Grants:Project/PanLex/Balinese palm-leaf transcription platform on Wikisource

Balinese palm-leaf transcription platform on Wikisource
summaryRefactor and adapt the code for so the content and platform can be moved to Wikisource.
targetBalinese Wikisource
amount22,814 USD
advisorCarma citrawati
contact• kamholz(_AT_)• yang(_AT_)
organization• PanLex
this project needs...
created on19:51, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

This Wikimedia Foundation grant has a fiscal sponsor. The Long Now Foundation administered the grant on behalf of PanLex.

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Over the past millennium, the Balinese people have written thousands of works on palm-leaf manuscripts, covering all aspects of Balinese culture. There is strong interest in Bali in studying and preserving this literary heritage, making sure it is passed on to future generations, and making it available to people who want to study it. Central to these efforts is the development of an online platform where Balinese literature can be shared and studied. PanLex developed an initial platform on in 2019, and 20 Balinese contributors transcribed more than 3,000 leaves (92 complete works) in just a few months.

Now that the initial platform has been developed and tested, the community is ready for the next step: finding a long-term home for the platform so it can continue to grow. The Internet Archive is currently hosting, but does not have the domain expertise to do this long-term, and wants to turn over management to the community in any case. There is community support to move the content and platform to Wikisource. The existing code needs to be refactored and adapted to make this possible. wiki page, with Balinese text and transliteration: editing interface:


What is your solution to this problem?


For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question. runs on MediaWiki, with custom functionality provided through the ArchiveLeaf extension and an ICU-based transliterator. The site is similar to Wikisource. Wiki contributors choose a source from the Internet Archive's Balinese Digital Library (over 3,000 sources and 130,000 leaves, representing nearly the entire literary output of Bali) and manually transcribe each leaf image into Balinese Unicode text. The Balinese text is automatically transliterated into Latin script. Summaries and translations can also be added.

The ArchiveLeaf extension is not appropriate for deployment on Wikisource in its current form: it performs several different functions, each of which need to be appropriately integrated with existing Wikimedia software and practices. We will implement Balinese script support by proposing enhancements to existing Wikimedia software (webfonts in UniversalLanguageSelector, transliteration rules in LanguageConverter). We will refactor ArchiveLeaf's custom workflow and editing interface as Toolforge tools, making use of existing tools such as ia-upload where possible. By splitting up ArchiveLeaf this way, a new extension does not have to be approved, the pieces can be reused for other purposes, and there will be no interference with core MediaWiki functionality.

We have determined that the best home for the content and platform is a new Balinese Wikisource. If the new wiki site is not ready in time for initial development, we will use Multilingual Wikisource in the interim.

This solution was developed in consultation with various members of the Wikimedia and Balinese Wikipedia communities (see discussion at: Balinese Wikipedia, Wikisource Scriptorium, task T244796).

Project goals


What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  • G1: Wikisource will contain existing Balinese content from
  • G2: Wikisource will have an established and efficient workflow for importing and transcribing Balinese palm-leaf manuscripts.
  • G3: Balinese script will be well-supported on Wikimedia sites.

Project impact


How will you know if you have met your goals?


For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (i.e. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  • G1:
    • Outputs: We will develop software to move existing content to Wikisource, and the content will be moved.
    • Outcomes: content that has been moved to Wikisource will be more easily discoverable, and Balinese Wikipedia will be able to more easily link to it.
  • G2:
    • Outputs: We will create Toolforge tools to import and transcribe Balinese palm-leaf manuscripts.
    • Outcomes: Future Balinese palm-leaf content will be added directly to Wikisource rather than (To ensure this happens, we will add a notice to and freeze edits.) Balinese contributors will switch to Wikisource to do future transcription work. Future palm-leaf manuscript projects will have an established example for importing and structuring palm-leaf content on Wikisource.
  • G3:
    • Outputs: We will add Balinese webfont support to UniversalLanguageSelector and Balinese transliteration support to LanguageConverter.
    • Outcomes: All Wikimedia sites will have better support for text in Balinese script.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?


Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable.

  • G1: At the time of application, contained 131 partially or completely transcribed Balinese palm-leaf manuscripts, for a total of 3,412 leaves. When the content is moved to Wikisource, the number of wiki pages will increase accordingly.
  • G2: As future Balinese palm-leaf content is added, Balinese contributors will create Wikimedia user accounts if they have not already done so, and will create and improve wiki pages on Wikisource. As a side-effect, they may become more interested in contributing to other Wikimedia sites, such as Balinese Wikipedia.
  • G3: Wikimedia users are more likely to add content in Balinese script once there is better support for it. Balinese Wikipedia content is the most likely to be improved as a result of this.

