From Strategic Planning

One area that works much worse is the internationalization of SVG->PNG generation. Even in top 20 languages there are sometimes problems with SVG translation: some non-ASCII characters are taken from another font with different dimension, which results in small glitches like extra space before some characters or a jump in the baseline of the text. --Tgr 13:55, 3 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Paying translators is dangerous because it might demotivate even those who get paid. See overjustification effect. --Tgr 14:06, 3 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I included a comment about the overjustification effect in the "Important note about paying for translation". I do however think that we also should be careful to not assume that everything has to be done for free, I think that is the other ditch that is easy to fall into when considering the open content movement. But if people are about to get paid for a certain task it is important to make clear why that certain task is so important that someone is willing to pay for it. I also think the solution in some way tries to take care of the overjustification effect because it would be hard to realy make a living on message translation in countries where there allready exists a large voluntary population because the wage is to low.
In regions where it is hard even to find volunteers that edits the ordinary wiki, I think it would be even more difficult to find anyone that would volunteer to translate the system messages. To pay someone for geting the messages translated in these languages I think is a good idea then, because then the volunteers could concentratet on editing the actual wiki. The good thing is that if you pay the same amount of money for every message, the translators that translate messages in languages that has less volunteers would probably find the wage higher because $1 is worth more in their region than in others. I also think that it is hard to destroy a nonexisting open content movement in these countries. It could hinder the establishment of such a movement though, but if you pay for a restricted resource such as localization I think this hardly would make any difference to the establishment of a movement. A careful analysis of the pros and cons, based on facts would be very valuable for trying to weight the importance of geting the software localized against the possibility of decourageing volunteers.
As for the SVG-PNG issue I wonder if this is a MediaWiki issue or an issue with other conversion tools. Would you like to explain that in a little more detail, and do you have any ideas about how this could be solved?--Dafer45 14:39, 3 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, hiring people is both more useful and less dangerous in languages where there are no volunteers. Then again, if there are no volunteers in a language, there is not much point having a localization...

MediaWiki itself does no image manipulation, so the issue is with the tools used (rsvg, AFAIK), or with their configuration. I assume the wrong fonts are used, or the right ones don't exist in the first place, but I don't have a thorough understanding of the technical aspects, I just wanted to point attention to it, because it is a longstanding issue. (See this bug report for example.)

Also, the new video player which is in beta stage now (and available on Commons as a gadget) will support localized captions, so that will be another area of i18n/l10n to watch (though probably less problematic than SVG stuff). --Tgr 00:11, 5 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Without any possibility of volunteers for a project there is indeed no use in localization in support for that project. But say that for every volunteer that is able to localize the software, there is one hundred volunteers that are able to contribute to the local project. And further assume that the other volunteers are unable, or find it to cumbersome, to contribute to the local project as long as the software ain't localized. Then there might as well be important to get the localization done. Consider if the MediaWiki software where written in Persian, would the English Wikipedia had grown then?
If the SVG->PNG issue is a configuration problem there is a problem for the Wikimedia movemnet to solve. But it is hard to write recommendations on issues that are vaugly defined. More similar problems would make an excelent list of priority internationalization issues to handle.
Would you like to do some research on the internationalization issues? I think they can be very important, but don't think I have the time to dive into it myself. --Dafer45 00:55, 5 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]