The Universal Language Selector (ULS) provides a flexible way to configure and deliver language settings like interface language, fonts, and input methods (keyboard mappings). It combines the features of two earlier Mediawiki extensions Narayam and WebFonts. From June 11, 2013 on, ULS will be made available to all Wikimedia wikis in 5 phases.
In the first phase, ULS will replace the Narayam and WebFonts extensions on 84 wikis. User preferences from the replaced extensions will not be preserved. Affected communities will be notified by the Wikimedia Language Engineering team of the upcoming change.
In the 5 weeks that follow, ULS will be deployed on Wikipedias in size 11-20 (phase 2), all projects without language versions (phase 3), English language Wikipedia (phase 4) and all other wikis (phase 5).
The Universal Language Selector can be visible in two ways: In the sidebar for wikis with language versions, like Wikipedia, or in the personal toolbar at the top of wiki pages for wikis without language versions, like Wikimedia Commons and Meta-Wiki. Based on the geographic location of users, the initial set of language preferences is presented. Users can set the input methods and fonts to that they want to use. Logged-in users can also change the language for the MediaWiki menu items.
Universal Language Selector is already available on several Wikimedia wikis like Wikimedia Commons and Meta-Wiki. The appearance on wikis like Wikipedia is available in the beta installation of the English language Wikipedia on Wikimedia Labs. A cog icon is present in the “Languages” section of the sidebar menu. Clicking the icon opens the Language settings panel that can be used to set the display and input settings.
Runa Bhattacharjee, Outreach and QA coordinator, Language Engineering