Website parts: diagrams of concept evolution
Original thinking was that the ultimate aim for the PanAfrican Localisation website was a database form of presenting information on languages and localisation (accessible in units permitting aggregation by country or language). A wiki was developed to gather information and facilitate some work. The original email list for the project, "PanAfrLoc," was another element.
The wiki, once started, seemed to have some advantages. At the same time, the concept of a large-scale database seemed to duplicate work elsewhere. A scaled back concept of a database on "characters" (alphabetic letters) used in diverse orthographies was considered.
The idea of some sort of database of experts and institutions was considered.
This concept was further expanded, returning to a large database concept, with 2 main parts: characters and experts (languages and countries would be the common fields for both). A new dimension was the possibility of the database acquiring info from other online sources (with permissions of course). At the same time the email list format was overhauled, to have three working-language specific lists (and translation among them).
The large database concept again confronted two problems: 1) for the information on characters, the problem of quality of available data for characters (when orthographies are in flux or not established); and 2) for the experts, the track record of previous such people databases. The alternative of using the wiki in different ways to collect and present information was then considered.
Toward the end of the PAL project, "WikiGroup community" pages were added to facilitate different kinds of uses of and contributions to the wiki "datamass" on African localisation. The hope was that this wiki structure could meet project goals, provide a flexible (and low maintenance) format to meet changing needs, and achieve sustainability as a web-based resource for African localisation.