Wikispecies:Village pump/Archive 1

what is this about?

what kind of content will go here? who is contributing what? where will it be linked from, and where will it link to? what similar all-species projects exist in the world?

previous databases:
Ipni (Plant Index)
Tree of Life (A collaborative Internet project on phylogeny and biodiversity)
there is a list of databases who contribute to the species2000 project:

species 2000 member

--Benedikt 11:27, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

See also the Wikispecies:Wikispecies Charter which explains a bit more what this is about. Angela

Another database: The Phylogeny of Life - Gyan 14:30, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

templates for contribution?

where is there an ideal sample of contributed content? what should we contribute? images, sounds, descriptions, species-identification decision-trees as on wikibooks?

there are currently no templates for contributions, but thanks for starting the discussion about it. We are currently waiting for a botanical database to be transferred into wiki format, on which we can discuss templates. Until then, we could create a list with suggestions for an ideal sample. I recommend to do that separatly for each regnum, as criteria will differ a lot. Best, --Benedikt
Suggestion for our 'test-set' of 'animalia':
  • TAXONAVIGATION (as tree diagram, looking like a path; further discussion separately)
  • NAMES: scientific name; reference to other languages
  • MORPHOLOGY (incl. picture or illustration)
  • MEDIA (images, maps, diagrams, videos, etc.)
  • DISTRIBUTION (geographically and in terms of countries)
  • OTHER information
Each of these factors should represent a table which can be accessed via both, wikispecies and wikipedia (or even other wiki-projects; consider the wikidata concept). This way we would feed a common database from which Wikipedia can use general information, Wikispecies would provide the directory/scientific information and Wikispecies would not cause fork-dangers for any project. Just a thought. Discuss! :) --Benedikt 10:54, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
In principle this would make a very practical template. Though some fields are very wide, some will be hardly explored for the majority of species. But it would definitly meet the need of zoologists. --Carl 17:25, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Such as genetics for say, a random spider - I know. The same would be true with most insects and their development; but that's not a real problem, as you can always quot that no specific information is available and refer to the next higher taxon on which more information is available. The particular insect's development might be unknown, but there is something known about the development in the Genus. So you could refer to that...--Benedikt
I like the category aspect. But we would have to make sure that the data themself become accessible for other wikiprojects. I am fine with the template. --Carl

As there is wide consensus that WikiSpecies should be tied together with Wikipedia, and as WikiSpecies will need something like a glossary to attract as many non-professional users as possible, we will need a glossary very soon. This glossary can refer to Wikipedia, and links to it would neiter be external, nor internal - so what do you think about green semi-internal links referring (for glossary terms) to wikipedia?

There are two glossaries that we can use. One is about botany mainly English words with Dutch explanations, the other is the GEMET glossary that is about ecology. (article on META).
I have proposed on META to use the GEMET data as a pilot project to do two things: XML import / export and getting experience with a subset of what is required for Wiktionary. GerardM 10:59, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I think changing the color of interwiki links can probably be done at MediaWiki:Monobook.css. Angela

A kingdom for a horse?

Working on taxonomic clades, we might discuss the most basic one: Regnum.

Animalia and Plants, for sure; Bacteria; Archaebacteria, probably; but how about Protista? And other Regna? It's not as simple as it looks on the first glimpse, so much for sure.

This is an easy one; we want them all. They all fit into systems. Systems that are not always compatible. When discussing regnums, it is important to not the publication that it applies to. Likewise with a species, the name, the author AND the publication make up a specific species. When an article starts only with a name, it will need to be renamed and disambigued to specify what species definition is actually meant.
For Wikispecies to be a relevant resource we DO need them all and, the systems that they are part of we need as well. GerardM 10:56, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
All? Okay, so that means...(feel encouraged to add more):
i.) Plantae ii.) Animalia iii.) Fungi iv.)Bacteria v.) Archaebacteria vi.) Protista. --Benedikt 12:55, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Off the top of my head, the following names have been used - Animalia, Metazoa, Corticoflagellata, Fungi, Eumycota, Archezoa, Euglenozoa, Protozoa, Protista, Protoctista, Chromista, Chromobionta, Stramenopila, Cryptophyta, Plantae, Chlorobionta, Virdiplantae, Rhodobionta, Akonta, Bacteria, Eubacteria, Prokaryota, Mychota, Archaea, Archaebacteria, Crenarchaeota, Euryarchaeota, plus various others. Not all of these are propular, but there are plenty of areas where they very. Please come up with a good way of treating multiple systems before worrying about this! --en:user:Josh Grosse

all of them ok, but how

I just discovered this, and I seem have missed out some basic stuff:

  • what are we gonna describe here? just taxonomy?
  • if so, do we use the taxonomy tables from en:?
  • or do we use normal wikilinks to list the members one level down the tree?
  • can we somehow link from en:, de:, fr:, nl: to species:?
  • which taxonomy? cronquist? or one of the more modern? if so, which?
  • if more than one, how do we organize that?

