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Merge this project with en.wikibooks?

OK, please hear me out here... I'm a multi-project person who is interested above all in making sure that the right people are enabled to create the right content for the right audience, and I know full well that the prospect of closing a small project in favor of merging it with a larger one will cause some stress. Let me make it clear that my only interest here is to make sure that good contributions are honored and preserved: I am an administrator on commons (the project that exists to serve all projects), an administrator, checkuser, and b'crat on English Wikibooks (the project that I'm suggesting this one be merged into), and an administrator and checkuser on English Wikiversity (a project that is the target of at least as much griping as simple.wikibooks is).

What I'd like to propose is that the simple.wikibooks projects be merged into the en.wikibooks project. Here's a few reasons why:

  1. Looking over the RC feeds, simple.wikibooks seems to have about as many vandal contributions as it does "real" contributions.
  2. en.wikibooks isn't the chaotic and grumpy place it once was: in fact it's rather well maintained and watched, and is being organized slowly but surely.
  3. en.wikibooks no longer adheres to the "one subject, one book" policy.
  4. en.wikibooks has experienced checkusers, a vandalism watch channel on irc, and all the other tools a serious project needs to let serious contributors feel comfortable.
  5. en.wikibooks now has Special:Import enabled, so we can bring everything over in the proper way.

What I'd like to offer (and I'm absolutely certain that my offer is legitimate) is the following:

  1. If the simple.wikibooks community feels it necessary, we can get a "Simple:" namespace created (I'd advise against this due to some mediawiki software problems, but I'd have no problem with it if that's the way you want to go)
  2. A "simple english" link on the "navigation" box on the left-hand side of the pages.
  3. Active administrators on this project will of course be given the tools on en.wikibooks.

