Incubator:Rules of the road

From Incubator Plus 2.0
(Redirected from Incubator:RULES)


This is an official Incubator Plus 2.0 policy.
You may edit it, but please discuss major changes on the talk page first.

The purpose of Incubator Plus 2.0 is to provide a place to create and host Wikimedia-like projects not eligible to be created on Wikimedia Incubator or elsewhere within the Wikimedia universe. But with the exception of the eligibility of the projects for creation within Wikimedia, this site's projects should otherwise be substantially the same as projects in Wikimedia. For that reason, you can easily understand that most rules here closely parallel those on Wikimedia Incubator and in the individual projects (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, etc.). Where rules to the contrary are not clearly spelled out here, or on other pages in Category:Incubator:Policy, you should assume that the corresponding Wikimedia rules apply.

Any questions about the rules, or suggestions for changing the rules, can be discussed on the community portal or on the talk page.

What this site is not for[edit]

Competing with Wikimedia[edit]

This site does not intend to compete with Wikimedia in any way whatsoever. Accordingly, you may not create a test project here that substantially duplicates a project (or test project) in the Wikimedia universe. Understanding that some tests may fall into a gray area, here are some examples to use. When in doubt, ask the administrators.

  • An Italian encyclopedia project written in standard Italian, so as to be effectively the same as Italian Wikipedia: NOT ALLOWED.
  • A Chinese encyclopedia project written in Pinyin: IT DEPENDS, BUT PROBABLY.
  • An Italian encyclopedia project written in Cyrillic: ALLOWED.

What is the difference between the second and third cases? There are two differences, really:

  • The possibility of having a Han-to-Pinyin conversion script running on Chinese Wikipedia, because it would be useful to a wide community of people, is a real one. Accordingly, a Chinese encyclopedia in Pinyin might be a duplicate to Chinese Wikipedia running such a script. In contrast, it is highly unlikely that there would be a community need for a Latin-to-Cyrillic script on Italian Wikipedia.
  • However, in the second case, if the Chinese Wikipedia community decided it did not want to host such a converter—or if there is some evidence that attempts to create the converter are not working well, Incubator Plus 2.0 might nevertheless allow the Pinyin project to proceed here. The idea of Italian in Cyrillic has already been rejected at Italian Wikipedia and on Meta, so such a project can run here.

Even in the allowed cases, it is important that pages based on existing Wikimedia material have attribution, so as to comply with the copyright/licensing rules both on the source page and here. Material without attribution is considered a copyright violation, and copyright violations are subject to speedy deletion.

Projects (or contents) based on fringe or extreme points of view[edit]

Because there is always some disagreement at the border between "what is a language" and "what is a dialect", we expect to be a little flexible about the definitions of bias and neutrality here, compared to Wikimedia projects. But points of view that are extremist or fringe are not acceptable here. In particular:

  • Projects whose basis is linguistic will normally be allowed.
    A dictionary project in Dari, as opposed to Persian/Farsi: ALLOWED.
    A dictionary project in German based on usage in the former East Germany: CAN STAY IF IT STAYS POLITICALLY NEUTRAL, NOT OTHERWISE.
  • Projects whose basis is a mixture of linguistic and cultural: USUALLY ALLOWED, especially if it contributes to an overall-balanced point of view, and if there is reasonable mainstream justification for it.
  • Projects whose basis is purely political, religious, racial, national, etc.: NOT ALLOWED.
  • Similarly, projects whose basis is a world-view that is considered fringe or extremist will not be allowed, regardless of how well-sourced it is, and even if it is cloaked in a linguistic argument.
    Projects based in pseudoscience (e.g., a flat-earth encyclopedia) or extremism (e.g., a "9-11 was an American inside job" encyclopedia): NOT ALLOWED.

Who decides borderline cases? The administrators. And while we may never be able to give you a real bright-line rule to define the border, you can trust that we know it when we see it.

Ways that the rules are different here than on Wikimedia wikis[edit]

(Just about) All languages allowed[edit]

Just about any language you want to write in is allowed. The only restrictions are the ones outlined above. So go for it!

  • If you are writing in a specific version of an ordinary language, just tell us why your version isn't just a duplicate of a Wikimedia project. But as long as you can give us a reason—and as long as you are careful not to violate the rules up above—you're fine. Examples:
Project type Prefix
Encyclopedia Wp/
Dictionary Wt/
Textbook Wb/
News Wn/
Quotation reference Wq/
Literature archive* Ws/
Educational Wv/
Travel Wy/
* Please check eligibility at Multilingual Wikisource first
  • Cyrillic Italian: "Because it's in the Cyrillic alphabet, not the Latin alphabet"
  • Brazilian Portuguese: "Because usage is limited to Brazilian standards"

How we use prefixes and language codes here[edit]

Like on Wikimedia Incubator, we do use prefixes here. The first part of the prefix corresponds to the project type, consistent with the table at right. The second part of the prefix is a language code. Projects here are not required to be in a language having an ISO 639 code, but at the same time we don't want people to be confused, either. So you can make up a language code, but please use these guidelines:[1]

  • If we are importing your project from old Incubator Plus or from a Wikimedia project, you will usually keep your current prefix.
  • If your language actually has an ISO 639–3 code (or an ISO 639 code with a BCP 47 subtag), we encourage you to use it.
  • Otherwise, make up a three-letter code to use. We'll only ask you to change it if we think it may be confusing to people.

Neutrality and bias[edit]

The corresponding Wikimedia rules (such as the Wikipedia/Wikinews "neutral point of view" or the Wikivoyage "be fair") still apply. But we appreciate that languages are based in broader cultural settings, too, so the expectation is that neutrality is influenced by the cultural setting of the language, at least to some extent.

  • For example, while we don't expect projects in either of these language variants to be created here,[2] we would imagine that an "Irish English" encyclopedia and a "British English" encyclopedia might describe the Easter Rising differently. But we would nevertheless expect the respective articles to be fair and neutral, even if different.


  1. This is preliminary, subject to any technical limitations here.
  2. In fact, we don't even mean to imply that these variants are eligible here. This is just an example.