TeunSpaans 10:59, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Taxonomy is a *big* field so just taxonomy data will have a size bigger than the current wikimedia size.
  • Yes, use the "tables" by all means but they will be a start and there will be parallel tables with similar content just dated differently.
  • It is most definitly the intention that we can link to Species from all the wikipedia.
  • Not only Cronquist but also Cronquist.
  • That is something that we are brooding on. I have a relational database in Access, and I am thinking how this data can be entered into the wiki format. At this moment I have a glimmer of how it can be done. Preferably we would have some extra tables, they would be *really* usefull. These would contain information like authors, publications.
An author is a combination of one or more persons in this format (author) author, or author
A person is an unique identification for a person eg L. for Linaeus etc
A publication is a paper that contains the scientific descriptions
  • A list is called after what is described followed by "sensu xx" xx is the author of the revision.
A scientific description can be identified by the name, the author, the publication and the date. When we have duplicates for a scientific name we will disambigue to the different descriptions.
Yes it will be difficult. One thing will be different from the wikipedia; we will name species by there Latin name not by a vernacular name. However, we may have an index with vernacular names for the different languages. GerardM 20:44, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You could have articles here using the proper Latin names, linked to the appropriate articles on ?? using the Interwiki language links. For example an article here on homo sapiens could link to en:human, except that the links appear to be switched off ... D'oh!! --Phil 09:59, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I just stumbled over this new project. I think it's a good idea, but please consider using another license than the GNU FDL before you start creating content. The GNU FDL is already a nuisance for wiki-editing of textual content, its perfectly unsuitable already for images, and it will be horror if it comes to copyright issues concerning the use of taxonomies or other data-like content that might be created here. Please take some time to work out a good license that will ensure that your content will be free in practice, not just in theory! - Uli (de:Benutzer:Ulrich.fuchs)

The whole point of Wikispecies IS to have the data in an open format. Do consider however that the scientific description of plants for instance requires the data to be public domain. If I remember well, it says explicitly so in the code. This means that a publisher that insists that it is not public domain, invalidates the description for the taxonomy.
Your point against the GNU FDL is also not helpfull as you do not suggest any other license that we might contemplate. But I strongly suspect that this will prove to be no option any way. GerardM 20:50, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike is the obvious choice. The trouble is that in order to share material and have it moved about between them, all the Wikimedia projects probably have to be under the same license, otherwise anything newly set up would almost certainly be licensed under something superior to the cumbersome GFDL. — Trilobite 08:11, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It will have to remain GFDL if the aim is for this content to be reusable in the Wikipedias. It's expected that the next version of the GFDL will be compatible with the CC, and also be a lot simpler, so this shouldn't be so problematic in the long term. Angela
The public domain is compatible with the GFDL. People should stop being so afraid of it.--Eloquence
Since this project is largely about data, much of which wouldn't be copyrightble anyway, perhaps public domain makes most sense for this project anyway. Angela 02:13, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
for straight data, PD always wins hands down, however im still not sure if i understand this project yet and if it IS just going to be lists/tables/whatever of data or not en:the_bellman
FYI: A scientific description does not have to be in the public domain! It just needs to be published in an accessable format (e.g. publishing in a home-printed newsletter with a distribution of two does not count).

IIUC, there's nothing stopping you releasing the material with two licenses. Joe D 03:03, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

What happened to the logo ? It was not the most beautifull one but it was better than nothing ?? GerardM 22:16, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I informed Angela about the lack of a logo and apparently she works on it or asked somebody to do it for her - as the logo is changed to the MediWiki now. I guess it will be fixed soon. And about it's beauty, hey, I did that in a few minutes, so don't be too picky! ;) Best, --Benedikt
It seems ok for me now. Is anyone else still having problems? Angela
On my screen it appears to be the wikimedia sunflower - logo and not the wikispecies one. Don't know what't wrong or who's changing it. Best, --Benedikt
Oh, thanks! I was wondering what that was supposed to be. Now I know it's a grey bug on a black flower. —Mike 21:05, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think this project is a great idea, and I have no clue about taxonomy at all! If no-one objects, then I might start to create some variants of the WS logo. The existing black/grey logo works well, but could use a little more colour, so that will be my first mission. I'll put my suggestions at Logo Concepts and I encourage others to do the same. Neolux 07:38, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've just added a logo to the Logo Concepts section. Any comments / criticisms are very welcome. I do like the one being used right now, but it needs more colour. Perhaps cleaned up to only have solid colours, like some of the other WikiMedia logos?


Should this article not be Wikispecies:Village pump? --Phil 10:01, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Indeed, it should - there are still several little changes to make in the next couple of days. Until then please be patient and thanks for pointing out things like that here at the village pump. Best, --Benedikt
You'll need to ask a developer to change the namespaces at m:Non-development tasks for developers. However, please do not put anything in the Wikispecies: namespace before it becomes a real namespace. All such pages will disappear after the conversion if you do this! Angela 13:39, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
For the record, I have requested this change on Meta. :) GerardM 20:26, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Seems to me that the Category system in MediaWiki is perfect for this project. The Main Page should reflect that. For example, the "Taxonavigation" section could read:

Archaea – Eubacteria – Protista – Fungi – Plantae – Animalia

(Hover over the links to see what I've linked them to.) Some of the articles already transferred to this wiki have categories such as Category:Animals, since that was copied straight from en:. However, since this is to be a "language-independent" project, the Latin-based terms are probably better to use as category names. – [[User:Mxn|Minh Nguyễn (talk, blog)]] 03:46, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)


The Wikipedia: namespace has been renamed to Wikispecies:, as requested. Links will have to be updated manually. Kate 09:57, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Actually I lie, I just fixed them all myself :-) Kate 10:14, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for your help with this. Angela 12:18, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thank you, Kate! You help is appreciated. --Benedikt 13:14, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

In en.wikipedia, we don't use but rather, , and the same is true for the other language wikipedias so why should use wiki/wikispecies:whatever instead of wiki/wikipedia:whatever? en:the_bellman

Taxonavigation: Using templates

Using templates like Template:Animalia could prevent a lot of maintenance in the future.

