November 04, 2005

MediaWiki, namespaces and multiple languages

I've been trying to setup a multilingual MediaWiki as a single project. However, I've been finding that doing so would probably be a Bad Idea(tm). While this document goes over some of the pros and cons of a single project versus separate projects, it didn't seem to include a number of the ones that I thought were important.

  • If your Wiki is in the English language, then all the markup uses English words. This is fine, if you're only going to have a single language. However, if you use the example in the document above, and are trying to support German and English in the same Wiki, you don't want to force your German editors to learn English just to enter tags! Sure, they can change the language the UI is in, but that doesn't seem to change the markup that the Wiki parser is expecting for each entry.
  • As I mentioned previously, you can create language links (once you modify the database) and this is a Good Thing(tm). However, if you are using the single project approach and have created a German entry for "Foo" it appears as the entry "De/Foo". This is ugly, but livable. However, if you put that entry into a category, when it is displayed in the category it shows up under "D" rather than "F". I would much rather have categories per language.

So, it seems like MediaWiki works great for multiple languages if you use separate projects. Of course, you also have all the disadvantages too.

Posted by rob at November 4, 2005 01:38 PM | TrackBack
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