[Wikipedia-l] Re: Developers needed!

Benedikt Mandl benedikt.mandl at gmx.at
Wed Aug 25 11:09:26 UTC 2004

> 1) A review of similar projects on the web. Particularly:
> -- ITIS is a US government database - is it public domain. Would it be 
> usable?
> -- What happened to the data from the crippled allspecies project? Could 
> it be released and used?
> -- Tolweb? Who is behind it? How are they doing? Would they welcome 
> co-operation?

An evalutation of that was already done to some extend. I know ITIS and 
its European equivalent IPNI, both very good ressources and probably 
supportive. Species2000 is based on other species bases who certainly got 
money at least in some cases for providing their data. ALL species 
released nothing apart from big noise and therefore, I would personally 
not expect much more than addresses with people who might support us. They 
still maintain an office via the Californian Academy of Sciences, but 
don't do much. I will check  out Tolweb. So far, I'd say that Fishbase.org 
is the most advanced database in a similar manner as WikiSpecies should 
> 2) Funding. A db devoted to species is much more likely to be eligible 
> for certain funding than a general project. E.g. tolweb is basically 
> funded by NSF grants (http://tolweb.org/tree/home.pages/funding.html). 
> Could/should wikispecies take advantage in a way that wikipedia 
> hasn't/can't?

Funding: I created a list of potential supporters, covering government 
grants, private foundations, museums, universities and individuals who 
might provide us with funding. The problem is, that several projects were 
based on donations and public funding and didn't take off properly (ALL 
species, Species2000). All successful bases (IPNI, fishbase.org) were at 
least started as non-commercial, more than less public directories. I dont 
want to release the list, as I don't think that funding will be neccessary 
to get started - and a pain to get unless we have something to show.
> 3) Target audience. The target audience should be scientists and the 
> information contained should be scientific. This will attract scientists 
> to the project. Otherwise it overlaps with the current WP project too
> much.
Yes and no - in combination with wikipedia and wiktionary I am sure that 
WikiSpecies will become a valuable and accepted ressource for many non-
professional users as well. See fishbase: it is scientific, done by 
scientist, but highly aprreciated by divers, nature lovers, marinists and 
even aquarium-fetishists.

> 4) A commitment to develop the WikiDB module as mentioned by Tim 
> Starling. I don't think using plain MediaWiki would be good enough for 
> wikispecies - implementing in terms of categories and templates would be 
> a bit hackish for the purposes required. A proper db would reduce the 
> overlap with WPToL.
> 5) A commitment that the information would be GDFL compatible.
Most of taxonomic data is open and public anyway.

Thank you for the input. I am looking forward on more feedback and 
support. Best,


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