In the last month, this list has gained many new subscribers; they are people who are members of a language support team. As you may understand, the Wikimedia Localisation team is not able to understand all the intricacies of the 280+ languages we support at the Wikimedia Foundation. It is for this reason that we need help and the best way is when people who are knowledgeable enough provide us with their knowledge.
As I also reached out to the Wikipedias of the language that have an issue, we gained both more people who are interested to provide support for their language but as relevant, we learned that entering data in the CLDR is overly complicated. Even our developers, who are also linguists or language experts have a hard time entering the data for plural support.
Even when there is no information in the CLDR about things like plural support, we want to support this in MediaWiki. When the information we get about the rules for plural support are given to us with references either on the Internet or in publications, it is relatively straightforward to create a bug report to the CLDR. What we are looking for are people who can help us with getting the necessary information so that we can implement it in MediaWiki, have it tested by a language community and then post a bug report at the CLDR. If need be, our developers can help with the formulation of plural rules in the format of the CLDR
Another really interesting development was for the Arabic script. We learned about the Amiri font, a font that supports all the characters of the Arabic script and consequently is able to support not only Arabic but also languages like Urdu, Kashmiri etc. We wrote to the developer of the script and he was happy for us to use his font in a WebFonts implementation.
Not so funny is that we learned that the support of the Arabic script in MediaWiki is problematic. It turns out that we do not fully comply with the rules for merging parts of a character (including diacritics). This is not only an issue for MediaWiki but also for some of the modern browsers. We will be talking about how MediaWiki is to be fixed with Brion Vibber at the upcoming FOSDEM conference in Brussels and we have posted bugs for the browsers.
At some stage we will have fixed MediaWiki and at that time we will need people to test their language and see if everything looks as you expect it.
When your language has problems with fonts or input methods, we are quite happy to support your language as well. For WebFonts we need a freely licensed font that can be used on all the major operating systems and preferably on the versions that are still in use (several versions of IE are technically unable to support WebFonts at all). For input methods we need a mapping from the international keyboard to the keyboard as expected. This includes information on the rules of how characters are to be combined.
As a member of a language support team you are VERY welcome to come forward with requests for the support of fonts or input methods. We do expect your involvement with both the implementation and the testing. We are also very appreciative when you communicate this widely in your language community. As always we can test these things at translatewiki.net
. This is where we run the latest MediaWiki software before it goes into production on any of the Wikimedia Foundation's projects.