[Mediawiki-i18n] Update report
gmeijssen at wikimedia.org
Sat Jan 14 16:23:57 UTC 2012
In the last month, this list has gained many new subscribers; they are
people who are members of a language support team. As you may understand,
the Wikimedia Localisation team is not able to understand all the
intricacies of the 280+ languages we support at the Wikimedia Foundation.
It is for this reason that we need help and the best way is when people who
are knowledgeable enough provide us with their knowledge.
Recently we have added support for grammatical gender and plural for
for quite some time. As part of the process Santhosh made an inventory of
the differences between the implementation in MediaWiki and in the standard
for such things, the CLDR. I blogged about the result on the Wikimedia
As I also reached out to the Wikipedias of the language that have an issue,
we gained both more people who are interested to provide support for their
language but as relevant, we learned that entering data in the CLDR is
overly complicated. Even our developers, who are also linguists or language
experts have a hard time entering the data for plural support.
Even when there is no information in the CLDR about things like plural
support, we want to support this in MediaWiki. When the information we get
about the rules for plural support are given to us with references either
on the Internet or in publications, it is relatively straightforward to
create a bug report to the CLDR. What we are looking for are people who can
help us with getting the necessary information so that we can implement it
in MediaWiki, have it tested by a language community and then post a bug
report at the CLDR. If need be, our developers can help with the
formulation of plural rules in the format of the CLDR
Another really interesting development was for the Arabic script. We
learned about the Amiri font, a font that supports all the characters of
the Arabic script and consequently is able to support not only Arabic but
also languages like Urdu, Kashmiri etc. We wrote to the developer of the
script and he was happy for us to use his font in a WebFonts implementation.
Not so funny is that we learned that the support of the Arabic script in
MediaWiki is problematic. It turns out that we do not fully comply with the
rules for merging parts of a character (including diacritics). This is not
only an issue for MediaWiki but also for some of the modern browsers. We
will be talking about how MediaWiki is to be fixed with Brion Vibber at the
upcoming FOSDEM conference in Brussels and we have posted bugs for the
At some stage we will have fixed MediaWiki and at that time we will need
people to test their language and see if everything looks as you expect it.
When your language has problems with fonts or input methods, we are quite
happy to support your language as well. For WebFonts we need a freely
licensed font that can be used on all the major operating systems and
preferably on the versions that are still in use (several versions of IE
are technically unable to support WebFonts at all). For input methods we
need a mapping from the international keyboard to the keyboard as expected.
This includes information on the rules of how characters are to be combined.
As a member of a language support team you are VERY welcome to come forward
with requests for the support of fonts or input methods. We do expect your
involvement with both the implementation and the testing. We are also very
appreciative when you communicate this widely in your language community.
As always we can test these things at translatewiki.net. This is where we
run the latest MediaWiki software before it goes into production on any of
the Wikimedia Foundation's projects.
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