Friday, June 25, 2010

#Wikimedia Foundation wants us to support #Burmese

When you get mail from the "Head of Partnerships and Foundation Relations" introducing someone from the Burmese Wikipedia community seeking support for its language it pays to do some reading on the subject. An obvious place is Wikipedia another is the Burmese Wikipedia itself.


When you read the available information, there are clearly font issues. People use Zawgyi which is currently the most widely used solution for input in Myanmar-language websites. It is however not Unicode compliant and this is what MediaWiki relies on.

There are tools to convert Zawqyi texts to Unicode, there are even tools to convert what you type in Zawgyi to Unicode (5.1). We can suggest that input methods become available in MediaWiki for Burmese but in the end, from a translatewiki.net point of view there is only so much we can do.

Translatewiki.net is about internationalisation and localisation. We are looking for more developer support to do just that. We are looking for Burmese localisers to improve the quality of its localisation. For the technical support of scripts, for improvements of the usability of MediaWiki for scripts and languages we rely on the MediaWiki developers, we rely on the Wikimedia Foundation to give this its priority.
Thanks,
     GerardM

NB Yes, we will talk in Gdansk
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