[Wikimediaindia-l] troubleshooting Wikipedia for schools offline project

BalaSundaraRaman sundarbecse at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 1 06:54:09 UTC 2011

(copied Tamil Wiki list)
Hi Nikhil,

I appreciate your efforts.

> Request: I want to get an Offline edition of the Hindi, Marathi and  Gujrati 
>Wikipedia. (Indian languages) - preferably in the .ZIM format.
> I read about Malayalam / Tamil offline versions being in the works, but not in 

The Tamil effort has just begun. Will share a plan soon. at the end of 
compilation, we can create the archives in any format we wish.

- Sundar

 "That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for 
the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture

>From: Nikhil Sheth <nikhil.js at gmail.com>
>To: Jessie Wild <jwild at wikimedia.org>
>Cc: wikimedia-in-mum <wikimedia-in-mum at lists.wikimedia.org>; 
>wikimediaindia-l at lists.wikimedia.org; Emmanuel Engelhart 
><emmanuel at engelhart.org>; Using Wikimedia projects and MediaWiki offline 
><offline-l at lists.wikimedia.org>; wikimedia-in-pun at lists.wikimedia.org
>Sent: Tue, February 1, 2011 10:11:03 AM
>Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] troubleshooting Wikipedia for schools offline 
>Hi Jessie and All,
>Thanks so much for the appreciation.
>Request: I want to get an Offline edition of the Hindi, Marathi and Gujrati 
>Wikipedia. (Indian languages) - preferably in the .ZIM format.
>I read about Malayalam / Tamil offline versions being in the works, but not in 
>Why I advocate .ZIM is that it turns wikipedia into an easily search-able 
>single-file E-book, hence making it so much more portable (Try moving the other 
>forms having 1000s of files between drives and you'll get what I'm talking 
>about). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Emmanuel and his team have 
>actually assembled the largest ebooks that mankind has ever seen. If we give it 
>a spin like that and give an alternate description of Kiwix as a new kind of 
>ebook-reader for reading very very large volumes with very low memory footprint, 
>then we can probably catch even more attention and we might even witness other 
>publishers switching to something like it.
>But I digress, so back to my task..
>I have no clue how we can create the .ZIM files (don't have the expertise to see 
>and understand the format specifications), and I understand that Wikipedia dumps 
>creation aren't there for anybody or else the servers would be brought down. 
>So can anyone help with obtaining Hindi / other Indian languages Wikipedia?
>The reason I'm asking for them is: I'm trying to take the Wikipeida For Schools 
>to under-resourced schools in my country and in most, it would be much, much 
>easier to get permission from authorities to install and spread it if I actually 
>gave them an Indian language wikipedia and bundled the Wikipedia for Schools 
>with it. In their minds, getting the indian language one on their computers may 
>be a much bigger novelty.
>So, to hypothesize, if I handed over to a municipality in my state (Maharashtra, 
>India, main language is Marathi) a DVD having just "Wikipedia For Schools", they 
>may just keep it at the side and forget about it.
>But if I gave them a DVD having the "Complete Hindi and Marathi Wikipedia, plus 
>Wikipedia for Schools free!" then I think that will catch more attention. This 
>is just hypothetical, of course, but I want to give it a shot!
>The Kiwix/ZIM Wikipedia For Schools package is about 2.7 GBs only when burnt to  
>DVD, so there's plenty of room for putting more stuff, even for pen  drives as 
>we'll be using a 4GB pen drive.
>Further troubleshooting: (now moving into further exploring)
>The Kiwix+Wikipedia for Schools package is a portable  version of Kiwix with the 
>index and library file already built and stored inside the root\data folder 
>(size 141MB)
>When I opened wikipedia_en_wp1_0.7_30000+_05_2009_beta3.zim in the same 
>software, it did not create the library and index for the same inside this 
>package; rather it is stored elsewhere on my comp and I can't find it. (I'm on 
>Win 7 by the way)
>If I want to share other versions on Wikipedia in a ready-to-run form, I will 
>need to create and have the index inside the Kiwix software's folder. Or else on 
>every new computer there will be a lengthy indexing process which is wasteful 
>and might actually result in non-use by people who don't know how to go about 
>So, how can one go about it? Making Kiwix such that any .ZIM file it opens and 
>indexes, the index is stored INSIDE the program folder rather than anywhere 
>else? Or maybe such that it does BOTH and checks one source first and the other 
>Also, what is the command-line syntax for opening Kiwix with a particular .ZIM 
>I want to have a package of multiple instant options, so that if someone 
>double-clicks on a "Wikipedia for schools" shortcut or .bat or .exe then that 
>opens; if someone double-clicks a "Hindi Wikipedia" then that opens, and so 
>Nikhil Sheth
>Pune, India
>Teach For India Fellow, 2011-13
>Find me on: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Google | RangDe 
>Join me on: Pune Documentary Club | Let's Do it Pune | Toastmasters in Pune | 
>Wikipedia For Schools project 
>On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 11:57 PM, Jessie Wild <jwild at wikimedia.org> wrote:
>All - thanks so much for your work here; this is fantastic progress and 
>incredibly helpful for the offline work at large.
>>On 1/20/2011 11:48 AM, Emmanuel Engelhart wrote:
>>1. A proliferation meetup where a lot of us can get together and copy
>>>>>  the dump to our laptop/netbook/USB drive. 1 goes to 20... and we can
>>>>>  scale up the project like crazy.
Would be great, I'm interested in any simple Ideas/Solutions to build
>>something like a small digital kiosk where people could easily choose
>>what they want to get on their USB stick. The wireless version,
>>something like a WIFI Spot with only one Web Site could also be interesting.
Having some sort of dedicated offline meet-up is something that a few of us have 
been talking about for the past month or so, so I'm glad it was brought up 
again.  Logistically, when do we think this could happen?  Although it is a 
couple months away, an easy way to leverage an existing organizational plan 
would be to tack onto the Chapter's meeting in Berlin at the end of March. 
 Europe would also be a relatively central meeting place for us.
>>Thoughts? Availability?  Once we carve out a block of time, we can work out a 
>>schedule of most important things to tackle and discuss (I also have lots of 
>>suggestions ;).
>>Jessie Wild
>>Special Projects Manager
>>Global Development
>>Wikimedia Foundation
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