make the archives
readable?
(One of them apparently chose so out of a conflict with their academic
career, but what is the reason behind the other person's decision: does he
only quote the outside experts or does he fulfill such inside expert role
where he routinely has to trample on nationalistic or cultural feelings?)

Best regards,
Bence


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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Marcus Buck-2
In reply to this post by Jesse (Pathoschild)
  An'n 26.08.2010 21:29, hett Jesse (Pathoschild) schreven:

> On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 10:14 AM, David Gerard<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>> Can anyone else from the language committee offer a credible
>> explanation of their special requirement for secrecy? Surely if this
>> is a requirement, it can be explained, as Gerard did not.
> Hello David,
>
> There are some cases where confidentiality is necessary. We routinely
> ask external experts for their evaluation of the test project content
> before project approval, as Yaroslav mentioned early in this
> discussion. These external persons are sometimes in situations where
> speaking negatively about the content may be seen as an attack on
> nationalist or culturalist interests, and put them at risk of
> professional or personal reprisal. These persons are offered
> confidentiality to protect them and to ensure we get their honest
> opinion.

Thanks for your comment. In the years I had occasional contact with the
language committee I always found your answers to questions helpful.
Although sometimes I didn't agree with them you at least always tried to
address the actual topic while Gerard often tends to evade questions and
spin them into something different.

If external experts indeed personally fear repercussions for their
comments in individual cases I would accept that as a reason to not
archive their comments. But this certainly does not apply to Gerard or
Karen.

Marcus Buck
User:Slomox

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
I've just been chatting with Gerard about this issue. He explained in
some detail the concerns for confidentiality - the situation is far
from ideal, but is the present workable solution to getting accurate
quality information without possible retribution drected at those
giving the information from nationalist cranks for giving an opinion
they wouldn't like.

It's not a good situation, but my concerns are alleviated, for what
that's worth.


- d.

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Marcus Buck-2
Hoi,
Let us have a sense of history here. When the language committee started,
there were no linguists or other experts members on the committee. We were
really happy when we got someone who is part of the standard bodies that are
relevant to what we do. It meant that we had a way to assess what the
likelihood was for requests to the standard bodies. The only problem was
that for professional reasons it is not possible to publish the point of
views expressed publicly. As this may affect the employability, this is not
a trivial matter and confidentiality is the only way got relevant and
significant contributions.

As a consequence, the mailing list for the language committee became
confidential. At a later date, some members were not happy with a
confidential list and wanted to make *their* contributions public. I opposed
this  because it is not that hard to deduce what someone said by the answers
from others. As a consequence I keep my contributions private to the members
of the committee.

At a later date we started to seek expert opinion about the contributions in
the incubator to ensure that contributions were in the language that goes
with the ISO-639-3 code. The comments of these experts are in some cases
best kept private. We seek assurances for ourselves so that we can honestly
inform the WMF board that in our opinion a project in a new language can
start.

The policy allows for only one Wikipedia per language and, requests by
people that seek to force one orthography or one script do not find
acceptance in the policy and by the committee. At that we deliberately keep
such deliberations outside of the WMF LC and leave it to the standard bodies
to define what makes a specific language.

If this gives you the impression that there is not that much to discuss, you
are completely correct.
Thanks,
        GerardM
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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Muhammad Yahia
I finally understand. User:Karen (I am assuming, based on other ppl's
remarks) opinions might affect her employment, and in an effort to conceal
her opinions, Gerard is keeping his contribution confidential. Thus
rendering it very hard for anyone to follow the threads and deduce what she
may have said. I have a question here: Why would it be one of the new
member's tasks to update the archives, when it is the explicit desire of
some of the committee members to render them as unreadable as possible to
conceal someone's opinions?

I personally don't agree with this. I believe a person with such problematic
employment situation is not a good fit for a supposedly community committee.
And even if there is a great need for this person's expertise, other
arrangements could be made so that the 95% of discussions (based on the
current participation level of that person) where he/she is not involved can
be public.

