I think some people aren't realizing the difference between the leaked
presentation (which outlined a general search engine) and the actual grant.
The former was just an idea, while the latter is official. By my reading,
the grant clearly is NOT for a general internet search engine, although it
(unfortunately) did retain a bit of the language from earlier documents.
Also, I think I disagree with this statement:
It envisages a volunteer-curated search engine drawing
on a whole host of
sources from within and outside of the Wikimedia universe, with output
vectors including "Mobile", "API", "Kindle" and
This is part of the overall strategy to this day. Consultation would
be appropriate here.
The only "volunteer curation" I see in the actual grant can be covered by
the curation of Wikidata that volunteers are already doing. I don't see
anything in the grant that relies on volunteers signing up for additional
To my knowledge, drawing on non-Wikimedia sources is still in the
"strategy" (or more accurately the roadmap) in two ways: 1) OpenStreetMap
data is already being used in limited ways, and 2) other free information
sources are only being considered in a vague "maybe someday but not this
I don't recall hearing of any plans for Kindle support, but we do already
support APIs and mobile apps, and will (presumably) continue to expand
both. If Kindle support were considered at some point (past or future),
that wouldn't seem like a radical step to me.
I say all of this as someone who works closely with the Discovery team. If
I'm mistaken on any of the facts, please let me know.
Agile Coach, Wikimedia Foundation
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 3:41 PM, SarahSV <sarahsv.wiki(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM, Jimmy Wales
James had gotten, from somewhere, the idea that there really was a
secret project to build a Google-competing search engine. We had a
discussion where I told him that wasn't right. We had further
discussions at the board level of what it means, and eventually James
himself made the motion to approve the Knight grant, and voted in favor
Jimmy, this is something I find disturbing.
In October 2015 James opposed accepting the grant application because of
the lack of clarity and transparency around it.  But on 7 November he
not only formally supported its acceptance, but actually proposed it to the
James has written that he did this "following pressure which included
comments about potentially removing members of the Board."  He wrote:
"Jimmy Wales had made comments about removing other board members during
the days before the Knight grant vote. I believed that my opposing at that
point in time would have changed nothing (because there were not enough
opposing votes to block it), and doing so would have led to my removal."
After his removal, you used that he had proposed accepting the grant to
show that he was being inconsistent. You later called it a "flat out lie"
that any board member had put pressure on him. 
James is an honest and independent-minded person. If he says he acted under
pressure, he did. That doesn't mean anyone intended him to feel that way,
of course. But please say whether you said anything about removing board
members during, or in the days leading up to, that meeting.
If James did feel so much pressure that he acted against his own views, it
raises the question of whether other trustees have been similarly affected,
now or in the past. When we elect trustees, we need to know that they're
going to make their own decisions.
This is one of the many reasons we need all the emails to be released, as
well as all documentation around the Knowledge Engine and Knight grant.
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