The Language team has the goal of reducing the language barrier that users face when accessing or sharing knowledge. The team has created tools to facilitate the participation of our users regardless of their language. These include the creation of multilingual content and software, facilitate language navigation, and support for easy input and proper display of different scripts. Language tools and their infrastructures need regular maintenance and update efforts. Making our language tools and infrastructure work better helps all the projects that rely on them, and saves time and efforts to the people participating in them, from developers to translators and the final users.
In July 2018, an effort was started to identify key areas to improve in our language tools during the upcoming months. The affected tools, the plan and the status updates are described next.
List of tools
Language tools are listed below:
- Translate extension. The infrastructure used to translate our software and multilingual pages. Communities of translators use it on translatewiki.net and Wikimedia Meta-wiki.
- Universal Language selector. Provides easy access to language settings, and facilitates language selection in different contexts including interlanguage links.
- Project Milkshake. Developer libraries for internationalisation support on the web including input methods, web-fonts, and grammatical rules for languages that can be used on both Wikimedia and external projects.
- MediaWiki Language Extension Bundle. A collection of selected MediaWiki extensions needed by any wiki which desires to be multilingual.
- Content Translation. The tool to facilitate translation of Wikipedia articles across languages. Since it is in active development, the progress of this tool won't be tracked as part of the current maintenance effort, but as part of its own project page for the new version.
Since there is a wide catalog of language tools and potential areas to improve we plan to operate in the following way:
- Language tools audit. Identify areas and their potential impact in order to have clarity on the areas we want to focus our maintenance work regarding language tools.
- Get feedback. Share our plans and get input from the different people involved, including the users of the tools and people working in other Wikimedia projects.
- Work on the selected areas. Once areas are identified and the people involved are in the same page, the Language team will work on the areas defined.
Your input is important in this process, so feel free to add your comments to the talk page.
- Cleaner codebase by removing backward compatibility code to support old Mediawiki versions.
- Better communication of language changes by asking for user confirmation when accessing a link that request a change of language.
- Migrated 9 projects to the new framework for more flexible validation of translated messages: Pywikibot, Citation Hunt, Internet Archive Bot, GapFinder, Wikipedia Library Card Platform, MantisBT, Mazi, Mifos, and FUDForm.
- Migration of Open Street Map (website) and FreeCol projects to the new validator framework.
- Improved support for validating plural forms in translation messages to ensure consistency with the source message and the plural rules of each language.
- Updated auto-size libraries and data formats used.
- Improved performance of translation export process to prevent timeouts.
- Cleaner configuration for MLEB releases.
- Simplified access to similar messages.
- More reliable import process for translations by ensuring the information is immediately updated at the end of the process.
- Improved saving process by keeping the list of languages immediately up to date.
- Improved performance when selecting a message group to translate.
- Improved validation by allowing to enforce that translation keys use certain values, and limit the validation to specific messages.
- Migration of Nocc to the new validator framework.
- More reliable diffs for translation messages.
- Support for language variants in the title of multilingual pages which was not possible to convert before.
- Technical updates for translatewiki.net related to SSL and searching.
- Improved stability with improvements to performance when loading translators, processing fuzzy translations, and less noisy certificate-related notifications.
- Improved import process for translations by better presenting and handling messages that were renamed.
- Better context for translators by providing access to other messages using the proposed machine translation suggestions.
- Better approval process for translators by correcting issue with duplicate approvals.
- Support localization of DiscordWikiBot
- Improved integration of language selection into the personal toolbar by adjusting the visual alignment.
- Better representation of HTML special characters in translation suggestions.
- Fixed issues with extension missing path information.
- Improved control on translations with an option to allow translations only for the defined priority languages.
- More reliable export process by preventing failures in one project to prevent exporting others.
- Improved backup system for translatewiki.net
- Improved database access for Translate
- Support for Global CheckUser on translatewiki.net
- Translation support for WhoWroteThat extension.
- Support for changes in AbuseFilter and SpamBlacklist APIs
- Reduce visual noise by removing separator in translatable pages.
- Support for localization of KaiOS Wikipedia app and Femiwiki.
- Compatibility support for language tools with new PHP versions, with older Mediawiki version and with function deprecation of new Mediawiki versions.
- More clearly surface duplicated content errors before users mark pages for translation.
- Export repo migration for Encyclopedia of Life project.
- Avoid running Hip Hop Virtual Machine (HHVM) specific tests when such virtual machine is not used.
- Deprecation alerts as part of the migration process to use the new registration system for extensions.
- Improved support for moving translated categories and database load balancing.
- Improvements in the validation framework to check consistency of empty lines, and migration of a new project (Dissemin) to use the new validation framework.
- More reliable support for marking translations as discouraged.
- Migration of a new project (WMCZ-Tracker) to the new validator framework.
- Improvements in the sign up process for Translate extension
- Fixed issues that made documentation for translations link to the wrong namespace, and issues from deprecated parsing functions.
- Better alignment with new standards by using the new extension registration system for Translate and for translatewiki.net, avoid using deprecated functions when moving translatable pages, and fixing issues with export functions on new PHP versions and the Hip Hop virtual machine (HHVM).
- Improved translation message integrity by supporting custom checks with a new validation framework.
- More fluent account creation process by better communicating the wait to the user and making username available for previously rejected user applications.
- Better support for exporting by preventing issues with empty groups of messages to translate and support for Phabricator translations.
- More reliable sharing/bookmarking of messages to translate by ensuring the link considers the current language when it changes.
- Better support for source language by preventing actions that do not apply such as proofreading, or changing the translation status.
- More clarity to communicate priority languages by showing a proper notice when translation to non-priority languages is blocked, avoid showing the message when already translating to a priority language, avoid showing the notice when translating documentation, and including also other languages in the stats.
- Better support for importing translation updates by clarifying the possible merge actions, and the link to import pre-existing translations.
- More reliable language selection by avoiding Simple English to be missing in the interlanguage links when it should be available.
- Improved font support for Church Slavonic.
- Better handling of searches with a large number of results.
- More reliable update for translation statistics.
- Support for Microsoft translation restored.
- Message group stats improvements to include review stats and avoid timeout errors.
- More reliably showing the progress of translations.
- Improvements on code review infrastructure to prevent false positives in code review.
- Improvements in the list of message groups to provide more clarity by adjusting the colors.
- Better support for moving translatable sub-pages by avoiding moves to affect the parent page.
- Better proofreading support by avoiding translations to be automatically marked as reviewed when they are not.
- More reliable access to message groups by avoiding errors due to the truncation of long IDs, improved query performance, and avoided warnings.
- More reliable support for moving and deleting translated pages.
- List of proposed interventions documented on wiki for discussion.
- Initial discussion on initial potential areas based on the Language goals and whishlist page.