Grants:Project/Nigerian keyboard project/Midpoint
Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learning from the grantee's first 3 months.
In a few short sentences or bullet points, give the main highlights of what happened with your project so far.
- The project has proceeded with less initial success than we would have wished. We had expected more input from the in-country stakeholders and when this did not appear, the project was put on the back burner. We admit that it has been there for too long, and we now wish to finish the project quite quickly.
- In fairness, I myself have to take most of the blame. Shortly after the project began I moved from Ireland to Scotland, and setting up a new life took a lot of time and energy. But I know that we can complete this project successfully, and in a short period of time.
Methods and activities
How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?
- The linguistic research required for me to devise a keyboard layout for the projects languages has been completed successfully. We attempted to ellicit feedback on user preferences ("Do you want to retain [ and ] as separate keys, or do you want to use these for letters?") but we never really had feedback on that.
Describe how you've setup your experiment or pilot, sharing your key focuses so far and including links to any background research or past learning that has guided your decisions. List and describe the activities you've undertaken as part of your project to this point.
- Just research: Determining the letters and diacritics used for the official orthographies of the three languages in Nigeria, those used for the same languages outside Nigeria, and some other letters used for other African languages.
What are the results of your project or any experiments you’ve worked on so far?
- We are where we are: I have the linguistic data and I expect to provide the PDF description and the Mac OS implementation with a minimum of further delay.
Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project to date.
- Because there was no preference expressed by the user communities, it appears that three separate keyboards are not required. If one group hand wanted Ọọ on a dedicated key but another did not, there would have been a good reason to have three separate keyboards. We did not receive such feedback, and this has led me to believe that a single, omnibus keyboard for the three languages would be of greater value to the Wikimedia editing group, which works together. It means they can do their work without having to switch keyboards if they switch machines.
- Accordingly I have drafted a single keyboard which not only supports the letters used for Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba, but also the letters used for those languages outside of Nigeria where orthographic standards differ. I can make the PDF of this available quite soon.
Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.
- So far we accepted and disbursed the initial payment as seed money to get us started.
Then, answer the following question here: Have you spent your funds according to plan so far? Please briefly describe any major changes to budget or expenditures that you anticipate for the second half of your project.
- Perhaps the PDF description of the layout and descriptive document should count as the mid-point deliverables, and the Mac OS implementation and PC implementation (whether Windows or Keyman)) should count as the final deliverables.
The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you are taking enough risks to learn something really interesting! Please use the below sections to describe what is working and what you plan to change for the second half of your project.
What are the challenges
What challenges or obstacles have you encountered? What will you do differently going forward? Please list these as short bullet points.
- A failure to communicate quickly and regularly, and to let silence lapse into inactivity, is what has delayed progress on this project.
What is working well
What have you found works best so far? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.
- It is hard to quantify this. I will make written reports about the character repertoires needed and submit them along with the PDF specification.
- I don't really understand what the "Learning patterns" question is about. I collected the needed linguistic data, didn't get feedback from our partners, and let the project lie fallow for a long time. I'll pick it back up and make quick progress now.
Next steps and opportunities
What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your project? Please list these as short bullet points. If you're considering applying for a 6-month renewal of this grant at the end of your project, please also mention this here.
- I think we definitely need a renewal in order to finish, but I am hopeful it will not take six months. I will submit the PDF description quite soon. Then there is the implementation to do.
We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an grantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?
- Mostly I feel foolish for having let so much time pass. But the project is viable, and the deliverables can and will be provided.