From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
(Redirected from WikiVentory)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This is a proposal for a new Wikimedia sister project.
Status of the proposal
ReasonThere is Wikidata for this now. --Sannita (talk) 10:48, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

This is a proposal. Please feel free to provide feedback on the talk page.

Before you read any further[edit]

Before you read any more of this page, please take a moment to absorb the following point:

This is not a proposal to replace the existing categorisation system within MediaWiki. It is a proposal to expand our means of organising and presenting information, and provide another way of browsing it.

Wikiventory (name up for discussion) is a proposed wiki for creating "inventory" lists and groups. The purpose of a wikiventory is to allow the creation and editing of such lists in a wiki-like manner. The concept allows for these lists to be componentised and shared. One possible use for such a mechanism would be to provide an alternative model for navigating encyclopedia content, and the content of other wikis.

Test wikiventory[edit]

An experimental wiki to test and delveop this concpet has been established at: wikiventory test wiki

A small number of nodes already exist!

As of 01-06-2006 the test wiki is dormant and archived.

What is a wikiventory?[edit]

  • It is NOT suggested as a replacement for existing categories.
  • It would use a hierarchy of 'inventory' lists to organise information.

An inventory is a defined list of items, having a name, and one or more members. For instance, an inventory for bread might look something like:

Bread { Flour, Water, Salt }

This defines a list named Bread, with member objects Flour, Water and Salt.

Linking inventories[edit]

At present, we've defined only one inventory. But we can split flour down further:

Flour { Grain }

And we can keep splitting this down:

Grain { Endosperm, Germ, Bran }
Germ { Protein }
Protein { Amino-Acid }
Amino-Acid { Amine, Alkyl, Carboxylic Acid }
Carboxylic Acid { Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen }

One could split the elements down into atoms. Suppose, however, we defined another inventory; one for Vinegar, for instance:

Vinegar { Ethanoic Acid, Water }
Ethanoic Acid { Ethane, Carboxylic Acid }

Instead of redefining Water and Carboxylic Acid, we can use the information from the previously defined branches, in effect, componentising and sharing the information, and reducing data redundancy.

How is this useful for navigation?[edit]

A system relying on a hierarchy of inventories provides us with a different means of exploring the Universe, which can be applied to navigating information in, for example, the Wikipedia. Suppose a user wishes to learn about the composition of Bread; they can start with Bread, and split it into the constituent parts. Perhaps they reach the Protein level, and don't understand what an Amino-Acid is. With this model, and integration with something like Wikipedia, they can cross-reference our encyclopedia entry on Amino-Acids.

An adventurous thought[edit]

Suppose our user continues to read the article on Amino-Acids, and in doing so, follows links down to the Carboxylic Acid level; then to the Carbon level. By this time, they could be somewhat lost with respect to their original aim. Our system could, eventually, be coded to allow them to see where the new level (Carbon) fits in with what they've been researching.

Additional technical aspects[edit]

Media-wiki software supports redirects. This means that differences in terminology can be easily accommodated. A user browsing the Wikiventory would learn about these 'equivlances', and be able to add new owns where appropriate.

Possible Uses[edit]

  • navigational structure
  • infobox generation