Almost all software developed in the Wikimedia movement is translated using the MediaWiki Translate extension and translatewiki.net online translation platform. I created them as hobby project almost 15 years ago. At the beginning the growth was rapid in terms of content, translators and features. Last time I presented about them in Wikimania was in 2012. After that a period that can be characterized as stagnation started and continued for multiple years. Both Translate and translatewiki.net, as well as the Localisation Update extension, received only a minimal support to keep them working. In the last couple of years it became evident that this is no longer sustainable. The tools and processes have been struggling to meet the increased needs for reliability, usability and functionality.
In this session I want to present both my view of the challenges and threats to continuity as well as latest developments to address those issues. For example, one of the developments is a start of succession plan for translatewiki.net that documents roles and processes with the aim of lowering the barrier of new people being able to join and help. After the presentation I propose to have a discussion on how to ensure these tools keep working and stay relevant long in the future. Are the challenges identified correctly? Are the proposed solutions appropriate? Which are the most important things to work on?
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
Good support for software internationalization and localization reduces inequalities (10) by making the software accessible to all users, not just those who know the well supported languages.
At the end of the session, the following will have been achieved:
- Increased awareness of the current challenges in the software translation tools and processes.
- An improved plan, or at least better understanding, how to make the tools and processes, and especially translatewiki.net sustainable.
- Identify a group of people who can help to realize the plan.
Niklas Laxström (Nikerabbit)
Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a:
- Workshop to identify and try to solve problem
- Roundtable discussion forum
The session will work best with these conditions:
A room with a projector.
Anyone interested in the future of software translation, Translate or translatewiki.net. No prior skills needed. Something like 7-20 people to keep discussion manageable.
No video recording. Slides and plan and/or notes will be published.