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

Hans A. Rosbach hans.a.rosbach at gmail.com
Sat Jun 5 07:23:11 UTC 2010

On 5 June 2010 02:03, Howie Fung <hfung at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> The Usability team discussed this issue at length this afternoon.  We
> listened closely to the feedback and have come up with solution which we
> hope will work for everyone.  It's not a perfect solution, but we think
> it's a reasonable compromise.
> From your response  it seems to me that the usability team looks at the
iw-list as user interface. To me it is not primarily a user interface, it is
information about the subject similar to e.g. the categories.

By one glance at the list I can see that the theme has not been written
about in many languages yet, or I can see that a huge number of languages
have an article about the current theme. I can discover that a language,
even one where I cannot read the letters, have found this theme important
enough to write about it. Neither of these pieces of information require me
to click on the links to be discovered, nor do they invite me to click any
more than the edit links that are present at each section heading. (And the
latter are pure user interface, no information).

I have a feeling that the group of users that were observed were probably
native english speakers using their native language Wikipedia, which by
chance happens to be the largest in size. That is the Wikipedia that
receives approximately 50% of the total visits. That leaves just under 50%
for other languages. However, even part of the visits to the largest are
from speakers of other languages. My interpretation of your data is thus
that it comes from less than half the total numbers of users. A special half
at that, especially when it comes to the iw-list.

There are some suggestions that the geolocation could be used to customize
this. To anyone with such ideas, I would just suggest first getting on a
plane to a place with a script you dont understand, go to a internet cafe
and attempt to make an advanced search using google. I would be surprised if
you still felt it was a good idea.

An important point about the iw-links is that they might be important to use
as links just for a minority, but that to that minority they are of vital
importance. Your compromise is not good enough for that minority. You might
as well remove the edit links because just a minority of visitors to this
site actually uses them.

Hans A. Rosbach (User Haros with no as home wiki)

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