Talk:Abstract Wikipedia

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Boilerplate functions[edit]

From my point of view Scratch is a good example for a low-coding-plattform. It is easy possible on it to create a program. In Scrath there are Boilerplates with gaps and it is possible with drag and drop to take the different parts that have different looks and it is possible to connect the parts to a function if they can belong together. From my view for at least some functions that principle could be a possibilty with a lower barrier for creating functions after the boiler plate templates could be translated into other languages to reach people with lower coding knowledge. Making it for them possible to create a function. Have you thinked about offering a possibility like that in the User Interface.--Hogü-456 (talk) 20:42, 25 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I created a script and with what it is possible to convert a script in a text file in a COBOL-like language to code in R. The definitions of the structure of the sentences are in a CSV-File and you can find the code in This is an example for what functions in Wikifunctions could be used and I think that reduces the barrier to create a program and if I create more examples I collect through that functions. For me it is important that it will be possible in Wikifunctions to use the functions Offline. For example in schools there are sometimes restrictions regarding web services and it is from my point of view good if data is not transferred to another party if not neccessary. What do you think about the program that I wrote. Do you think that this can be helpful if there are more sentences and their code equivalent defined.--Hogü-456 (talk) 20:58, 22 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Regarding "Will it be possible to run Wikifunctions functions offline?" - we hope so! We hope that there will be evaluation engines that can run offline, and where you can then have certain functions available to run them on your own hardware, yes. We really want to support the creation of such evaluation engines, and hope that they will help with having many people run Wikifunction functions in all kind of environments. --DVrandecic (WMF) (talk) 00:21, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Regarding "code that takes a COBOL-like language and translates it to R", I do hope that we will be able to support that kind of functions in Wikifunctions as well, basically a compiler or transpiler from a specification language you define to another language such as R. I took a look at your directory, but have to admit that I didn't exactly figure out how it works. But yes, having several layers of code build on top of Wikifunctions, for example to have a simple declaration of Wikidata queries which then gets compiled into SPARQL and executed - that would be very good to have in Wikifunctions! I hope I understood your suggestion. --DVrandecic (WMF) (talk) 00:25, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Regarding a Scratch-like interface, yes, that would be awesome. I am not saying everyone would need to learn Scratch in order to implement functions for Wikifunctions, but it would be great if, besides the usual text-based languages such as Python or JavaScript, we would also support Scratch as a programming language, including its UX. --DVrandecic (WMF) (talk) 00:26, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I am currently using Snap!. This is a further development of Scratch and it is there possible to define own blocks and export the results as XML. I tried that in the last days and I wrote a program to create out of the export a result in the programming language R. This does work now so far and I am able to write programs with that. I dont have yet put all functions I regular use into blocks but I am working on it. The result is published on my PAWS-Profile. I need to check the license compatibilty of the AGPL 3.0 and GPL 2.0 or later further. So this is currently the thing where I am not completely sure if it is allowed to combine such software. I only use the export of Snap-XML at the AGPL licensed part in the program and the structure I parse out of that is the begin and the end of the blocks and the content of the blocks what are all own defined ones. So I currently see there no problem. Do you have experience with the the compatibility. Under what license am I allowed to publish the result or is it not allowd to combine it.--Hogü-456 (talk) 22:12, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I asked the developer team of Snap! and they told me that the exported XML-Projectfiles are free. And that at the page of Snap there the published scripts are licenced CC-BY-NC-SA (or, optionally, CC-BY-SA). They also told me that there is a Codification feature so it is possible directly in Snap to convert the result to another programming language. I do not yet understand the feature detailed and so I dont know how to export the generated source code. From my point of view after Snap has the feature it can be helpful to use it and it is a example of a low barrier entry for creating programs. Maybe there can be a cooperation with the development team of Snap.--Hogü-456 (talk) 20:58, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's pretty awesome! I would love for us to support Snap! or Scratch or something of our own, possibly based on Blockly, in Wikifunctions. I filed T301418 to keep that on the list of things to do for Wikifunctions. --DVrandecic (WMF) (talk) 21:48, 9 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

why not to use a ready "abstract language"?[edit]

