Help talk:I18n

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Revision as of 12:12, 7 June 2013 by Kynikos (Talk | contribs) (Serbian: close)

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Regarding ArchWiki internationalization: There have been a number of discussions about this over the years: 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. In short, there are a number of potential solutions; none are perfect. Currently, the interwiki implementation is considered "best" because it provides non-English users with a fully-localized experience and isolates each language. Other "good" solutions include the creation of language-specific namespaces or migration to a different wiki which provides "better" internationalization options -- but require more effort to implement. -- pointone 16:07, 21 October 2011 (EDT)
See also #Language namespace(s) in place of suffixes? for a more recent discussion. -- Kynikos (talk) 16:06, 3 June 2012 (UTC)


Clarification needed: there are currently articles tagged with Srpski (Serbian Latin) and others with Српски (Serbian Cyrillic). Are there objections to tagging Srpski articles with Српски instead? (For example: Main Page (Srpski) to Main Page (Српски)) Would this be confusing?

It is my understanding that most Serbians are literate in both scripts, and Cyrillic is considered the "official" script.

-- pointone 16:11, 17 January 2010 (EST)

Main Page (Srpski) is currently the only page/redirect with the Serbian Latin suffix; the problem is that now Main Page (Српски) exists too... -- Kynikos (talk) 12:06, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Fixed, Main Page (Srpski) is now Main Page/Latin (Српски). -- Kynikos (talk) 12:12, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

MediaWiki translation extension

Speaking of multi language support for MediaWiki. It does have an extension to support translation. See: Here is forum proposal [1] and bug FS#26638. As a user of KDE userbase and techbase, I think this extension is exactly what Arch wiki need. But again, lack of man power to do it.

Exactly, time's not ripe for talking about this. Please for now let's use the suffix method as consistently as possible: if one day another method will be enforced, it will be much easier to handle at least some parts of the transition automatically with bots or other scripts. -- Kynikos 06:01, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

Language namespace(s) in place of suffixes?

This discussion is about the possibility of replacing the current system of classification of the articles by language, using suffixes in the title, with a namespace-based system. This issue has currently a lower priority than #"Dummy" interlanguage links and deprecation of Template:i18n.

The main advantage would be that it would be possible to have only English articles as results when using the search engine, and, depending on the implementation of this idea, it may be possible also to select the language of the search.

Another advantage would be that in article-list pages (such as those in Special:SpecialPages) that list articles alphabetically, all the articles for a language would be grouped together.

There are many ways we can implement this solution, and each has its advantages and disadvantages; I'd like to also keep the current suffix solution in the discussion, for comparison and also because it has its advantages too.

1) Every language has its own namespace

  • This can be done either with local or English language names. Note that it's not possible to have namespaces named like interlanguage links! For example an article named Ru:Some Title could currently be created, but once the ru interlanguage links are activated, that article won't be accessible anymore, and it will be possible to edit/delete it only via the API using its ID (this has already happened with an article that was named with "tr:...").
  • This solution would create 2*N namespaces (where N is the number of languages) because every namespace must have a _talk namespace; I don't know what effect this would have on select menus and other interfaces that list the namespaces (e.g. in special pages filters).
  • Examples:
Dansk:Some Article, Dansk talk:Some Article, Magyar:Some Article, ...
Danish:Some Article, Danish talk:Some Article, Hungarian:Some Article, ...

2) There's one big namespace for non-English languages

  • There are various possible choices for the name of the namespace: "Lang", "Local", "i18n", ???...
  • The language can be separated from the title with a colon, a slash or some other punctuation mark
  • We could use language tags or full language names
  • Language names could still be suffixes or be part of the prefix
  • This solution just adds 1 namespace and its associated talk
  • Examples:
Lang:pl/Some Article, Lang talk:pl/Some Article, Lang:zh-CN/Some Article, ...
Local:Some Article (Polski), Local talk:Some Article (Polski), Local:Some Article (简体中文), ...

