Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Problems with MediaWiki .. Incompatibilities

MediaWiki is great software, it works well, it scales like it should, it is probably the software that is localised most often. It is also incompatible with the orthographies of several languages.

We already new about the problem with Neapolitan, they have words like d''a the problem is that '' means that the next bit is to be italic .. or bold. A new problem came up. The N|u language is spoken in South Africa, because of the | it is not possible to create a wiki link to the name of this language.

There is a big move in the MediaWiki software to get WYSIWYG for MediaWiki. I hope people will also take the next step and kill off the current Wikisyntax that prevent us from doing what needs to be done; support all languages.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name of the language Nǀu has a click in it. The correct character is ǀ (U+01C0), not Wikimedia's pipe.

12:23 pm  
Blogger GerardM said...

I disagree, the name of this language is used in the English language and this (U+01C0) code is not available. This means that the | character is what is used and therefore it cannot be safely used.

9:43 pm  
Blogger Brad said...

On the Neapolitan wiki, they use <nowiki>''</nowiki> to turn off the parser. It's ugly, but it works.

Could you clarify why U+01C0 should not be allowed? Its Unicode name is LATIN LETTER DENTAL CLICK, and it is specifically meant to be used this way. If you search for Nǀu (N U+01C0 u), you see several references to the Nǀu language (including on Wikipedia).

7:14 pm  
Blogger GerardM said...

There is a difference between "not allowed" and "not available". It may be that this character is to be used but as ling as even Ethologue uses the characters like N|u you cannot expect this character being used. People do not know this character and it is replaced by the "pipe" character.

8:00 pm  
Blogger Brad said...

Ah, I see, I misinterpreted your comment. I will just hope that the multitudes who will be adding entries in Nǀu will learn to use U+01C0 :)

Perhaps a solution along the lines of's: beneath the edit box for an article, provide a character palette. I was looking it over carefully for the first time just now; Wikipedia even has "ǀ" (U+01C0) in the palette!

11:49 pm  
Blogger Heidi said...

As far as the Neapolitan wiki, we found that the "nowiki" didn't work in all situations, pagenames for example. There are bots that go around and remove the nowikis and all the links get broken. We've had to go to & # 39 ; & # 39; instead. As has been said about the nowiki- it's ugly, but it works.

7:53 am  

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