"My languages" options

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Viridzen » 2014-05-03, 20:10

Okay, so, I've contacted "Yiddish Flag" on Facebook, with the message:
Hello, I, along with some other people, have been wondering: what are the origins of this flag, and is it in any way official, or at least applicable to Yiddish? Please respond soon. !אַ שײנעם דאַנק

I'll tell what they say when they respond.
EDIT: If you look through their photos, they have two pictures of it in real life. One in Israel, and one in Vilna.
EDIT 2: Here, we can see its symbolism: the Ashkenazi tallit has black stripes, so that replaced the blue tallit stripes of Israel. The menorah...it doesn't say why they use that, but my guess is because it is the symbol so many Ashkenazi synagogues use, and it followed the Jews in their migration to Germany (Ashkenaz).
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Yserenhart » 2014-05-03, 21:44

Lowena wrote:Might be a few years before they're caught up enough to resume adding languages. :P

Please keep reminding us how—despite me still being in the middle of moving to the other side of the world and trying to sort out my future there, and proycon having plenty to do in real life too—we're not working fast enough on the site to keep you pleased with the rate of progress. It really helps us.

vijayjohn wrote:Yeah, it certainly looks like it's been a while before any new languages were added. :| See, this is why (for the third time, sorry) I'm more concerned about the actual languages listed than the flags used to represent them. In fact, I'm kind of curious as to how often UniLang gets complaints about which flags are used vs. how often we get complaints about which languages are listed.

It has been a while, because before I add new languages I want to go through the current languages and standardise them a bit better, make sure they all have flags, fix any errors, and potentially remove those which aren't being used. To do this I actually need to first be settled and to have the time and energy to do it. Neither of those conditions will be met until next month. After that is done then new languages will start being added again.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Abavagada » 2014-05-04, 15:35

I still don't understand the obsession here with adding more languages and flags to a massive list. These aren't languages that have resources on the site, nor will anyone be adding any for them. Simply insisting that languages are added is a huge waste of time, IMO.

I suggested this long ago, but with a new techie, I will suggest it again:
1) If the reason people want all these languages is so they can make their profiles pretty, add an "other" field that they can fill to their hearts content.

2) Put in a form page that allows the people to submit whatever is needed for a language to be added (names, flag) and submit it. Perhaps it can then present the data in a copy/paste format or even be added whatever database is used when they are approved. Then you don't need to keep watching this thread for every request and hope you get it right.

A developers time would be better spent on actually fixing and developing the site, rather then updating a useless list on the whims of others.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Viridzen » 2014-05-04, 19:59

Abavagada wrote:1) If the reason people want all these languages is so they can make their profiles pretty, add an "other" field that they can fill to their hearts content.

I agree. I think, instead of having a list of languages for what people are learning using only the languages on the current list, we should have a field where people can list languages they know, are learning, and will learn, with or without flags (which would be taken from other places, rather than with codes).

Abavagada wrote:A developers time would be better spent on actually fixing and developing the site, rather then updating a useless list on the whims of others.

I'm sure updating the list is tedious, so the above idea is probably the best.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-05-05, 2:47

Viridzen wrote:If you look through their photos, they have two pictures of it in real life. One in Israel, and one in Vilna.
I forget if I already said this, but the Lithuanian flag for Yiddish is a bad idea, since even if it's made official there, there are Yiddish speakers in many other countries, and it's not from Lithuania in the first place.
EDIT 2: Here, we can see its symbolism: the Ashkenazi tallit has black stripes, so that replaced the blue tallit stripes of Israel. The menorah...it doesn't say why they use that, but my guess is because it is the symbol so many Ashkenazi synagogues use, and it followed the Jews in their migration to Germany (Ashkenaz).
Because it's a well-known Jewish symbol that isn't the Star of David, which is on the flag of Israel. Also, good eye: I didn't realize it had black stripes, and I'd forgotten that Ashkenazi tallitot have black stripes.

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Viridzen » 2014-05-05, 22:00

mōdgethanc wrote:
Viridzen wrote:If you look through their photos, they have two pictures of it in real life. One in Israel, and one in Vilna.
I forget if I already said this, but the Lithuanian flag for Yiddish is a bad idea, since even if it's made official there, there are Yiddish speakers in many other countries, and it's not from Lithuania in the first place.

No, I mean the Yiddish flag is on the synagogue, not the Lithuanian one. I do think using the Lithuanian flag is not sufficient, though.
mōdgethanc wrote:
EDIT 2: Here, we can see its symbolism: the Ashkenazi tallit has black stripes, so that replaced the blue tallit stripes of Israel. The menorah...it doesn't say why they use that, but my guess is because it is the symbol so many Ashkenazi synagogues use, and it followed the Jews in their migration to Germany (Ashkenaz).
Because it's a well-known Jewish symbol that isn't the Star of David, which is on the flag of Israel. Also, good eye: I didn't realize it had black stripes, and I'd forgotten that Ashkenazi tallitot have black stripes.

At first, I thought it was just a rip off of the Israeli flag in black, but then I realised that the menorah really was an applicable symbol for Ashkenazim, like the Hamsa hand is good for Sephardim, and the Star of David is good for both Mizrahi Jews, though each of these symbols also suits Jewry as a whole.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-05-06, 6:04

Viridzen wrote:At first, I thought it was just a rip off of the Israeli flag in black, but then I realised that the menorah really was an applicable symbol for Ashkenazim, like the Hamsa hand is good for Sephardim, and the Star of David is good for both Mizrahi Jews, though each of these symbols also suits Jewry as a whole.
Why?

If anything it should be the other way around, since the menorah has been a symbol of Judaism a lot longer than the Star of David has. And the Star David first became identified with Jews as an ethnicity in Europe, not the Middle East (though it was around before that, obviously) while the menorah can be traced back to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Hamsa is a Middle Eastern folklore tradition. AFAIK, it doesn't represent Jews or any ethnic or religious group. Muslims use it too.

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-05-06, 21:03

Yserenhart wrote:Please keep reminding us how—despite me still being in the middle of moving to the other side of the world and trying to sort out my future there, and proycon having plenty to do in real life too—we're not working fast enough on the site to keep you pleased with the rate of progress. It really helps us.

So you and proycon are the only ones working on the site? Somehow, that seems a bit odd to me. :?
It has been a while, because before I add new languages I want to go through the current languages and standardise them a bit better

How do you mean?
Abavagada wrote:I still don't understand the obsession here with adding more languages and flags to a massive list. These aren't languages that have resources on the site, nor will anyone be adding any for them. Simply insisting that languages are added is a huge waste of time, IMO.

Is there an obsession, and is anyone insisting? Just asking out of curiosity. Personally, I don't really care all that much.
I suggested this long ago, but with a new techie, I will suggest it again:
1) If the reason people want all these languages is so they can make their profiles pretty, add an "other" field that they can fill to their hearts content.

You mean take the existing massive list of languages and then add an "other" field for languages that aren't already listed, where any user can add whatever languages they want?
2) Put in a form page that allows the people to submit whatever is needed for a language to be added (names, flag) and submit it. Perhaps it can then present the data in a copy/paste format or even be added whatever database is used when they are approved. Then you don't need to keep watching this thread for every request and hope you get it right.

I don't see any problem with this.
Viridzen wrote:I agree. I think, instead of having a list of languages for what people are learning using only the languages on the current list, we should have a field where people can list languages they know, are learning, and will learn, with or without flags (which would be taken from other places, rather than with codes).

Hmm, sorry, but I'm not sure I understand this part, either. It sounds like you don't like the current set of flags or at least don't think it should be imposed on everybody, but I don't understand what you think we should have instead.

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Viridzen » 2014-05-06, 21:27

vijayjohn wrote:
Viridzen wrote:I agree. I think, instead of having a list of languages for what people are learning using only the languages on the current list, we should have a field where people can list languages they know, are learning, and will learn, with or without flags (which would be taken from other places, rather than with codes).

Hmm, sorry, but I'm not sure I understand this part, either. It sounds like you don't like the current set of flags or at least don't think it should be imposed on everybody, but I don't understand what you think we should have instead.

That there should be a place where someone can write which languages they're studying. Just like the text box where you write your signature, there would be one on your profile, too.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Abavagada » 2014-05-07, 14:46

vijayjohn wrote:Is there an obsession, and is anyone insisting? Just asking out of curiosity. Personally, I don't really care all that much.


This thread has 47 pages in it, and people are complaining when the languages they added aren't on this page, so yes, there is an obsession and an insistance. This is the most active thread in this technical area. You are reading this thread and responding, so you obviously care about this too.

People aren't as concerned about having other parts of the site fixed, but they surely want the extinct obscure languages added to a huge list so they can include them in their profiles, which is the only thing that is done with this.

I suggested the "other" box so that, when a person doesn't find a language they want to list, rather than coming here, posting what they want, then waiting for it to be done, they can just add the language automatically to their profile. They could then also list their conlangs. That would leave the developer with the free time to work on other parts of the site that need fixing. Simple enough change.

Why do you consider it odd that there are only two developers? For many years, it was just me and proycon working on the actual code of the site. Wsz also worked on some parts as well at times, but it was just 2 people most of the time, especially during the main growth period, from 2000 to 2005.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby md0 » 2014-05-07, 15:05

I think most of the problems were fixed when

Code: Select all

[ownflag=][/ownflag]
was introduced.

Τωρά μπόρουμεν να μπούμε σε όση λεπτομέριαν θέλουμε.
Now we can go into all the detail we want.

If we need to discuss something that obscure, it will possibly be an one-off thing, so there's no point into adding it in the main list.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Viridzen » 2014-05-07, 20:29

Abavagada wrote:I suggested the "other" box so that, when a person doesn't find a language they want to list, rather than coming here, posting what they want, then waiting for it to be done, they can just add the language automatically to their profile. They could then also list their conlangs. That would leave the developer with the free time to work on other parts of the site that need fixing. Simple enough change.

This is what I think, just for where all your languages go, so the list can probably go away completely, and people could use the "ownflag" code in the box.

mōdgethanc wrote:
Viridzen wrote:At first, I thought it was just a rip off of the Israeli flag in black, but then I realised that the menorah really was an applicable symbol for Ashkenazim, like the Hamsa hand is good for Sephardim, and the Star of David is good for both Mizrahi Jews, though each of these symbols also suits Jewry as a whole.
Why?

If anything it should be the other way around, since the menorah has been a symbol of Judaism a lot longer than the Star of David has. And the Star David first became identified with Jews as an ethnicity in Europe, not the Middle East (though it was around before that, obviously) while the menorah can be traced back to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Hamsa is a Middle Eastern folklore tradition. AFAIK, it doesn't represent Jews or any ethnic or religious group. Muslims use it too.

You're right. I honestly have no idea where I got that information, but, upon further research, it seems I was wrong. However, I already knew about the menorah (obviously).
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-05-07, 23:39

Abavagada wrote:This thread has 47 pages in it, and people are complaining when the languages they added aren't on this page, so yes, there is an obsession and an insistance.

It's true that it's 47 pages long, and people do say things like "please add language X," but I still think calling it "an obsession and an insistance" is exaggerating. I don't think 47 pages is all that huge for a thread on UniLang that's 5-6 years old; rather, it seems like this is a topic that comes up every now and then. I don't think that should be surprising. Obviously, not all of us like this scheme of listing languages with flags, but as long as we do have this list, surely we can't assume it's perfect and should allow users to share their thoughts on how it could be improved.

Also, at least in the relatively short amount of time I've been here, I don't think I've ever seen anyone ask for a particular language more than once, so I wouldn't say they're "insisting." They're just asking, and honestly, you can hardly blame them. Their questions are valid. Currently, the list of languages is kind of arbitrary and looks a bit like a wannabe Ethnologue with flags. Just sayin'.
This is the most active thread in this technical area. You are reading this thread and responding, so you obviously care about this too.