Oh and regarding:


> If this gives you the impression that there is not that much to discuss,
> you
> are completely correct.
>

I disagree with this statement too, I have been trying to follow what's
there from the archive and the discussions are not simple 'x: pass, y: fail'
application of a set of rules. That is based on partial conversations I can
read.


--
Best Regards,
Muhammad Yahia
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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

David Gerard-2
On 26 August 2010 22:48, Muhammad Yahia <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I personally don't agree with this. I believe a person with such problematic
> employment situation is not a good fit for a supposedly community committee.
> And even if there is a great need for this person's expertise, other
> arrangements could be made so that the 95% of discussions (based on the
> current participation level of that person) where he/she is not involved can
> be public.


A tricky bit appears to be when expertise is offered on the basis that
it is confidential, due to fear of attacks on the expert in question
from aggrieved nationalists. It's not clear how to work around that
one.


- d.

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Muhammad Yahia
> A tricky bit appears to be when expertise is offered on the basis that
> it is confidential, due to fear of attacks on the expert in question
> from aggrieved nationalists. It's not clear how to work around that
> one.
>
>
>
But is that the case with committee members? I totally understand and agree
about the situation with outside experts feeling retaliation, and I said I
was perfectly ok with hiding those threads at the discretion of the
committee (the archive is manual anyway so it's not that hard to do). I am
asking why this has to be the case with committee members (or rather,
expressing my disagreement with such a setup).
--
Best Regards,
Muhammad Yahia
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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Marcus Buck-2
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
  An'n 26.08.2010 23:21, hett Gerard Meijssen schreven:

> Hoi,
> Let us have a sense of history here. When the language committee started,
> there were no linguists or other experts members on the committee. We were
> really happy when we got someone who is part of the standard bodies that are
> relevant to what we do. It meant that we had a way to assess what the
> likelihood was for requests to the standard bodies. The only problem was
> that for professional reasons it is not possible to publish the point of
> views expressed publicly. As this may affect the employability, this is not
> a trivial matter and confidentiality is the only way got relevant and
> significant contributions.
>
> As a consequence, the mailing list for the language committee became
> confidential. At a later date, some members were not happy with a
> confidential list and wanted to make *their* contributions public. I opposed
> this  because it is not that hard to deduce what someone said by the answers
> from others. As a consequence I keep my contributions private to the members
> of the committee.
>
> At a later date we started to seek expert opinion about the contributions in
> the incubator to ensure that contributions were in the language that goes
> with the ISO-639-3 code. The comments of these experts are in some cases
> best kept private. We seek assurances for ourselves so that we can honestly
> inform the WMF board that in our opinion a project in a new language can
> start.
>
> The policy allows for only one Wikipedia per language and, requests by
> people that seek to force one orthography or one script do not find
> acceptance in the policy and by the committee. At that we deliberately keep
> such deliberations outside of the WMF LC and leave it to the standard bodies
> to define what makes a specific language.
>
> If this gives you the impression that there is not that much to discuss, you
> are completely correct.
> Thanks,
>          GerardM
In other words: most of the members of the committee agree that
transparency is useful for the list and you are boycotting their move
towards more transparency.

As I have said in reply to Jesse, I do not object to confidentiality if
experts from conflict regions choose to not make public their opinions.
I do not consider reasons related to employment a valid reason. I cannot
really imagine any situation where an employer would say "ZOMG, you
supported a wikipedia in X?!? that'll have consequences!" but if it's
like that and the person cannot give information then search another
expert. If Karen is in a situation like this: Well, delete the history
of her userpage and let her contribute pseudonymously. The employer
won't know. Just use pseudonyms! Even the experts from conflict regions
will be safe with pseudonyms. Better than publishing the names without
the content.

Marcus Buck
User:Slomox

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Marcus Buck-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
  An'n 27.08.2010 00:00, hett David Gerard schreven:

> On 26 August 2010 22:48, Muhammad Yahia<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>
>> I personally don't agree with this. I believe a person with such problematic
>> employment situation is not a good fit for a supposedly community committee.
>> And even if there is a great need for this person's expertise, other
>> arrangements could be made so that the 95% of discussions (based on the
>> current participation level of that person) where he/she is not involved can
>> be public.
>
> A tricky bit appears to be when expertise is offered on the basis that
> it is confidential, due to fear of attacks on the expert in question
> from aggrieved nationalists. It's not clear how to work around that
> one.
Not that tricky. Instead of publishing their name and censoring their
message, they could censor their name and publish the message.

