[Foundation-l] More on Wikimedia strategic planning

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Sun May 3 05:12:09 UTC 2009

Sue Gardner wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I wrote here earlier about the process we're imagining for this
> project; I'm going to take a minute now to write about the substance
> of the work.  This isn't a direct response to any of the comments made
> here thus far, but I hope it'll indirectly speak to some of the issues
> you've brought up.
> As always, I would love your input. The goal here is to work towards a
> small number of sharply-focused highest-priority questions, so we can
> explore each one deeply, and come up with actionable priorities.

> * How do we ensure our materials are protected and preserved in usable
> form, so they continue to be available forever?

Besides the off-planet complete database-backup I envisioned,
another intriguing conceit would be to start on the process
of transcribing wikipedia onto vellum with non-corrosive and
persistent ink (I don't think there are enough stone tablets, or
even clay for tablets to ever suffice, but vellum is clearly unlimited,
if a little slow to come by).

Naturally it would be reasonable to start the work on either the
1000 articles each wikipedia should have, or perhaps the featured
articles or the like in each language. Or on the other hand, on the
general theory of wikipedian ethos, simply as the spirit moved
each actual artisan skilled in the art of old-fashioned calligraphy.

I am not saying this should necessarily be something the foundation
should devote great resources towards, but I am putting it out there
for people to be inspired by...

There could be great art to be had with this. Consider for instance
the possibility of putting the metadata of the article (references,
footnotes, etc.) as glosses in the margin, possibly even in a number
of levels of margin glosses.

And the oft agonized question of attribution and license inclusion.
My suggestion is that it would be cool to actually impregnate each
piece of vellum with an invisible ink palimpsest of the full GFDL, in
very small print (not by hand, but some more mechanical process),
and maybe the contributors too, and perhaps even crosswise printed,
so there could be two levels of invisible ink palimpsest present). Then
there could be a very small visible note in the bottom of each sheet
to read the vellum with an UV- light source for the full license and
list of contributors.


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

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