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Noto Emoji Oreo 1f4c4.svg This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

This essay is spurred by the recent news that google wants to develop some kind of knowledge repository or whatever. Let us assume that wiki is not paper.

  • General question 0: How can we structure knowledge better, so that everybody can get/learn what she wants quickly?
  • General question 1: How can man and machine cooperate better, in the process of putting order in the vast sea of knowledge, on-line or off-line?
  • Fundamental question 0: Which is better - structure ("wiki") or search ("google")? How are they inter-related or inter-dependent?
  • Fundamental question 1: How far can the wiki-model go?

Wikipedia is diametrically opposite to google. A wiki collects structured information by hand and uses minimal technology; google collects and presents unstructured (but for w:pagerank) information automatically by sophisticated technology. The only thing they have in common, according to [1] is that they both use (used?) MySQL 4.0.26. This 陰陽 (yin-yang) opposition probably explains how well wikipedia and google fit together at present.


  • Problem 1. How can (media)wiki structure its content better?
    • Development: mw:Extension:semantic mediawiki/mw:extension:data/[2]
      • Problem 1.a. One can almost "type a question" in natural language and google can often give a decent answer. How can this be done in semantic wiki (in their special:ask)? And can the parser be programmed to read the lead section [1]and take out crucial attributes [2]. Wikipedia should use its natural advantage in its partially structured knowledge.
    • Problem 1.b How can one exploit the intrinsic structures of a wiki to produce an efficent search engine?
  • Problem 2. What are the factors that makes a wiki-community inherently stable, or unstable? What factors make a wiki-community grow?
    • Problem 2.a. What is in Wikipedia, in particular, that people get addicted?
  • Problem 3. (On behalf of wikiversity) Is developing quality structured content the best way to kick start a community?
  • Problem 4. How can wiki improve the presentation of technical subjects? In particular, how can one make to best use of wiki-structure, to make a maths textbook or a physics paper more accessible?
    • Problem 4.a. Most professionals do not want to be bothered with the wiki-syntax. For example, are there wiki-engines that support a full latex document? This will provide a much better platform for collaboration amongst mathematicians and physicists.
  • Problem 5. Mediawiki has many useful features but is slow. Use-mod wiki, for example, is fast but lack some important features and is not well-structured. Of course there are other engines, such as MoinMoin. Yet what are the potentials for integrating two or more engines for different purposes, e.g. "note-taking", query, and "display" ?
  • Problem 6 (On behalf of meta) How can a community efficiently "internationalise"? Mediawiki code's i18n project (on betawiki:) is working fine since the amount of translation is (practically) bounded. But on Meta, the current EuropeanParliment-like-minus-the-money model leaves many important works undone.
  • Problem 7 (with limited understanding of wikinews, I apologise if this question is misguided) Are there conflicts between the intrisic natures of a wiki and the need for timeliness of wikinews:?
  • Problem 8. Pan-wikimedia cooperation: Take Wikipedia-Wikibooks-Wikiversity for example. These three projects are similar, but they represent subtly different viewpoints towards knowledge and our relationships with knowledge. If we are to view W:->B:->V: as a sequence of focusing and deepening, how can these project complement each other? How can a reader "who wants to know more" travel smoothly and easily get what he wants? Especially since each of them is in a different stage of development, and each of them still has much to improve? How can knowledge, content, and readers flow from one to another?
  • Problem 9. Is wiki (c2:WikiDesignPrinciples) fundamentally inefficient? Is this inefficiency a bug that can fixed, or is it a participant-attracting feature?
  • ...Add more problems here

notes[edit]

  1. (let's say, written in some natural but standardise form, e.g. Socrates was a philosopher in Ancient Greece. He was tried for corruption of youth and executed by poisoning. Plato was his student...)
  2. (philosopher, lived in ancient greece, tried and executed by poisoning, had student Plato)

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