Sunday, January 20, 2008

Noumande (not nrm)

The Norman Wikipedia is a lively project. With 2834 articles it is doing well. Another Wikipedia, only 550 articles bigger is the Alemannic Wikipedia, another lively project. In size these projects are somewhere in the middle of the range. Both were created as a consequence of a problematic vote but it works out quite differently.

When the Alemannic Wikipedia was created, it was fully enabled in MediaWiki. This is not the case for the Norman Wikipedia, its language file only exists in the project. In order to support this project, some programming needs to be done. The BetaWiki programmers are however of the opinion, an opinion that I share, that this should not be done because the nrm code they occupy, is the code for Narom, a language spoken in Malaysia.

These two languages are treated differently. For both linguistic entities some people chose to ignore that there was no proper code. Both currently exist as a project but technically it is not possible to support them completely with the codes they abuse.

So how to deal with this. For a consistent localisation of MediaWiki it is important that we use a coding system that will not bite us. When properly implemented, the ISO-639 codes will not bite us. However it does mean that we have to fix what is broken.

On BetaWiki we have had a request for the localisation of Erzgebergish; no new project is asked for, just the localisation is requested. A request will be made, we already know that it is likely to succeed. This can also be done for Norman. When Norman is considered a dialect, it is certain that we can get a code. I do not know if Norman would be considered a language but this is something that can be discovered. With a proper code, we can have the localisation done at BetaWiki.

For Alemannic it is more complicated. It is not one language, it is several languages. What I do not know is to what extend it maps with what Ethnologue calls Alemannic ...


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