Content translation/V2

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Content translation version 2 (CX2) is a major refactoring and architectural update of Content Translation (CX). The goal is to provide a solid and reliable translation tool that is aligned with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design, and provides a great way to contribute for newcomers. Version 2 uses the Visual Editor editing surface, uses a OOUI based front end, and follows the Wikimedia design guidelines. In addition, learnings from existing and new research on the experience of new editors will be used to identify improvements to make translation a great way to start contributing to Wikipedia.

The plan is to gradually replace version 1 with version 2 in several stages. A backwards compatibility plan will make sure that content created by users during the transition period won't be affected.

Try the new version[edit]

Option to enable version 2 from the translation dashboard.

The new version is in an early stage, and it is still in active development. Please, use it to translate articles and report feedback. We love to hear what works for you, and what still needs improvement.

The new version is available in production on Wikipedia, and can be enabled from the translation dashboard by clicking on the "Try the new version" link on the "Need help translating?" section. This will activate the new version for any new translation you start next.

Using version 2 on production will create content in real wikis when you publish your translation, so it is not suited for experiments that don't create a quality translation as a result. For more experimental testing, you can try the new feature in our testing servers. They are a separate wiki (you need to create a new user account since the log-in service is not integrated with Wikimedia projects). Although the content you translate in the test servers comes from real Wikipedias, the published content will be only created in the test server. This allows to experiment without interfering with the work done in those projects.

Provide feedback[edit]

We are interested in hearing how well the new version works for both new and existing users of Content Translation. If you are providing specific feedback about version 2, make sure to mention it refers to CX2. Otherwise, it may be harder to identify the issue. You can use the CX2 discussion page for specific feedback on CX2, and report issues in Phabricator.

Track articles created[edit]

A dashboard shows the translations published with the new version and the number of users publishing these. In addition, articles published with the new version are marked with the #contenttranslation-v2 edit tag to facilitate finding them (e.g., using Recent Changes) and evaluate the quality of the content.


The new version will include a more powerful editing surface, which will bring new possibilities that were repeatedly requested by translators using the tool. However, other features form version 1 won't be initially available with the new version.

Major features[edit]

A general CX2 roadmap describes the planned interventions in more detail. The main areas of intervention are:

  • Align with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design
    • Visual Editor's editing surface with more editing tools to insert and edit templates, tables, multimedia, categories, etc.
    • Reliable undo/redo support.
    • UI revamp based on UI Standardisation initiative and OOUI components
  • A great way to contribute for newcomers
    • Machine translation support for Template params, reference texts and practically all kind of elements in screen. In version 1, machine translation was limited to paragraphs alone.
    • Better support for References and Templates
    • Ability to add and remove categories
  • Solid and reliable
    • Fixing lots of bugs that was too difficult to handle with previous version

Missing features from the current version[edit]

The features listed above are possible with the new technology architecture. However, in order to be able to deliver those improvements soon, we have to limit the efforts of rewriting all the existing tools CX1 has. Thus, some of the existing tools won't be available in CX2 initially. We selected those based on our observations of current use, the value they provide in version 1 and their complexity, but we are looking for your feedback during this process.

These are the tools currently in CX1 that will be missing initially for CX2:

  • Custom template translation editor. CX1 added support for a side-by-side editor of templates that allowed translators to map their parameters. The initial implementation allowed to evaluate a promising concept but it was far from being complete, and rewriting this for CX2 will require significant effort. Initially, the standard template editor dialog provided by Visual Editor will be available in CX2 instead. Although it is not optimized for transferring information across languages, it provides basic support for editing all parameters of a template in the translation.
  • Dictionaries. CX1 had experimental support for dictionary information lookup for a few language pairs. Dictionaries are a very relevant tool for translators, and we'll keep track the progress of Wikimedia projects in this area that will enable their integration in the future. However, providing support for CX2 makes more sense when there is a clear plan to integrate more dictionaries.
  • Progress indicator in the editor. A progress bar showed in CX1 how much of the article was translated and how much was missing. This information will be still visible from the dashboard, but not while editing the article. Based on our observations from users, having it on the editor was not providing much value.
  • Announcements of new machine translation services. The automatic translation card became highlighted when a new machine translation service was made available for the current language. This was especially useful in the initial staged of the tool where new services were added regularly. We can reconsider this feature once the migration to version 2 is completed and we plan to integrate new machine translation services in the future.

Status Updates[edit]

November 2018[edit]

October 2018[edit]

"Try the new version" allows to enable version 2 for the user from the translation dashboard.

September 2018[edit]

August 2018[edit]

July 2018[edit]

June 2018[edit]

Link card with information about the link in both languages, and automatic translation with the translation service used for initial translations.

May 2018[edit]

April 2018[edit]

Images are adapted and additional editing tools are provided.
Asking for confirmation when publishing will overwrite an existing page.

March 2018[edit]

A cleaner layout and editing tools provided in the tools column.

February 2018[edit]

Initial state of CX2


Content Translation was developed iteratively for last 2+ years. During that time, the focus was to evaluate the core ideas on how to improve the translation experience for Wikipedia editors. The architecture was a flexible one where modules can be plugged and try these concepts. This allowed to move fast, but the approach and cut corners affected the code organisation, maintainability and reliability of the tool. The proposed refactoring and architectural update will contribute to provide a tool solid and reliable translation tool that is aligned with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design.

At the end of this intervention we want Content Translation to be a tool that:

  • Is aligned with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design. Uses the editing surface technology of Visual Editor (VE), and follows the Design style guide principles.
  • Is a great way to contribute for newcomers. The tool provides a quick and easy way for new editors to start contributing. Even if the tool does not support dealing with complex content or situations, it always provides a clear path forward for new editors.
  • Is solid and reliable. The tool is reliable enough to go out of beta for at least one community.

The way to get there is detailed in different plans below.

Development plan[edit]

Starting in February 2018, the CX2 roadmap defines the incremental stages to complete the development of the tool.

Rollout plan[edit]

A rough plan is to enable version 2 in smaller wikis or subset of wikis to do QA and gradually rollout to more wikis. The list of representative wikis can be useful to identify candidates.

Backwards compatibility plan[edit]

Versions 1 and 2 will coexist during a transition period. Given that the translations each version produce are not expected to be compatible, the following steps are considered to avoid issues related to breaking backwards compatibility:

  1. Translations started with one version of the editor will be alway opened with the same version, regardless of which is the current default editor. That is, when version 2 is the default, old translations started with the version1 will still be opened with version 1.
  2. Once version 2 is considered the stable default, creating new translations with older versions will be prevented. That is, version 1 will not be available to create new translations, but it will be still available to edit the old ones.
  3. With a process in place to automatically discard translations after one year, version 1 could be safely removed after such period pases since no new articles can be started with it.