Sunday, December 30, 2007

Numbers in a translation dictionary

In the Wikimedia Foundation, there are the inclusionists and the exclusionists. Some are of the opinion that certain topics should not be included in Wikipedia while others do. The most brilliant example is the inclusion of all the busstops in Japan. Someone took the effort to describe them and people find them actually useful.

Some people are enamoured by constructed languages and spend a lot of time making such languages their own. I personally have had dealings with at least three people that speak Volapük, and I know people that go to congresses because they meet people who speak Esperanto. Many constructed languages have more speakers than many natural languages (that are not yet extinct).

For exclusionists it is not palatable when constructed languages do well. There are always "good" reasons why those others need to be excluded. Hidden in the discussion about the "radical cleanup of the Volapük Wikipedia" is a discussion about the inclusion of numerals like 588 in the Limburgian Wiktionary and as you can imagine "it is not good".

In a translation dictionary there are reasons to include numbers. The point is that they are not written the same in all scripts. OmegaWiki has its fair share of numbers, and it did not address this issue.

By adding a new class, we now allow the representation of Arab and Roman numbers, and hundred has now as an annotation both 100 and C. In this way we do not have a separate page for each numerical representation.


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