GCS Step 1

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wikizine - number: 37

Technical news
  • [Stable version] - the German language Wikipedia will soon (how soon is not known yet) enable a new function on there wiki to support "stable versions" as an experiment. This should increase the quality of the articles. And also make the wiki more open to edit because the visitor will see the version with the stable-status. So vandalism on the unstable version will not be a problem from the point of view of the visitor.
  • [MediaWiki] will also be developed by full-time employees of the private organizations Wikia.com (the company of Jimbo) and Socialtext.com. This should increase strongly the development of MediaWiki. A new component to MediaWiki is expected to make "wysiwyg"-editing possible. This means that you will have an editbox that looks like the compose window of Hotmail or Gmail with options the edit a page without to see all the sourcetext with all the code. There is hope that this will lower the barrier for new people to work on the projects.
  • [Update] about single-user login. The one login for all projects is coming soon. But will probably be delayed until after the board election. When there are several users with the the same username on different wikis the user with the most edits will keep his username, the others will need to pick a new one. To identify witch accounts belong to the same user there well looked of the have same *confirmed* email address. Read the excellent Signpost article for more information.
Request for help
  • [The Signpost] is bringing to its readers a weekly report about a Wikipedia in a "foreign language" written by users from that wiki. Wikizine includes those reports also one week later. The Signpost is looking for users from several wikipedias to present there project to the English Wikipedia audience. This is a great opportunity to show a large part of the Wikipedia-world, EN Wikipedia, how great to non-English versions also are. Contact users Kpjas or Carmelapple for this.
  • [Wikiversity] - Jimbo announced on Wikimania the start of a new Wikimedia project; Wikiversity. A center for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities. It will create and host a range of free content materials, multilingual materials, for all ages in all languages. It'll host scholarly projects and communities to support these materials, and foster research based in part on existing resources in Wikiversity and other wikimedia projects. It will launch in three languages, in a six-month beta, within a month.
  • [New board] - The WMF will create an advisory board by the end of the year. There function will be to help with partnerships, public relations, financing, technology, administration, international affairs, ... The people who will be on the advisory board, if the can be found, will be more academic people who are also like the wiki-style and the open contend movement.
  • [$100 laptop] - Jimbo announced on Wikimania that the "One Laptop per Child" (OLPC) association has chosen to load a snapshot of select Wikipedia articles onto the laptops it is developing. The idea is to make relative cheap laptop computers for schoolchildren for countrys where there are few computers available for children. These laptops are not yet in production. Use of Wikipedia in this way is a perfect fit whit the goal of the WMF to give every single person free access to the sum of all human knowledge. Because these laptops well able to connect to a network Jimbo hopes that by spreading those computers projects in new languages will be started or live will come in near dead wiki's.
  • [$] - Brad Patrick stated the there is no need for a fund drive soon. The Wikimedia Foundation has a financial reserve of about $500,000. There is a stable income of donations of about $30,000 every month. The WMF will make a special effort to attract money from grants.
Other news
  • [GFW] - The Great firewall of China has upgraded its block level for Wikipedia. The upgrade was noticed and reported as early as August 7, 2006 9:30 UTC. It seems that official Wikimedia proxies are blocked and that zh.wikipedia.org" has become a URL-level keyword for the great firewall of China. This upgrade coincided with a Beijing News (新京報) report on Wikipedia.

The English Wikipedia has reached 1,300,000 articles.
The Marathi Wikipedia has reached 5,000 articles.
The Min Nan Wiktionary has reached 2,000 articles.
The Sundanese Wikipedia has reached 1,000 articles.
The Lombard Wikipedia has reached 1,000 articles.

Quote from Hacking Day

Ward Cunningham: "The Wiki[pedia] community has grown Wiki[pedia] and has done everything almost perfectly"
Ivan Krstic: "I want a Brion Vibber action figure - when you squeeze it, it says 'it's totally broken'"
Brion Vibber: (Extolling the virtues of downtime) "If you are up all the time, then you forget simple things like how to reboot the servers"
Brion Vibber: "And we have a lot of testers on Wikipedia, so [Mediawiki] bugs get identified pretty quick"

Editor(s): Walter, Shizhao - Special thanks to: User dg on #cgiirc
Thanks for promoting Wikizine to the wikis; HU,RO and KO wikiquote,EN wikibooks

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