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Add a new special page to fork (duplicate) a translatable page
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Description

Sometimes I want to split part of a translatable page to another page(s). This can be achieved by manually create a spin-off page and mark it for translation, and later manually copy its translations. This is not optimal and it losts page history (especially of individual translation unit).

I propose to add a new special page Special:ForkTranslatablePage. This will make an exact copy of a translatable page and all its translations.

Event Timeline

Nikerabbit changed the subtype of this task from "Task" to "Feature Request".

Duplicating everything would mean rewriting page histories, which is not a nice thing, and can have serious implications (users not understanding why they have edits they didn’t make, edit counters getting out of sync, what about watchlists? etc.). Allowing split is a valid request, but I think that it should be done by splitting, not duplicating. For example, the special page could allow the user to specify the new texts in two textboxes, and enforce that no translation unit appears more than once across the two pages. Upon submit, it would move the Translations: namespace pages (using normal page move) and create the content pages as appropriate. This means that the content pages’ histories don’t contain all revisions (however, it should place a comment and a link in the edit summary when creating the page to comply with CC license requirements), but I think it’s still better than messing up page histories.

I think the only requirement is to comply with license crediting authors.

But I see several use cases where we would want some content to be duplicated, not only split (note I don’t see any problem if some bot is the technical initial author): on Meta-Wiki, many pages are about regular events. To limit translation work, some parts are reused through templates, but this leads to inconsistency (e.g. 2017 link in 2015 event). Duplicating contents and translations would be a much proper way, in my opinion.

Duplication also leads to inconsistency: if there was a typo, incorrect terminology etc. in the translation, which have been fixed after the split, it’s quite likely that only the 2017 version is fixed and the 2015 one remains wrong. It also means more work if one wants to translate old events’ pages, or less content available translated if the translator decides not to work twice. Templates can have parameters, so all you have to do is adding a year parameter that takes care of the links, and keep the rest at one place.

I am not sure reversing a problem helps.

In case of splitting the problem is that ideally you might want to rename all Translations: ns pages to the new title and unit number so as not to bother the translators again. That is the direct problem.

If you do clone the page, then you will have a reverse problem: the need to delete the unnecessary Translations: ns pages relating to the units that you are going to delete. Arguably this one is indeed a bit easier because the unit numbers would not change and the page title would be handled automatically, but as an admin on a couple of wikis with Translate, I am bothered that it is very likely that people would stop at cloning and just leave the orphaned cloning artifacts be, which is a problem from content administration standpoint.