Friday, March 22, 2013

#MediaWiki powers #jQuery for language support

#Wikipedia is powered by MediaWiki. Wikipedia has a version in over 280 languages and, more languages are waiting in the wings. All these languages need support. This support is needed in all the computer languages used for Wikipedia; in PHP, Javascript even Lua.

With so many languages to support, you really need a standardised way to provide the support. Support for localisation, for input methods, for fonts.

One of the really brilliant software projects provides language support in jQuery and consequently in Javascript. It is under active development and consequently more and more languages are supported in this way. Currently there are over 155 input methods for over 75 languages - it is already the largest repository of input methods on the Web and, it is open source ...

This development has not gone unnoticed. People who support languages and scripts not supported by the Wikimedia Foundation have a hard time finding support for their languages, for their fonts and input methods. I have seen an implementation for the Thuɔŋjäŋ languages developed by Andrew Cunningham.

Even better, Andrew was happy enough to talk to Martin and this may result in even more collaboration on languages that deserve the same support just like any other language.

Do you want to experience the full power of jQuery.ime like me? We just have to wait for the Wikimedia Foundation to roll it out to its own websites. It is great dogfood, they just have to eat it.

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