OpenWetWare:Community development/Non-English versions
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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, 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