[Wikipedia-l] Wikipedia v. Britannica

Daniel Mayer maveric149 at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 18 20:20:23 UTC 2003

Jimbo wrote:
>What I'd like to find out is that we have a realistic 
>chance of having a Wikipedia 1.0 release 1 year 
>from now that rivals Britannica.  But there's no need 
>to hurry, if it will take 2 years or 5 years, that's how 
>long it will take.

Hm. Is there a machine readable list of all 75,000 of Britannica's articles 
somewhere? If we had such a list then we could perform this analysis; 
cross-check all article titles in en.Wikipedia with Britannica articles. Then 
exclude all Wikipedia articles that are over some set limit in size (2000 
bytes, for example). Then everything else will either be mismatched titles 
(which require redirects to fix), articles we have but are less than 2000 
bytes, and articles we lack but Britannica has. If we really wanted to go 
crazy we could compare the size of every matched title and aim to surpass or 
match each Britannica article in size, but that would require scriptable 
access to all their articles which I'm not sure would be possible even if we 
had a Britannica CD.

Then we can have a queue of many thousands of priority articles to work on. 

But size is only one part of the puzzle; we also need an approval system to 
measure quality. We can use the list of 75,000 Britannica articles as a 
priority list. 

-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)

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