[Foundation-l] Banners to increase editors

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Thu Mar 18 19:27:35 UTC 2010

Nicholas Moreau wrote:
> Along Keegan's idea about encouraging contributions in the reader's
> native language, does Wikimedia track the preset language of visitors?
> I know some analytics packages do, not sure if this is against
> Wikimedia's privacy policies.

It's difficult to know what you mean by "the preset language." There is the
language that logged-in users set in their user preferences that controls
the language of the MediaWiki interface. There is also the language that the
browser or system is set to.

In the past, JavaScript has been employed very rarely to base certain page
elements on a browser's language setting. The only places I can think of
off-hand that do this are the Wikimedia error message[1] and the Wikipedia
multilingual homepage.[2] Even then, it looks as though the error message
JavaScript first tries to determine the language to use from the URL before
trying to guess from the user's browser or system settings.

To my knowledge, no tracking is currently done of language settings, whether
the settings are through the MediaWiki interface or not. With the rewrite of
the preferences system, it shouldn't be too difficult to aggregate the data
on a per-project basis. To collect and aggregate the data for all visitors
would be a much larger and more complex undertaking.

> Is this technically possible? Is this within the boundaries of taste
> (ie not being creepy)?

With enough time and energy, nearly anything is technically possible. I
don't think doing broad analysis of language selections or redirecting users
based on their language preference is "creepy." It might be a usability
issue or something else, but not creepy.

19:27, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/&
[2] http://www.wikipedia.org/

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