Pushing MediaWiki Internationalization

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Insights into MediaWiki i18n at a large multi-language service provider

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Pushing MediaWiki Internationalization

  1. 1. Pushing MediaWiki Internationalization Insights into MediaWiki i18n at a large multi-language service provider Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  2. 2. ● 130,000+ wikis in 220+ languages ● 2,000,000+ user accounts ● Top 80 Website ● ~33 mm unique users per month ● 2/3 international ● 250+ MediaWiki extensions ● Free license Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  3. 3. "Wikia was founded by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley with a mission to enable communities to create, share and discover content on any topic in any language.” English is the native language of only ~30% of the Internet's population. Let's not alienate the other 70%. “Mission statement” from our About Wikia page Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  4. 4. ● Internationalization = i18n / Localization = L10n ● Adapting our software to different languages and regional differences ● Language ● Word order ● Encoding ● Different formatting/conventions (e.g. dates, sort order) ● Text processing (e.g. capitalization) ● Writing direction ● Mostly “simple” translations, but: ● Many L10n issues require more profound changes than simple text translations. Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  5. 5. Problems ● More wikis, users, extensions, languages ● How should the rollout be handled? – Activate globally (messages will show up in English) – Activate on a per language base (per request/if i18n is ready) ● Organizational overhead does not scale ● Best solution: User based Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  6. 6. translatewiki.net (twn) ● Localization community for MediaWiki and other open-source projects ● Becoming more and more a “standard” way for i18n Why is twn an interesting partner? ● Active translation community ● Languages Wikia's team never even heard of ● Users striving for perfection ● Statistics! With colored bars! Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  7. 7. Technical background (short!) Local Messaging Code Empty Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  8. 8. Technical background (short!) Local Messaging Code twn Replication of translated Empty MediaWiki messages Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  9. 9. Wikia translatewiki.net Benefits ● Less organizational overhead ● Supporting the mission of twn ● More translators ● Learning for future co-operations ● Pure number of translations ● Having a good example/case study ● Bigger userbase/new opportunities to show interested parties ● Quality of translations/additional QA ● Development by Wikia ● Gaining more insights into i18n Shortcomings ● Messages won't go live instantly ● Deal with the fact that Wikia is a ● Coordination needed between us/twn commercial company ● More work for engineering ● Reaction time to bug reports ● Need to meet certain standards ● Clash between volunteers and ● Better documentation paid people “doing their job” ● Matching with Messaging ● … ● twn guys may break our code ● Wikia devs may break twn work Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  10. 10. Results since start of cooperation ● Since Feb 2010 tens of thousands messages were translated (15,000+ during first weeks) ● 19+ languages have now more than 50% of all messages translated (before: ~8) ● 11+ languages have now 100% of all messages translated (before: 3) ● Lots of new translators (~15 → ~60) Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  11. 11. Outlook (What can be done better?) ● LocalisationUpdate (explain) ● Instant replication of messages ● Translate more than MediaWiki messages only (e.g. Help pages) ● Better statistics ● Gain more insights ● Automate certain actions (e.g. activate extensions at Wikia once it's fully translated) Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010
  12. 12. What can you do? ● Join in as translator at translatewiki.net ● Become active inside Wikia's meta community ● Tell us if you spot any errors ● ... Thanks! Tim Bartel Wikimania 2010

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