to whoever is interested in this (and I hope I didn't just repeat someone else's
experiments on this):
I wanted to know if a "long" or "short" article in terms of how much
readable material (excluding pictures) is presented to the reader in the front-end is
correlated to the byte size of the Wikisyntax which can be obtained from the DB or API; as
people often define the "length" of an article by its length in bytes.
TL;DR: Turns out size in bytes is a really, really bad indicator for the actual, readable
content of a Wikipedia article, even worse than I thought.
We "curl"ed the front-end HTML of all articles of the English Wikipedia (ns=0,
no disambiguation, no redirects) between 5800 and 6000 bytes (as around 5900 bytes is the
total en.wiki average for these articles). = 41981 articles.
Results for size in characters (w/ whitespaces) after cleaning the HTML out:
Min= 95 Max= 49441 Mean=4794.41 Std. Deviation=1712.748
Especially the gap between Min and Max was interesting. But templates make it possible.
(See e.g. "Veer Teja Vidhya Mandir School", "Martin Callanan" --
Allthough for the ladder you could argue that expandable template listings are not really
main "reading" content..)
Effectively, correlation for readable character size with byte size = 0.04 (i.e. none) in
If someone already did this or a similar analysis, I'd appreciate pointers.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods
Dipl.-Medwiss. Fabian Flöck
Building 11.40, Room 222
Phone: +49 721 608 4 6584
Fax: +49 721 608 4 6580
KIT – University of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg and
National Research Center of the Helmholtz Association