[Mediawiki-i18n] I have colon trouble

Federico Leva (Nemo) nemowiki at gmail.com
Thu Feb 14 07:55:48 UTC 2013

S Page, 14/02/2013 08:19:
> 1. It feels odd to duplicate dozens of messages solely because of the
> dropped punctuation. The trailing ':' arises from using the message in
> a horizontal layout where English has the punctuation convention
>     Password:   ______
> But this is a property of the form layout rather than the text.  Has
> anyone considered separating the colon punctuation from messages?  I
> checked and a few languages don't use the colon in their translations;
> I couldn't tell if some non-Roman language uses other punctuation like
> a dot or ->. There is a 'colon-separator' message but it includes a
> trailing space as well.

It's not only about punctuation: the fact that it's the same word in all 
contexts in English doesn't mean that it will be the same in other 
languages. There are some that will vary wildly and you surely can't 
know beforehand.
That said, we do add things like arrows via PHP to localise them 
automatically, but I don't know exactly when/if this is encouraged. A 
similar problem is in what cases the first letter of a string should be 
made lowercase or uppercase by the code itself rather than relying on 
translators, and so on. This, however, has consistency as an aim, not 
translation saving: for instance I believe the purpose of 
colon-separator (like pipe-separator) is to let wikis customise as they 
wish without breaking stuff, a feature used rather often.

> 2. My first attempt at MessagesQqq documentation for these was only:
> 'userlogin-yourpassword' => "Same as yourpassword but no trailing colon",
> Siebrand didn't like it :) .  I can duplicate the existing
> explanation, but how should I note that it's the same text as another
> message except for the punctuation change?  Several of the existing
> messages have {{Identical|Username}}, I could use that but it's really
> {{Identical but for punctuation}}.

You don't really have to worry about that; {{identical}} is a nice tag 
for translatewiki.net use, but translators have translation memory anyway.
Your qqq is wrong because it doesn't describe what the message is and 
does but how it looks in English (which the translator knows already): 
useful docs are things like "button on the form X which does Y", "label 
next to the field X in form Y blabla" or shorter versions if you're lazy. :)

> 3. What's the URL on translatewiki to see the MessagesQqq help in
> context with its templates expanded?

Edit the /en message or visit <key>/qqq.
Except for templates, /qqq mostly works on any wiki, although it could 
be nicer: https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=41578

> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:CreateAccount  , log out first.

So the problem is that you now have


instead of

Password: _______

By the way I hope "Joining Wikipedia is free", "help me choose", "We can 
create an account for you!" are local customisations of the messages 
containing the strings right before them and not something part of the 


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