Last modified: 2009-07-29 09:23:52 UTC

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Bug 17592 - move nds to nds-de, newly create nds locale
move nds to nds-de, newly create nds locale
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Internationalization (Other open bugs)
All All
: Normal normal with 1 vote (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Purodha Blissenbach
Depends on:
Blocks: wikis-to-rename
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2009-02-20 18:25 UTC by Marcus Buck
Modified: 2009-07-29 09:23 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description Marcus Buck 2009-02-20 18:25:19 UTC
At the moment we have a Wikipedia in German Low Saxon under 'nds' and a Wikipedia in Dutch Low Saxon under 'nds-nl'. Cause the differences in writing matter less on a Wikisource than on Wikipedia, it is planned to share the Wikisource between both variants. (A precedent being no.wikisource which covers both variants of Norwegian which have separate Wikipedias.) The request for a Low Saxon Wikisource is declared eligible by the language committee (<>).

But to make it happen, we need a neutral locale as default locale. Therefore I'd like to ask to internally rename the existing 'nds' locale (which is German Low Saxon) to 'nds-de' to make place for a new shared locale with the code 'nds'. Please also create the new empty locale 'nds', with the name "Neddersassisch".

Comment 1 Siebrand Mazeland 2009-02-21 23:14:38 UTC
Strange solution. Ethnologue states[1]: "Low Saxon varieties listed as separate entries in the Netherlands, where they have official status" 'nds' is the Low Saxon spoken in Germany. Low Saxon is also a macro language (of which Low Saxon is a language), with languages that are spoken in the Netherlands. It appears to me like a complex solution is chosen here, where the regular ISO 639-3 should suffice[2].

* nds = Low Saxon
* nds-nl = I have no idea. Some creole of all nds macro languages spoken in NL? If it is one of the Low Saxon language spoken in NL, the code should probably be emptied, and completely fall back to a proper ISO 639-3 language.
* xxx = whichever Low Saxon language has sufficient localisation to be in MediaWiki proper

Comment 2 Marcus Buck 2009-02-22 00:13:07 UTC
ISO's codes are arbitrary. Plain arbitrary. The distinction nds-nl/nds-de fits the needs of the community. Dividing along the ISO codes would do a heavy disservice to the community.

I guess, the actual native community knows better about their needs than the guys at ISO who have to handle thousands of languages many of which they have absolutely no expertise on.
Comment 3 Purodha Blissenbach 2009-02-22 02:08:45 UTC
nds is a common code for a set of some 4000 diverse languages, as some scholar see it. About a dozen+ of those also have ISO codes on their own, several of which are again group codes (e.g. wep) while other are not (e.g. gro). Included are both living and extinct varieties. For various reasons none of the more distinctive codes are suited to identify any of our wiki projects, although they could, in theory, be used to be tagged onto pages or sequences of text here and there, which happen to be written in one of those specific varieties. Unfortunately, we have no good software support (yet) for such tagging.

While all varieties of nds are astonishingly well mutually understandable when spoken (considering their wide geographic spread),
when written, they follow either of two base orthographies, one Dutch-like, and another German-like, which makes written texts much harder to mutually compreend than spoken language. Hence the "schism" of nds-DE, and nds-NL in our wikis. Since our localizations are 100% written, it is justified, to distinguish orthographies. (Using ISO 3166 country codes to do so is not really. Following ISO 639 rules verbatim, we needed to apply for orthography subtags. Using country codes is, however, available in ISO 639 for geographic tagging, which in our case gives a 100% coincidence with the orhographic diversion. Although it's not its original purpose, it turns out usable for us) 
Comment 4 Purodha Blissenbach 2009-02-22 02:13:01 UTC
The existance of nds, nds-DE, nds-NL localizations in no way hinders or precludes the creation of any localization in any of the other, more specific, languages or language groups, that are under the nds umbrella and having individual language codes.
Comment 5 Gerard Meijssen 2009-02-22 14:11:16 UTC
The comments assume that there is clarity about what nds stands for. It does not. Nds stands for the German part of the Lower Saxon language only. It is wrong to go for the nds-DE.
Comment 6 Marcus Buck 2009-02-22 17:46:56 UTC
Gerard, do you deny the existence of Low Saxon then? What do you want to achieve? Everybody on the Low Saxon projects agrees to the code nds. Why do you construct problems?

