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Meta:Functionality wanted/Archive/2011

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It would be great if we could add a picture to a DM. If I give you a picture of, say, an apple you'd instantly understand what is meant in any language. And it would be great for the children's dictionary. --Mkill 21:29, 17 February 2007 (EST)

There should also be links to the Wikipedia per each Expression; and links to the Commons per each DefinedMeaning. MovGP0 12:39, 28 February 2007 (EST)
Also there are cases where you need to translate even pictures: The Red Cross is translated to Red Halfmoon in some cultures, and so are the pictures. MovGP0 12:44, 28 February 2007 (EST)
Done --Kip 21:58, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Strategic discussions[edit]

The strategic discussions have been moved to an new page: Meta:strategy. Your contribution is waited for there. 07:44, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

bug about duplicate part of speeches corrected[edit]

For quite some time, we've had duplicate when we wanted to select part of speeches (e.g. twice "noun", twice "verb", etc.).

I finally understood where this comes from and have corrected it. :-)

If you still see duplicates for certain languages:

  1. This is normal!
  2. It means they are defined both in the "lexical item" entry and in the language entry as a language-specific attribute
  3. Please report it (which language is affected), so that I know where to act first

The final aim is to move from annotations in "lexical item" (which is now a huge ugly list) to annotation in each language page for language-specific attributes, including grammar. This will be done directly in the database (when I find the safest way to do it).

I mentioned part of speeches, but other annotations such as "gender", "grammatical case" will also be moved from "lexical item". This will avoid for example to have "grammatical case" show up when annotating an English word (at the moment, when you click on it, it shows an option "undefined", this is not nice) --Kip 18:03, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I am starting the reorganisation as announced.
At the moment, I will create the annotations for individual languages. In order to make the difference between the newly created annotation and the current one, I have renamed the current one to "part of speech OLD", "gender OLD" and "number OLD".
If you do not see "part of speech" for your language, it is ok to annotate by using "part of speech OLD" (same for gender)
It is best if you do not help, so that I keep track of what I did and what is still to be done.
Thanks (and be patient). --Kip 18:39, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Done Done Part of speech --Kip 19:44, 27 February 2012 (CET)
Done Done Gender --Kip 21:35, 28 February 2012 (CET)

Importing a complete dictionary into a collection?[edit]

Assume, I had a digitized version of a bilingual dictionary, having expressions, a list of translations, some grammatical and usage annotations per expression, and I may enter it in OmegaWiki. In order to guarantee proper credit, each syntrans pair should be annotated with a pointer to a collection, which may be named after the book title or so, and should include a reference each of the exact place where it was found such as volume X, page Y, column Z, probably row R. Also, from the collection, the full bibliographic data of the dictionary should be accessible. (I know, we can put expressions in collections, are there collections of syntrans pairs as well?) Further more, since the data reflects a printed book, the data taken from that book should not be edited later, while anything relating to it can and should be open for changes. Can that be had? How far are we from it? Would the book hav to occupy a dataset of its own so as to refelct the limited edit right? If so, how would it interact with the community data? These are not urgent questions but I thought to better ask here before they become urgent :-) --Purodha Blissenbach 16:29, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Strategic discussion page[edit]

I suggest we open a different parlour for strategic discussion, rather than having it in the middle of discussions about narrower points. It would make it more easy to read, and more visible. 09:17, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

I like the idea of a strategic discussion page! I am in holiday at the moment, and will add more thoughts to the discussion when I get back (next week). --Kip 09:48, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I've just opened a new page Meta:strategy. 07:47, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

MySQL 5.1 upgrade[edit]

Hi, I upgraded the MySQL version on the server from 5.0 to 5.1 (which is better at optimizing complicated queries). I also had to upgrade the linux kernel which was a bit scary because I had to reboot the server via ssh... The server was down for some hours. But in the end, it went fine :-) --Kip 15:24, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

current bugs[edit]

  • when you add an etymology, it is not saved
  • when you add many translations, only the first N (20 or so) are saved, and the other are ignored.
  • if you edit an "Expression:" page, the identical meaning flags are checked out. If you edit a "DefinedMeaning:" page, it's fine...

It may be linked to the upgrade of apache. Sorry... I'll report back when the problem is solved. --Kip 16:49, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Solved :-) --Kip 21:50, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Yay! --Tosca 09:25, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Merci beaucoup ! I managed to put an advert on Omegawiki. He he! DefinedMeaning:price_(2959). I expect a high commission from "Douglas fir".  ;-) 09:37, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Too many administrators[edit]

We have 832 administrators!

