Sunday, June 06, 2010

#Wikipedia interlanguage links

On a mailing list of the WMF there is a big discussion about interlanguage links; should they be shown by default or not. This discussion is the result of a choice made by the Usability team to hide them. Many people have strong opinions, one of the best contributions is one by Gregory Maxwell.

That thread is not the place to improve the approaches to interlanguage links. The goal of these alternate approaches is to increase the number of people that are informed by a Wikipedia.

Alternative one
Allow for interlanguage pages when there is not even a stub. We aim to inform, but when there is no article, not even a stub, we currently do not inform. The page may include a definition, but what it should show is articles on this subject can be found in these languages. Followed by a list of languages and the names of the articles.

This is easy to implement. The links are still maintained by bots and these referral pages do not need to show elsewhere. 

Alternative two
The technology behind OmegaWiki supports links to Wikipedia articles for quite some time. It even refers to Commons categories filled with data files on a subject.

This alternative is a bit more involved, but it allows for more functionality. It may need to need some fiddling in order to get it ready for WMF usage, but hey it is great functionality with many links to Wikipedia in there already.

No comments: