Language for taxonomic names, redux

Michael Everson everson at
Fri Feb 24 01:09:50 CET 2017

Well, you say you want to use a language subtag, evidently attached to the prefix “la” (though you didn’t seem to have responded when I asked (any more than you responded to my stated preference for “linnaeus” over “taxon"), and then you say you’re going to roll this out in lots and lots of web pages, via a template which will have… um… some effect somehow, since you didn’t give any explicit example… 

Oh, and then you say, no, you’re not going to parse the text of the whole wikipedia to tag scientific names, and though I think that difficulty could be met by *policies* initiated by the wikiproject communities who give a damn about this stuff and who would be the majorly affected community of people who would be the user community for your subtags. But you respond by trying to explain aspects of Wikipedia practice to me. I’m not an idiot, and however fifteen-times-Wiki-better than me you think you are, I am still making sense, 

You want to use the subtags for text to speech.
You want to use the subtags in spell-checking.
You want to use the subtags in translation.

Well, then there should be a roll-out plan agreed by stakeholders who wish to make use of these subtags in this scheme. 

So far, the answer is No. You have not convinced me that what you are proposing is needed, that it is the right solution, that it would be used, and so, so far

Please try again. Maybe you have a case to make. You’ll have to make it less abstractly.

> No. I was referring specifically to the edits I said I would make, in my previous post (which you quote). I'm well aware of the in-line use of taxon names, but that was /not/ what I was referring to.
> The {{Lang}} template:
> already exists for inline content in a different language to that declared for the body of the page, and no change in Wikipedia policy is required for its use - indeed, it's already used (often multiple times) on almost 600K pages on the English Wikipedia alone.

And your specific plan for rolling this out on all the scientific names in the English wikipedia is to alter that? How is that going to find all the examples of scientific names and alter them? If they are not all altered, what is the use of your scheme, if WikiProjects haven’t taken it as a useful part of their style sheets for editing?

I asked if you’d done that homework, because if you had, my confidence that this would be used and useful would have been higher. 

> I note that LangCom is responsible for allowing Wikimedia Foundation projects to be created in new languages; and has no role on policy for language markup on the English Wikipedia; nor on any other Wikipedia or Wikimedia Foundation project; nor for Wikipedia policies more widely.

Correct. And yet here I am, your Language Subtag Reviewer, who also sits in that committee and has tried to get you to answer some questions that will show if your proposal is anything but aspirational. 

> In {{taxobox}}:
> for one. That template alone is used on 300K articles.

Yes, but that won’t affect text-to-speech or translation for the body text of the encyclopaedia. And that is what I have been asking about. 

>> To do that requires policy decisions within projects, so that editors have consistent guidelines.
> Wikiprojects do not make Wikipedia policy.

Wikiprojects have style sheets that say what best practice is for various endeavours, and if you expect linnaean names to be language tagged, you had better the hell have made sure that ANY of the Wikiprojects interested in this subject matter are on board, or your tagging may fall victim to deletionism. 

>> Ah. Then your scheme won’t affect ordinary text, only info boxes and so on.
> That depends on what you mean by my "scheme". Your terms are unclear.


> If you mean my initial edits to a few templates, improving hundreds of thousands of articles after a few minutes work, then the latter is true.

Apparently you don’t expect your scheme (to subtag binomial names) will affect or be rolled out in the body text of the encyclopaedia. 

> If you mean my request for "suggestions as to how [how to indicate the language of these names] might finally be resolved", and
> the use of templates like {{lang}}, then yes, it will.

So you expect some users to start using {{lang|la-linnaeus|Homo Sapiens}} but you’ve not discussed this with the user community? And since translation and text-to-speech is a core argument, you’ve made no plans to implement this tagging generally in the body text of the encyclopaedia?

> My question below, about the relevance of the internal workings of Wikipedia is again pertinent. Far more sites than Wikipedia
> programmatically publish pages about individual taxons, or lists of them and could (and would, in my experience), apply language markup easily and quickly, if only a suitable and standard language (sub)tag was available.

If we build it, they will come?

That might be a reasonable argument, but if that is your argument, you should own up to it. 

>>> Does the creation of a language (sub) tag by IETF really depend on the internal workings of Wikipedia?
>> It is a subtag. You yourself have failed to answer a number of my questions (like about accent and the expected
>> prefix use) though others have clarified that somewhat.
> I believe I have answered all your questions except where others have
> beaten me to it.

That doesn’t mean your response wouldn’t be helpful for clarity. 

Michael Everson

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