[Foundation-l] Wikis Go Printable: Wikimedia/PediaPress/COL/OSI partnership

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Thu Dec 13 20:49:05 UTC 2007

FYI - please forward :-)


New open source technology will bring content from Wikipedia,
WikiEducator, and other wikis to the world of paper.

DECEMBER 13, 2007 - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA: The Wikimedia Foundation
today announced a partnership that will make it possible to obtain
high quality print and word processor copies of articles from
Wikipedia and other wiki educational resources. The development of the
underlying open source software is supported by the Open Society
Institute (www.soros.org) and the Commonwealth of Learning
(www.col.org), and led by PediaPress.com, a start-up company based in

"This technology is of key strategic importance to the cause of free
education world-wide," said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the
Wikimedia Foundation. "It will make it possible to use and remix wiki
content for a variety of purposes, both in the developing and the
developed world, in areas with connectivity and without."

Deployment of the technology will happen in three stages. The first
stage, launched today, is a public beta test running on
WikiEducator.org of functionality for remixing collections of wiki
pages and downloading them in the PDF format. WikiEducator is a
project hosted by the Commonwealth of Learning and uses the same wiki
technology as Wikipedia.

"These tools have the potential to transform and improve the way we
author and share distance education materials, textbooks and other
learning resources -- I'm thrilled that the WikiEducator will be the
first online community to implement them," said Wayne Mackintosh,
Ph.D., an education specialist for the Commonwealth of Learning and
founder of the WikiEducator project.

The second stage, planned for early 2008, will be the deployment of
the technology on the projects hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation,
including Wikipedia. At this point, users will also be given the
option to order printed copies of wiki content directly from
PediaPress.com. "The integration into Wikipedia will be a milestone
for print-on-demand technology. Users will literally be empowered to
print their own encyclopedias", according to Heiko Hees, product
manager at PediaPress.com.

The third stage, planned for mid-2008, will be the addition of the
OpenDocument format for word processors to the list of export formats.
"Imagine that you want to use a set of wiki articles in the classroom.
By supporting the OpenDocument format, we will make it easy for
educators to customize and remix content before printing and
distributing it from any desktop computer," Sue Gardner explained.
This work is funded through a US$40,000 grant by the Open Society

The technology developed through this cooperation will be available
under an open source license, free for anyone to use for any purpose.
It ties into the MediaWiki platform, the open source technology that
runs Wikipedia. As a result, thousands of wiki platforms around the
world will have the option of providing the same services to their


For more information, please contact Sandra Ordonez at (727) 231-0101,
or email her at: sordonez AT wikimedia DOT org


The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization
dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of
free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these
wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It operates some of
the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world,
including Wikipedia, one of the world's 10 most-visited websites. The
Foundation was created in 2003 by Jimmy Wales, the founder of


COL is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads
of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open
learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.


The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking
foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic
governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a
local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to support the rule
of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same
time, OSI works to build alliances across borders and continents on
issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses.


PediaPress is a startup creating technology and services that make it
easy to derive printed books from wiki content. The company is located
in Mainz, Germany and has entered a long term partnership with the
Wikimedia Foundation.

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