Friday, May 16, 2008

Betawiki localises for *all* MediaWiki projects

There have been some altercations on Betawiki about what localisation is acceptable. What is at stake is the difference between language and project localisation. Betawiki is firmly committed to only allow for language localisation. This means that all references to specific projects like Wikipedia, Wikibooks etcetera are not accepted.

In the projects of one of the languages supported within the Wikimedia Foundation, templates are used to add functionality to the recent changes functionality. These templates are not supported by MediaWiki or by its localisation and are unavailable to MediaWiki installations outside of the WMF. Betawiki does not accept these templates and it is not for a "community" of the WMF to dictate that exceptions are to be made for their language.

The underlying problem is that the Wiktionary and the Wikibooks in that language do not have admins. Admins are the people that can do project localisation. This is what needs fixing. When a new project is created, there should be at least one admin. In this way the community will be able to do the project localisation but also vandal fighting.

The idea that people external to a project are needed to do the maintenance of the project is problematic. When people maintain their own project, when trust is given from the start I am convinced that it will enhance the chances for a project to do well. This is yet another thing that a council should deal with.
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