Wikipedia Simple: Language Subtag Registration

Michael Everson everson at
Sat Oct 31 20:40:43 CET 2015

Subject line change. 

> On 31 Oct 2015, at 06:22, Peter Constable <petercon at> wrote:
> The request isn't for "simple"; it's for "wpsimple". That's what I'm commenting on.
> I can understand what the basic intent would be of de-simple and fr-simple (though there's a side discussion as to whether "simple language" is really that simple).

I can’t understand what the basic intent would be for “de-simple” and “fr-simple". The subtag “simple” is so vague as to mean anything. Anything at all. The proposed subtag “basiceng” (upon which none of you have commented is based on a set of very specific rules. “simple” on its own wouldn’t mean anything. 

> But for de-wpsimple and fr-wpsimple, the intent of "wpsimple" would be different in each case, the only real commonality being the "wp" part.

The intent would be “the implemention of the specific rules the “wp” sets forth with regard to the prefix”. 

"en-wpsimple" would be well defined because the references and rules are right there. An eventual “fr-wpsimple” would also be well defined, though it would refer to references and rules relevant to “fr” which would differ from those for “en”. 

A conformant subtag will help 

I can see changing 

Description: Wikipedia Simple English


Description: Wikipedia Simple languge

But I think it would be better to have

Description: Wikipedia Simple English
Description: Wikipedia Simple Russian
Description: Wikipedia Simple French

or whatever is required as time goes on. The whole registration form cold be rewritten somewhat to make the intent clearer. 

Potential misuse of “wpsimple” is as irrelevant as potential misuse of “scouse”. 

The problem as defined by Amir:

Problem: The Simple English Wikipedia uses "simple" for the domain ( and "en" for its language. This is a problem because:
* The domain is different from the language code.
* The language code is the same as in the English Wikipedia.

This remains true. en-x-wikisimp or en-x-wpsimple are a possible solutions, but I don’t see any advantage to the users of what is now to the x-.

On 31 Oct 2015, at 10:25, John Cowan <cowan at> wrote:

>> I really think we should register a variant subtag in this case if
>> it can be described as a specific variant of a particular language
>> without reference to any single application, and if that’s a variant
>> that has potential use beyond a single application.
> In this context, "Wikipedia" is not an application, but a set of
> standards.  "wpsimple" means "simple according to the definitions put
> forward by the Wikimedia Foundation”.  

Which is nice and specific. Like reference to an authoritative dictionary, for instance. 

> If you write English or French or Igbo according to those standards in any context, you are entitled to tag it "wpsimple"; it is not specific to the Wikipedia application.


> That said, I agree that this tag is over-specific, and "simple” would be a more useful tag generally.

Most examples of “simple” English are not in any way defined, and don’t tell potential users anything about the variety so identified. 


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