For instance [Animalia] could be like this:

:Subregnum: [[Parazoa]] - [[Agnotozoa]] - [[Metazoa]]

the result will be:

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia

Subregnum: Parazoa - Agnotozoa - Metazoa

The template for Parazoa should then contain a template of Animalia etc. etc. Before people will create hundreds of lemma, we better think this though.

Brougth forward from User talk:Benedikt, based on a bright thought mentioned by Henk. 12:56, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Since yesterday I set up a Taxonavigation that goes down to species level for some few animals (see: Chironex). This was done in an attempt to stimulate a discussion about the structrual features of wikispecies and the navigation. Discuss! :) --Benedikt 13:22, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I just created the templates for Subclassis: Calcinea. It works, but even I find it hard to grasp what should be the contents of the template....
advantage is still that is is less maintanance if on a higher order a suborder is introduced, a name of af a taxon is changed, etc. etc.
Henk 11:27, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Public relations

The Public relations of this project might be improved.

Henk 08:18, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the links. I would also suggest to limit PR to the wiki-world until we agreed on some crucial features of the project, such as: Structure of the navigation, structure of the species-pages, data-base organisation and contents. --Benedikt 10:44, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I can understand why the details of wikispecies wouldn't be decided by the en:wikipedia:Tree of Life group, but I don't understand why we weren't at least notified of it. If you'll want wikispecies to work well with the other projects, you should be informing them now and inviting them to help decide what will work best for everyone, especially since this was originally proposed as something that could be common to all the language communities. Failing to consult them until the details are a fait accompli is a good way to ensure hostility and friction. You are interested in working with us, right? Then why keep us out of the loop?

I've made sure the en group knows about this, since I expect they will have some insight on how to proceed. I will leave it to you to notify the other language groups, since I don't know much about them, but several of the main proponents for this project seem to have been working with at least some closely. --en:user:Josh Grosse

Josh: I am not quite sure who you think that 'we' are - but I guess I am one of them. I can only speak for myself when I say that I tried to announce wikispecies via the mailing list and set some links on different wiki pages, but I am new to the wiki-world and apart from me only few other people are involved with wikispecies at the moment. Be assured that I encourage EVERYBODY to get involved with wikispecies. Apart from that I would like you to keep in mind that wikiSpecies is open and therefore - on the contrary to other species directories - ther is no 'you'. By posting your critique you made yourself getting involved - and that is most welcome, now and in the future. If you see ways to improve our inner-wiki communication, please feel encouraged to act accordingly. Thanks, --Benedikt 15:14, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
On nl:wikipedia Wikispecies has since 2 weeks or so its own lemma nl:Wikispecies and it is also made public on the Dutch Wikipedia:Community Portal. I just made interwiki links between en:Wikispecies and nl:Wikispecies. I guess still a lot of Public relations is needed. Henk 18:36, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thank you, PR within the wiki-world is much appreciated. --Benedikt

Side comment. The french TOL is quite active (at our scale) I did not noticed any attempt to contact them, either on our ml, nor on the TOL talk page. Did you ? Anthere 01:07, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Sorry I misinterpreted the original comment - has anyone noticed limit PR to the wiki-world has two possible meanings? However, there doesn't seem to have been any direct attempts to contact the TOL projects, which include most of the wikipedians interested in systematics and who may have to coordinate with this project if it gets off the ground. I guess this was an oversight, but it needs to be fixed. I've added mentions on the English, French, and German TOL talk pages. Those are all the languages I'm familiar with; we need other people to act as liaisons with the other projects. Josh

I too misinterpreted the origial comment. I just added a Dutch translation on their TOL talk page. Henk 12:41, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Has anyone talked to the editors at the Wikibooks Field Guide and Dichotomous Key projects? It seems like those books and this wiki somewhat overlap in their scope. Gentgeen 00:24, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I set a link at the wikibooks main page. Will be grateful for every PR-contribution beyond that! Thanks, --Benedikt

The current taxonavigation is problematic

The current setup of taxonavigation will not give Wikispecies something that is interesting to scientists. It is incomplete information and it does not specify who the author is of a revision. Compare this with the Mammillaria sensu Reppenhagen this is not complete either, but it does tell whose insight it is, it specifies everything that is involved in the revision both the includes and the excludes. GerardM 23:06, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree; I set up the initial taxonavigation as an example and stimulus to start a discussion about a taxonomic navigation - something to play. Now it grows and no discussion appears here at the village pump. This means efforts without a concept, which might turn out to be not helpful, even if done in good will. So, please: let's talk about a navigation that meets taxonomic standards. And the technical implication. --Benedikt 10:20, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think we should discuss how to improve the taxonaviagation based on taxonomic clades. The taxonavigation in principle makes a very handy and useful tool for navigations, if you don't want to use direct search functions but rather something like a content directory. The only thing is, that the current taxonavigation (which was meant to be a sample for experiments anyway) is not very practical.

Which features should a final version of the taxonavigation have?

