[Foundation-l] hiding interlanguage links by default is a Bad Idea, part 2

Austin Hair adhair at gmail.com
Thu Jun 3 17:24:04 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 8:50 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> Who cares if people click them a lot?  The space they formally
> occupied is filled with nothing now.
> They were equally valuable as a marketing statement about the breadth
> and inclusiveness of our project as they were as a navigational tool.
> Concealing them behind the languages box also significantly reduces
> discoverability for the people who need it most: Someone who, through
> following links, ends up on a wikipedia which is not in their primary
> language. Before they needed to scroll down past a wall of difficult
> to read foreign language, now they need to do that and expand some
> foreign language box.

I agree with every one of these points, and want to emphasize the
last—a person may be able to recognize the word for his language in
another random language, but he probably won't recognize the word for
"language" itself.  (I think I can recognize it in most European
languages and maybe a handful of others, but that's still assuming I
was actively looking for it in the first place.)

Last night I was discussing this with Finne (henna), and she proposed
that we might show a default list based on the user's most likely
language(s), while still keeping the others collapsed by default.

This could be done using the HTTP accept-language header—which would,
at the very least, show you your native language.  (And perhaps, if
someone's feeling adventurous, augment that using a GeoIP system.
There are lots of possibilities.)

But I'm not volunteering to code it, and I'm not asking anyone else
to.  I'd be happy if we just returned to the previous, useful


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