The language committee, of which you are member, agreed, that the project is eligible. Either you agreed too or your concerns were not shared by the other committee members when it declared the eligibility.
Comment 7 Gerard Meijssen 2009-02-22 17:52:26 UTC
There is a huge difference between accepting that there will be a nds.wikisource and the acceptance of a wrong headed change in the code that is associated with the code. 

I can live with a nds.wikisource. The change for the localisation of nds to nds-de is just wrong.

I do not deny the existence of Low Saxon. What I do find is that currently there is noone interested in a real solution. All I hear is trolling about how the ISO got it wrong. There are procedures of getting it right, the request for Altzgebergisch is an example of this.
Comment 8 Marcus Buck 2009-02-22 18:34:49 UTC
Well, the change is not in accordance with ISO, but it is fully in accordance with the existing structures of Wikimedia. If you accept the shared nds.wikisource and accept the existing projects for German and Dutch Low Saxon with nds codes, then why don't you accept that this is also reflected by the localisations? That's absolutely inconsequent.

There is no possible way to arrange locale codes in a way that is in accordance with ISO. It's possible to request changes to the ISO codes. But independant from code changes, why not take ISO with a grain of salt and just do the right thing? ISO 639 codes are a tool and not a regulation authority.
Comment 9 Gerard Meijssen 2009-02-22 18:55:41 UTC
Hoi, why do you not take ISO serious? Why do you insist on doing things that are not compatible with the standard? 

I will not take ISO with a grain of salt, I prefer to prevent this nonsense from happening. What you propose is definetly not the right thing. Quite the contrary.
Comment 10 Marcus Buck 2009-02-22 19:08:19 UTC
You said, you do not deny the existence of Low Saxon and you agree to the creation of Low Saxon Wikisource. So some solution _has_ to be found, to reflect the projects with locales. So what is your solution, how to name the locales? Present a solution instead of just destructing other peoples solutions.
Comment 11 Gerard Meijssen 2009-02-22 19:31:29 UTC
I object to the renaming of the localisation of the nds localisation of MediaWiki to nds-de. It is completely wrong. The current situation where nds is used for the German localisation/orthography and where nds-nl is a sad compromise is fine with me.

I also object to your characterisation that I destruct other peoples solution as it is not a valid solution, the arguments speak for itself. You destroy the legitimacy of your position by asking me to take ISO with a grain of salt. The reality is that by using the ISO standards we are bound by its terms of use. This means that we do not invent things that are in the standard.

Your opposition of ISO and your refusal to cooperate to find a solution with ISO make you part of the problem and not part of a solution.
Comment 12 Marcus Buck 2009-02-22 19:37:19 UTC
Yes, I know that your religion is ISO. But what you describe is what we have now. What would be the code of the _new_ shared locale? The new locale is the basic premise of this request.
Comment 13 Siebrand Mazeland 2009-02-22 20:14:08 UTC
(In reply to comment #12)
> What would be the code of the _new_ shared locale?
There is no such thing as a shared locale. There is the understanding that Low Saxon is both a macro langauage and a language. The language has ISO 639-3 code 'nds'. Just leave it at that, and introduce additional locales whenever they are needed, which registered users can use.

That comes down creating '' as the wikisource for all languages part of the macro language Low Saxon, with standard language Low Saxon (nds).

Ideally (my point of view), nds-nl, should have a fall back to whichever is the dominant Low Saxon language spoken in the Netherlands, which in turn would fall back to Dutch (nl). The current Low Saxon (nds) locale can remain as it is, fall back to German, and newly created locales can fall back to whatever locale is preferred. Problem solved.
Comment 14 Marcus Buck 2009-02-22 20:31:36 UTC
>There is no such thing as a shared locale.

This becomes bizarre. This entry is about _creating_ a shared locale. The language committee - as a prerequisite for the Low Saxon Wikisource - requested, that the Low Saxon community created a policy about how to handle our spelling differences. We did that and part of the policy is, that the shared wikisource project will use a locale in shared spelling by default.
Comment 15 Gerard Meijssen 2009-02-22 20:44:37 UTC
Shared spelling is not realistic. It means that you are going to create yet another orthography... What is called for is acceptance of multiple orthographies. By the way they are not locales. Locales are rather different. 
Comment 16 Marcus Buck 2009-02-22 20:57:51 UTC
>Shared spelling is not realistic.

