Commons:Requests for comment/Translate extension

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See also: The Translate Extension on
The Translate extension.

« The Translate extension makes MediaWiki a powerful tool to translate every kind of text. It's used especially to translate software and to manage multilingual wikis in a sensible way. »

It is currently enabled on (at least) Meta, and Wikidata as well as several other Wikimedia wikis.

Use on Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Enabling the Translate extension on Wikimedia Commons has previously been discussed on Commons-l mailing-list and on COM:VPP.

The Translate extension is super useful to translate content; it's already used for translations on Meta, and other non-Wikimedia wikis. In my experience, this extension usually increases the amount of translations and multilingual content on a given wiki, which Commons would benefit from.

guillom, 13:36, 21 January 2013 (UTC) source


How do we currently handle translations?

There are several concurrent systems.

What’s wrong with any of that?

The Translate extension brings features we do not have at the moment:

  • Syncronisation between translations: if the source page (translatable page) is edited, the translations can automatically be updated at the translation admin choice.
  • A real user interface, developed by a professional software designer observing the users' experience.
  • Easy and immediate way to find what needs doing, wherever the needed translations are.
    • Currently, the translator has to navigate potentially hundreds templates before finding out what needs doing.
  • Translation memory shared with other Wikimedia wikis, built upon previous translations.[1] Other translation aids like translation documentation and assistant languages.
How do we migrate our current system?

This needs to be worked out, yes, and is the purpose of this RFC :)

  • The help and project pages are fairly straightforward
    • those currently without translations, provided they are stable enough (not too outdated or in current development), can be migrated just by marking them for translation
    • Those with existing translations need some work to copy the old translations, as is happening on Meta.
    • Links must be replaced so they will contain Special:MyLanguage to benefit from this extension? Since the autodetection feature will be disabled for anons, will search engines be able to find/index our content pages in other languages than English? Will the pages using this special link construct add Special:WhatLinksHere -links?
  • Complex templates systems may have to be rethought.
Where can I experiment with this tool to see how it works?
Please see this page. --Ricordisamoa 16:12, 29 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]


Technical implementation[edit]

So, how do we enable it?

--Ricordisamoa 22:46, 18 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I just filled a Bugzilla bug 48620, will commit a patch in a few minutes' time. odder (talk) 20:33, 19 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. Do I miss something or will administrators have indeed to ask a 'crat and depend on his/her goodwill to be able to manage translations or mark pages for translation when the suggested patch goes live? -- Rillke(q?) 17:38, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes and no—for now, only bureaucrats are able to add users (not necessarily administrators) to the 'translationadmin' group, but once people are added to that group, they can mark pages for translations all by themselves. And, by the way, the patch is live now. odder (talk) 20:05, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think administrators should be trusted enough to hold this right by default. But this is just my humble opinion. And we should add some guidance (e.g. how existing translations should be treated) ASAP. -- Rillke(q?) 20:46, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I've been told that the regular way is to let bureucrats add users to the 'translationadmin' group (it's not a user right that people can hold–it's a user group), at least at the beginning. If you think that administrators should be able to add and remove themselves from that group, I believe we can discuss it (along with some other options, for instance enabling TranslationNotifications). odder (talk) 20:51, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
One user group can't be assigned to another one but translateadmin user group consists of 2 user rights (translate-manage and pagetranslation) which, in theory, can be assigned to the sysop-group, I think. -- Rillke(q?) 20:59, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As far as I understand, the whole point of this group is to let non-admin users manage translations, so adding this right to sysops wouldn't actually fix the situation. When (if) admins get the ability to add themselves to that group, this part of the problem will be solved. (Though we can, of course, add this right to the sysop group, and have the 'translationadmin' group on its own, and even give the ability to add users this group to admins instead of bureucrats). All of this needs to be discussed first, though. odder (talk) 21:20, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As far as I know, user rights can be added to multiple groups. For example the abusefilter-log-detail is assigned to multiple groups at Special:UserGroupRights. (Actually I wonder why this particular right is assigned to autoconfirmed users while we requested it for patrollers only) -- Rillke(q?) 21:31, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed, I'm not saying you can't assign these user rights to multiple groups, only that this will need to be discussed first. odder (talk) 21:37, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed. I warmly suggest not to add these rights to the sysop group, because 1) users and translators would have no clue who to ask for translation assistance among the 273 admins, 2) it would make sysops feel they can just use the tool as they wish, while they have to at least read page translation docs and follow some consensus.
Once things are stabilised and it's clear how Commons wants to use the extension, you can let sysops grant/remove the flag to themselves, but in the meanwhile it would be more productive to discuss what to actually do. --Nemo 06:48, 22 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
So we activated an overly complicated extension? The quotes above didn't sound that complex.
Perhaps people who want to participate in i18n could watch and ask at COM:TN? Also, if it would be true what you say, people would not know whom to ask about AbuseFilter matters. But having a glad look at the special page in concern or the log, and you usually know whom to ask. Having people in a user group does not grant for sure that they are active.
I agree that we should document the procedure somewhere; I suggest that pages are proofread and copyedited before they are marked for translation. (We could use a template or a category or both for that.) Often content is outdated or can be improved. I suggest to continue discussion about this at COM:TN. -- Rillke(q?) 08:36, 22 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]