  • It needs to be flexibly changeable, as taxonomy is a dynamic field
  • It needs to inform about older names/clades
  • Needs option to open clades like a tree-diagram of a hard disk (maybe with +/- symbols to open/close)

Add more! --Benedikt 16:47, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree with all three points mentioned above. Moreover you should have the option of entering a clade between these classical categories, e.g. between a suborder and a superfamily. An important question should be: Do we want to use the Linnaean hierarchy at all? Or shouldn't we move to a modern system abandoning families, orders etc.? This would give us more flexibility and would be in line with modern developments. -- Baldhur 16:51, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Good point. Indeed, flexibility will be very important. And with modern taxonomy, may users will doubt the usefulness of Linnean taxonomy in some areas (bacteria, archea more than in plants). Though in particular in zoology and botany, Linnean hierarchy still dominates systematics. I would suggest to use it and not being too anal about it - keeping in mind that these categories are meant to give guidelines for our orientation in life rather than dogmas. And eventually we will have too emphasise that only one taxon really exists (if at all): the species. I think Linnean taxonomy should be one (quite traditional, but that doesn't mean bad) way to find your way to it. Best, --Benedikt

Graphic clades might be useful. And a function to view common English names of the group. And Gerard is right when he emphasises that we need a review record. The same is true with the species pages. --Carl

Common English names could be entered under the heading of "NAMES: scientific name; reference to other languages", as well as common names of many other languages, as wikispecies should be as language independant as possible. Henk 13:50, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
What do you mean by language-independent? I thought wikiSpecies should remain conservativly latin and English. And does anybody know how the taxonavigation could be solved technically? --Carl
I thought it should be a common base that could be used by all wikipedians. At least I read it at Village pump#Categories. I might be mistaken though. If it is to be in latin and English: where is that explained or discussed? Henk, 17:53, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I am afraid that was discussed only in the mailing list wikimedia-I, where concerns about forks were raised. I think there is a general tendency to keep wikiSpecies in English for now with the latin nomenclature. Even if it is just for practical reasons or in order to avoid forks - how WikiSpecies develops later on is open anyway. I think the most important question at the current moment is the one of the structure (templates, navigation, database). Once that is solved and people can contribute actual contents, more complex issues should be discussed. Best, --Benedikt 18:26, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Wikispecies has as its purpose that it should become a resource for biologists. A second resource is that it should become a resource for all projects. Latin and English are the languages of the taxonomic world. Wikispecies will contain the different taxonomic systems (read lists with latin names). The scientific descriptions (which need to be letter perfect copies of the original scientific descriptions) will be in Latin or English because otherwise they would be invalid scientifically.
IANAB, but the notion that the original scientific descriptions are somehow carved in stone, and so perfect that they cannot be translated, seems strange to me. What do biologists who do not read English do at present, when they want to investigate a species? Sj 11:01, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The idea is that each taxon will get its own taxobox, the wikipedia will link to this box with their article name and their vernacular name. This will result in a list of names that are the verancular names in many languages. Many taxons will have a duplicate name with other taxons. This cannot be helped as vernacular names are inprecise and not scientific. GerardM 06:31, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It might be nice to display the number of species that are covered by every taxon with the name of it. Such as: Phylum: Annelida (17 000). --Carl 16:43, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I would like to strongly urge that in addition to recording various taxonomic systems, you don't single out a particular one as current. That's undoubtedly the worst feature of the taxoboxes on the en and other wikipediae (such experience is part of the reason why we should be consulted, by the way) and avoiding it would provide some justification for wikispecies' separate existence.

In taking notes on protists, where the classification is extremely variable, I've found it useful to keep a browsable table of how notable papers proposing new systems treat each group. This is something that isn't especially appropriate for the tree of life projects and I think it would be very useful to record here. I've added Euglenozoa as a sample of how I've been doing things. Obviously it needs to be made more readable, both to humans and machines, the citations need to be fixed and probably some stronger policies about when to conflate groups should be made. However, I'd like to offer it as an alternative starting point.

-- en:user:Josh Grosse (please leave any messages there)

  • Taxonomy in general is problematic!! Try sorting out lepidoptera sometime... Williamb 20:55, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Short outline


As I explained on the foundation-l, I will soon write a 1 or 2 pages in a newsletter, meant to accompany a big meeting in France. This meeting topic is "Internet technologies and sustainable development". I have been asked to write a bit on how Wikipedia (and related projects) may have a role in sustainable development.

My intent is to focus on collaborative work and information gathering, in particular in terms of glossaries or databases, ie, comprehensive highly structured information, which really needs collaborative work to be set and fully functional. Glossaries are also a great way to insure everyone is talking about the same thing, even if in different languages.

For this, I intend to introduce the TOL, Wikispecies and if possible the GEMET proposal.

I tried to look on your site where could be a clear (but longer than 10 words) description of this project. Could not find :-)

I would love it if someone could draft a little text to explain what this project is about, what is the audience, the goal, who will work on it, what is planned to be in it, how it will be used by wikipedia, how multilingualism information will be managed etc...

Also, comments on which problems are met right now for things to progress, what will be needed etc...

Of course, all this will help clarify what this project is about to non english people (once translated) and to externals. It will also be a good idea for the board information as well :-)

Thank you very much.

Anthere 01:35, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

About GEMET, you can find a lot on META, certainly more than 10 words. meta:GEMET GerardM 16:49, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hello, I will post part of my text this afternoon probably, at m:TIC21.

I was just dropping by to pick up the adress of the site... when I realised the fundraising text was still on. Could someone remove it please ? Thanks.

