[Foundation-l] wikifoundation in defence of Google

Andre Engels andreengels at gmail.com
Mon Feb 19 13:11:08 UTC 2007

Getting an open source search engine would definitely be a great thing. Best
thing would be if a cooperation were programmed in, so that we can have
different search engines based on the same platform which cooperate at some
places (especially spidering), but each serve somewhat different niches (for
example, search engines for specific subjects, separate ones for
entertainment, shopping and research, for fringe languages etcetera). And I
definitely agree the Wikimedia Foundation should stand behind such an

However, I doubt whether the Foundation is actually the right group to be
the organizer or main supporter of such a development. We have our mission
statement, but we also have our background. And to me our background and
strongpoint is definitely with 'massive volunteer collaboration'. If that's
not the best mode of operation for this project, we may not be the best ones
to do it.

My feeling is that if you put something like that into the workings of a
search engine, what you end up with will be more like dmoz than with Google.
If we want a real search engine, there will be a massive task of creating
and maintaining the software, but hand-improving the database is not
something that works very well with the 'thousands of volunteers' approach.
In short, I think that an open source search engine is definitely something
that should be worked on, better start yesterday than today, but I think
it's a task that would be more fitting for the likes of the Free Software
Foundation than for the Wikimedia Foundation.

Andre Engels, andreengels at gmail.com
ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels

More information about the foundation-l mailing list