Random thoughts on what Wikimedia might mean
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The Wiki[pm]edia family presently encompasses Wikipedia, the encyclopedia; Wiktionary, the dictionary; Wikiquote, the compendium of quotations; Wikibooks, the collection of [text]books; Wikisource (or Project Sourceberg), the repository of primary sources; and Wikispecies, an open species directory (The last few are still young, and not yet internationalised).
Suggestions for something more news-oriented are fairly frequent (Wikinews etc).
More multimedialike, integration of maps has been suggested (Wikipediatlas).
The world of audio and video can touch most of these and more; currently it is possible to upload media files to the wikis and link them from articles, but it's unwieldy, not very wikilike, and there's no infrastructure for streaming media beyond 'hope your media player will play as it downloads from http'.
- Better yet, what's the point? It looks cool at first glance, but what would be the purpose of a vast library of freely editable media? I think it would be best to simply use media attached to articles.
- However, in the Wikimedia vein, I think it would be a good idea to allow people to upload source files for images. I don't know how audio and video editing programs work - I've scarcely seen one in the face - but I do know that graphics software uses different file formats for editing and output. If I create a diagram, say, in Photoshop, I should be able to upload the .psd source file so that other people can modify it. (I've already used four such diagrams, albeit not from Photoshop, and I know they're not the greatest.) Smack 02:22 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)
- On the source file note, you certainly can upload your source files to Wikipedia and link them from the image description pages. This is highly encourages for diagrams output from vector format sources. See also proposal for SVG image support, where rasterization of diagrams in SVG format could be done automatically (or a browser's native or plugin support of SVG used if available) with only the SVG needing to be uploaded. Hypothetically other formats could be similarly supported, with automatic scaling and JPEG'ing to reasonable size of photos in XCF or PSD. I don't know how desirable this is, but it could be a direction worth exploring. --Brion VIBBER 03:02 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)
If more multimedia files are uploaded, bandwidth usage will increase. It might be necessary to find ways to distribute the bandwidth load using something like bitorrent.
See Wikipedia releases for discussions and statement over paper and CD version
It has been suggested that the Wikimedia foundation could distribute Wikipedia on CD/DVD.
As we move towards 1.0 and explore the idea of going to print/cd/etc., there will likely be some *investment* needed, but that investment will (one hopes) be fully returned. Whether that investment takes place inside the Wikimedia Foundation vehicle, or separately, is something we can decide.
Let me be specific. I'd like to distribute cheaply-printed paperback copies of Wikipedia to every school in every country in Africa, in English or French as the local circumstances dictate. (I'd prefer native tongues, of course, but en and fr are more likely to be ready and useful soon.)
When the time comes, I'd like to put together a budget for that concept, and then go get funding for it, either from the general public, or from someone like Oprah Winfrey who has taken an interest in major projects of that kind. (Or possibly even governments, although as I have said, I have some real qualms about us using tax money.)
- Let's say this comes to 100,000 copies of 1.0 @ ($3 mass printing + $1 shipping within the US), distributed overseas for free via arrangements w/ the Red Cross and Peace Corps. Add $50,000 to cover expenses and salary for each of two multilingual coordinators for the project for ~1 year, and you can float this idea on a half-mil shoestring. Sj 08:59, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- Investment in 2004 for such a project, given current 1.0 projections, would probably be at most an initial payment for preproduction of the book. If layout and proofing (and mockups for fundraising) are all handled by Wikipedians, this might not even be required. Sj 09:08, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
See also WMF/Home Page