Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Archive/Wiktionary as pilot app

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Random proposal◄ Archive  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

Wiktionary as pilot app

NoN Outside the scope of Community Tech

  • Problem: There is no official Wiktionary app. There was an app years ago. Millions of people installed it. The Wikimedia Foundation removed it from app stores in 2018 because it had not been updated for years and was broken in various ways.
  • Who would benefit: In the most developed languages, like English, German, etc, there are many online dictionaries. For many languages with smaller communities, the Wiktionaries are much more popular because there are no online alternatives. The only option was Wiktionary, and those communities need their Wiktionary app restored!
  • Proposed solution: The Wikimedia Foundation should provide at least one Wiktionary app to continue to collect user data and have a pilot project. The Tamil language community (South India) especially wants this project and to have their app restored.
  • More comments: There is a documentation problem associated with Wiktionary. Now that the Wikimedia Foundation has removed the apps from the off-wiki app stores, there are no remaining public records about who was using the apps. There is not currently a practice of making on-wiki documentation for off-wiki apps. There is not any obvious on-wiki place for people to discuss apps.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: from Balajijagadesh drafted with that user's ideas by Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:52, 10 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


  • @Balajijagadesh: I talked with you about this project on your talk page. I tried to write this up for you so we could get it in by the deadline tomorrow. @Ganeshk: I think you know something about the issue of the Tamil Wiktionary. If either of you can develop this idea then please post and edit. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:52, 10 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • The demand for wiktionary app in android/iOS is obvious from the fact that there are many other apps available in the playstores by the third party. The third party apps use the wiktionary content. But most of them are loaded with advertisements and possibly other issues. In Indic languages too the (especially Tamil language) there are a dozen third party apps use wiktionary data loaded with other problematic ad/malware etc. When the wiktionary app from the wikimedia foundation was live it had millions of downloaded and more than 4000 feedback. Though the app was old it has many recent downloads. When discussed with other people the information received is as follows. The dictionary content in the wiktionary project is being integrated into wikidata with entirely new structure. so when it is integrated then we have better data base. so wiktionary app wouldnt be a necessary. But there are problems I find in this argument. The integration of dictionary content into wikidata is still in the nascent stages. Even with conservative estimates it would take around 3 years for a reasonable integration. Secondly even after complete integration of wikidata into wiktionary there no plans as of now (as of my knowledge) to stop/discontinue the wiktionary project. So I could not comprehend why do we not have a wiktionary app for our users. Atleast for another 3 years why do we have to deny our users a wiktionary app. Those who use the app may turn into contributor. With our vision being 'Data as a service' why dont we service people with a wiktionary app? Already we have two sucessful apps from the wikimedia foundation in the playstore. one for wikipedia and one for commons. so already we have an app to work on. So I guess it would be easy to build a wiktionary app from the existing structure of apps. Even costwise too ( I havenot made a analysis) I hope it would be cheaper for the foundation to make a wiktionary app. -- Balajijagadesh (talk) 03:23, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • i agree with User:Balajijagadesh and also many language are diappearing, if we have a app for sound recorder (I think no app is available for open format output .ogg/.oga) I already discussed with Tshrinivasan regarding the features of Wiktionary mobile app and i hope he will join in this dicussion--Info-farmer (talk) 04:03, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Based on my experience by talking with people at Wikimania '18 I feel that there's a lot of interest for the reviving the Wiktionary app. User:Balajijagadesh tried reaching out to several people at the foundation to find the maintainer of the original app. Github has a WiktionaryMobile repo hosted but it seems to be a PhoneGap based application instead of native one. As a first step it would be great to revive the PhoneGap application and later if there are enough volunteers, a native app can be built. --Maskaravivek (talk) 15:52, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • It is better to have the app in playstore, so that tamil community can use it. It will be good if someone share why the Wiktionary android app is removed from store, issues with tamil Wiktionary, guides to solve them. So that we, as tamil community, will work on fixing the issues with tamil Wiktionary. -Tshrinivasan (talk) 05:18, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks @Tshrinivasan: for posting your comments. The wiktionary app can be made as a common app for all languages just like wikipedia app. So any language users can use it by selecting their appropriate language. The translation of the app interface can be made at So some functionalities like recording the the pronunciation of a particular word, uploading to commons and linking back to the word can be all done with the app itself as User:Info-farmer suggested. -- Balajijagadesh (talk) 07:51, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • As someone [very slightly] involved in the original Wiktionary app creation: I do not believe anyone on that team will have any interest in doing anything with WMF. The Foundation's devs burnt that bridge spectacularly at the Wikimania. (NB: youtube video of 1.5 hour session for 3 presentations; the announcement of the sister project app begins at 1:19:04 and is allowed about 3 minutes of time.) - Amgine/meta wikt wnews 16:16, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • @CGauthier (WMF), JMinor (WMF), and CKoerner (WMF): Hey WMF'ers. I am pinging you here because you have some connection to the development of the Wiktionary Android App. Do you have any guidance or thoughts to narrow the scope of this wishlist proposal to make it stronger or make some advancement on getting mobile Wikitionary access to underserved languages which need the service? It is hard for me to guess if the first step is full and complete development of the Android app, or if there is some smaller step or development which could be more achieveable. Blue Rasberry (talk) 02:55, 13 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Balajijagadesh: Regretfully, I'm going to have to decline this proposal. Building a Wiktionary app would be too large a project for the Community Tech team (especially since we don't have any app developers). I have, however, contacted CGauthier (WMF), the product manager for Android apps, and let her know about the renewed community interest in the Wiktionary app. I have asked her to follow up at Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 15 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]