So, it seems (if I interpret Jimbo's mail on wikitech and the discussion
here correctly) that most of us would like *some kind* of category
scheme in wikipedia. I do, too! But, we seem to differ on the details
So far, I saw three concepts:
1. Simple categories like "Person", "Event", etc.; about a dozen total.
2. Categories and subcategories, like
"Science/Biology/Biochemistry/Proteomics", which can be "scaled down" to
#1 as well ("Humankind/Person" or something)
3. Complex object structures with machine-readable meta-knowledge
encoded into the articles, which would allow for quite complex
queries/summaries, like "biologists born after 1860".
1. Easy to edit (the wiki way!)
2. Still easy to edit, but making wikipedia browseable by category,
fine-tune Recent Changes, etc.
3. Strong improvement in search functions, meta-knowledge available for
1. Not much of a help...
2. We'd need to agree on a category scheme, and maintenance might get a
3. Quite complex to edit (e.g., "<category type='person'
occupation='biologist' birth_month='5' birth_day='24' birth_year='1874'
For a wikipedia I'd have to write myself, I'd choose #3, but with
respect to the wiki way, #2 seems more likely to achieve consensus (if
there is such a thing;-)
We are faced with an issue of convenience versus freedom when we talk
about licensing images. Because we are a nonprofit charitable
organization with an educational mission, we can easily get non-free
licenses to use images.
This is easily done, but doesn't achieve the goal of building a free
encyclopedia. There is no help for it; to make a free encyclopedia,
one must stick to materials that are free.
Because we are a nonprofit charitable
organization with an educational mission, we can make heavy use of the
doctrine of "fair use" in the US.
When applicable, this may be a good solution.
Clause 7 of the license permits us to combine
independent works, even proprietary works, and this clearly includes
aggregating images and articles stored on the same server.
This is permitted in the sense that it won't violate the GFDL. But
when the other work is not free, this is not a solution--not if the
problem is how to make a better free encyclopedia. Including non-free
images, whether done legally or not, results in a non-free
If that means less images for now, then it means less images for now.
It also means that we have a very strong incentive to develop free
In many cases, people can creatively find ways to take new photos.
Another idea is to criticize the organization that stands in the way
of using the image desired. For instance,
The Foobar company stands in the way of our including a picture of this.
This text, with no link and no details about the image, would name and
shame the Foobar company, but would not help Foobar sell copies of the
Jeff Meyer wrote
>The plan is to deliver an easily searchable repository (content & searchable
>clearinghouse) of quality map content to cover the entirety of human
>history. Along with it would be a freely distributable, open source map
>player. People could then link their existing maps, add modifications, build
>new map content, etc.
I happen to be finishing up my GIS credentials and geography/cartography degree
right now and was thinking about playing around with the free software GRASS
GIS program this summer. See http://grass.baylor.edu/ and the GRASS Wiki
It would be neat to tie GRASS into MediaWiki for map creation. I'll see if I
can get that to work later this year (at least for creating simple maps).
There is a whole bunch of public domain GIS data out there (mostly in the
U.S....). It would eventually be neat to have a place to do GIS editing on the
Internet to help maintain and extend those data. As it is, the public domain
GIS material created by the U.S. government is made into proprietary products
by GIS firms who clean up, extend, and then sell the data. AFAIK there is no
free content alternative.
WikiGIS perhaps? I better snag that one... Done. WikiGIS.org and WIkiGIS.com
are reserved for the Wikimedia Foundation if and when the foundation wants
Which reminds me, Wikimedia.org is about to expire... I better fix that.
-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
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> They quote Polish data from 2001. Most other data is 2003 or 2002.
Yes, the Global Reach data are not really homogeneous.
I wrongly assumed all data in the first column were from 2003.
But it does not affect the overall picture that much.
Even when we take the 2004 forecast of 9 million Polish internet users
instead of the 2001 figure of 6.9 milllion,
the pl: ratio is 1 contributor per 29 thousand, which still makes pl: first
on the list.
Again, I'm not sure how reliable the GR figures are.
Surely a forecast is less dependable when based on older figures.
Of course there are a myriad ways to measure succes of each Wikipedia.
For what it's worth I tried to establish the ratio of active contributors
per million internet users that speak that language.
So per language the figure shows that one of x thousand native speakers with
internet access contributed to Wikipedia in that language
For contributors I used wikistats Feb 26 (counts registered users > 10
For internet users per language I used figures from Global Reach (2003)
Of course I don't know how exact these figures are,
but I assume they did some homework.
Note : the GR figures list >native< speakers, so actually languages with
international appeal would show lower participation ratios (higher numbers
in the table) if all web users that might be inclined to use that language
were taken into account.
E.g. GR mentions India specifically as a country where the web language is
English and not Hindi.
Erik Zachte wrote:
> For a quick comparison of layouts of all 53 Main Pages have a look at
>Complete pages are shown, captured at a virtual 1000*3000 screen resolution,
>reduced to 40% size.
>At 40% reduction the text is hardly readable, but it gives a nice comparison
>of overall layout per wikipedia.
It's nice to see that quite a few languages are getting images on their
main pages. I wish I knew enough, or any, Romanian, to understand how
that picture of two frying pans got featured.
ZH appears to have picked up EN's new layout (or did we get it from
them?). I particularly enjoy seeing the right-to-left layouts in Hebrew
I hereby suggest that we start to distribute the press release versions on
Monday (at least for the non-English versions that are ready).
I'm going to create the English Wikipedia version now (based on the Meta
Sorry for the late note - I thought we had another week.
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For a quick comparison of layouts of all 53 Main Pages have a look at
Complete pages are shown, captured at a virtual 1000*3000 screen resolution,
reduced to 40% size.
At 40% reduction the text is hardly readable, but it gives a nice comparison
of overall layout per wikipedia.
This job was easy thanks to url2bmp (Windows freeware)
despite its name it handles other image formats as well,
can be run in batch mode