[Foundation-l] Language Prevention Committee created

Sabine Cretella sabine_cretella at yahoo.it
Tue Mar 27 19:56:55 UTC 2007

Andre Engels schrieb:
> 2007/3/27, GerardM <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com>:
>> Hoi,
>> You have got it wrong. Two languages that DID not have language files in
>> MediaWiki. They had a full Wikipedia and now these languages ARE supported
>> in MediaWiki itself. To get there.. THEY did not have to do anything.. I
>> have been asking developers for a favour, and I am grateful to Nikerabbit
>> for the great work he did for me.
> In short, you are using these languages as a weapon in your fight to get
> your favorite tool in through the MediaWiki developers - as long as you
> don't implement my thing, I'm not going to allow any new languages. Firstly,
> you are not the one to decide what the developers must do first and what
> later. And second, even if you were, prospective Wikipedians are not the one
> who should be the victim of your petty fights.
> I regret that you are on the Wikipedia languages committee when you are
> willing to sacrifice Wikipedia languages for the, in your opinion, greater
> good of MediaWiki languages.

Andre, now that reaction is a bit silly, don't you think? We are not 
fighting here - we are trying to make sure projects really have a good 
chance. People can work on the contents on incubator without problems, 
but it is also relevant to make sure the UI is there. I know what it 
means to pull up a small wikipedia and having to hassle with loads of 
vandalism that comes around without even permitting me anymore to create 
content or care about localization. If all that basic stuff is done 
before a wikipedia is started it helps a lot ... really a lot. Believe 
it or not - I am talking based on my very personal experience.

Then again: when we started nap.wikipedia people wanted to create 
contents, I was the only admin that could edit the UI, but I had my 
problems with that since I had to edit everything more than once not 
being native, but the only techie that was around for that langauge. 
Still we have some localization problems since not anybody can work on 
it and who does has limited time - just not even a handful of people can 
edit the UI ... so Incubator (and for now Betawiki) is a great place to 
make sure things work out fine. As for Neapolitan now it is too late to 
get people to work there. They simply don't see the reason why they 
should do things there and so we are still with a half-way (in the mean 
time probably 3/4) localized UI - and that does not help the language. 
But be sure: I am grateful for the time that one very specific user 
takes to do some localization every now and then.

Small wikipedias do work and function in a different way than big ones 
do. There are often language issues related as well: what if there is 
programming needed to get the chars right? Even one and half a year 
after having started the nap.wikipedia we still don't have a solution 
for the '' (double quote that causes italic script) that we find within 
a word - we have to write &#39; instead of the single quote ... that is 
plain annoying. And: I am the only one who could hurry after the 
programmers to do that stuff and I don't have time to do so ... so we go 
along with that. By requiring certain stuff to be done first you avoid 
that kind of mess and you avoid people to have that really bad 
experience that new editors get annoyed since they cannot write like 
they should/would. By doing the localization + some creation of contents 
first: well we can make sure newbies do not have to deal with such 
issues. (how would I love to see English with such an issue ... and how 
would I like to see how long it takes to have it solved).

It is not just a "we play the hard way" thigie - it is a "let's make 
sure that potential editors that are not wikiphile find their way 
through the wiki" and let the communities build up easier. Of course in 
the beginning all seems to be somewhat more difficult, but all that is 
done before the project is acutally an own wiki will help it afterwards 
to have a nicer way to go, an easier job to build communities etc.

I repeat: we are not sacrificing any language, we are trying to make 
sure they can survive and grow more easily. Who knows me should know 
that I am all for new languages, but it does not make sense if the 
communities afterwards have to hassle with thousands of issues they were 
not aware of and they don't even know with who to talk. These people 
most of the time are simply left alone and that has nothing to do with 
"our own little fights".

If you need an example for a wikipedia that instead of localising in 
their language localises into another one ... just to have something 
similar since there seems to be nobody able to create their UI, please 
let me know ... I will happily show you the project. I did not bring up 
that issue up to now, but probably it is time to do so in order to show 
why certain requests are legitimate.

Thank you for your understanding and maybe help to get the nap issue 
solved after such a long time (the '' - &#39;&#39; thingie I mean).

Best wishes from Italy.


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