Marcus Buck
User:Slomox

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
Two of the biggest remaining problems (of which there are, naturally,
many many many others):

1) Transparency. Maybe some experts fear retaliation - okay, use
pseudonyms or contribute anonymously. Just have someone summarize your
opinion for public archives. Does Gerard fear retaliation? From whom?
Why else does he keep his non-expert opinions hidden?
2) Eurocentrism. Not an accusation to be made lightly, but look at the
geographic composition of the langcom. 9/13 members currently reside
in Europe, another is originally from Europe, 2 from Canada and 1 from
California. Hmm... so the population of Europe is 10% of the Earth's
population, but (nearly) 100% of the population of the LangCom? This
is a huge bias and should not be tolerated within an organization such
as ours which pretends to have an international scope.

-m.

On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 2:21 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hoi,
> Let us have a sense of history here. When the language committee started,
> there were no linguists or other experts members on the committee. We were
> really happy when we got someone who is part of the standard bodies that are
> relevant to what we do. It meant that we had a way to assess what the
> likelihood was for requests to the standard bodies. The only problem was
> that for professional reasons it is not possible to publish the point of
> views expressed publicly. As this may affect the employability, this is not
> a trivial matter and confidentiality is the only way got relevant and
> significant contributions.
>
> As a consequence, the mailing list for the language committee became
> confidential. At a later date, some members were not happy with a
> confidential list and wanted to make *their* contributions public. I opposed
> this  because it is not that hard to deduce what someone said by the answers
> from others. As a consequence I keep my contributions private to the members
> of the committee.
>
> At a later date we started to seek expert opinion about the contributions in
> the incubator to ensure that contributions were in the language that goes
> with the ISO-639-3 code. The comments of these experts are in some cases
> best kept private. We seek assurances for ourselves so that we can honestly
> inform the WMF board that in our opinion a project in a new language can
> start.
>
> The policy allows for only one Wikipedia per language and, requests by
> people that seek to force one orthography or one script do not find
> acceptance in the policy and by the committee. At that we deliberately keep
> such deliberations outside of the WMF LC and leave it to the standard bodies
> to define what makes a specific language.
>
> If this gives you the impression that there is not that much to discuss, you
> are completely correct.
> Thanks,
>        GerardM
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Casey Brown-5
On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 5:26 AM, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 2) Eurocentrism.

[snip]

> another is originally from Europe,

The one "originally from Europe" still spent most of his life in the
Middle East which we should be applauding as a departure from the
"Eurocentrism" that you mention and not lumping it in with the others.

> should not be tolerated within an organization such
> as ours which pretends to have an international scope.

Sofixit?  Encourage people you know in our organization who are from
other areas of the world to apply to the committee.

Come to think of it, it would be a great idea for the Language
committee to reach out to Wikimedian experts from Asia/India, Africa,
and South America and get them included.  Membership drive, maybe? :-)

--
Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Yaroslav M. Blanter
In reply to this post by M. Williamson

> 2) Eurocentrism. Not an accusation to be made lightly, but look at the
> geographic composition of the langcom. 9/13 members currently reside
> in Europe, another is originally from Europe, 2 from Canada and 1 from
> California. Hmm... so the population of Europe is 10% of the Earth's
> population, but (nearly) 100% of the population of the LangCom? This
> is a huge bias and should not be tolerated within an organization such
> as ours which pretends to have an international scope.
>
> -m.
>

I guess if 75% of the members were from the US nobody would ever complain.

Europe still has several dozens of languages.

