The on-wiki version of this newsletter can be found here: 

Wikifunctions at Wikimania 2023

We presented Wikifunctions at Wikimania 2023, the annual gathering of Wikimedians from all around the world. This year, Wikimania saw participants from 138 languages. The conference was held from 16 to 19 August in Singapore.

Wikimania 2023 in Singapore, August 16-19

It was exciting to see the Wikifunctions logo featured during Wikimania as part of logos of the Wikimedia projects on the materials and big screens - including on the largest high definition video wall in the world, according to the Guiness Book of Records. It was even more exciting to present Wikifunctions to the Wikimedia community.

We had two sessions, one that featured a presentation and question and answer session, Wikifunctions is here, where we discussed where we are and our plans, and were listening to the ideas and requests from the other projects. A recording of this session is available, split in two parts with a slight gap due to technical difficulties (onetwo). The Wikimania organizers are still working on uploading the individual parts to Commons, and we hope to have an unbroken recording in the future.

The second session, First steps with Wikifunctions, was a tutorial with the goal of taking contributors to work on their first function. We are very happy about how the tutorial went. All participants managed to create their first function on Wikifunctions. We are particularly happy about the people who self-described themselves as non-developers also being able to successfully follow the tutorial and work on functions, tests, and implementations themselves. We certainly identified steps that need improvement, particularly for creating tests and for the selection of arguments in implementations, and we are grateful for these having clear ways forward. A recording of the first part of the session is available, but we did not record the working part of the session.

We want to thank the organizers of Wikimania for providing us with a stage to present Wikifunctions, and the attendees who gave such valuable feedback!

CoSMo language

Members of Abstract Wikipedia’s natural language generation special interest group (NLG SIG) under the lead of Maria Keet and Kutz Arrieta have worked on the CoSMo content selection modeling language. CoSMo is a language that enables the specification of which pieces of structured data to use to drive the generation of a piece of text. This allows to decide what part of the billions of statements in Wikidata would be considered relevant for the generation of a given piece of text in Abstract Wikipedia.

Maria describes CoSMo and its background further in her blog post “CoSMo: a content selection modelling language” on the Keet blog. The full tech report is available on Arxiv.

GFpedia demo

Over the last few weeks, Krasimir Angelov, one of the developers of Grammatical Framework (GF), and member of the NLG SIG, has developed GFpedia, a system to demonstrate how parts of Abstract Wikipedia could work using GF technology.

A few example pages:

Grammatical Framework is a programming language focused specifically on writing grammars for natural languages, both for parsing and generation. In this case, the demo calls the data from Wikidata and uses it to drive the generation of text. It is using a template per type of entity, i.e. you will find the same template used for every country, whereas many other types have smaller or no templates currently.

CCKS keynote on Wikidata and Wikifunctions

On Sunday, Denny gave the keynote presentation to the 17th China Conference on Knowledge Graphs and Semantic Computing in Shenyang, China. In the keynote he presented Wikidata and Wikidata’s lexical extension as well as Wikifunctions. The pre-recorded presentation is available on YouTube. The questions in the Q&A session focused entirely on Wikifunctions, and the interest in our new project was delightful.