Wikimania 2008 was a blast. Here are just a few more bits of information that didn’t have a place in other posts.
PediaPress is a project that allows you to turn Wikipedia pages into actual books. They have an open-source MediaWiki extension, so you can run this on your own wiki. The coolest thing is that they’re going to be integrated into official Wikipedia wiki’s, so the whole world will be able to get their paper Wikipedia quickly and cheaply. Kudos go to Heiko and Johannes for getting this far with it.
UniWiki is a set of usability extensions for MediaWiki, developed by Unicef. They’re using wiki’s in 3rd world countries to help spread knowledge and to allow collaboration between schools from all over the world. They’ve done some impressive testing and improvement, so these extensions are something you should consider for your MediaWiki. The only problem right now is that they’re actually very hard to find. I’ll try to get a better idea how to get this working and post a follow-up blog post on this subject.
Wikia Search data dumps. While we’ve all tried the Wikia search, it’s not so well known fact that they have database dumps of everything. This should make some interesting research possible.Â Incidentally, this is exactly what Franklin st. statement proposes.
OLPC in Europe. There were some rumors that this Christmas they’re going to repeat funding drive that they had last year in USA. It’s not going to be limited only to USA, so we’ll be able to get them on this side of the pond.
FLOSS Manuals is a project that’s creating Free Manuals for Free Software. The idea is to create communities around different software projects that then work together to write really great manuals. Some of them are also available as printed versions.
Kaltura – Open Source video editing platform. Idea here is to be able to edit a video, just like a wiki. They have their own Flash player and can fully attach to MediaWiki pages.
Overall it was a great conference. For some reason I’ve felt a bit of disconnect with localÂ attendeesÂ but that is probably my own fault. Conference organizers did anÂ incrediblyÂ good job with the whole organization. The only wish I would have for the next time is to make sure there is water available at the venue. It was a bit strange to only have some coffee and tea available, but it was easy enough to find a near street-corner vendor with water.Â
What I learned about future of Wikipedia and WikimediaÂ foundation
I learned that they are working very hard. But it’s a really young organization that’s only starting to grow. So for now it seems that their goals for next year is to just make the whole operations as stable as possible that will allow them for further growth and bigger projects.
Having better search, WYSIWYG editor, better uploads and more projects is on their TODO list, but to be able to achieve that they have to make sure their infrastructure (both technical and real-world) is working well enough. I can fully respect that.
There was also some buzz on finally getting tagged revisions in. This will allow to create non-vandalized snapshots of pages through time (or at least that is my envisioning of usage).