New project policy

Other languages:
This page outlines the policy relevant to the proposal and creation of new projects. An older version of this policy was adopted during the board IRC meeting on the 6th of November 2004 - other content was taken from Talk:Proposals for new projects. See also the proposal protocol, which sorts out the different types and scales of project and makes sure that opportunities to gain outside resources like Summer of Code 2007 are exploited.

Each project is ideally described on its own page and put in the category Wikipedia proposals (if it's about Wikipedia only) or Proposed projects" (if it's for mediawiki or other Wikimedia efforts.

If you want to propose a new project specifically under the umbrella of the Wikimedia Foundation, you can do it on this page. NOTE: An existing project in a new language is not a new project.

Please create an account and a user page on this wiki, so people can address their questions to you. Review the list of all proposals for new projects to be sure that you are not proposing things that are redundant. It is much easier to pair up with others already doing something than to build up enthusiasm for something that you've defined entirely on your own.

Not for new wikis


If you want to create a new wiki, it will probably be faster to start it elsewhere than to wait for the Wikimedia Foundation to adopt it as a project. See the list of c2:WikiFarms where you can create your own demo. Individuals attempting to create a new project may benefit from reading the History of Wikipedia and Wikia:Uses of a wiki.

Framing a project


If you want to take responsibility for a formal proposal, please post it on proposals for new projects in the format indicated below. There are a great many proposed projects already. Please try to determine if you can add your feature or idea under one of them on its talk page or as an obviously separate subfeature.

Format of the proposal


Use the format below to add your proposal to Proposals for new projects (if you can do it) or Talk:proposals for new projects (if you'll need help). If the project might be part of Summer of Code 2007 then read the list of successful summer of Code proposals that Creative Commons compiled and put most of the information in that format, not this one:

===''Project name''===
;Link to request on mailing list: ''x''
;Naming suggestions: ''xxx''
;Domain name: ''xx'' (state of registration)
;Scope:  ''short explanation''
;Details: ''[[Page where the project is thoroughly explained]]'' 
;Comments: ''[[Talk:Page where the project is thoroughly explained]]''
;Proposer: ''[[User:Name of one contact person]] - email''
;Date: ~~~~~
;People interested in joining: 
# ''~~~''
# ''~~~''
# ''~~~''
# ''~~~''
# ''~~~''
  • Sign only with ~~~ and comment only on the respective talk page.



Create a page (or a collection of pages) where you describe your plan in detail and list the page on Proposals_for_new_projects. Add to your proposal a link to the category Category:Proposed projects. Time must be allowed for feedback.

Advertise the project on Goings-on as well.

Meta-wiki is not really much frequented, therefore it is recommended that you also send a posting to the Foundation-l mailing-list to announce your proposal. You may decide to post to other lists as well.

Interest poll


After at least one month discussion, a poll to evaluate interest by the community will be set.

A one page on meta must explain the project in short and understandable language. This page will be translated in at least 5 languages (English mandatory, and at least 4 languages of the major wikipedia over 10 000 articles, i.e. Български (Bulgarian)Dansk (Danish)Deutsch (German)EsperantoEspañol (Spanish)Suomi (Finnish)Français (French)עברית (Hebrew)Italiano (Italian)日本語 (Japanese)Nederlands (Dutch)Norsk (Norwegian)Polski (Polish)Português (Portuguese)Русский (Russian)Svenska (Swedish)繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese)简体中文 (Simplified Chinese))

The poll must be set on meta. It should be made of a series of options, to collect opinion. This poll will have to be organised by an independant person (neither the contact, nor the interested users).

The poll is meant to reach all wikipedians, project large. It should be advertised on mailing lists and goings on. It should last at least 3 weeks to allow most opinions to be expressed.

Since this is only an opinion poll, there is no aim for a specific percentage of approval or opposition.

Board interaction


Board decision


After the poll is closed, a proposal should be sent to the board, with details of the opinion poll and links to discussion on the proposal. The board shall respond within the next 15 days to state whether the project has been accepted or whether more time is needed to address concerns or make software changes first.

The board will make its decision, taking into account community support and opposition, interest of the project and risks associated with it. That means a project with little support could be accepted (it is the board's choice to face the ire of the community), or a project with majority support could be rejected (it is again the board's choice to face the ire of the community :-)). Generally, though, the board will try to be reasonable and make community opinion a priority.

When the project is accepted, the board will announce it (by default, the announcer shall be the president).

In case of board refusal


If the project is not accepted, the reason of the refusal will be given, so that supporters can modify the project so that it might be accepted at a later time. They may also prefer not to change the project description and to continue it as an independant project. Or they may decide to give their project a little more waiting time.

In case of approval


The developers will set up a new project (ask them...).

The domain name (if already registered) should be owned by Wikimedia Foundation.

Once a wiki is set up for your project please update the lists and tables on Complete list of Wikimedia projects and Wikimedia projects. Advertise it on the mailing lists, and ask to have it added (or add it yourself) to main pages of relevant projects.

In the early stages of the new project, the contact person has to make a monthly report to the foundation board about the state of the new project: what's been happening, advances, debates, changes in policy or guidelines, etc.

Closing of a project


If there's no or very little editing on the new project for several months, or if the reports stop coming in, or if generally the thing just starts winding down, the wiki goes inactive. We turn off the wiki software, and make the content available in case someone else wants to use it.

In this case, we will use the following procedure

Proposition of closing -> community poll -> board decision

(Note that the accuracy of the above is not clear in light of the proposal to close the 9/11 wiki, which currently has overwhelming support, but has not been acted upon.)