Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Scheduled Server Downtime

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

To fulfill the test regulations of the Land Brandenburg, the data center where the WALS servers are hosted will have to shut down all facilities in the night from May 8 to May 9. We expect our servers to not be reachable from May 8, 19:00 CET until May 9, 1:00 CET.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Should you encounter problems after the planned downtime, please contact us.

WALS Online not reachable

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

From April 13, 16:58 CEST until this morning, April 14, 7:46 CEST WALS Online was not reachable, due to an unplanned downtime of the network infrastructure of our hosting partner.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

[Update: The network outage was caused by a broken fiber-network-cable.]

Location for Mehri updated

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

The geo-coordinates for Mehri have been corrected – since Mehri is spoken mostly in Yemen, it should be located there. Find the details here. We also added Oman tou the countries where Mehri is spoken.

Map for Chapter 141

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Today, we got a step further in filling the gap between WALS Online and the printed edition of 2005. We incorporated data to be able to provide a map for Chapter 141 “Writing Systems”.

This can be considered a big step, since it means we can now show additional data for features provided as ground overlay. On the other hand it is only a first step, because there is not yet a mechanism to make this data available for combined features.

So chapter 141 is still a special case, as it is not available for combination, or even for advanced map configuration like choosing marker icons. But we’ll keep on working.

Datapoint specific comments revisited

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Since we introduced the datapoint specific comments functionality, quite a few new posts to this blog have been created – by exactly this functionality. It turns out that most people just click the “comment” buttons out of curiosity, without actually commenting on a datapoint. While this shouldn’t come as a surprise, it is somewhat unintended and renders the feeds for the blog less useful, because they get cluttered with entries for these automatically created posts.

A solution for this problem may be to subscribe to more selective feeds for the blog. The feed URLs for single categories look like this, e.g. the feed for the “News” category is

If the rate at which new posts are created due to the new functionality increases notably, we may have to reconsider the current implementation, though. But at less than 10 new posts per day, we’ll keep it as it is, and apologize for any inconvenience.

Datapoint-specific comments

Monday, January 19th, 2009

We got finally around to roll out functionality we always wanted to provide: Giving our visitors a way to specifically comment on or discuss a particular value assignment in WALS, i.e. a particular value a language has been given for a feature. Starting today buttons labeled “comment” will show up next to feature values

  • on language pages,
  • in the dynamic language lists of feature values pages,
  • in the info windows on feature maps.

As for the more general discussions, we use our blog for these comments. And because it would have been unpractical to create posts for all > 50000 datapoints in advance – and because we do not expect each and every value assignment to be disputable – the blog posts to anchor the discussions will be created on the fly. So report any problems you encounter with the “comment” buttons.

New Links

Friday, December 12th, 2008

We just added links to our authors’ home pages (as far as available) to the WALS authors page. Since these are the kind of links that tend to break over time, let us know if you find a problem.

WALS Poster at Berlin 6

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Since WALS Online is all about Open Access to research data it was only consequential to present a poster at the Berlin 6 Open Access Conference, which was held last week in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Location for Zapotec (Isthmus) updated

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

The geo-coordinates for Zapotec (Isthmus) have been corrected. Find the details here.

Blog Migration

Friday, October 17th, 2008

You may have noticed or better yet, you haven’t: we switched the WALS blog to a new software, WordPress μ. While I hope this move went without glitches, I’m almost sure it didn’t. So if you spot any problems, let us know.

Unfortunately, all feed URLs have changed. We try to redirect to the appropriate new ones, but probably you will have to update any subscriptions you may have.