many natural language generation projects are listed in Abstract_Wikipedia/Related_and_previous_work/Natural_language_generation. why you decided to develop a new coding standart, instead of using of a ready system? --QDinar (talk) 19:35, 4 October 2021 (UTC), edited 19:37, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Because we don't know which one of these is the right one, so we offer a platform where the community can either re-use an existing one, or come up with their own. --DVrandecic (WMF) (talk) 00:27, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
as i know, you planned to develop just one new coding standart, with many human languages on outer surface, but inner code with z-ids was going to be a language, (determined with many constraints). have you now decided to allow other "abstract" languages to be added, like new human languages can be added to wikimedia projects (through incubator wiki, and other possible stages)? --QDinar (talk) 18:56, 2 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I was hoping we would have only one single abstract language, although it might include several ways to say the same thing. We have not yet decided where the abstract content would be stored, i.e. on an incubator wiki or some other place. This is a discussion we are going to have early next year. -- DVrandecic (WMF) (talk) 20:55, 10 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

i would like you allow many "abstract languages"... using only one language is like dictatorship, not freedom. also, allowing different languages would allow separate your language project from wikimedia, or develop several languages within wikimedia. your project may not gain big communtiy of developers, and other projects may already have big communities. but how that can be made? seems, the listed, by the url, languages are not {multilingual like your project}. such codes could be hold on every language wikipedia. they could be mixed with traditional code included within tags like <code lang="..."></code>. several stages of generation of string can be made available to see in a tab near "edit source" tab. generated wiki code may be in a tab. a code with structured text (with structure of human language text) just before linearising it (into wiki code) can be shown in an other tab, if available... in case a multilingual code is used, it can be included with tags like <includetext from="Z..." targetlang="..." />. its wikitext and structured text also can be shown in tabs. --QDinar (talk) 20:50, 14 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Mention the original name Wikilambda[edit]

There is message box on top with a footnote, but nonetheless I want to suggest that a (near) native English user adds in the text passage about Wikifunctions some note about the original name Wikilambda for various reasons:

Because of the translation system I do not simply want to add text, but my own suggestion would be: “Originally it was named Wikilambda derived from the Lambda calculus. The name Extension:WikiLambda and the Wikifunctions logo containing a lambda still are reminiscences.” Is this OK? — Speravir – 23:17, 28 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Speravir: Thank you for the suggestion! I've added it to Abstract Wikipedia#Background. Sorry for the delayed response. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 21:33, 22 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Quiddity (WMF): Thank you nonetheless. — Speravir – 00:30, 23 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

How will Abstract Wikipedia work from the editors point of view?[edit]

