Consolidation was the name of the game for the past sprint for Wikimedia’s Localization team. A bug triage, testing, documentation and bug fixes were the activities designed to make our software more stable and more usable. When you read the bug triage report it becomes clear how much the devil is in the details; real native language expertise is needed to understand and assess the issues  we aim to solve. Read the report and you will see how much we rely on our community, on people like Srikanth and Nemo_bis.

Language statistics

Now that we are writing documentation in a central place, like here on the language statistics of the Translate extension, we are now able to provide you with a help text that is specific to the context. For the language statistics it is a help text about “statistics and reporting“. This functionality is ready but will become available in the deployment of January 30. You can help us and yourself by reading and understanding the text. Ask when you have questions and you can translate the text and make the text that much more your own.

Narayam is another extension that has been improved with user documentation. This documentation is completely new and it can effectively replace existing documentation. The existing documentation has the benefit of being written in the local language and we expect that what is written will be similar to the Narayam documentation. The language communities can then decide if they want to point to the local documentation. Like all our software, the Narayam documentation will be available for translation. Having the translation ready may be one of the considerations.

Inscript layout for Assamese

A lot of work is going into the description of the many input methods like the Inscipt layout for Assamese. These descriptions are “must have” help information when you do not know a particular keyboard layout by heart. They also provide a wonderful opportunity to verify if our implementation for a particular keyboard method is correct. This is yet another instance where native speakers can help us a lot.

Testing and coming to grips with the different tools was a major goal for this sprint. PHPunit and Qunit is what is used to test PHP and JavaScript and the tests developed are used in an environment called TestSwarm and Jenkins (respectively for PHP and JavaScript). As our team is so much into language support, we are learning what the limits are for testing for different languages and scripts.

All in all there may have been a slush and we have done a lot of code review, but we also managed to make sure that our functionality has gained stability for this and future releases. Additionally, work was done on grammar support for JavaScript, but the patch for that was stuffed in a bug report because of the slush, as the story was moved to the next sprint. Grammar support is what fills the gap in localization support between JavaScript and PHP and makes it available to any and all other developers.

Gerard Meijssen
Internationalization / Localization outreach consultant