Also, do not forget to read the Foundation Newsletter : or


WikiSpecies Structure

I just sent the following to the wikitech mailing list:

As the initial brainstorming on the village pump goes on, one thing becomes clear: wikispecies has the potential to attract many people who would not contribute to a general encyclopedia, but would to a scientific database. As wikispecies will strictly suppress any forking from wikipedia, I thought about an approach that would allow us to use the pool of species-folks for wikipedia.

The tasks:

1.) Wikispecies provides an interface (already at with templates for different categories (such as "synonymes", "habitat", "morphology" etc.)

2.) These categories represent a table that can be accessed by wikipedia and wikispecies

3.) Wikispecies, which have an emphasis on things like "synonymes" or "original species description" will display these categories on a high order

4.) Wikipedia will display the information that seems interesting for the user of a general encyclopedia in an order that seems appropriate for that purpose

As I don't understand the underlying technical questions, I would like to know if this is technically feasible and - more important - who would volunteer to set up a database that would work as proposed.


various languages

Wikispecies can used by various languages?--Shizhao 07:02, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hi! This is discussed above. Basically, as far as I understand it, Wikispecies will be done in Engligsh with Latin where needed and provide links to wiki-projects that deal with the particular taxon in other languages. For example, Homo sapiens sapiens will be dealt with on Wikispecies in English in a purely scientific way, and links to wikipedias will be given. --Benedikt
It is discussed above, but briefly and inadequately. It does seem natural for the base taxonomy to be in Latin, which is in its own ancient way language-neutral. I don't see the need for multiple language-domains, but users should be able to contribute scientific content from & in their native languages.
If the goal is to have all such content in *at least* English, and to make the English version of content the most authoritative for each entry (assuming it is the most widely used in taxonomy and species reference works), that is more multilingual. Translators should then act quickly to translate any contributions in other langs into English... but it is better to have an entry in German or Russian alone, than no entry at all; and better to let scientists contribute research done in other languages without translating it (something they may not be able to do on their own).
The idea that "purely scientific" content can only be written in English, is one which I would like to see supported by respected publications. Sj 21:53, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

tools for taxobox and localisation in various language

i think it is possible to do taxobox and templates to use the same graphic chart in various languages. What's your opinion about this ? Jeffdelonge 15:23, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC) tools for taxobox and localisation in various language

Whenever you try to eliminate diversity, you start the inverse reaction. The NATURAL law of EQUILIBRIUM. Do not expect that a non-native English-speaker will waste his/her precious time adding valluable knowledge to this type of projects when the majority of the people in the world is not able to understand what is it which has been written in a completely different language. It is almost unnatural that I'm forced to speak a different language just because it is a mean of transmission of culture. This will close anglo-saxonic culture to the world when that has been precisely the inverse way till now. Sometimes a little comprehension and knowledge about other cultural standards would be quite "proffitable". Do not expect that a native spanish-speaker will participate in this forum simply because they do not speak english and they are about 350 million people, so has the portuguese-speakers, which are about 180 million. These two languages will preform something as 500 million people, a twelfth part of the entire world population. Worthy thinking about, isn't it?

Taxonomy and Classifcation

for these who speak french an analysis for e-flora à project from

I think it's a good approach with à specific database structure wich might give us ideas Jeffdelonge 21:33, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

[and it shouldn't be necessary for fluent french-speakers to translate similar content before adding it here] Sj

Taxonomy references

Database for marine organsims: [1] Animal diversity web: [2] Tree of life: [3] To be continued...--Carl

Images (with copyright restrictions): [4] --Benedikt

Taxonomic Information at ITIS: [5]


Why are interwiki links disabled on Wikispecies? In my opinion the "other languages" table can be renamed to "in Wikipedia" like at Wikimedia Commons - they would link to appropriate articles in all Wikipedias - I think it would add very much functionality to Wikispecies. Ausir 09:38, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I agree with this opinion. WikiSpecies is meant to become a science-oriented directory that should also serve to connect other wikiprojects and use ressources provided by wikicommons (especially images!). So currently I think it doesn't make sense to create mirrors in other languages; this matter was discussed here in the village pump before and I would ask people to continue the discussion instead of changing the main page. Thanks! --Benedikt

Why is wikispecies monolingual?

From a Nov. 22 revision of the main page:

It is a basic feature of all wiki projects to support availibility by providing information in many languages. Why does WikiSpecies not follow this principle? Simply because WikiSpecies follows a scientific approach. The language of Biology is Spanish and Gallego, with Latin rudiments in taxonomy. However, WikiSpecies should serve as a base for other wiki projects in many languages; but this will not include an encyclopedic approach to Biology, as this should be restricted to the WIKIPEDIA projects. Please keep this in mind - WikiSpecies is NOT a bioWikipedia. Feel encouraged to continue the discussion about the future approach of WikiSpecies on the village pump.

Should it be?

It should be a multilingual project!

I think is a huge pretention to leave it only in english you should let the people collaborate to translate on the idiom they want, is very simple let the water take its own course If you think Wikispecies should be multilingual, you might also want to join the Boycott of Wikispecies.