Again, I know this project means a lot to those who contribute here, but we can take care of the content better on en.wikibooks (looking at the current RC feed, you seem to be relying on wikimedia stewards to watch over you, which isn't as good a place to be in as having wikibookian administrators who are more familiar with your project). And again (again), I know all about what it's like to be part of a small project that's under pressure from a larger one (I'm more a Wikiversitan than anything else, and am often in the position of having to defend the project that is so dear to my heart). BUT: this is a marriage that makes sense. The en.wikibooks community would love to add your energy to ours, and the en.wikibooks has a few battle-scarred, all-business folks (like me) who can do the boring work of watching over the simple-english books so that the authors can devote themselves to writing rather than vandal-patrolling. This is almost certainly a case where a merger of two collaborations can do more than either of the two could do by themselves. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 23:14, 16 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Of course, I Support this. There are a few problems though. First, there really aren't any active administrators on this wiki. Two, there aren't any active contributors. And three, I believe the simple namespace would be best, to keep everything simple (oh the irony), easy, and separate. Sounds good, I have no objections. ~ Wikihermit 23:30, 16 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Logs show two admins, User:Cromwellt, and User:Michael. Recent changes show at least that User:Cromwellt is active. There is an RFA on User:Ezra Katz, the results of which could be honored as well (ie he could be made into an admin on en.wb if he's elected so here). There are a few active contributors but my main concern is that these few, while very energetic and dedicated, don't represent the critical mass needed to maintain an entire project. Any project needs people to write content, edit content, patrol vandalism, cleanup, etc. There are a few super-users here who really try to do a little bit of everything, but a few super-users arent enough to make an entire project succeed.
Another thing to point out is that en.wikibooks already has several books written in simple or simplified engligh. Also, it's our policy so far that we don't delete books if copies exist on this project as well. That means that we still have our copy of the Algebra I book that was recently imported to this project. If we did merge, none of the content of this wiki would be lost, there would be a larger library of simple-english books to work with, more contributors, more administration, etc. I just feel like it would be a big help to this project, giving it all the tools and powers of the larger en.wb project, while allowing the users here to continue their good work. --Whiteknight 23:49, 16 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I am somewhat opposed to simply giving admins here the tools on en.books. The policies and procedures are different on english wikibooks. I think an RFA for those users is better, since it can show the en.book community who they are, and those users will be able to link back to this wiki. Also, this topic should also be noted at en.wikibooks and meta. ~ Wikihermit 00:26, 17 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I've been feeling for a while that this project really doesn't have enough merit to stand on its own, especially after reading some of the arguments presented when the Algebra I book was being moved from en WB. I see a problem with the Simple English projects in general that they are essentially English speakers creating simple english content. It would be very difficult for a person who didn't speak fluent English to participate fully in the projects because all the discussion pages are in regular English. Having a separate project is fine for SE Wikipedia and Wikiquote because their content is essentially parallel to the regular english content. For SE Wikibooks I see no point in continuing this effort. The only way this project differs in scope from en WB is that it is supposed to make contributions from non-native speakers easier. There are no contributers that I know of who fit that description here and none of the discussion pages are in simple English. Additionally, this site is a target for vandals and an unneeded burden to maintain properly.
The best transition I can think of would be to set up a Simple English Bookshelf on en WB (no new namespace needed). There could be instructions there in simple english about how to contribute and a directory of all the simple English books available. Is there some way to set up a skin that would translate the navigation links to simpler terms?
Personally, I can do without the responsibility of the day to day maintenance of a wiki at the moment. I only requested adminship here because there was a need. I definitely do not think that the RFA here should usurp the normal process at en WB.
Count me in for a transition over to en WB. --Ezra Katz 02:44, 17 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Like Johnny and I tried to make clear above, this isn't any kind of hostile take-over. What we are most interested in is consolidation: consolidation of manpower, consolidation of readers, etc. To that extent, if it is decided that the two projects be merged, we at en.wb will go to the necessary lengths to make the transition an easy one. We could make a new bookshelf, we could make new categories, we could make new policy pages, copy over basic english word-lists, etc. We would even have the flexibility to differentiate between different simplified english variants, such as w:en:e-prime, or even the "BE850" list that you have here. We can keep track of all such books automatically using some of the DPL tools we've developed. If people agree to a merger, all we need to know is what we need to do to make it a smooth one. --Whiteknight 14:50, 17 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Support I have no objections to a merge. I do believe some form of clear separation between regular English and Simple English should be implemented though. Michael 15:15, 2 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

It's been over a month now (I don't know how long it normally takes for decisions to be made here, but I want to give plenty of time), and everybody who has responded has done so positively. Of course, there are still one or two users who I would consider to be "active" users who haven't responded. Also, in this last month, there have been very few "constructive edits", and I sincerely hope that this thread of discussion hasn't played a part in that.

That said, if the general mood is positive, I think there are a few steps that can be taken to start a merger:

  1. Everybody here create an account on en.wikibooks (if you haven't done so already).
  2. Start browsing en.wikibooks to see the kinds of things that we have available, including our discussion areas, organizational methods, etc. Start making up a plan of what kinds of things will need to be changed/added or whatever to facilitate a merger. In short, what kinds of things do you want to see at en.wikibooks to make it feel more like "home"?
  3. Start posting notices and links to en.wikibooks, so that new users and contributors can be directed to that project. Possibly, we can create a "Simple Portal" that we can direct users from this project to, as a central landing point.
  4. We can maybe start a discussion at meta, asking the foundation and the developers what would be the best way to go about the merger from a technical perspective. We likely wouldn't want to close the project entirely, but we might want to lock the database to ensure all edits are made at en.wikibooks and not made here. We might be able to do a mass-merger of the databases.

