[Foundation-l] getting Wikipedia to the 5.2 billion people who can't access it

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Sun May 31 19:10:25 UTC 2009

2009/5/31 Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org>:
> On Sun, May 31, 2009 at 2:49 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Edit conflicts with live editing aren't an issue, manual resolution is
>> trivial. Edit conflicts with significant delays are a much bigger
>> problem and require automated merging, which isn't always possible,
>> and is often very difficult.
> Why do edit conflicts with significant delays require automated merging?
> What's wrong with sending back a message that "your edit failed due to an
> edit conflict", or even better "there was an conflict with your edit - it
> has been sent to a queue for manual processing"?  Sure, third worlders won't
> be able to get into an edit war on the English Wikipedia version of [[George
> W. Bush]], but that doesn't mean they can't contribute to one of the
> millions of lower traffic articles.

There would be an extremely large number of conflicts that never got
resolved, since the message that got sent back would be sent some time
after the person had lost interest in the edit. I don't see why we're
discussing these people editing, the important thing is that they can
read it. If they don't have access to Wikipedia chances are they don't
have access to reliable sources to edit using anyway.

> We already have dumps (the latest dump of all enwiki primary content
>> finished a couple of hours ago and is 4.8 gig), all we would need to
>> do is make incremental dumps available so people don't have to
>> download the whole thing repeatedly.
> Great.  Do it.

A little out of my skillset, I think (I haven't looked at the new dump
system, but it is probably beyond me to understand well enough to do
more than trivial bug fixes). If you can show a demand for it, though,
I expect someone will do it sooner or later.

>> That would be pretty easy to
>> program compared to rewriting the whole of MediaWiki to function via
>> Waves.
> Google has already done that, except it's not MediaWiki, it's something much
> much more powerful and easy to use.

And if we were starting Wikipedia in a few months time, perhaps we
would base it around Waves, but we aren't, so that's irrelevant. It
would need a massive amount of work to convert everything over. Even
if we did that work, it wouldn't make any difference to the 5.2
billion people this thread is about. Until you start making sense, I'm
out - have a good day.

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