Mailing list of the wiki projects of a particular language can be used for
various purposes. For example, the advocacy of the wiki projects, reaching
the members who are not active in wiki, language related discussions, and so
on. Usually many members of a mailing list may not be regular visitors of
that Wiki. But they will be definitely interested to know about the
developments of the wiki projects of their language.
One of the main issue with the advocacy part of the Indian Language Indian
Language wikiprojects is the fact that, most of the Wikiprojects still does
not have a mechanism to reach the public. Many Indian Language wiki
communities still think that the interested users must come to their Wiki
and read through all the discussion pages.
But, we should remember that there might be many people outside wiki
community who are interested in the news related to the wiki projects of
their language. Even though they are not registered or active users in the
respective wiki projects, many of them would like to hear news about the
wiki projects of their language and share it with others. *For this, we can
use mailing list*. This is one of the most important way of reaching the
But it is found that very less Indian Language Wikipedias have a mailing
list. Some existing mailing lists are not active or not used effectively. It
is surprising to notice that most of the Indian language Wikipedias didn't
mentioned about their mailing list in the welcome message (for the new
user), even though they have a mailing list. Many of them doesn't know that
they can create WikiMedia mailing itself for their language. (Some still use
A little research in Meta Wiki and on all Indian Language wikis, help me to
understand that at least the following languages have mailing lists. (But
many of them are not active).
- Hindi - WikiHI-l -
- Kannada - Wikikn-l -
- Malayalam - Wikiml-l -
- Sanskrit - Wikisa-l -
- Tamil - Wikita-l -
- Telugu - WikiTe-L -
- Marathi - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mr-wiki/
As you can see from the archives many of these mailing lists are not active.
I *request all Indian language wiki communities* to use mailing list
effectively to reach more users. This is one of the way by which you can
build the community. Also, it will help you to easily convey important
messages to the users of your language. It is found that the
announcements/discussions in the mailing list is used by many to discuss
about the wiki projects. This will help you to reach more people.
To create a mailing list for your language wikiproject, first have community
consensus (to show that community supports the idea) and log a bug in *
Please let me know if missed the mailing list of any Indian Language
wikiproject. I am planning to create a project page in MetaWiki to gather
all the important information about all the Indian language wikiprojects.
One of the important feature that separates Indian WikiMedia community from
the WikiMedia communities of other countries is its diversity of languages.
There are at least 20 Indian languages in which WikiMedia projects are
Following are those languages.
- Assamese (http://as.wikipedia.org)
- Bengali (http://bn.wikipedia.org)
- Bhojpuri (http://bh.wikipedia.org)
- Bishnupriya Manipuri (http://bpy.wikipedia.org)
- Gujarathi (http://gu.wikipedia.org)
- Hindi (http://hi.wikipedia.org)
- Kannada (http://kn.wikipedia.org)
- Kashmiri (http://ks.wikipedia.org)
- Malayalam (http://ml.wikipedia.org)
- Marathi (http://mr.wikipedia.org)
- Nepali (http://ne.wikipedia.org)
- Nepal Bhasha/Newari (http://new.wikipedia.org)
- Odia (Oriya) (http://or.wikipedia.org)
- Pali (http://pi.wikipedia.org)
- Punjabi (http://pa.wikipedia.org)
- Sanskrit (http://sa.wikipedia.org)
- Sindhi (http://sd.wikipedia.org)
- Tamil (http://ta.wikipedia.org)
- Telugu (http://te.wikipedia.org)
- Urdu (http://ur.wikipedia.org)
(*NOTE:* Urdu, Nepali, Tamil, and some other languages are official
languages in more than one country.)
All these languages use *non-latin scripts* and all of them belong either to
*Aryan or Dravidian language family*. So there are many community related
(for example, advocacy) and computing related issues (for example, script
rendering, usability) that are common to many of these languages. Hence
when it comes to computing and community related issues there are many
solutions that can be shared between different language communities.
But currently, there is no communication happening between different Indian
language wiki communities. Because of this, many wiki communities are
unaware about the wiki activities that is happening outside their wiki.
Big Indian Language Wikipedias like Tamil, Bengali, Tamil and so on have
overcome many of the issues since they have large user base. But that is not
the case with small Wikipedias like Odiya, Assamese, or some other smaller
wikipedias. The *number of active users* of these wikipedias is very less
(In some case it is null). Even though it is the duty of the respective
language community to build its wiki community, it may not happen overnight
due to number of reasons. Hence big Indian language wiki communities can
help them to develop a community. For these, we need to have frequent
interactions between different wiki communities. But we don't have a common
forum in each wiki that can be used for these type of discussions.
Hence I request all Indian language Wikipedias to start an *Embassy page* in
their respective Wiki. This Embassy page can be used for the inter Wiki
related discussions. Tamil and Malayalam Wikipedia have started Embassy long
back and we have some healthy discussions happening among us both inside and
- Tamil Wikipedia Embassy here:
- Malayalam Wikipedia Embassy here:
Some other languages like Hindi, Marathi, Telugu also have Embassy.
I request all Indian Language Wiki communities to create such a page in
their wiki that can be used as forum for the type of discussions that I
mentioned above. Some of the best practices that can be followed while
creatinng such a page is:
- *Appoint some ambassadors* in each wiki who are interested in Indian
language inter wiki activities. For Malayalam, we have selected a group of
people selected for these.
- *Communicate only in English* on this page so that different language
Wikipedians can participate in the discussions.
- *Place a link to the Embassy page on the side bar* (Make sure this link
is NOT localized and it is displayed as *Embassy* itself). Please see
Tamil and Malayalam Wikipedia for example.
May be in future, we can think about having a Indian wiki conference for the
Wikimedians of different Indian languages. That time special emphasis need
to be given to the small wikipedias.
I blogged about the Indic Online Keyboard;
supports many Indic scripts. I do not know if you know it and I do not
know its quality.
What I do know is that it is open source and free. Is someone interested in
looking into this tool and write a review. I am quite happy to host you as a
guest blogger. I am also happy to blog and refer to another blog.
I had a rough time trying to find a Sinhala font that
1) Worked on my laptop system in Linux.
2) Worked in Inkscape without serious spacing errors.
3) Isn't way too heavy or way too light to represent Wikipedia.
I found something called "Iskoola Pota" which seems to me to have
worked. However, not knowing Sinhala, I have no clue whether it does,
in fact, look right, or appropriate.
If anyone can provide any insight; I would be delighted.
PS: I still haven't found an appropriate font for the Gujarati logo.
Ideas and/or help are welcome.
Volunteer Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate