The special Special Pages of extensions

First phase of my Summercode Finland is almost ready. Support for native Gettext projects is in testing phase and Xliff support is waiting for comments about which parts of the Standard should be supported. In other words, there hasn’t been many changes to file format support lately. This week I fixed some bugs found in Gettext testing which actually affected all groups not depending on the file format. For some reason every time I look at my code I find places to improve and clean up it. I cleaned up the command line maintenance scripts and sprinkled few headers for copyright and so on. In the process I managed to introduce handful of new bugs, but that happens always when I code :).

But let’s talk about the post title. It means the names of special pages shown in your browser’s address bar are no more sacred but can be translated like almost everything else. Now that Firefox 3 has been released many current browser even display them nicely and not in some unfriendly percent encoding like %D0%97%D0%B0%D0%B3%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%86%D0%B0 instead of Заглавная_страница.

Actually, we have supported this for a long time already, but only for MediaWiki itself and not for special pages provided by the MediaWiki extensions. Special pages can have multiple aliases, and all of those can be used to access it, which means that they need some special handling. All of the complexity (yeah right… one do-while loop) is fortunately hidden behind a variable.

To make your extension support translating of special page aliases, you only need to put one line of code and create one file.

$wgExtensionAliasesFiles['YourExtension'] = $dir . 'YourExtension.i18n.alias.php';

And that file should look something like this:

* Aliases for special pages of YourExtension extension.

$aliases = array();

/** English
* @author YourName
$aliases['en'] = array(
	'YourSpecialPage'          => array( 'YourSpecialPage' ),

At least the first instance YourSpecialPage should be the same as they key you used for declaring your special page with $wgSpecialPages. Note that WordPress likes to mangle quotes, so it is not safe to copy-paste verbatim from the above.

All this was committed today, so there may be some changes still, as always with brand new code. And the good news does not stop there. I already rewrote the Special:Magic of translate extension to support translating these! It already has two extension defined: Translate and Configure. The number of supported extensions will probably grow soon.

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