Topic on Talk:Content translation/Specification

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Nemo bis (talkcontribs)

I'm not sure how to contact the development team... I'll try this talk page this time.

I've noticed there is a Yandex backend patch in the works. Is there a bugzilla report about it? I don't know if it's just for testing or what, but as you know the Wikimedia projects are very sensitive to privacy and free software, so it's important that before entering any use this is announced widely, with rationale etc. People will have questions, like: is this the first piece of proprietary software ever entering use in the Wikimedia projects land?

An important page to remember is the official directory of the software in use by Wikimedia organisations, m:FLOSS-Exchange. It must be kept up to date.

Pginer-WMF (talkcontribs)

Thanks for raising those points. We are aware of the community concerns about the use of external proprietary services.

We have shown that Open Source translation engines are our big priority by integrating Apertium already. Unfortunately, Apertium supports about 36 language pairs, while other services such as those provided by Microsoft or Yandex support about 1936 language pairs (all possible combinations of 44 languages).

Increasing the language coverage is important to help users to expand the sum of all human knowledge using Content Translation. The current patchset is intended to test the use of multiple services and it is using Yandex just as a convenient example. This does not mean that integrating that specific service is in our immediate plans.

It is worth noting that in any case we are not including closed source software in our codebase. The interaction with external services is based on sending the existing content of an article (not including information about the user or any other user input). This is not very different from other examples such as location template linking to Google maps in addition to OpenStreetmap. In any case we are in conversations with the Legal department to make sure there are no problems in that regard.

Beyond technical and legal issues, we won’t be deciding in the name of the communities. We think it is our duty to prepare a software so that it can help users from as many languages as possible by accessing to as many services as we can (and we welcome the community to integrate all kinds of services in our platform), but each community will have their say and would be able to configure which services are made available. Even more, individual users will be able to select their preferred translation service from those offered (and we’ll keep any Open Source option available as the default).

Nemo bis (talkcontribs)

This answer was completely oblivious of my question. I see Yandex is now proceeding, and I didn't see any update sent to the main community venues, nor an update of the appropriate documentation pages.

No, a Commons template is not like MediaWiki software. No, hyperlinking is not the same as embedding a service over the network.

Runab WMF (talkcontribs)

Thanks for bringing this up Nemo. It is understandable that there will be concerns like yours when we explore services such as Yandex. As Pau had earlier explained, these are technical explorations which are important to expand the scope of what the tool can provide and benefit more users in the process. This is currently restricted to the beta server environment for further testing. The Language Engineering team is by no means an expert in matters of legal nuances related to MediaWiki software and policies about third party services that affect our community. We have been interacting heavily with the departments within WMF (Legal, Community Advocacy and others) to make sure no terms are violated at any step. However, in view of these concerns if you recommend that there is a need for an in-depth dialogue with you (and others who will be relevant to the conversation) we will be happy to take that up with our Legal team.

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