I will clearly not even begin to edit for Wikispecies when there is no multilingual version of it. Some reaons:

  • Information will not be directly usable for other projects like Wikipedia in the different languages. There is a big group of biologists and nature friends in Wikipedia in many languages, contributing lots of texts about different species.
  • There are still lots of people who are not able to speak English. These people will be excluded from the knowledge of Wikispecies.
  • The Wikispecies-project could become a pattern for other "scientific" wiki-projects. It would be inconsequent for other scientific wikis to use other languages than English.
  • Besides, I am not willing to give a knowledge advantage to scientists whose native language is English. For me, this question also has geopolitical aspects. This is a knowledge based world - you cannot devide knowledge from political activities. As long as the primary English speaking nations turn my TV in a scene of war and a geopolitical chessboard, I will not support their knowledge bases with my contributions. -- 13:18, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I don't think it should be. Some people think it already is. The number of current WS users seems pretty small, and this would only be helped by allowing content in various languages. In response to some of the arguments in favor of being a monolingual project:

Single source: Aiming for the most-detailed or most-official information to be in English, to provide a central most-authoritative source for each topic, is very different from demanding that all contributions and pages be in English... (And it's not clear to me that such an ideal is what WS should strive for)

Scientific content: Scientists produce scientific research, original content and analysis, in every major world language. I don't know why this is not the case in taxonomy, but would like to see the standards of other taxonoomcal organizations before accepting that the only way to publish "purely scientific" content is to do so in English, verbatim from English language sources. Sj 23:41, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thank you for participating in this discussion. I disagree with you and brought up my arguments before. One thing you also want to consider is that we don't really know what wikispecies will contain eventually. Generally, I think I should keep a rather neutral point. But I certainly encourage everybody to take part in the discussion! WikiSpecies will be what you make it. Best, --Benedikt

As with other scientific literature, the taxonomic literature is produced in all languages. The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (the two I'm familiar with) only require that the NOMENCLATURE (the scientific names) be presented in a Latin alphabet (as oppose to Cyrillic or Arabic, etc., alphabet). The general paper itself, including the actual description, outside the scientific names, can be and are published in any alphabet or language. However, it's true that they often have English summaries because that has become the language of international science.-- 07:07, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC) (aka R Hole Jr, who's long in doesn't seem to be sticking with him this evening).

At the very least, the attitude of the paragraph at the top of this section is totally wrong for a project instigated by such a multilingual a group as Wikimedia. From a scientific point of view, I cannot see the benefit in restricting any group of people from a large corpus of information such as WikiSpecies is likely to become over time, on the grounds that English is held to be the language of science. From a philosophical point of view, one could even debate whether English really can lay claim to the title of "language of international science", but that would be beyond the scope of what we need to talk about here. At the moment, most articles contain only a Latin taxonomical classification of the species, so the problem is not marked, but certainly as WikiSpecies evolves it will be necessary to enable verisons in many languages. Considering the rather low amount of text here, this would seem to be a perfect candidate for the long-discussed future version of MediaWiki with localisation-switching capabilites. --Gabriel Beecham
As a not-english speaker, I'm really shocked by the question. The not-English scientists are not under the English one. It is impolite to ask such a question. To make scientists use a language not neutral as English (compared to Latin) is certainly against human rights to access and to share information. -- a Wiki user
Ok, let's make Wikispecies monolingual. But let's do it in Latin, as it should be.
Unless all education, scientific papers and litterature around the world about the subject was in English (which they are not...) I disagree with your assessment. From my viewpoint the main principle of Wiki is availability to all and I think it is dimished by this decision. I believe that people around the world should be able to add information in their native tongue for the benefit of all. I hope this decision will be reevaluated soon. (OuroborosSlayer) 23:36, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
First of all; hello. I am new to Wikispecies (in fact, I am new to all Wikiprojects) but I want to help buiding this noble project. English is not my mother tongue and I have always studied biology in my native language; I must say that, although most of science has been written in English, every language holds the capability for people to produce scientific texts in it. You should know that English has not always been the "king" of science; French and German were once stronger than it; and since Latin is the basis for most of the technical terms often used in science, biology included; romance tongues have an easy time writing science (Myself, I speak a romance tongue and I must say, we have no problems with science). Believe me, I have read biology in both English and my own language and I offer my aid in creating multilingual Wikispecies! --Celay 08:31, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It is arguable that all Scientific text has been written in English. Specifically talking about medicine, plants, and physics, Deutsch has been in the past the most used language.

So, if one day English ceases to be the "language of international science", should Wikispecies reflect that and delete all the articles in English just to translate them to the current language of international science? In fact, there isn't such thing as a language of science as scientific papers can be translated, and even though many (most?) of them are in English, there are also quite a few in French, German, Spanish and other languages. Nowadays it's quite important for scientists to know English, but I think the object of Wikispecies should be to reduce that need to learn a foreign language and offer the same contents in their own language. 09:51, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC) (Sabbut)

I think the question's wrong. I don't think many people will object seeing wikispecies have articles in every language. but how would that happen? I could write abuot th Corvus corone in hebrew, but not many around here would benefit from it. on the other side, articles in chinese do not help me very much.
if anyone could show me how to concentrate data here in many languages, where all data apears in all languages, I'll vote for it. in any other way, I'd prefer english - because it's the second language most common among internet users. (and biologists, I guess). Felagund 14:03, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)
In fact, we could say the same thing about Wikipedia and all the other sister projects. ¬¬

Maybe it should be as un-lingual as possible, just scientific classification and pictures and a list of what the critter is called in various languages, each name linked to the relevant wikipedia page when available in that language? 15:57, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC) User:Jcwf

I think it should be multilingual for several reasons:

  1. It is possible
  2. There is no reason not to do so
  3. Were I a non-English speaker I would want to use it
  4. If WS is free, then it should be "free period", not "free after ________".
  5. It would eliminate all resentment
  6. Whether the world scientific community is monolingual is moot - Wiki is not

Having said that, I think that this discussion need go no further (as it appears to be doing just that) and that a vote is necessary to determine an outcome rather than continually get nowhere fast. Should anyone feel that this vote should take place elsewhere feel free to move it, provided that a link is placed here, or just link here.

