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Conduct workshop and document the technical challenges small wikis face in North America
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Due Date
Nov 15 2019, 8:00 AM

Event Timeline


Detailed notes

  1. Which small wikis (e.g., indigenous wikis: Haitian Creole, Tagalog, Navajo, Cherokee, Papiamento, etc.) in the North American region you belong to?
  1. What are the technical challenges of these small wikis?
    • Challenges -- not enough speakers
    • Technical Challenge -- Incubator (painful for small communities)
    • Incubator is a subpage and hard to connect to or reach (easier for longer time contibutors; difficult for newcomers) -- Takes a lot to get started
    • Prior to Incubator -- anyone can get things started, but is there another way to get things started
    • Incubator is a fail -- as in that it is onerous for smaller wikis. First time languages need to translate core messages into their own language. This is not helpful for languages that have a relationship with a colonial language
    • Smaller wikis are forced to remained in limbo until they are show to be active -- dedicated core group of editors, etc.
    • Core messages -- 588 messages that need to be translated for the interface and many / most small languaes do not have these words ( -- so some of the best people are having to be trained on many different kinds of technologies
    • We want to preserve languages that are in danger
    • One challenge is related with translating messages/UI (<--This is inherently political because there are not words for these -- this can slow down this process). The fallback then becomes English.
    • In Puerto Rico (Taino Culture) is not well represented in Wikipedia- solution? To help Taino and other cultures to be represented Maybe thesemandatory translations in the incubator should not be necessary or should be optional.
    • There are mandatory processes that are high bar
    • ? Has there been a push to determine whether the standards should change for to lower the barriers for smaller wikis
    • We are running a langauge policy on things that happened years ago. This deters people who in good faith want to contribute.
    • Small communities are paying the price for problems of the past
    • Contributors start opting for the general famous languages (e.g. English), can there be a general framework that can ease the process for small wiki groups to contribute in their language?
    • Giving helpful tools for languages that are subjugative languages of other prominent language like English.
    • Discussion of the small langauge Wikipedia policy -- If you will do a project in a language the funding/resources will go to the actual language
    • Discussion of Haitian languages -- Creole / French etc. Everyday languages vs "Formal" languages
  1. What solutions can we develop to help address these technical challenges?
    • Content translation has been very helpful -- We have technical tools to create content in other languages. Are people necessary that these languages exist? Can technical solutions help bridge the gap between people who speak smaller languages and only contribute in larger languages.
    • Create the shell of the smaller wiki?
    • Do we collect data on these projects that have been started and not moved.
    • How do we know a language exists?
    • Technical solutions to determine whether a language exists (easy) -- AI?
    • Trusted users or contributors? Language committee.
    • For interface translation -- intuitive translate from the wiki itself -- Where do things belong to?
    • Pressures on different communities based on dialects
    • First step to contribute in Incubator you have to create an (IZO ???)
    • Other aspect of the discussion -- Is there a meaningful way to support wikipedias for languages of only a thousand speakers