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Ignore babel box the user has set to knowing at level 0 on Commons (and so have different behaviour to Wikidata)
Open, Stalled, Needs TriagePublic

Description

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Commons:Village_pump&diff=334328530&oldid=334328207

@Keegan suggested I come here. My user page causes me to have a list of languages I don't understand on Wikidata and the caption feature. I didn't even know my user page doubled as a configuration/preferences page!

Please ignore level 0 languages.

Update 18 January: a better solution would actually be to configure the languages you see in https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences. Levels and babel boxes wouldn't matter anymore. It would also make more sense, because no user can be expected to guess this is how you configure which languages you can edit.

Update 20 January: ignore the title. This request is not Commons-specific. Whatever solution we come to, it should apply equally to Commons captions and Wikidata labels.

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptJan 11 2019, 6:38 PM

Do you think this should be done for Wikidata as well, or do you think behaviour should be different on Commons and Wikidata? (Not assuming either way, just trying to work out the request.)

It should stay like it is for standard Wikibase at least. People use it.

AlexisJazz added a comment.EditedJan 11 2019, 8:06 PM

It should stay like it is for standard Wikibase at least. People use it.

I doubt anybody enters de-0 in their babel box because they want that as a prioritized input option. I use lots of -0 languages on my user page to stop people from contacting me using languages I don't know. I edit on many wikis in languages I don't understand, usually replacing or inserting images into infoboxes.

Do you think this should be done for Wikidata as well, or do you think behaviour should be different on Commons and Wikidata? (Not assuming either way, just trying to work out the request.)

When a user indicates not knowing a language, it shouldn't be used anywhere. Not on Commons, not on Wikidata, not to decide which interlanguage links to show on Wikipedia. (I suspect it's used for that as well) It seems that when implementing this feature, it was assumed that en-0, fr-0, es-0 and so on don't exist, which is obviously a mistake.

It was not forgotten. It is an intentional feature on Wikidata.

It was not forgotten. It is an intentional feature on Wikidata.

What's the use case for that? A user doesn't know a language, let's present them input fields for that?

@Multichill : I'm puzzled.

Can anyone explain to me please why showing input fields for languages a user has declared not to understand makes sense? Lydia Pintscher seems to think it makes sense, and I guess Multichill too. But I don't understand it.

Babel templates are an indication to other users and the software in what languages you can interact and at what level. For example I have es-0 on my Wikidata user page because I sometimes interact in Spanish although that takes me a lot of effort. You can read more about it at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_language

@Multichill You didn't answer my question. If you add en-0 to your babel it reads "This user has no knowledge of English (or understands it with considerable difficulty)". Several languages even bold the "no knowledge" part. The user has no knowledge. Why should those users be presented with input fields for languages they don't know?

I use level 0 to indicate users shouldn't bother trying to contact me using Chinese. You use it, a bit confusing to me, to indicate people should contact you using that language. But neither of us should be presented with input fields for this language. I "don't understand the language at all" (exactly as https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_language says), you can't write it. Or if you can, you should upgrade to level 2. Only starting with level 2 are you able to "edit simple texts".

@Jdforrester-WMF According to meta, level 0 doesn't understand the language at all. Level 1 can only read. Only level 2 and up are capable or writing in a language. So input fields (which require writing) should only be presented to those who consider themselves level 2 and up.

My understanding is that people wanted to be able to see languages in the Wikidata interface they didn't actually speak, so the workaround was to add boxes saying xx-0. I think there's a bit of a difference between a) languages in the interface the user themselves wants to see and b) languages that the user wants to advertise to other people, but for the majority of cases they're the same.

My understanding is that people wanted to be able to see languages in the Wikidata interface they didn't actually speak, so the workaround was to add boxes saying xx-0.

This use case is more correctly captured by the Translate extension, which has a preference for "assistant languages". There is an open feature request to make similar information available for reuse by different parts of the code, so that Wikibase can stop abusing Babel with what was supposed to be a quick and dirty solution and has ended up corrupting the language selection: T104912: Provide API for (likely) language preference.

