Topic on Talk:Cross-wiki Search Result Improvements

Should we limit the amount of languages we search in?

CKoerner (WMF) (talkcontribs)
  1. i.e.: only use the top 50 languages to implement this in?
  2. Or, only use the languages that we are detecting queries in an other language than the wiki the user is on?
RonnieV (talkcontribs)

''within the same language'' is stated clearly in Cross-wiki Search Result Improvements#A New Goal. So start easily.

If no results are found in the current language, it could be considered in a next step to search other languages, starting with those the user seems to understand (for instance: other language wiki's he has contributed to). Top-languages may result in more results, but also require more capacity (larger) and not everyone is capable of reading the top 5-50 languages.

Another option is to stick to related languages, for instance Roman if requested from a Spanish or Itailan wiki or German languages if the request comes from a Danish of Norwegian site.

Jeblad (talkcontribs)

If the number of languages are not limited, then smaller languages (and projects) will be swamped by hits from larger, and that would be very unproductive.

The actual languages should be the ones the user knows, ie. the babel list of languages. I don't think it should be limited to the language of the source wiki.

EncycloPetey (talkcontribs)

My comment above applies here as well: It really depends on the nature of the question. If someone is looking for the meaning of the Latin word ''vicesimanus'', Wiktionary information will be of most use, and it may not matter which language Wiktionary the results come from, as the word may only appear in a few projects, and might be illustrated with a picture, with a list of translations into other languages, or at least with an explanation in another language besides Latin. Likewise if someone is looking up the pronunciation of a word, or its syllabification for the purposes of hyphenating it, or synonyms. All of these features of a word may be presented on any Wiktionary, and may be found independently of the project language.

Quiddity (talkcontribs)

For myself (and perhaps most logged-in users), I think it would be ideal to allow quick searching from a specified list of wikis. (either by default, or as a new supplementary button in the Special:Search page).

For myself, as a somewhat meta-oriented and monolingual editor, I often want to be able to search (all of, or specific namespaces in):

  • English Wikipedia
  • Metawiki
  • Mediawikiwiki
  • Outreachwiki
  • WikimaniaXXXX

for example when I'm looking for documentation, or an essay, or an old presentation, or an old discussion.

Speculation: For multilingual logged-in users, I wonder if we could somehow re-use the info that Compact Language Links stores about languages we've purposefully visited? Or use a new shared storage location with a user-configurable override? (i.e. so that I can manually add a list of n languages.)

DTankersley (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Yes, we've discussed this in the past and we have a few tickets in Phabricator to investigate further, at least on the portal page. One ticket would add in a button or a link to switch the query string to search in different languages. Another ticket would display regional language links, but that probably wouldn't fit your need here. Just as an FYI, on the mobile apps, there is a way to preset languages to use for searching and it's fairly easy to switch between multiple languages.

However, you're requesting searching by project or namespace all at once, based on a pre-determined set of sites. I've added that idea into a new ticket to investigate how we could do this. I can envision a variety of ways we could do this, but we'd need to test and see which is more effective and intuitive to users (logged in or not).

Thanks for the suggestion!

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