I didn't say that it wasn't needed for
Serbian, just that I didn't
knew if sr: users needed it (which is different of wanted; yes it would
be a welcome feature, but it isn't absolutely needed, as anyone litterate
in Serbian language can read cyrillic; the situation is different for
other languages where different communities use different alphabets
and may not be able to read the other).
(btw, I wasn't aware that the proportion of latin alphabet users
was so high; yes I knew that anyone could write it, and probably used
it in thinks like sms or email, but thought than when it came to writting
with a pen on a paper most people used cyrillic)
Thank you. Now, I understand consequences of Nikola's xenophobic
propaganda. He made equal SMS and email communication with poetry and
scientific papers which is written (and which is writing) in Latin
So, the question is do we need it. The answer is: No, we can use ASCII
characterset and English language for communication and we don't need
even Serbian Wikipedia.
Look, I am sick of two confronted main stream (sick) factions: One is
xenophobic and rejects all of Western influences into Serbian culture
and another is exponent of Western cultural imperialism and rejects
all of traditional parts of Serbian culture. The first doesn't want to
see Latin alphabet see Serbian alphabet, the another doesn't want to
see Cyrillic alphabet as Serbian alphabet. Xenophobic faction is
better organized, but exponents of Western cultural imperialism have
very strong "unofficial" centers. In the substance, both of factions
are the same: they are aggressive and they are making pressure to
others to be like them. After the first half of 20th century we have
word for people like them: they are fascists. And I hope Wiki(p|m)edia
is not project which support fascists.
It seems that I have to explain cultural situation in Serbia to
Wiki(p|m)edia's mailing lists, from time to time. So, let me try
Children in Serbia, Montenegro and Republic of Srpska (the part of
Bosnia and Herzegovina) learns Cyrillic during the first year of
primary school (at the age of 6-7 years). All of them (I am not sure
for Republic of Srpska, but I think so) learn Latin alphabet during
the second year of primary school (at the age of 7-8 years). If
someone don't know Latin alphabet, (s)he didn't finish the second year
of primary school. And this situation is during around 50 years in
Introduction of Latin alphabet into Serbian culture made Serbian
philologist Djuro Danicic, who was working as secretary of Croatian
Academy of Sciences and Arts (the name was "Yugoslavian Academy", not
"Croatian") in Zagreb during the 19th century. But, Serbs started to
use widely Latin alphabet between the end of WWII and 1960s.
In 1970s and 1980s Latin alphabet was dominant in Serbia. Latin is
treated as "fancy", "modern", as well as other bullshits. When
nationalists came to power with Milosevic, Cyrillic alphabet started
to be used with characterization of Latin alphabet as "anti-Serb", as
"conspiracy against Serbs", as well as other bullshits. After
Milosevic, both of factions are strong enough.
As Internet had it's own, ASCII based rules, during 1990s we had a lot
of problems with introduction of Cyrillic alphabet into computers.
Also, computer technology came from the West with Western cultural
imperialism: During 1990s there were no a lot of computer workers
which had any idea about using Cyrillic alphabet (nor even Serbian
Latin alphabet; they used only ASCII).
We have deeply divided society. In this situation we are talking about
introduction of Latin alphabet. A few years ago analogue situation was
with introduction of Cyrillic alphabet into KDE and Microsoft
And, during 1990s, opposition to Cyrillic inside of computer circles
was very very strong. Again, anyone who was working on Cyrillic was
characterized as "pro-Milosevic", as "nazi" (with, of course, other
kinds of such bullshits).
My conclusion is:
If you (I mean, all of people involved into Wikimedia) respect Serb
culture, you have to understand that Serbian culture has two
If there is no possibility for two alphabets (but, I don't see that
MediaWiki doesn't have that possibility), I think that it should be
Cyrillic (I think that, but not all of people from Serbia, some people
think that it should be Latin!). Cyrillic is better choice because of
transliteration, for sure. But, if we have possibility to use two
alphabets (we are not working on ASCII or 8-bit terminals anymore,
Unicode became standard), we should use it.
It is the matter of culture, not the matter of understanding. Take
care about: a lot of people don't want (or don't like, or don't know)
to use Cyrillic alphabet at computers. And some of them want to become
contributors to Serbian Wikipedia, but they don't want (don't like,
don't know) to do that in Cyrillic.
With only Cyrillic alphabet half of Serbs are excommunicated from
Serbian Wikipedia. Nikola wants that. I am wandering if others want
But, if we can
use both, we should use both.
I fully agree (and there is no need to have a 50%-50% situation);
btw in my work (I'm responsible of localization for a software company)
I have long ago decided to provide the choice of both writtings
(by requiring translators to use cyrillic, then converting from
cyrillic to latin, as that is easy to do, while the conversion from
latin to cyrillic is painfull, due to the high amount of things that
must remain unchanged (urls, command names, file and path names,
email addresses, etc.))
I am glad to know that there are computer people outside of Serbia who
take care about Serb culture when there are no so much computer people
in Serbia who take care about it.
Yes, conversion from Latin to Cyrillic is painful. But, we (or I) have
to make it in the future. A lot of texts in Serbian are written in
Latin alphabet and we need it in Cyrillic, too.