[Foundation-l] Following the conventions: seperating Wikisource

Rich Holton richholton at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 03:05:55 UTC 2007

GerardM wrote:
> Hoi,
> I am well aware of where Google stands on supporting languages. I have
> discussed this for two years now with one of their language engeneers. You
> underestimate the importance that the proper language codes should have. You
> are not aware on the importance that is given to project of the Wikimedia
> Foundation. It  is exactly because we aim to do justice and promote language
> diversity that we invest in Multilingual MediaWiki. And it is with a lot of
> frustration that for all kinds of reasons, good and bad, it is still not
> finished.
> If Google and Internet is only about being able to find things on the
> Internet, than only languages with a more or less fixed orthography will be
> found. Most content of other languages can only be found like a needle in
> the proverbial haystack. This problem is made worse because of people that
> mean well but have no clue about the complexity of the problem.
> Indicating what language a text is in, is vitaly important. It is
> particularly important for those language that do not have much of a foot
> print on the Internet.

It seems to me that the approach you seem to take does not do a good job 
of supporting your stated intentions.

If you are in favor of using the correct language codes for the content 
in Wikisource, then support a mechanism that will allow for that to be 
accomplished, but don't use the lack of such a mechanism as a means of 
preventing said content from being added.

There are several good reasons for some languages to be gathered into a 
single wiki (extinct languages, languages with a very limited corpus, 
etc.). To insist that source texts must reside in their own wiki so that 
the correct language codes are used is "letting the tail wag the dog," 
so to speak: it's putting things in the wrong order of priority, it's 
letting an implementation limitation in MediaWiki determine which source 
texts we collect. To me, that just seems silly.

-Rich Holton

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