[Foundation-l] wap.fluffypeople.com/wiki is gone

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Thu Jan 18 20:32:19 UTC 2007

[sent to foundation-l and wikitech-l]

wap.fluffypeople.com/wiki , a third-party WAP translator for
Wikipedia, is gone and not coming back.

How did I find this out? A "problem manager" for Hutchison 3G just
called me! 'Cos the volunteer press contact is obviously the person to
call about this sort of thing.

Apparently, Hutchison promote Wikipedia as one of the things you can
get through their service. And apparently they were just hooking into
this third-party volunteer service. If you go to
http://wap.fluffypeople.com/wiki/ and read the WML file, the text it
gives is:

"Sorry folks, the interface to wikipedia is down for the forseeable
future. There's a bug that crashes the webserver, and I don't have
free wap access any more, so I've got no incentive to fix it. I hope
you have enjoyed using the service."

Apparently a Hutchison director saw that message and didn't understand
that it wasn't us. And this guy read that message and didn't twig that
it wasn't us. Ahem.

As it happened I knew the right answer - "that'll be a third party
translator, we don't supply a WAP version of Wikipedia, just the web
version. If you want to run a WAP service, then you should contact
fluffypeople and pay them to run the service for you, or you should
get your own sysadmins to run the service for you."

ANYWAY - it occurred to me that if we want to make Wikimedia projects
available to people - should we run our own WAP server? Or supply a
suitable feed or software as a paid feed for phone companies who want
to sell this to their customers? Or get them to give us the access to
supply knowledge to the world this way?

(Given our fundraiser shortfall, options that involve money coming to
WMF are probably the nicest.)

Does any of this sound at all feasible? Not that I'm volunteering for
the project ... just floating the idea.

- d.

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