Well, so are you, but do you really care? Besides, this thread isn't only about adding flags and languages. The latest discussion here has been about replacing some of the current flags. I'm only saying something in this thread because people have been posting here in the past few days and I have something to say about what's being discussed.
People aren't as concerned about having other parts of the site fixed,

I'm not so sure about that. There are plenty of other problems that have been brought up recently. For instance, at least based on what I've heard from other UniLangers, I don't think languages or flags are seen as being as much of a problem as being unable to log in, having trouble writing a PM, or just not being able to access the website at all for a few minutes (every day around 9 PM your time).
but they surely want the extinct obscure languages added to a huge list so they can include them in their profiles, which is the only thing that is done with this.

You're exaggerating again. None of the languages that have been suggested in this thread for over a year are extinct, and by the standards of most UniLangers, they're probably not even all that obscure, either. Also, they're not just used for profiles; they're often used in various threads to indicate what language something is in. To me, that makes sense; it's probably more convenient than writing out the whole name of the language.
I suggested the "other" box so that, when a person doesn't find a language they want to list, rather than coming here, posting what they want, then waiting for it to be done, they can just add the language automatically to their profile. They could then also list their conlangs. That would leave the developer with the free time to work on other parts of the site that need fixing. Simple enough change.

OK, but then how do you justify having some languages already in the list and not others? (I think Viridzen's suggestion of using this for all languages instead of just the "other" ones would resolve this problem).
Why do you consider it odd that there are only two developers? For many years, it was just me and proycon working on the actual code of the site. Wsz also worked on some parts as well at times, but it was just 2 people most of the time, especially during the main growth period, from 2000 to 2005.

I'll admit I didn't know that, and it may have worked just fine back then, but at this point, I find it odd for the following reasons:

1. Apparently, there are various things on UniLang that haven't been fixed for years. If there were more developers, maybe they would get fixed more quickly.

2. zeme is the only UniLanger who's even listed as a developer, but the only people working on the site are the two server administrators. Why?

3. Yserenhart says both he and proycon are really busy. If there were more developers, would that really be so much of a problem?

4. Two other users have expressed interest in fixing at least this issue, but apparently, neither of them is allowed to. In fact, one of them offered to help out as far back as five years ago. So why not let one or both of them help out? What is the issue, at least as far as actually improving the website is concerned?

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Abavagada » 2014-05-08, 0:18

vijayjohn wrote:I'll admit I didn't know that, and it may have worked just fine back then, but at this point, I find it odd for the following reasons:

1. Apparently, there are various things on UniLang that haven't been fixed for years. If there were more developers, maybe they would get fixed more quickly.

2. zeme is the only UniLanger who's even listed as a developer, but the only people working on the site are the two server administrators. Why?

3. Yserenhart says both he and proycon are really busy. If there were more developers, would that really be so much of a problem?

4. Two other users have expressed interest in fixing at least this issue, but apparently, neither of them is allowed to. In fact, one of them offered to help out as far back as five years ago. So why not let one or both of them help out? What is the issue, at least as far as actually improving the website is concerned?


Good questions. So ask the ones in charge.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-05-08, 3:13

This thread suffers from the same problem as the requests for new language forums: Unilangers' eyes are bigger than their stomachs. There's no point asking for the flag of language X just because it doesn't exist. It should only be included if someone is seriously committed to learning it.
Viridzen wrote:You're right. I honestly have no idea where I got that information, but, upon further research, it seems I was wrong. However, I already knew about the menorah (obviously).
It's understandable. Ashkenazim use the menorah, Sephardim use the hamsa and Mizrahim probably use the Star of David sometimes. It's worth noting that many Jews lump Mizrahi Jews together with Sephardim because they share a common rite and they both have historically lived mainly in Arabic-speaking countries.
vijayjohn wrote:Currently, the list of languages is kind of arbitrary and looks a bit like a wannabe Ethnologue with flags. Just sayin'.
As I said, it should be based on what Unilangers need, and not what they think in theory is how things should be. If nobody is learning Tsez and that's not likely to change in the future, we don't need a flag for Tsez, do we?

