Help:Manual

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This page contains a handbook for people wanting to start a Wikimedia wiki in a language which does not yet have its own wiki. See Special:SiteMatrix for an overview of already existing wikis (red links are not-existing wikis).

A tool is being created at http://tools.wmflabs.org/robin/?tool=proposewiki that should make the creation of a Wikimedia wiki easier.

Step 1: Requirements

Wikimedia will not host any wiki in a language or dialect that does not have a valid ISO 639 code, or a language in a script or orthography that is not commonly accepted or used. If you would like to start a personal project, see Incubator Plus on Wikia.

Preferences

Register and change preferences

If you are not yet logged in, please log in or create an account. This will make it easier to keep track of fellow contributors.

Then, go to Special:Preferences (1) and change your interface language (2) and change the test wiki settings:

  • The project (3), e.g. Wikipedia for Wp/xx
  • The language code (4), the "xx" in Wp/xx

Step 2: Starting a wiki

  • If you doubt whether your language meets the criteria, you can ask it on Incubator:Requests for starting a test.
    If your language is invalid, it may be deleted. If your language is valid, its content will certainly be kept and all work will be moved to the new wiki once the wiki is created.
  • In the box below, replace "xyz" with your language code. Use an w:ISO 639-1 code, and if it does not exist, use an w:ISO 639-3 code.
  • Also replace "Wp" (Wikipedia) if it is for another project ("Wt" = Wiktionary, "Wn" = Wikinews, "Wb" = Wikibooks, "Wq" = "Wikiquote", "Wy" = Wikivoyage).


Click on the create button above, and in the edit form, replace "language name in English". Extra information can be found on Incubator:Policy/Test language status. Then save the page.

  • Follow the instructions on the page you just created. You will be asked to create a main page, with the title Project/code/Main_Page.
  • You can list the wiki on Incubator:Wikis.

Step 3: Submitting the request

You can start a test wiki here at Incubator also without a request at Meta, but without one, you will not get an own wiki.

  • It is recommended to merge your account so you are automatically logged in into all wikis including MetaWiki.
  • Follow the instructions at the handbook for requesters.
  • Update the Wx/xyz info page here by changing the parameter "meta" to | meta = yes
  • As we already said, the policy to get a Wikimedia subdomain are stricter than to start a test project here. Read the policy carefully.
    • If the test project meets all formal requirements, it will be marked "verified to be eligible". If the request after a long time is not yet marked so, a requirement is probably missing.

Step 4: On Incubator

  • Content work is the most important thing. Write and maintain articles.
  • It can sometimes take a long time before your wiki is approved. Don't be discouraged.
  • You can apply for test wiki adminship, to take care of your test wiki.
  • A member of the Language Committee may propose the approval of your test wiki. If not, and you think your test wiki meets the requirements, you can propose its approval on their talk page.

Basic guidelines

There are a few rules that all Wikimedia projects must follow:

  • The Terms of use apply for all wikis. All pages need to be licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and GNU Free Documentation License. Please keep in mind not to copy texts from other places which are not licensed this way without asking the author.
  • Authors must write from a neutral point of view (NPOV).
  • Orthographic practices - if there is more than one way to spell or write your language, you will need rules about it.
  • Stylistic conventions - if your language does not have a standardised universal form (the way everybody speaks it to understand each other), you will need to have one or have a rule to tell people which forms or dialects of your language to use. Also, you will need more complex stylistic conventions (for an example, see here).

Step 5: Localisation

The interface needs to be localised into your language. "Localization" includes translating the MediaWiki interface. Translation is one of the requirements before a wiki can be created. You can do this at Translatewiki. It is usually done parallel to the work on the test wiki.

  1. If you are not yet familiar with translatewiki.net, please follow the instructions there.
  2. Go to "Special:Translate" on translatewiki.net and then start translating:
    • While it would be even better to translate the entire interface, for a first project in a language you only need to localise the "most used MediaWiki messages". These are the messages that are of most importance to our readers.
    • For any subsequent project in a language, all the core MediaWiki messages and the messages of the main extensions used by the Wikimedia Foundation need to be translated. It is expected that the community of the first project has maintained and improved the localisation and consequently it should be no hardship.

You are encouraged to join the language support team for your language, where you can provide information about your language (such as plural rules) or test functionality. If there is any technical problem, such as a lack of input methods or fonts for your language, do not hesitate to contact either through our community portal or on translatewiki.net.

Step 6: When the wiki is approved

If approved, the language committee will submit a bug request at Phabricator. Then it is only waiting on the developers to create the site. You can track the progress on Incubator:Site creation log.

Step 7: When the wiki is created

  • Stop! Maybe you want to copy all the pages from Incubator to the new wiki, but please do not do this.
  • Someone will import all the pages with their history, and without their prefixes.
  • If you want your own logo instead of the English one, upload it as "Wiki.png" to your local wiki and submit a Phabricator request. (If you don't know how to do that, you can ask for help).

See also