Sunday, July 30, 2006

WiktionaryZ and attributes

At this time, WiktionaryZ is able to have text based attributes. The implementation allows us to have attributes on the level of the DefinedMeaning. In plain English it means that we can have a free form text without any wiki-syntax. It does not do much for us at this moment. It does not allow us to have sample sentences (they are on the SynTrans level), it doe not allow us to indicate part of speech, inflection or gender (they are on the SynTrans level).

The good thing is that it is an indicator of things that may one day make our day. The thing however is, that it does not necessarily have our highest priority. At this moment our priority is to get our versioning working. We need to have historic data, we need to have improved information in our recent changes.. This is what we need badly.

We need it badly because this is the core functionality of WiktionaryZ or Wikidata. It needs to be done. It needs to be done well. It needs to be done before we add even more complicated functionality in WiktionaryZ.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done. We want to have proper support for terminology, we need to include the notion of "domains" for that. We want to have proper support for lexicology, we need to include the notion of language dependent attributes for that. We need to have relationtypes that can only be chosen in the correct context. The context being either the language or the domain.

All these things will happen. They will happen in a way that is consistent with the amount of resources available. This is why we have a need for involvement. This involvement can come in many different ways from from many different places providing many different angles to improve our data. The key thing is that we will maintain our architectural integrity. It is completely unacceptable to build all kinds of wished for functionality while the technical foundation has not been laid.

The collaboration that became WiktionaryZ will start it's third year at the end of August. There were many reasons why it has taken this long. What it brought us is a design and a philosophy that may work. The third year will be the year where I expect that we will have our full functionality.. When we do, things will evolve more quickly.

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