Content, page and user language

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Semantic MediaWiki is mostly concerned with the following three language "types" provided by MediaWiki:

  • Site content language (or content language), the language in which the content of a page is written in wikitext by default. Set by the system administrator via the "LocalSettings.php" file.
  • Page content language (or page language), the language in which the content of a page is explicitly written in wikitext. Set by the user via the interlanguagelink parser function (see extension "Semantic Interlanguage Links"Semantic Interlanguage Links (a.k.a. SIL) is a Semantic Mediawiki extension to create and manage interlanguage links.).
  • User interface language (or user language), the language a user chooses to operate in. Set by the user via special page "Preferences".

The site language or better content language has a distinct responsibility with some content components being strict language dependent and therefore require a different interpretation1 once the language is altered. Content components that are bound to be changed include:

  • Numeric separators ( , vs. .)
  • Localized label identifiers such as "Catégorie", "Kategorie"
  • Boolean identifiers as defined in `smw_true_words` and `smw_false_words`
  • Behaviour switches such as __SECTIONNONEDITABLE__, __ABSCHNITTE_NICHT_BEARBEITEN__
  • Variables such as {{NOMSITE}}, {{PROJEKTNAME}}
  • Function such as {{URLCOMPLETE:page}}, {{VOLLSTÄNDIGE_URL:Seite}}
  • etc

It should also be noted that the content language is a reference point when storing data in a canonical form is not possible.

Notes

Semantic MediaWiki 2.4.0Released on 9 July 2016 and compatible with MW 1.19.0 - 1.27.x. and Semantic MediaWiki 2.5.0Released on 14 March 2017 and compatible with MW 1.23.0 - 1.29.x. implement support to incorporate some of those different language options and more closely pay attention to the intended language of a content (denoted through the page content language) or a user preferred formatting.

MediaWiki also operates with other so called language variants which are of lesser concern for Semantic MediaWiki.

See also