I am a German with an interest in diplomats, using the VisualEditor to create and update articles. Abstract Wikipedia sounds like a great idea for my area of work. When I create an article about the new ambassador of Germany to, say, Sweden, it would be great if that article is immediately available to swedish readers (and others worldwide) as well. And vice versa, there are ambassadors from many countries in Germany, so it would be a very efficient use of resources, if we do not have to create and maintain articles about them in parallel in various languages.
Now I read in the explanations and discussions a lot about programming. Is that, what Abstract Wikipedia is going to be? Just another programming language?
Do you expect me to learn this new programming language and all its functions in order to contribute to Abstract Wikipedia? Or will that be a background functionality, so that I can continue to create the article using the VisualEditor and then push a button which will then translate the (in my case German) article into the objects required for Abstract Wikipedia?
--Wikipeter-HH (talk) 16:21, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Wikipeter-HH: That's a great question! And in many ways the answer is "We don't know yet". There might be several ways that we will explore, here is just one possibility. I will describe it a bit, but if that isn't enough we can also make a few mockups.
First, it will likely not be like VisualEditor nor like Programming.
So, let's assume we want to create a new biography for an ambassador. Let's say the first two sentences are "Malala Jones (born January 14, 1984 in Fairfax, VA) is the current ambassador of the United States to Nigeria. She is a former member of the girlband Foxy Fairies."
When starting an article, we would need to select a constructor for the first sentence (selecting the right constructor will be one of the hardest parts). We'll likely have a constructor for "Biography start definition". Once we select that constructor, we will get a form that has several fields. In this case I could imagine fields such as "first name", "last name", "date of birth", "place of birth", "position".
There would be a page describing the constructor and the fields, and we could play around to see how it creates sentences in different languages. I imagine that "position" is something like a specific, unique role (which is why the constructor is called a definition, it identifies a specific individual). So for position we would need to use another constructor.
If we are lucky, there will be a constructor for ambassadors, which might ask "current" (a checkbox), "since", "until", "from", "to". So we choose the ambassador constructor, and another set of forms opens up and allows us to choose values.
So we would be building up the sentence. The catalog of constructors defines the expressivity we have available.
Once we are happy with the first sentence, we could add a second sentence (by clicking in the right place), and use a new constructor, e.g. "Person description", and it could ask for fields such as "person", "description", "from", "to", "location", etc. We again would select the Person (and if the renderers do their job right, it would either say "She", or "Jones", or whatever is appropriate), we would leave the "from", "to", and "location" fields free, but in the "description" field we could be happy to have a "band member noun phrase" constructor, which allows us to set "former", and add the band. The band could be an item from Wikidata, or a simple name.
But in general, the rough idea is to have a lot of forms, to fill them up with more forms, or with items or constructors, and to have a very clicky and restricted interface. If something needs to be changed, we would again click on edit, and change it in the forms. It won't be as easy as writing an article in a specific language. But it will allow to create content in many languages at once.
One idea we will be exploring is to have a natural language input box, where you can just write in natural language, and then we have a classifier or parser that tries to figure what the right constructors would be to create similar text. It might then switch the sentence "She is a former member of the girlband Foxy Fairies." to "She was a member of the girlband Foxy Fairies." (i.e. adjust the tense, drop the adjective), depending on what kind of constructors are available. So you would type in natural language text, it would guess the constructors, show you the text output in the languages you are comfortable with, and allow you edit the forms of the constructors directly to fix errors.
I hope that we will hear more ideas for the UX as we get closer to this, and I expect that our designers will be very busy to create usable workflows and user experiences.
All the constructors I named here are just suggestions. I don't want to be prescriptive about what kind of constructors we should or will have.
I hope this helps a bit! -- DVrandecic (WMF) (talk) 01:38, 11 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hi @DVrandecic (WMF):,
thanks for the detailed explanation. That helps me a lot in understanding the route you are pursuing. What you describe reminds me of You can enter details of a persons life (birth, parents, marriage, children, ...) and it will create a story from that. However, that is a sequence of loose sentences and sometimes a bit boring (His son John was born 12th February 1907. His daugther Mary was born 31. July 1909. ...). In my view a Wikipedia Article should be a coherent text which makes an interesting read. That is where authors writing in natural language make a difference. I do like the idea of the natural language input box, which is fed into an (artficial intelligence based?) parser. That tool will actually be inevitable to get the millions of existing articles into Abstract Wikipedia.
I will keep an eye on the further developments and if you need a pilot user, please do not hesitate to contact me. --Wikipeter-HH (talk) 12:32, 11 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Wikipeter-HH: Thank you! I had this mock-up I did much earlier, and used in a few talks, but couldn't find it on Commons. So I uploaded it now. Maybe that helps, too.
Abstract wikipedia mockup.png
Yes, indeed, the series of sentences are expected to be more boring and monotonous than hand-written text. It depends on how many and what kind of constructors we have to see how fluent we can make the results be. -- DVrandecic (WMF) (talk) 02:10, 14 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

What about implicit bias, THE TRUTH and fuzzy logic?[edit]

After reading here and there and even on Github and elsewhere, I have many questions about ontology behind this project, probably naive, and I am not sure if it is the right forum. Also, I tend to (ab)use hrefs, examples and metaphors, so do tell me if anything is unclear:

1. Why do you assume that TRUTH is universal?

2. What about counterexamples:

Given a constructor Superlative with the keys subject, quality, class, and location constraint, we can have the following abstract content:

  subject: Crimea
  quality: large,
  class: penisula,
  location constraint: Russia)
  subject: Taiwan, Hainan
  quality: large,
  class: island,
  location constraint: China)

In Wikifunctions, we would have the following function signature:

generate text(superlative, language) : text

[...] The application of the function to the abstract content would result in the following output content:

(in English) Crimea is the largest penisula in Russia.

(in Croatian) Krim je najveći poluotok u Rusiji.


(in English) Taiwan is the largest island in China, with Hainan being the second largest one.

