OpenWetWare:Community development/Non-English versions

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Revision as of 16:00, 9 March 2006 by Jason R. Kelly (talk | contribs) (Discussion started about non-english OWW)
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Topic: What is the best way / is it a good idea to integrate non-English language versions of OWW?

Some pages related to Synthetic Biology are currently being translated on OpenWetWare - they can be found here: Biología Sintética. We are very excited about the idea of bringing synthetic biology to a larger audience, particularly one that has had little exposure to it, however we need to consider how this meshes best with OpenWetWare. A couple issues:

  1. The current approach of using the same wiki for spanish and english pages means search results/recent changes will come up in both languages, diminishing the user experience for those who only speak one of the languages.
  2. Wikipedia's approach of using seperate wiki's would require independent logins for English and Spanish OWW versions, as well as independent administration of two wikis. (i.e. upgrades, extensions, etc).
  3. OWW is not Wikipedia, I think the Spanish-speaking users on OWW would likely not just want to translate every page directly (as they would for an encyclopedia),but rather they would likely want to develop a community where discussions could take place in Spanish, new pages could be created that don't have a direct corralary in the English OWW, etc.

I fully appreciate that the "Spanish community" currently consists of one person excited about translating the synthetic biology pages, however I think we need to at least think briefly about what sort of support we are hoping to provide in the long term for non-English languages. Because we may be doing a disservice to Mauricio if we encourage him to build a community on OWW, only to ask them to move to a seperate wiki if that community grows so large as to make search results cumbersome, for instance. For instance, the smartest thing for him to do might be to start a spanish wiki devoted to synthetic biology and then occaisonally scrape OWW for new content worth moving over, as well as build a Spanish-speaking community to generate new content on their wiki. I think we can play it by ear for a little while for sure, but wanted to at least seed the discussion. Jasonk