Standards issues

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(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

As noted in Cross language interface issues there are different software versions being used in different language Wikipedias.

There are advantages in each language community being responsible for its own software, development, and structure, as this could lead to divergence of different language Wikipedias. This could also lead to some new discoveries/developments within a particular language based community, and this could be a way of making progress forward. However, one might hope that the best features of each system, once tried and tested, could then be incorporated into the systems used for many of the other language versions.

Another thing is that there may be merit in having a consistent user interface across language versions. This is not absolutely necessary, and needless conformity may stifle creativity and imagination, but it often helps users who may use more than one version to find their way around.

It is possible that the markup language could change in the future, though at present that seems unlikely. Perhaps user interfaces might change - for example the interfaces may become WYSIWYG, which could result in software divergence. Right now content is probably more important than underlying representations, but in the future the balance might change. New features could be added, such as automatic translation. While this could be very useful, it could also lead to standards divergence.

I think there are issues here which could be explored.