@Jdforrester-WMF According to meta, level 0 doesn't understand the language at all. Level 1 can only read. Only level 2 and up are capable or writing in a language. So input fields (which require writing) should only be presented to those who consider themselves level 2 and up.

I appreciate that that random page on Meta that I'd never seen before says that, and made you think that adding dozens of -0 as a talisman to scare off users who speak those languages was a supported way to use the Babel extension, but it isn't and it wasn't.

I would very strongly recommend that you delete the mess of -0 boxes on your user page that mostly highlight your account to people that speak those languages (and disrupt your experience on Meta, with language links on the sides of articles on Wikipedia etc., on Wikidata, and now on Commons).

Nemo_bis added a comment.EditedJan 15 2019, 10:08 AM

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_language is the authoritative description of what the extension is supposed to do (the extension was created with the precise purpose to satisfy those requirements) and https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Babel agrees.

I don't encourage users to add dozens or hundreds of languages to their babel, but there is no doubt whatsoever about what's the meaning of level 0 in Babel and Wikimedia.

Jdforrester-WMF renamed this task from Ignore babel box languages the user doesn't know to Ignore babel box the user has set to knowing at level 0 on Commons (and so have different behaviour to Wikidata).Jan 17 2019, 11:49 PM

@Jdforrester-WMF According to meta, level 0 doesn't understand the language at all. Level 1 can only read. Only level 2 and up are capable or writing in a language. So input fields (which require writing) should only be presented to those who consider themselves level 2 and up.

I appreciate that that random page on Meta that I'd never seen before says that, and made you think that adding dozens of -0 as a talisman to scare off users who speak those languages was a supported way to use the Babel extension, but it isn't and it wasn't.

I would very strongly recommend that you delete the mess of -0 boxes on your user page that mostly highlight your account to people that speak those languages (and disrupt your experience on Meta, with language links on the sides of articles on Wikipedia etc., on Wikidata, and now on Commons).

I would very strongly recommend to make language configuration a preference, which it should have been in the first place. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Alexis_Jazz is not https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences, it never was and it shouldn't be. If that would be done, I could make however much of a mess of my user page as I want. Wiki shouldn't break because I make a mess on my user page.

AlexisJazz renamed this task from Ignore babel box the user has set to knowing at level 0 on Commons (and so have different behaviour to Wikidata) to Ignore the babel box for languages the user has set to knowing at level 0.Jan 18 2019, 3:28 PM
AlexisJazz updated the task description. (Show Details)
AlexisJazz updated the task description. (Show Details)

@Jdforrester-WMF According to meta, level 0 doesn't understand the language at all. Level 1 can only read. Only level 2 and up are capable or writing in a language. So input fields (which require writing) should only be presented to those who consider themselves level 2 and up.

I appreciate that that random page on Meta that I'd never seen before says that, and made you think that adding dozens of -0 as a talisman to scare off users who speak those languages was a supported way to use the Babel extension, but it isn't and it wasn't.

I would very strongly recommend that you delete the mess of -0 boxes on your user page that mostly highlight your account to people that speak those languages (and disrupt your experience on Meta, with language links on the sides of articles on Wikipedia etc., on Wikidata, and now on Commons).

I would very strongly recommend to make language configuration a preference, which it should have been in the first place.

I agree that it is both surprising and confusing that the Babel extension combines fluff (user boxes) with configuration and does so via user pages. However, that ship sailed eleven years ago in 2008 when it got created, sadly, and changing it now would be very disruptive for users. I'd be in favour of initiating some work to re-evaluate this, probably eventually via a Tech RfC after a wide-ranging investigation into possible uses and improvements, but that's far outwith the scope of the SDC project, and would have to be done in communion with the Language team (as the experts), the Wikidata team (as one of the affected parties), many cross-language editors, and no-doubt other stakeholders.

