[Foundation-l] Wikis and the direction hardware is taking

Birgitte_sb at yahoo.com Birgitte_sb at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 10 01:16:23 UTC 2011

I am getting ready do to a little traveling. It works out that traveling light is going to be my best bet for various reasons. As I don't want to carry around the weight of a laptop; I have purchased a little closer to the cutting edge than I generally do. In setting up my iPad this is what shocked me.  It is near impossible to edit a wiki.  Well that wasn't to worrisome. I figured "there's an app for that". I searched "Wikipedia" and was presented with a large selection of apps that basically hide the fact that the websites are even editable.  They offer helpful things to using the wiki on small screen wrt to TOC and general navigation, but they also strip out all the edit links.  After specifically searching for edit, I found one app that made it possible to edit from iPad without pulling my hair out. [1].

 The whole trend is a bit worrisome.  Ever since I got the device I really don't want to use my laptop. I thought I would hate typing anything on it.  But it not bad at all (and I am the sort to make sure and buy laptops with full-size keyboards). People are going use  the free apps so long as WM wikis are hard to navigate natively.  We will never convert readers to editors if they reading with the editing interface stripped away. Do these apps for read-only Wikipedia even support the central-notice? I am not sure. Some seem to completely convert the website to a magazine appearance; some seem more like sleek web-browser.
I can't help but think that WMF does't jump in soon with an inexpensive app which solves the difficulties of navigation while preserving the facets of the site that are important to WMF, it will be harder to recover the losses if this trend of hardware takes hold. I imagine an official WMF app would get some sort of preference when searching "wikipedia" in the App Store, which is why I really think the foundation might want to attend to this.


[1] http://www.wikieditapp.com/

Sent from my iPad

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