Supporting languages is supporting people

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Supporting languages is supporting people

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
As long as people communicate in a language it is a living language. When
people stop using a language, it dies. This has little to do with the number
of people involved; a language spoken by 7000 people in Papua New Guinea may
be as vibrant as ever when there is little communication with an outside
world. What makes a dying language is something you only realise when you
compare census figures. When a language that is not doing well, when it
finds new champions, the language may undergo a revival. To me this is
completely legitimate as it proves that the language is not dead; there are
people that care to communicate in their language.

In the Wikimedia Foundation we are careful when introducing new languages.
There are good reasons for it. We want a project to be a success and we
insist on a good user experience so a localised user interface is a must. We
attempt to check if the language is indeed the language that is advertised.
We are looking for a small group of people that is big enough to make it
likely that we will have a community. There are several hoops to jump
through before a new language gets its own project.

What is problematic is when people look at these "other" languages and imply
that having these other languages as well is ok as long as they do not
interfere with what they consider "primary" languages. This means that these
languages should politely stay in the background and not need investments
because they prevent what is considered "primary". The problem is very much
in how this attitude is perceived. It may be that good faith should be
assumed, but given how barbed the exchanges can be and given how much the
perspectives differ it is hard if not impossible to reconcile differences
with those that are of the opinion that we should ensure that we provide the
infrastructure for all languagea that can qualify as a WMF language.

It is said that we are not in the business of supporting languages. The fact
of the matter is that we support every language that qualifies for a
Wikipedia. Effectively we support the languages the most that are read the
most. So we do a sublime job on our biggest projects. It is assumed that the
smaller projects should develop like the big projects did. The situation is
often not comparable. It is assumed that all languages are equal and are
able to make use of our MediaWiki software. Sadly this is not the case.
Sadly it takes effort and investments to get necessary glyphs in Unicode.
Sadly it means that assumptions about languages, true for the "primary"
languages, are not true for all languages. Sadly it means that business is
not as usual and as this upsets the status quo people get upset.

The Wikimedia Foundation aims to provide information to all people. The last
two years at Wikimania we have been told that we are really going to make an
effort in Africa. We have been told that our organisation is getting
organised and is at the threshold where we can request for the funding of
projects and manage these projects as well. With this promise to support
these other people and their other languages with the promise that we will
be able to work on projects and aim for some longer term goals we can reach
out to these other people and give them the opportunity and the channel to
share their knowledge with us. In this way they may become one with us.

We have to adapt and allow for change. We have to adapt and change what
prevents others to share their knowledge with us. We cannot change
everything but there is so much that we can do. Within the Wikimedia
Foundation we are a multitude. We do not all share the same ideals. That is
fine. What I ask for is that those that care for the less resourced
languages are "allowed" to actively do what is needed to support more people
to share their knowledge by enabling them to be heard, to be read.

Thank you,
   GerardM
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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

M. Williamson
I imagine it would be easier if those people would be allowed to get
Wikipedias instead of having to wait for years.

