Add option (disabled by default) to force untranslated centralnotices
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Description

It often happens that banners are enabled in languages which have no translations, against the usage guidelines, and the fallback language is used automatically (usually English): this makes users riot.

Centralnotice admins are currently expected to manage the list of languages manually, adding each language only when ready. This means doubling the work around publishing of translations, so admins are lazy and just select all languages. Given they are humans and we can't just whip them endlessly, please make the interface easier.

Adding a checkbox to control whether a banner will be shown even in languages where no translation is available should be comparatively easy. Fallbacks should be disabled by default.

Nemo_bis updated the task description. (Show Details)
Nemo_bis raised the priority of this task from to High.
Nemo_bis added subscribers: Nemo_bis, PiRSquared17, Glaisher.
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptApr 20 2015, 10:11 AM

I'd support this, I don't know the level of difficulty but I imagine that it shouldn't be too horrible given the list of translated languages already exists and is shown on the banner page. The one question would be on a campaign level (where language settings are usually done) or the banner level (where the translations are). I imagine the easiest is banner but that may cause conflicts.

I do think that requiring the checkbox to be available is important though, for globally important messages (including the one Nemo mentions here, in my opinion) it can end up being better to deploy the banner with a translate link and then publish translations as they come in to get the message out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Getting advance translations without the banner for all can be close to impossible (even some of the most popular languages can be difficult at times).

jeremyb-phone set Security to None.Apr 27 2015, 2:59 AM
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@Nemo_bis
Thank you for bringing this up! Showing readers untranslated banners is pretty outrageous--I suspect CN admins are sometimes doing this as a workaround for showing a banner to everyone in a country, regardless of their first choice interface langage--see T53475, which might be aggravating that problem.

Do you have any examples where enabling your proposed checkbox would make sense? I'm having a hard time imagining a case--a banner only contains images or something? Perhaps you're just suggesting this checkbox as a way to slowly migrate the people who think that targeting all languages makes sense?

Also, maybe we should have a subtask for targeting languages automatically as they are translated?

@Nemo_bis
Thank you for bringing this up! Showing readers untranslated banners is pretty outrageous--I suspect CN admins are sometimes doing this as a workaround for showing a banner to everyone in a country, regardless of their first choice interface langage--see T53475, which might be aggravating that problem.

Do you have any examples where enabling your proposed checkbox would make sense? I'm having a hard time imagining a case--a banner only contains images or something? Perhaps you're just suggesting this checkbox as a way to slowly migrate the people who think that targeting all languages makes sense?

The problem is that getting translations for banners is incredibly difficult beyond the major languages and putting a banner up with a translation link gets those faster then any possible means. Especially for notices that really should go to everyone (legal policy changes where everyone is legally required to be notified for example or major consultations like the privacy policy or Terms of Use where cutting small languages completely out of the loop is just not an option etc) it is good (and important) to try to get as many languages as possible from the start but waiting until we have all languages (essentially impossible) or not sending them the banner at all is just not an viable option. We need to have a way to still open the flood gates at some point for those banners.

In a perfect world what i'd do in a case like that is send the banner text out to translators for translation a couple weeks in advance, get as many as possible and then turn the banners on only for those wikis we have languages in. Then we keep turning it on as we get more but eventually (since we're not getting translations for every language we support) we turn it on for all languages ensuring that the banner has a link for translating that banner and we watch carefully to ensure that those languages get published rapidly. [or even better that those languages get published automatically but we need to ensure we have some carefulness for spam and vandalism in that case]/

Also, maybe we should have a subtask for targeting languages automatically as they are translated?

I definitely think having a way to target languages automatically as they are targeted is useful and I'd recommend it frequently.

Do you have any examples where enabling your proposed checkbox would make sense? I'm having a hard time imagining a case--a banner only contains images or something?

