For the previous version of this page/discussion see /2007.
This is a discussion of how interwiki language links work and should work in the Wiktionaries. Note that most of this applies only to namespace 0, the main namespace; the other namespaces are done much as the 'pedia and other projects do.
There are serious issues with maintenance of
interwiki.py for "wiktionary mode": problem and bug reports go unanswered and unfixed for weeks and months, while operators believe that by re-syncing nightly they are up to date. In a few cases, the maintainers have refused to make necessary corrections (thus, for example, the program is un-usable on the pl.wikt).
||status on sourceforge
|not add links to specific other wikt
||refused to fix  
||The Polish wikt does not allow standard bots to link to the Russian wiktionary; the problem is that many of the entries there are empty templates. It is not that they don't link to ru.wikt, it is that the links are added by their own program (Tsca.bot) which checks in some way, other bots should not add them.
|wikts using alpha-by-name revised sort
||was pending , closed without being fixed after a year
||Some wikts want the sort order to be the "revised" order used by some 'pedias.
|sv.wikt wants "Dodde order"
||claimed fixed , but was not
||particular sort order designed originally for the Swedish Wiktionary.
|linking to redirects
||apparently refused (tbc, no tracker link found)
||See below, a serious problem as the existing code will remove links, and thus cannot be run on some wikts.
Keeping the "framework" code up to date is a crock, and proves very hard to maintain. This is also true for other projects.
It has been suggested that the sort order be specified in a MediaWiki: namespace message for each project, defaulting to code order. This would be vey useful.
At present, the order in the framework is incorrect for da, ms, and sv; and possibly others.
Linking to redirects
It has been the default policy, as implemented in
interwiki.py, not to add links to the same form on another wikt when the target of the link is a redirect.
It is not clear whether this was ever intentional, or a side-effect of the hacking of the wikipedia interwiki code to operate in "wiktionary mode".
It would be much more useful to have a standard policy of always linking to redirects in the other wikt.
Note: At this time, Interwicket only adds links to redirects when it is configured to for specific wikts; the others are treated as default: it neither adds links to redirects nor removes them if found.
Wikts often use different canonical forms for a given idiom, either in a standard way or arbitrarily.
For example: en:fix und fertig and de:fix und fertig sein are the entries. On the en.wikt, en:fix und fertig sein is a redirect to the entry, on de.wikt, en:fix und fertig is a redirect. This works well with iwiki links to redirects, but is broken without: en.wikt links to redirects, de.wikt does not (table as of status 31 January 2009)
If de.wikt allowed links to redirects, this would work exactly as it should. And if either wikt (or any other language also linking these titles) moves from one to the other (reverses redirect) it continues to work correctly without modifying the interwiki links.
Different wikts use various standard typography; the en.wikt uses a straight apostrophe in (almost) all cases, while the fr.wikt uses ’ ("right single quotation mark") in the same cases. So wikt:en:z' is the standard form on en, and wikt:fr:z’ on the fr.wikt. Linking to the redirects, wikt:en:z’ and wikt:fr:z' provides the reader with access to the standard form on the other wikt. (Note that as of this writing, a user has added a non-standard iwiki to the fr.wikt page ;-).
The issue here is linking to the redirects in both directions so the entries can be found. (And not to try to impose the standard apostrophe used on the other wikts.)
The English wikt has entries for wikt:en:食 (U+98DF) and a modified form of the radical wikt:en:飠 (U+98E0), (radical 184), the zh wiktionary combines the entries, with the form redirected to the radical. Likewise the simplified form wikt:en:饣 is redirected to the traditional form. The interwiki links from en.wikt all work correctly, as it links to these redirects; other wikts that are not linking to redirects have no interwiki links for these characters to the zh.wikt, a rather large omission.
For example, while the en.wikt has entries for wikt:en:cerveza and wikt:en:cervezas, the ca.wikt (Catalan) redirects ca:cervezas to ca:cerveza. A reader starting on the Catalan wiktionary will always see wikt:ca:cerveza, and iwiki to the singular form in the en.wikt (which of course has the inflections linked in the text). A reader starting with the en.wikt will see the form looked for; following the iwiki link for ca will arrive at wikt:ca:cerveza in either case.
The Bulgarian wiktionary also has a very large number of bot-generated redirects to (presumably) a base form.
Vowel markings (Arabic, Hebrew, etc)
Different wikts have very different policies (or non-policies) concerning redirects from forms to the "defective" form, without markings. (Or to different markings.) Linking to the redirects is a best effort case for getting the reader to the desired entries.
There still are a number of redirects left over from the "conversion script", although we've deleted most from en.wikt; most wikts had few or no entries when the script was run. In any case, it is not harmful to end up at a different capitalization on the other wikt; it may be the desired form; the redirect may be intentional.
A number of other cases exist due to local policies and conventions. For example wikt:ur:business redirects to the Urdu word, rather than being an entry for the English word with the Urdu definition. (It isn't clear whether this is policy, convention, or mistake ...) So wikt:en:business has a link to the intended (?) entry in the Urdu wiktionary.
Some wikts use redirects for spelling variants or errors.
Move leftovers, junk
Move leftovers from errors might be useful, but probably not; but will only be linked to from an actual entry, so they are words in some language. Pure junk (vandalism, etc) will exist whether redirects or not, but if not words, there won't be any valid entries to link to them anyway.
Linking to redirects in the other wikt is an all-around win, the negatives are almost non-existent. We really should make the default policy be linking to redirects; while still permitting wikts to have specific policy (of course). However, it might be reasonable with the appropriate community discussion to make linking to redirects universal policy.
Depending on whether a wikt is mostly unused yet, somewhat developed, or fully developed, the "main page" is found it several different states. Sometimes it is still called "Main page". Often it is called something language specific, but still in namespace 0. The MediaWiki: pointer may or may not point directly to it, and it may or may not be protected.
Ideally, the main page will be in Project: space, with interlanguage links as usual for that namespace (and all other non-zero namespaces on the wikts). This is least confusing for interwiki bots. They may not be able to update the page as it is usually protected, but will be able to read it and use the information normally.