This is the page of discussion of the programme of Houcemeddine Turki for 2015 WMF Board Elections. If you have any question or comments, please read “Overview about my thoughts” and write a comment in “Further Discussion” (Feel free to give questions in Colloquial and Standard Arabic, French, English and Italian). The candidate will try to answer you efficiently (in English) as soon as possible.
Overview about my thoughtsEdit
I am Houcemeddine Turki, born in 24th May 1994 in Sfax (Tunisia). I am registered in English Wikipedia since 17 March 2009. After that, I contributed to the French Wikipedia, to the MetaWiki and to Wikimedia Incubator… I had participated to several editions of the French Wikiconcours for three years and I am currently participating to the English WikiCup… In the six years I spent in working about Wikimedia Projects, I had gathered some ideas and thoughts about all the problems that can be faced. However, I will only cite what I will do to face important ones if elected.
Newly created types of WMF wikisEdit
As you know, the tendency of the Wikimedia Foundation is to create new projects about all aspects of knowledge of the human beings… For example, Wikivoyage had been created to gather tourist knowledge about a city, a place… This knowledge seems to a third-party source for Wikipedia… That is why it is considered in a different project… I had heard when assisting to WikiArabia 2015 about WikiKids that will be using sources especially for kids as references so that children avoid to access to some references that can be used for Wikipedia and that can be difficult to understand for them. The project is considered as different from Wikipedia as the used references involve only sources for Children. The Algerian Administrators who proposed the idea had shown that this project exists in both English (school-wikipedia), French (Wikimini), Dutch (WikiKids) and in an international version of six languages as Vikidia and is not affiliated into Wikimedia Projects. So, instead of wasting time and working from the beginning, they proposed that these working projects could be hosted by Wikimedia Foundation as fr.wikikids.org and en.wikikids.org… This principle can be used for some other Wiki Projects that are not affiliated into Wikimedia Foundation in order to unify the Wiki Initiatives and ameliorate their effect… However, the created of new projects like for the situation of Wikikids should meet to some standard requirements which are minor as I had seen. For example, Wikispecies uses the same format and type of references as Wikipedia. However, it is an independent Wiki… The clarification of these standard requirements is mainly needed because many projects that are not affiliated in Wikimedia Foundation like Hmolpedia are specialized WIkipedias… So, I will propose these standard conditions to accept a new wiki if elected: • The pages of the new wiki should not have the same structure as the pages in another wikis. For example, pages in WikiVoyage do not have the same format as Wiktionary or Wikipedia • The new wiki should be built using distinct references that are not used by other wikis. For example, WikiVoyage uses the tourist guides as references that are considered by other Wikis as third-party sources… • The mainly used type of references should be proved as available online and offline. For example, tourist guides are available online and offline. So, WikiVoyage is an accepted project. • The project should received approval votes from 80 Users at least. The project should be made in its first version by 8 Users at least.
However, some Wikis that are not affiliated as Wikimedia Wikis and that do not meet to the two first requirements could contain some quality work that can be merged into one of the Wikis of Wikimedia Foundation. For example, Hmolpedia written mainly by specialists in Social Physics could be merged into English Wikipedia… That is why I will propose if elected the creation of a new committee like Language Committee for new wikis and merging of independent Wikis into Wikimedia Wikis which will be entitled Core Committee. This committee will be composed of all members of boards and committees of the Wikimedia Foundation and would be responsible of regulating the creation of new wikis and the inclusion of existing wikis into the WMF list.