For instance a banner whose purpose is to ask translations from English to language X, shown only to logged-in users with a certain amount of edits and who know both languages (as found by uls-languages cookie or similar, for instance).

These are very convincing cases, but by this logic wouldn't you say that all campaigns are important enough to be displayed before they have been fully translated?

MarcoAurelio added a subscriber: MarcoAurelio.

These are very convincing cases, but by this logic wouldn't you say that all campaigns are important enough to be displayed before they have been fully translated?

No. The negative impact of these banners outweigh their messages - and often these messages are irrelevant to the local wiki eg "Wikimedia 2030: Discuss the challenges identified by research and experts outside the community." [https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Forum#Banner_translations_still_do_not_appear as published on all wikis without authorisation]. I agree with Nemo_bis - as a matter of urgency.

I said on Meta:

For some banners, I sort of agree as well [no translation=no banner], provided that we could notify in advance translators. However for important announcements (and I feel that the Wikimedia 2030 was one of them) I feel that if we don't have a translation, we could display the English one until a translation is provided (question: what about a MassMessage list for translators to announce that a new "universal" banner is up for translating in the meanwhile?) If banners ain't displayed to languages that do not have translations we risk, however, that such announcements ain't noticed by the communities though. As for fundraising banners, I feel that they won't care the message is translated or not.

However notifying translators for banners is not yet possible and given the Language-Team policy on only taking care of fixing UBN tasks for MediaWiki-extensions-TranslationNotifications (T144780#2993927) I do not think we will see that going live in the near future, otherwise we'd have no problem to notify translators and get their translations posted to the banners. @Jalexander is correct at T96552#1741311 that getting translations for banners is, currently, very complicated so it's been customary for years to have a "please translate" link in the banner (with a some component of lazyness as well).

What I propose in the meanwhile is to create a massmessage list at CentralNotice/Translators/<langcode> (ie: CentralNotice/Translators/cy) where translators could list themselves and which we could use to notify in advance the banner is activated so at least some translations could be present before the banner goes live. This list is to be used for important banners which will target more than one language. However not displaying a banner when there's no translation avalaible, for example, when fundraising or important legal changes would be unnaceptable IMHO.

  1. Yes, forewarning of banners is essential.
  2. If they're not translated, the should not appear.
  3. When they are translated, the translator should publish, not an admin who doesn't speak that language
  4. Displaying fundraising banners in a foreign language is counterproductive; it will result in "Here we go again! THEY want our money and they can't even ask in our language!
  5. 'important legal changes ' - same her. If they're important, then a bit of effort to encourage translations is essential, otherwise they will be dissregarded as "someone else's 'legal' issue, not ours. They can't be relevant to us. Now where's my coffee."
  6. 'important legal changes ' - how often have these occurred in the last 10 years? The problem isn't these infrequent banners, but ones published every fortnight. Let's keep to this, and not side-track.
  7. 'The problem is that getting translations for banners is incredibly difficult beyond the major languages and putting a banner up with a translation link gets those faster then any possible means.' That's because many are translated, but no one publishes them. This happens to me very often; so often, that we're about to ban all banners on cywiki. They ARE translated, but only admin can publish them.
  8. 'What I propose in the meanwhile is to create a massmessage list ...' - yes! I agree with this paragraph!
  9. Most banners which appear on cywiki do not have 'Please translate this banner' on them. Finding where they are is a nightmare. We / Admins should be able to edit them on the local wiki.

10 I support this motion. The whole banner plethera also needs to be simplified.

This comment was removed by Aklapper.

at wikimania 2017 at the fundraising panel
the fundraising team admitted that there was negative feedback from readers concerned that the bad translations were a sign wikipedia was failing.
https://wikimania2017.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submissions/Fundraising_messaging_that_moves_our_readers:_What_we%E2%80%99ve_learned_from_testing_thousands_of_fundraising_appeals
perhaps the negative brand impact would motivate some consensus at WMF to develop a translation standard of practice?