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

Marcus Buck me at marcusbuck.org
Wed Jul 2 22:59:13 UTC 2008

Simetrical schrieb:
> On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 10:16 AM, Gerard Meijssen
> <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> That is not here and now.  At this moment we are considering the
>> implementation of the Babel extension, we are not considering something we
>> did not do.
> An essential part of evaluating any proposal is evaluating whether the
> basic idea of the proposal is flawed in some important way.  If flawed
> solutions are adopted just because people have already put the work
> into them, more and more work will be put into them over time,
> papering over their flaws without really addressing them.  Similar
> specific solutions will be adopted for similar problems, requiring yet
> more work.  The end result will require more work and be less useful
> than if the original work had been scrapped for its flaws to begin
> with.
Simetrical, I agree with you, that it would be very useful to create a 
general solution to transclude content from a central repository (as I 
said in my earlier post on this list). But still, I think, the Babel 
extension has much value. A central repository for templates and other 
stuff which is useful on many projects could solve the problems for 
Wikimedia projects. But not for other MediaWiki projects. As an example, 
let me point to the OpenStreetMaps (a project, by the way, which has 
much potential for cooperation with Wikimedia, Wikipedia and our other 
projects really are lacking a good map utility) wiki. They have a wiki 
for coordination of their work on their map engine. This wiki is 
multilingual and people with many different native languages are working 
on it. A Babel system for marking the users language skills would be 
useful for them like it would be for any other multilingual wiki. But 
they really have no use for copyright templates or other stuff, cause 
there are no other wikis they could share with. The whole OpenStreetMaps 
project has only one wiki.

So the extension would be useful for many non-Wikimedia multilingual 
wikis, which are not members of wiki families. I guess there are many 
wikis like that out there. So the extension _is_ useful like it is.

For Wikimedia the problem "Babel" can be solved with the extension _or_ 
with the central repository. The central repository is useful for 
Wikimedia and should be implemented. But if Babel exists (cause it is 
useful for many non-Wikimedia projects), why maintain two separate Babel 
systems? Do both. Central repository and extension.

Marcus Buck

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