[Foundation-l] [Mediawiki-i18n] MediaWiki i18n "call to arms"

GerardM gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Mon Apr 2 08:10:25 UTC 2007

What Rob describes is correct but sadly he misses the point of the dispute.
Indeed there are people working on internationalisation and I will be the
first to acknowledge that Nikerabbit does a lot of great work. I singled him
out when I mentioned that because of him there is currently support for
Marathi and Lingala in MediaWiki.

The issue is that people should be able to start the localisation in the
Incubator. For that to be possible someone has to create the relevant
message files in the Incubator. When a new project is created such a file
needs to be created anyway. When a sufficient number of messages are
translated, the patch for MediaWiki has to be dealt with no doubt along the
lines Rob mentioned.

For the Kabyle language work on the localisation has started. When one of
the developers decides that sufficient messages have been translated in the
BetaWiki to perform what Rob describes, then they can create the Kabyle
wikipedia. with the blessing of the language committee.


Betawiki's Kabyle messages:

On 4/2/07, Rob Church <robchur at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello, bon jour, guten tag, saluton, etc.
> I can't greet everyone fairly, because I don't speak 200-odd languages.
> Unfortunately, MediaWiki doesn't, either, and that's what this email's
> all about.
> I'm well aware that foundation-l has had a recent, er, "heated
> discussion" about internationalising the software with respect to
> starting new wikis, and I'd rather not stir up a beehive with regards
> to that.
> We've got some fantastic people working on the internationalisation
> front for MediaWiki; credit must go to Niklas Laxström for his
> patient, unending work in this field. I'd also like to mention Rotem
> Liss, who has been providing updates for the Hebrew language for a
> long period, now, as well as our volunteers giving us updates in
> German, Russian, Chinese and Japanese; a big, firm "thanks" is in
> order.
> The problem is that we don't have all the bases covered; there are
> vast numbers of languages not being maintained, and that's a bit of a
> problem for a software product that's supporting an organisation with
> international goals in mind.
> While individual communities can and do perform translations in their
> MediaWiki namespaces, reliance on this means that each new wiki we
> launch needs to perform this step, as opposed to having the interface
> available in their language, from the fore. I believe that not having
> software that speaks to you in your language is an immense barrier to
> contribution.
> I'd therefore like to rally a call to arms; we need translators!
> Thanks to (again, what an i18n legend this dude is) Nikerabbit's work
> on Betawiki (http://nike.users.idler.fi/betawiki/) means we will (I
> hope) soon have a clean extension on the Wikimedia Incubator which
> will make this stuff easier; it's the same process as editing the
> MediaWiki namespace now, except what we get out of it allows us to
> tweak and bundle up the translations into the right form for MediaWiki
> to use.
> Of course, if you're able to get to grips with our message file format
> and you can work a Subversion client, you are more than welcome to
> update the localisation for your language, or indeed, any other
> language you feel you can contribute to, and submit patches. If you
> submit on a consistent and regular basis, then commit access is also
> forthcoming - we're grateful for people who can speak languages we
> can't, who can help us out in a major area.
> Contributions to MediaWiki internationalisation fall under the GNU
> GPL, which is for all intents and purposes, ideologically similar to
> the GNU FDL. If you are the maintainer of a language, you will be
> credited for it, and you *will* have our immense respect and
> gratitude, as well as that of all our users.
> There's a guide to getting started with internationalisation at
> http://nike.users.idler.fi/betawiki/Translating:Intro, and anyone
> interested in helping out is strongly recommended to contact (look,
> shall we just make him the official i18n co-ordinator?) Nikerabbit;
> who can often be found on IRC (#mediawiki, irc.freenode.net).
> Thank you for your attention, and I apologise for cross-posting,
> Rob Church
> MediaWiki developer
> _______________________________________________
> Mediawiki-i18n mailing list
> Mediawiki-i18n at lists.wikimedia.org
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/mediawiki-i18n

More information about the foundation-l mailing list