00760: add Cookbook.MultiLanguage

Summary: add Cookbook.MultiLanguage
Created: 2006-06-19 10:37
Status: Closed - declined
Category: CoreCandidate
From: scoid?
Priority: 542
Version: 2.0.11

Description: Add Cookbook.MultiLanguage to core.

see http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PITS/00155

Arguments against:

  • I don't like in this recipe that it requires an agreement on some language to be used as the main one in a wiki. That's because all languages must share one page name. The shortcome of this is that in a public wiki, in all language versions of a page, links must be expressed in this main language (e.g. English), even if a writer doesn't know this language. That can be especially hard for links to non-existing pages (you can't search the page in your language and get it's name into your link).
  • Secondly: when editing a page, you see all language versions, even if you understand only one. That results in too much text being showed (difficult to navigate), possibilities of errors (you can break something in other language section by accident). Additionally, I believe that history of changes can get highly difficult to read.

Given what I wrote above, I believe this recipe can be quite a good solution in CMS-type PmWiki installations, especially on homepages (when there's usually only one author, or very few of them, possibly all knowing one common language). In such a situation has the advantage of easier control on all language versions in one place, and the advantage of being probably the best of solutions presented currently in Cookbook. Looking at the recipe's page it seems also that quite a lot people are happy with it.

In this place, I'd like to elaborate a bit more on a solution I'd see as a better one for open/encyclopedic wikis. I believe it should be similar to the one existing already in Wikipedia. It should have the following features:

  • each language version should exist in a separate group or WikiFarm, dedicated to this language (advantage: simpler editing),
  • links to versions in other languages should be easy to add
    • when the page is rendered, they should be displayed together in some visible place in the page; either as country flags, or language names
  • in ideal situation, adding a link to one translation should connect the page to all the other already defined translations as well.

MateuszCzaplinski September 28, 2007, at 06:43 AM

I am closing this entry because [a] there already is a working recipe Cookbook:MultiLanguage that people could use, and [b] a multi (3+) language wiki could be organized in many ways different from what the recipe requires: with simple interwiki links like Wikipedia, or with WikiGroups, WikiFarms, PageLists etc. (see the PmWiki documentation in all languages for an example). --Petko August 21, 2009, at 07:30 PM