Monday, August 27, 2007

2000 reads ... crazy ... but they are definitely there ...

The article about Freecol reached 2000 reads today. It has been published on 14 th of July and is still getting approximately 50 reads a day. Looking at the statistics and Google analytics most of these reads are unique reads - this means almost 2000 people looked at it. Mainly in Italy and the United States, but also in Germany and other parts of the world.

I noted that also the newer articles, like the one about the photo contest and the one about I Musicastoria are getting quite many reads.

What does this mean? I mean I can understand the photo contest, because it is about the Amalfi Coast and I can understand the amount with I Musicastoria which is a group that has really great music and is quite known around here ... but why the game? Probably these amounts of reads that are really high compared to those of articles in Italian, tell us two things.

Besides the fact that officially people still consider their native language, in this case Neapolitan, as a second class language, there is a high interest in it and probably people love to read and use their language ... eventually something is changing and they start to see it as relevant again ... it seems as if the desperately search for contents ... and what does this mean for our small Wikipedias? Probably there are many many readers that wait for us to write ... often these Wikipedias are the only projects that provide contents in less ressourced languages and therefore their role is quite different from what Wikipedia actually should be.

The other notion is that if so many people look at a computer game they eventually want one in their language ... this was the reason for us to go ahead and localize another game that is for now available for computers and will be available for mobile phones soon. If you want to play a game in Neapolitan or Piedmontese language, just have a look at Sudoku Mania and should you want to contribute with your localization: please contact me at s.cretella (at) wordsandmore (dot) org. I would really like to help you with the localization which is easiest done using OmegaT, since it already has a filter for java .bundle and html files.

Friday, August 24, 2007

.po files and OmegaT ... (Abiword)

Well, like so often things happen when you don't expect them to happen. We have almost 40°C here and I suppose that on the balcony it is well over that temperature ... no way of really being able to work ... that will need to be done during the night when the temperature is lower ...

So I thought, well, let me see how much it would be to localize that game into Neapolitan ... then I started like so often to talk to Gerard and we were talking also about the localization of software into Neapolitan ... being just that handful of people OpenOffice is not possible, and for some strange reason Abiword came up and so I had a look at it. I saw the explanation of how to create a "clean" .po file ... stuff that was somewhat too complicated for me to deal with (or better: I did not feel like trying) and so I thought: wouldn't there maybe be an easier way in order to avoid doing the same over and over again ...??? Well, I saw there were already localized .po files online and one of them the en_GB.po and that was the moment when I saw that maybe the way we were now dealing with .po files, trying to create a filter or whatever for files where the segment with the translation is empty is the wrong way to go ... .po files have a regular structure. Seeing that English to English file with both filled segments it became clear that it should not be too difficult to build a filter - but: not being an OmegaT programmer really I am not able to do that, so how to use the present filters? ... Well, first I tried with XML, but that one did not work and then with html ... and that one works ...

How did I create a file with translateable html contents? Well: search and replace ... that's all ... it could be done with a simple macro or a short script in whatever language that can process the .po files provided that both segments in .po contain text.

Now that is now my modified .po file looks like now ...

at the beginning there is the usual html declaration and the html tag

then a translation unit looks like this:

#. DLG_Para_LabelAt
#: po/tmp/ap_String_Id.h.h:97
msgid "&At:"
msgstr ">&At:< div "

and of course the closing html tag at the end (sorry I cannot put this in here since blogger gets a hickup. Also the space in front of "div" must be taken out (blogger-hickup also here).

this means I just created a "div" tag around the text that may not be touched ... and the strangest thing is: it really works ...

So this is a pseudo filter for .po files and now I will be able to localize the software creating a translation memory and then, for future updates work will be much less. Of course, who is interested in getting that .html file that can easily (with search/subsitute) be re-converted to normal .po can contact me, but please give me some time to answer ... it is really one of these periods of the year.

Less resourced languages meet ... getting some projects on the way

Berto from the Piedmontese Wikipedia, who also has i-iter.org that deals with less resourced languages stayed here in Maiori for some days and so we had plenty of time to talk and consider many strategies on how to protect less resourced languages and the very specific culture of the various regions in the world. Well there is still much to be worked out, but one thing became clear: we are going to work much closer together than before and we will find a structure on how to make the most out of the efforts of so many people who care about the same goals.

So yes, the first Piedmontese-Neapolitan meet-up made some first results.

This is just a note to let you know: something is going on ... so stay tuned for more news :-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A game in Piemontese with an article in Neapolitan

Approximately a month ago I wrote an article about the game Berto localized into Piemontese, Freecol and something incredible is happening ... I mean why should people who speak and read Neapolitan find an article about a game in Piemontese sooooo interesting? Well it is .... the article up to date has over 1550 reads (you can see that below the article) and gets further approx. 50 reads a day.

We don't have a clue on how often our small Wikipedias are read, but considering these figures: there are many readers for our languages, even if for now not writers.

What it also tells me: indeed time is due to go over to software localization for our languages ... in particular games, browsers, stuff you use often ... I am wondering how a handful of Wikipedia editors that we are will be able to deal with that ... we desperately need more people writing ... it doesn't too much matter that everything is written correctly, it is just relevant that people start.

Berto: tanks for that huge amount of work you did. It enters an incredible market nièche that is unfortunately always underestimated.

