[Mediawiki-i18n] MediaWiki i18n "call to arms"

Berto 'd Sera albertoserra at ukr.net
Mon Apr 2 12:49:33 UTC 2007


Yes, when seen out of their natural context lots of message seem pure
abracadabra. An added problem is that developers often double the same

Localization is a problem for all kind of development. I'm currently working
on Drupal localization and while having all filtered thru a t() function is
pretty nice for a "just write software and forget about locales" approach it
really makes for an endless number of messages. Wikimedia is definitely not
the only CMS having problems with a permanent growth in the message trees. 

I think we should really make taxonomy for messages, that is, we should
categorize them by "concept". 
1) Messages about time (lots of duplicates there)
2) Messages about editing
3) Messages about moving things
4) etc.

It would be handy for "inventing interfaces", as it is often the case.

We need parallel trees made of 
a) scopes (what is used where, add-ons, public interfaces, admin-only, etc)
b) importance (how bad it is to use mediawiki without this message)

This last b) tree can be "invented by us" but it should be eventually
corrected based on what starting communities say, IMHO. 

Instead of "what is means in English" I'd let people see a choice from the
existing translations, so that anyone can reuse the existing translation
without needing to be an English speaker. 

We will always miss human resources in translation, it's better if we choose
a situation in which all possible existing linguistic knowledge can be
reused by volunteers. 

Now, all this is nice to write down, but apart from being a translator I'm
also a coder myself; I know the distance between "it looks nice" and "here
it is, use it". 

Let's hear what developers think about it.

Berto 'd Sera
Personagi dl'ann 2006 per l'arvista american-a Time (tanme tuti vojaotri)

-----Original Message-----
From: mediawiki-i18n-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:mediawiki-i18n-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Brianna
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 3:32 PM
To: MediaWiki internationalisation
Subject: Re: [Mediawiki-i18n] MediaWiki i18n "call to arms"

Would it not be useful to have some kind of annotated list of system

1. Message name
2. English contents
especially important, these two:
3. When/where does the user see this?
4. Type of message (interface, explanation, warning, link text, link
target, ...?)
and maybe
5. How important is this to be translated?

I am sure I am not the only person who, as either a Wikimedia
administrator, or person setting up my own wiki, has been baffled by
some of the messages. Some seem to be equal - which is the one that I
actually want to change? Does this message show up in other places
that I don't realise?

(As a side note, I still think our current default messages are too
Wikipedia-fied - and a 'simplfied' English set, like 'young wiki',
would be cool to have as an option.)

One of the devs once mentioned that system messages should not be
'overloaded' eg not everywhere that English speakers put "OK" is
equivalent in other languages. I totally agree, but it can make
identifying the necessary message difficult.

(Another sidenote - it would be kind of cool if there was a way to see
which messages are used in a certain page, kind of like how pages
currently say which template/s they use)

Anyway. Annotated system messages. Good idea or bad? Manageable?
Should be put on mediawiki.org or some other way to manage them??


Mediawiki-i18n mailing list
Mediawiki-i18n at lists.wikimedia.org

More information about the Mediawiki-i18n mailing list