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Linking to databases

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
(English) 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.

Wikipedia is not a database but an encyclopedia. And MediaWiki is not designed to manage a relational database. But there are some free database projects out there that are worth collaborating with. For instance MusicBrainz and freedb collect information about bands, CDs and songs. In Wikipedia there are also a lot of articles about bands. Few of them are already linking to freedb or MusicBrainz. How about consequently linking Wikipedia and selected free databases? Technically it's not that complicated. I created an example on en: and de: linking to MusicBrainz. See the articles en:In Extremo and de:In Extremo:

  1. Create a template (see en:Template:musicbrainz and de:Vorlage:musicbrainz)
  2. Start using the template
    1. Select an article of a band or song
    2. Search for it at http://musicbrainz.org
    3. Copy the part of the Permanent Link after http://musicbrainz.org/ - for instance "artist/8ebd161e-f45e-41b9-8019-fcbd094c327f.html"
    4. Add a link to the External Links section using the follwing syntax:
  3. Frequently get a list of all articles using the template (Whatlinkshere is your friend) and parse the template links
  4. Send the list of Wikipedia article titles and MusicBrainz IDs to the MusicBrainz guys and convince them linking back to Wikipedia

It's only a little step further to get the following: If I start listening a CD a browser window openes showing me the relating Wikipedia article of the band or CD! It's that easy and everybody will profit - so what are we waiting for?

We could also collaborate with the en:IMDb but "their" data is not open content, so better not linking to them - maybe we better build up Wikimovies instead.

IMDb's content was open at some point in the past... if we can find one of the original IMDb contributors who were against the switch over to closed control of their DB, we could import data from them. +sj+