Translating the wiki

(Jonne Haß) #21

My earlier comments where about handing out the subdomains to local communities wishing to host their own wiki.

(goob) #22

A related question is, with a vote to have content in different languages hosted on the main wiki what do we do about wikis already hosted on separate sites? For example, there is in Spanish.

I’m happy with such wikis to remain independent, but do those who voted for content in different languages feel that all Diaspora wiki content should be hosted in the one wiki?

(Waithamai) #23

i like option 3 and 4. both have their advantages. option 3 would mean there’s only translated content in other languages, option 4 allows other pages too.
the problem i see with option 4 is, the translated pages are not directly connected with the original english page, which might cause some difficulties if somebody wants to find and read the original text.
i’ve already given reasons why i’d prefer option 3 earlier in this discussion :wink: ( )

(Jonne Haß) #24

So how do we cut down the list? Vote whether we want to allow arbitrary content or just translated one?

(goob) #25

the problem i see with option 4 is, the translated pages are not directly connected with the original english page, which might cause some difficulties if somebody wants to find and read the original text.

I’m not sure quite why this would be a problem, Waithamai. If wikis are independent, each community will (hopefully) maintain and complete and up-to-date wiki in their language. As I’ve said before, there will be no reason to think the English text will be any more authoritative than the text in any other language. Therefore there should be no need for anyone to refer to English text, and if someone wants to read text in English, they can navigate to the English wiki and find an equivalent page (although likely not the same page) in English.

The exception to this, it seems to be agreed, will be the technical documentation. This would be maintained only in English. In this case, links to the relevant pages in the English wiki can be given in pages in other languages.

(Waithamai) #26

@goob problems occur when something is changed and the translated pages lag behind. some communities are more active than others… so i’d like to keep the pages directly connected to each other. but it will work either way…

@jonnehass probably it would be more useful to vote whether to use an own namespace for each language or to include them in the main namespace… but dunno

(goob) #27

Lag of the kind you describe would surely only be a problem if the translation were tied to the English text. If the wikis in different languages have independent content, there will be no lag.

Obviously if a particular community stops updating their pages, that will not be good, but that would be a problem whether the wiki content was tied to or independent of the English version. And the solution is to find ways to keep communities more active, which is a different matter. I don’t think the possibility of a community becoming dormant in updating the wiki in their language is in itself an argument to have content tied to the English wiki.

(Jonne Haß) #28

Proposal: Give each local community that wants it a namespace in the wiki for their non English content

The namespaces would be the shortest upcased ISO 639 code that corresponds to the target language of the community. Examples would be:

and so on. Note that nothing is said about the allowed content of these pages yet. Also note that voting NO will mean that non English content will be allowed in the main namespace, but nothing would be said about the allowed form of the page titles.

Outcome: We don’t want to give each language its own namespace, instead non English content will be allowed in the main namespace. Nothing is said about the structure that is allowed yet.


  • Yes: 3
  • Abstain: 2
  • No: 7
  • Block: 0

Note: This proposal was imported from Loomio. Vote details, some comments and metadata were not imported. Click here to view the proposal with all details on Loomio.

(Airon90) #29

IMHO, OSM is a very bad example.
WMF a positive one:
Let’s see an example page:
It is based on template Languages
I think that it is the best solution for this kind of work

(Jonne Haß) #30

Proposal: Allow only translations of English wiki articles

Non English content will only permitted as subpages of English content. The subpage names should be the lowercase ISO 639 code, for example:

and so on. The content of these subpages should match the English version or at least be about the same topic.

Voting NO on this proposal will allow free form non English content without restrictions on content and page names.

Outcome: The proposal was accepted.


  • Yes: 11
  • Abstain: 0
  • No: 0
  • Block: 0

Note: This proposal was imported from Loomio. Vote details, some comments and metadata were not imported. Click here to view the proposal with all details on Loomio.

(goob) #31

I’m not sure how to vote on this, because I would prefer each language community to be able to record information in their own way, but the vote for each language to have a separate namespace was defeated, and it would be far to chaotic to have completely unrelated pages in all sorts of languages floating around on the same wiki.

I don’t really like idea of maintaining the supremacy of English in diaspora. In some cases, e.g. the main diaspora app, it makes sense, because it’s developed in English, and text has to be the same in each language as it is used in very specific ways, so strict translations is sensible. However a wiki is purely text, with no strict reference to something else, so there is no reason to compose text in one language and translate directly into other languages.

