EnglishWikipedia is presently prominent within the WikiPedia family by force of numbers, and tradition. It was the original project that the others grew out of, still has more active users, content and more visitors than any one of its sister projects singly (at least so far). The use of English to discuss things of project-wide impact (software changes, site policy) means that other languages do not quite punch their weight; participation in governance is more readily available to anglophones and polyglots who are active in multiple languages.
The effective conflation of WikiPedia and EnglishWikipedia is a matter that is still being worked on. EnglishWikipedia also has a "Wikipedia:" and "Help:" space that contains documentation, guidelines, and policy, which duplicates in part similar content on MetaWikiPedia - so this is another conflation of purpose. At a third level of complexity, there are various mailing lists. Compare Wiki:CryptoCracy - not exactly OpenProcess.
The English Wikipedia relies more than its siblings on its HardSecurity and AccessLevels. As of Dec 2003, there were around 100 page deletions a day (which can be reviewed on a deletion log). Deletion must either be listed on Articles/Categories/X for Deletion or be subject to "speedy deletion". Patent nonsense is usually deleted without discussion. Compare this to around 400 new pages created.
There are also page protections - aside from the FrontPage, certain copyright pages, and some pages used by the script (MediaWiki), a number of pages are protected to resolve EditWars, and some sysop FrontLawns are protected. These protections are decreasing though, as other ways of settling disputes are developed.
Debatable. I've heard various claims from French Wikipedians that FrenchWikipedia has a tendancy toward HardSecurity. Also, quite a while ago there was a bit of a saga on the SwedishWikipedia, where various regulars were calling for increased HardSecurity powers, but couldn't get them because they were still using UseModWiki.
Pages for deletion are (supposed to be) put up for review for at least a week before being deleted, and the person who nominates them can't also be the person to delete them. This is DelayAction and PeerReview, not HardSecurity, except many are not reviewed. Of the 100 deletions/day, only ~10% will be reviewed prior to deletion.
Yeah, can't argue with that. ;-) -- StephenGilbert
The page deletion problem needs a little PrematureModeration?. Being a ColdBlanket is necessary to put a brake on unrefined creative energy. All writing needs to be balanced against PeerReview and editing. Otherwise you generate a lot of crap that needs to be deleted, but then no one has energy to PeerReview the deletions, and then you get into delete thrashing, failures to delete properly (Wiki:UnethicalEditing), subsequent flamewars about deleting (e.g. Wiki:DisagreeByDeleting, Wiki:WikiReductionists), and then finally the end of the social norm of courageous editing because everyone becomes too afraid to delete anything. I've seen it all before. This is also why people who are too arrogant to improve their writing need to be bounced, because they are just wasting the editors' good grace in helping their writing. That's part of BarnRaising. An openness to learn; we're all here to improve ourselves. Of course, editors shouldn't waste their own time by being prickly red pen obsesseds and thus throwing away the golden opportunity to train future editors. -- SunirShah