These are just suggestions, and steps like these can be taken very slowly if needed. People here should definitely come introduce themselves at b:en:Wikibooks:Reading room/Assistance, so that we can start the process of becoming one community. --Whiteknight 00:19, 22 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I am sorry that I did not write here until now. (It is true that sometimes decisions take a long time here.) I knew about this talk, but I was not able to write until now. I want to say a few things. Most of the points said here (above) were used in the vote to close this project. The vote result was to keep. It is true that this is a nicer way of closing this project than closing against our will and without importing to another project (though that might have happened), but if the meta vote to close did not work, in spite of well-meaning (and in some cases, not-so-well-meaning) people voting to merge, then I must disagree with a merge. What was the point of the vote if later it doesn't mean anything and we close the project anyway? This project is not only about making it easier for simple English users to contribute. It is about making textbooks that only use simple English. We would love to have SE contributors, but that is not the only thing that separates the project, nor is it the main point of this project. If EWB wants to link here (a link to this site on the EWB main page would likely help us a lot!), or have a simple English bookshelf that copies our material, that is fine, but that should not preclude this project, which is dedicated to a more specific audience: those who do not know English well. Besides, if we close this project after its survival of the vote to close, that will set a negative precedent which may well be used by some people to support the closure of the other SE projects involuntarily. I'm not a slippery slope believer generally, but I'd like to avoid giving opponents that chance. As was previously mentioned in the unsuccessful closure vote, this project serves a specific audience that could have a lot of difficulty finding their way around the EWB site. On the other hand, this site is exclusively dedicated to them. Admittedly, it needs a lot of help, especially trying to make it easier for our audience to become our editors by making all discussions in simple English, etc. I agree that a few super-users is not enough to make a project a success. However, the WB concept itself was not a success when it started out, and there were many users who were against it. We have over 200 pages here, which is significant content. We don't have many users, but where did Wikihermit, Ezra Katz, and Isis come from? As far as I know, they came from the other SE projects, especially SEWP, which is thriving. In the same way that EWB was a slow-starter compared to where EWP was at the time, but was able to draw from the success of its older sister, this project can still grow, drawing slowly on the success and users of its sisterprojects. If Ezra stays on here, I think it would be a very good idea to make him an admin (having rethought, I regret that I've slowed that down at all). I really appreciate the work that Wikihermit, Ezra Katz, and Isis have done here, and I hope that if this project is not closed, that they will consider continuing to help here even if they mainly work over there at EWB. The point is to keep working. I appreciate English Wikibooks, and I appreciate the good intentions of those who have suggested this merger. But I really feel that this is a separate project for a reason, and with its survival of the close vote it has shown that it deserves a chance. Feel free to try to convince me otherwise. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 23:33, 26 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I wasn't aware of the previous attempt to close this project, so i'm sorry if i'm resurrecting a beast that was already killed. I also want to reiterate that my goal here was not a "closure" in the sense that the database is locked to prevent future contributions, but instead a merger where people from here are redirected to en.wb. In such a situation, there could be many potential uses for the simple.wikibooks domain name, such as a host for read-only copies of completed simple-english books (similar to what we are tryint to accomplish with www.wikibooks.org), a portal for simple-english readers to navigate en.wb more easily (and other projects also, such as en.wv, en.source, etc) and other ideas. This page could still serve a purpose and still help the simple-english audience.
Much of the content that this project has now has come from en.wb originally. It's difficult to argue that this project is doing anything for the benefit of simple-english speakers when this project is not creating the content, but rather importing and hosting copies. If anything, the trend of importing content to this project from en.wb en masse is a demonstration that this project is less capable of creating that content then en.wb is. En.wikibookians are coming here to monitor and clean vandalism. En.wikibookians are also watching for vandalism on this wiki on dedicated IRC channels such as #cvn-wb-en. I am inclined to believe that if this project is already dependent on en.wb for new content, monitoring for vandalism, and attracting new contributors through advertisements, that a merger of sorts is already occurring. I think it really is worth asking what this project does for simple-english readers that en.wb does not or cannot. Besides the simplified link names in the sidebar, or the use of the word "change" instead of "edit", I am hard-pressed to find anything. Even the various discussion pages tend to stray from simple english (and this discussion is obviously an example of that, so I apologize for adding to the problem).
Of course, I stand by my word that if anybody from this community opposed the idea I would drop it entirely, and so I will. This isn't anything hostile, so there is no sense with any argument: the reasons for merger are either self-evident or they are not. I was hoping that because there was so much dependence on the en.wb project that people here would be more open to a combined effort. --Whiteknight 22:58, 16 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Support the merger. Is there really a point to this wiki? Basically, the simple projects are for people learning English. Let's keep things simple so they are the same project.

