Sunday, November 14, 2010

#MediaWiki localisation is not only about the #Wikimedia fundraiser

The fundraiser is really important and its localisations can do with a lot more TLC. It is however not the only thing that needs localisation and Tender Loving Care. I am quite happy that the MediaWiki installer is coming of age. It is for this reason that I happily echo this request by Max Semenik and I hope that it will result in many installations that will benefit from your work.

[Wikitech-l] Call to arms - installer translations

As you all know, the installer was rewritten recently. Step-by-step wizard, JS magic, UI for configuration options that previously had to be manually changed in LocalSettings, in-place upgrades, you name it.

However, there's one thing about it that needs YOUR help: translations. The new installer (at last!) has a localisable interface, and it needs translations to be usable to more people around the world. However, from my experience with installer translations:

  • Most translators are non-techies, they have problems with long messages full of that weird IT lingo.
  • Things are bad when translators avoid translating a message because they don't understand it. Things get much, much worse if they think that they know how to translate them, but in reality they're wrong.
  • While simple users usually can take a look at wiki to have an idea how things work, this is not an option with the installer. Some messages may therefore be translated out of context.

So those of you who are proficient in languages other than English - YOU can make a difference. Go to and start translating. If there are already some translations in your language, double-check them - I assure you, there will be things to fix. Once everything is complete, try running the installer a few times, covering as many execution paths as you can - there will be things to

This way, we can ensure much better localisation. Oh, and forgive me my propagandist style - I couldn't help myself :)

 Max Semenik ([[User:MaxSem]])
Post a Comment