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Wikimedia Incubator yearly report for 2011
On Incubator we have in this year for the first time compiled an
end-of-the-year review in order to inform people about what is going on on
Incubator / new wikis.

The version on-wiki can be found on
http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Incubator:News/2011_report

Incubator (http://incubator.wikimedia.org) is a wiki of the Wikimedia
Foundation which serves as a platform where anyone can build up a a new
language edition of a Wikimedia project (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikibooks,
Wikinews and Wikiquote) that does not yet have its own subdomain, provided
that it is a recognized language. These so-called "test wikis" on Incubator
can be used like (nearly) any other real wiki. When the community desires
so and there is enough activity, they can request to move to an own
subdomain through the requests for new languages process.

Wikisource and Wikiversity are not mentioned above, as their tests belong
to Old Wikisource (http://wikisource.org) and Beta Wikiversity (
http://beta.wikiversity.org). Regarding test wikis, this report will
however focus on Incubator mainly.

The Language committee reviews these requests, deciding about the
eligibility of languages and determining whether test wikis are deemed
active enough to sustain activity on an own subdomain.

As it is widely known, the 10th anniversary of Wikipedia was celebrated on
January 15th; but this year was also the fifth birthday of Incubator, which
was created on 2 June 2006.

====Site creations====
12 new language subdomains of Wikimedia projects were created in 2011.

In January, Rusyn Wikipedia has been created, and in March Latgalian
Wikipedia, Kabardian Wikipedia and Albanian Wikinews. Three Wikisources
were also created, in Sanskrit, Yakut and Esperanto, after a successful
testing phase on Old Wikisource. Greek Wikinews got its own subdomain in
April. In July, the Mingrelian Wikipedia and from outside of Incubator
Arabic Wikiversity have been created. In September, Oriya Wiktionary was
re-opened; this was the first time that a closed wiki became so active
again on Incubator, so that the subdomain could be opened again. The last
wiki created in this year was the Northern Sotho Wikipedia in November,
which was interestingly the largest indigenous South African language
Wikipedia even though it was the only one still on Incubator.

Upcoming projects are Veps Wikipedia and Western Punjabi Wiktionary, which
were approved and are currently waiting for creation, while Tachelhit and
Lezgian Wikipedia are still awaiting content verification.

See http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Incubator:Site_creation_log for
links to the projects.

====Policy issues====
'''Closing projects''' SPQRobin made a proposal for a Policy on closing
projects in February. Proposals for closing projects (
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proposals_for_closing_projects) had no fixed
rules before, but were more or less simply votes; sometimes users came by
and made a "decision" by counting the votes and filing a bug accordingly.
After the policy proposal had been elaborated further, it was adopted by
Langcom and the Board of Trustees in May/June. The "Closing projects
policy" now defines several reasons for closing as either valid or invalid.
The decision on closing projects is now within the responsibility of the
Langcom and Board.

First Langcom actions about closing projects in happened in August; and
currently the 2nd round is ongoing. See the proposal page on Meta for
details.

'''Kichwa language''': On Incubator, a group of users started building a
test Wikipedia in Kichwa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kichwa_language), an
Ecuadorian standard of Quechua. This "Unified Kichwa", however, is not
included in the ISO 639 standard which Wikimedia uses for determining
whether a language is acceptable or not. A temporary code is used now; a
solution is pending.

'''Berber languages''': Several Berber languages have their test wiki, and
there is also effort to start a Standard Berber test wiki, which also lacks
a valid code. There are also technical issues because in addition to Latin,
the Tifinagh script is used which lacks proper software support. Having two
scripts also requires script conversion.

====Language Commitee====
In May, the Language Committee held its first real-life meeting in Berlin.
We discussed a lot of topics, including linguistic issues, simple projects,
... We also made some decisions: the LangCom's activities are now more open
by allowing observers. Robin volunteered to write monthly reports for the
public.

In November, several LangCom members who also work for WMF and/or are a
developer (Amir, Robin, Gerard, Santhosh) went to the Hackathon in Mumbai,
India (https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/India_Hackathon_2011). Software tools
(Narayam input method and WebFonts) were improved for Indic languages, but
can also be used for other languages; they make it possible to type
non-Latin scripts without having an appropriate keyboard available.

Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia Indonesia are collaborating with the
language committee to organise a 2012 Languages Conference in Indonesia.
More info:
http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/Proposal:2012_Languages_conference

====Technical improvements====
A new MediaWiki extension has been developed for Incubator, aptly called
"WikimediaIncubator" (
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:WikimediaIncubator). It was
enabled for the first time on 6 June, allowing users to set a test wiki
preference (similar to the language preference), and to view a number of
special pages, including Special:RecentChanges, on a per-test-wiki basis in
order to make this more convenient and less confusing. The extension is
continuously being improved. Some other features which should be mentioned
are: Checks to help users create pages (correctly) according to the
"sorting system" of Incubator and the introduction of automatic "Welcome
pages" for every possible project of every valid language. These pages
contain information for people how they can start a new Wikipedia language
version there & are adapted to each language and project and are
translatable.

This last function is synergetic with a new feature added in December:
Instead of showing a 404 error page, the red links on Special:SiteMatrix
now redirect to the respective Welcome page on Incubator, e.g.
http://ss.wikiquote.org. Interwiki links are also possible e.g.
<nowiki>[[xyz:Page]] on en.wikipedia links to</nowiki>
http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wp/xyz/Page"

====Plans for 2012====
For 2012, we hope to simplify the processes for requesting a new subdomain
and to improve Incubator's usability. Therefore it will be easier for
people to contribute here, resulting in an increased participation in new
language versions. Unfortunately, our documentation is very poor at the
moment, so that will be in our focus very much. It is also planned to gain
more feedback from users about how the Incubator phase and wiki creation
process could be made easier and more attractive.
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Re: Wikimedia Incubator yearly report for 2011 [ In reply to ]
On Wed, 28 Dec 2011 23:16:57 +0100, MF-Warburg <mfwarburg@googlemail.com>
wrote:
> On Incubator we have in this year for the first time compiled an
> end-of-the-year review in order to inform people about what is going on
on
> Incubator / new wikis.
>

Great, thanks for the interesting report and to all Language Subcommittee
members for running the thing in an efficient and transparent manner.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: Wikimedia Incubator yearly report for 2011 [ In reply to ]
On Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 2:16 PM, MF-Warburg <mfwarburg@googlemail.com> wrote:
> On Incubator we have in this year for the first time compiled an
> end-of-the-year review in order to inform people about what is going on on
> Incubator / new wikis.
>
> The version on-wiki can be found on
> http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Incubator:News/2011_report

Thank you very much for the report, and for all of the committee's
hard work this year! (And happy 5th birthday, incubator!)

Phoebe

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