User:Helge.at/Wording

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Work in progress!
Feel free to edit this page or comment on it.


Proposal[edit | edit source]

Rationale[edit | edit source]

To be written (usability, lower entry treshold for new users, etc.)


Proposed changes of Mediawiki system messages[edit | edit source]

Note: All examples refer to the default messages in Mediawiki 1.7.1 (Rogerhc's comments per v8.2). Messages on mediawiki.org, Wikipedia and other versions of MW partly differ. The main goal is to improve the default messages, however, most issues also apply to Wikimedia projects and IMHO should be changed there as well.


English[edit | edit source]

System Message Status Quo Proposed Comment
General
eg. nstab-main Article Page Change only in software distribution, not on Wikipedia (but probably on e.g. Wiktionary). "Page" is neutrally usable, while "article" is too much tailored to Wikipedia. This is done right in the French distribution by the way: There it's "page", not "article". Even in English "Page" is sometimes used already, eg. movepage .
sidebar mainpage|mainpage

portal-url|portal
currentevents-url|currentevents
recentchanges-url|recentchange
randompage-url|randompage
helppage|help
sitesupport-url|sitesupport

mainpage|mainpage

recentchanges-url|recentchanges
randompage-url|randompage
helppage|help

It's sad to see so many MW-installations showing a navigation intended for Wikipedia, unused and unchanged. Another thing confusing to all newcomers. I'd get rid of "Donations", "Community portal" and "Current events" in the standard distribution. Maybe add a new link "Admin guide" that more or less "forces" the admin to customize navigation (and explains how to do so).

Not on Wikimedia projects, obviously.

eg. currentrev Revision Version Either use "Version" or "Revision", not both! (For example compare currentrev with editcurrent)
eg. talk Talk Discussion Either use "Discussion" or "Talk" (as in the namespaces), not both! In regards of the planned structured discussions I'd recommed opting for "Discussion".
mainpage Main Page Home "Home" is the convention used on millions of websites. Not breaking conventions means better usability. However, I'm not so sure about that one myself.
Messages mainly used on: Recent changes- See an example on a Wiki of mine
Diff diff Difference May fit a sourceforge target group but is inappropriate for the broad public.
Hist hist History May fit a sourceforge target group but is inappropriate for the broad public.
Contribslink contribs Contributions Better to understand.
Minoreditletter M minor "Minor" is self-expanatory, "M" isn't.
Newpageletter N new "New" is self-expanatory, "N" isn't.
rclistfrom Show new changes starting from $1 - This is a power-user-feature. It should be repositioned in order to get out of the way of novice users. In the current position on the page I'd rather cancel it out.
rcnote Below are the last $1 changes in the last $2 days, as of $3. Below are the last $1 changes in the last $2 days. $3 is the time stamp, I couldn't think of a situation in that I'd really need that information. Let's keep the top of the page lean.
Messages mainly used on: Page history - See an example on a Wiki of mine
Cur cur Difference to current Intimidating to non-geeks - and space is no issue!
Space is an issue because Recentchanges and History pages read better when lines don't end up wrapping. I'd use cur and prev to keep it short and use HTML TITLE attributes to explain (hover over aforesaid labels to see). Unfortunately, though HTML is parsed right on this page it is not parsed right when transcluding sustem message MediaWiki:Last into Recentchanges and History (tested it in MediaWiki 8.2). --Rogerhc 23:57, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Last last ..to previous Again: intimidating. Stands right beside "cur" (see above), so it would read:
(Difference to current) (..to previous)
Previous is more accurate English than last which is too similar in meaning to current. --Rogerhc 23:39, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
* Also accordingly update MediaWiki:Histlegend and MediaWiki:Recentchangestext. --Rogerhc 00:50, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
histlegend Diff selection: mark the radio boxes of the versions to compare and hit enter or the button at the bottom.
Legend: (cur) = difference with current version, (last) = difference with preceding version, M = minor edit.
Old versions of this page.
To see the difference between two versions check the radio buttons and click on "Compare selected versions".
Intimidating, incomprehensible, too long. The functions explained are now self-explanatory, the message only needs to explain what the page does, which is a lot shorter.
Messages mainly used on: Diff view - See an example on a Wiki of mine
nextdiff Next diff → Show next difference → See above.
previousdiff ← Previous diff ← Show previous difference See above.

German[edit | edit source]

Note: Based on an installation of version 1.6.7.

System Message Status Quo Proposed Comment
General
eg. nstab-main Artikel Seite Change only in software distribution, not on Wikipedia (but probably on e.g. Wiktionary). "Seite" is neutrally usable, while "Artikel" is too much tailored to Wikipedia. This is done right in the French distribution by the way: There it's "page", not "article". Even in German "Seite" is sometimes used already, eg. movepage. Fixed with 1.8 - thank you!
sidebar mainpage|mainpage

portal-url|portal
currentevents-url|currentevents
recentchanges-url|recentchange
randompage-url|randompage
helppage|help
sitesupport-url|sitesupport

mainpage|mainpage

recentchanges-url|recentchanges
randompage-url|randompage
helppage|help

It's sad to see so many MW-installations showing a navigation intended for Wikipedia, unused and unchanged. Another thing confusing to all newcomers. I'd get rid of "Donations", "Community portal" and "Current events" in the standard distribution. Maybe add a new link "Admin guide" that more or less "forces" the admin to customize navigation (and explains how to do so).

