[Mediawiki-i18n] [Wikitech-l] Making inter-language links shorter

Yuri Astrakhan yastrakhan at wikimedia.org
Thu Apr 18 22:13:03 UTC 2013

There are a few things (IMO) that should be done to langlist ordering:

* Group by alphabet
People who understand latin alphabet should get a list of all latin-using
languages listed/sorted together. Cyrillic is a separate group, and so are
various asian and middle-eastern languages. I have seen other sites do this
(e.g. Google, but I can't quickly locate an example right now). Having all
languages bunched up together make going through them extremely painful -
one has to skip all the scripts not understood.

* Each wiki site has different ordering requirements - like Hebrew and
Hungarian wikis want English as the first link, or 'nn' uses 'no','sv','da'
before all others. See

* Lastly, but IMO - most importantly, we should honor user settings or
browser settings. If my browser sends *Accept Language:
en-US,en;q=0.8,ru;q=0.6*, it would be good to show english & russian at the
top, followed by others.

All this can (and should) be done in javascript, without affecting servers.

And for historical reasons: bug
i filed it in 2005, it has over 60 votes (highest count in bugzilla if i'm
not mistaken)...


On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 9:57 PM, Brion Vibber <brion at pobox.com> wrote:

> I was traditionally in favor of keeping the full language list visible,
> but.... it's just too damn big in many cases and is hard to search through
> on any device. On touch devices it's difficult to pick a correct item from
> the list as all the links are adjacent (though if you zoom it's ok).
> Definitely we need something improved, and if we're going to improve it we
> need to do it for the default or we're failing to serve 99% of our
> readers...
> I'm not sure about the current demo; one thing that bugs me is that there's
> a very small tap/click target for getting the full language list call-out.
> Clicking on "Language" just hides/shows the short list, it doesn't do
> anything. Clicking the "settings" gear icon next to "Languages" brings up a
> call-out with language-related settings.... none of which help you get to
> another language version of the wiki.
> On the mobile site we've collapsed the whole thing to an "Other languages"
> section or button (depending on if you're in beta mode) at the bottom of
> the article, and this seems to have gotten good usability responses from
> mobile users.
> On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 18 April 2013 20:43, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On 18 April 2013 17:50, Pau Giner <pginer at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >
> > >> Please let me know if you see any possible concern with this approach.
> >
> > > My first thought is of how upset people were when the first version of
> > > Vector hid the language links by default. I would suggest being sure
> > > there will be little or no similar objection.
> >
> >
> > (hit send too soon, sorry)
> >
> > A simple solution that would avoid a similar reaction is: do not do
> > this by default - make it only for logged-in users who want it that
> > way.
> >
> > Possibly for default users, you could put the heuristically-calculated
> > likely preferred languages at the top. But keeping the rest of the
> > list below, right there on display, will (I predict) be favoured, as
> > advertising the many languages of Wikipedia is a strongly-held value
> > of many Wikimedians.
> >
> >
> > - d.
> >
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> >
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