Monday, January 26, 2009

Unintended consequences

The fiu-vro Wikipedia is a language in the Võro language. People applied for an IS)-639-3 code recently, and this request was granted; the Võro language is now known under the vro code. This has changed the status of this project considerably. Where it used to be a project that existed because "things happened in those days", the language complies with all the requirements for a new project. We have started the process of renaming the message file for this project and, we have requested the rename of the project.

There is one glitch. The Estonian Wikipedia is known as The ISO-639-1 et code is connected to the ISO-639-3 est code, and this just became a macro language. Standard Estonian has been given its own code of ekk.

It is quite clear that technically it would be preferable to rename the Estonian Wikipedia. It can be done, this will be demonstrated with the rename of the Võro Wikipedia. From a community perspective it is not so clear cut. People are conservative, they do not like change and there are a lot of references out their to the Estonian Wikipedia.

For the Võro community, it is a badge of pride to have their own ISO-639-3 code. For the Estonian community it is a nuisance.