Wednesday, June 09, 2010


For #OmegaWiki it is relevant to find as many translations as possible. This is what makes the concept work. The French word démoustication has as its definition "The control or reduction of a mosquito population in a certain place". This definition has me check if "muggenbestrijding" exists in the Dutch language. It does and I can even find pictures of people shooting with air guns on mosquitoes..

Having only three expressions for mosquito control is ok, as it is there with a definition in two languages. It is important to know the word. When the same concept appears starting with a different language we will always be able to merge the two DefinedMeanings.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

#Wikipedia interlanguage links

On a mailing list of the WMF there is a big discussion about interlanguage links; should they be shown by default or not. This discussion is the result of a choice made by the Usability team to hide them. Many people have strong opinions, one of the best contributions is one by Gregory Maxwell.

That thread is not the place to improve the approaches to interlanguage links. The goal of these alternate approaches is to increase the number of people that are informed by a Wikipedia.

Alternative one
Allow for interlanguage pages when there is not even a stub. We aim to inform, but when there is no article, not even a stub, we currently do not inform. The page may include a definition, but what it should show is articles on this subject can be found in these languages. Followed by a list of languages and the names of the articles.

This is easy to implement. The links are still maintained by bots and these referral pages do not need to show elsewhere. 

Alternative two
The technology behind OmegaWiki supports links to Wikipedia articles for quite some time. It even refers to Commons categories filled with data files on a subject.

This alternative is a bit more involved, but it allows for more functionality. It may need to need some fiddling in order to get it ready for WMF usage, but hey it is great functionality with many links to Wikipedia in there already.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

#Omegawiki WOTD; adénosine

Today's word of the day is adénosine it is the French word for adenosine. It was a word started by Kipcool and I added some bits and pieces to the concept.

The first thing I did was add a load of translations. As I want to have on average more then 10 Expressions per DefinedMeaning, it has more effect to add translations then to start a new DefinedMeaning.

The second thing I did was to make it part of the chemical compound class. Once adenosine was known as a chemical compound, I was able to add some annotations like the chemical formula. The last thing I did was to map it to the concept adenosine in the UMLS. This is really valuable for those who want to map the translations of OmegaWiki to the rich information that can be found in this resource.

A guest blog about the Telugu experience

 I am happy to welcome Veeven's contribution to the OmegaWiki blog.

We now have 1,000+ Telugu expressions and 35 definitions in Telugu in OmegaWiki. It is nothing when compared to the words in Telugu language. However, I think it is a good first step.

To show off, here is a screen shot showing the multiple meanings for the word "వర్ణము":

I joined OmegaWiki in 2008. I didn't add so many expressions or definitions in the two years. From about a month ago, I started working more regularly.

Working on OmegaWiki is a different experience. It is nice to see more and more of the interface change to Telugu as you work on Community class attributes and language names. One drawback is the performance: when editing, the pages load slowly and be non-responsive for a second or two (browser trying to sort the tables). I hope it gets better.

I wish more people come forward and contribute to Telugu on OmegaWiki.