Also, please don't edit-war over task titles. Making explicit that a task is asking for a deviation in behaviour between similar features is important to set context.

Jdforrester-WMF renamed this task from Ignore the babel box for languages the user has set to knowing at level 0 to Ignore babel box the user has set to knowing at level 0 on Commons (and so have different behaviour to Wikidata).Jan 18 2019, 8:17 PM

My usecase: I added fr-0 some days ago because I wanted to add the French name of a church. Even that I do not speak French (with the exception of 5 words) I am able to copy & paste into the captions.

Pigsonthewing added a subscriber: Pigsonthewing.EditedJan 18 2019, 10:04 PM

I doubt anybody enters de-0 in their babel box because they want that as a prioritized input option.

False assumption.

I use -0 on Wikidata for languages I can sometimes edit, but cannot use to communicate. I want and would expect to do the same on Commons.

OP should not misuse Babel "to stop people from contacting me using languages I don't know"; and instead use prose for that.

@Jdforrester-WMF According to meta, level 0 doesn't understand the language at all. Level 1 can only read. Only level 2 and up are capable or writing in a language. So input fields (which require writing) should only be presented to those who consider themselves level 2 and up.

I appreciate that that random page on Meta that I'd never seen before says that, and made you think that adding dozens of -0 as a talisman to scare off users who speak those languages was a supported way to use the Babel extension, but it isn't and it wasn't.

I would very strongly recommend that you delete the mess of -0 boxes on your user page that mostly highlight your account to people that speak those languages (and disrupt your experience on Meta, with language links on the sides of articles on Wikipedia etc., on Wikidata, and now on Commons).

I would very strongly recommend to make language configuration a preference, which it should have been in the first place.

I agree that it is both surprising and confusing that the Babel extension combines fluff (user boxes) with configuration and does so via user pages. However, that ship sailed eleven years ago in 2008 when it got created, sadly, and changing it now would be very disruptive for users. I'd be in favour of initiating some work to re-evaluate this, probably eventually via a Tech RfC after a wide-ranging investigation into possible uses and improvements, but that's far outwith the scope of the SDC project, and would have to be done in communion with the Language team (as the experts), the Wikidata team (as one of the affected parties), many cross-language editors, and no-doubt other stakeholders.

Also, please don't edit-war over task titles. Making explicit that a task is asking for a deviation in behaviour between similar features is important to set context.

"that ship has sailed", no. Ships don't sail. It's never too late.

Don't edit-war over task titles indeed. My request applies to both Wikidata and the new caption feature. I didn't bother you with it before because I had no clue why Wikidata was presenting me with all those languages I didn't need and figured the problem was with my browser or something, failing to show some "add label in a different language" link, because undoubtedly there had to be one. Or I overlooked where in my preferences I could configure this.

As for the ship that you believe has sailed, a reasonable approach (imho) would be to start working on an input language setting in Special:Preferences. Once implemented, import the babel box language preferences from users into it. Update the babel documentation, push out some massmessages to inform the community, make the switch. If anyone complains, send them to my talk page.

AlexisJazz updated the task description. (Show Details)Jan 20 2019, 8:30 PM
Multichill changed the task status from Open to Stalled.Jan 21 2019, 6:36 PM

This change needs community consensus. Tagged it as such and marked it as stalled.

@Multichill where should I propose a change? It should be changed globally, so I guess somewhere on meta?

@Multichill where should I propose a change? It should be changed globally, so I guess somewhere on meta?

On the projects where you want to do a change. In this case Commons. If you also want to have it changed on Wikidata, also on Wikidata.

Addshore moved this task from incoming to monitoring on the Wikidata board.Jan 25 2019, 2:23 PM
4nn1l2 added a subscriber: 4nn1l2.Feb 1 2019, 5:57 AM
Jeff_G added a subscriber: Jeff_G.
greg added a project: Multimedia.Mar 7 2019, 10:59 PM