Language Engineering: Progress With Input Methods and Translation Editor

Batti il ferro finché è caldo —an Italian proverb

In its last two-week sprint, the Wikimedia Language Engineering team worked with developers from other teams to improve its keyboard support and we continued working on the new user interface for the Translate extension.

Input methods: More languages and support for mobile devices added

jquery.ime, Wikimedia’s portable keyboard layouts library got boosts from two sources during the last sprint.

Yuvi Panda from the mobile team refactored Wikimedia’s keyboard layouts library, jquery.ime, to make it usable on mobile phones. Now, over 60 keyboard layouts that are supported by IME will also be usable on Android mobile phones. If you’d like to try an early testing version of the mobile keyboard layouts and help developing them, head to the mobile keyboard layouts GitHub repository.

Engineers from Red Hat also joined the input method development effort and added new and improved layouts for the Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu languages, spoken by millions of people in India.

If a keyboard layout for your language is missing, you can send a pull request to the main jquery.ime repository.

Progress on translation editor user experience

The team continued fixing and improving the new translation editor, getting it ready to release. Some of the recent improvements include:

  • The most relevant translation memory suggestions are shown at the top.
  • Messages are loaded automatically when the user scrolls to the bottom of the page.
  • The status bar at the bottom of the page shows information about the status of the translations.
  • Recently translated projects are now displayed correctly in the project selector.
  • Discouraged translation projects are omitted from the group selector.
  • Message documentation can now be edited inside in the translation editor.

A video showing some of the recently deployed features in action: Most relevant translation suggesions are shown first; Inline translation documentation editor; Automatic loading of messages when scrolling; Experimental faceted search page for translations.

The features that were already implemented, were also tested with real users by the team’s interaction designer Pau Giner. The issues that the users reported were noted and will be fixed in the coming sprints.

Niklas Laxström implemented Faceted search for translations using the Free Apache Solr engine and deployed an experimental version of the translation search on the testing site. He also made an open presentation about Solr and its upcoming use in translatewiki.net. You can watch Niklas’ presentation about Solr on YouTube.

Next week some of the team members are going to participate in the FOSDEM conference, and after that—the 2nd Language Summit in the Red Hat offices in Pune.

Amir Aharoni. Software Engineer (Internationalization), Language Engineering team

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