I think that Jamie has started an important topic. I don't think that WMF is
going to usurp Wikipedia and the sister projects now or in the future, but
it is statistically possible. If we want to protect us, the human knowledge
and our work of this hypothetical scenario, we need complete full dumps
frequently. But this scenario is a malicious one, and I think that there are
many more dangerous posibilities, and unfortunately, they are common.
For example, small or massive lost of data due to natural disasters,
crackers attacks, stolen passwords, hardware and software bugs, sudden crazy
sysops, and _human errors_. Is WMF ready for that?
Long time ago I searched info about that, but I only found these
links. Recently, I have been concerned about this again. Most of the
Wiki[mp]edia projects are small, and their full backups are updated every
week and they can be stored everywhere, but the largest ones like English
Wikipedia gets outdated soon (now, it is +200 days old).
I don't know so much about the infrastructure and how WMF servers are
allocated around the world, so, I want to ask a simple question:
In the case of a complete disaster in the "main" servers, will WMF be able
to restore all the Wiki[mp]edia contain using backups?
We got a terrible fright when 3000 images were deleted accidentally in
2008 and I think that not all were recovered.
When people ask about images dump the most common reply is: "Are you going
to store 7 TB (Commons)?" I can't store that at home of course, but, I'm
sure that a few universities or entities around the world can, not only for
backup purposes, for researching too (in full resolution or thumbs).
Also, I think that we need to start mirroring Wiki[mp]edia dumps to other
servers around the globe, as the common GNU/Linux ISOs mirrors do. Also,
Library of Congress said some time ago that they are going to save a copy of
all the tweets sent to Twitter. When are they going to save a copy of
Wiki[mp]edia? I hope we have learnt a bit since Library of Alexandria was
I don't want that an error moves us back to January 15, 2001.
2010/9/8 Jamie Morken <jmorken(a)shaw.ca>
I was involved in an open source project that was usurped by one of the
main developers for the sole reason of making money, and that project
continues now to take advantage of the community to increase the profit of
that developer. I never would have thought such a thing was possible until
I saw that happen. If that developer wasn't acting greedy, there would now
be open source hardware for radio transceivers of all types, but instead
there is only open source software for radio of all types. I find it a
shame, and when I was working on that project I could *feel* it being
usurped! I unfortunately may be paranoid as I feel the same thing here with
the wikimedia foundation usurping wikipedia. If you don't believe me, just
consider that it is a very gradual process, like getting people used to not
being able to download image dumps anymore, and ignoring ALL requests to
restore this functionality. Also failing to provide full history backups of
the flagship wiki. These two facts allow the wikimedia foundation to
maintain the control of intellectual property that wasn't created by the
people. If you want the wikimedia foundation to respect you as volunteers,
you will have to DEMAND respect by making sure that they never usurp the
project. I think the best way to do this is to make sure we can all
download up to date full history with images wikipedia's so a fork at any
time is possible. Sure it may be paranoid, but trust me it is worth it to
be paranoid regarding a project as important as wikipedia. I have been in
situations like this before, I wish I had acted before even if I was wrong!
I wouldn't even be speaking now except for reading the heart-felt words of
volunteers in this thread that are unhappy with how the wikimedia foundation
is running. We need to organize to get wikimedia foundation to release
images tarballs, they are only ignoring multiple requests to do so, so far.
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