Wikizzjunarju:New Dictionary Structure

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This page discusses a proposal for a new dictionary structure and edit interface. Although

on Wikipedia MT, it will be kept in English since it is quite likely that non-Maltese
speaking wikipedians will contribute and discuss.


Following a discussion on mt.wikipedia and an attempt to improve a template for a glossary of linguistic terms there, I decided to talk to Magnus Manske (the creator of mediawiki) who luckily works at the same university as I do. I wondered why nobody ever took care of a decent edit mask for wiktionary. He says that for some time people were working on a new concept called 'wikidata' which was supposed to be deployed for wikispecies and wiktionary but which would entail complete refactoring of mediawiki and thus remained just a concept and will probably not be implemented soon.

With the present possibilities, structured entries in wiktionary are not possible - you never know if the contributors will use the template properly - and the more complex it becomes, the more prone it is to misuse.... The consequences would be loss of structure which is fatal in a Dictionary.

Magnus says, that it is possible to modify the editmask for dictionary entries without much trouble by editing a file in includes called editpage.php. If you modify the code there, you can split the editmask into multiple input fields - the data itself however is saved in one single data field. The tricky bit, is that you have to stop anybody from editing in the standard mode. You preferably also have to embed a template for additional structural markup - also the basis for successfully reediting.

Somehow this solution, although still a hack, guarantees data integrity and if one day people agree on the wikidata model we should be able to port to that solution.

A meeting with Magnus is planned next week and we'll see if we can tweak this together - although both of us are quite busy at the moment. The Advantage of prototyping this solution on the Maltese wiktionary, is that it allows a gentle introduction to a schema which goes beyond latin-based dictionary structures.

cheers, --Joelemaltais 14:48, 25 Mej 2005 (UTC)

So what you're saying is that Maltese wiktionary will be the most advanced one! As to moving it, I was mainly concerned that if it had to move it would be painful at that point. Also, you might want to set up some pages on to notify users there of the intended or possible changes - you could link it here. Also, if the php needs to change you might need to work with the techs. Good work.. Srl | lblb 15:18, 25 Mej 2005 (UTC)

dictionary schema[immodifika]

The dictionary schema to be used was developed at the institute for Linguistic Data Processing (University of Cologne). Althouugh I worked on it myself, I still have to get permission for release.


There is still plenty of discussion necessary on how to make the best of mediawiki features in this specific case

mediawiki specific[immodifika]

  • templates should be used to generate semantic markup
  • categories for semantic field
    • previously entered categories should be autosuggested in entry mask
  • possibly a special namespace for the structural elements of the wictionary schema (micro- macro-structure)
  • interwiki for equivalence Lx <--> Ly
  • interwiki for categories / semantic fields


  • the schema should be easily expandable without causing data loss.