Cheers
Yaroslav



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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Michael Snow-3
Yaroslav M. Blanter wrote:

>> 2) Eurocentrism. Not an accusation to be made lightly, but look at the
>> geographic composition of the langcom. 9/13 members currently reside
>> in Europe, another is originally from Europe, 2 from Canada and 1 from
>> California. Hmm... so the population of Europe is 10% of the Earth's
>> population, but (nearly) 100% of the population of the LangCom? This
>> is a huge bias and should not be tolerated within an organization such
>> as ours which pretends to have an international scope.
>>
>> -m.
>>    
>
> I guess if 75% of the members were from the US nobody would ever complain.
>  
Hardly. It's not as if there have been no complaints ever about a
majority of the board being from the US. It would be better if both the
Americans and the Europeans would cut back on sniping at each other,
acknowledge that it's unhealthy for either of them to be so
disproportionately represented, and focus their energies on recruiting
more people who add real cognitive diversity. That's part of what the
board and the foundation are trying to do in the context of the
strategic plan.

--Michael Snow

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
I want to remind participants of this discussion that the subject of
this thread is "Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles". Whenever you
want to talk about LangCom, please fork the thread with the subject
which makes sense.

I didn't read this thread up to yesterday afternoon, when Amir told me
that something is going on.

Before a longer email, whoever has any question related to some
LangCom's decision -- public or private -- let it ask here or myself
privately. I'll give explanation for any reasoning behind our
decisions if it is not clear for the summary and archived discussions,
or if it is not archived at all [yet].

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-3
I hope nobody gets the impression that I'm just an American sniping at
Europeans. I wouldn't be much happier if it was half Americans and
half Europeans, or even all Americans. The majority of the world's
non-endangered languages are spoken in Asia and Africa, so on a
committee that deals with languages it strikes me as absurd that there
would be 0 representation from these places.

As far as applauding the fact that there is a single person on the
committee who spent most of his life in Israel, I hope you'll excuse
me if I'm not clapping. Having a single member out of 13 that lives
outside Europe/US is not especially encouraging to me, it seems more
like tokenism.

Yaroslav, Europe does have dozens of languages, but it lags behind
literally other continent:

Continent - # of languages - % of world's languages
Africa - 2110 - 30.5%
Americas - 993 - 14.4%
Asia - 2,322 - 33.6%
Europe - 234 - 3.4%
Pacific - 1,250 - 18.1%

Let's keep that in mind here.

-m.

On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 8:11 AM, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Yaroslav M. Blanter wrote:
>>> 2) Eurocentrism. Not an accusation to be made lightly, but look at the
>>> geographic composition of the langcom. 9/13 members currently reside
>>> in Europe, another is originally from Europe, 2 from Canada and 1 from
>>> California. Hmm... so the population of Europe is 10% of the Earth's
>>> population, but (nearly) 100% of the population of the LangCom? This
>>> is a huge bias and should not be tolerated within an organization such
>>> as ours which pretends to have an international scope.
>>>
>>> -m.
>>>
>>
>> I guess if 75% of the members were from the US nobody would ever complain.
>>
> Hardly. It's not as if there have been no complaints ever about a
> majority of the board being from the US. It would be better if both the
> Americans and the Europeans would cut back on sniping at each other,
> acknowledge that it's unhealthy for either of them to be so
> disproportionately represented, and focus their energies on recruiting
> more people who add real cognitive diversity. That's part of what the
> board and the foundation are trying to do in the context of the
> strategic plan.
>
> --Michael Snow
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Sakha Wikipedia passed 7000 articles

Lars Aronsson
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
On 08/27/2010 11:26 AM, Mark Williamson wrote:
> Two of the biggest remaining problems (of which there are, naturally,
> many many many others):
>
> 1) Transparency. ...
> 2) Eurocentrism. ...

Mark, if you post more than one message per day, reiterating how
irritated you are with Gerard, then the only effect is that other
people get irritated with you, instead of Gerard. You try so hard
to solve the problem you perceive, that you become the problem.

Again, the Foundation fails to moderate this list, so I have to
remind you. Or perhaps I should just shut up and unsubscribe again.
Why am I wasting my time on foundation-l? Unbelievable! Bye!


--
   Lars Aronsson ([hidden email])
   Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se



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