Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The User Interface and project codes

The user interface (UI) of WiktionaryZ will consist of two parts. One part is specific to WiktionaryZ itself; this part will have data as part of the application itself.. we eat our own dogfood. The second part is the MediaWiki UI. The maintenance has been a big pain, but the last months a lot of great work has been done by Gangleri, Nikerabbit and many others. They have created a great resource where people work on the internationalization and the localization of the MediaWiki software.

For those who do not know the difference, internationalization is making software useful in a multi lingual environment. Given the number of Wikipedia projects, MediaWiki is certainly a project that is on the way to become outstanding in this regard.

There is one problem with respect to the localization; the codes that are used to indicate languages and projects are not the same. Wikipedia uses many ISO-639 codes but also adds codes as and when they feel like it. This has resulted in incompatibility with the ISO-639 code itself.

The correct internationalization and localization is a very important part of creating a multilingual UI for WiktionaryZ. It is therefore gratifying that WiktionaryZ and Ethnologue are now part of the metadata on the implemented languages. The first job will be to link the easy connections, the second will be the problematic connections. The most important job will be to urge people to help with the localization of the MediaWiki messages for their language(s). It will not only improve WiktionaryZ but all MediaWiki projects. It is therefore truly in the interest of all people who use MediaWiki.

Thanks,
GerardM

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