[Foundation-l] Interwiki links revisited

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Thu Jun 10 09:25:10 UTC 2010

There have been a lot of angry words about the interwiki links being
unavailable by default. Aggressive words like "lynching" have been used. It
has been suggested that the availability is against what the Wikimedia
Foundation stands for. The fact of the matter is that it is exactly this
negative attitude that ensures that many people do not take the Foundation-l
and even Meta not serious. Given that many of these people are largely
responsible for implementing the strategy of our foundation ensures that the
community has lost a lot of influence.

Having said this, the importance of the Interwiki links is highest where
there is little information on a subject. There has to be a stub in order
for a reader of our project to be redirected by an Interwiki link. This
means that the biggest issue with these links is on the smallest Wikipedias.
I have entered an idea on the Ideatorrent to have a new keyword, I would
call it referral, and on such a page there is only the word with maybe a
definition and with the interwiki links on the main page.  This will allow
people to find their way to articles in other languages.

I have asked a few developers and they estimate that it is easy to

What would be nice is if in stead of making others the villains of our
movement, we would be willing to think outside the box. We exist to bring
information to people. So we should concentrate our discussion on how we can
grow our traffic. When people consider making the interwiki link hidden by
default really problematic, we may depending on resources, study what the
difference is. Such a study will cost effort, this is an effort that can not
necessarily be expected of the WMF professionals. They are limited in what
they spend their time on.

NB I find it funny that I defend the XU team because I am a hardcore
language diversity defender. I think this is as much because I resent the
tone of some as because I am not sure how important this subject actually
is. It is not equally important on all Wikipedias and as such I would prefer
it to be configurable and leave the decision to its communities. Obviously,
the interwiki links show by default when I use Wikipedia.

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