[Mediawiki-i18n] [Wikitech-l] Special:Version and i18n & l10n

Niklas Laxström niklas.laxstrom at gmail.com
Fri Jul 4 06:31:41 UTC 2008

On 03/07/2008, Jack Phoenix <wikia.jack at gmail.com> wrote:
>  Secondly, some extensions, such as the above-mentioned WikiTextLoggedInOut
>  have only one message... the description message. Now, with the i18n file
>  being added, the extension's i18n gets loaded on every pageload if the page
>  has the extension tag. I am relatively sure that it slows things down. Maybe
>  only a few milliseconds, but the point is that it can be avoided.

Where did you get that? It doesn't load messages itself, so only
places where the message is loaded is those who call
loadAllMessages(), like Special:Version.

>  Thirdly, what if the original developer wants or needs to change the
>  extension description, upon adding or removing some features? That's right,
>  some languages would see old messages with incorrect information while some
>  other languages might have correct info. And users might end up trying to
>  use a removed feature, which would obviously cause them frustration. After
>  all, you cannot demand that volunteer translators do translations 24 hours
>  per day. In fact, we already have several developers continuously working on
>  i18n, desperately trying to keep them in sync - resources that would be much
>  better spent on developing new functionality and fixing bugs.

How is this different from other messages changing?

>  I have spoken to several fellow MediaWiki / extension developers, some
>  native English speakers and some are not, but most of them seem to agree
>  that the localization of Special:Version is "i18n gone bad".

How about talking to those who do i18n or the users who actually read
those messages?

> I have to agree
>  with them, as description messages do not provide anything useful for users
>  or developers - having, for example, the words "MWSearch plugin" in 39
>  different languages (
>  http://svn.wikimedia.org/viewvc/mediawiki/trunk/extensions/MWSearch/MWSearch.i18n.php?revision=36271&view=markup)
>  is probably one of the most pathological examples.

Having proper descriptions is of course important, but not a proper
reason to stop translating them.

These extension
>  description messages just cause extra stress for MediaWiki and the servers
>  running MediaWiki.

Do you have hard facts to provide that the stress is not
insignificant. I think we have optimised message loading quite well

> In the past, you could always find at least one English
>  page on the wiki, no matter what its content language was - Special:Version.
>  Now you have to add ?uselang=en to see the 'correct' version of the page.

Can't understand the point of this.

>  Another interesting and related point is the addition of core 'blank' page
>  in r36856 (http://svn.wikimedia.org/viewvc/mediawiki?view=rev&revision=36856)
>  by Domas. He added the blank special page as a baseline to profile startup
>  times. He used to use Special:Version for profiling, but since it's
>  overloaded with useless i18n crap now, it is no longer effective.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I haven't noticed any i18n crapped added
to it other what there were when he first added it.

>  If there is something that should be translated in Special:Version, it most
>  certainly is not extension descriptions. It is the license text. And to
>  avoid legal issues, it should have a hardcoded English string, for example,
>  "The English version of the license can be found here" or something. As a
>  user, I would like to know my legal rights rather than of what parts the
>  software is made of.

Users usually don't touch the code at all, so why would they be more
interested in the software license than in the features available? In
any case, not relevant to this case.

>  I believe that the description message / localization of Special:Version
>  does more harm than it does good, plus it is pointless (as Rob Church
>  correctly pointed out in his initial reaction:
>  https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=10365#c1). I would request
>  that this would be removed from core.

You probably don't know what Rob Church has previously stated about
i18n and l10n?

Also, translators will be very happy if you throw their work away. You
should know how much translators care for their work, as you have
translated yourself, even if you are hesitant to work collaboratively.

Niklas Laxström

More information about the Mediawiki-i18n mailing list