(in French) Taïwan est la plus grande île de Chine, Hainan étant la deuxième plus grande...

or anything with "Allah", "Prophet", "Kosovo", "Palestine" in its "superlative subject" field, or other examples from the Lamest edit wars set?

Indeed, "Romanian Wikipedia on the other hand offers several paragraphs of content about their [river] ports" but so did the Croatian one offer detailed information about their Jasenovac camp.

3. What about the resulting output being un-PC, with "GPT-3 Abstract WP making racist jokes, condoning terrorism, and accusing people of being rapists"? (Who is "a terrorist" in the first place?)

4. Has it been discussed somewhere else? Is there a FAQ for such advocati diaboli as myself?

Zezen (talk) 09:54, 14 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The underlying question seems to be: How will the community decide on how to write content, especially for complex topics? Just like usual - via discussions, guidelines, policies, style guides, and other standard wiki processes. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:00, 15 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
No. So mea cupla for being unclear.
The underlying challenge (question) is the implicit abandonment of the WP:PILLARS thereby.
I can see now that Heather Ford had mentioned parts of these Points 1 and 2 above in Wikipedia@20's chapter, "The Rise of the Underdog": To survive, Wikipedia needs to initiate a renewed campaign for the right to verifiability. ... the ways in which unattributed facts violate the principle of verifiability on which Wikipedia was founded ... [consumers] will see those facts as solid, incontrovertible truth, when in reality they may have been extracted during a process of consensus building or at the moment in which the article was vandalized... search engines and digital assistants are removing the clues that readers could use to (a) evaluate the veracity of claims and (b) take active steps to change that information through consensus...
Add to this Quid est veritas? or these basic THE TRUTH enwiki essays, including the WP:NOTTRUTH policy itself, for a more eloquent and strategic challenge @Quiddity (WMF) and the other gentle readers.
Should you dislike epistemology, the "rights" and anything similarly vague, abstruse, perplexing or nebulous referenced in my original comment, do answer my challenge 2:
generate text(superlative, language) : text -> Crimea is the largest penisula in Russia.
TRUE or FALSE? Shall we accept Abstract Wikipedia generating it?
If you say TRUE (or FALSE, but yes, we accept it), then move to Challenge 3 with these Wired examples... Zezen (talk) 12:18, 16 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
this is not a logical processing machine. this is just another human but artificial language, like esperanto. you can say anything in it. so, i think, they accept it. for challenge 3, i read about that news several months ago, and it is about ML, and this is not ML. --QDinar (talk) 17:02, 16 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
by "logical processing machine", i mean w:Logic programming systems, languages. as i saw, this is not positioned as one of them. it has some logic, but i have not seen intention to make it mathematically/logically accurate/perfect. otherwise there should be some theory, things like axioms, i assume. --QDinar (talk) 11:29, 20 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
but a question is left: if traditional wiki used different text in different languages, this has to have one text... solutions: 1. show different points of view. 2. just do not use the abstract code in that cases, this was already suggested by user:DVrandecic (WMF). you asked, where it was discussed? check out talk archives here, if you have not seen they exist. --QDinar (talk) 17:08, 16 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Test wiki not working[edit]

@Lucas Werkmeister Can't create account on test wiki. It says my username is already taken. Wargo (talk) 12:19, 28 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Wargo you shouldn’t create an account, just log in via OAuth (Special:UserLogin should redirect you to metawiki). Lucas Werkmeister (talk) 14:43, 28 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I tried this but when I confirmed this application on Meta, it returned me to your site's login page with error message. Wargo (talk) 14:53, 28 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I suppose a bug. --Wargo (talk) 15:52, 28 December 2021 (UTC).[reply]

Recent edits[edit]

Could someone please look at the recent edits to Abstract Wikipedia/Early discussion topics and Abstract Wikipedia/Ideas? I'm inclined to say that they should be reverted because it's far too late to add more content to those pages, but would like a second opinion. * Pppery * it has begun 19:56, 4 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Pppery. Both those pages are still open for contributions/discussions. However I agree the latest contributions make it complicated to "mark for translation"... Does anyone have ideas on how to restructure either or both pages? (I'll continue trying to rethink them next week, along with marking up the bullet-list at the top of the first page with which items are already completed). Cheers, Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 00:06, 5 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I've marked both pages for translation. I don't see any major restructuring needed. * Pppery * it has begun 15:54, 19 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimedia Hackathon 2022[edit]