Language Definition and StandardsEdit
As you know, Wikimedia Foundation accepts the creation of new wikis in all kinds of linguistic entities. The unique condition to accept the creation of Wikis in a given linguistic entity is that this entity has a valid ISO 639-3… However, this seems to cause many problems for the language committee because of the lack of efficiency of the definition of language in differentiating between a language, a dialect, a creole, a pidgin and a variety… If elected, I will propose some neutral linguistics criteria in order to face this problem:
Type: WMF adopted Divergent Dialect (Used in Localized Wikis)
1. Proof of Considerable Lack of Intelligibility to Native speakers of the macrolanguage that do not have any training of that dialect explained in the Standardization Booklet
2. Having an Ethnologue value of 1, 2 or 3
3. Dialect that is not linguistically dependent of another language than Arabic (Speakers are likely to do basic conversation in this dialect without using any borrowed, foreign and unmodified word or structure from another language other than Arabic)
4. Standardization exists: A book of reference for that dialect
Type: WMF adopted Common Language (Used in international Wikis like MetaWiki and in Localized Wikis)
1. Having an Ethnologue value of 1 or 2
2. Language that is not linguistically dependent of any other languages (Speakers are likely to speak daily in this language without using any borrowed foreign word) or a politically recognized language.
So, we will obtain wikis only in languages and divergent dialects. The language using unmodified structures from two languages or more would be eliminated as pidgins and creoles. Vernaculars would be eliminated as the Ethnologue value would be adopted. Nonstandard languages would be also eliminated because they can cause problems… These criteria would eliminate projects in stub languages. In the situation when some users would like to standardize their languages in order to meet to the requirements, the language committee and SIL should adopt their work and mentor them until the work of reference is finished. The work of standardization could be done in a new wiki like lang.wikimedia.org… If elected, I will propose to create a common board from SIL, some universities and Wikimedia Foundation that is charged of such actions and initiatives or create a template in English Wikipedia showing for Standard Languages the year of their current standardization, the Keyboard Layout for that language and the booklet showing the standard orthography and syntax of that language.
Projects within a wikiEdit
When I attended WikiArabia, I had seen that the projects within some wikis are not well organized. For example, an inactive project entitled Paris Metro exists in Arabic Wikipedia. However, there is no project about France. That is why I had decided to do a WikiLeague for Projects if elected. For example, the projects are divided into four divisions A to D with A is the best division. By the end of a given year, the points would be (Number of good articles in 31 December of that year – Number of nun-stub articles in 01 January of that year) + 10 * (Number of good articles in 31 December of that year – Number of good articles in 01 January of that year) + 100 * (Number of featured articles in 31 December of that year – Number of featured articles in 01 January of that year). The six last projects of each category would play in a lower division next year and the top six projects would play in a better division next year like in common Football Leagues. The top six projects of Division A would be given 500 additional points in the WikiLeague of the next year. However, the least six projects of the Division D would be deleted automatically and substituted by six new projects that will be chosen through online elections by the eligible administrators of the given wiki. The evolution of the number of projects in the WikiLeague Edition of the next year in a given wiki would be determined according to the number of users in that wiki having more than 100 edits in that year. By that, we will eliminate stub articles, stub projects and ameliorate the output of all the main Wikipedias. If elected, I will apply this procedure for Arabic Wikipedia in 2016 and see how this works.
The evaluation of WikisEdit
Some projects done in some languages are of very bad quality because they are not controlled by an excellent admin. The example of the Wikipedia in Egyptian Arabic was always very controversial mainly because it involves many disorganized stub works and it does not involve any reference… I think that these wikis should be well evaluated and get monitored by an admin who knows efficiently that language, who does not contribute to it and who is a highly qualified contributor in another wiki of the same type. If elected, I will try to propose a procedure that can better monitoring the Wikis that does not have the required format and structure with the collaboration of the Wikimedia Foundation Education Programme. The procedure will help gathering the instructors and for the administrators of the endangered working wiki, discuss with these administrators how they would like to get their training and will help showing them how they should work for a unique month and then evaluate the result of the mentorship after one year. If all went well, the project is saved. If not, the project would be proposed for deletion.
I hope that these details had pleased you. As you have seen, I have done my WMF programme in order to solve main problems within the Wikimedia Foundation Wikis in a way which is easy to be done and which is free of charge to WMF. If elected, I will try to find solutions to the other problems that I will face using the same principles as the ones used to propose practical solutions for the four explained problems in this brief overview. If you have any question for me about these topics or about other topics, feel free to write it below. I will answer it as soon as possible.