[Wikipedia-l] Developers needed!

Daniel Mayer maveric149 at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 24 19:59:16 UTC 2004

--- Benedikt Mandl <benedikt.mandl at gmx.at> wrote:
> The defined target refered to the question whether wikispecies should cover
> all species that were described or not. It would be wonderful if this was
> possible, but yet it is too big of a project to define - others have done
> that before and failed (see the busted http://www.all-species.org/).
> In terms of users: I think that there actually would be some overlapping
> information of wikipedia and wikispecies - for that reason a stron
> connection between the two would be very important and beneficial for both.
> On the other hand I think that the niche for a specifically biology
> dedicated, taxonomic database such as wikispecies is big and the potential
> potential applications different enough to justify the existance of a
> wikispecies in addition to the wikipedia. 

OKay - you first state that others have tried and failed. Then you state that
it would better to fork this aspect of Wikipedia into a separate project while
maintaining overlap. How is dividing the potential workforce between two
projects going to be successful? 

> When it comes to biologists to contribute contents, I am sure that it will
> be MUCH easier to convince them to work on a species directory with pure
> bio-applications rather than a general encyclopedia. 

Because Wikipedia is not paper, it is far more than a general encyclopedia - it
is a collection of many inter-related and connected encyclopedias. From the
Wikipedia one could derive a great many specialist encyclopedias by selection
alone. That is one reason why categories are so important and why the
WikiReader concept will work. Again, you have noted another project that tried
to specialize and failed. 

As a biologist you should be well-aware of the dangers of overspecialization.
Species that overspecialize are very vulnerable to extinction due to the fact
that changes in its environment will leave it with adaptations that cannot
exploit those changes. 

-- mav

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