speaking from a Kenyan perspective who undertook the Wikipedia for Schools pilot in Kenya:
One of the major challenges that I faced was that although the Kiwix version was helpful,
it could have been better if we had a custom-made version for the Kenyan curriculum, since
the one that was available was based on the British curriculum, and therefore there were
some topics that Kenyan students needed but weren't there.
Secondly, I find that the use of external hard drives being expensive and unreliable.
Expensive, since one HDD costs around €50. Unreliable because I distrust students and how
sure am I that in a month's time, the students or teachers wouldn't have taken the
hard disks and used them for their own personal use? Also it can be easily deleted, unlike
when it's on DVD.
Also, some of the computers were so old and had Win XP and somehow, the ZIM files refused
to index. I wouldn't be surprised if you get the same problem in Zimbabwe.
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 18:32:42 +0200
Subject: Re: [Offline-l] Possible template problem
Am 20.07.2011 18:08, schrieb Kevin Clark:
your needs which cannot be met?
We evaluated it a year ago so apologies if things have moved on since then. I recorded
its weaknesses for the Wikipedia project we were planning as:
1) No links between articles
sorry, the articles have always been perfect HTML, so including all
links... otherwise it wouldn't make sense at all.
2) Requires it's own browser, not a standard
ZIM files can be read by different applications, such as a TXT file can
be edited in many editor.
Kiwix is one of them, kiwix-serve in contrast is a server component -
you will need to use your favourite webbrowser to access / browse the
content of the ZIM file.
As said in 1) already, the content of ZIM files is perfect HTML anyway.
Kiwix-serve just provides the HTTP interface between the ZIM reader and
3) Doesn't run under Apache
A) Our solution could run on Linux or Windows -
Linux provides a key part of our infrastructure but our clients might not want to support
Kiwix runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS X
WikiOnBoard runs on Symbian (and Android)
vido and qvido run on extremely small embedded Linux devices (less than
16 MB of RAM)
zimreader-java runs on anything that supports Java
B) Our solution could be extended to support
other Wikimedia sites, e.g. Wiktionary - database dumps are readily available Wiktionary
but I don't see that same availability for OpenZIM files
as stated in 1), ZIM is a mere storage format for HTML content. You can
put anything in it, even non-MediaWiki stuff.
I am pretty sure that there are Wiktionary ZIM files around, and if not,
they can be made easily.
Did you know that the "print a book" feature (Collections Extension) in
Wikipedia creates ZIM files?
I have even heard about a project making combined ZIM files holding both
Wikipedia and Wiktionary in the same file.
The Wikimedia Foundation is working since more than a year now to
provide regular ZIM files from all Wikimedia wikis, just in the same way
they already do with XML and SQL files. The ZIM support in Collections
Extension was one of the steps to reach this goal.
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