Thursday, July 12, 2012

Finding Wikipedia in your language

Since yesterday, the portal has a new feature. In addition to the long list of language names linking to the Wikipedia in that language, there is an inputbox right above it where you can enter a language name and it will redirect you to that Wikipedia. It accepts the native name (autonym), name in English, in your browser language and the language code. For example, you can enter "fran├žais", "French", "Frans" or "fr" and it will bring you to

In case no Wikipedia exists (yet) in that language, it will go to the Wikimedia Incubator test wiki if that is started yet, and else it will show the "info page" inviting you to start that test wiki. For example, entering "Brahui" brings you to the Brahui Wikipedia and entering "Bini" brings you to the relevant info page.

This is still an early version:
  • The language names coverage and the search itself will improve in the (near) future, and the Universal Language Selector might be used in the longer term for easier usage.
  • The label "Find Wikipedia in language" is also only in English since there is no obvious language-neutral icon to use. A solution could be to add a translation of the label based on the browser language.
  • It can probably be added to the other portals as well (i.e. for Wikibooks, Wikinews, ...).
Update: it did not display properly on small screens (mobile phones), it is now (temporarily) hidden there.

Any comments, ideas, problems are welcome,
Robin (SPQRobin)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Berlin Hackathon

It's already mid-June and haven't written a blog post this month... Time goes way too fast!

End May / begin June I have been to the Berlin Hackathon.
I have been coding on planned parts of GSoC: the English language names in core and IncubatorFirstSteps (for WikimediaIncubator) and will commit them now.
I am getting more used to git/gerrit, and it is also very nice to have regular, rapid deployments of code, so once it's reviewed it's quickly available on Wikimedia wikis.

At the hackathon I also met User:Dereckson, who started an effort (in 2008) to create a Wikimedia Belgium chapter. Belgium is one of the few European countries without a chapter, and the idea has been there for years but the enthusiasm / initiative seems to be low. Nevertheless we are now trying to really start a Belgian chapter by next year.

I have also met Judy Tuan, who worked on a Wikipedia SMS application at the San Francisco hackathon. It's a really nice feature, you send an SMS with an article title and it calls you and reads the page content. We made it work for a few other languages in addition to English. Unfortunately it only works for US phone numbers.

I have also had exams, still only one to go next week.

And now Wikimania is less than a month away!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Google Summer of Code!

My last post was two months ago, but I waited for a decision on my Google Summer of Code application before making a new blog post.

... and I was accepted :-) Awesome!
I will be posting updates on this page.

However, MediaWiki switched from SVN to Git and Gerrit, which makes developing a lot more difficult...

Also, MediaWiki 1.20wmf1 was deployed to Wikimedia wikis. For Incubator, this also brought Special:SearchWiki, which you can use to search for a wiki by selecting the project and entering a language name/code. If recognised, this will redirect you to the wiki if it exists and if it doesn't, it will redirect to the test wiki on Incubator.

In late March, several new wikis were created. The Lezgian Wikipedia, which I had fully imported within an hour after it's creation :P, the Belarusian and Gujarati Wikisource and the Slovenian Wikiversity, all three were imported by MF-Warburg.

The Translate extension was already enabled on Incubator back in February, but since then we updated more pages to that system, so again, anyone is encouraged to help with translating :)

Apparently I wasn't involved with much other wiki stuff except for regular Wikipedia editing (plus, in real life, I went skiing for a week without any access to the internet! :D).


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Restarting this blog - news for February

It has been a long time since I made a blog post, and this is the first one that will be available through the Wikimedia Planet.

Since May last year, I've been voluntarily posting monthly reports of the Wikimedia language committee. Sometimes it included other relevant news, but I would like to extend my reporting to other things I do in the Wikimedia world, so that's why I'm restarting this blog. I, or occasionally a mysterious guest blogger, will probably write posts about news related to the LangCom, language support, Incubator, … 

I think this format of monthly updates is something that I am more likely to keep doing, rather than posts about a specific topic.

The following is what was up in February:
  • On 1 February, three wikis were created:, and
  • 1.19 deployment of course, which brings localized magic words and LanguageConverter to test wikis to Incubator
  • I've added a WebFont for the Lontara script, which will be enabled tomorrow on the Buginese Wikipedia.
  • For the Burmese language, which did already have WebFonts support, I submitted a bug to enable it on the Burmese Wikipedia.
  • In the committee, I've proposed the approval for the Slovenian Wikiversity, currently an active part of the BetaWikiversity.
  • Updated and improved some documentation on Meta related to requesting new wikis: merged several templates into one (hopefully easy to use) template.
  • The Translate extension has been enabled on Incubator, which improves the translation process of our documentation there. If you enjoy translating, your help is very welcome :-)
  • I'll probably participate in GsoC (I've been thinking about e.g. global preferences).
  • Applied for a Wikimania scholarschip, and maybe I'll submit a presentation.
  • Among other things, I'm working on Special:SearchWiki for Incubator, which should make it easier to find a wiki in your language.
Robin (SPQRobin)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Inuktitut script

I made a conversion script for Inuktitut (between Syllabics and Latin script) in the MediaWiki software; to be used on the Inuktitut Wikipedia.

Gerard wrote a blog post about it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Geographical distribution of new wikis

I created maps which show the geographical distribution of languages in which an edition of any Wikimedia project was created.
The maps are per year, starting from 2008 until the last year (currently 2010).

It clearly shows that most languages are from Europa, and some from Asia. We definitely need to have more wikis in languages from Africa, South America, ...

See here for a list of the respective wikis.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Restart blog

About two years ago, I wrote some posts, but I deleted some of them because I didn't write anymore here. Now I will maybe restart this blog and write some posts now and then.