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Building scalable i18n and L10n tools for 300 languages at Wikipedia

IMUG maps and directions:
For remote webcast access: RSVP, then contact us
For Wi-Fi access at Adobe: RSVP, then contact us


Wikipedia is arguably the most popular website on the Web today, and is living proof that collaborative content development powered by open source works.

People like you and I contribute an amazing variety of content including articles, photos, books and quotations in hundreds of languages across the planet - all with open licenses for everyone to share and enjoy. But to contribute effectively, everyone needs to be able to read and write in the language of their choice!

This session will deep dive into the open source language tools stack being developed for Wikipedia engineering to support 300+ languages. Alolita Sharma will walk us through input methods, web fonts, language selection, language specific plurals, gender, grammar support and translation features which are helping billions of users globally select their language, read Wikipedia articles in their own language with open source fonts available on-demand, edit Wikipedia articles using open source input methods and translate user interfaces.

Alolita SharmaAlolita Sharma is Director of Engineering at Wikipedia. She is driving the initiative for Wikipedia to build open source tools and technologies to support hundreds of languages for Wikipedia. An engineering manager and software engineer, she has been working with open source software and has promoted open source adoption for more than a decade. She is on the board of the Open Source Initiative, adviser to Software Freedom Law Center and a passionate advocate of open source and the open Web. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science and speaks internationally on language technologies, i18n, L10n, open web standards, open source trends, technologies and building successful developer communities.



Admission is free for IMUG members and host staff, and $5 for non-members. IMUG membership is only $20 for the first year, $15 for annual renewal, or $100 for lifetime membership. (At this time we are not charging for remote webcast attendance, but please support IMUG if you find these events useful.) Click here to join, renew or pay a single non-member event fee via PayPal. Cash and checks also accepted at our events.


Please RSVP via Meetup by 4:30 PM the day before the event to help IMUG and our hosts prepare badges for you in advance. After that time it's still OK to RSVP right up to the last minute, as that will help us ensure enough seats for everyone!


Adobe Connect Adobe® Connect™ webcast: If you can't make it to downtown San Jose for this event, please join us via your browser. The url is different every time. Contact us and we'll reply with the link when available. (Recording is subject to speaker approval, and will be announced after the event if available.)


Adobe hosts IMUG meetings several times each year. Many thanks to Dr. Ken Lunde and the Adobe Globalization team for their support!

For maps, detailed directions, restaurants and more, see




The hashtag for IMUG events is #IMUG408, honoring Silicon Valley's main area code.
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  • IMUG

    VIDEO of this talk is now available! The IMUG intro ends at 8 minutes in. Many thanks again to Dr. Ken Lunde and Adobe for hosting us in San Jose, and on the Adobe Connect webcast and recording.

    1 · May 30, 2013

  • Ken L.

    Excellent presentation by an outstanding speaker. It's refreshing to host a speaker who is passionate about one's work.

    May 21, 2013

  • Tamara K.

    great and passionate presentation

    May 20, 2013

  • James B.

    The audience fascination with crowdsourcing translation was hilarious. We did that on the dmoz/Opendirectory project back in 1999 and it was no big deal - 15 years ago! I guess some translation vendors fear for their jobs. :)

    May 18, 2013

  • Gergana A.

    Here is a related presentation for tools and translation crowd sourcing at Wikipedia given by Siebrand Mazeland on 3/14 at the i18n/l10n conference in Santa Clara, very nice material too:

    Alolita and Siebrand live what they preach and it is really admirable and intoxicating to sense the attitude of "making it happen" in action, with simple, but powerful tools, (rather than hear reasons why something is not supposed to work, *:)).

    2 · May 17, 2013

  • Ken L.

    The meeting was successfully recorded. It will be up to the speaker and IMUG to decide whether to make it available, but I don't see any barriers that would prevent this. Stay tuned.

    May 17, 2013

  • Ray L.

    Great presentation, especially the "crowdsourcing in action". Lots of information to chew on. Will this presentation be available in video? Just curious....

    May 17, 2013

  • Jessica R.

    Alolita Sharma is a great speaker - very informative and inspiring!

    May 17, 2013

  • Sue K.

    Very interesting topic and outstanding presentation

    May 16, 2013

  • Jay T.

    Great content and well organized!

    May 16, 2013

  • IMUG

    Hi Sveta, sorry you can't make it. Our host will try to record this talk, and if successful and if approved by the speaker and her employer, will post it online. If you can join us via the webcast in real-time, please request access by contacting us via

    FYI, Meetup doesn't explain this, but every comment here is emailed to every person who has RSVPed. To turn off those emails, for each event click the "Notifications" button below the conversation box.

    May 16, 2013

  • Sveta K.

    Unfortunately, won't be able to make it. Will you be able to record it?

    May 16, 2013

  • Parissa

    Unfortunately I won't be able to make it. :(

    May 16, 2013

  • Carolyn


    May 15, 2013

  • IMUG

    For webcast access:
    If you get an error trying to click my previous link for requesting webcast access, try this one:

    For Wi-Fi access at Adobe HQ:
    Adobe now requires you to login using an email address for Wi-Fi access. Our host, Ken Lunde, will register you in advance if you send your email address via this same webmail link:


    May 15, 2013

  • IMUG

    Webcast details are now available. Please use this webmail link to request access if you can't join us at Adobe HQ in person:

    Comments posted in the "join the conversation" box will be emailed to all others who have RSVPed. Comments in your RSVP will show up in the same area, but are not emailed, however they often lead others to think they should post webcast requests here. Feel free to add your votes to the complaints about the conversation / RSVP comments on UserVoice:

    You can turn off emails from "join the conversation" for each event by clicking the Notifications button just below this "feature"... ---Joe

    May 14, 2013


    I need webcast access please.

    May 14, 2013

  • Sveta K.

    Remote webcast please

    May 13, 2013

  • Wojciech F.

    I will attend webcast. TIA

    May 7, 2013

  • Olga B.

    I would be happy to be there, but would need access to Webcast. Thank you!

    April 20, 2013

  • Oleksandr P.

    I will attend webcast if available.

    April 9, 2013

  • Bev C.

    Remote attendance please!

    January 29, 2013

Our Sponsors

  • Adobe Systems

    Hosts IMUG events at the Adobe towers in downtown San Jose, CA

  • Apple

    Hosts IMUG at Apple HQ in Cupertino (1991 - 2009 and again 2017 - ????)

  • Box

    Hosts IMUG events at Box HQ in Redwood City, CA (previously Los Altos).

  • eBay

    Hosts IMUG events on the eBay campus in San Jose, CA

  • Facebook

    Hosts IMUG events on the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, CA.

  • Google

    Hosts IMUG events at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA

  • Groupon

    Hosts IMUG events at the Groupon offices in Palo Alto, CA.

  • LinkedIn

    Hosts IMUG events in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, CA

  • Netflix

    Hosts IMUG events on the Netflix campus in Los Gatos, CA

  • PayPal

    Hosts IMUG events on the PayPal campus in San Jose, CA.

  • Twitter

    Hosted a special IMUG event in San Francisco, April 2012.

  • Yahoo!

    Hosted IMUG events at the Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale, CA, 2011 - 2013

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