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Language Engineering team participates in GNUnify 2013

Det vatten du hämtar ur bäcken lär dig känna källan – a Swedish Proverb.

GNUnify is an annual gathering consisting of workshops, talks & seminars, held to help increase the awareness of free and open-source software in India.

GNUnify is an annual gathering consisting of workshops, talks & seminars, held to help increase the awareness of free and open-source software in India.

The Wikimedia Language Engineering team participated in GNUnify 2013 held in Pune, India on February 15–17. The team presented their work, conducted a translation sprint, organized workshops and also participated in discussions with local Wikipedians about using MediaWiki and Wikimedia projects in their languages.

Presentations by the team

Runa Bhattacharjee presented about the changing dynamics in the adoption of localized content and the need for developing tools that facilitate new demands. She introduced the projects that the Language Engineering team is working on. Siebrand Mazeland and Niklas Laxström gave a walkthrough of the MediaWiki Translate extension and the translatewiki.net platform, and showcased the new design and features of the updated translation editor.

Santhosh Thottingal presented how the jQuery libraries of Project Milkshake can be used to prepare multilingual web applications for internationalization; he also presented a tutorial on their use. Amir Aharoni demonstrated the easy use of the input methods provided by the jQuery.IME library and how to contribute using phonetic keymaps. He encouraged use in web applications of the currently more than 140 input methods of the library. Yuvaraj Pandian demonstrated how he ported jQuery.IME for use in Android devices.

Alolita Sharma spoke about technologies and tools that help contributing to Wikipedia in various languages. She highlighted the need for features and tools to support non-English Wikipedias and the solutions that the Language Engineering team is developing that would help eliminate fundamental hindrances that contributors face while trying to create content for Indian languages. She also spoke about the other Wikimedia projects that are open for participation.

Workshops

Amir Aharoni conducted a workshop on the jQuery.IME library, in which he demonstrated the procedure to add a new input method and submit it for inclusion on GitHub. A two-hour translation sprint was conducted in which almost 40 participants translated various projects hosted on translatewiki.net. At the end of the session, more than 1000 completed translations were logged and prizes were distributed for the most significant contributions. Yuvaraj Pandian, Sucheta Ghoshal and Harsh Kothari conducted a workshop on building MediaWiki gadgets. Participants were introduced to the process of creating gadgets using JavaScript and CSS, and making them available for other users.

Language Engineering BOF session

The Language Engineering team also organized a session to discuss technical issues related to Wikimedia projects in Indian languages, which was attended by local Wikipedians. Issues related to following up on internationalization and localization bugs and building local technical user groups were discussed.

To conclude, participation in open source conferences such as GNUnify helps get more open source developers as well as language Wikipedians aware of the latest tools that the Language Engineering team is developing which they can use as well as receive direct feedback from the global communities the team serves.

More information can be found in the detailed report.

Runa Bhattacharjee, Outreach and QA coordinator, Language Engineering