In May 2022 there is the Wikimedia Hackathon at the 20th to 22th of May. Does this year some people of the Development team for Abstract Wikipedia and Wikifunctions attend at the Hackathon. I think it is a good chance to talk with other people that are interested in the new Wikimedia project Wikifunctions and to get new ideas.--Hogü-456 (talk) 21:03, 20 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Yes. We will have a session (currently scheduled for 14:00 UTC on the Friday, though details and timing may change), and we are working on clarifying some ideas about hacking projects (many based on suggestions/discussion in the Telegram/IRC, mailing list, and elsewhere).
If you have any specific ideas, for either session-topics or hacking projects, please do add them here!
More details from the team's side, soon. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:57, 29 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Comment on Multilingual Wikipedia with proposed examples[edit]

Hello. I understand that developpers are rightly very concentrated on the P1 part of Wikifunctions at present, but I would like to make a comment about Multilingual Wikipedia (or Abstract Wikipedia). I had the idea that Multilingual Wikipedia was a project which would be implemented on Wikifunctions, but apart from that it was independent and in principle it could have been done on another platform. Under "What is Abstract Wikipedia?" the article page states

The new wiki of functions, Wikifunctions, will develop the coding infrastructure to make this vision possible.

But a wiki cannot develop a coding infrastructure; that has to be done by people. It would be a great help if you could give your vision of who will develop the coding infrastructure and how they will come to work on the project. I think that you are implying that the WMF will be involved, and that is a useful point. From this and other Abstract Wikipedia pages I get the impression that Multilingual Wikipedia should emerge automatically from volunteers who will be creating functions without any particular management. But apart from a little playing, the volunteers will only create wikifunctions if they have a motive, and a specification to work from. First a framework needs to be defined, within which the Multilingual Wikipedia constructors would be developped and the requisite Wikidata data populated. I would be interested in any clues about how the process would play out.

I think there is a great need for very detailed proposals and on this page I offer two examples of how language text could be generated from abstract text, with a list of difficulties. I think that the rendering cannot be done in one pass, but instead there should be an initial pass which will create a parse tree and then a second pass to do the rendering with all the necessary information now available. I would be interested in any comments. Strobilomyces (talk) 19:45, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@StrobilomycesThat page is a lot of excellent work. Thank you. I’m not sure that two passes will be enough, but I prefer to think in terms of an end-to-end pipeline. In any event, I think there is no consensus yet on what “abstract text” should look like. We can look at the two ends of the pipeline as something like Wikidata (input) emerging as something like a Wikipedia article (output). But somewhere in between, we have an intermediate “pumping station” called “abstract content”. (Perhaps we need more than one kind of intermediate form, but I assume not.) Personally, I believe we shall make better progress by looking at the semantics of the finished articles (and/or at language-neutral templates for classes of articles) but we shall certainly need the ability to transform a single Wikidata statement directly into a sentence in any given language. If we tackle both ends of the pipeline at the same time, we are more likely (it seems to me) to begin developing a consensus around the form and function of the intermediate abstract content. (For previous thoughts, please see Talk:Abstract Wikipedia/Archive 2#Hybrid article.) GrounderUK (talk) 10:54, 12 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@GrounderUK Hello. Thank you for your comment and for the link to the archived talk page, which I was not familiar with. Allow me to reproduce this important definition of article content "layers" by User:ArthurPSmith.

What I am envisioning is probably 3 or more layers of article content: (1) Language-specific, topic-specific content as we have now in the wikipedias, (2) Language-independent topic-specific content that would be hosted in a common repository and available to all languages that have appropriate renderers for the language-independent content (abstract wikipedia), (3) Language-independent generic content that can be auto-generated from Wikidata properties and appropriate renderers (generic in the sense of determined by Wikidata instance/subclass relations, for instance). I'm not entirely sure how the existing Reasonator and Article Placeholder functionalities work, but my impression was they are sort of at this 3rd or maybe even a lower 4th level, being as fully generic as possible. That probably makes them a useful starting point or lowest-functionality-level for this at least. The question of how to mix these various pieces together, and even harder how to present a useful UI for editing them, is definitely going to be tricky! ArthurPSmith (talk) 20:38, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

