[Wikimediaindia-l] [Offline-l] troubleshooting Wikipedia for schools offline project

Shiju Alex shijualexonline at gmail.com
Tue Feb 1 13:02:47 UTC 2011

Due to various reasons, using *the whole dump of a language wikipedia* for
the offline version is not recommended especially if you are planning to
distribute the CD/DVD to schools. Apart from the copyright violation of the
images (check the license of images across various wiks) there are many
other points to be considered while creating an offline version.

Did any one discussed with the respective language wiki community before
decided to create the offline version? In the end it is the respective
language community who need to answer various queries once the whole dump of
wiki reach the school childern through CD/DVD.

Malayalam wiki community has indeed tried the Kiwix solution before we
decided to develop our own solution. It is sad to find that still Kiwix is
not in a state where we can create the CD/DVD with out the developer/expert
support. But it is good to see that the issue with non-latin scripts/fonts
are fixed. But the article selection feature needs to be enabled for Kiwix
so that any one can create their own version of Wikipedia CD (as can be done
using Wiki2CD).

But the point here is not the software, whether we need to provide whole
dump of a wiki to schools. Definitely I am not for it due to my experience
with the Malayalam Wikipedia CD.


On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 5:41 AM, Nikhil Sheth <nikhil.js at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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 .ZIM
> 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 it.
> 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 later?
> Also, what is the command-line syntax for opening Kiwix with a particular
> .ZIM file?
> 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 forth.
> Cheers,
> Nikhil Sheth
>  <tel:+919665831250>+91-966-583-1250 <tel:+919665831250>
> Pune, India
> Teach For India <http://www.teachforindia.org/> Fellow, 2011-13
> www.nikhilsheth.tk
> Find me on: Twitter <http://twitter.com/nikhiljs> | Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/nikjs>|
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> For Schools project<http://education.wikia.com/wiki/Wikipedia_For_Schools_Offline_Edition>
> 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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