On 25/10/2007, GerardM <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hoi,
> As long as people communicate in a language it is a living language. When
> people stop using a language, it dies. This has little to do with the number
> of people involved; a language spoken by 7000 people in Papua New Guinea may
> be as vibrant as ever when there is little communication with an outside
> world. What makes a dying language is something you only realise when you
> compare census figures. When a language that is not doing well, when it
> finds new champions, the language may undergo a revival. To me this is
> completely legitimate as it proves that the language is not dead; there are
> people that care to communicate in their language.
>
> In the Wikimedia Foundation we are careful when introducing new languages.
> There are good reasons for it. We want a project to be a success and we
> insist on a good user experience so a localised user interface is a must. We
> attempt to check if the language is indeed the language that is advertised.
> We are looking for a small group of people that is big enough to make it
> likely that we will have a community. There are several hoops to jump
> through before a new language gets its own project.
>
> What is problematic is when people look at these "other" languages and imply
> that having these other languages as well is ok as long as they do not
> interfere with what they consider "primary" languages. This means that these
> languages should politely stay in the background and not need investments
> because they prevent what is considered "primary". The problem is very much
> in how this attitude is perceived. It may be that good faith should be
> assumed, but given how barbed the exchanges can be and given how much the
> perspectives differ it is hard if not impossible to reconcile differences
> with those that are of the opinion that we should ensure that we provide the
> infrastructure for all languagea that can qualify as a WMF language.
>
> It is said that we are not in the business of supporting languages. The fact
> of the matter is that we support every language that qualifies for a
> Wikipedia. Effectively we support the languages the most that are read the
> most. So we do a sublime job on our biggest projects. It is assumed that the
> smaller projects should develop like the big projects did. The situation is
> often not comparable. It is assumed that all languages are equal and are
> able to make use of our MediaWiki software. Sadly this is not the case.
> Sadly it takes effort and investments to get necessary glyphs in Unicode.
> Sadly it means that assumptions about languages, true for the "primary"
> languages, are not true for all languages. Sadly it means that business is
> not as usual and as this upsets the status quo people get upset.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation aims to provide information to all people. The last
> two years at Wikimania we have been told that we are really going to make an
> effort in Africa. We have been told that our organisation is getting
> organised and is at the threshold where we can request for the funding of
> projects and manage these projects as well. With this promise to support
> these other people and their other languages with the promise that we will
> be able to work on projects and aim for some longer term goals we can reach
> out to these other people and give them the opportunity and the channel to
> share their knowledge with us. In this way they may become one with us.
>
> We have to adapt and allow for change. We have to adapt and change what
> prevents others to share their knowledge with us. We cannot change
> everything but there is so much that we can do. Within the Wikimedia
> Foundation we are a multitude. We do not all share the same ideals. That is
> fine. What I ask for is that those that care for the less resourced
> languages are "allowed" to actively do what is needed to support more people
> to share their knowledge by enabling them to be heard, to be read.
>
> Thank you,
>   GerardM
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>


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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Dovi Jacobs
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
I happen to agree with Gerard that the Wikimedia Foundation does indeed support languages through the very act of supporting Wikipedias. I also agree that the foundation should be more proud of this fact and announce it happily. If we are doing something so positive, why not let people know about it, and why not even include it as one of our goals? It may not be our primary goal, but it certainly plays a supporting role towards reaching that goal ("the sum of all knowledge"). It is yet another gem in the WMF's crown.

That being said, I don't really understand what, specifically, Gerard is asking for. In what specific ways does the foundation need to "adapt" in order to meet the needs of smaller languages? "Resources" and "investments" usually imply money, but in what specific ways does Gerard think money can be used to support smaller languages? Please elaborate.

Finally, Mark Williamson's comment:

>> I imagine it would be easier if those people would be allowed to get Wikipedias instead of having to wait for years.

This is as opposed to Gerard: "we insist on a good user experience so a localised user interface is a must."

Experience proves that Mark is right: Many of today's successful Wikipedia's began without much of a local interface at all. Instead, people just got to work, and the interface got translated bit-by-bit along the way by admins, in exactly the same way a Wikipedia gets built as a whole by editors.

Not allowing people to simply "get to work" on a Wikipedia, and requiring that there be "several hoops to jump through before a new language gets its own project" actually works against smaller languages.

Instead, just let people get started! If the project fails, simply freeze it until speakers of the language come along who want to try to build it again.

To conclude, if there are positive ways that money could be used to support smaller languages, then the foundation should consider doing so. But regardless of monetary issues, people should be allowed to get to work on smaller wikipedias without too many hurdles.

Dovi

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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Resources and investments also imply labour. There are several instances
where the choice for spending time of our paid for programmers is dedicated
to things that are nice to have. Often the choice is made because of what is
seen as of a big relevance to the "big" projects ie languages. Even though
MediaWiki is exceptional in the amount of languages  we support, the fact
that a fifth of the languages that have a Wikipedia indicates that contrary
what we say MediaWiki does not support 250 languages. People invest in their
Wikipedia and we do not cherish this investment by ensuring that the
localisation is seen as vital.

It is wrong to suggest that the User Interface is not a vital component of a
successful Wikipedia. With some regularity projects are voted to be closed
down. They are typically programs that do not have a good localisation, they
are typically programs that do not have a community. They are typically
Wikipedias that have been started prematurely. Yes, there are Wikipedias
that are doing fine, the issue is that many people are upset by Wikipedias
failing. We lose support for adding new languages with more projects
failing.

