Friday, November 16, 2007

Simple English Wikibooks: Aftermath

A while back I started a discussion on simple.wikibooks suggesting a merger with en.wikibooks. This wasn't any kind of hostile request to close the project, but instead a request that the two projects combine and focus efforts to produce english-language textbooks for readers of all levels. I said when we started the discussion that it was just a friendly suggestion, and that if any of the active community members of that project disagreed with it, that we would drop the issue entirely.
One person did disagree with it, and so the discussion (or at least my role in it) is finished. What I don't want is for that project to stagnate or fade away over time, and I can't help but see that as the path it is currently traveling. However, another idea was suggested that instead of just hosting simplified english texts, that it could host simple texts from all language wikibooks projects. In essence, it would be a multilingual project like meta. I hope that's a direction that they consider, because it would be a way to expand their audience and their library.


  1. I do believe that the Simple English project is one worthy of being separate, if only because if we merge it into the regular English Wikibooks, people who do not understand the concept of "Simple English" are much more likely to make edits that do not conform to it, and it'll be harder to maintain this standard on the "simple English" books but not the rest of them. I'm not sure if standards exist for "simple Spanish", "simple Chinese", etc. as they do for English, but if these standards exist then I would support the use of a multilingual "simple languages" project.

  2. I wouldn't agree with that at all. Wikijunior has different guidelines for editing, and people have generally been very good about conforming to those guidelines when they edit. Of course, there are a few instances where the content in Wikijunior doesnt match the target audience, but then again there are many examples on simple.wikibooks where the content isnt "simple" either.

    On en.wikibooks, we have people writing childrens books for wikijunior, and we also have people writing books in simple english already. My point in all this is that I don't understand why the projects need to be separate and distinct when there is so much inter-dependence and overlap between the two already.

  3. Hmm, sounds like a more intense issue than you might have thought at first? That's too bad, because I know what you mean about stagnation of projects.

    Just while I'm here, did you know that Simple English has a Wikibrowser? Here it is:

    Simple English wiki browser