For me the main Abstract Wikipedia task is layer 2 - to find a way of generating text in many languages from a single abstract text. This is the "hard problem", and I think that the other questions raised on the earlier talk page are minor implementation details. Layer 3 functions may be useful in templates or in something like Reasonator, but they come nowhere near the ambition of Abstract Wikipedia to render multilingual text. This is illustrated by Denny's example where you cannot put into the normal Wikidata structure the assertion that Marie Curie was the only person to win Nobel prizes in two different disciplines. The abstract text, whatever form it has, has to be created by a human, doesn't it? No-one thinks that a program can automatically think what to say about an item from the Wikidata claims?
In the detailed examples of proposed abstract text which I have seen, I think that there is a good consensus on the structure of the abstract text; that it will be like a tree of constructor calls reflecting the structure of the sentence. The actual format doesn't matter much - whether it is text in lines, JSON-like, expressed with Wikidata properties, or whatever; that is a decision which can be made later. I don't understand how the abstract text can be something intermediate - I suppose you must be thinking of something like layer 3, but I don't understand how that can generate a useful encyclopedia article. Reasonator is something different and much more like standard computation. Surely the "input end" has to be the abstract text? The normal WD claims are just database-like entries about the subject, and the information which would construct a proper Wikipedia article just isn't there. For instance a proper article would include sentences which weren't about the subject of the article. You say "we shall certainly need the ability to transform a single WD statement directly into a sentence in any given language" (by a "statement" I suppose you mean an item claim similar to the ones which are already in WD). That is an easy goal, but I don't think it gets us any nearer to solving the main problem. I would be interested in seeing an example of how that could work to generate a typical actual Wikipedia sentence.
When I talk about multiple passes (an "expand" pass and a "render" pass) I am saying that I think that there will have to be a first-pass function and a render-pass function for each constructor. You can't do it in a single pass as necessary syntactic information might come from anywhere in the tree. I don't know how that fits in with your pipeline.
I have seen elsewhere the idea that just by chipping away at the edge of the problem (for instance by advancing Wikifunctions), we can eventually converge on a solution for Abstract Wikipedia. I completely disagree; in a software project you can go on forever in that way without really getting anywhere. That may be reminiscent of the Wiki way, but it will not work for software design. Instead it is necessary to concentrate on the most difficult parts of the problem and map out robust solutions there. Strobilomyces (talk) 08:20, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I agree that Arthur’s “level 2” is the “Abstract Wikipedia”, conceived of as a curated repository of “abstract content”. It is also the ‘intermediate “pumping station”’ that I referred to. Whether we can get to (useful default) abstract content directly from Wikidata using Wikifunctions is an open question, but it seems to me to be a useful aspiration, particularly for publications cited as sources in Wikipedias. I think this is a useful example because, of course, we want every Abstract Wikipedia “fact” to have a reliable source and appropriate sources may not be available in all languages. But this is not an especially hard language problem, since the Wikipedia target would (presumably) be our existing citation templates. It is nevertheless a far from trivial amount of necessary work. Well, if we can convert a populated citation template into a set of Wikidata statements and convert those statements into a default Abstract Wikipedia article, surely we can generate an Abstract Wikipedia article for any publication that has such statements in Wikidata. And if we find, for each supported language, a satisfactory representation, in encyclopaedic language, for the content of citation templates, we can automatically generate language-specific Wikipedia articles about publications more generally. This will already require some natural language features to be addressed to some extent, including genders, plurals, active and passive moods, as well as date representations and specialist vocabulary for types of author (poet, playwright, novelist etc). Without trying it, it seems likely that such fairly basic capabilities could usefully be extended to other creations and their creators. Looking more generally at infobox and other templates, it seems to me that there is a huge amount of useful work to be done, and how we prioritize that should be driven by the editors of the Wikipedias that will use the abstract content, as principal stakeholders (representing the readers of their Wikipedias). Whether we have a sufficiently robust architecture for delivering Wikifunctions solutions to these stakeholders rather depends on what their priorities turn out to be. That is not to say that we should delay decisions about the form and function of abstract content, but in making or deferring such decisions we should be very careful to reflect, with due humility, upon the needs of stakeholders who have yet to come forward and express their opinions. GrounderUK (talk) 12:19, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think I understand your thinking a bit better