What we aim for in new Wikipedias is project that provide good information
to the people. We should not expect people to read any other language. A
Wikipedia is there to provide people with knowledge and for this an
appropriate user interface is essential. As long as the User Interface is
not localised it is not yet ready to go life for the people to find
information in their language.

Thanks,
      GerardM

On 10/26/07, Dovi Jacobs <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I happen to agree with Gerard that the Wikimedia Foundation does indeed
> support languages through the very act of supporting Wikipedias. I also
> agree that the foundation should be more proud of this fact and announce it
> happily. If we are doing something so positive, why not let people know
> about it, and why not even include it as one of our goals? It may not be our
> primary goal, but it certainly plays a supporting role towards reaching that
> goal ("the sum of all knowledge"). It is yet another gem in the WMF's crown.
>
> That being said, I don't really understand what, specifically, Gerard is
> asking for. In what specific ways does the foundation need to "adapt" in
> order to meet the needs of smaller languages? "Resources" and "investments"
> usually imply money, but in what specific ways does Gerard think money can
> be used to support smaller languages? Please elaborate.
>
> Finally, Mark Williamson's comment:
>
> >> I imagine it would be easier if those people would be allowed to get
> Wikipedias instead of having to wait for years.
>
> This is as opposed to Gerard: "we insist on a good user experience so a
> localised user interface is a must."
>
> Experience proves that Mark is right: Many of today's successful
> Wikipedia's began without much of a local interface at all. Instead, people
> just got to work, and the interface got translated bit-by-bit along the way
> by admins, in exactly the same way a Wikipedia gets built as a whole by
> editors.
>
> Not allowing people to simply "get to work" on a Wikipedia, and requiring
> that there be "several hoops to jump through before a new language gets its
> own project" actually works against smaller languages.
>
> Instead, just let people get started! If the project fails, simply freeze
> it until speakers of the language come along who want to try to build it
> again.
>
> To conclude, if there are positive ways that money could be used to
> support smaller languages, then the foundation should consider doing so. But
> regardless of monetary issues, people should be allowed to get to work on
> smaller wikipedias without too many hurdles.
>
> Dovi
>
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Marco Chiesa
GerardM ha scritto:

> It is wrong to suggest that the User Interface is not a vital component of a
> successful Wikipedia. With some regularity projects are voted to be closed
> down. They are typically programs that do not have a good localisation, they
> are typically programs that do not have a community. They are typically
> Wikipedias that have been started prematurely. Yes, there are Wikipedias
> that are doing fine, the issue is that many people are upset by Wikipedias
> failing. We lose support for adding new languages with more projects
> failing.
>
> What we aim for in new Wikipedias is project that provide good information
> to the people. We should not expect people to read any other language. A
> Wikipedia is there to provide people with knowledge and for this an
> appropriate user interface is essential. As long as the User Interface is
> not localised it is not yet ready to go life for the people to find
> information in their language.
>
>
>  
I'm sorry but I cannot fully agree on these points. While I agree that
it is important that a user can have the interface translated in his/her
own language, this does not mean that such language and the project's
language are the same one. For example, Latin or Esperanto have
basically no native speaker, and editors may be happier having their own
mother tongue for the interface. It becomes even more absurd for those
languages which do not have a standard koiné, but only dialects. This is
the case for most of the regional languages of Italy, such as Lombard or
Emilian-Romagnan. These project have 1 wikipedia each because there is 1
ISO-code for the language, but in many cases articles have more than one
version, to cover the different dialects. But they can (actually, must -
see above) have only one localisation, which of course for many users
will be in a different <strike>language</strike> variant of the
language. Ok, dialects are generally similar enough to be mutually
comprehensive, but it will still be quite awkward to have an interface
in what looks like a funny version of your language (to make an example,
it would be like having the interface in English with Scots spelling.
And of course, there are only very few native speakers of those
languages which are not bilingual and speaking at least another language
(not necessarily Italian), and who may prefer to use the interface in
the other mother tongue; very few of the non bilingual people would
anyway have access to a computer.