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Yserenhart » 2014-05-08, 5:18

Abavagada wrote:I suggested this long ago, but with a new techie, I will suggest it again:
1) If the reason people want all these languages is so they can make their profiles pretty, add an "other" field that they can fill to their hearts content.

2) Put in a form page that allows the people to submit whatever is needed for a language to be added (names, flag) and submit it. Perhaps it can then present the data in a copy/paste format or even be added whatever database is used when they are approved. Then you don't need to keep watching this thread for every request and hope you get it right.

These are both good ideas, and I did plan on looking into something like the first one at some point.

vijayjohn wrote:So you and proycon are the only ones working on the site? Somehow, that seems a bit odd to me. :?

Well, all forum admins do have the same access to the code as any developer would, but for the most part the rest refrain from using that access for their own reasons.

How do you mean?

At the moment the list is massive, has no real standards of what is added, many names for languages are done in different formats from others (as a (not necessarily correct as I don’t have access to the code while I’m in Wellington) example: Cypriot Greek but Arabic, Levantine), a number of languages have missing or incorrect flags, and some have incorrect data. This is the result of just adding things as users have requested them in this thread, rather than converting the info given to a consistent standard and format; as was said, developers have better uses of time than organising a list of languages every time someone wants something new added.

meidei wrote:I think most of the problems were fixed when

Code: Select all

[ownflag=][/ownflag]
was introduced.

If we need to discuss something that obscure, it will possibly be an one-off thing, so there's no point into adding it in the main list.

Unfortunately that doesn’t fix people wanting various things in their lists of languages in their profiles. However, I would recommend people use that code in signatures and in the forums if the language they want isn’t in the list.

vijayjohn wrote:It's true that it's 47 pages long, and people do say things like "please add language X," but I still think calling it "an obsession and an insistance" is exaggerating. I don't think 47 pages is all that huge for a thread on UniLang that's 5-6 years old; rather, it seems like this is a topic that comes up every now and then. I don't think that should be surprising. Obviously, not all of us like this scheme of listing languages with flags, but as long as we do have this list, surely we can't assume it's perfect and should allow users to share their thoughts on how it could be improved.

I don’t think anyone is assuming it’s perfect, nor thinking that users should be denied the opportunity to share their thoughts; indeed, that’s why we have this thread. That being said, for now we (the administration) are asking that users refrain from suggesting additions, until we have a proper chance to sort out the current iteration of the list and decide the best way to go forward with it.

I'm not so sure about that. There are plenty of other problems that have been brought up recently. For instance, at least based on what I've heard from other UniLangers, I don't think languages or flags are seen as being as much of a problem as being unable to log in, having trouble writing a PM, or just not being able to access the website at all for a few minutes (every day around 9 PM your time).

The website becomes unavailable for a few minutes each day due to an automatic server backup. I’m sure most users would rather have to wait 10 minutes to see the site than to lose even a week’s worth of posts and other activity if something should happen. As for the other issues, they’re things we’re going to look into, but remember that fixing things isn’t often just pushing a button and done; the more work something will take, the longer it will take to fix it. I can’t speak for proycon, but even after I’ve finished moving my time to spend on the site will be limited, and therefore I can only work on fixing things as time and energy allows. Something like the languages is just tedious, but doesn’t actually require much thinking at all, and so can be done over a couple of evenings while watching the news or whatever, while things like log in issues will require testing and trawling through the code just to find the issue, let alone fix it, and that requires much more focus and thinking, and therefore more energy to do.

You're exaggerating again. None of the languages that have been suggested in this thread for over a year are extinct, and by the standards of most UniLangers, they're probably not even all that obscure, either. Also, they're not just used for profiles; they're often used in various threads to indicate what language something is in. To me, that makes sense; it's probably more convenient than writing out the whole name of the language.

As meidei pointed out, we have the own flag code, which has all the functionality of the flag code (except linking to wikipedia), so there’s not really any reason to need a language added to the list for use in signatures or in posts. Also, a lot of the languages requested aren’t actually going to be used for anything more than the list in someone’s profile, and even then just as a language they are interested in possibly learning at some unspecified point in the distant future. Such additions just bloat the list, and make getting to other languages that will actually be learnt now more irritating for users.

