Wikibase Community User Group/Meetings/2020-07-02/Notes

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Archived notes from Etherpad of the 2020-07-02 meeting.


Draft agenda[edit]

Participants (who is here)[edit]

  1. Mohammed Sadat (WMDE)
  2. Georgina Burnett (WMDE)
  3. Franziska Diehr (Freie Universität Berlin)
  4. Jakob Voß (VZG)
  5. Sarah Hartmann (DNB)
  6. Alexandra Provo (New York University Libraries)
  7. Hans-Jürgen Becker (DNB)
  8. Jim Hahn (UPenn Libraries)
  9. Sam Alipio (WMDE -- Wikibase Product Manager)
  10. Andre Castro (TIB)
  11. Dan Shick (WMDE -- Technical Writer)
  12. F. Tim Knight (Osgoode Hall Law School Library, York University)
  13. Nicolas Vigneron (wikimedian, wikidatian, etc.)
  14. Lozana Rossenova (Rhizome, PhD researcher & designer)
  15. Laurence "GreenReaper" Parry (WikiFur/Flayrah)
  16. Daniel Mietchen (University of Virginia; WikiCite/ Scholia; Wikibase Registry)
  17. Johan Richer (affiliated to the Paris School of Economics; experimenting Wikibase for, a research project about historical data on European companies)
  18. Alan Riedel (SLUB Dresden)
  19. Suzanne Pilsk (Smithsonian)
  20. Hilary Thorsen (Stanford Libraries)
  21. Jens Ohlig (WMDE)
  22. Diane Shaw, from Smithsonian Libraries
  23. Peter Chan, web archivist from Stanford University Libraries
  24. Anna Goslen, UNC Chapel Hill Libraries
  25. Tatyana Sheveleva, (TIB)
  26. Oliver Koepler (TIB, NFDI4Chem)
  27. Johannes Sperling (SLUB & Technical University Dresden)
  28. JShieh (Smithsonian Lib)


