Meetings/September 5, 2004

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Sunday September 5, 2004. 12:04-12:36 (UTC)

Present: Angela Beesley (minutes), Florence Devouard, Tim Shell (from 12:22), and Jimbo Wales (chair).

An unplanned board meeting was held on IRC on September 5 to discuss the proposal for Wikispecies becoming part of Wikimedia.

Wikispecies is a project proposed to us by a biologist who wants to create a species guide. There has been a discussion about wikispecies on the mailing list. mav strongly opposes the idea, Benedikt strongly supports, others are on a spectrum. Not much can happen either way until the software is written for it. Benedikt would like to have an initial wiki on wikispecies.org to evolve what features are needed, and then would be able to look for development help as they better understand their precise needs. Wikispecies seems more about collecting data than writing articles, which is not really overlapping with Wikipedia. This may have a good impact on the way we are perceived by academics. A separate wiki should be started to explore this idea. The idea of holding a public vote was discounted since the people who might vote would not really understand what it's all about. The software should allow easy integration with the Wikipedias, to avoid duplication of effort. Integrating Wikispecies into Wikimedia prevents a fork. It is emphasized that WikiSpecies should be different from just Wikipedia articles of biology. Wikispecies should be aimed at the needs of scientific users rather than general users. Wikispecies should integrate with all language Wikipedias. For example, it should work with the French Wikipedia's ecoregion project.

The following proposal was supported by Anthere, Jimbo and Angela. The proposal was summarised by Jimbo for Tim Shell who attended the meeting later. Tim also voted to support it.

  1. We set up the WikiSpecies wiki for biologists to begin organizing the project.
  2. We ask that Benedikt transfer the domain name to Wikimedia.
  3. We propose that as the software is developed, it should work to strongly support integration with Wikipedia, to help avoid duplication of effort.
  4. We ask the participants on wikispecies to particularly think about how their work should differ from a generalist encyclopedia

Other matters arising

  • It was agreed during this meeting that a database ought to be set up for the Wikimedia Commons so that work on this may begin immediately.

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