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Wikimania 2007 Taipei :: a Globe in Accord

This page is part of the Proceedings of Wikimania 2007 (Index of presentations)

Workshop about languages, small projects, the language committee, fund raising, signwriting

Leader Gerard Meijssen
Track Wikimedia Community
License GNU Free Documentation License (details)
About the workshop leader

This page is part of the Proceedings of Wikimania 2007. (Index of presentations)

Gerard Meijssen

AffiliationStichting Open Progress
Template loop detected: Presenters/Gerard Meijssen/Biography
Possible subjects for the workshop
  - Standards
  - Language committee
  - new languages and fostering new projects - Incubator
  - what to do with non functional projects
  - Sign languages and SignWriting as an example of a new project
  - Wikipedia IGNITE and BOOST and fund raising
  - OmegaT and the Wiki read Wiki write feature

Standards are essential, by using them we ensure that we are addressing the same subjects. There are many types of standards, all the Wikimedia projects have their own standards. There are official standards issued by organisations like governments and standard bodies. We are very much into standards that have to do with languages.

  • Debbie's explains about ISO - ISO process and ISO 639-6 IETF LTRU
  • Gerard gives link to OmegaWiki and Wikipedia and why the Linguist list is in our opinion so relevant

Language committee

Mixed group of people all with very different backgrounds.. Language committee aims to achieve two things; ensure that linguistically we have sound projects and that issues with languages are kept to a minimum. This explains on one level why standards are so important to us. The other thing is ensuring that existing projects function within reasonable bounds. Key is that projects and people behave in a reasonable fashion and that WMF values like NPOV and Freedom are maintained.

New languages have to be recognisable for the language that they say they are. When there are official orthographies, these are what you expect that will be used. When there is no fixed orthography, there is a need to manage the different orthographies maybe dialects. The role of ISO-639 and the ability to get more linguistic entities recognised when this is reasonable.

Non functional projects are a risk and or burden, they take a lot of time, they may not conform to the WMF values and worst of all there may be a lot of damaging POV content in there.. In the concept proposal an incomplete set of scenarios are discussed. Even though more scenarios are possible, it provides a framework where most eventualities may fit in. I have written a proposal on how to deal with such projects..

Sign languages are utterly different from spoken languages. So far there has not been a script that allows for the recording of sign languages. In SignWriting, there is a credible script that is usable in daily life. Technically it will pose a challenge; SignWriting is currently not supported by Unicode, many characters exists as bitmaps, the script is written top to bottom. This part of the presentation will be prepared together with Valerie Sutton (who is unable to travel).

Many organisations use MediaWiki and many use Wikipedia for its content. Many organisations want to see the existence of a reliable encyclopedic resource in languages where no such resource exists. Wikipedia IGNITE is a project being developed to improve the usage of MediaWiki and its localisation. It also aims to promote the usage of both MediaWiki and Wikipedia. Wikipedia BOOST is a project to generate more content for Wikipedia in languages where Wikipedia is weak. Wikipedia BOOST is particularly interested when there are more than a million people who speak it as their first language.

This project is big, problematic in many ways and expensive. To pay for this it is necessary to work together with and get financial support from many organisations. One key role is there for the Wikimedia Foundation; not only does it provide for the infrastructure of such a project, it also defines many of the ground rules including the most pervasive one, the software.

Quite often there is a need to translate MediaWiki content. Within the WMF much of such content can be found in Meta. OmegaT is a computer aided translation tool. This tool will at the time of Wikimania have a feature called "Wiki read, Wiki write". In essence it will be able to read an article out of a wiki and when the translation is finished, the translation can be written back to the Wiki. Explained will be how it works and usage scenarios.

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