  • Mohammed introducing the context behind these live community sessions
  • Great turnout! (33+ persons!)
  • Introduction, starting with staff from WMDE (Jens, Mohammed, Sam, Georgina, Dan)
  • This is going to be a presentation followed by a Q and A session, we will then use the last few minutes to talk about topics for future sessions
  • Jens - take it away!
    • Community call took place earlier this year, want to pick up where we left off
    • In space a to make WIkibase a product in its own right with Sam as product manager
    • We would like to hear what it is you want from Wikibase, happy to support the community and see what the future of the wikibase community could look like
    • Wikibase data modelling
      • triples that use items (Q) and properties (P)
      • item & properties mapped to URIs to express relations that are arelady express in RDF
      • Bibframe ( resembles structure of Wikibase
      • Datatypes - important to remember that datatypes cannot be changed later, care should be taken from early on as to the correct datatype (for instance, choosing between monolingual text or item)
    • Best practice: link your data!
      • 'Same as' property should be your first property, which allows you to link it to the URL of an entity
    • Beyond simple mapping..
      • Qualifiers, reference, multilinguality (300+ languages - relevant particularly to institutions operating in a number of languages such as national libraries), revision history
    • Jens: just a few thoughts on how to explain data modelling in Wikibase for those with a library background
    • A lot of things we would like to see in the future, for instance it would be great during future meetings if these data mappings could be produced by experts
  • Q&A time!
    • Alexandra Alisa Provo: New to Wikibase, dabbled in Wikidata. Youve shown manual adding of properties, could one load a pre-existing ontology onto Wikibase? Colleague who has generated triples as part of project and would like to load them onto wikibase.
      • Jens: ontology agnostic, nothing to say this is not possible, could prepare set of properties, highly doubt this will ever make it onto the roadmap as it relies on domain specific knowledge. Even for popular categories/onotologies, I dont see us creating this, but through a series of API calls you could initiate such an ontology on Wikibase.
      • Sam: not currently on the roadmap, not sure it would make it on there in 2020, perhaps we could talk more about this use case afterwards as curious to hear more.
    • Franziska Diehr: Could you use ShEx for creating ontology?
      • [Missed first part]. A user created tool could be relevant here.
    • Jim Hatch: Are there batch tools for transforming BIBFRAME records into Wikidata pages?
      • Jens: there are not, and I don't think that is possible. Community expert who knows bibframe would be better off contributing something. Would be very attractive for those working in libraries, but it is a programming task that needs to be done
      • Hans-Jürgen Becker: could we add the link to the documentation of API calls for properties to the etherpad?
    • Daniel Mietchen: first time attending these meetings, but involved in Wikibase for quite some time. Some overview of priorities, painpoint is ability to reuse things on Wikidata, almost all users wants to do this and has had to think about it in some way. Tickets on phabricator but not sure what timeline is.
      • Sam: we are addressing that particular need through what is labelled as federation, referring specifically to allowing one Wikibase to access and reuse propoerties on another wikibase, first release in process and should be released this quarter, this would allow use of wikidata properties. first iteration of what is going to be a much larger and complex process. Start with properties. Only remote properties rather than combination of local and remote, makes more sense for coming quarter. Under developerment since february, excited to deliver 1st version.
    • Jens: need for community calls came out of Wikidata con last year, lots of channels at the moment. For the process, it would be helpful to understand where questions can be asked. Suggests that these calls be a central place to ask these things. Very open to a variety of questions, but it is sometimes a challenging task to reach out to the community due to all the channels. Currently trying to figure how to best deal with the situation.
    • Daniel Mietchen: imagine that anyone can add some bullet points on the agenda for the next meeting. Whole bunch of phabricator tickets important to him that he would like to see movement on. Federation constantly being discussed but not much concrete action but were not even really sure if it is feasible now or further down the line.
    • Jens: not be against discussing the phabricator tickets if felt that it would be of value.
    • Suzanne Pilsk: what is Phabricator?
      • Daniel Mietchen: Ticket system to track bug reports and feature requests
    • Sam: link provided in chat to combined roadmap for Wikidata and Wikibase, plan for this year, will be updated in new few weeks to reflect certain changes. Feedback on federation will be implemented in 4th quarter of 2020.
    • Jens: from when on are Wikibase installations able to use properties from Wikidata?
    • Sam: wrapping up this quarter, estimate for completion is August, need to then package that into a release. Closer to September and October.
    • WBstack questions
      • Jens: we are exploring this.
      • Sam: this idea of wikibase as a service, very clearly desired through WBstack. Coming quarter we are designing minially viable version of this, but not like WBstack as it would not be a full wikibase as a service. In this verison, you could try out the sandbox instance before deciding to install Wikibase. Development would start i october, release end of the year or beginning 2021
    • Sophie Wright: Will you maintain docker image if there is a hosted solution?
      • Jens: there will always be a docker image, also possible to install manually. Not forsaking Wikibase as a product. This will continue to be free, open source software that can be downloaded.
    • Daniel: any wikibase instance currently running on Toolvorge?
      • Sam: not sure. cloud WPS from the foundation, question for future as to where we should move wikibase registry
    • Diane Shaw: how can images be used in local Wikibases?
      • Sam: currently not possible to link non-commons images. Not currently on roadmap, but we are aware that it is an issue.
      • Jens: some initiatives to try to implement that. Rhizome has halped.
      • Lozana Rossenova: perhaps we could swap to Jitsi for future meetings? Rhizome are planning on releasing a possible extension where people can hook up own Wikibase to own images, but still waiting on funding. To the suggestion of using images in the Wiki - but then you have to use URL datatype. Works more as a temporary fix. Maybe we can do a meet up to talk about who is doing what in the GLAM world with regards to mapping. Is there is a preference for how people would like to share this work?
      • Jens: yes, i think during last few months we got a chance to try out every possible chat system. Would love to see more love for Jitsi, but issues with firefox. We dont have domain expertise when it comes to all these formats. Super happy to have next meeting around data modelling, a place to exchange solutions that everyone has.
      • Lozana: what is the best way to activate a WikiProject page, something to think about as a community.
      • Hans-Jürgen: telegram group for wikibase and libraries group:

Suggestions for next meeting[edit]

  1. {Switch to Jitsi to allow handraising features}
  2. A Focus on data modeling
  3. LR: I would be interested in having a focused meeting where folks from GLAMs can exchange work about mappings to formal ontologies (or even custom ontology work) – perhaps everyone prepares a 3-5min presentation, I guess it's best if it's slightly smaller scale – 30 people would be too much, but open to bigger meeting too, if there is interest. What is the best way to orgnize this. I am on Telegram if people want to chat there.
  4. A focus on federation (?)
  5. LR: maybe we can have a dedicated meeting w/ mini presentations about who is doing what from the community and how people are going around current limitations. This can be paired with formal presentations from WMDE staff around official roadmaps, etc.