Monday, September 07, 2009

Becoming a "best practice"

At we support an increasing number of applications. It all started with MediaWiki and more and more applications followed. We are currently working on supporting OpenStreetMap this is a tough nut to crack as there are three issues that still need to be resolved.

Supporting OpenStreetMap makes sense on many levels, the more obvious one is that as OSM will be used in Wikimedia Foundation projects our community will find it a compelling application to support. What is more surprising is that as supports more applications it becomes more of a "best practice" for supporting languages.

According to the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity, some 50 million of all Europeans or 10% of Europe's population speak a regional or minority language.  The NPLD supports the "best practices" that help these languages. We have been corresponding about this with one of our localisers who is professionally involved in supporting his language. He indicated that our strenghts are:
  • We are dedicated to internationalisation and localisation
  • We have a community of localisers
  • Our community does support many Open Source applications
When organisations like the NPLD get an interest, it may mean that money becomes available to make even more compelling. MediaWiki and OpenStreetMap are relevant because they provide relevant content. Having a quality localisation shows respect for the language and consequently enhances the use and the usability of these projects.

The talks about the NPLD and its possible involvement are still very much in the early stages. For me the "take home message" is first and foremost that our work is being appreciated and considered to be a best practice.
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