Administrators are supposed to be people that we trust (preferably that are active), since they have the rights to delete pages, and block other users from editing.

It used to be that you need the administrator's rights to edit the lexical data, but it is not true anymore. From the 832 admin that we have, I'm sure that many of them never edited, or are unknown to the community. Furthermore, many people cite this as a reason why OW cannot become a WMF project.

So, I'm proposing to reduce this number to the active and/or trusted editors. If you agree to this, we need to establish a list of people who will keep their admin rights (apart from me :D ). --Kip 09:00, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Let's agree. doesn't like monopolies so much, so I'm not fond of seeing OmegaWiki becoming a Wikimedia foundation project. And if the rule, in force in English Wikipedia and others, that a company cannot contribute as such, apply one day to OmegaWiki, would just withdraw. 09:18, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

A story[edit]

I wrote a story (a new help page) to explain to people why we are not a WMF project, why we are not importing the Wiktionaries, etc. See Help:OmegaWiki, Wiktionary and the Wikimedia Foundation. --Kip 09:09, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

You both stated that OmegaWiki is and would like to be hosted by Wikimedia foundation servers. Which on is true?
No, I said the source code is hosted by the WMF (subversion, etc.).
But the current server (where the source code is installed) is not a WMF server (it is hosted by --Kip 11:30, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
"Its software is an extension of MediaWiki called Wikidata. It is stored on the WMF servers." leads people to think that Omegawiki runs on a WMF server. Do you mean that Wikidata is developed on a WMF server but the live copy used by is installed on a non-WMF server? 13:11, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
For me, software is the code itself, which is called Wikidata. uses this software. also uses this software. Maybe there is a proper and less confusing terminology to use in the case of a webserver, but I don't know it.
Saying that Wikidata is developed on a WMF server is also not correct. At the moment, it is developed on my personal computer at home, and I commit the changes to the central repository.
Anyway... I have changed the sentence to "Its software is an extension of MediaWiki called Wikidata. It is opensource, and the subversion repository is stored on" --Kip 14:42, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Rather that importing automatically the Wiktionaries, I would suggest a semi-automatic importation: OmegaWiki would link automatically any expression to the corresponding pages of wiktionaries, present Omegawiki and the wiktionary page of the selected language side by side, and propose to the reader to import one by one the fields automatically found, by drag and drop. A "field" is either a translation or a paragraph. But dealing with inflexions seems to me more urgent than this. 09:31, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

This is a very good idea, but it would need a lot of work. --Kip 11:30, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

UTF8 sorting in tables[edit]

I found a way to have a correct UTF8 sorting in the tables (e.g. language names), so that for French, "hébreu" appears before "hongrois" and for German "Dänish" appears before "Deutsch".

However, I have to define manually each special letter and how it should be treated (e.g. "ä" => "a", etc.). So please report any wrongly sorted letter. Thanks. --Kip 20:33, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Javascript reorganized[edit]

Yesterday I have reorganized the javascript files. In particular, javascript functions which are needed for editing only, such as clicking a combobox or clicking the green "+" button to add a line, are now in a separate file that is loaded only in edit mode. So, when just viewing a page, the page is now slightly lighter because less javascript is loaded. There were bugs:

  • I had forgotten to put the automatic sorting when a page is loaded. It is now there.
  • I also put an other function in the wrong file, so that annotation could not be opened in view mode.

So, you need to refresh your cache to take into account the new javascript files (Ctrl+F5 on Firefox, and also for Internet Explorer I think). If you see some other bug, please notify me.

--Kip 08:28, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Definition - formal or dynamic?[edit]

Does the definition need to be formal, literal (word for word) or can it be dynamic (thought for thought)?