Cruccone


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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Nikola Smolenski
On Saturday 27 October 2007 20:01, Marco Chiesa wrote:
> mother tongue for the interface. It becomes even more absurd for those
> languages which do not have a standard koiné, but only dialects. This is
> the case for most of the regional languages of Italy, such as Lombard or
> Emilian-Romagnan. These project have 1 wikipedia each because there is 1
> ISO-code for the language, but in many cases articles have more than one
> version, to cover the different dialects. But they can (actually, must -
> see above) have only one localisation, which of course for many users
> will be in a different <strike>language</strike> variant of the

They in fact can have more localisations, like Chinese Wikipedia does. And of
course logged in users can always change their localisation.

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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Stephen Bain
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On 10/28/07, GerardM <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Resources and investments also imply labour.
...
> As long as the User Interface is
> not localised it is not yet ready to go life for the people to find
> information in their language.

I don't understand what your argument is. You seem to be talking about
priorities in MediaWiki development, but then you talk about interface
localisation - which is a matter for the project participants who
speak the language and can actually translate the interface, not for
Foundation people.

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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
When you consider the localisation of messages, the messages can be divided
in two. There are messages that are project specific and there are messages
that have a global reach. When people localise messages, we do not ensure
that the effort on the global messages has a global effect. The best place
at this moment to localise messages is in the BetaWiki. A project that
should be a Wikimedia Foundation project. Its functionality should exist in
the Incubator and any localisation work done on MediaWiki that is global
should be happening in this one central place.

To make sure that localisation is efficient, the technology needs to be
improved. It needs to have a priority. We cannot maintain the localisation
for more than 250 languages and assume that it will be ok. It is not OK. A
fifth of the languages that MediaWiki is said to support is not supported in
MediaWiki. The percentages of localisation for many languages is dismal.
This hurts the usability of MediaWiki. The reason for all this is that the
localisation and the maintenance of the localisation does not get the
attention that it requires.

In my opinion the maintenance of MediaWiki and its localisations is a
responsibility of the Wikimedia Foundation. There needs to be a plan to have
the required resources available on a sustained basis. Consequently the WMF
needs to acknowledge its responsibility because only then can we find, fund
and implement the solutions that work.

Thanks,
     GerardM

On 10/28/07, Stephen Bain <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 10/28/07, GerardM <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Resources and investments also imply labour.
> ...
> > As long as the User Interface is
> > not localised it is not yet ready to go life for the people to find
> > information in their language.
>
> I don't understand what your argument is. You seem to be talking about
> priorities in MediaWiki development, but then you talk about interface
> localisation - which is a matter for the project participants who
> speak the language and can actually translate the interface, not for
> Foundation people.
>
> --
> Stephen Bain
> [hidden email]
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

M. Williamson
...

On 28/10/2007, GerardM <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hoi,
> When you consider the localisation of messages, the messages can be divided
> in two. There are messages that are project specific and there are messages
> that have a global reach. When people localise messages, we do not ensure
> that the effort on the global messages has a global effect. The best place
> at this moment to localise messages is in the BetaWiki. A project that
> should be a Wikimedia Foundation project. Its functionality should exist in
> the Incubator and any localisation work done on MediaWiki that is global
> should be happening in this one central place.
>
> To make sure that localisation is efficient, the technology needs to be
> improved. It needs to have a priority. We cannot maintain the localisation
> for more than 250 languages and assume that it will be ok. It is not OK. A
> fifth of the languages that MediaWiki is said to support is not supported in
> MediaWiki. The percentages of localisation for many languages is dismal.
> This hurts the usability of MediaWiki. The reason for all this is that the
> localisation and the maintenance of the localisation does not get the
> attention that it requires.
>
> In my opinion the maintenance of MediaWiki and its localisations is a
> responsibility of the Wikimedia Foundation. There needs to be a plan to have
> the required resources available on a sustained basis. Consequently the WMF
> needs to acknowledge its responsibility because only then can we find, fund
> and implement the solutions that work.
>
> Thanks,
>      GerardM
>
> On 10/28/07, Stephen Bain <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > On 10/28/07, GerardM <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > Resources and investments also imply labour.
> > ...
> > > As long as the User Interface is
> > > not localised it is not yet ready to go life for the people to find
> > > information in their language.
> >
> > I don't understand what your argument is. You seem to be talking about
> > priorities in MediaWiki development, but then you talk about interface
> > localisation - which is a matter for the project participants who
> > speak the language and can actually translate the interface, not for
> > Foundation people.
> >
> > --
> > Stephen Bain
> > [hidden email]
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
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> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>


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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Andre Engels
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
2007/10/27, GerardM <[hidden email]>:

> It is wrong to suggest that the User Interface is not a vital component of a
> successful Wikipedia. With some regularity projects are voted to be closed
> down. They are typically programs that do not have a good localisation, they
> are typically programs that do not have a community. They are typically
> Wikipedias that have been started prematurely.