This discussion is absurd, navigation by Internet gives tools for a single project, multilingual, with the core of the page written in English and with buttons for other languages, that the author himself or the volunteers around the world who wish to write in those languages. The important question is: Wikispecies is only for scientists or for all mankind? If we want to non-scientists from around the world seek species in this project cannot be monolingual, or use only English limits the usefulness of the project. It is not patriotism, is that not all the people understand English. Now, if Wikiespecies is thought to be consulted only by scientists, go ahead with the English.

Wiki means everyone can take the posted information and translate it or use it for free, for themselves. If wikispecies doesn't work this way then it shouldn't be wiki and it shouldn't be part of the project. When I registered in wikipedia, wikibooks and commons, I did it because I knew it'd be free, for everyone, and those things could be useful for someone else on this world, and it could be translated and used as free information. Wiki is made to share. Wikispecies in english only is too egoistic. English is the third language in this world after chinese and spanish, english isn't the science language because scientific names are in latin and most of scientists in this world aren't english speakers, so don't tell me it's the main language and the scientific language. And I'd like to add I work much on commons uploading pictures and also recording articles for blinds, and I have a huge gallery of plants, animals and fossils that I won't upload until I see a wikispecies in every possible language. Let wiki-knowledge be free or don't call it wiki.Onanymous 14:19, 1 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Relevant Information on Multilingualism and Language Domains

Hello. I completely support making this, like any other wiki text project fully multilingual with language domains. If people want to contribute their expertise on biology/zoology within a Wikispecies in their own linguistic context there is no reason whatsoever, in my opinion, to deny them the opportunity to do so. On the contrary, building free data readily available in many languages is the point of Wikimedia. Wikimedia supplies all the tools; why not just let people use them (within reason)?

Nevertheless, I am not going to vote below, for the simple reason that I am not a biologist/zoologist and won't be active building this project. At the same time, there is a wealth of information on multilingualism and language domains that should be taken into account by the people who vote below: I also completely support of having wikispecies in spanish and other languages. Science is not exclusively of english speakers and do others may contribute.

New Proposed policy on wikis in new languages

The Wikisource Language domain proposal Wikisource Language Domain Requests (the tide has shifted in favor almost enough at this point)

Vote on Multilingual WS


  1. Moogle - For the reasons stated above.
  2. Lisathurston - otherwise it shouldn't be a wiki media project! Latin nomenclature is fine as a standard though. I am not sure why there is an assumption that English will be better for scientific descriptions.
  3. Leonariso - I agree with all the reasons above.
  4. 14:04, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  5. España: I understand EL ESP
  6. Eric ARG 21:46, 24 January 2008 (UTC) Agree with User:Jcwf "as un-lingual as possible"[reply]
  7. AlimanRuna 13:40, 25 January 2008 (UTC) - For multilingual Wikispecies. Original descriptions in Latin should be provided if possible (and no copyright violation)[reply]
  8. Mauricio Maluff 21:13, 27 April 2008 (UTC) I'd like it to be like commons, with all languages in one single web. I moved the spanish ones up 'cause what they say is they want it in spanish. They probably just didn't understand where to vote.[reply]
  9. I cannot agree with your point of view that contents is independent from language. As a matter of fact, if you do not understand the language in which contents are written, you will not know what is all about. If you want to know something you must understand it. Language is culture but first you must know it.
  10. Yo no soy inglés. Ni estadounidense. Ni Australiano. Pero soy biólogo. Tengo que aprender inglés para tener acceso a wikiespecies? Es ridículo y fuera del proyecto Wiki. Si mañana fuera chino el idioma predominante, que posiblemente lo será, tendría que aprender chino? Yo ya tengo un idioma, no quiero otro, que además, con su predominio realimenta su predominio. No en mi nombre. Yo no colaboraré con wikipedia en ingles. Yo no.
  11. Estoy de acuerdo en que no sólo sea en inglés. Acepto que se tome este idioma como estándar, pero creo que se rompe con el espíritu "WIKI".
  12. Yo también estoy de acuerdo en que editar WIKI, unicamente en inglés va contra el espíritu de esta publicación. Además téngase en cuenta de que el castellano es uuno de los principales idiomas del mundo. Actualmente creo que solo es superado por el chino y el inglés, y no se si por algún otro, pero no serán muchos más... WIKI multilingua...
  13. Onanymous 14:04, 1 May 2008 (UTC) como wikipedista estoy en contra de un wikispecies sólo en inglés. Va en contra de las normas morales de todo lo "wiki". El inglés no es el idioma de la ciencia, ni de la biología (es el latín), y tampoco es el principal idioma del mundo, es el tercero [6]. Así que no tiene sentido que sea unicamente en inglés y para angloparlantes. Por otro lado mencionar que participo muy activamente en commons con fotografías y la colección de fotografías de animales y plantas se va a quedar en mi ordenador hasta que exista wikiespecies en español. Esta actitud tan egoísta sólo provoca que yo tampoco comparta. Un saludo.[reply]
  14. Dalton2 18:31, 12 July 2008 (UTC). Traducir WikiSpecies a otros idiomas además del inglés es tan fácil como traducir los titulares, ya que casi todo lo demás está en latín y DEBE dejarse así. No veo ningún impedimento para eso, y además posibilitaría adecuar la forma del sitio —que no el contenido— a cada comunidad de hablantes. En definitiva, haría la wiki más atractiva para el usuario. If you can't understand what I'm saying here, just ask any Spanish-English speaking people. They'll gladly translate it for you the same way they would with Spanish WikiSpecies and the same way they do with Spanish Wikipedia. Although I can't imagine what kind of informaion is to be translated here, except the section titles.[reply]