Project plan




Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

  • A1: Determine the most appropriate way to structure palm-leaf manuscript content on Wikisource pages, keeping in mind current Wikisource practice (pages in the Index:, Page:, and main namespaces, etc.). The Wikisource community will be consulted as needed.
  • A2: Create a script to transfer existing content on to Wikisource, and transfer it.
  • A3: Create a Toolforge tool to generate appropriate initial pages on Wikisource for Balinese Digital Library items. Ideally, this tool will also assist in importing the item into Wikimedia Commons by invoking or redirecting to the ia-upload tool.
  • A4: Make improvements to ia-upload mentioned in task T178261.
  • A5: Refactor the custom transcription editing interface in ArchiveLeaf, which is a React app, so it can be deployed as a Toolforge tool that will be linked from Wikisource pages. The tool will have a registered OAuth consumer to save edits back to the page.
  • A6: Register appropriate Balinese webfonts with UniversalLanguageSelector.
  • A7: Add Balinese transliteration support to LanguageConverter, coordinating with cscott as necessary.
  • A8: Document the practices we have developed so they can inform future work on complex sources.
  • A9: Present the project and what we've learned to the Wikimedia community at an appropriate conference, such as Wikimania.
  • A10: Carma Citrawati will work full-time as the project co-lead in Bali. She will be involved throughout the process in planning, decision-making, and project management. She will also connect with various stakeholders in Bali, inform them about the new Wikisource material, and train them on how to use it and expand it. The audiences will be teachers, civil servants, and institutions that hold Balinese manuscripts, since they are in the best position to use the material, contribute more, and tell others about it. This will be done remotely via video until it is safe to do in person. Carma will select another Balinese community member to assist her half-time.

The precise timeframe to complete these activities partly depends on coordination with the Wikimedia and Balinese communities. Barring unexpected obstacles, completion within 3 months is realistic.



How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

Item Cost (USD)
A1 (16 hours) 800
A2 (32 hours) 1,600
A3 (40 hours) 2,000
A4 (24 hours) 1,200
A5 (96 hours) 4,800
A6 (8 hours) 400
A7 (48 hours) 2,400
A8 (40 hours) 2,000
A9 ?
Subtotal 1 15,200
10% contingency (30.4 hours) 1,520
Subtotal 2 16,720
Fiscal sponsor overhead (20%) 3,344
Total administered by fiscal sponsor 20,064
A10 (project co-lead and associate) 2,750
Grant total 22,814
  • PanLex's hourly rate is US$50.
  • PanLex's fiscal sponsor is The Long Now Foundation.
  • Each activity's budget includes time to follow up on issues the community has identified after initial development is complete.
  • The project co-lead in Bali will work full-time for 5 months and will be paid 5 million Indonesian rupiah (approximately US$350) per month. The project co-lead's associate will work half-time for 5 months and will be paid 3 million Indonesian rupiah (approximately US$200) per month.

Community engagement


How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.

  • During development, we will communicate periodically with a few members of the Balinese community who we have worked closely with on We will inform them of progress, ask them to test the latest software, and get their feedback.
  • Once development is complete, we will announce the transition to Wikisource on Balinese Wikipedia, Wikisource Scriptorium,, and a WhatsApp group to which most contributors belong. We will encourage everyone to make the announcement known through other channels.
  • We will respond to community feedback and address any outstanding bugs or other issues.

Get involved




Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

  • David Kamholz (Lautgesetz): Project Director at PanLex. Co-developed the React transcription app, developed the PHP portion of the ArchiveLeaf extension, assisted in development of Balinese fonts used on, contacted and organized Balinese contributors to, speaks Indonesian.
  • Ben Yang (Iwsfutcmd): Director of Technology at PanLex. Co-developed the React transcription app, designed the on-screen keyboard used in the transcription editor, developed the Balinese to Latin script transliterator.

Community notification


You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?



Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  •   Support I would like to support/endorse this project as it had to make Balinese palmleafs which already dorman for years can actually readable for more broaden target. This also help us in tiny community to link to more sources. Also has a liitle starting project to more collaboration for Balinese wikisource project. Joseagush (talk) 08:43, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  •   Support Valuable project with exciting future. Muhraz (talk) 14:45, 9 March 2020 (UTC)
  •   Support sounds like a wonderful project (we allways need more languages!). I can maybe help on the Wikisource side, feel free to contact me. Cheers, VIGNERON * discut. 14:47, 9 March 2020 (UTC)
  •   Support I (and some indonesian wikipedian sysop) was once trying to do this for batak language, and talk with professor of Batak language (he was one of the professor in Hawai University) so we could have Batak script for Batak language wikipedia in Incubator, he sold it from $100.000 to $50.000(after bargain), I am still sad we couldn't get it. Anyway I see this project as a bargain $17,280 for entire script for Bali language is incredible! Something that myself not able to do.--AldnonymousBicara? 15:15, 9 March 2020 (UTC)
  •   Support It is not the first time that I hear of other-than-paper supports for books, and I know that some of them are extremely in danger of being permanently lost. I give my full support for this effort. Sannita - not just another sysop 19:31, 9 March 2020 (UTC)
  •   Strong support Alongside Javanese script, Balinese script is one of the most preserved script in Indonesia, but very lacking in presence digitally. This project could change that. Bennylin 22:58, 24 July 2020 (UTC)