Grants:PEG/Gerard Meijssen and Michael Everson/Batak/Report

Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY 2011-12 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • You may still comment on this report on its discussion page, or visit the discussion page to read the discussion about this report.
  • You are welcome to Email grants at wikimedia dot org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.

Compliance and completionEdit

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?
Answer YES or NO.
Is your project completed?
Answer YES or NO.
The objective of the project was in two parts.
  • The development of a font and an input method for the Batak script
  • Using these in a GLAM project
The glyphs for the font were created a long time ago; the specification for the input method was made on the basis of an implementation for Mac OS. Things were in place for several GLAMS to participate in a project to transliterate texts using the new tools. The development of the ULS took much longer than expected and it was not implemented for a long time for all kinds of reason. As a consequence the GLAMs are no longer expecting anything to move. Amir Aharoni indicated that he hopes to include the Batak font in ULS in the near future.
Did you use any of the grant funds?
Answer YES or NO.
Michael was paid his part of the money for the work that he did. I have spend the money travelling to discuss the project. I hope I can salvage something of this when the font and input method are available for use.

Activities and lessons learnedEdit

The project is in two parts. The work done by Michael did not rely on anyone, this went smoothly. (Strictly speaking there is a particular font bug for which the solution remains elusive, but everything else is working fine.) Getting the font implemented and used from inside MediaWiki was subject to delays outside of the control of the language team or this project. The follow-up relied on this and came to nothing.


Provide a detailed list of activities performed to complete this project, descriptions of these activities, and the amount of time spent on each activity. This section should also include a list of participants, or a link to pictures, blog posts, or videos from the project or event.

Within the academic world that is involved with Batak, it is known that there is a now Unicode font. The font is available from Michael's website as a freely-licensed font. See The input method is specified there in a PDF file as well as in a Mac OS implementation. If anyone supplies Michael with other input methods he has indicated he is willing to make them available there as well.

Contacts were made with GLAMS and agreement was reached to do a project. Since then the Tropenmuseum lost much of its funding and the fabric of the project disappeared there is what seems like a dead end.

Regularly Gerard has prodded to get the font and IM included in the ULS. It seems that this will now happen any day now ... any day now ... probably this week .... next week

Lessons learnedEdit

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects? Consider the following questions and respond with 1 - 2 paragraphs.
What went well?
The font and input method was created. This was done within the expected time frame.
The contacts with the GLAM were positive, there was a clear strategy to get interest for this project. Contacts were made in Indonesia, Germany, USA and the Netherlands
What did not go well?
As indicated above the implementation of the ULS was considered a requirement before the Batak font and input method could be included. This took much longer than expected and effectively killed the dynamic of the project.
What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?
ULS was the key to success—it is live now. So if a similar project like the Batak project started now, there would be no problem.

Project goal and measures of successEdit

This section should reference the project goals and measures of success described in the approved grant submission. See Grants:PEG/Gerard Meijssen and Michael Everson/Batak to review the goals and metrics listed in the approved submission.

Project goalEdit

Provide the project goal here.
Transcribe Batak texts in a font that is to be developed and demonstrate its value. To achieve this we need a Batak font, we need manuscripts scanned and published on Meta and we need a way to signal what needs doing. The Malayalam wikisource has this mechanism already.
The secondary goal to the project is to demonstrate that history in documents will become public when the texts are digitally available. Readable in the original text. This is why Ancient Greek documents are well studied. Whole cultures are unknown because the artefacts are not readily available for study.
Did you achieve your project goal? How do you know your goal was achieved? Please answer in 1 - 2 paragraphs.
The font is available as a freely licensed font. See An input method is describe there and can be implemented on Linux and Windows platforms.

Measures of successEdit

List the measures of success exactly as provided in the approved grant submission, and evaluate your project according to each measure listed there.
  • interest by more museums for scanning texts in Batak
  • interest by people for other languages
  • improve the understanding of how history really was once historical documents of the losers become available and usable
Provide an overall assessment of how your project went according to these measures.
Unfortunately, the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam (the main museum with a collection of Batak language resources) was recently closed. The grantees do not have the interest or time to pursue other museums that might take advantage of this new script.
If you were to plan a similar project, would you measure it differently? If yes, please explain how.


This section ties this project to Wikimedia's broader goals, and shows what the project accomplished.

What impact did this project have on WMF's mission and the strategic goals? Please answer in 1 -2 paragraphs and include specific measures of impact such as the number of readers or editors reached by a particular project, or the number of articles edited or improved.
Stabilize infrastructure
Increase participation
Improve quality
Increase reach
Encourage innovation

This project will not make any further headway as long as the font and input method are not implemented in ULS.

Reporting and documentation of expendituresEdit

This section describes the grant's use of funds


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grants at wikimedia dot org, according to the guidelines here? Answer "Yes" or "No".
Receipts for project expenses were not kept. Explanation of expenses were sent to WMF via email and accepted.


Please list all project expenses in a table here, with descriptions and dates. Review the instructions here.
These expenses should be listed in the same format as the budget table in your approved submission so that anyone reading this report may be able to easily compare budgeted vs. actual expenses.
Note that variances in the project budget over 10% per expense category must be approved in advance by Project and Event Grants program staff. For all other variances, please provide an explanation in the table below.
Number Item description Actual total Budgeted total Currency Notes
1 Michael Everson contractor fee 4,000 4,000 EUR For developing the Batak script
2 Project expenses 400 400 EUR For travel to Berlin to meet with Batak expert, several meetings with the Tropenmusem, and international calls

Total project budget (from your approved grant submission)
4,400 EUR
Total amount requested from WMF (from your approved grant submission, this total will be the same as the total project budget if the Project and Event Grant is your only funding source)
4,400 EUR
Total amount spent on this project (this total should be the total calculated from the table above)
4,400 EUR
Total amount of Project and Event grant funds spent on this project (this total will be the same as the total amount spent if the Project and Event Grant is your only funding source)
4,400 EUR
Are there additional sources of revenue that funded any part of this project? List them here.

Remaining fundsEdit

Are there any grant funds remaining?

The bulk of the money was for the creation of the font. The rest was for making things possible, an itimized account was not held. The amount involved is so limited.

Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here. (This is the amount you did not use, or the amount you still have after completing your grant.)

If funds are remaining they must be returned to WMF, reallocated to mission-aligned activities, or applied to another approved grant.
Please state here if you intend to return unused funds to WMF, submit a request for reallocation, or submit a new grant request, and then follow the instructions on your approved grant submission.