Who are you to judge? Leave that to the actual speakers of the language. And the communities have agreed on this.
Comment 17 Purodha Blissenbach 2009-02-26 00:39:40 UTC
> Nds stands for the German part of the Lower Saxon language only.

That's hard for me to believe.
This was only possible if "German part" included language varieties spoken in the Netherlands, or, conversely, if "non-German part" included language varieties spoken inside Germany. As a matter of fact, there are not so small areas on both sides of the border where spoken Nedersassisch languages don't differ, according to even recent publications. They state also, that there are tendencies for them to diversify developping towards their mutual envelopping official languages of their respective states, but while that is influential for the so-called regiolect, the so-called dialectal base is hardly touched (yet).

On the other hand, there is absolutely no evidence for me that the dividing line of writing either orthography is not, today, coinciding with the state border, as a consequence of the schools teaching state language orthographies.

That is contradicting. Whatever the nds code definiton is, halting it at the state border has either to be very fuzzy, or is not realistic.

> It is wrong to go for the nds-DE.
This may be true for WMF language policy. Simply following the ISO formalism, it is of course an allowed option. Whether or not it makes sense, is another topic. Whether or not it serves as a solution here is, just again, another thing.

If you criticize the "invention" of nds-NL, then it's even more unclear as to what should be done.

- Apply for distinctive orthographic codes?
(which then would have to be nl-spelling-based, de-spelling-based, and possibly wep, I believe)

- Subdivide current nds-NL into its various more localized variants? (Do we have enough authors / translators, currently, to support that?)

- What should be done with nds Wikisource? Only build it out of language switching templates? There would not be really much content beyond not-to-be-altered original documents or books, so that might be possible, I believe.


Locales are not localizatons.
MediaWiki does not support locales, atm.
Localizations of MediaWiki can only exist for a given language together with a given orthography, atm.
Just said as to get the wording right, and make us understand each other more clearly.
Comment 18 Niklas Laxström 2009-06-19 09:39:34 UTC
Did I get it right? You want to create a totally new orthography by combining two existing ones? Who would benefit from it? Who would use it? Who would create it? How would you ensure that is is acceptable to both parties, neutral and unskewed?

People can easily changes language after logging in. For unregistered users it is not so easy, but that is an another bug.

There seems to be just too many worms in this can that I do not want to open it. It is too much political. The language community should first tackle the issue themselves... it is totally possible to agree on orthography, request ISO code, setup own installation of Translate extension and create localisation or whatever they want - outside of MediaWiki and outside of WMF. When this is all in place then it is ok to request adding a new localisation to MediaWiki.

(In reply to comment #14)
> This becomes bizarre. This entry is about _creating_ a shared locale. The
> language committee - as a prerequisite for the Low Saxon Wikisource -
> requested, that the Low Saxon community created a policy about how to handle
> our spelling differences. We did that and part of the policy is, that the
> shared wikisource project will use a locale in shared spelling by default.

I do not know if the any existing Wikisources have problems about not having "neutral locales", but I think they are doing fine. There can't be a neutral locale if such doesn't exists. Can the community perhaps reconsider the policy? Where is it documented? The whole thing doesn't seem to be fully thought out.

Comment 19 Marcus Buck 2009-06-19 21:28:37 UTC
>Did I get it right?


>You want to create a totally new orthography by combining two existing ones?

No. It's a synthesis of two writing traditions, created by removing all of the particularities of the two writing systems, that are not based on intra-language needs.

>Who would use it?

Everybody by default.

>Who would benefit from it?

The project.

>Who would create it?

The users of the projects.

>How would you ensure that is is acceptable to both parties, neutral and unskewed?

Well, when both parties are working on it, that will automatically lead to it.

>People can easily changes language after logging in. For unregistered users it
>is not so easy, but that is an another bug.

It is not.

>It is too much political.

It's not political at all. Low Saxon is a minority language in both the Netherlands and Germany. It's not tied to the government in any country. The differing orthographies developed on pragmatical grounds, not on political or ideological.

>The whole thing doesn't seem to be fully thought out.

If you don't understand the issue, that doesn't mean, it's not thought out. If you want to understand the issue, feel free to ask me questions.

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