[Translators-l] Some news from Wikiversity Beta

Guillaume Paumier guillom.pom at gmail.com
Sun Sep 3 19:31:59 UTC 2006

[ crossposting on foundation-l, wikiversity-l & translators-l ]


Wikiversity Beta is now 10 days old and I think the time has come to give
some news. I have decided to organize it as a list of FAQ. Feel free to ask
questions I have not thought about. This page is available in English at
http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Help:FAQ/En and will be available in French

* What is Wikiversity?
--- Wikiversity is a new Wikimedia project [1] exploring ways to use the
power of wiki to support online learning. This new project will be in beta
phase during the first six months [2].

* What is Wikiversity Beta?

--- Wikiversity Beta is a global platform aiming at coordinating Wikiversity
projects in several languages [3]. This multilingual coordination intends to
deal with Wikiversity's mission and general guidelines of the project's
scope (for example, about original research). Wikiversity Beta is also a
place where Wikiversity projects which don't have a subdomain yet can

--- In a nutshell, Wikiversity is both a meta-wiki and an incubator for
Wikiversity projects.

* How is it possible to have so many languages coexisting on Beta without it
becoming a mess?

--- Wikiversity Beta intends to take advantage of the input of its many
members (not only English-speakers). Multilingual discussions should not
only coexist, but live in symbiosis. A multilingual discussion system has
been proposed to manage them [4] so non-English speakers can take part in
discussions. Moreover, Beta is using the Language select feature [5]
developped on Meta, which allows users to hide foreign languages on
multilingual pages.

* What about separate Wikiversity projects which already have their own

--- Those separate projects [6] are growing their way. However, their
participants are strongly encouraged to take part into discussions about
general guidelines that will apply to all Wikiversity projects. Moreover,
they are encouraged to post reports [7] about their projects to let
everybody know about how it grows.

* What's next?

--- Now we need people to take part in the discussions on Wikiversity Beta.
People from existing separate projects and people willing to contribute to a
future separate project should join the discussions and work together.
People who do not speak English are encouraged to take part in discussions
but we also need volunteer translators to translate the talk summaries [4].

* Your multilingual system will never work. It requires too many

--- If people really sum up their discussions, not only this will help them
to focus on important things but it will not take much time to translate
them. Ten days after Beta opening, its main page is already available in
five languages.

--- By the way, it is just a proposal. Hey, if everybody speaks english,
very well, we won't have anything to translate. If the system does not work,
at least we can say we tried.

* For a coordination project, it would be much more practical if a single
language of discussion is chosen.

--- Of course it would be more practical; the question is: should we manage
Beta the way that is easier for us English speakers or should we manage it
the way everybody can take part in discussions about guidelines that will
apply to all projects?

* Wikiversity Beta Motto?

--- The shorter, the better. If you want your ideas to reach people speaking
other languages, write short and understandable summaries.

Please feel free to ask questions and to make constructive comments. I would
also like to thank Sebmol & JWSchmidt for their help.


[1] Board resolution:
[2] Anthere's mail about Wikiversity:
[3] Wikiversity Beta URL: http://beta.wikiversity.org
[4] Multilingual discussion proposal:
[5] Language selection system:
[6] List of separate Wikiversity projects:
[7] Reports from separate projects:

Guillaume Paumier
Disciplus Simplex
http://fr.wikipedia.org : Resistance is futile — You will be assimilated.
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