So? I think you're having it backward now. Yes, projects that are
voted to be closed down typically do not have a good localisation. Why
is that? Not because the lack of a localisation causes the lack of a
community, but the lack of a community causes the lack of a
localisation. Localisations are there on projects where someone has
worked on localisation. That implies that there is someone working on
something, and projects where someone is working on something are
usually not closed down. Projects that have over 50 articles on
different plant species are also usually not voted down. Projects that
have a bureaucrat are usually not voted down. Projects that have an
active village pump are usually not voted down. Why require a
localisation, but not 50 plant species, a bureaucrat or an active
village pump?

> Yes, there are Wikipedias
> that are doing fine, the issue is that many people are upset by Wikipedias
> failing. We lose support for adding new languages with more projects
> failing.

We lose even more support for adding new languages by making the
adding of new languages a long, bureaucratic, drawn out process.

> What we aim for in new Wikipedias is project that provide good information
> to the people. We should not expect people to read any other language. A
> Wikipedia is there to provide people with knowledge and for this an
> appropriate user interface is essential. As long as the User Interface is
> not localised it is not yet ready to go life for the people to find
> information in their language.

I disagree. Should not the people of a Wikipedia make the decision
what is important to them, and what is readable? I think a Wikipedia
with a beginning of content and a non-localized or partly-localized
interface is more useful than one where every little text is
translated but there is just one page.

Stop the language prevention committee!!

--
Andre Engels, [hidden email]
ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels

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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Andre Engels
2007/10/31, Andre Engels <[hidden email]>:
> Stop the language prevention committee!!

Please disregard this last comment. It was uncalled-for and contraproductive.

--
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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Andre Engels
On Wednesday 31 October 2007 11:40, Andre Engels wrote:

> 2007/10/27, GerardM <[hidden email]>:
> > It is wrong to suggest that the User Interface is not a vital component
> > of a successful Wikipedia. With some regularity projects are voted to be
> > closed down. They are typically programs that do not have a good
> > localisation, they are typically programs that do not have a community.
> > They are typically Wikipedias that have been started prematurely.
>
> So? I think you're having it backward now. Yes, projects that are
> voted to be closed down typically do not have a good localisation. Why
> is that? Not because the lack of a localisation causes the lack of a
> community, but the lack of a community causes the lack of a
> localisation. Localisations are there on projects where someone has
> worked on localisation. That implies that there is someone working on
> something, and projects where someone is working on something are
> usually not closed down. Projects that have over 50 articles on
> different plant species are also usually not voted down. Projects that
> have a bureaucrat are usually not voted down. Projects that have an
> active village pump are usually not voted down. Why require a
> localisation, but not 50 plant species, a bureaucrat or an active
> village pump?

As a mathematician, I believe you will appreciate the metaphor of quantum
tunelling. The same way a particle can "tunnel" through an energy barrier it
would otherwise not be able to go through, a project could pass a "knowledge
barrier", if helped.

Localisation is an excellent example of this. We can all agree that people are
less likely to contribute to a Wikipedia if there is no localisation.
Localisation, however, requires a technically competent person to do it. If a
given community has no such person, or all such persons are too preocupied
with other matters to do it in their free time, the localisation will not be
done. It might not be done for years, decades, or - ever.

And these years and decades are years and decades during which the project
won't be developed, or will be developed at a much slower rate. If the goal
of the WMF is producing free knowledge, and the WMF pays for hosting of
Wikipedias in order to produce that knowledge, then it may also pay for a
localisation (which would otherwise not happen) in order to achieve the same
goal. This may enable free knowledge to be produced at a faster rate (for
example, a Wikipedia may get 10 new articles per year before localisation,
and 50 articles per year after localisation), thus fulfilling the goal of the
WMF.