now; you are hoping that level 3 work will grow into a level 2 system (whereas I don't think that that is possible). Certainly the new system needs to support citations, and that would be a small problem inside Abstract Wikipedia. There are already many references to journal articles and books in Wikidata and citations could be generated from those for any language WP (but this does not include translating the titles; that would be a level 2 problem and anyway legally difficult). But I don't understand why you say "surely we can generate an Abstract Wikipedia article for any publication that has such statements in Wikidata". Many publications have WP articles about them, but only citation-style information exists in WD - an article is quite a different thing from just a citation and it is not derivable from it. Generating a respectable article is a level 2 problem and I don't think it can be solved incrementally like that. A solution for general text needs to be worked out if the project is to achieve the previously stated objectives. That is not to say that a multilingual citation solution should not be developped with Wikifunctions, but it is not Abstract Wikipedia. It may touch on some natural language features, but only in an easily-manageable way.
For me much of this page is very useful for knowing what the objective of Abstract Wikipedia is. I agree that the stake-holders must be consulted, and it may well turn out that Abstract Wikipedia is impractical and it would be better to just settle for a few level 3 systems (like a system for citations and templates without attempting to generate general text). Surely we should try to find the answer to this sooner rather than later? For the stakeholders to express their opinions I think they urgently need detailed proposals. Denny has described how the system should work in several places, such as here, but as I try to demonstrate in my proposal page, when you look into the detail it is terribly complicated. Strobilomyces (talk) 17:15, 13 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, yes, it is terribly complicated! That is precisely why I do not see a “solution for general text” as a starting point. Even as a final destination, it seems too much to expect. I expect we shall always support some languages better than others and be better able to communicate some kinds of information. We need good solutions for selecting, structuring and supplementing information in a fairly language-neutral way. We also need to understand how we can deal with different cultural and editorial norms. For some languages (most, indeed all, initially), we will not have “respectable” articles for most subjects. Opinions will differ on whether we should focus on delivering more content or improving the quality of whatever happens to be available. Much as I look forward to seeing high quality natural language representations of some encyclopaedic content in some languages, I rather suspect that more (and more intelligible) content for more people will become our primary goal, with more and better natural language representations being seen as neither the speediest nor the most effective way to achieve that goal. Nevertheless, I support more and better natural language representations (more of them in more languages). And I believe that Wikifunctions can deliver these, if people are willing to contribute to that endeavour. Personally, I am comfortable with the current level of architecture definition but I am happy to collaborate on a further iteration. Watch out for me on your user page, @Strobilomyces! GrounderUK (talk) 13:07, 16 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@GrounderUK Your view is very interesting and I believe that it is shared by some in WMF. But it seems to me different from the vision expressed by User:DVrandecic (WMF), which would need a solution for general text. I suppose, then that the users of Abstract WP would only see certain basic types of sentence. Anyway, it would certainly be interesting to see a detailed proposal.
You say "I am comfortable with the current level of architecture definition" - do you mean you are confortable with the page Abstract_Wikipedia/Architecture? Or some other architecture page? Strobilomyces (talk) 19:45, 20 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

How to make functions popular[edit]

I read the status update and it is an important question. From my point of view functions are interesting and if I tell people what Wikifunctions is about. I tell that it is a collection of rules, that are used to generate texts from an abstract notation in different languages. The collection includes also other functions that can be used also outside of that for other topics. There the example of computing a volume of a pyramide for example is an interesting description and helps to understand it better. I think it is possible to find a sentence and include based on that sentence the included computions. I think it is important to tell for what functions for generating text are needed and what can be done based on decision tables and predefinition of the words and the forms of the words in a database. This is something where I am sometimes not sure if it is correct when I say that the functions for generating the text are located in Wikifunctions. At the begin I think a more detailed information is more interesting at a technical view. In Germany there are some Podcasts related to the ChaosComputerClub that can be interesting to talk to someone and ask them if they are interested in doing an Episode about Wikifunctions. As far as I know Wikipedia was also promoted at an early phase at the ChaosCommunicationCongress.--Hogü-456 (talk) 20:55, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]