Not on Wikimedia projects, obviously.

allmessages Mediawiki-Meldungen Mediawiki-Texte or Systemmeldungen "Meldungen" is a bad translation for "messages" (as in "system messages"). Standing alone it means "announcements". "Texte" in contrast means "Texts" or "Copy" which fits better. Fixed on WP already where it says Seiten im MediaWiki-Namensraum (de) Fixed with 1.8 - thank you!
titlematches Übereinstimmung mit Überschriften Übereinstimmung mit Seitentiteln "Überschrift" is "headline", yet the function doesn't search in headlines but page titles. Already fixed in Wikipedia. Fixed with 1.8 - thank you!
Messages mainly used on: Recent changes- See an example on a Wiki of mine
Minoreditletter K mini "Mini" is self-expanatory, "K" isn't.
Newpageletter N neu "Neu" is self-expanatory, "N" isn't. Fixed on Wikipedia back in 2005.
rclistfrom Zeige neue Änderungen seit $1 - This is a power-user-feature. It should be repositioned in order to get out of the way of novice users. In the current position on the page I'd rather cancel it out.
rcnote Hier sind die letzten $1 Änderungen der letzten $2 Tage. (N - Neuer Artikel; M - kleine Änderung) Hier sind die letzten $1 Änderungen der letzten $2 Tage. Keep it short. (And M and N are now self-explanatory.)
Messages mainly used on: Page history - See an example on a Wiki of mine
Cur Aktuell Unterschied zu aktuell "Aktuell" is not self-explanatory. "Aktuell" rather means the current state than the difference to it.
Last Vorherige ..zu davor Would then read:
(Unterschied zu aktuell) (..zu davor) instead of (Aktuell) (Vorherige)
histlegend Diff Auswahl: Die Boxen der gewünschten Versionen markieren und 'Enter' drücken oder den Button unten klicken/alt-v.
Legende: (Aktuell) = Unterschied zur aktuellen Version, (Letzte) = Unterschied zur vorherigen Version, M = Kleine Änderung
Alte Versionen dieses Artikels. Um die Unterschiede zwischen zwei Versionen zu sehen, markiere die Checkboxen und klicke auf "Gewählte Versionen vergleichen" Intimidating, incomprehensible, too long. The functions explained are now self-explanatory, the message only needs to explain what the page does, which is a lot shorter. The message is a lot better on Wikipedia, yet still too long (more than double as long than my suggestion). Fixed with 1.8 - thank you!

French[edit | edit source]

Note that my French is mediocre, so please take these only as humble ideas.

System Message Status Quo Proposed Comment
Renommer Déplacer We "move" in English, we "verschieben" in German, why do we rename in French? In MS Windows "move" is called "déplacer".

Discussion[edit | edit source]

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German messages[edit | edit source]

Hi Helge. A patch that replaces "Artikel" with "Seite" will be applied soon (maybe already done when you read this). Also I will rename "Mediawiki-Meldungen" to "Mediawiki-Texte". 'titlematches' is alreday renamed to "Übereinstimmungen mit Seitentiteln" in 1.8alpha. --Collinj 22:51, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

That's great news. How about the other messages? --Helge 22:27, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

namespace page tabs[edit | edit source]

The current default trend of labeling page tabs within a given namespace simply with the name of the specific namespace is cleaver, maybe even cute, but misleading navigation and thus counter productive and should be discontinued. Namespace page tabs do not go to the top of the given namespace (as would be expected of a link to a specific 'namespace') but rather to whatever page one happens to already be on (or reading 'history' or 'discuss' of). Example of problem: common user expectation is that a bold blue link to "Help" within a tab or otherwise will take one to top level Help, not to any given specific page within the "Help:" namespace that one is already on or reading 'history' or 'discuss' of which is what this does. "Page" is a good label for, well, "the page tab" in any namespace in English and can be easily translated into any language. Navigational interface must be kept short, simple, clear, predictable and accurate -- user friendly. Helge, thanks for your work on this! :-) Rogerhc 18:59, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Roger, I invite you to add lines to the table above to specify your suggestions. --Helge.at 10:52, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
'content' seems like a reasonable choice (as opposed to discussion). 'page' is confusing because the discussion page is still a page. Alternatively, they could both be verbs, e.g. 'read' and 'discuss', although this perhaps adds confusion as the other tabs (which actually perform some operation) are verbs. Actually, I think that's a key thing - the first set of tabs (article/discussion) are nouns and the second set (edit/history/etc.) are verbs that operate on those nouns (specifically, the currently selected one). This is a paradigm that is important to keep, so it is incorrect to think that 'discuss' is an action applied to the page - rather there are two linked pages for which various actions may be performed.
Sorry - a lot of that was unnecessary thinking aloud. In short: 'content' is better than 'page', but I would be interested in any further suggestions... :) --HappyDog 00:26, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
HappyDog, you've nailed down exactly what I've been thinking about, too. As you, I haven't come to a real solution (therefor it's not in the list). I have some ideas that involve feature changes as well, they go beyond wording. I plan to write them down on User:Helge.at/Various Feature Ideas. --Helge 22:30, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Mailing list[edit | edit source]

Please post your suggestions (link of this page) on the mediawiki-i18n mailing list: http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/mediawiki-i18n --Collinj 12:22, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi Collin, I want to complete my list first. Will post it on the list then. --Helge 22:31, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Great idea[edit | edit source]

I took some time to understand how to get rid of some Wikipedia-specific terms and navigations. It makes somewhat confusing to adopt MediaWiki for a corporate wiki. --Fernando Correia 19:34, 21 December 2006 (UTC)