A definition of yellow is as follows in

Where the Mandarin has it as "Like a loofah or sunflower flower color" (translation from google translate)

Is this ok? --Hiong3.eng5 05:09, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Usually it is better if we keep the same words, when possible, to be sure that the concept defined is really the same. However, it also has to be adapted to languages and cultures.
For example, "lemon" translates in French to "citron", however, "citron" is more general and can also mean "lime", which is green. So, "lemon" is an example where an other word might be chosen for the French language.
In the case of Mandarin, if "yolk" and "lemon" are not common in Chinese culture, then it should be removed or replaced with a better reference (loofah?).
About loofah and sunflower: I don't know what loofah is, but it seems to be green in many pictures... There is also the problem with sunflowers that some varieties are orange, and a few are red (although I agree, most of them are yellow). So, I believe that at least "gold" should be added to the Mandarin definition. --Kip 08:40, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for the clarification--Hiong3.eng5 04:22, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

▶ and ▼[edit]

As you might have noticed, I have replaced the "+" and "-" with ▶ and ▼. The intention behind this is to make it more clear to new visitors that when they land on a page with only a definition, the definition can be clicked to see more information. Other ideas are welcome. --Kip 10:16, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I also added edit links in the Expression: pages, on the right. It saves one click (and one page load) and allows to edit directly the DefinedMeanings. --Kip 21:39, 3 November 2011 (UTC)


A typo I spotted but I do not know how to fix: the glottonym in Spanish for "Armenian" is "armenio", not "armeno". Regards. --Piolinfax 15:13, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Corrected in DefinedMeaning:Armenian (6015), thanks for reporting the error. --Kip 17:12, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Refresh your cache[edit]

I have made changes to all .css and .js files. So, if you see pages with no colors, it means you need to refresh your cache. For most browsers, it is Ctrl+F5 (or clear cache and reload the page).

Of course, I might have done something wrong in the process, so if you see something unusual, please notify me.

For the curious of the inside, I adapted the code to use ResourceLoader. It is said to be faster, it makes other MediaWiki developers happy, and it is necessary to stay compatible with future versions of MediaWiki. --Kip 20:15, 26 November 2011 (UTC)[edit] is an empty directory. works.

--Hiong3.eng5 17:22, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, my fault, I had disabled a RewriteRule in apache. Should work now. --Kip 19:16, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Most visited pages[edit]

I forgot to mention that I've added these statistics: Meta:Most_visited_pages/2011-11. --Kip 10:26, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

One language at a time[edit]

I have just implemented a new feature: one language at a time.

  • If you look at Expression:love, only one language is displayed.
  • There is an arrow next to the language, if you put the mouse over it (or over the language name), the other available languages will appear in a dropdown menu.
  • If you click on a language, it should work.
  • It also works in edit mode.

For pages like Expression:India, it looks much better and loads really faster.

Please note that:

  1. for words that belong to one language only, the arrow will not be shown, and the dropdown menu will not appear.
  2. I had to change a lot of code to make it works, so I might have introduced a bug somewhere
  3. if you click e.g. Expression:love, you'll be taken to the Danish word (it just takes the first record it finds). Then you can click on "English", but if you then click on "edit", you'll be taken to the Danish word again and need to click "English" from the edit page to really edit the English. (Don't worry, I'll find a solution).
  4. I am not an artist. I have spent some time playing with the css styles to have a not-too-ugly dropdown list. If you have some opinion on the matter, please tell me, for example:
    • if you have an idea on which color to use
    • if you want it to appear and disappear with a nice animation (slow / fast / blur / transparency are all possible and easy to do)
    • if you find a dropdown on another website that looks better...
  5. for long dropdown, I could implement something like this . What do you think?

Unrelated to that, I have also changed something else: when a word has only one definition, it will be automatically expanded (i.e. the definitions, translations, images, etc. are visible without the need to click).

--Kip 22:20, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your work, but I'm not sure the situation is much better than before. Most people probably use Omegawiki for multi-language purpose, as I do. All languages were many too many, but one language is too few. The ideal would be that one can choose the list of languages he is interested in. By the way, you did this big job, but you didn't finish the previous one concerning the grammatical properties, so it has been confusing for a while 03:58, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure the situation is much better: when you load the page "India", you don't have to wait 10 minutes, and you don't crash the server...
Filtering the list of languages one is interested in, for displaying only some translations and definitions, is somewhere on the todo list. You can also learn php, mysql and help programming.
Correcting the grammatical properties <= yeah yeah I know... (but actually I started it after) --Kip 09:22, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Chinese Characters (expressions) with no defined meaning[edit]