Of course, I am not suggesting that the WMF should immediately start paying
for localisations of desolated Wikipedias. But, when it wants to lift a
Wikipedia off the ground, it may well consider localisation of interface,
documentation or even initial contents, and in some cases such a
consideration will have desirable results.

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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Andre Engels
2007/10/31, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:

> As a mathematician, I believe you will appreciate the metaphor of quantum
> tunelling. The same way a particle can "tunnel" through an energy barrier it
> would otherwise not be able to go through, a project could pass a "knowledge
> barrier", if helped.

It can, but I don't see how that means that one way of helping them
(giving them a localized interface) would be superior to another way
of helping them (giving them a wiki to start with)

> Localisation is an excellent example of this. We can all agree that people are
> less likely to contribute to a Wikipedia if there is no localisation.
> Localisation, however, requires a technically competent person to do it. If a
> given community has no such person, or all such persons are too preocupied
> with other matters to do it in their free time, the localisation will not be
> done. It might not be done for years, decades, or - ever.
>
> And these years and decades are years and decades during which the project
> won't be developed, or will be developed at a much slower rate.

So instead we don't allow it  to develop at all? We just sit and wait,
don't work on other blockades until this one is resolved? That will
help a language grow!

I don't disagree that localization is a good thing, although I do
think its effect is smaller than you seem to think. In my view, the
first and foremost need is people - have 1 contributor, and the
project will probably die, have 3 and it's in serious danger, have 5
and it's likely to live, have 10 and it's ready thrive.

Still, having a localization would be a good thing. However, the issue
is: how much importance does it get, and how is it achieved. Currently
the situation is that it gets foremost importance, and is achieved by
withholding most other things a project would need or want (like an
own wiki and an official status) until it has been resolved. To me,
that's giving much too much importance to just one piece of what makes
a successful Wikipedia. Let the people from a Wikipedia language
decide for themselves what is important to their project at which
moment. Give them ample opportunities to localize their interface, and
point them towards the possibility, if necessary multiple times, but
if they still decide they'd rather work on a non-localized interface
rather than spend their time on localizing it, accept that in the end
it is their choice to make.

--
Andre Engels, [hidden email]
ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels

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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The localisation is of particular importance for the readers and for the
editors that do not know the language that is chosen as the secondary
language. With the start of the Incubator there is a good place to start a
project and build up enough steam to stand on its own.

There are two groups of people in the WMF; there are those that are of the
opinion that more language support is a distraction and there are those that
are of the opinion that there are too many hoops that new projects have to
jump through. By defining minimum requirements we aim to prevent the failure
of projects and we aim to provide a good user experience for new languages
when the project goes life. In this way we reach out to both groups and both
groups are likely not to be happy anyway. Our argument is that in this way
we aim to optimise the effectiveness of new projects, not only is a language
supported for a WMF project and also MediaWiki supports a new language.

Thanks,
    GerardM



On 11/1/07, Andre Engels <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> 2007/10/31, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
>
> > As a mathematician, I believe you will appreciate the metaphor of
> quantum
> > tunelling. The same way a particle can "tunnel" through an energy
> barrier it
> > would otherwise not be able to go through, a project could pass a
> "knowledge
> > barrier", if helped.
>
> It can, but I don't see how that means that one way of helping them
> (giving them a localized interface) would be superior to another way
> of helping them (giving them a wiki to start with)
>
> > Localisation is an excellent example of this. We can all agree that
> people are
> > less likely to contribute to a Wikipedia if there is no localisation.
> > Localisation, however, requires a technically competent person to do it.
> If a
> > given community has no such person, or all such persons are too
> preocupied
> > with other matters to do it in their free time, the localisation will
> not be
> > done. It might not be done for years, decades, or - ever.
> >
> > And these years and decades are years and decades during which the
> project
> > won't be developed, or will be developed at a much slower rate.
>
> So instead we don't allow it  to develop at all? We just sit and wait,
> don't work on other blockades until this one is resolved? That will
> help a language grow!
>
> I don't disagree that localization is a good thing, although I do
> think its effect is smaller than you seem to think. In my view, the
> first and foremost need is people - have 1 contributor, and the
> project will probably die, have 3 and it's in serious danger, have 5
> and it's likely to live, have 10 and it's ready thrive.
>
> Still, having a localization would be a good thing. However, the issue
> is: how much importance does it get, and how is it achieved. Currently
> the situation is that it gets foremost importance, and is achieved by
> withholding most other things a project would need or want (like an
> own wiki and an official status) until it has been resolved. To me,
> that's giving much too much importance to just one piece of what makes
> a successful Wikipedia. Let the people from a Wikipedia language
> decide for themselves what is important to their project at which
> moment. Give them ample opportunities to localize their interface, and
> point them towards the possibility, if necessary multiple times, but
> if they still decide they'd rather work on a non-localized interface
> rather than spend their time on localizing it, accept that in the end
> it is their choice to make.
>
> --
> Andre Engels, [hidden email]
> ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Supporting languages is supporting people