It only creates unnecessary divisions to make things separate. Would a beginner in English really care about reading English textbooks? Does it not just cause extra complications in controlling 2 different wikis with the same purpose but separate for some odd-ass reason?

I actually think this is somewhat like Nagorno-Karabakh or Confederate States. Not like Tibet or Chiapas, but a nation trying to succede from something else. It just creates stupid annoying borders to separate. There is no reason to make Confederate States a nation, and it will create huge problems.

If a child does not understand the English used in a certain WikiBook, ze should ask for clarification. If an adult does not comprehend because English is not their native language, then ze should use the wikibooks in their native language. This is inane. SEWp can be useful for people trying to test what they know, or a place where one could understand the English being spoken. At least that peoject is active.

On the other hand, there is no purpose of this wiki except to annoy wiki users with a useless, inactive project. --68

Strong Oppose. This is a crazy idea and not the right way to go about making such a change. This Wikibooks project exists for a purpose and not just because people thought that Wikibooks EN was a bit grumpy. Simple English projects must continue and cannot exist if merged with Wikibooks English. Its not just the books themselves which are in Simple English but the help files, buttons and everything. In addition a vote has previously been held to close this project and the vote failed. Wikibooks Simple English isn't just for kids or non-native speakers '68'. It is useful for those who have problems reading in English (native or non-native) also and that is why a simplified version of the language is used - this version is not used for books aimed at kids. Xania 20:40, 10 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Oppose Less activity doesn't sound like a good reason to close a project down or propose a merger. What's needed is more motivation and more writers. If anything needs changing, what about expanding the focus of this project? Like becoming multilingual? Include books written in simple French, simple Russian, etc. as well as simple English, or allow different forms of simplified English to be used. There are far less active Wikibooks languages, should they be closed or merged as well? -- darklama 19:17, 16 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

An expansion of focus would be a good idea too, and for what my vote is worth, in lieu of a merger this project should probably pursue that goal. What I don't want is to see this project fade away and stagnate slowly. It appears to me that this is the path the project is currently on. --Whiteknight 22:58, 16 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Oppose please. no. SEWB cannot. be. merged. Per above. --Isis 23:37, 25 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Neutral While I feel that this wiki is way too inactive and small (in which under meta, should be merged or locked-out), I also feel that this wiki has a purpose to stay. Snake311 07:36, 12 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Oppose I came here from en wikiibooks and would leave this project if we went back to en --Anonymous101 06:45, 14 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Improving English

how toimprove english? can i get the desired job if i command over english? This unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 12:22, 4 January 2008.

Stewards policy rewrite

You may wish to vote on the rewritten Stewards policy. The vote is at meta. As a project where stewards are active, this policy change would affect you. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 18:31, 16 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I operate the same bot (flagged) on en.wb and en.wv. It is harmless - runs pywikipediabot and AWB to do common tasks. I'm going to request a flag at meta, and begin a run now. Mike's bot account 19:51, 9 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

You can see planned functions on the bot's userpage. Now is the time to ask questions or comment on this bot. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 21:29, 9 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Has this bot been flagged? --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 23:38, 1 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yes; see the Meta rights log. —Pathoschild 22:37:15, 23 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Bot flag request for User:Computer