I still feel it would be better to allow each language an area to create their own wiki. However, as the vote was not to allow each language their own area, the only real option is to force each language to translate directly from English. However, I think it will be a shame if this is what ends up happening, for the reasons above.

So this vote is kind of, I would really like to vote no, but given the results of the previous votes, my only option is to vote yes. Unless someone can suggest another way forward.

(Jonne Haß) #32

So now people go ahead and create non English categories… like


(Jonne Haß) #33

Or worse: Templates:

(goob) #34

To me it makes no sense to have pages in a language which are listed in categories in another language, or templates in another language - or that the page title is also in another language. It makes no sense to me to have (in this case) a page in Spanish with an English page title, or for pages in Spanish to be listed in categories in English or templates in English. An Hispanophone is not going to find a list of page titles, categories or templates in English very useful, unless they speak English well.

This is one of the reasons I was (and am) in favour of allowing different language communities to form wikis in their own languages in their own structure rather than restricting non-English content to direct translations of English articles. If we’re saying ‘no, you can’t have categories or templates in your own languages’, then it’s not really fit for purpose for speakers of those languages - it leaves an hierarchy with English at the top, which I don’t like, and also requires everyone to be able to speak some English to fully use the wiki, which kind of negates the purpose of having translations.

I still think we should allow different language communities to do whatever they want - having a different namespace for each language seemed like a good solution to me. Perhaps now problems are arising as a result of the decisions made previously, it would be worth discussing again the different options and taking some new votes.

(raven24) #35

we are a global community and as such we have to find a common denominator for languages.
We took a vote, and decided it would be English as a base language and from that we would create translations… A different proposal was already declined by a majority.

If we look at other wikis that have the same translation scheme, they seem not to translate “system content” like templates or categories (since that does not comply with the scheme of “Article/lang”, also, it does get very “meta” in that area).

We have chosen a way to go, now we should stick with it… at least a little longer than just one month.

(Jonne Haß) #36

What about categories that are just the languages name, such asРусский (Russian) and (German)

(Jonne Haß) #37

Proposal: Disallow translations of the installation guides

Installing and maintaining Diaspora will at some point need you to understand English, allowing translations of the installation guides in the official wiki would just create the false impression that this isn’t the case. Also a lot of effort went into making the installation guides easy to maintain and therefore always up-to-date, translations effectively harm this effort, bringing more out of date information to this essential part of the community and software.

Agreeing to this proposal will cause any existing translations to be removed from the wiki (there’s no serious attempt as far as I can see).

Outcome: The proposal was blocked.


  • Yes: 6
  • Abstain: 0
  • No: 0
  • Block: 2

Note: This proposal was imported from Loomio. Vote details, some comments and metadata were not imported. Click here to view the proposal with all details on Loomio.

(Jonne Haß) #38

@michaelmoroni I do think you can. And in this case it would be harmful to translate them.

(Airon90) #39

I’m in favour of deleting template:Idiomas only because the word “Languages” is translatable in another efficient way.
I think that category names should be translated too because it makes clear the sense of that category.

About translation of installation guide: nope, harmfulness of obsolete translation is a problem even with all other pages. We should translate all page or don’t translate at all. If you don’t translate installation guide what would you translate? What if you want to install a Linux distro (i.e. Arch Linux) and you can find a wiki about it (ArchWiki) and you can find all content translatable but installation guide? Isn’t it non-sense? Doesn’t it encourage you to fulfill the missing translation?

It’s linguistic democracy: everyone should be able to get a content in their own language.

We chose to translate the wiki so we translate ALL the wiki. My position is to block this votation because the proposal is non-sense.

(Jonne Haß) #40

You’re neglecting my other major point though: The impression that you can maintain a (diaspora) server without English knowledge is false. Our configuration file is commented in English. Our configuration examples for Nginx and Apache are commented in English. The configuration files for Redis, MySQL and PostgreSQL are commented in English. The configuration files for Postfix, Exim and possibly any other MTA you can think of are commented in English. All your log files are in English. There aren’t translations for all manual pages. Even using the commandline requires English skills because all command names are based on it.

Then our project has a history of terrible installation guides, even if you know English well, people failed all the time on them, the new guides improved that situation but they still do. So you need to able to seek support. Best way to do that requires you to speak English.

I see no benefit to translating the guides, it only adds content that gets quickly outdated and misleading. Stuff like the main page or the user FAQ is a whole different story because in fact you can use Diaspora without speaking English, soon will become available in many languages, with autodetection, Diaspora itself already is available in many languages with autodetection. You just won’t be able to maintain a pod without speaking English, so no added value here.