OK, but then how do you justify having some languages already in the list and not others? (I think Viridzen's suggestion of using this for all languages instead of just the "other" ones would resolve this problem).

Finding a policy (and therefore a justification) for what will be kept/added will be part of organising the list.

I'll admit I didn't know that, and it may have worked just fine back then, but at this point, I find it odd for the following reasons:

1. Apparently, there are various things on UniLang that haven't been fixed for years. If there were more developers, maybe they would get fixed more quickly.
They might indeed, if there were more developers.

2. zeme is the only UniLanger who's even listed as a developer, but the only people working on the site are the two server administrators. Why?
I can’t speak for zeme. As for why there aren’t any others working on the site, there are no other developers, and the other forum admins haven’t made use of their developer access—for whatever reasons they have for that, you’d have to ask them.

3. Yserenhart says both he and proycon are really busy. If there were more developers, would that really be so much of a problem?
That would depend on the individuals who were developers, and what they do outside of UL.

4. Two other users have expressed interest in fixing at least this issue, but apparently, neither of them is allowed to. In fact, one of them offered to help out as far back as five years ago. So why not let one or both of them help out? What is the issue, at least as far as actually improving the website is concerned?
Firstly; I haven’t had any PM from anybody asking to be a developer, nor has any other admin as far as I know. Secondly, if anyone is rejected as a developer, the reasons behind it are between us and them. Thirdly, If there are people expressing interest in being a developer, direct them to contact the admin group by PM.
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Abavagada
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Abavagada » 2014-05-08, 10:55

mōdgethanc wrote:This thread suffers from the same problem as the requests for new language forums: Unilangers' eyes are bigger than their stomachs. There's no point asking for the flag of language X just because it doesn't exist. It should only be included if someone is seriously committed to learning it.


That is exactly my point. There have been a large number of sub-dialects and long extinct languages added to the list, but no resources or links added for those. If the purpose for that is just so they can list it in their profile as being interested in it, does that really justify wasting a developers time with adding and bloating a list? Placing an "other" field with each language option for their profiles allows them to add whatever language they want. I don't mean a single box: I mean a box for each language selection. For example:

1) Select Language: < drop down list > [ Other ]
2) Select Language: < drop down list > [ Other ]
3) Select Language: < drop down list > [ Other ]

A single box might be easier to program, but individual boxes would allow the person to add a proficiency level.

If you really just want a huge list of languages, you can grab a list of over 7000 from ANSI with codes. Guess the question for me is, is this list for learning or for boasting?
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Viridzen » 2014-05-08, 20:37

I personally think the list is totally unnecessary. The only hindrances I can think of for my plan are that people will have to go out and get the flags, they may pick a completely wrong flag (the Kabardino-Balkar flag for Yiddish, just because a Google search for "Yiddish flag" yields this as one of the first results), and that it may be a drastic change in other areas: all the translation threads with the flags in them, all the signatures that would be ruined, etc... perhaps the list can stay, but instead of a list on our profiles, we'd have the box.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-05-09, 12:00

I think that an "other" field would be lovely. It would allow people to be more specific with their language list. For example it would allow us to specify what variety/dialect of a given language we speak/are studying/would like to study[*], which is quite an important info especially in the case of those languages that are fragmented in several dialects (and there are many of those).

[*] I know that for some languages this is already possible (e.g: European vs Brazilian Portuguese), but for many other it is not, and of course it wouldn't even be feasible or desirable to add all the dialects/varieties of every language (otherwise the list would have like half a million entries), that's why I think an "other" field would be quite a good solution.

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-05-09, 13:45

I think if we exclude the weird obscure shit spoken by two hundred people in a remote mountain pass of the Caucasus, the number of languages people really learn (instead of just saying they want to) is fairly small. The vast majority of languages are ones nobody here will ever hear of, and for historical reasons the "market" for languages, so to speak, is extremely Eurocentric.


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