  • Bot operator: User:White Cat (Commons:User:White Cat) - En-N, Tr-4, Ja-1
  • List of botflags on other projects: Bot has a flag on wikimedia (meta,commons) wikipedia (ar, az, de, en, es, et, fr, is, ja, ku, nn, no, ru, sr, tr, uz, simple...) (See: m:User:White Cat#Bots)
  • Purpose: Interwiki linking, double redirect fixing, commons delinking (for cases where commonsdelinker fails)

-- Cat chi? 18:15, 14 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Looks fine to me, but I think you'll have to request it from a steward at meta, since we don't have a bureaucrat here. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 22:48, 30 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

rms value

what does rms value of any quantity physically mean? This unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 20:29, 21 March 2008.

are there ways to make cnversation with any specialist in english literature throughout this wib site ? This unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 13:05, 18 April 2008.

I don't think this is the place for either of these. Try English Wikipedia and an online chat room, respectively. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 22:48, 30 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]


how to begin to write a dairy This unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 09:30, 13 July 2008.

Hello! I put your request here: Wikibooks:Requested books. Hopefully a user will write the book soon. -Thereen 00:03, 15 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

FAQ and bookshelves

There are certain questions that seem to come up frequently on simple English wikis, such as what simple English is, what the difference is between this and En.wikibooks, why Wikijunior isn't here, etc. I think we should write a short FAQ that answers those questions. Obviously, I'm willing to help out. We also really need to start using the actual bookshelves the way that EN does. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 23:38, 1 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

We can probably have the FAQ at Wikibooks:Frequently asked questions. The FAQ should certainly include what you said, what is the difference between this and en.wikibooks, why we don't have Wikijunior, ect. Thoughts or ideas on this would greatly be appreciated. -- RyanCross (talk) 09:30, 1 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Simple English can be based on Qgdan's work at cambridge in the 1930's. By using only 850 words and the most basic grammar, the language moves from an unclimbable mountain to a management hill for trades people and technicians who must hace a basic understanding. Can we bring this work forward, update the 850 words and truly have a Simple English?

I am trying to apply this in South Asia in skills training so it really has a practical application immediately.

Main Page Redesign

I've redesigned the Main Page, and can be found at Main Page/Sandbox. Please give your input. Microchip08 21:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

That's really great! I'm changing the main page now. --Ezra Katz 11:01, 6 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Import Right

I'd like to get community consensus for me having the Import right, mainly for transwiking those babel templates. Any objections? Microchip08 21:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

And at this point I ask, "where'd the community go?"... Microchip08 12:26, 1 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support I've no particular objection to this. As long as you don't simply import the books from wikibooks I'm fine with it. :) I must stress content over extras however; this wiki would benefit from having books far more than user templates. PeterSymonds 12:29, 1 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Conditional Support - As long as content is also imported, and that content is then simplified. If its only going to be used for extras, i.e. User Templates, then no way. BG7even 15:00, 2 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    Why not? I feel that that is the only thing an import right can feasibly be used for. It can only be used on metaspace; there's nothing I could import into mainspace, is there? Help space, projectspace, templatespace, yes. But not for content, as there's no wiki I could import it from. Microchip08 15:03, 2 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
    You could import from en.wikibooks and simplify. I don't see a reason for anything else to have an special right, and as for user templates they, as was said on IRC, probably have already been changed several times on other wikis so don't worry about GFDL. Change my vote to Oppose. BG7even 15:36, 2 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose, I don't think it's needed for a couple of language templates that exist on nearly every wiki anyway. Just copy them across, as the original GFDL from en is almost certainly lost. Tholly 15:38, 2 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • I strongly support this. Anything to make things more welcoming to users of other projects is a plus. I don't see a reason to import books from other wikis, unless someone requests a specific project they would want to translate.--Ezra Katz 11:13, 6 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Some of the images on the Main Page, like Image:Dialog-error-copyright.svg have copyright licenses that say the author should be given credit. As the image links to the book not the image page, credit is not given. This means that the page is violating copyright. Anonymous101 16:19, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for warning us. I'll add a note to the Main Page. Microchip08 19:15, 15 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]