[Wikipedia-l] Re: One Chinese Wikipedia

Jens Ropers ropers at ropersonline.com
Fri Sep 10 13:17:20 UTC 2004

On 10 Sep 2004, at 05:41, wikipedia-l-request at Wikimedia.org wrote:

> Message: 8
> Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 20:40:54 -0700
> From: Mark Williamson <node.ue at gmail.com>
> <snip>
> It is not merely a difference in characters as perhaps some would like
> you to believe, but much more than that. It is very easy to convert
> traditional characters to simplified, but it is much trickier to do so
> vice-versa. zh: is almost completely in simplified chinese.

<insert user="delirium">
>> But is it going to be possible from a language point of view?  People
>> have talked about automatic conversion, but several others have 
>> pointed
>> out multiple academic studies on the subject, some from the Unicode
>> committees, that have concluded it's nearly impossible to do automated
>> conversion from one to the other (without fully solving AI anyway), as
>> it's not a one-to-one mapping.  The only reasonable thing I've heard
>> proposed is doing a partial automatic conversion, and flagging the
>> characters that can't be automatically converted for human 
>> intervention,
>> but this doesn't sound like something that's going to be implemented 
>> in
>> the forseeable future.
>> -Mark

Well, there doesn't HAVE to be an exclusively automatic conversion. It 
can be done by humans and yes, in an ideal world there'd be one 
traditional and one simple version for every article 
(non-transliterated/translated articles in the "other" writing style 
should be shown along with a header that the article is in the "other" 
character set and that the user is invited to translate/transliterate). 
But I would agree that there should be a combined version, one that is 
linked more closely than the mere concept of two different language 
Wikipedias (simple and traditional).

Yes, this does require techies to lay additional groundwork and whether 
that's gonna happen "in the foreseeable future" or not depends on our 
kind developers and how nicely people interested in this will ask them.

> In addition, the entire user interface is in simplified. This makes it
> extremely uncomfortable for a person who uses *exclusively*
> traditional to use zh:, and it will scare many users away (as
> Laurentius admits, sie was at first scared away because of the
> dominance of simplified; for every user that comes back after being
> initially scared away by this there are perhaps 300 that never come
> back). zh-tw:, on the other hand, the last I checked, had a UI
> completely in Traditional.
> <snip>
> --Jin Jun-shu (Mark Williamson)

Then it seems obvious to me what needs to be done:
There needs to be a prominently featured preference on the Chinese 
Wikipedia for switching the user interface between traditional and 
simplified. As a traditional version of the interface already exists 
(as you write) it should not be too much work for a person competent in 
both traditional and simplified to add the traditional UI to the 
current simplified one.

The plumbing for this again needs to be laid by our techies.

>> tech to-do list:
>> - add feature of preference-dependent dual article version (probably 
>> under the same URL) and a dual user interface to go with it.

	OMG. THAT's gonna be a war on what (trad/simple) is gonna become the 
default! ;-)

-- Jens [[User:Ropers|Ropers]]

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