[Foundation-l] GLAM-WIKI report

Tim Starling tstarling at wikimedia.org
Wed Aug 12 12:12:57 UTC 2009

Kat Walsh wrote:
> Thanks for the recap; sounds like the conference went pretty well.
> I'm not sure what the technical challenges you had in mind are, but I
> can think of plenty of reasons to argue against hotlinking and I don't
> want to let the point slip by. A few:
> 1. What about our mirrors and forks and reusers; do they get the same
> rights? How about users who want to download media dumps?
> 2. What about when they decide to change around their naming
> schemes/take works offline/otherwise restructure their websites, and
> us with millions of links? Any change of theirs would cause serious
> disruption.
> I don't think it is a waste for us to mirror those images unless you
> want to call all redundancy a waste--but if it's really a concern,
> from my perspective I'd far rather have them hotlink from us! I think
> it is fine to provide links to the institutions' own sites where the
> highest-resolution images are available for purchase, but I think we
> must host the other images ourselves. I do want to see Wikimedia
> collaborate and reach understanding with cultural institutions. But I
> think it needs to be on the level of how we share their mission of
> preserving and disseminating cultural knowledge, and showing them how
> much more can happen when we are able to use that material
> independently on the Wikimedia projects.

I would add further reasons against hotlinking or caching:
* The difficulty of providing good performance and high availability
24/7: the institutions usually run their own server rooms
* The low cost to us of mirroring a collection, up to a scale of
hundreds of gigabytes
* The bandwidth cost to them could potentially be high
* The software development cost

Brianna Laugher wrote:
> Re GLAM repositories as a MediaWiki repo, I don't know enough on the
> tech side to know if it is even a remotely feasible idea. But on the
> 'social' side it did make me think about our insistence (currently
> technically necessary) that everything is in MediaWiki format,
> essentially under the Wikimedia branding somewhere, before we will
> effectively work with it. We want the GLAMs to let up some control,
> but essentially so material can come under our control. A different
> kind of control, certainly, but definitely control. Let's not kid
> ourselves - not a neutral ground. Maybe it is not a bad idea for us to
> think about how we can embrace collaboration or resource sharing that
> might wear someone else's badging.

Well, if it's about branding, then maybe we can think of ways to do
repositories that are mirrored in our data centres but look more like
a separate branded collection as presented in MediaWiki. But the
Wikimedia community might have trouble with that.

-- Tim Starling

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