[Foundation-l] [Wikitech-l] Implementing the Babel extension

mike.lifeguard mike.lifeguard at gmail.com
Wed Jul 2 15:05:43 UTC 2008

I don't see how "there are few other templates which could possibly benefit
from this" - isn't that a major issue with license/warning/information
templates and help pages? Indeed, this is a key complaint from third-party
reusers. "Where are the welcome templates? Why isn't there any help
documentation in the wiki?..." As well, for those working cross-wiki,
learning the set of local templates is next to impossible - a standardized
set of translated warnings and informational templates would be golden.

I can certainly list some templates that would be useful on every language
of every project, starting with
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Xwiki-spam-warn and the other
suggestions at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:External_links_policy

There is a fairly easy solution if we want to have a consistent set of babel
templates across all wikis: Special:Export on the templates at meta,
Special:Import on each wiki, and create the appropriate categories. Granted,
there are >700 wikis, but this can be scripted. I would argue that babel
templates, license templates, certain warning templates and a good set of
help pages should all be translated and synced in this way.

As useful as it may seem, making /content/ (which is exactly what babel
templates are) hardcoded is a sub-optimal solution for users, but if you're
going to go this route, it is more useful to do so in a general way.

In the end, I see this as a solution looking for a problem. The real problem
is not babel templates, but rather sharing these templates cross-wiki. If
that's the case, then there are better solutions to the general problem, and
we should pursue those.

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Whitworth [mailto:wknight8111 at gmail.com] 
Sent: July 2, 2008 11:47 AM
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] [Wikitech-l] Implementing the Babel extension

The idea of having a generalized extension for sharing pre-made and
pre-localized templates across projects is an interesting one.
However, with the exception of these babel templates (and maybe
copyright licensing templates), I can't imagine too many templates
that are going to be useful across both projects and languages. A more
general solution is only desirable if there is a more general class of
problems to solve. The idea that it might be nice to be able to share
more templates then just Babel is a good one, but the reality is that
there are few other templates which could possibly benefit from this.

Gerard makes the good point that it's a lot of work to localize a
template into 100+ languages, and there are few benefits for doing
this to most templates.

--Andrew Whitworth.

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