3) Some languages can have a proper namespace according to some objective rules based on the number of translations

Note that the namespace solution wouldn't be able to separate the languages completely, in fact we'd have to keep mixed Template and Category namespaces: how would we deal with those cases? Case 2) may have the simplest solution by using Template:es/Lorem Ipsum and Category:es/Lorem Ipsum or something like that, and we'd still have the advantage of having templates and categories grouped by language in alphabetical lists. About the Help and ArchWiki namespaces we could do something similar.

Note that solution 2) would break the use of Template:Lowercase title in non-English articles. The only way to solve that problem would be using an extension that can parse substrings, or force using {{DISPLAYTITLE:...}}.

The bot algorithm to implement such a change should avoid creating redirects for every title, and instead it should update all the backlinks of every article (Wiki Monkey should be able to do that, it has already done a similar thing when removing the English suffix from category names, although in this case it would be a much bigger job).


I think this can be enough for now, as you can see it's quite intricate, I don't even have a clear idea about what's my preference at the moment, let's see if somebody can help sort out the ideas.

-- Kynikos (talk) 20:48, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

I like (2) -- a single non-English namespace. I had never even considered this option before! This will solve the biggest problem with our current implementation -- non-English articles polluting search results and other special pages -- whilst still promoting external wikis with interlanguage links as the "ideal" solution.
(We must keep in mind that, in the end, separate external wikis is the only complete solution to provide non-English readers with a fully-internationalized interface (as long as we are running MediaWiki, that is). Everything else at this point is simply a stepping-stone toward that goal.)
Creating separate namespaces for each language would quickly complicate maintenance, as you note, and add little benefit over the single-namespace solution. -- pointone (talk) 14:27, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah I too tend to prefer solution (2), especially in the form of Lang:pt/Lorem Ipsum because that would group articles by language in alphabetical lists.
I'd use Template:pt/Lorem Ipsum and Category:pt/Lorem Ipsum, but Lang:pt/Help:Lorem Ipsum and Lang:pt/ArchWiki:Lorem Ipsum for special namespaces.
The bot should be able to convert {{Lowercase title}} to {{DISPLAYTITLE:...}} in existing articles, but when a user copies an English article for translating it, he should remember to do that conversion by himself. Alternatives can be abolishing Template:Lowercase_title or using parser functions to detect the actual title (without the prefix).
-- Kynikos (talk) 16:16, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Note that the format Lang:es/Title wouldn't be possible, only Lang:Es/Title or Lang:ES/Title would. -- Kynikos (talk) 14:42, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Alternative formats (better isolate the title from the prefix, for readability when displayed in the h1 at the top of the page, especially with short titles): Lang:UK / KDE, Lang:UK KDE, Lang:UK - KDE, Lang:UK ~ KDE, Lang:(uk) KDE (parentheses should allow lowercase tags, note that square brackets would require html entities to be used in links), Lang:Українська KDE, Lang:Українська - KDE... -- Kynikos (talk) 16:11, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Some considerations about restricting searches to a particular language:
  • both solutions (1) and (2) would give English-only results by default;
  • solution (1) would allow to select the right language namespace in the advanced search interface;
  • solution (2) would require to add the name of the language to the search keywords (this is how it's already working), but only if the full language names are retained in the titles (i.e. they aren't replaced by language tags like in Title (Español) -> Lang:ES/Title)
-- Kynikos (talk) 04:08, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Moving here the considerations about interlanguage links and Templates/Categories (interlanguage links cannot be used directly with Templates and Categories if language namespaces are implemented):
-- Kynikos (talk) 19:36, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Finnish external wiki

Is Finnish external wiki still accessable. I can not access it here. -- Fengchao (talk) 14:20, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Can't access it from here either :( Let's wait a bit and hope it comes back. -- Kynikos (talk) 14:39, 4 June 2013 (UTC)