Custom per-user fallback sequences are great, but good defaults are important as well.

Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2014/1/23 Gerard Meijssen <>
In Wikidata / Reasonator [1] we have a different approach. We allow for a more arbitrary fall back for labels within the "Reasonator". We would like to base the fall back on the information as provided by a user in his or her #babel template. We underline the labels that are not in the primary language in red. There is no API at this time so we have the technology for display but not yet a way to get that information for a user.

In addition to this English is our ultimate fall back language HOWEVER when there is no label in English we take any language because a label in any language is more informative than for instance Q6502703.


On 19 January 2014 15:36, Seb35 <> wrote:

Now Lua has access to the internal fallback sequences of MediaWiki [1], so this can be used to gracefully degrade the translation of the templates included in a page, by the means of {{Translatable template}} (also called {{TNT}}) or auto-translated templates which use {{Fallback}}, mainly on Commons. I worked on this yesterday [2].

But I send this message mainly to show the comparison between the fallback sequences of Commons vs MediaWiki [3].

I guess some fallback sequences of Commons could be added to MediaWiki:
* af -> nl
* br -> fr (not sure)
* ckb -> fa
* en-gb -> en
* fy -> nl

There is one conflicting fallback sequence:
* co -> fr (Commons) or it (MediaWiki)

And some differences:
* pdt -> nds, de (Commons) or de (MediaWiki)
* nds -> nds-nl, de (Commons) or de (MediaWiki)
* nds-nl -> nds, nl (Commons) or nl (MediaWiki)

And more importantly, the purposes of the fallback sequences are a bit different inside a same language family/variant family: MediaWiki specializes from general to variants (often by script), but Commons does the opposite: degrades from variants to general. I find a feature could be added in the Translate extension to give access to these "reverse fallback sequences" by comparison to MediaWiki’s ones. This could be implemented either by creating a small database (perhaps add the opposite parameter of $fallback in the MessagesXX.php) either by computing these. This could be used for the translation of the templates, in Special:MyLanguage [bug 48292], and to redirect the translators to the general language (the messages "Translate in zh please." in $wgTranslateBlacklist of CommonSettings.php in Wikimedia config).

[bug 48292]

~ Seb35

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