Wikidata is a proposed wiki-like database for various types of content.
This project requires significant changes to the software (or possibly a
completely new software) but has the potential to centrally store and
manage data from all Wikimedia projects, and to radically expand the range
of content that can be built using wiki principles.
Imagine that you can edit the content of an infobox on Wikipedia (e.g. the
country box for Germany) with one click, that you get an edit form
specific to the infobox you are editing, and that other Wikipedias
automatically and immediately use the same content (unless it is local and
needs to be translated).
Imagine that some data in an article can be automatically updated in the
background, without any work from you - whether it is the development of a
company stock, or the number of lines of code in an open source project.
Imagine that you can easily search wiki-databases on a variety of
subjects, without knowing anything about wikis.
This project is separate from the Wikimedia Commons, because a Wikidata
database does not necessarily have to be useful for another Wikimedia
project, and because it is larger in scope.
Astronomy - '''space.wikidata.org''' (spc.wikidata.org
* astronomical objects
* observatories and telescopes
* space missions
Society - '''society.wikidata.org'''
* Schools and universities
* Cities, Countries, Subdivisions
* Ethnic groups
* Radio and television stations
<end excerpt, more examples on Meta>
Jimmy has just registered wikidata.org
. We both agree that such a project
makes sense. I've had similar ideas before, but the (IMHO premature)
existence of Wikispecies has compelled me to put some of this down and
develop the idea further.
There's a GUI mock-up on the meta page of what data entry could look like,
and there's a (very rough) proposed implementation strategy. If someone is
willing to do so, it may make sense to create a proof-of-concept from
I'm putting this idea out there for now so that it can be picked up at any
later time. This is not urgent in any way, but it could open up a huge new
range of projects where Wikimedia can compete with proprietary content
producers. (Oh, and corporate users of MediaWiki would love us for this.)
I see two immediate consequences for us:
1) I believe that, if we do a database redesign, the needs of a project
like Wikidata should be considered; that is, we should come up with an
abstract scheme that allows storage and revision-handling for many
different data structures. Otherwise we'll have to do another huge
2) For Wikispecies, I suggest that those involved with the project make
sure that all data entered into the wiki is in a *structured form* so
that it can then later be easily converted into a real database
This is extremely good news. Wikispecies really needs a database to make
things possible. I have a 42 related table database to do this. This
database CAN be simplified but the current free format is not the best
fit. I would really prefer to have it in an open content database.
An other project that may really benefit from a database is Wiktionary,
on META there are discussions on the need for importing and exporting
using XML, earlier today I did send a mail to the wiktionary maillist
that describes how I envision how it would work (article on Meta as well).
As to the consequences you mention in point 2 they equally apply to