Abstract: Wiktionary is the biggest project after Wikipedia. As there will be big changes in the way Wiktionary will work, there is a need to explain what these changes are about. These changes will be quite fundamental; they will merge wiktionaries in one Ultimate Wiktionarie and consequently the communities will merge as well. Technically the changes are as profound, the software for Wiktionary and Wikipedia are the same; with the inclusion of Wikidata in the Mediawiki software it will be possible to host structured data within a Mediawiki project. This will have a profound impact on the way information will be added.
The current wiktionaries are all separate projects; they all do things in their own way. Some have adopted a set of shared templates that allow for the easy transfer of data from one Wiktionary to another. This manual transfer allows for over 80% of the data to be the same in each Wiktionary. The drawback of this system is that changes in one project are not easily shared. It is not explicitly clear who added new content and it can therefore be argued that the rules of the GNU-FDL are not complied with.
As the different wiktionaries will be merged into the structured “Ultimate Wiktionary” all changes will be possible to all users never mind what primary language is used. It means that the rich Neapolitan, Sicilian, Papiamento resources will be available to all users. The Kurdish content will have much more links to other languages, it will be a richer resource based on what we already have.
In the implementation of UW, we will incorporate logic that is associated with thesauri. It will be possible to rank terminology, to say things like relations, inclusiveness etc. This logic is particularly important, as we want to include thesauri like the GEMET thesaurus. GEMET is one thesaurus of the European Community; inside UW it will be possible to add translations to other non-EU languages. This in turn will facilitate trade from an to the EU.
One reason why we want to include this kind of information is, because it will make UW relevant. As we will include more and more lexicological information more people will turn to UW for this type of information. As UW will have the “edit” button people are invited to add content and improve content.
One other thing we envision doing with UW, is to allow for the import and export of XML data. We hope to get formal cooperation with organizations like the EU. This way we enable the EU to keep their quality eye on their thesaurus.
It is incredible that the funding by Kennisnet for the initial development of UW makes it possible to entertain all these possibilities. In my mind it is just a matter of time, hard work and enthusiasm that will make all this come true.
I have given presentations about Wiktionary before, you can find them at Presentations