[Mediawiki-i18n] Offering internationalized programming facilities within WM enviroment

C. Scott Ananian cananian at wikimedia.org
Fri Dec 23 17:49:24 UTC 2016

I think it is easier to create a new localizable programming environment
from scratch, than to try to localize existing tools and APIs.

For example, block-based programming languages (like Scratch and eToys)
tend to be fairly easy to translate -- there are some issues regarding
fixed size labels, the meaning of concatenating labels in various
langauges, etc, but these programs proved surmountable.  We used these
extensively at One Laptop per Child.

At OLPC I worked on a block-based JavaScript-subset, which allowed complete
translation between "text based" and "block based" views of the code:
You could localize the labels in the block-based version and still "compile
down" to the legacy/English APIs.

As some folks know I've been a persistent advocate for JavaScript in
Scribunto, and I've contributed to v8js to this end.

Another option is to move away from textual scripting languages on wiki
entirely.  For example, https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T114454 proposes
using Visual Editor to perform more of the "template" tasks, with a
stronger separation of code, "layout", and data.  Template edits which
affect the visual presentation or the data ("arguments") but not the
underlying code should be possible in Visual Editor in a fully localized
manner.  The textual "code" portion would be de-emphasized for most tasks.
For tasks which do require "code" to be written, you'd use one of the
techniques described above.
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