M. Williamson
That's all good, all of that stuff about preventing failure of
projects, blah blah blah. I'm pretty sure that incubator projects that
already have, say, over 200 articles are not going to be deemed
failures if they are created now, with or without an interface.
(examples include bcl, stq, ext...)

Mark

On 01/11/2007, GerardM <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hoi,
> The localisation is of particular importance for the readers and for the
> editors that do not know the language that is chosen as the secondary
> language. With the start of the Incubator there is a good place to start a
> project and build up enough steam to stand on its own.
>
> There are two groups of people in the WMF; there are those that are of the
> opinion that more language support is a distraction and there are those that
> are of the opinion that there are too many hoops that new projects have to
> jump through. By defining minimum requirements we aim to prevent the failure
> of projects and we aim to provide a good user experience for new languages
> when the project goes life. In this way we reach out to both groups and both
> groups are likely not to be happy anyway. Our argument is that in this way
> we aim to optimise the effectiveness of new projects, not only is a language
> supported for a WMF project and also MediaWiki supports a new language.
>
> Thanks,
>     GerardM
>
>
>
> On 11/1/07, Andre Engels <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > 2007/10/31, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > As a mathematician, I believe you will appreciate the metaphor of
> > quantum
> > > tunelling. The same way a particle can "tunnel" through an energy
> > barrier it
> > > would otherwise not be able to go through, a project could pass a
> > "knowledge
> > > barrier", if helped.
> >
> > It can, but I don't see how that means that one way of helping them
> > (giving them a localized interface) would be superior to another way
> > of helping them (giving them a wiki to start with)
> >
> > > Localisation is an excellent example of this. We can all agree that
> > people are
> > > less likely to contribute to a Wikipedia if there is no localisation.
> > > Localisation, however, requires a technically competent person to do it.
> > If a
> > > given community has no such person, or all such persons are too
> > preocupied
> > > with other matters to do it in their free time, the localisation will
> > not be
> > > done. It might not be done for years, decades, or - ever.
> > >
> > > And these years and decades are years and decades during which the
> > project
> > > won't be developed, or will be developed at a much slower rate.
> >
> > So instead we don't allow it  to develop at all? We just sit and wait,
> > don't work on other blockades until this one is resolved? That will
> > help a language grow!
> >
> > I don't disagree that localization is a good thing, although I do
> > think its effect is smaller than you seem to think. In my view, the
> > first and foremost need is people - have 1 contributor, and the
> > project will probably die, have 3 and it's in serious danger, have 5
> > and it's likely to live, have 10 and it's ready thrive.
> >
> > Still, having a localization would be a good thing. However, the issue
> > is: how much importance does it get, and how is it achieved. Currently
> > the situation is that it gets foremost importance, and is achieved by
> > withholding most other things a project would need or want (like an
> > own wiki and an official status) until it has been resolved. To me,
> > that's giving much too much importance to just one piece of what makes
> > a successful Wikipedia. Let the people from a Wikipedia language
> > decide for themselves what is important to their project at which
> > moment. Give them ample opportunities to localize their interface, and
> > point them towards the possibility, if necessary multiple times, but
> > if they still decide they'd rather work on a non-localized interface
> > rather than spend their time on localizing it, accept that in the end
> > it is their choice to make.
> >
> > --
> > Andre Engels, [hidden email]
> > ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>


--
Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.

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