User:Richardb/Project - Structuring Policies and Guidelines

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Just an idea at present, being floated for comment and discussion


To move Wiktionary towards having a more structured listing of policies, guidelines etc, as per the example of the more mature project, Wikipedia.


  • Easier to search for, find policies
  • Easier to know what the current policy / guidleline consensus is.
  • Easier to structure discussion of changes or development of policy

Current Problems[edit]

Currently, many of the policies and guidelines of Wiktionary are ambiguosuly stated in amongst general discussion, such as in Beer Parlour, Beer Parlour Archives, Tutorial etc, often with conflicting statements of policy. There are also many unresolved policies, with no process to come to some resolution.

How to go about this project[edit]

  • As far as possible, and as far as appropriate, use a structure similar to the Wikipedia structure for policies and guidelines.
  • Let one person (me :-) ) develop the structure, populated with skeleton proposed policies.
  • Get consensus about if the structure is an acceptable starting point.
  • Invite experienced people to write the individual proposed policies.
  • Invite experienced people to discuss, come to a consensus on, or vote on the proposed policies.

Your comments[edit]

Please add your comments, observations, concerns here.

Its a good idea, we need something like this. For instance, protologisms were apparently againist the original policy of Wiktionary, but became part of the policy anyways (I don't know if there was much discussion or not).
What we have to keep in mind are the differences we have with Wikipedia:
  • we're only a handful of active contributors
This means that we should rely more on consensus and less on voting, since there isn't enough people for voting to work especially on mundane things.
I'm not suggesting a formal vote as such, just oneplace where people make their choice known, instead of having to search long logs to try to find who thinks which way to go.--Richardb 09:00, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • a Wiktionary contributor is much more likely to contribute to several languages.
Whereas each Wikipedia can have its own rules, as long as they keep to some standard it doesn't really matter. However, we can have all the rules we want but if it doesn't meet what is expected by contributors from other Wiktionary's they won't be followed. So if Wikipedia is a WTO, Wiktionary needs to be an European Union. We should try to follow (or change) the rules of Wiktionary in general and ideally only differ if it has to do with English itself. --Eean 18:27, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
oh yea, I've been browsing meta:Category:Wiktionary recently. It would be the place to propose "Wiktionary Union" type of policy. --Eean 19:21, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I agree that we need some sense of organization in what we have, but I would avoid the "like Wikipedia" element. They have developed a huge body of rules there, but without a structure to support that body of rules. People can be found making up rules without a lot of people knowing what is happening.
Wikipedia rules can certainly be used as a starting point by the person drafting the rules, but they should still be subject to approval by the participants in this project. If you want to play a leading role in this Richard, by all means begin. As long as you keep broad support for your process in the community it should work smoothly. There will be times when you need to make a final decision before a divided community, but that exercise should be used aparingly. The cost of doing so is measured in the reduction of goodwill toward you.
A good place to start might be with establishing the process for making rules including the difference between rules and guidelines. Eclecticology 09:05, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I'm not so sure there is really any difference betwen rules and guidleines in Wiktionary, at this stage. Anyone who doesn;t like it would no doubt amend it anyway ! But, at least we would know where the rules/guidelines are.
I'm not so much proposing making any rules or guidelines. I'm more for findign out what rules and guidelines do exist, and then storing them in a structure which is easy to understand, so you can find if there IS any rule or guideline.--Richardb 09:00, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I hope to do some work on this over Xmas break--Richardb 09:00, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)