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IEG key blue.png
summaryMake a telnet/SSH interface for Wikipedia
targetWikipedias with latin-based scripts
strategic priorityincrease reach
amount2,000 USD
this project needs...
created on18:33, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

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                      ██        WIKIMEDIA FDN (R) 

Project idea

What is the problem you're trying to solve?

Many people own computers capable of reading an electronic encyclopedia, but cannot access Wikipedia due to high system requirements of the World Wide Web

What is your solution?

To create an interactive text interface (nCurses flavor) with adjustable layouts for 40 and 80 column display as well as variable column of virtual terminals. Optional trackball support for easier navigation of hyper-text links. Optionally a Free Software PBX can provide on-line content through the PSTN.

Project goals

Increase access from a WWW browser and Internet to any computer with a MODEM

Project plan



Community engagement

We intend to exhibit this a vintage computer festivals, Linux User Groups, and other meetups. We also intend to contact publications include Ars Technica and 2600.


Measures of success

Reference material

Get involved


Community notification

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Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • This is an interesting project. Hargup (talk) 17:56, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I look forward to the day when those of else without access to the internet can simply dial into 1-800-GET-WIKI. Bawolff (talk) 21:22, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
    In the US it could actually be 1-800-WIK-IPEDIA (since the last digits are ignored) Dispenser (talk) 23:59, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • There is already a few nCruses / text based browser that let one browse wikipedia from a terminal. w:Category:Text-based web browsers. So I am not sure how useful a telnet client would be any useful. Antoine "hashar" Musso (talk) 20:58, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
    We're planning on based it on a text browser to ease development, but current web interface sucks on them. Dispenser (talk) 23:59, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
    • I was very happy to use w3m to edit Wikipedia and it was pretty usable. The only big problem I've had was the lack of non-colored "?" missing link indicator (former "highlightbroken" preference). This feature got effectively killed by moving it to CSS very long time ago, and finally removed it in phab:T29619. So, for me - a text-browser friendly skin would be enough!  « Saper // talk »  08:31, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Very good proposal. I'm certain there's a segment of the population that still use dial-up modems for whatever reason, and if they're to access anything worthwhile on the net at that speed it'll certainly be Wikipedia! -- OlEnglish (Talk) 08:43, 15 March 2016 (UTC)