Year: 2007 Week: 33 Number: 79

Wikimedia News

Technical news

  • [Single User Login] – also known as SUL – is again a step closer to implementation. For the newer readers; Single User Login is exactly what it sounds like; one login for all WMF wikis. Because many users have accounts on many wikis, at not always with the same username, making a system to support one login and not breaking to existing accounts is complex. This is in the works for several years now. The merge function is now live on the test-wiki in demonstration modus for testing. (demonstration -> testing = does not really work yet). Brion says that beta-testing could start in a couple of weeks.
  • [pywikipediabot] – The “pywikipediabot” framework, which has been hosted at sourceforge for the last almost 4 years, has recently been moved to wikimedia servers. This means that robot users will need to go to a different server to update their version of the robot software.
  • [Redirects] –  The now work with URL-encoded page titles (like “#REDIRECT [[foo%20bar]]”).
  • [WP offline] – Building a (fast) Wikipedia offline reader; a user who wanted to have Wikipedia on his hard disk to take along explains how he done it.

Request for help




  • [EN Wikinews] – A wikinews reporter was able to get an exclusive interview with Tony Benn on U.K. politics.
  • [PL wiki on DVD] – In April was announced in Wikizine 68 that very soon a DVD of the Polish language Wikipedia would be on sale in shops in Poland. That “soon” is now. It is available for purchase in shops in Poland as well as online. The release contains 239 000 articles, 59 000 images and the dedicated Java software WikiMiner. The DVD costs 39 PLN (~ 10 EUR, $14). Soon the 8 GB image of the DVD will be available for download as well.


  • [Wikimania Awards 2007] – The Wikimania Awards where awarded. There where 7 categories in where people could nominate pictures. On the presentation of the winners only winners for 4 categories where announced.  Jury member [[User:Cspurrier]] explained that the reason was that the intended prices for the winners for the other categories did not seemed to exist. And because of that there where no winners for the other categories.



  • [All wp] – All Wikipedias together have reached 8 million articles.
  • [ja wp] –  The Japanese Wikipedia reaches 400,000 articles.
  • [commons] –  The Wikimedia Commons has reached 1,750,000 files
  • [ps wp] – The Pashto Wikipedia reaches 1,000 articles.

Other news



The community of Wikimedia exists on the internet. But sometimes there are large gatherings of Wikimedians in the real world; Wikimania. Even when Wikimania is a great success with a high numbers of visitors there remains a group of very interested Wikimedians who want to follow the events but are not physical present. In these modern times of one global digital village that can not be a problem. Especially for an online technological community as Wikimedia.

The first Wikimania, in 2005 (Frankfurt), there was no live-streaming nor archives. But that was very first Wikimania, time to learn and grow is necessary, so that is understandable.

For the second Wikimania in Boston, in 2006, there was live-streaming. Yes, it was a RealMedia stream but it worked and also for all operating systems. The archives of the recordings where a problem. During that Wikimania and at several times after it was announced that the video archives would come available soon. The never did came available.

Now for this Wikimania in 2007 I expected that the online experience would be better then in 2006. It was not. It was even significant worse. The live-streaming was provided by a sponsor. So far no problem. But to see the live-stream you needed to go a website that contains advertisement. There you could see the stream on a web-based player that starts with a commercial.

For any other organisation or community that would be totally normal. But when you consider that the Wikimedia community, with the English language Wikipedia on the first row, is fundamentalistic against even the smallest form of advertisement or suggesting of commercial activity, then it is very weird that the official live-stream of Wikimania is so clearly commercial.

Even worse; the live-stream solution provided was Windows-only! By day 2 I had installed Windows XP in an emulator. The stream was not very stable, frequent buffer under-runs and this together with no working function to get a full screen video made the user experience not very good to say the least.

Video archives where announced to be available be the end the day. One week after the end of Wikimania; are not yet available.

Wikimania 2007 was a success, but the online experience was not. Will next year be better? Maybe the people who where providing the on the spot put together Ogg Theora streams could do that. Considering that it was an ad hoc solution the did a great job.

Walter, Editor of Wikizine

Did you know …

… that you can buy a listing in Wikipedia on eBay?
Ebay user diremine, who has a 99,9% positive feedback, provides the service of getting an article about you business inside Wikipedia, 10 interwiki links to your article and 2 external links to your website.

The comments in his feedback indicate that has sold successful several of these packages and the his customers are satisfied. This suggests that there are spy’s and traitors on Wikipedia who assist with this.

Donation Quotes

“gott sei dank fur Wikipedia — Anonym
“Knowledge is Fun” — Eugene Demeter
“I don’t google as I used to, it has thankfully been replaced by Wikipedia” — Anonymous

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