People find their languages fun - and they do want to read about such stuff - and thanks to a game two cultures meet ... exchange ... will co-operate ... that is something that I find incredibly exciting.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

nap.wikipedia: a first so-called stable version article

... it is not perfect in terms of wikification, the photos still were not uploaded to commons and some other things that need to be done, but it is a proofread article that was created initially for Positanonews, but then we decided to put only two paragraphs of it on the newspaper website (one of which is not on Wikipedia) and add the whole of the information on the Neapolitan Wikipedia. In this way I have a double use and double effect: people reading the article in the newspaper will reach the Neapolitan Wikipedia :-) and eventually there are some new ones that could become contributors.

Musicastoria, the band, is known in Austria and Germany where they already gave concerts and also in Yemen, well of course they are not known as much as here in Campania, but like so often: it is a matter of connections.

They are relevant to Neapolitan, its culture and its language since they go into the small villages and ask old people to sing their old songs, tell their old stories ... all in local language. There are not many of such groups around and I hope I will be able to involve them with some free projects.

Who knows if we will also get our first double licensed GFDL and CC-BY-SA 2.5 Neapolitan song from them ... it would be simply great :-) ... well, I will try to get it ;-)

The article on nap.wikipedia will need some time to become more complete ... but once it is: I want to translate it into English (many Italian Americans are from this region and they will love to know about them) and German. If you wish to help out with other languages, of course you are welcome :-)

Even a stub saying that

Musicastoria is a band from Vietri sul Mare, Italy playing ethnical music of the region of Campania and Southern Italy in general by collecting material through testimonials by old people.

in any language would be great.

If you want to listen to them, you can do this here (no complete songs, but 1 minute parts of some of them):

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pictures on nap.wikipedia

As I already said in the nap.wikipedia beer parlour and on the discussion list: I will now start to delete images without license information. I waited for quite some time before starting because I know they were copied from other wikimedia projects, but this does not help ... we need or license information on it or they need to be deleted. There are too many of them to inform the people who uploaded them about each single picture.

I would also propose to only use Commons. So if you have opinions on this: let me know here, on nap.wikipedia or in the discussiongroup napulitano@yahoogroups.org.

This is just to integrate what was already said since it could be some read the blog but are not really active on nap.wikipedia - so: they can contact me and remedy the situation for the pictures they uploaded.

Thanks, Sabine

Monday, August 13, 2007

Length of articles in small Wikipedias

Again I had a discussion about how big a Wikipedia article in small Wikipedias needs to be ... well thanks to Magnus Manske on the wiki-de mailing list I found a link that lead me to a Brockhaus version of 1911 (thanks for sending that one in just today). These kinds of encyclopaedias are still produced and for many they are enough (or even more than enough). So the length of an entry can be really short. Just look at the Examples.

What does this mean for us: well such short articles are very much wanted on our small Wikipedias and again I repeat: nobody can say that one or the other Wikipedia is good or bad only because they don't have long articles ... we could and should decide that in projects in less ressourced languages where you only have a handful of writers the "one line article" maybe including also a picture is enough to be called an article and not a stub. Why that? Well: 5 to 10 active people will never be able to create a project with all long articles, but they are well able to create over time an encyclopaedia like the one referred to above.

Time ago I stopped to add one sentence articles to the nap.wikipedia ... I suppose it is time to go ahead adding them - and: not adding the stub template, since we cannot and do not want to be compared with the big ones (that are compared to 50 and more volume paper encyclopaedias).

Said that ... as soon as time allows I'll go ahead to prepare the lists I have here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Spelling etc. on nap.wikipedia

Now we have that bunch of editors, but we don't have "fixed rules" on how to write things. This needs discussion, but not only among Wikipedians who write, but among all these people that are interested in the Neapolitan Wikipedia and connected projects. This means we are going to discuss this in the mailing list for the Neapolitan language and I herewith invite all interested people to join us there. You can also send an e-mail to napulitano-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

We must make a point, otherwise we really get into trouble - and we must start to use something like "stable versions in terms of ortography and grammar". I also have the corrected templates here and I hopefully will make it today to create them as well as the first "stable article".

Neapolitan is a particular language, since there is no law that rules how it needs to be written, but there are grammar rules and dictionaries and more than 500 years of literature. Of course some terms will need adaptation to today's language - and I want a wider public to be involved in this, not only the very small active community, but also very much the passive one: that is our readers - and many of them are in the discussion group mentioned above.

I was already thinking about creating a spell checker for firefox and OpenOffice.org, but my problem is: the day only has 24 hours ... I ask Carmine to proof read whenever he has time, the handful of editors is doing its best and I write some short news articles where I can connect directly to OmegaWiki and add terminology there that can then be used for the spell checker.

At this stage I am searching for someone who would like to start to create one with the very few words that are there. I really can't cope with it myself and people I know are not able to do it. So if there is somebody who would like to help us on that bit: the whole Neapolitan community would be really grateful. Having also a small file in place will lead to more data coming in step by step, since people will use the spell checker and give us their added wordlists. These of course then need to be checked and integrated, but it would at least start ... if we wait until whatever software has the functionality to do it we will need ages to go ahead. And we will need to repeat the same corrections over and over again - that simply does not make sense to me.

This spell checker should be under a CC-BY license so that we can use the list for integration in OmegaWiki and re-use the same work in various ways.

We already talked about course material etc. as well ... yes, indeed, it is time to create it ... I would like to see first of all written exercises that stimulate proper spelling and sentence building. But well ... it will take time ... we are only that very small group of people working on it.

Thanks to all who continuously help on nap.wikipedia with interwiki links, creating basic articles, taking out errors here and there and most of all: thanks to all who regularly dedicate their time to the Wikipedia.

I am now going to post exactly this text to the beer parlour on nap.wikipedia and send it to the discussion list.