  1. My main language isn't english. But I can understand the navigation links in english. And the content is laguage independent.
  2. I'm Catalan (oh, and Spanish, I forgot). It's better if we keep ONE language because this way the whole world can contribute and we don't have disperse information as it happens in multilingual Wikipedia (compare the quality and number of articles of English Wikipedia with other Wikipedias, more people are able to contribute in English than in any other language, INCLUDING Spanish). In Wikipedia there's a reason for being multilanguage because the articles are extensive, with a lot of text, and only people with a minimal knowledge in English can understand them. But the vocabulay in Wikispecies is very limited, I can't believe people can't understand it. --Qllach 01:01, 6 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Who says???

Who says english is the language of Biology?? Eh? Eh? Eh? The biology is universal!!! Don't have a language!!!! Proud americans!

  • I agree with you and think latin is the biology language, so latin speakers post in latin or latin derivated languages for us, así nuesto conocimiento solo podrá ser entendido por unos pocos, hehehe.(it hurts when you don't understand and people don't help), so lets find a biological image language based in maps, photos, drawings or change this horrible idea about monolingual wikispecies. english is just a modern some-kind-of latin trash, so if you were a colonialist, or if you are, pleaaase let us live in peace

and somebody help with the coniferas and pinos! there's a kaos there!!


You should probably add a regnum for virus, viruses are starting to be ordered up taxonomically the way every other lifeform is (yeah, I think they're alive). Orders, families, genera, species, ... 19:54, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Whether life or not, viruses are now and must be classified. Besides, new discovery of the Mimivirus seems to point out that we'll eventually end up being better off combining virus categorization with that of biological forms...if only because they're starting to look more and more similar. reference:

The unsigned above is User:

The classification of viruses doesn't work the same way, since they don't follow a phylogenetic tree. You will notice that virologists typically don't give them a kingdom, domain, empire or the like, and most biologists creating such things tend to leave them out. If wikispecies is to reflect the reality of taxonomy, it shouldn't create one for them. Josh

But I think it's not a fault to add a new category, isn't it? -- 12:48, 1 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Just a little notice for the sysops here: It´s not useful or even necessary to block a changing IP for longer than 1-2 (-24) hours (these times are normally used for blocking in other wikimedia projects). It is because most IPs are dynamic, so at another time this IP would be used by another person who can´t use wikispecies then and the same troll may also come back with a different IP within minutes. Compare Blocking policy Thanx, regards --Bdk 04:05, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

foods template

Should we have a food template for animals? What types of foods they eat? Williamb 21:32, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

License again & all images

Please always be careful with storing images from other wikipedias here. You have to transfer the full license information with author and descripton! I´m also missing a specialpage with a list of all imgages. - 08:28, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

That is right. In fact, this post should not be necessary in first place: All users are requested to upload images to wikicommons and set links from there. Benedikt

Names the Same -linkage problems

I'm a newby, having just joined in today, but am looking forward to helping out a lot. But I've already run into something.

In many instances, at least at the specific epithet level, there are organisms with the same name (e.g. there are a bunch of californiensis, some birds, some mammals, some plants, many other groups), so making a link based on just the specific epithet doesn't work for these. I've already run across this playing with adding in some species level taxonavigations. Is there a consensis or idea or something on how to deal with this? --R Hole Jr 04:19, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I just made a disambig at Aotus. There are several others. Feel free to make a disambig template. There are also lots of names that could be typos of each other, such as Asteridae and Asteriidae. -PierreAbbat 21:48, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Follow-up. In the meantime, what I'm doing when I add species level taxonavigation is to name the page using the whole binomial, and to save space on screen to use only the epithet (e.g. Ocotona princepes|princepes). This won't be one hundred percent effective, but should reduce the overlap to among kingdoms.--R Hole Jr 06:59, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • I thought that was what was supposed to be done in the first place. Williamb 11:20, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I'd looked at several pages and hadn't seen it that way, so I don't/didn't know. Now I do!--R Hole Jr 15:00, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Wikiwpecies update

The second edition of the newsletter is underway, with an eye to finalizing draft content by the 17th. Please add yourself to the list of contributors if you are interested in any aspect of its production; we need more people in every department!

Would you like to make a brief note for those some months from Wikispecies opening in Semtember? Please contribute it to m:WQ/Draft! Cheers. --Aphaia 02:50, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)


look at Pieris Tadjika for some reason or other half the time I save it comes up empty and it creates a new file. have no idea why this is happening.

just FYI - from now on, every page that contains taxonomy table in he wikipedia now links to the corresponding page here. Felagund 08:13, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Main page vandalism

Is there any way to make it so that any bozo who wants to can't wipe out the main page? I mean it's ridiculous to have new people link to Wikispecies and the first thing they see is Hello I'm stupid! Maybe make it a special page that only people who are registered and datestamp their name can make changes. Williamb 04:44, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)

agreed. main page should ne locked for editing. Felagund 13:50, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)