Can we add Chinese expressions that does not have any meaning by itself? --Hiong3-eng5 04:51, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but we need some definition.
I am not sure how we could do for Chinese characters, but I have created similar entries for Japanese Hiragana and Katakana. Cf. Expression:ら.
A definition for a Chinese character could include the identification of its radical, its number of strokes, and ...? (I see Cangjie input on Wiktionary, but I don't know if that's useful in a definition).
I am not sure at that point how we would indicate pronunciations, since the pronunciation of a Chinese character depends on the language using it. --Kip 15:37, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
This is one of the very rare cases where a definition of the signified is no possible because there is no signification, so a definition of the signifier is needed, i.e a definition of the expression, rather than of what is expressed (since nothing is expressed). A definition of "cow" (the signified) is "Female bovine animal (Bos taurus) of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae.", not "(Word) used to refer to a female bovine animal (Bos taurus) of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae.", which would be a definition of the signifier: the word "cow", not of the cow itself. A cow is an animal, while "cow" is a word. The former has horns while the latter has letters. In such a case, this should be noted. I suggest to put such definitions between square brackets and to limit strictly this usage to 2 cases: a definition of the signified is not possible, or a definition of the signified would be much more complicated than a definition of the signifier. 12:55, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Two word classes for one definedMeaning (e.g.: "to construct", "construction")[edit]

Following Synagonism's remark, I wonder if it would not be better to be completely logical and regard 2 words of 2 different word classes with the same meaning as one definedMeaning. This mainly happens for a verb and the corresponding noun of action. The fact that some variations of a word are inflectional (i.e. don't need to be memorised as such, and are regarded as 2 forms of the same expression, like "to cover"/"covered") while others are lexical (i.e. have to be memorised, and are most often regarded as 2 different expressions, such as "to cover"/"coverage") is language-dependent and has little to do with the meaning. For instance, French language uses much action nouns ("J'aime le ski."), English language, less ("I like skiing."), and Mongolian even less. Verbs and nouns are not used the same way, but the way they are used is language-dependent and this is is also true for different forms of the verb: a participle ("covering"), an infinitive ("to cover") or a verb in a finite mood ("covers") are not used the same way either, but are not treated for that as different definedMeanings. In English, the similarity between nouns of actions and verbs is such that many nouns of actions have exactly the same form as the present participle. For instance "sewing" can be a verb or a noun. Even in French and English, there are verbs with no corresponding noun of action (usually because it wouldn't be very useful.), such as "bruler", "to burn": if needed the infinitive or the present participle is just used instead, and this doesn't mean that the concept doesn't exist in the language. It already happens in OmegaWiki that a definedMeaning is expressed by words of different word classes according to the language. See for instance DefinedMeaning:uncircumcised_(1280465), DefinedMeaning:ainsi_(1290998), DefinedMeaning:happy_birthday_(1307861) (In this last DM, word classes are not written but some of these exclamative sentences are verbal, other ones are nominal.)

In practice, this proposal would probably consist in merging many definedMeanings 2 by 2, such as DefinedMeaning:hate_(6573) and DefinedMeaning:hatred_(6587).

Of course, in such an hypothesis, noting the word class would become crucial. And we should be careful that often a noun of action came to refer also to the result of the action, such as "construction" which means both the action of constructing and the constructed building, so this is of course another definedMeaning. Sometimes, one of the 2 words got a more specialised meaning than the other one, in which case 2 definedMeanings are also needed, such as "to manage"/"management". 07:35, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Dear, the MANY parts-of-speech of ONE concept are NOT identical in meaning! The "one" concept is a GENERIC-concept and the many word-classes and inflexions of them denote SPECIFIC-concepts of this one generic-concept. It would be impossible for OmegaWiki to store all the specific-concepts denoted with a word-class. I found that the greek-verb has more than 200! OmegaWiki must store the inflected-forms of the names of the word-classes of the generic-concepts. Also we see languages (because they are created unconsciously and independently) not to express the same specifics (same inflexions) for the same generics. These generic-concepts are the COMMON entities languages have. And ONLY relying on these we can correctly translate meanings among languages.
Last, OmegaWiki must not make the same mistake with wikipedia. Concepts are subjective entities. There is never only ONE true. The "every one can edit" in my opinion could become "every one can edit and express himself". But if we want to communicate, everything we express MUST be defined, of course subjectively and not anonymously! --Synagonism 09:32, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't really understand the purpose of this idea. Wouldn't it make the DefinedMeaning rather large, complex and unwieldy? And what would be the exact definition of a DM that includes the verb "hate" and the noun "hatred"? I don't think it would be intuitive and helpful to deviate so much from the traditional dictionary structure. --Tosca 17:16, 31 December 2011 (UTC)